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A Letter from Austin

written by Ryan May 19, 2010

A few weeks ago we had the pleasure of hanging with a group of travelers who came into town from Austin.  Below is a letter they wrote on one of our forums that I felt was ‘blog worthy’ material.  Good peoples out there in Austin, I love that city!

begin letter——

“When I landed in New York on April 19th, I had no idea what I was in for. My friends Travis, Jenica, Brian and Solomon, who all ride for Bustin Boards, gave me a full force tour across the big city and opened my eyes to what goes down here. This is a glimpse of what a week of longboarding up here looks like:

Austin had me thinking about sliding fakie to slow down after a frontside slide, to save my life.  New york got me pushing through traffic to save my life.  Two opposite ends of the country people doing the same thing: boarding.  Skate a few blocks through New York and you’ll run into two kinds of skaters:  Short boarders and long boarders.

I thought I had to push a lot, but I really don’t.  I live in the hill country, right in the heart of Texas, where perfect hills abound and walking up a hill is some times more reasonable than pushing.  Up here in NYC you gotta have calves of steel or a titanium leg, like Solomon, and stamina like an elephant.  Speeding through lights, dodging cars, weaving through tight spots and pushing your way through all of this, is New York.  Two days of boarding here have my knees swollen and muscles braaking down, but still wanting more.  Why take the bus or subway?  Grab a skitch and take a free ride up the hill, as Brian showed me.  I learned that a good spot to grab on to a car is where the back window meets the body.  Other spots would be behind the wheel on the side panel, but of all these, my favorite is the wet hand approach.  Take a wet hand or two and place your palm(s) on the side of a car, then lean with it and let it take you.   It’s only been two days, but over twenty miles of boarding and I think I am going to need to take advantage of more skitch opportunities.

I ride a BUSTIN complex, for the most part, but had the pleasure of riding the BUSTIN sojourn up in New York.  The sojourn is perfectly sized to stand up slide with ease and fitted with tail to pop up curves like a short board.  I didn’t see anyone do any flip tricks with it, but heard rumors of people busting kick flips and three sixty flips with down sets of stairs.  I would highly recommend this board to those who crave the ability to ride a long board with more of the benefits of a short board.

Now on my third day into the trip, shins all busted up, ankles and knees swollen; I feel like I should take a day of rest on the couch.  Instead, I went out for the greenskate with the Concrete Kings through central park, then down Broadway and up to union square.  We had over 40 skaters along for the ride and were able to take up a lane and make traffic go around us at some points.  That is, those that could keep up.  I wound up at the end of the pack, a lot of the time, so I was stuck running lights and dodging cars that thought all the skaters had passed by.

Next, we came across a heads up for skateboarding in New York:  Beware of Cops because they are everywhere.  My friend Lance that was up here boarding with us for a couple of days.  We were out skating the day after the greenskate and were taking the subway home.  He skated by two cops that pulled him over to the side and went to write him a ticket for standing on his board in the subway.  Travis saw what was going on, stepped in, and told the donut kings to spare his Texas friend a ticket, since Lance didn’t know any better.  After a long time of arguing and reasoning with the cops, they gave Travis the ticket and let Lance slide.  We were all quite annoyed by this and went to get some amazing Brooklyn pizza to brighten things.  Good music, amazing pizza and good friends had the night rollin in a positive direction.  On the way home, feeling great, I decided to skitch my way back home on Travis’ cruiser.  I think he took me through the worst paved street in Brooklyn, where I dodged potholes and all sorts of stuff.  When the road got smooth again and I recognized where we were, I spotted cops that flipped their lights on right as we cruised by.

I should have let go of the Land Cruiser when I saw that there were cops.  Travis and everyone could have gotten away and I could have skated off and tried to avoid the cops.  Instead, like a dumb ass, I let them pull me over.  The worst part about it is that I let them pull Travis over with me.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but those deuches were about to write us some tickets.  I got two tickets:  “Reckless Skating” and “Creating a hazardous environment.”  Travis got slapped with a “Reckless driving” as his second for the night.  In all, Travis and I wound up with four tickets that night.  How lame of the NYPD to steal our money like that.

The following day, Travis put together an event for a charity called I am Change and we skated down the same streets with a group over 20.  By this time, my legs started to accustom themselves to the brutal beating I was giving them in New York.  Up to this point I hadn’t experienced much hill action, but was surprised when Travis took 91st street, which turned out to be ideal for sliding and carving down a few hundred feet.  This closed off red brick road is the closest I got to Austin while in New York. It was the only place in NYC that I saw people walking up a hill, instead of pushing. Here, Travis busted out a sick progression of frontside and backside standup slides; all caught on the helmet cam.

Now back in Austin, all cramped up from the plane ride, now fifty miles of boarding stronger and can’t wait to push some more.   I gotta say: Go skate New York with the BUSTIN crew and the Concrete Kings and you’ll leave craving some more of this push culture.   Come to Austin, hit up the hill country’s paved waves, then jump in the river at Sculpture Falls to cool off and you’ll never forget it.  Grab a board, strap on a helmet and get to point X full of adrenaline and then do it again.  Big thanks to all the cool people up here, mentioned and unmentioned in this story, that made this trip what it was (XCEPT for those cops).”


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