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In the Beginning…

The why
The original inspiration that caused me to start longboarding in June 2007 was pretty simple…1/ I’d just moved to Paris and the transition from student mode to working mode meant that I was in serious need of exercise.2/ Lack of money meant that I did not have enough money to go snowboarding and wanted to get that feeling back without having to go to the mountains.3/ I felt that it would be a new challenge and a good way to meet people.

The Boards

Motion 43″ Pintail

I can’t remember exactly how much I paid for the board but I remember walking around the shop and thinking, what if you don’t ever use this board! I shouldn’t have worried. First thoughts of “how on earth do you push this thing?” quickly disappeared. I stepped on the board just after leaving the shop (I couldn’t just carry the thing now, could I?), had a pretty near miss with a pedestrian and a tree but I had a massive grin and was hooked!
The board came with Gull-Wing Cruisers, it should have been with some RII’s but they’d ran out. I’ve not been able to find out much about these trucks other than the bushings are incredible hard to replace as they are so thin. Anyway, to cut a long story short, I replaced them with Holey’s, quickly put some spacers in the wheels and added some angled risers.
Once I bought my other boards I came to realise that I wasn’t using my Motion much any more. For a long time I thought, “you can’t sell your first board!”. In the end I came to the conclusion that I would prefer to know that it was in use and being appreciated…hence the reason to sell. Still brings up a feeling of nostalgia though, looking at the picture. Happy days!

Kaliber Wildlife – 89cm

I was getting a little frustrated with how my Motion was feeling – it seemed that every time I stepped onto someone else’s board it felt better than the board I owned. This was never more true than the time I went to the Trocadero one Saturday and got talking to a lovely German lass. Her old uni flatmate gave her what was a rather peculiar board for me at the time – a lovely, flexy and oh so carvy Kaliber deck with Bennet at the front, Seismic at the back and Aligator wheels.
I was hooked – all I knew about the board was that it was made by Kaliber…that was it. I couldn’t find a manufacturer by the same name and all the images of the boards were old and it seemed that the company if it had ever existed was defunct…well that was until I found a German web retailer by the name of Concretewave.de.
After trawling around the website I found the one I wanted. 89cm of flexy German goodness that I decided to kit out with Seismic 130mm, ABEC11 Flashbacks and clear griptape. Since then and after getting fed up with the twitchy rattly craziness of the Seismic I switched to a more conventional Tracker RTS/X setup and rad red Zig-Zags.
A recent addition I got from an engineer friend was a custom footstop! Great for maximising the pumpability of the board!

Longboard Larry – The Pusher

In late 2008 / early 2009 I stumbled across a trip about a distance trip around South America being done by Adam Colton, Paul Kent and Arron Enevoldsen. Then I discovered http://www.14degrees.org/, a mammoth trip completed by Rob Thompson which is currently the longest distance travelled on a skateboard. I’ve since discovered other incredible people each with different journeys, non of which are no less awe-inspiring but these two provided the initial spark – the desire and need to SkateFurther.

I was hooked! I couldn’t get enough of the pictures, stories and thoughts that the blogs provided. The concept of travelling unassisted by longboard, the simplicity of the routine – everything was perfect. After a few tentative attempts to check whether in reality I would enjoy skating distances I ordered a LBL Pusher.
Sleek, low but still manoeuvrable this board does exactly what it says on the tin and certainly helps eat up those km! I wrote a longer review here. Although it is now showing some abuse, it is still going strong and is my go-to board for anything other than a ride to the shops. I’ve not really changed the setup since the beginning (research paid off – he he!): Randal RIIs (flipped or not depending on the conditions) and Seismic Speedvents 85mm. Bullet-proof as far as I’m concerned…we’ll see how far it takes me!

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