The Hippo


Sep 23, 2019








Local skateparks

David W. Deane Skatepark
Where: 80 Bridge St., Nashua 
What: A full concrete park with a large bowl, street course, rails, pyramid and more.
Londonderry Skatepark
Where: on Mammoth and Sargent roads
What: A park comprised of wooden ramps on a blacktop. Includes quarter pipes, a mini-ramp, pyramid, rails, a launch box and more.
Milford Skatepark
Where: in Keyes Memorial Park 
What: Park made of prefabricated concrete on a blacktop. Includes quarter pipes, a spine ramp, a fun box and a mini-ramp. 
Bedford Skatepark
Where: off New Boston Road in the Legacy Park
What: Park has a mini-ramp, quarter pipes and a funbox. 
Adam Curtis Skateboard Park
Where: on Maple Street across from the JFK Memorial Coliseum, Manchester
What: Built on the site of a former trainer pool, this park has large walls, quarter pipes, a pyramid, a fun box and more.

On board
Try your hand (or feet) at skateboarding

By Angie Sykeny

 It’s finally time to trade in the skis and snowboards for some wheels. Whether you take to the skateparks or cruise around on your driveway, skateboarding can be fun for all ages and abilities.

What you’ll need
To start, you’ll need a good pair of skate shoes, a board and safety gear. You can find these online or at a local skate shop.
You can buy shoes that are made specifically for skateboarding, or, if you don’t want to invest in a new pair, the most important thing is that the shoes you’re wearing have a large, flat sole with little to no tread. Flat soles grip the board better than textured running shoes do.
Next, decide on the type of board you want. There are a variety of kinds, so you’ll need to consider your skill level and what you’ll be using the board for — cruising, tricks or a combination.
“There’s traditional skateboards, longboards and cruiser boards,” said Ryan Whatmough, assistant manager at Snowboard Jones, a snowboard and skateboard shop in Manchester. “There are differences with each.”
In general, traditional skateboards have a short deck and are ideal for doing tricks and riding ramps. Longboards are made for cruising long distances or downhill. Cruiser boards are somewhere in between; they are more maneuverable than a longboard but typically used for cruising rather than tricks.
“With longboarding, the longer the board is, the more stable it is,” Whatmough said. “With traditional skateboarding, a beginner will want a narrow board while an advanced will want a wider board. It’s easier to maneuver a small deck than a big one.”
You will also need to think about what kinds of trucks and wheels you want. (Trucks are the pieces that attach the wheels to the board.) You can buy a board premade with all the parts, or you can customize your board by choosing your own parts. The size and hardness of the wheels paired with the size and tightness of the trucks can make a significant difference in the type of board you’re trying to create.
According to Whatmough, a completed longboard can cost between $129 and $359, while a completed traditional board can cost between $99 and $179.
Safety first
Finally, you’ll need to acquire some safety equipment. As a beginner, you should have a helmet, elbow pads and knee pads. Even as an experienced skater, it’s a good idea to wear a helmet at the very least.
Don’t buy a board that is more advanced than your skill level, and be sure to skate somewhere you can feel comfortable.
“The best way to be safe is to go to a skatepark,” Whatmough said. “Skate within your limit and don’t try to progress too fast.”
Start riding
If you’re just learning, Whatmough said, you can either go to a skatecamp, watch tutorials online, experiment on your own or go to a skatepark.
“A lot of people just learn at a skatepark,” he said. “You can see how others skate, and most skatepark people are open and encouraging and will help you and teach you how to do it.”
Once you get the basics down, you can start trying some tricks. The easiest trick and the foundation for most other tricks is the “ollie” — simply making the board leave the ground. A “pop shove-it” is an ollie while spinning the board 180 degrees around. A kick flip is an ollie while flipping the board 360 degrees around. You can also skate in a bowl and do “lip tricks,” which are tricks done around the edge of the bowl, or you can do tricks off a ramp.
“There’s a lot of trial and error,” Whatmough said. “A lot of skaters do [tricks] to progress themselves and see how far they can go. I guess it’s a way to express themselves.”
You can also look into skateboarding events, contests and groups to get involved with. Snowboard Jones holds an annual skate jam every year where they set up rails and ramps in the parking lot and have just-for-fun contests. Other skate shops hold similar events.
Have fun
Most importantly, remember to have fun and skate at your own pace.  
“I just enjoy getting outside and hanging with friends,” Whatmough said. “It’s a healthy, affordable alternative to sitting inside doing nothing. You can teach yourself something new, and there’s always room for improvement and always something you can learn. It’s endless opportunity.” 
As seen in the April 23, 2015 issue of the Hippo.

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