Tom Barnhardt has been taking skaters out on hills in the NY/Jersey area for as long as I’ve been skating in New York. His is always willing to help a fellow skater out, from just getting kids with no cars on hills to teaching and helping develop skaters to be able to handle riding down hills. Most of this is done through experience and skating with the regular “Bombers” of Bergen County, because as you might come to find out, skating with Tom is sort of like adding another obstacle in your path. He’s a big guy with a knack for carving while going fast downhill. We forgive him of this because without Tom, a lot of us would never be able to skate hills. A lot of us would have never gotten into it without him constantly blowing up our Facebook pages telling us we need to go skate with him. Six months may pass before you take him up on his offer, but when it finally happens, it is SO worth it. Since that first time, I skate with Tom and crew every weekend I get the chance to. And now that I know most of his hills, I usually just pass the big guy, so he can’t wiggle around in front of me and freak me out with his big 2-hands down toeside slides around corners facing the other direction! Before I got to this point, things tended to be pretty exciting, but it also made me a better skater learning to navigate around that sort of thing.
Here’s a little video of our latest adventure last weekend. Depending on the crew, sometimes we race down the hills, but most of the time we’re just out having a good time with gravity and with each other. This is what skating is becoming for me more and more as time passes, and it is what has been fueling my stoke for some time now. Playing with gravity and enjoying good company. Enjoy the video, and see you on the hills!