I wish I had found this guide a lot earlier in the pandemic.
Everything from updates in gear to not being a giant bag of douche when you go to drop in for the first time, Concrete Existence's 'Welcome Back' is a treasure trove of information.
It took me a couple of weeks working in my parent's backyard to get my ollie back at 48. I pad up, confidently sidewalk surf, and have pretty much decided the Venice Skatepark is only for me at the VERY most uncrowded of times. I can hit the bits built to teach the kindergarten set.
Damn, I look up to those kids.
So, you started skating again (or want to) after a long break? Awesome! First, and foremost, welcome back! This is a great time to get back into skateboarding. Our golden age is happening now. There are parks and DIY builds everywhere, any type of equipment you might want is available (not true in the past), and there are plenty of ways to get connected with other (older) skaters. Moreover, if you stick with it, you will have more fun skateboarding now than you ever did before. I promise you that. However, before you get totally up and running again, there are a few speed bumps along the way that we need to address.
An unknown older skater.
Sometimes people are dismayed at how hard skateboarding suddenly seems. Sometimes they are bewildered at how much equipment has changed. Sometimes they ask for info/tips about starting-up again, or express some concerns about getting back on the board. Sometimes it is obvious there are considerations that haven't even occurred to them yet. Whatever the situation, frequently the exact same concerns/issues/questions come up over and over again. Thus, it seemed worthwhile to write an in-depth post which covered all of those situations.
So, here we go! This is the first in a series of posts on making your way back to skateboarding after a long break. The aim is to maximize fun, reduce common old-guy injuries, and to get you reacquainted with the skateboard market if you've been out of the loop for a while. The four parts this series are:
(1) The (Mind/Body) Reality Check: What to expect, and what not to expect (e.g. this is the one you are reading right now)
(2) Equipment: Boards. Trucks. Wheels. Shoes. Pads. Etc.
(3) Social Navigation: Navigating social aspects of being a "renewed" skater without making a turboclown of yourself.
(4) Epilogue: Dealing with Skate-Related Anxiety
Gleaming the Cube will inspire you.