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The Gel Lab Shred Sessions / Shark’s Log – 170721

I had been working in a small mom & pop sporting good store that bought and sold used sporting equipment. I had gotten the job as a way to earn some meager cash over the summer while school had been on recess. The owner was, often times, in a drunken stupor in his little upstairs office, while my co-worker and I ran the store.

While nine times out of ten we were haggling consignment pricing with your everyday jock, I had been lucky enough to catch the only unique customer of the day; a kid toting an almost new Sector 9 pintail. He had explained to me that it was too difficult to ride, and thus he had hoped to sell the board to us on consignment. My mind was set, I would take the consignment, then buy it for myself using my employee discount! However, just as I was to put my plan into action, the store owner’s alcohol tinted voice grumbled from just over my shoulder, "We don’t buy toys, get your junk out of my store".

As the kid stormed off in a cloud of cuss words and disappointment, I waited for my soggy employer to recede back into the depths of his cave-like office, then chased the kid down outside. I offered him forty dollars for it, and in that single moment, gained my first longboard.

The intricate, often times "high risk" saga that is incline oriented skateboarding will forever be a developing one. It's never something you fully commit to right off the bat, and I'm willing to wager all of us have a similar story as to how we found this little corner of the world; how it woo'ed us with its heritage, its connection to surfing, its welcoming mentality of inclusion versus exclusion. I had never known a discipline to have a more supportive and encouraging group of people within its ranks. It was that mentality, that wonderfully inclusive vibe, that made me feel that I had finally found a connection with something that had a soul to it.

In contrast to however daunting the learning curve may seem, however incredibly inaccessible you may think it is, the reality of it is, we all had to start somewhere. You found this thing, or maybe it found you, and now... Now it's up to you to write your own story on how to ride it, to discover the true cost of learning, the priceless reward of creativity, and the supremely simple joy, of rolling. This is how the bird learned to fly.

Now find your board, start rolling, then join us on Wednesday night's for The Gel Lab shred sessions... we're waiting for you.

A very sincere and special thanks to Alan Sova for continuously documenting and allowing us to share our shred adventures week to week with you. If you have any interest in his work, you can contact him here: / Thank you!

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