Back in the mid-1970s, my cousin took me with him to a skate park one summer day so he could ride his skateboard. One of my earliest childhood memories is sitting on the hill and watching everyone having such a great time skateboarding. It wasnt so much the act of skating that attracted me, but the smiles and great times those riding looked like they were having.
Thats what got me started on my lifelong journey of board riding, and although I have enjoyed both surfing and snowboarding, skateboarding is my first love. Its funny how stressed out I can get when I dont skate, and after having that horrible flu for a month and still working full-time, I found myself very upset one night after some quick soul searching I realized that I hadnt been on my board in over a month. Im all better now! I could have the worst day of my life and Ill forget all about it once I get flowing on my skateboard. One thing about skateboarding is that if you ride for over a few hours you magically become one with your board and can make it do most anything. Go eight hours and you can do anything. I miss my stamina!
Because Ive gotten so old, I usually dont tell people that Im a skateboarder, as I dont want to see them roll their eyes and ask me what Im doing skateboarding at my age. I think its great that guys like Jeff Jackson and Dexter Savage have started their own skateboard company here in Seaside and are sponsoring local riders. Skateboarders are very accepted here in Seaside, and its because of positive roll models like those guys and other older skateboarders in the community. I might not be the oldest!
Whenever Im considering a move to a community, the first thing I do is check out if there are places to skateboard that I would like. With the array of concrete skate parks constructed in Oregon over the past 10 years, the move to Seaside from sizzling Las Vegas was a no-brainer. I love skating amongst the trees and smelling the sweet ocean breeze.
I remember taking the job as reporter at the Curry Coastal Pilot in Brookings over other jobs solely because of the Dreamland skate park that the City of Brookings had recently built there, along with an ocean view. I lived there for almost three years, and I sometimes kick myself for leaving because I loved that skate park so much. Luckily, Astoria has a Dreamland park that brings back memories of Brookings, and I take a trip up there sometimes on the weekend when I want to reminisce. Another Dreamland park one hour north of Brookings is Port Orford, where the Sasquatch Skateboards team is probably skating right now. Set in a grove of trees, the Port Orford skate park is like no other.
The picture of the cradle at Port Orford of Jason Shoey was taken while I was writing an article about the two Curry County skate parks for the Pilot, and I almost got run over by Jason when he came screaming out of the cradle. That picture scares me so badly because Jason weighs about 50 more pounds than I do and he would have slaughtered me if I hadnt jumped out of the way at the last second. Yikes!
I love our Seaside skate park and the way the banks for street skating are set up, and I enjoy flying around the bowls, too. Then its off to the streets to do what I really love: spread my wings. Im always careful not to run anyone over.