Pink plastic poser

Way back when, I bought a longboard.

I bought it with the intention of using it for transportation, and I had a blast learning how to ride it. Longboarding is fun! Nothing can beat the feeling of cruising smoothly down the street.

Except I soon discovered one logistical problem:

My longboard is huge. Like, really long. It’s over half my height. Riding my longboard is fine. It’s when I carry it that it becomes difficult:

Or when I try to go shopping:

My longboard, while lovely, is simply too impractical. (Nor is it a particularly great longboard. The trucks creak and barely carve. The bearings are terrible, so that the wheels barely spin. In other words, I can barely turn or move.) I decided it was time for an upgrade.

I had to do some research, of course. I tried to use the internet. But I found out that skateboards are more complicated than I thought.

The internet was not going to help me much on this one. I decided I needed some help up-close and personal. I quickly looked up skateboard shops around Boston and decided on my criteria: small, lightweight, a smooth ride, good for getting around town…

First up was a store called “Blvd,” a small skateboard shop on the swag Newbury Street. The guy was really friendly and helpful:

Nearly $200! There was only one correct reaction to this news:

So that was a no. I was hoping that perhaps that was the upper price range for a good skateboard. Newbury Street is notoriously expensive, after all. Hopes still up, I hunted down an evenĀ smaller skateboard shop called the Beacon Hill Skate Shop. After a couple hours of wandering, I finally found itĀ in a shadier corner of Boston.

And shadier it was. Rather than the polished look of Blvd, it was a tiny room haphazardly crammed with all sorts of skate stuff. Not just skateboards, but roller skates, ice skates, and the like.

The owner was an old, gruff guy who wasn’t nearly as friendly as the first guy.

But perhaps what was most off about this store was the cat. The cat. Omigosh.

The (only) cruiser board that the owner had to offer would run me $190, anyway. Even more expensive than the last shop. I’ll pass.

I was losing hope. I searched for a shop called “Board Room Boston” that claimed to be in the Financial District, but had in fact been turned into a hair salon.

And finally, I visited a specialty shoe store. It was down the street from my dorm, and claimed to stock a few skateboards in addition to the latest, greatest, freshest sneakers.

I was just about losing hope. But the guy in the last store– the shoe store– gave me a tip. He asked me if I might be interested in a “penny board.” Of course, I had no idea what he was talking about. It was time to return to the internet.

Penny boards, as I soon found out, are these tiny little plastic cruisers sold by an Australian company. They seemed to be everything I was looking for: small, light, durable (though plastic, they can be ran over by cars without snapping) and are designed for smooth transportation.

And as I searched on Amazon, I found an even better deal: stereo vinyl cruisers, which are essentially the same thing but cost a bit cheaper. And they come with stickers and sunglasses. I WANTED ONE. I WANTED ONE SO BAD.

After a great deal of agonizing and rationalizing and pros-and-cons-ing, I decided to get it. I could even choose what color I wanted! Except on Amazon, for some reason, the pink skateboard was twenty dollars cheaper than every other color. Twenty dollars. I thus ordered the pink one. (Though the green one was pretty rad.)

Once again, Amazon shipped it in a box way too big for such a small item:

And I had to buy new bearings for it, too. (Reviewers online said that the board’s bearings were terrible, and it was absolutely true– when I got the board, the wheels barely spun.) It’s okay, I used the twenty dollars I saved to get a new set of Bones Reds bearings.

The board also comes with some decorative stickers:

And a fashionable pair of “sunnies”!

So ended my journey for a new skateboard! Hours of research, traveling, contemplating, comparing, all culminating into… this.

I have gone from

all the way down to

Oh yeah, can’t forget the helmet:

And my sunnies:

But dang. This board is awesome. It carves and rolls like a pink little dream. It’s perfect! Well, except for the fact that I can barely ride it at all.

I guess going from a too-big longboard to a miniature cruiser is quite an adjustment. It’s gonna take some doing before I feel comfortable enough to ride it around. It’s okay. I love it anyway. What’s not to love about a neon pink plastic anything?

Case in point.