What do you do if you love surfing but there are no waves? Simple, go find a nice empty bit of tarmac, grab a skateboard and make your own waves!
I’m no spring chicken, so when a friend of mine said to me to try skateboarding for the first time, I was a bit sceptical. The only time I tried was in the UK many years ago and that did not end too well. Despite my reluctance, one thing I have learned over the years is not to knock it until you try it.
So armed with massive knee, elbow and wrist protectors, we set off to a small very quiet road and got ready to try.
Firstly, you have to get used to the feeling of the board, so you grab hold of something firm and just get used to the way the wheels and board move – it’s a bit scary as it just wants to fly off. Then you feel the position you want to get into, slightly bent knees, weight over the centre of the board, all similar to surfing to be honest, so you soon get the position.
Then you have to learn to push, the method of gaining momentum on flat surfaces, rather than a slope and gravity. Sounds simple, but there is a definite technique to getting it right – you tend to hit the back wheel with your foot with dramatic consequences! Ok, so you are now ready to give it a go!
I bravely pushed off at the top of the slope, gaining a bit of speed, got my position and feet right, then slowly started to carve (steer the board using your weight from one side of the road to the other under control) pretty well. One thing I had not been told was to avoid any little stones as they tend to stop you dead….my first wipeout.
Now that hurts! Not like the sea, it really hurts. Thankfully I had wrist protectors and knee pads however, my butt was pretty much unprotected and bore the main impact. My so-called friends fell about laughing, as did the wife, luckily I was not being filmed otherwise my humiliation would have been complete. The other thing you need to learn quickly is how to stop – again it’s a bit scary but you soon work it out – one way or another!
Regardless, I got back up and totally nailed the session. I soon went off to buy a longboard of my own – Longboards are more for cruising whereas a skateboard is for skate parks and tricks – I definitely want to improve my surfing and not go to a skate park that’s for sure. There is a really small but well-equipped skate shop in Agadir – Tamara Skate Shop – the guys in there are really nice and very helpful, so look them up.
I now go Longboarding as often as I can, especially when there is no surf or if it’s too rough. It really is a great sport and improves balance and just makes me smile, to be honest.
Just before the COVID lockdown, my friends Lena and Felix went to a local site with good roads and no traffic and did a few hours each day for a week, just cruising which was really great fun, but it has all stopped now so we wait for the restrictions to be lifted to go both longboarding and surfing once more.