Hello, welcome to the everyday language podcast from Akita, Japan, I’m Mark.
Today, I’m talking to Noah about skateboarding. There is no long intro this time, so let’s just get into it right away.
Skateboard podcast expressions and vocab
to ollie – a type of skateboard trick. See below.
to be kicked out – to be told to get out or go away
Ex. Have you been kicked out?
to yell – to shout
freestyle board – a skateboard designed for doing freestyle tricks.
longboard – A longboard is often longer than a skateboard and has a wide variety of shapes. It tends to be faster because of wheel size, construction materials and more precise hardware. Longboards are commonly used for cruising and downhill racing. (from wikipedia)
to cruise around – to move around slowly and smoothly in an enjoyable manner (a phrasal verb used with longboarding I was cruising around on my longboard)
to shoot out/ to slide out
Ex. Shoot out from under you
Ex. Slide out from under you
half-pipe – A half-pipe is a structure used in gravity extreme sports such as snowboarding, skateboarding, skiing, freestyle BMX, and skating.
to drop in – the move that takes you into a downhill section of a half-pipe
To tuck into – to bend or fold your body into a ball shape with head protected by arms
cuz – short for because in US English
‘cos/‘cause – UK English these maybe with or without an apostrophe. Usually, only used in informal times with friends etc.
Mark: Where do you go skateboarding?
Noah: Where, where do I go skateboarding? I— tend, I have a parking lot, big parking lot near my apartment, and yeah, I tend to go skateboarding there, so I skateboard, I ride my skateboard there takes five minutes to get there, and, er, yeah I spend maybe one hour and a half, or, something skateboarding, and then
maybe it takes me five minutes to skateboard back, um, but,
it’s just kind of like, yeah, and then, you know sometimes, like the time I skateboarded with you, I just, we just went driving around which to me, I think this is the most common way to find places to skate is driving around, looking for a place where there’s not too many houses nearby,
looking for a…place where it doesn’t make so much noise when the wheels hit the pavement and looking for places where people are not gonna kick you out, you know, like if it’s a dentist office parking lot.
Mark: That was the first place.
Noah: Yeah, yeah, yeah so…you just look for places where there’s not too many cars you know.
Mark: Have you been kicked out?
Noah: Yeah, of course, yeah actually all the time when I was in the US, you know skateboarding, especially around the city, the most recent time when I was in Chicago, yes, just skateboarding down the sidewalk on the way to University and police officer in her patrol, patroller car she yells out the window, she says “there’s no skateboarding on the, the sidewalks,” and I’m like, why cars can drive on these streets? Which take up almost like, 80% of public space but a pedestrian skateboarder can’t skateboard along pedestrian sidewalks?
to me, I mean, it’s not only unfair but it’s a symptom of why people in the US are not you know, don’t exercise much because you have to buy a membership to a gym you know or something like that you can’t,
what about things that you already do like right a bike, or why is skateboarding so kind of er, you know, offensive I don’t understand.
Mark: I noticed, like people in the UK, you know the skaters they always look kind of fit ‘cos I like there one of the only [kinds of] people who are outside, all day (mmm) jumping around, skating, exercising and, and I wish, I, I wish I’d go into it earlier so I could go, I don’t go down the state park because I haven’t got the skills.
Noah: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Mark: I think I’m just gonna break something, but when you see those guys and girls they’re just out there all day
Mark: And loving it.
Noah: Yeah and that’s what you can see, it’s like, I don’t think it’s ever too late like I think even if I just started back maybe you know when I was in my mid 1940‘s (Noah, how old are you?) I think it would still be worth it because you don’t just catch on to it, it takes like a series of, even when you stop and then you start again, it takes a series of months to get your body to adjust back to the necessary condition you need to do anything, that seems like talented, you know what I mean, so skateboarding that’s what I go through like every year, like the winter comes, and then I don’t get to skateboard, and then I start again I have to learn all these things all over again,
like you know, how to ollie the board, you know, and then that takes a couple days, and then I try all the, you know tricks, you know and that, maybe that takes a couple days, but it’s like, it’s just I mean even in the process of just trying to learn that you’re getting some exercise, you know, you’re getting some time outside and it’s not that hard like, for you, you could probably just go down to a parking lot if you had a few minutes, you know, down in Goshono, but it’s like you would have to get the motivation like, okay now I’m gonna have to start all over again you know.
Mark: Longboard skating’s a bit, you know, just cruising around kind of stuff
Noah: Yeah, yeah and I think it’s good, I mean especially if you cruise around pretty far you know if you go all the way to AEON mall and around the mall and then come back, maybe that would be exercise. The good thing about that the shorter board, like the freestyle skateboard, a trick board, is like, it just, I think you, you end up like wearing yourself out just trying to do basic, basic things, and that’s why yeah you see those skateboarders out all day.
Sometimes, because, I think they’re out all day, because like they keep trying to do something and it’s like they, they can’t do it and then they keep, keep trying, and then, they have to keep repeating things over and over and that’s why, yeah they, they, they can stay lean, and yeah it’s weird in American culture you know it’s like any sport, that any activity that keeps you lean is not really that popular,
you know people like sports in which you, you basically turn your body into something that’s useless outside of that activity.
Mark: Like a mutant,
Noah: Football, you know. Like yeah.
Mark: English sports are getting like that the game, rugby and soccer/football.
Noah: Yeah, yeah, yeah
Mark: Those guys are, it’s kind of unnatural isn’t it?
Mark: In terms of falling, falling over people say you have to learn how to fall.
Noah: Yeah, yeah
Mark: And say you, you’ve done that, and then, you kind of know what to expect? Or?
Noah: I think, there’s a couple things for skateboarding, like er, the kind of wheels that are on the bottom (clears throat) determine almost how likely you are to have a bad accident, so if you have big wheels that are soft, the kind that you would put on a longboard, those are the easiest to have a bad accident because if you slip they really…
Mark: Shoot out?
Noah: Quickly, the skateboard will will shoot out from under your feet but if you have the, the real noisy hard wheels that are kind of small, um, actually those are the safest because they almost like are easier to balance on, like when you’re trying to do tricks, when you’re trying to do ollie’s, but most people wouldn’t start with those because they’re so loud, you know, and then they, they’re, they seem like uncomfortable under your feet when you’re skating unless it’s a super smooth space,
But um, in terms of learning how to fall, I think, it just, people say you learn how to fall that, I guess it’s true in a way, like, you always want, to protect your head for example, like put your hand over your head, and you want to risk your, your elbows and your, your arms and not your wrists, so if you fall backward you, you would rat[her] you don’t want to catch yourself with your wrist, you kind of want to try to tuck into a kind of roll position if possible.
Mark: You always wearing a wrist guard? Or do you not?
Noah: I, I did but now, I, yeah, I just avoid the kind of things that, you know, end up with kind of a wrist injury,
Mark: So you don’t put your hands down like that? (puts hands down to ground)
Noah: Yeah, now I’m just uh yeah try to fall, like you know anywhere that’s not my wrist like if I’m going to fall and then yeah, just, you know, what I did is, I, now I started going back to like more fundamental tricks so like now I don’t just try to like do a lot of things where the board would just slip out,
I just try to really get better at just the very, very simple things, like to ollie higher, so just keep repeating over and over, and then, um, yet then I gradually try to adapt that to things, that might be uh, you know might be just a slight progression
so I think when I was sliding out because I wasn’t paying attention like sometimes I would slide out because, you know I was rolling around the street, trying to adjust my headphones or trying to find the right track, you know, stuff like that you’re not paying attention and you hit a crack in the road,
another time would be, um, there’s this one, any trick where I’m going the opposite direction (mm) that that, that is natural to me and then I try to do a trick like that. So yeah, I just got better, instead of just trying to do the trick that way I just try to just skate around roll around that way, get real comfortable so
now, I’m, and then, of course, I changed up the wheels and it’s like made a huge difference.
Now I’m starting to think, just if you’re beginning, you should always begin with the hardest wheels you can find,
Mark: Oh right
Noah: And the smallest, yeah because they have made a huge difference, all right even though it seems like noisier and uncomfortable.
Mark: Because I always thought that longboards were for beginners because it’s so, ‘cos it’s just kind of slow.
Noah: Yeah, yeah.
Mark: And you don’t really have to do tricks, like I know, like those, those
guys doing proper downhills, that’s just kind of crazy.
Noah: Yeah, yeah.
Mark: But what I do is just go around, slowly so just looking at stuff
Noah: Yeah and a longboard could be for a beginner if you’re not doing tricks, if you’re just rolling around then it’s gonna be more comfortable because you can just, you know, roll over things.
Mark: Do you go down like the skate park? Go down the half-pipe and all that?
Noah: Yeah, there’s no skate parks around here right?
Mark: Well there’s that indoor one?
Noah: Yeah, but I used, to yeah when I was younger, like I didn’t really, I think like um yeah, and I used to try to go during times when there were not many, people there so you could just you know ease into things,
but yeah that was kind of fun like um, dropping into a pool, like especially if it’s not a deep pool, it would be kind of like, you know dropping into a wave, it just goes shh— (oh wow) so you just get bend your knees and then like just put your weight forward, but not too much forward because…
Mark: You gotta trust in it.
Noah: Yeah, yeah you gotta got it yeah you got to not think about it in general, you just gotta know you’re going to, you know, you just got to confidently just, just throw yourself into it almost, don’t put your weight too much forward, especially at the bo–, at the bottom because then you may, your board may just slow down really quick and you may end up jump[ing], going over the board
Mark: Oh right doesn’t it make you go faster? If you put your head forward?
Noah: Yeah, yeah it does, and you want that, as soon as you drop in, but once you get to the very bottom, and it straightens out (yeah) you need to kind of center you need to shift from the forward to the center weight, with your knees bent whereas, uh sometimes people may even like lean back, when they drop in that’s really bad, cuz then the board will shoot out from under you,
so just yeah lean forward and then center your weight with your knees bent at the bottom.
yeah so I used to, in Chicago I used to go to the skate park, from time to time, and it was nice because they had these kind of smaller, kind of, areas like to drop in so you could kind of learn, how to do that,
but I could never do much you know good tricks in fact that’s the thing about skateboarding like it doesn’t matter what level you are you can always kind of, find a place by yourself you know which is unlike surfing because surfing it’s almost impossible to find a place by yourself.
Mark: Like are people quite chilled in… US skaters? Like about, new people coming down the skate park.
Noah: Definitely not,
Noah: Yeah skate parks are the worst, you know, I mean um you can watch on YouTube like some pa-, some parents bring their little kid yeah skate park and even they get ridiculed, you know, just ridiculous, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s kind of ridiculous and sometimes like at the good skate parks there’s always lines, almost like on every point so you have to wait and so when you finally do get your turn, to jump in like everybody’s watching you so, hmm I suppose it depends.
Next episode and thanks
Well that was it for this podcast, this was actually the first part of my chat with Noah about skateboarding. The second part is coming soon.
Before I go want to say a big thank you to Yurika who has given me some great tips for transcription. Thank you Yurika! You are a star.
Intro music – Flying Down the Freeway by Genx Beats（ゲンクスビーツ） (Creative Commons)
Outro Music – The Grey by Genx Beats (Creative Commons)
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