Not only servers can be collected / Guest post by Matyas
Hi, I'm Matyas from the neighbourhood of Pipas, and this is a guest post about my skateboards. Pipas is been offering me to publish it if I'd eventually write something so you may expect some further blogs from me, mainly about mathematics, programming, computers and whatever…
But how do skateboards come into the play? One evening I showed Pipas this picture about my new skateboard shelf, which is in fact my first piece of work done by welding:
And he said: "Man, you have a hack of a lot of skateboards! You should write a blog about it." And I said alright, if you find it suitable for this series, in spite of its being quite off-topic, I will. As Pipas found it interesting, I hope at least some of you will enjoy. So here we go.
When I was a kid in the 1980-s, there were other kids around riding skateboards. These were small plastic board; the only ones you could buy. I was also tempted to try it, but as a fat kid not very good at sports I didn't dare. And they weren't cheap either, I could hardly have had convinced my parents to buy one. When I grew up I realised that I like many sports. I became more confident. But by that time, the plastic cruiser boards died out, and skateboarding became a synonym of doing hardcore tricks with suitable boards, which is not for me.
Some ten years ago the idea of having plastic a cruiser board came back somehow. For some reason I wanted a yellow one. Interestingly it was well before the company named Penny made these fashionable again, or at least they were not to be heard about in Hungary. Nevertheless we had Internet auction sites, I thought maybe I can find a vintage. And indeed, soon after I got hold of my first board, this one:
Alright, it is not yellow… Yet it is a vintage plastic board from the 1980-s probably and according to its sticker, it was made by an Italian company named "Gioca". (Indeed, imagine, these were times when there were items literally manufactured here in Europe… weird, isn't it?) Like in most vintage boards of its age, it had awful bearings and not very good wheels. Albeit typical Penny-style wheels were not available, normal skateboard wheels with modern bearings had turned it into a very enjoyable board. I've learned the skills sufficient for cruising around, and I found that it is a great fun; now I regret that I skipped this experience before. Now I take every opportunity for skateboarding, while probably most people of my age gave it up already… But I enjoy it very much, I always have a board with me, and the first one is still one of my favourites.
But what if my board gets broken? I should get hold of a spare one… So I had continued the search of the auctions, and this became my next buy:
This is a "Spoiler" board from the 1970's or 80's, by "Grentec" from the US! And it is said to be a rare item. How did it get to Hungary at all? A miracle… Nevertheless, putting proper bearing into it, it became a very neat board. The original wheels are very hard but usable and nice. I do not use this one frequently: it is a relic.
Now I had a main board for everyday use and a spare one (which I wouldn't use everyday though). But then I ran into this one:
And wow, a yellow one, finally! It needed of course wheels and bearings, and I had to face that its trucks are also plastic and less rugged as that of the others', so it is a bit less manoeuvrable. But at least I had a yellow board. Nowadays it is mostly in my car, so that if eventually I'm in the need a skateboard, it is there. (Indeed, it is not even there in the first picture. It was in my car…)
And roughly that was the time when Penny made its great business, and many new board of its style appeared in normal shops for reasonable prices. After some hesitation, I bought this one at Decathlon:
It was from the first series of their "Yamba" boards. A yellow one of course… And I had to face that it rides a lot differently as compared to my vintage boards. The wheels are bigger, wider and softer, they run smoother and faster. It is less prone to suddenly stop on stones and breaks of the pavement. So I started to go for longer trips even, this board has run thousands of kilometres now. Just recently, on 10 September, for instance, I went down from Bratislava, Slovakia to Rajka, Hungary, to catch my train back home from a conference. It was 24 kilometres on excellent and beautiful roads, and took about 2 hours. This is the GPS record of the trip: I made it with the Naviki GPS map app, which is designed for cyclists, but very good for other sports, too. Here you can also see my speed and elevation (which latter is termed as "height" albeit I'm not that tall as it falsely suggests): In fact, this with the GPS stuff is the very part of the blog Pipas really enjoys as he told me afterwards...But in fact the cycling road at the danube is really beautiful in reality, too:
So having 4 boards already, I was wondering whether I could have an even smaller one for the case I travel somewhere by a cheap flight. And anyway, as I said I almost always have a skateboard (and a computer) with me, I thought it would be nice to have one fitting in my backpack completely. So I bought this very neat one:
It is of the smallest in size with 17 inches. Yet it rolls very well. It is a bit harder to ride it than the others but it is cool. I took it to flights with me several times. Then I had to face once that RyanAir had introduced a policy: you cannot have a skateboard in your backpack, regardless of its size. You have to buy a ticket for it for five times the price of a brand new board! Well, what should I say… I dislike harsh words, so let's proceed. Nevertheless, I like this tiny board too, and it is useful if I want have board in my backpack.
You might say I had enough skateboards, but the fact is, during winter it gets dark here at 4 p.m. already. So when those boards which glow in the dark and have LEDs in their wheels, I got one for myself to be seen in the dark, and I must say it was a very good idea. It is the pale blue one in the first picture.
Finally, I encountered a vintage board which was made in Hungary in the 1980-s:
Had I started riding at the age most people do, I would have had such a board. So you must admit it was a must have. After all, who the hell should get hold of one of these if not me?! It is an unusually tall board with non-standard trucks. I have photos of its original wheels but unfortunately their hard plastic material was ageing and at a point it just fell into pieces. So now the board is ready to ride with modern wheels and bearings. It is a real trip back in time: would you guess that this picture was taken a year ago?
(O.K. it was taken with my 1960-s Soviet "Skholnik" camera, but it it again another story.)
Returning to the very first picture, almost all stories have been told. The red mini board and the purple one belong to my daughters: albeit they are free to use those of mine as well, they wanted to have their own. They were luckier I used to be: I completely understood why… And the two waveboards in the bottom of the shelf (one is mine, one is my daughter's) also do not count: that's another sport. But anyway, for so many skateboards I needed a proper place to store them, so I made the shelf in the first picture. Nevertheless before the boards were not put together on this one, I didn't even realise that I have quite a collection of these now. But it is not without a purpose: I use almost all of them regularly, they are not just collector's items. Well some people have servers around (just look at Pipas) while some have skateboards… After all, Techmoan has vintage electronics, the 8-bit Guy has 8-bit computers; we are not the only people of this kind. And as for skateboards, after all it is a good sport, very practical and environment-friendly means of urban mobility, etc. Alright, I also do have tape recorders, film cameras, and computers, too… I'll tell about you these as well at some point. But next time I shall rather tell about some neat mathematics and programming ideas inspired by the literature of 8-bit programming from the 1980-s. But that's it for the moment. Thanks for reading.