Growing up on a farm in Saskatchewan, I thought skateboarding was the coolest thing ever, but there was literally nowhere to do it where I lived, and there was no skateboard culture anywhere near me.
Then, at age 40, I bought a rental house that happened to come with a really good skateboard that the previous owners inexplicably left behind. I took it as a sign from the universe that it was finally time to "hit the deck," so to speak.
Dozens of skinned knees and elbows and one broken thumb later, I became pretty good at riding the bowl, my favorite aspect of skateboarding. Then at a garage sale I came across a cool vintage Landyachtz longboard (which is now mounted on the wall of my home office, image below).
Once again, I took it as a sign to take my boarding career in a different direction. We happened to be living in a community with lots of paved trails on hills, and our town even has an annual longboarding competition, so it seemed perfect.
The first time I took out the board, I started too high on the hill and had to bail out on a tight corner because I was going too fast. The result was a sprained ankle, a cracked rib, and pretty severe road rash on both elbows (scars I still bear to this day). Believe it or not, while still in shock, I took the board back up the hill (starting a little lower this time), and did it again. This time I made the corner. Then I limped home through the forest, leaving a blood trail behind me that, thankfully, no wild animal chose to follow.
I've since upgraded my board to a Landyachtz Hollowtech board, similar to the one below, a technology designed right here in Kimberley, BC, where I live.
After miles and miles of boarding (mostly in the golf course next door during the off season), I've only sustained one sprained ankle.
What is the point of all this, you ask?
While doing research for my new Milligan Creek novel, Quiet on Set!, which involves a film shoot about a guy named Wind Wagon Smith, I came across an article on Wikipedia about, you guessed it, land yachts. Turns out land sailing has been a thing since about AD 552! And here I thought Landyachtz the company was doing something new.
That's one of the coolest things about writing. You never know what you'll have to learn next and how it might connect to something you already know--and love.
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