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This is Bustin.

written by TeamBustin June 8, 2010

Solomon here. I found myself getting pretty emotional as I read this. Experiences like this make all the falls, pain and negative shots we get more than worth it. This is Bustin. This is why I skate…………

What ‘s up Bustin people !

This email is for you and for any person that thinks they are too old to skate.

I received my Maestro about two weeks ago and I just wanted to let you know about the experience the board and Bustin has made in my lifestyle. Be prepared to shed tears.

I am a Venezuelan guy who grew in a oil exporter country in a very violent city, Caracas. Cheap gas (with $1 you fill up the tank of a Van and still have change back), lots of cars and motorcycles are everywhere. Riding a skateboard or a bicycle is not something cool. It is a loser’s activity. Especially after 14. When I was a kid, I had a plastic board that my dad bought for me (more than 30 years ago). It sucked but I loved to ride it while at elementary school and part of high school. Nothing radical, just going down some steps and cruising in the parking lot of my building. None of my close friend had nice boards with components of the best brands (kryptonics, Sims, G&S, Alva, Independent, Gull Wing, etc ). We would not skateboard much in this baseball frenzy country. Skateboarding was a seasonal activity and bicycling would take us farther and safely (even though more than once, other guys tried to rob us the bikes ). To much competition for this skateboard culture. Of course, there were people immersed in it, but I was not one of them. By 17, I was in College. Played soccer for 5 years for the University team and again no time for skateboarding.  Free weekends were for bodyboarding. This was more than 15 years ago. Nowadays, I am not young by the standards of society (40) and after two left knee surgeries and one right knee surgery I can barely squat. As a result, I cannot slide or afford to learn new tricks. If I fall, I break. As simple as that. Besides, I weigh 36 pounds more than when I was 19 and at my best shape (playing soccer 5 times a week and bodyboarding almost every weekend). Fate brought me to the states in 2000 (Virginia-Washington DC area), found a Job, got married and now have a kid (19 months old).

I have to recognize that I am out of shape, do not skateboard like Solomon or Mike, not young enough to be on a board and to the eyes of a lot of people I should be heading to a bar in order to have fun.

In 2005, my wife gave me a gift certificate from a Skateboard web page and I bought a “Street” skateboard (Listen board, Independent trucks and spitfire wheels). I loved it. It is very easy to maneuver but a nightmare for going down any slope safely. I would ride it occasionally but to tell you the truth, if I would not ride it for a month I could not care less. This year I decided to ride my board with my son Santiago (sitting, slowly, on the sidewalk) but my fat ass was so big and the fact that I could not bend my knees well did not allow me to sit and fit comfortably on a 31-inch street skateboard. Come on, my belly even ached man!

I needed a new board. Eventually, I knew I would get a longboard but it was not something I needed.

But the universe conspires with you to help you get what you want, and my brother in law happened to move to Marcy St. two blocks from the new Bustin longboard shop. I visited him in March 2010 and he talked to me about this shop. Even though he tried very hard to describe how great the “longboard” shop was, I thought it was another nice place where you can buy things. I was going to stay three of days on the neighborhood, so I was in no rush to visit the Bustin shop.

When I decided to visit it, as soon as I entered it, I realized it was a special place. I could not believe it! Boards everywhere and all looked awesome. On the left side each skateboard was placed in a rack that look specially designed and measured to hold it. It was like every board had its throne. That gave the image (that is what I thought) that these people were proud of each one, that each skateboard was different and important for some reason, that Bustin did not represent mass production and that they cared for their product. On the other side there was a wall full of boards (with very nice designs), wheels, trucks, helmets and gloves that caught the eye and made the casual bystander even ask for the products and unintentionally become a potential buyer (like me). On the left side, behind the arrange of skateboards lies like a workshop where you can see the Bustin people assembling their products. Nothing seems to be trusted to chance there.

The best part is that when the Bustin people wait on you, they do not approach as if you owe them anything. Attitude is not their brand. Even though they are salesmen, they are the kind that take the time to explain you longbording and the Bustin approach to this activity. They explain the pros and cons of each skateboard they sell and if you ask them, they give you advice and what could be better for you. Even better, they let you ride their boards so that you can test them.

Let us get real here. I am the prototype of a buyer from Sports Authority, where the boards are encased and the most you could do is to spin a wheel with your fingers. No information of what to buy since you just want a skateboard. Bustin, made an “old” guy (but with “young” heart and soul), want to ride a skateboard again. I think, I represent a dormant but big share of the market waiting to be lured. We just have to be reminded we could be kids again while continuing our life full of responsibilities as any other human being.

Bustin boards is not a skateboard shop. It is a family, a phenomenon, a culture with mystic. You feel surrounded by friends in that shop. All that (plus an amazing web site that allows designing your own skateboard – including the graphics) is Bustin’s business model.

Going back to my shopping experience, I wanted a “long” longboard so the Bustin Complex (42 inches) was the best for me, even though I could live with a 38-inch board. But when I saw the Bustin Strike which uses the drop-through trucks and hence stand closer to the ground I decided that I wanted to have that too in the board I picked. The problem is that the “Bustin Strike” is too narrow. I may have gone three times to the store to make questions and I did not even get a disapproval gesture or felt any rush to sell me a board right away. I even bump into Solomon (Bustin Skateboards rider, salesmen, internet NYC longboarding star) on the streets of Williamsburg while strolling with my family,- and again-, no attitude and respect. I left to Virginia empty handed that weekend since they were not selling a product similar to the Strike and the Complex rolled into one. No hard feelings.

A couple of weeks after my first visit to the Bustin Store, I checked on the Bustin web site (which I browsed daily to play with my own future board designs) and I saw the “Maestro” special edition Advertisement. Drop-through trucks on a wide and long board. I bought it, I rode it and I loved it. Besides, the fact that it has kick tails on both sides make it more maneuverable in the city, in roads with patches, holes, bumps or bad paved areas.

I cannot compare my riding experience with other longboards, since this is my first one. But the difference with my “Street” skateboard in terms of cruising and going downhill are from earth to heaven. Slopes I would go down fearing to fall, with the Maestro is ridiculously easy. I cruise at least four times a week (my wife and son do not allow me more frequency) in the George Washington Parkway which is full of trees and let me tell you something, debris and leaves are nothing for this board and its 75mm Boca wheels.

My objective is not bombing hills or sliding (even though I am trying to learn), but I am squatting better after rehabilitating my knees and cruising at low level, with the 7 pm sun on one side, and on the other side the blue color of the Potomac River surrounded by nature, seagulls, ducks, blue herons and casual bald eagles. It is quality time, and carving among the dash lines on the pavement with the Maestro (Bear trucks and 75mm Bocas) it is fun (maybe stupid but fun). The board makes it simply. It even makes you looks good. Additional to all that, the head-turning quotient is extremely high. People love the board. Even at my work’s parking lot (I carry it in the trunk and sometimes waiting for my wife, I rode it there), friends I would not know used to surf and skateboard stop their cars to see the board. Two of them want one. They know where to get it.

But this is just cheap poetry (but very intimate and soulful) from a not-so-cool-overweight-old rider that wear helmets, gloves and knee pads (Bern, Loaded and Bern respectively – all bought from Bustin). The climax comes when I sit on the board with my son and his eyes open brightly when he knows is about to ride on the board with his dad.

My son’s laughs and chuckles are what are important. Those details make my day and sharing with him these moments are simply indelible memories to me. Even though it sounds VEEERY corny, I have to thank part of it to the Bustin family.

Take care

Leopoldo

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21 comments

Joey June 8, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Wow great story man,
very emotional indeed. Solomon’s right, this is why we all skate, OUR own personal reasons.
Take care

Ethan June 8, 2010 at 10:07 pm

Love it! Puts it word perfectly what I have always known about the Bustin ‘Family’ and the Bustin style… you guys Rock!

william June 10, 2010 at 12:06 am

i am 20 and i ride my boards for 2 years but i have met a guy who get on his first board at the age of 58 and he’s now 60 so don’t worry my firend your not too old you’ll nerver be too old to be on a board. even though i like your story and i hope you will buy one for your son when he will be old enough !!!
Take care and sk8 till the end !!

Eric Palmer June 10, 2010 at 12:14 am

That’s one of the most inspirational things I’ve read in a long time. I just got my first board this year and it was from Bustin and love it to death. I’m doing the mini-bomb on it today and can’t wait. Anyways, best of luck to you Leopoldo!!

Leopoldo Finol June 10, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Hello all,

Joey, Solomon: I never though it was going to be emotional. It was just my experience. I am glad that somehow you liked it.

I have to recognize that I love to ride my Maestro. Yesterday, just before going for a ride, my neighbor came all shook up because her old two dogs were attacked by two pitbulls. One was full of blood and the other was missing. So even though I was ready to get in my car to go where I ride I stayed to help her search the other dog in the neighborhood. My I felt as if something was missing yesterday. Do I have skate fever !

Ethan, agree totally. Bustin is more that a store or a brand.

William, my son will have a board. I will not push him to skate though. It has to come from within. He is on the right track though. Regarding being old or not, that is on the eye of the beholder. I do not consider myself old, why I took on skating again and I am lovin’ it.

Eric, Thanks man. Hopefully I will do the mini bomb too.

Thanks for posting my email.

Take care

Thomas/uncle stinky June 12, 2010 at 2:46 pm

Hey y’all 1st think 1st I love all the boards n can’t wait 2 get my hands on the maestro lol but yeah them videos on YouTube I look at them every day 2 keep my mind off of stress but 1 video got my eye on YouTube called Carved: Part XXXIII
u see ever body haven funny enjoying life but I see this 1 guy that had me lmao when he gave a cop a high 5 lol so i tell my self he gotta be 1 humble guy so I look 4 him on face book can find him on myspace so I’m going thro a blog n I see his name king Solomon so I read it n I fill him on the so just 2 let u know I’m ur biggies fan lol a 24 year old puerto rican/cuben lol hit me up I got a facebook e-mail sanchezthomas11@yahoo.com n god bless y’all all 2 bustin boards god bless y’all 2

Joey June 12, 2010 at 6:18 pm

Hey Thomas!
I’m sorry dude, bu I’M Solomon’s biggest FAN !!!
Ahahah!

thomas/uncle stinky June 13, 2010 at 2:32 pm

oye joey you funny as hell lmao then we 2 biggest SOLOMON fan!!! but where he at lol go if u gotta facebook hit me up da e-mail sanchezthomas11@yahoo.com

Joey June 13, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Hey Thomas,
I have not seen him on facebook but I guess the GReat Solomon is a very busy man, he works for Bustin doing all those crazy perfect boards, and I guess the rest of the time he rides them!
All right Thomas, WE are the two biggest fan!
skate hard!

thomas/uncle stinky June 13, 2010 at 7:42 pm

oye joey he just add me on facebook lol made me bugg out like a lil kid getting candy at the store lolol alll pray 2 solomon!!!! lol hit me up joey this yo uncle stinky n im out lol

Joey June 13, 2010 at 11:41 pm

Hey Thomas nice nice you’re friends with Solomon!
Add me up, Thomas and Solomon, please !!!
Joey Forlini

Thomas/uncle stinky June 14, 2010 at 12:28 am

Hey Joey there 9 of u guys lol

Joey June 15, 2010 at 1:13 pm

Oh I’m the one with the profile picture, and there’s a big coca cola truck behind me haha!

Dave June 16, 2010 at 7:04 pm

Hey Guys, just received my new Maestro up in Boston exactly on time, great looking board and set-up ready to go. I haven’t skateboarded since I was 14 and now at 36 I’m a little intimidated to get back on but got to jump right in. If anyone has any tips or for an old novice let me know. Either I’m having an early mid-life crisis or have finally realized there’s more to life than sitting around wishing i was young again. No time to lose. Thanks for the great service and I look forward to meeting the gang at the store next time I’m in Brooklyn.

Solomon June 16, 2010 at 7:28 pm

Thanks again Leopoldo and thanks to everyone for the love. Dave if you have any questions you can send them to me at kingsolomon@bustinboards.com or call me at the shop 718-218-7626.

Peace

Leopoldo June 16, 2010 at 9:55 pm

Dave,

A tip from another old novice. 2/3 of the board is concave and is specially design in that way to improve the push. Lean forward when you push and you will be able to do it smoothly. Ride as frequent as possible and your confidence will come back again. I felt intimidated too at the beginning. Try to learn to break from a stand up position and learn to slide to brake. In youtube you could see very good videos.

Solomon, thanks to you man. It seems there are more people identified with my experience than we thought.

I left you an email with some question. Whenever you have time please answer it or give to another person who can answer. I know you guys are very busy.

Joey June 17, 2010 at 12:26 am

Hey Dave,
when I first started to longboard, it didn’t take two minutes, and I was on my ass. That was the best way to give me confidence, I saw it didn’t hurt that bad, and the fun of ridding on the board is way too cool to let a little fall stop me. Now I can ride fluently and I know that a fall is just a fall. Be careful, skate hard, and when your done, skate MORE !

John from Calgary (Canada) June 18, 2010 at 2:25 am

I’m 27, never been all that active for large parts of my life, and got on a skateboard for the first time in my life five months ago and within ten seconds I was on the pavement. Got a longboard and was cruising within five minutes. And now, I’m hooked.

I’m not as old as Solomon, but I know where he’s coming from…thank you for reinforcing my belief that one is never too old to start anything!

TC from DC June 21, 2010 at 10:06 pm

Like Leopoldo, I just got my first ever board (Complex) at age 41 and live in DC (Cap Hill). My Bustin makes me the coolest dad in the neighborhood and to my 5 y.o. son. Love the ride and the feeling of pushing around the Hill!

Leopoldo Finol June 23, 2010 at 10:10 am

TC,

Wait until I ride around the Hill.

Leopoldo

Mario Carrier June 30, 2010 at 1:52 pm

I bought a bustin longboard and I want to know how long will I have to wait to get it if I live in canada.please answer my question as soon as possible. tank you

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