I think it’s easy to explain why I like fingerboarding. Most of my friends don’t understand why I am willing to spend portions of my money on something so miniature. Sure. It’s not real actual life skateboarding. Some people feel that it’s a simple toy, that it’s silly, and that it’s easy to do and provides no challenge whatsoever. I’m not writing this post to actually explain it to them per-se, but I just felt like writing this because I think this hobby of mine deserves some mentioning.
Fingerboarding, contrary to the main misconception, is not easy at all. It may be less physically-taxing than skateboarding since you don’t have to keep falling down or run up and down and keep pushing and risk injuries, and therefore just about anyone can fingerboard, but that doesn’t mean that it’s easy. You only have two fingers to control the board and the board is scaled down, so depending on how you position your fingers or how you turn your wrist, or in which direction you flick, your tricks can turn out very differently. There is lesser room for error, and strength-control is extremely important as well. If any one of these factors is changed, you may not be able to land that one trick you’ve always been trying to land.
Since it’s actually considered skateboarding-stimulation, I usually explain fingerboarding as “playing a skate stimulation game, except with real physics instead of having a control stick like in a video game”. Over the past few years, the amount of technology and research put into developing better fingerboarding equipment has also vastly increased. And also since it’s supposed to be considered skateboarding stimulation, it’s actually very realistic. Pressed and shaped wooden decks in a variety of width, length, kick-height and concave options with beautiful lacquer or real-wear graphics, trucks with actual bushings that rebound (I love loose trucks and I can’t lie!), high-performance wheels with smooth bearings in them, obstacles that are made to look like real benches and ramps and other things like palettes and manual pads, these are actually pretty legit if you look at them close up. They all affect the performance of the fingerboard, and there are many companies that have been set up and blooming over time, and they keep the community going with various events and other things as well. Fingerboarding culture has been getting increasingly popular all over the world. Starting from Germany and other areas of Europe such as Portugal and the UK, it has also reached a wide variety of audience in the USA and Canada, as well as other parts of Asia, such as Hong Kong, Philippines, Taiwan and Singapore.
As to why I enjoy fingerboarding? It’s simple. I like how it resembles real skateboarding and I like the technology put into developing all these miniature items. I love the satisfaction of finally learning a new challenging trick and I love improving as I go along. From learning something as simple as an ollie, I have slowly progressed to learning other tricks over time. Like skateboarding, it’s not just about landing tricks. It’s also about how clean the tricks are and the style, and the creativity put into doing trick combinations. I’m a person who does not have too much of an attention span, so fingerboarding is one of the things that I have managed to focus on. When there are things on my mind, I turn to fingerboarding to take my mind off them. It has also given me the chance to meet many new people and friends who all have the passion for the same hobby.
You know, one of the things that I’ve always been aware of is that I’m already 21. People ask me, “Hitoshi, aren’t you a little old to play with toys and hang out with teenagers?” The answer is no. I’m having fun, and fun has no age limit. And I actually like all sorts of people. There is this never-ending source of vibe and excitement that teenagers will always have that will never cease to amaze me. It is that idealistic, fun-loving mindset of teenagers that sometimes remind me of what I have lost. Growing up being so pessimistic, they remind me to have fun and to let loose and let my troubles run away. After all, what are troubles when you have time and space?
Of course, I do not expect anyone to read through this entire entry. I just wanted to write this to just thank fingerboarding for existing and the community for developing it to what it is today. And of course, enjoy the above linked video by Mike Schneider, one of my favourite people in the fingerboarding scene. He owns Flatface Fingerboards, which is pretty much my favourite deck and wheel company. The video features many other fingerboarders as well, Elias Assmuth being another one of them. Many more too, of course. All sorts of people fingerboard and contribute to fingerboarding. There are so many creative people. From the product designing to the graphics, the amount of artists in the fingerboarding scene all inspire me.
Enjoy the video. It’s where I found one of my all-time favourite songs too. Your Hand in Mine, by Explosions in the Sky.
Yes. I just wrote an entire entry regarding fingerboarding. I regret nothing.
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