Monday, August 9, 2010

Remedy for pre-midlife crisis - a new hobby

After couple of beers one night I suddenly decided to get a skateboard or longboard to be exact. I wanted a more fun and physical way to commute the two kilometers long trip to work which I have been walking and cycling so far. I'm 34 years old and probably too old to start skateboarding in some peoples opinion but I don't care.

It's exciting getting into a new hobby. There so much things to learn about equipment ant the sport itself. I'm not sure I will be learning much tricks or anything fancy. I just want to cruise and have a little fun on some easy downhills.

The board I chose is a longboard with some of the more agile characteristics of traditional boards. So it should be quite easy to commute but it can also be used for aggressive riding.

The specs:

  • Loaded Tan Tien (flex 2)

  • Landyachtz Bear Grizzly 852 trucks

  • 4President Stimulus 70mm 83a wheels

  • Abec-5 bearings

  • 10mm spacers

I don't know what most of that means but those are the parts that are attached to the board and they seem very important to experienced skaters. Fun thing about skateboard technology is that is costs next to nothing compared to photography equipment. For example the most expensive wheels on the board manufacturers site I could find are $54 a set of four. That's peanuts in photography world where a good lens sets you back at least $500 and best lenses cost more like $5000.

I didn't get the trucks, flex or wheels that I originally wanted because it seems I'm not the only one discovering longboarding. The whole planet is out of longboard equipment and I had to wait almost two months to even get this setup. They said most of the stuff will be unavailable for the rest of the season.

It's the damnest thing. I already feel gear acquisition syndrome raising its ugly head with this new hobby. I feel like I wan't one more even longer flexible board with softer tires and wider trucks for longer trips.

Now I need to start learning that annoying skateboard slang and start shooting those bad quality videos and stills with fish eye lenses ;)


  1. Nice with new things to learn. Take it easy out there.

  2. Hey guy,

    Nice purchase, but you did kinda rush into this if you don't know what most of those stuff are for. The Tain Tien is a very technical board, meant for technical riding. As a beginner you may have wanted to stick to the Vanguard or Dervish if you were dead set on Loaded boards.

    Also, you made a big mistake in not waiting for all that stuff that you wanted in the first place. You are seriously gonna regret not waiting for the right Flex, trucks etc.

  3. I hear you. It's just that Tan Tien was the only interesting board available so I didn't have much choose from. 39" feels like a perfect size for a board now because I'm small and feather weight. I also like that it has a small nose and tail so I can do some tricks if I want to, although I'm still concentrating on learning how to push and brake and not fall off. I'm pretty sure I will get another board eventually and by then I will have more choices and better understanding what suites me best.

  4. I am in exactly the same predicament and looking at the Dervish and the Tan Tien but I weigh about 240. Would you all recommend that I get the Dervish instead. I am going to use the border for pushing around town basically. The thing is that the Tan Tien says that the flex 1 goes upto 270 pounds while the Dervish says it goes 230+ so I wasn't sure if that meant that it would have too much flex for me. What do you think?

  5. Hey guys... Funny I was looking for comparisons on boards and happened on your commentary Markus. Very helpful actually! I'd be interested in hearing more as you learn and ride as a beginner, since I'm considering the same choices you made, for the same reasons.

    Tony - can you be more specific about the Tan Tien being for more technical riding? How does it ride differently? I'm considering the Tan Tien or Vanguard, and although 'true' longboarding will be brand new to me, I've ridden some kind of board for the last 23 years... Do they handle speed differently?

    Markus - I hear ya about the skate gear being relatively speaking, cheap. My bottomless money pit is computer gear so bearings, wheels and decks aren't that spendy. Broken bones though... Ride on!


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