Saturday, September 12, 2009

Vibram FiveFingers and Longboarding. Cool!

Hello begin2dig readers! do any of you Longboard? Isn't it wild? What do you wear on your feet? It seems this is another application for Vibram FiveFingers.

Flat shoes i understand are de rigeur for longboarding, skateboarding, but i figured, what the heck? since balance is such a big deal with skateboards, it seemed sensible to try to get as much proprioceptive response to my brain as possible to keep me from crashing, so why not keep those feet as flexible as possible?

Et voila! success. The concept of hanging 5 or 10 is a reality with these things.

I am literally gripping the side of the board with my toes to help maneuver it - it's instinctual: ya just grip the deck with yur toes.

Now i'm a total longboarding newbie, with thanks to Z-Health Master Trainer Lou McGovern for helping me figure out a board to begin to get to grips with skating in the 21st C. If you're in san diego and want to improve your sport performance or get outa pain so you can improve your movement generally and athletically, Lou is awesome, smart, gentle, super duper knowledgeable jedi.

Just FYI, the board is a highly transportable (fit in overhead bin of plane oh yeah) sector9 bambino board. Made of bambo. This is kinda cool as instead of being a long growing hardish wood like the redoubtable canadian maple used in most boards, bambo is effectively a weed. It grows fast.

SO far i've stayed on the board, or been able to run ahead of it for stopping. I've learned quickly there's a difference between being thrown off and running to stay upright and running off at my own choosing. I am also learning how to put my foot down in the approved foot breaking fashion to stop, but that seems harder on the knee/ankle than just a controlled run off? I must be doing it wrong :( sigh.

I am also curious to learn how pushing all the time with one side affects the body. Is it better to spend time learning how to skate ambidextrously? or simply always move downhill.

Z-Health: the Proprioception connection
I'm also interested to know if practicing proprioceptive stuff like z-health (about z-health) and wearing vff's (all the time) means that i may be getting the hang of this skill a little quicker than i would have otherwise. I haven't fallen off, but that may mean i'm just cautious. SO dunno, but things seem to be going better and faster than i'd anticipated, and wow it's fun. It's even fun to look up at the same time as moving forward.

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dbt1959 said...

Loved this post and the vid. Interesting to learn that the vff's are sturdy enough for long boarding. Bomb Hills Not Countries.

dr. m.c. said...

awesome vid, eh?

thanks for dropping by.

i'll keep posting about the fate of the vff's - i kept checking the sole on breaking. will experiment with flats, too.
but the vff's felt GREAT.


Mike T Nelson said...

Fun stuff and I am jealous that you get to learn new things in San Diego! Be sure to tell Lou and everyone hello from me. Lou still owes me a surf lesson and I will get him strapped to a kite to kiteboard yet.

Longboarding is a blast. I bought one (Loaded Vanguard longboard) about 4 years ago and learned to skateboard for the first time in my life. You can feel your heart jump into your throat when pass the point of "I can't hop off and run fast enough, so I either crash now (or try to drag my foot which I need work on) or ride it out". Ahhhh good times. Learning how to fall is key.

We also strapped some windsurf sails to our boards for some land sailing a few summers ago. Great times.

Rock on!
Mike T Nelson PhD(c)
Extreme Human Performance

dr. m.c. said...

Mike you have got to get a tattoo or grow your hair or something. you are like sun tsu spy guy: no one would know do all these cool things.

Unknown said...

dude.. that's such as smart way to use the vibram five fingers shoes.. They're usually used for running so im sure it'll last even longer on skateboards.. has anybody tried out the new ones? i saw some that looked great for boarding:


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