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Lloyd's New Book

Builders of the Pacific Coast cover
Builders of the Pacific Coast

Introduction

Sample Chapter
Jan Janzen

Image Slide Show

About the Author

Author Book Tour

Reviews


More Books by Lloyd Kahn

Home Work cover
Home Work:
Handbuilt Shelter

Shelter
Shelter

The Septic System Owner's Manual cover
The Septic System Owner's Manual

by Lloyd Kahn
Longboards & Big Sticks

Lloyd on his Loaded Dervish longboard

Started skating at age 65. I saw some longboards and thought I'd try it. My interest was cruising, not tricks. First time out, just about broke a wrist, but I stuck with it.

I'm fairly obsessed. I'm constantly searching for the right downhill slope and smooth pavement. I never did learn to slide, so I have to get off when accelerating beyond the speed of being able to stay upright when bailing. I tried learning to slide; Cliff Coleman worked with me one day in SF, and I got a few tentative slides, but never practiced because I prefer fast, soft wheels.

I've probably had over 20 boards and recently spend most of my time on a Loaded Dervish with Orangutang wheels. It's got a flowing, flexible quality that I love. (Last week Lizzie at The Purple Skunk in SF told me the Dervish is their best-selling board.) The other board I use occasionally is a Landyachtz Evo for bombing.

When you're my age (73), you don't want to fall, but it's inevitable once in a while. Gloves with hard discs on palms are my most important safety gear. Cliff Coleman says, "When you fall, remember four words: Get On Your Hands," meaning let the gloves grind on the asphalt rather than your skin.

The other thing about skating at an advanced age: it's good for your brain to learn a new physical skill when you're old. Usually we stop developing new bodily skills at an early age. Once I start rolling, I have to focus. The two dangers, cars and pavement, make the stakes higher than falling off a surfboard.

I think there's a big untapped group of former skaters. Guys who got married, had kids and a job and quit skating. 40-50-60 year olds. They have the skills (muscle memory). They've forgotten about skating and don't know about technological advances in the last decade or so. I often get a former skater on one of my boards and they're amazed.

Lloyd using his Kahuna Big Stick

Have been using a Kahuna Big Stick on flat areas and slight downslopes and is it fun! Although in Santa Cruz a month ago, was skating along East Cliff Drive, getting thumbs up from surfers, feeling pretty sharp and wham! I was on the ground, the stick had caught a wheel. The first thing I do when falling is take a survey of what's damaged. Secondly I look around to see who saw me fall. Ended up with bruised ribs for 3 weeks. (No one saw me fall!)

I've been a publisher for 37 years. Two main categories: fitness, and building/architecture. I do only a book or two a year, and they are always on subjects that are part of my life. My blog, including adventures and misadventures: http://www.lloydkahn.com