First Board, First Spot
A skater getting their first board is usually a vivid memory and it is no different for me. Sometime in the summer of 2001 my parents took me to get a board at Velocity, the local skateshop at the time. After looking around excitedly I spotted a complete skateboard hanging up in the middle of the room from the ceiling.
That first board was a green nine-ply blank shop deck with the words “Velocity Street Team” circling the no-name generic trucks adorned with translucent green gel wheels. I even got some World Industries risers called “Hellraisers” that had a graphic spoofing the movie. I had no idea what risers were for but they looked cool. After getting the skateboard I needed shoes, so I chose the simple Vans with the classic jazz stripe.
Over time I covered the deck with about twenty five stickers. It was important choosing all of the stickers because it was an expression of my new identity through skateboarding. Even if stupid choices were made, one of the greatest things about skating is that you have an option with what you want to do. Making it your own is what skating is all about.
Once I had a board I knew I needed to learn the basics of skating, but where does a skater go? Setting plays an important role in shaping the way a skateboarder develops their tricks and style. A skater that grows up with a skatepark will obviously be able to skate transition better than the skater that grew up without a park. Street skaters end up skating differently depending on the area they live in as well.
Prescott streets are rough to skate with a lack of ledge spots and less than five normal rails, all of which are hard to skate. With these conditions there aren’t many handrail killers or ledge wizards. As skaters we are forced to adapt to our surroundings, and within that limited range of possibilities the skater usually has to find a training ground where they can work on their tricks without getting harassed.
My main spot stayed consistent for all of my early years because it was where I lived. Less than a year before I got my first board my Dad got a resident manager position at a storage facility and we moved into a house on the property. It looks like a dream to skate, but the ground was purposefully made uneven for drainage and the white cement is rough with cracks and pebbles scattered all around.
Luckily when I started skating I didn’t know or care about what was good or bad ground, all I wanted to do was skate. For me the easiest way to skate was simply getting out of my room and going outside to my own personal spot. It’s wrecked for sure, but it wasn’t and isn’t a bust and I like the rawness and unique potential. If I started out riding my board on perfect ground or at a skatepark my skating would definitely be different.