Wednesday, August 3, 2011

My First Week on a LandYachtz Switch

       Oops- I am a bad blogger, 2 weeks since the last post after just getting the Switch and no new updates? I'm such a slacker. In any case, there wouldn't have been any updates in this last week on account of my making a return to my home town to do some painting for my mom and I had to travel light. The week before that I really don't have any excuse for my laziness in regards to posting. I'm starting to think weekly updates on progress with the board is probably the best way for me to go about writing on here, with the occasional extra one interspersed now and again.
       My first night with the Switch, the one after shoving back and forth in the kitchen, I was invited down to a buddies house to do some gaming. I figured that with him living about half a block away would make for a good excuse to jump on the board outside and make the trip down a little more interesting. In this case a lot more interesting. I tensed up a lot on the board the first time I stepped on it outside, which probably didn't help me, nor did starting on a incline instead of practising in a parkade somewhere for a few hours. My first thought was that riding around on pavement was not very pleasant at all, and I was getting so much turbulence that I couldn't focus my eyes right, the scenery was all blurry. I'm not totally sure what it was on the board that I tweaked since then, but the second time I stood on it I did not have that issue. I had no fun trying to turn on that incline down to his house, and jumped off several times since I was not yet super confident in my foot breaking. There was a fair bit of chasing the board down the hill involved as well. Going back up was Ok, however, as I had no reason to worry about gaining out of control speed on the way home.
       The second night out was kind of epic. I took the same path down to my friend's house on the board but didn't have to jump off or poorly footbreak nearly as much as the previous evening (effective footbreaking is proving to be a lot more tricky than I thought it would be). I got fairly skilled at doing some controlled bailing if I started to get a little unsure by kicking back and sending myself ahead of the board to catch it when it caught up to me. He and I decided to go to a very nice, smooth tennis court after the sun went down to mess around on the board. We took turns, eventually he fell, and has convinced himself he's cracked a rib without the assistance of a medical professional mind you. After hitting the pavement hard, he left, leaving me to weave around the court's nets on my own and that evening something clicked for me. I started to get a lot more confident in shifting my weight back and forth on the board quite quickly, and also moving my feet around to different positions. Feeling just a little cocky, I decided to try one of the bigger inclines in my apartment complex's parking lot. It was terribly rough with a lot of uneven pavement and gravel bits everywhere but I made it from the top to the bottom on the my first go doing enormous S curves all the way down at a manageable speed. I did it again a few more times and an hour quickly passed by. That was a very good night though I haven't improved very much since then, my only way of stopping still being bailing off.
       Night three on the board rolled in and it was looking to be a fairly short one, just another trip to the buddy's house, even less bails this time than the previous two nights, and naturally, I'm getting a little cocky. I get very close to his place and am gaining more speed than I'd like. I jump off the board, look behind me and don't see the it anywhere. Hmm, most peculiar. I look beside myself and see it rolling along right there, starting to move faster than me. OH CRAP! I give it a sideways kick to turn it off it's downhill course. First kick wasn't enough so I give it another and oops! I stepped on the wheel. Did I mention this was the one night I thought “eh, I'm not going far, I'll leave the knee pads at home”? The board rolled to a stop beside the curb but I hit the pavement hard. My knees were actually Ok after this fall, but my one elbow was pretty bashed up, more from sliding along the pavement than actually connecting with it. I didn't have elbow pads in any case so this particular wound was unavoidable. I also had an audience of pedestrians for this bail, so that rubbed in some extra embarassment.
       Night four was a lot like night three. I went to some flat terraces below the buddy's house and was pushing around there. One had a slight incline to it, was smooth, wide, and I thought would be fun to go down. It's called Strathcona Terrace, and for someone who still has no idea how to control his speed effectively, it proved too much for me. I jumped off as I usually would but something happened which I was not counting on: I was travelling close to car speed, a speed which my running legs can't keep up with and I went down hard again, on the other elbow this time leaving another nice wound. I slowly did the walk of shame back up the hill to use my buddy's sink to clean myself. That weekend I got shot with a paintball in that elbow too.
       I'm back from a week of painting and letting my elbows heal and I'm going to wait an extra day or two for some elbow pads I ordered to show up in the mail since that seems to be the part of my body taking the most punishment right now. My previous wounds have only just healed up and the scabbing is so close to gone that I don't want to go and rip my arms open again. I really should have taken pictures of the wounds when they were fresh! The more I get out on the board, the more I want to get out when I'm not on it though and I'm chomping at the bit to go see some roads I've previously walked along in a new light.
       P.S. Speak of the devil, moments before posting this the pads came in, and wouldn't ya know it, one size to small. I might have to get out and do some slow pushing and stuff because I'm very eager to get back out there right now.

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