News Flash! My in-depth topic has changed. I have been learning the techniques of musical instrument repair but due to scheduling problems that were hindering meetup times with my mentor, I made the decision to switch to a topic that allows me to work on my project without the need for specific equipment. Musical instrument repair relied heavily on the availability of my mentor’s tools. Since I couldn’t meet him frequently enough, I wouldn’t reach a level of knowledge I would be happy with in the end. So then, what is my new in-depth topic?
I always dreamed of being that cool kid who wears a backward snapback while carrying a skateboard in their arms, going to the skate park every day after school to practice tricks (just kidding not that extreme). Ever since middle school, it was a goal of mine to learn how to skateboard. Last year, I bought this cheap, plastic, green penny board at Superstore, thinking to myself that I would finally reach my goal. After hopping on it for a few times, I got a general feel of what it feels like to be on a skateboard. Now you ask? It stays forgotten in my garage. Through my second chances of in-depth, I wish to pick my spirits back up and properly learn.
What are my first steps?
- Getting a skateboard
The detriments of impulse buying a cheap skateboard are that the quality of the product is not great. The trucks are slanted, resulting in the board veering off to the left by itself. The wheels are plastic which makes them very susceptible to cracking, and the bushings are very stiff. I still plan to use this penny board on my trip to China because of its convenient travelling size but after I come back, I will be on the hunt for a better board. There are different types of skateboards: longboards, shortboards, penny boards, etc. For my in-depth, I will be focusing on tricks and around-town travel.
After some research, here is what I’m looking for in a new skateboard:
- A good size for my age, height, and shoe size
- Made of 7 layers of Maplewood
- Suited with good quality grip tape
- Has a concave on the board to my liking
- Trucks need to be metal and NOT plastic
- Bushings need to be made of polyurethane and softer durometer
- Wheels made of polyurethane to absorb vibrations
- Consult with skateboard professional about the softness of the wheels to fit my needs
I understand there are a lot more parts to a skateboard but until I find a mentor with which I can communicate with and learn from in person, I reserve the amount of research.
2. Finding a mentor
My plan with finding a mentor is to go to skateboard shops and ask knowledgeable employees/managers. I’ve also asked Valerie (who knows the basics of skateboarding) to teach me easy techniques in the meantime while I look for a mentor. So far, possible shops include Menu Skateboard Shop in Gastown, One Love Skateboard Shop in Burnaby, and private instructors in Coquitlam. I plan to secure a mentor through online messaging/emails by the time I get back from China.
I won’t allow my spring break trip to China to limit my practice time. As stated above, I will be bringing my penny board along. During my trip, I plan to teach myself how to balance and push off (without falling). Because of my abrupt topic change, my project plan is still being organized and thought out. This post will be updated as soon as I finish!
With my in-depth subject change, I hope everything rolls out smoothly!