What Longboarding Has Taught Me About Life

By Rocky Poole

I’ve recently just written a ‘notice letter’ to my workplace, and on this letter, one of the lines read –  “the skills I have learnt here have been so beneficial and I’ll carry them with me in the future.”

This statement really got me thinking.  I’m a waitress. The skills of dealing with snotty diners and whiny children really don’t compare to the skills and lessons I’ve learnt as a longboarder.

This has inspired me to write an article… An article about the many things we learn as boarders and carry with us in life. You may acquire skills of patience at a workplace, yet as a longboarder and skater – you learn ‘real’ patience as you wait a good 15 minutes for an elderly driver to pull out – leave the space, and eventually drive past you – clearing the road so finally, you can skate the hill. That. Is patience. Or patiently waiting inside for the rain to pass.

You see we longboarders and skaters learn valuable life lessons day in day out. Every time we put foot to wood and pump away.

If we look at footballers. They’re all over the media and are seen as ‘sport inspirations’ and leaders, who learn to get back up and play on with a scratch to their knee… Yet we, as skateboarders – we learn to skate again, after our dislocated wrist hangs like a rag doll and after popping our elbow back into place… We get back up. And never let the hill or vert defeat us. So this hard edge, fighting spirit follows us naturally into real life. The pure knar side to us, the dedication and the bravery shapes us.

We learn socially, we learn to accept people for who they are. We learn that at the skate-park, or on the hills, you face all sorts of styles! Mongo, goofy, regular, apex,landryhat, carbon fiber or wood. Socially we accept all kinds. We embrace the different styles, the new faces and we accept skaters for who they are…The techno intelligence head, the one who can’t really skate but stays for the atmosphere, anyone! We learn to embrace new things, and man… We’re open minded, always ready to try something new, even if it does lead to A&E!

“We get back up. And never let the hill or vert defeat us. So this hard edge, fighting spirit follows us naturally into real life. The pure knar side to us, the dedication and the bravery shapes us”

We learn empathy. That moment you lend your board to a bmxer and they try to ollie your longboard, leading to a gaping scratch and dent to the nose. We learn empathy, and acceptance to when our board finally pops it’s clogs and needs to be replaced.
I guess what I’m trying to say… Or portray, Is that we really do learn many lessons and teachings through LongBoarding and Skateboarding. The list is endless. Just think. Every time you step out with your board you’re learning. You learn to persevere, you learn commitment, and you acquire determination.

But for me, the best part is learning that life is one long ride. Life is like a hill. The hill is all laid out In front of you – you can’t quite see beyond the corners yet you deal when them when you face them. You swerve out of the way of obstacles and overcome what’s in your way, you glide and slide and enjoy the ride, but you also keep focus and drive. Skating is in many ways, just like life… Every pump you make, adds to the speed of life. Every slide or trick you make has a consequence. But overall. You sit back and let the wheels take you on a journey.

“Skating provides you with the pure rush of Adrenalin and when you’re on your board, nothing in the world really matters, nothing other than your board, the concrete beneath you, and your feet, connected from your soul to deck.” – A personal quote I live by.

So the next time your skating and get a look of despair… As we all get so frequently… Just remember. You’re learning life lessons and improving who you are as a person. So two fingers to them all is what I say. We only get one shot at this life. So, skate on! Keep the stoke! Keep shredding and keep smiling!