I can recall the early instance I skated down my first big hill. I had done small inclines through neighborhoods before, but never something like this. There was the initial hesitation, a clenching feeling. My mind warning my body that I was about to be putting myself in a dangerous situation. I can remember taking a deep breath and trying my best to center my focus. I couldn’t be afraid now, all there was from here on out, was forward, down.
I remember the hissing sound from my bearings, the wind getting louder as I climbed beyond the speed by which I could jump off. Then slowly, the fear began to fade. The wind was still yelling, howling at me. It’s an odd thing that happens once you reach terminal velocity. Your brain begins to realize that you’ve threaded some kind of proverbial needle. Mother nature won’t let you fall any faster.
And then, just as I had began to grow accustom to existing in this razors edged world, I began to decelerate. The hill had been conquered. I remember distinctly, even to this day, the rush I experienced afterwards. I can specifically recall myself sitting in the car, my hands trembling. A warm blanket of adrenaline descending down over my arms and back, my hairs standing on end. I had never felt a feeling like that before in my life. The week after left me infatuated with this sensation, obsessed with the memories of hurtling downhill. Every free instance I had I was day dreaming about that realm. That world of wind and speed. I had become mentally immersed, completely consumed by the lasting effects of residual stoke.
You can almost ride out the feeling. It’s a lasting memory that you’re able to bring up on a moments notice. Like fighter pilots talking about tactics, the stories are countless. However, despite all the numerous instances, the passion of the pursuit, the close calls, the near misses, not a day goes by that I cannot recollect my first taste, of residual stoke.
Be sure to check out the Skate[Slate] version of this article, with a whole lot of additional photography, and a completely different article:
Now go skate.