Hydroplane

Memory Lane… It’s not just a road, it’s a recollection. If you haven’t had the chance to read 15 minute lunch, you are missing out on some really funny stories. I just had to laugh at that little trip down memory lane.

Now to take a trip of my own down Memory Lane. I grew up in a little sleepy town in South Orange County along the beach. Surfing was all the rage and so was sidewalk surfing. Skateboards back then were first small red plywood planks with steel wheels. Next I graduated to the same red plank deck but I had new and improved wheels. That’s right the red brick open bearing wheels.

My birthdays always fell around Easter. So, my mom would pack my older sister, brother and me up in the car and head out to our vacation home in Palm Desert for spring break. That year for my 7th birthday, I got my first fiberglass deck with urethane wheels. It still had the open bearings and not sealed bearings, those didn’t come out until 1975/76. Man I thought I was hot stuff. Skating all over our compound, up and down from the top of the compound to the house, and back again. It was an endless source of entertainment, not to mention exercise.

Besides playing in the pool this was a good way to spend the hot desert spring days. I remember one day skating down the sidewalk from the pool to the house in my OP swim trunks and possibly a Hang Ten t-shirt. The sidewalk went down hill with a slight bank to the left. Roberto, the full time gardener or “Agricultural Engineer”, had watered the front lawns and the water was draining onto the sidewalk, right at the curve.

I remember riding down the hill, hitting the curve at speed and noticing the water that had covered that portion of the sidewalk as it sprayed onto my bare ankles and feet. What I don’t remember is anything that happened after that point.

Waking up in a dark room with the cool of the air conditioning on my face was my next memory. I had a splitting headache and a large bump on the back of my cranium to match. I am sure as my head hit concrete a great hollow sound was heard, like the resonating sound of striking a watermelon with a stick.

Now there is a word I learned early in my early life… “Hydroplane”. As I hit the curve full speed, and my urethane wheels hit the water, there was a separation between concrete and urethane, and in between that separation was a thin layer of water. This created a viscous reaction between concrete and urethane and my board started to glide like a hockey puck on an ice rink.

I was out for a few hours, according to my mom. I was lucky that my brother was heading from the pool to the house for lunch, because he was the one that found me flat on my back out cold, and wet from the front yard sprinklers. He carried my unconscious body back to the house.

I was never taken to the hospital. I am not even sure if I had a concussion or not. My mom was in denial about doctors and hospitals, and she still is today, but that is for another time.

To this day I am amazed I survived my childhood…

Cheers

PS. I am 40 years old and I still ride a skateboard…

Update:

I spent the weekend before Easter this year in La Quinta at the La Quinta Spa & Resort. Down the road about three miles away is my parents desert house. It is currently under construction and rebuild.

I took some current pictures of the house and I have some old images also. I do have a current picture of the hill I cracked my egg on. Now that I am older it just doesn’t look that formidable.

Save Carlsbad Skate Park

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