Getting home from the skate shop with my first legit board, I immediately jumped from the car to the board and skated off into the street. It rode so smooth, so fast, I almost had to relearn how to ollie, going from cheap clay bearings to Swiss Bones, I could barely control the board enough to stand idle. It was early fall, so I had some daylight left. I needed to loosen the trucks even more, I kept it loose enough to hand tighten.
After about twenty minutes of adjusting to the board, I rode out to the closest neighbor with a cement walk. The smooth and fast ride I had, I flew off the curb as I came down from an acid drop and the board shot out. Took me a few more tries to stay over the board and roll away. I was out after dark, not stopping until I was able to consistently snap ollies off the curb and over the gutter.
Ollieing up the curb was entirely different, bringing the board up and forward with my body, I hadn’t figured it out yet and it was getting late, I needed to go inside as I heard my mother yelling from our yard that dinner was ready. After dinner I went straight to the garage.
You could get a decent push before quickly setting up for a trick to land with minimal space to roll away(my hand even went through a window panel on the door once, due to the short landing space). So, I was popping ollies pretending I was going up a curb. I even tried, and successfully, ollied over a broomstick flat on the ground, which was jaw dropping with satisfaction, I must have done it fifty times. But it wasn’t ollieing up a curb, and I wanted a curb.
I furiously scanned the garage with frustration and angst, looking for anything that could be the size of a curb. I thought about grabbing a bag of mulch and ollieing onto it. Quickly realizing how easily my skateboard would tear through the bag… and the fact that I couldn’t ride away if I landed it, I kept searching. Then I saw it, the cement step up holding the closed door frame from the garage to the house. I opened the door, I could hear the television my parents were watching , I opened it the rest of the way as silently as possible. The cheap tile floor in a small vestibule leading to the basement, laundry area and stairs, it was perfect, lower than a normal curb, I could roll away as if it was a curb with the tile.
Quietly I walked back to the roll-up garage door with my board and set it down. I had a knot in my stomach, I knew I only had one or two tries before my parents came to stop me. I went for it with everything I had and barely got half the board up into the doorway. As fast as I could I ran back to the garage door and threw my board down to look up and find my father, “What are you doing?!” Riddled with anxiety I begged, “I need to ollie up a curb and it got dark before I could.” My dad scowls at the doorway and basement tile, “No.” I grew a desperate expression, “Dad, please! I have to do this.” He grabbed the doorknob and started turning away, “Just figure it out tomorrow.” Before he could get the door shut I shouted, “I can’t wait til tomorrow, just once, please! I just want to roll away from it once, I won’t sleep if I don’t and there’s nothing else I can use.” Frowning at me he asked, “What about the sheets of plywood you use?” I argued, “There isn’t enough room to use them in the garage… and they aren’t a curb, this is a cement curb.” He took a deep breath staring at the door frame and tile. He fist still clutching the doorknob, ready to shut me down with the flick of a wrist. I couldn’t tell what he was thinking as what felt like minutes went by. “… You have until ten.” and he started to walk away as I beamed with happiness, “Thank you!” He waved and chuckled walking back up the stairs and out of sight(I think in the end, my dad was just happy I had found something I cared about enough to fight for, I was mostly a quiet and submissive child).
I drove my parents crazy for a couple hours trying to ollie into the house. Every time I’d hang up on the step, clapping the inside of my back truck against it. I was chipping at the step up and warping and grinding the outside of the hanger cup holding the kingpin. I finally started clearing the step up, but was getting caught in the metal frame and rubber weather stripping. Then it happened, I cleared both. I remember hitting the tile, the immediate fear of the cracks between tiles would thwart me like the weather stripping as I hit bump after bump with stiff legs.
The comfort of after the fourth or fifth tile crack as I comfortably look up to stop myself before riding into the shut laundry door. I jumped off my board and yipped in glee. Then immediately froze to run to the closest reliable clock, it was only nine-fifteen, I still had forty-five minutes of ollieing into the house, at least when I warped my agreement with my dad to mean, I had until ten to ollie into the house, not roll away once. The last ten minutes of those forty five, I landed every attempt. I was up for hours after thinking about it, thinking about skating the next day, even telling myself I could wake up early and skate before school, but the excited anxiety had me up too late. I had to wait until after school the next day.