Longboarding, part 2 September 16, 2013
It has been a while since the last post, I'm posting this after an intense longboarding session with my dogs. This thing has absorbed me and I'm completely enjoying every moment I spend above my longboard.
After a lot of practicing I got a real longboard, a complete set from Birdhouse which is discontinued now; it was on sale in a sports shop in Bogotá. This board helped me a lot, I improved a lot but for me learning this kind of things is quite difficult.
I got overconfident and tried to ride a small hill in a park in Bogotá and fell quite hard. My smashed helmet saved me from a concussion, the other protections I was wearing did their job wonderfully, but my elbow got smashed quite hard and I broke my collarbone. I'm glad I was wearing all my protective gear that day or it might have been much worse.
That day the first doctor did take my collarbone pain and swelling seriously enough and let me go home with a mix of painkillers and a anti-inflamatory shot. I really hate hospitals and as I didn't hit my head, mainly thanks to my helmet, decided to go yo my house and numb the pain with some beers. We got a sling and waited for the swelling in my shoulder and collarbone to subside, after a week or so, we decided it was time to get an x-ray of my collarbone as the pain was still very intense after the swelling was gone. When the results came we could see it was effectively broken and when I went to see a doctor he told me that I could wear a sling or a eight shaped bandage to restrict my movements and let the fracture heal itself, or I could get a surgery with some screws and a plate to fix it better. The research didn't gave me any strong reasong to expose myself to the sugery and if I took enough care of myself I could get away with a minor malunion of my collarbone.
So the result is that I have a minor malunion of the bones yet the result is not bad, as soon as the pain subsided I removed the eight shaped bandage and started excercising my arms where the pain permitted. I have full range and just minor pain when I rest over the shoulder which I do quite frequently; I' getting used to the sensation. I have fallen again and hit the same shoulder a few times and everything feels normal now. The muscle of my shoulder recovered quite fast and the eight shape bandage let me keep a good posture, the shoulder still looks a bit "fallen" but it's barely noticeable
I moved to Cali, Colombia, and curiosly as I wrote in the last post it matches quite well with I was looking for: here I got the chance to improve a lot my longboarding skills at the same time got to create amazing systems in Erlang.
We bought a small plastic board, a paradise board, which served quite well but it's very hard to ride for me and it was hindering @deepsabbath which also got hooked on this, but it enabled us to improve and gave us some parts to assemble boards and experiment.
Cali is a hot place for longboarding and it's the house of the first and currently only longboard carver in Colombia: Wepa Longboards. I fell in love with their designs, the idea of having a longboard crafted here in Colombia and the fact that they carve boards in the native Guadua Bamboo.
I simply love this board, now we have two boards and the habit of finding new places to use them. I can kick now quite confidently and love the carving sensation of my boards. Now I regulary ride my boards to my job and enjoy it a lot, even if it's very short, but the sound of the wheels is something you learn to yearn.
The next step I want to tackle is going to be start riding more hills, getting used to higher speeds and sliding. I might start practicing some tricks from the short boards as they help a lot in acquiring the much needed confidence.
It has been quite a while since I started this longboard trip and I really appreciate the encouragement I have received from the longboarders I have met. Initally this enterpise was received with a lot of incredulity and someone even called it my thirties crisis, and well if it was at least it has rewarded me with a new passion and a skill that I really wanted to have and I'm not thirty yet, I still have that whole year to have said crisis.
One really good thing that I need to note is that I still don't have any expensive equipment and I have barely spent the price of a premium longboard. I think it was a good approach as initially I didn't knew if longboarding would stick for me.