One foot at a time | One sole at a time | One hell of a good time


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Skateboarding and FiveFingers...duh!!!


Thanks to James Peter's of PavedWave.org for inspiring me to reignite my skateboarding passion. Visit his website to read about his amazing feats of long distance skateboarding (known as long-distance-pumping or LDP), including world record 24 hour distance rides. He currently has given me a loaner to use. I am burning it up!!!

The board is a Subsonic Pulse 40, essentially a handmade longboard. It is a magical thing...being able to tranfer pumping motion into forward momentum.

Volunteer Park, Seattle...Pushing

Yes, muscle memory is real. Yes, barefoot is best for balance sports. Yes, Vibram FiveFingers make a lot of sense for skateboarding.

from the www.northwestlongboarding.com forum:

Thanks to Shane and volunteers and sponsors for putting on this event (the Seattle Push Race, May 10th, 2008)

I think I found out about it yesterday (or the day before) from James.

Very inspired by James' pursuit of long distance and 24 hour riding. I enjoy trying to push the envelope. This race and ride was like the 3rd time I had been on a board for any time in over 25 years!!! But I loved it.

I had to take the downhills VERY conservatively because the shoes I had on (Vibram FiveFingers) are paper thin and not great for foot braking. It also turns out I rode the board James let me borrow...backwards!!! Felt a little odd. Oh well. Still made 8th place. Not bad for an old fart like me.

My quads were burning during that race. I definitely need to learn to push with either leg.

Look forward to seeing any photos, especially showing my FiveFinger shoes. I want to send them to the company and suggest they do something about making a skate shoe. I really do think that a lot of flexibility in the foot is good for balance and helps make the foot strong...do what it does best. I really am not a fan of these huge, heavy shoe-boats that are the rage for most skaters these days...at least for pushing on flat surfaces and pumping.

I have a lot to learn about skating these days. I have never seen so many DIFFERENT kinds of boards and wheels and trucks!!! Too much for my old-man head to take in all at once. Some sort of skateboard renaissance seems to be happening.

The downhill and slalom era came and went pretty quickly in my day (mid to late 70s). We got a taste for pools and the world changed and I've got scars and brain damage to prove it...we didn't wear helmets much...

So, thanks again. Hope to be out there riding for 24 hours next month and see if I can break 100 miles or more.

Barefoot Ted

PS. Make sure you ride with a HELMET (I have one now) and other protective gear. It is well worth it. The only downside to skateboarding for older riders is the unfriendly feel of pavement on the falling body!

PSS. The idea of barefooting and skateboarding and FiveFingers is cropping up here and there. Check out this post on the Paved Wave Forum, click here.

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Blogger Rocky Randall said...

I love it!!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ted, alway nice to read!

A question: are you out of love with the huaraches? Looks like the KSOs have won it, right?

Second question: maybe skateboarding is one of the few sports where actual SHOES (with thick soles) are a plus!


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Blogger Barefoot Ted said...

Howdy Pieter

KSOs are much more practical and easy to rely on. I LOVE my huaraches. I am just very spoiled with my FiveFingers.

Plus, I have a lot more experimenting on want to do with huaraches, but have not had the time or materials to go to the next level.

As far as shoes and skateboarding goes, I disagree with you.

Balance sports need MORE flexibility and freedom of movement, not less.

I think that you must be referring to foot-braking, i.e., using the shoe to slow down the skateboard.

I do use the FF to foot brake, and it is going to wear the FF out more quickly than just running. I am hoping to add a patch to my FFs as they wear out.

Keep an eye out for an upcoming video of me skateboarding on an amazing course.

Also, hope to be part of a group skating for 24 hours trying to set a world record on June 14th in Seattle.

Best Regards, BFT

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Blogger dtougas said...

I too have started up longboarding and am experimenting with using my FiveFingers. I love using them for balance, but I don't feel quite so confident with the footbraking yet. The soles are very thin and I don't feel like I could stop well if going fast (perhaps I just need to get used to that). I am also afraid they will wear out quickly, I guess time will tell. I will be interested in seeing how you deal with those issues.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Blogger Barefoot Ted said...

Footbraking and Wear

Yes, I too wondered about the potential wear from footbraking.

Yes, there is wear, but not nearly as quickly as you might think.

However, I do think that I have found a solution. Shoe supply stores sell a non-slip shoe sole patch that you can put on the bottom of the FF in areas wear foot braking wear occurs.

I will report on my findings soon, but so far it seems like a good solution.


Friday, May 30, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who footbrakes? I'm 63 years old...a barefooter and a barefoot skateboarder.... and I just exit the skateboard or bail. I don't know any skateboarders that footbrake.

Check this out:

Have fun!!...guys..
glidenhi, in Alabama

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Blogger Barefoot Ted said...

Howdy Glidenhi, in Alabama

Yeah, Skater Dater is an excellent movie shot in the early 60s in Los Angeles featuring a barefoot skateboard club's adventures. Great movie.

However, foot-braking is an excellent way to stay alive when riding in places where speeds exceed safe jump off and bail techniques.

As a matter of fact, foot braking is just plain smart in many situations...for example on my ride from Seattle to Portland (the famous STP bicycle ride), it would have been suicide to ride that distance at that speed without the ability to foot break.

However, it is a lot of fun to find places to ride barefoot, that is for sure.


Sunday, November 09, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Ted. This is a great site! I do the parks and the bowls and have less experience on the road at high speeds. It would be great to see how you do that. On the few times I have been downhilling on my longboard, foot breaking would appear to have been pretty fruitless, though. You must do it in very small increments. It sure would be fun to skate with you guys. Have fun!


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Who footbrakes?" Seriously?

When I'm coming in hot on my 26" Pocket Rocket to an intersection after pumping the mile-long shot that takes me from the apex of the Manhattan Bridge and down through DUMBO to the East River, I FOOTBRAKE if needed.

I'd love to go barefoot but when you're shredding the concrete waves of the modern Sodom it's really not an option.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

thin shoes are what a lot of skateboarders prefer (like me) for "boardfeel" The thinner the better but i gotta buy them more often because i wear them out so fast

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also, don't footbreak. Sometimes stomping and slowing yourself down with the quads is needed (hard to explain) but otherwise learn to transfer your weight to jump off and leave the board where it was when you jumped off..

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

" jump off and leave the board where it was when you jumped off"

People don't seem to realise that some people skate fast. Too fast to jump off. I get up to speeds of around 50km/h down my best hill and if you jump off expecting to run it out, you're dreaming... Not even the worlds best sprinters can hit those speeds at a run. So pretty much that means your feet will be left behind, and the rest of you will go bailing. Not ideal. That's not to say that foot braking is the only method though. Sliding gloves save both your money (in the form of new shoes) and your ass from thrashing. Plus getting sideways at speed looks and feels mad!
Happy riding brothers!

Thursday, April 08, 2010


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