First off, congratulations on winning the Tampa Pro. I live on the prairies, and there are no hills. I’m going to SF with my parents on vacation soon. I really want to skate hills, but it kinda freaks me out. What was the first real hill you bombed? Did it freak you out? Have you always skated fast? Like, does it make doing tricks easier for you? Please offer me some advice as far as getting used to going so fast and avoiding speed wobbles.
Fargo, North Dakota
I feel your pain about living on the prairies. I lived in Kansas for three years and it’s not exactly the best place for rollerboarding. It’s good you’ll have a nice freak-out skate festival when you get to SF, but be on the lookout for the po po ’cause your parents won’t be too happy about the $80 tickets.
I don’t really remember my first hill, but I’m sure I was freaked out. It’s scary going faster than you can run without being able to stop. I guess going fast is just how I get my kicks in. I can’t jump high or jump off cliffs or get myself to jump on them slider bars. Skating fast doesn’t make tricks any easier, just more fun.
As for hill bombing, the sketchiest thing for me is the traffic. Getting run over ain’t cool, and people aren’t scared to do it either. You’re just a no-good punk skater, well, not really, but retarded people think so. And it doesn’t matter at all who’s right or wrong because you’re the one who’s going to get his head squished. So look out for them and always assume they’re retarded because they probably are. Just stay away from downtown and find a mellow hill with mellow traffic. Get comfortable with going fast and work your way up. Speed wobbles suck and I try to avoid them by carving a little bit and by keeping my ankles stiff. I don’t know if that helps but I tell myself it does. When you get speed wobbles, you have to abandon ship, and when it comes to that point you just have to lay ’er down. Don’t ever try to run out because if you’re going too fast you’ll hit the ground anyway and probably with a sprained ankle or, even worse, a mangled toe. Get some. —Dennis Busenitz
This summer I shit my pants at a skate spot. My friends won’t let me live it down. They call me things like Dumpbutt, Pooper and, since my name is Mark, their favorite is Skid Mark. Go figure. My mom asked why my friends call me Skid Mark, and the old lady next door told her. Even the old lady knows about it. My dad laughed at me when he found out, and my little sister puts diapers in my backpack when I go skating. The worst part is I start high school in the fall, and a few people who were there when I did it go to my new school. They’re gonna torture me! Anyway, I was wondering if anything really embarrassing ever happened to you and what did you do to get over it or let your friends know that enough was enough with the teasing?
Columbia, South Carolina
Dear Feeling Crappy,
Holy shit, that’s amazing! I tried to think of something embarrassing, but nothing I can think of is even worth mentioning. Usually just running up the stairs and slamming—that always sucks. If you make it a joke that’s funny to you, they can’t have as much fun teasing you. For instance, if you shart in you pants (shit instead of fart), you just clean yourself up and come out with a funny story about how you just f**king shit your britches. They won’t be able to make fun of you if you enjoy the story yourself. —Chris Cole