Prepping for a Skate Day
(What I’ve Learned in 20 years)
By Joey McGarry

Your time on the earth is important. You’re going to die and life’s too short to have shitty sessions. Here are some things you can do to make your experience of making memories with wheels on your feet more enjoyable.

1. Take a Poop

It’s simple: If you’re backed up… You’ll suck at skating and life in general.

2. Get 7-8 Hours of Sleep

With lack of sleep: Your mind will beat the shit out of you, you’ll be irritable and you’ll make bad choices (which will lead to bad falls.) It’s dorky to go to bed early… But it’s a key to being a wizard.

3. Don’t too drink much the night before

As you get into your later twenties this is especially important. Even a light hangover can make you a self-loathing piece of shit for days. It’s fun to drink but it’s even more fun to have a really good day of skating.

4. Don’t Eat Shit

Garbage in garbage out. Learn what works for your body and try and stick to it for good energy levels. Rollerblading is awkward enough. Fat rollerblading just doesn’t really work. This also relates to taking a poop. Bloated tummy that hasn’t pooped in days = worst style.

5. Start Early

If you get up really early and do anything you feel like a god. Finishing a skate session before lunch is some powerful shit.

6. Prep Any Camera Gear you’re Taking.

Not every day is a filming day (Soul Sk8ter 4 Life…) But when it is a filming day you need to be ready to start grabbing moments. Having no battery power (guilty,) dirty lenses (guilty,) and nothing to record on (guilty) can really derail the energy of being excited to work on a project.

7. Don’t Randomly Browse the Internet Before Going

Who cares what other people are up to. You’re alive on planet earth and you’re about to go on a mini adventure with wheels attached to your feet! Unless you need to do some spot research… That stupid thing you’re going to look up can wait.

8. Don’t plan to go with too many people

Don’t care what anyone thinks. Unless it’s a planned big skatepark jammy thingy… This is the biggest killer for a great session. 20 people sessions should be renamed ” stand around in parking lot for an hour deciding what to do next.”

9. Have some spots picked

A bit of a light structure to the day will help you visualize what you want to do and help things flow smoothly. In order to be creative you have to learn to prepare to be creative.

10. Don’t have high expectations or plan too much.

I know you want to make the “best edit ever” in three hours and “skate really good” but you’re just hurting the possibility of enjoying anything.

11. Bring Water and Snacks

You stay hydrated, energized, keep the momentum going AND save money.

12. Don’t have shitty hardware/Bring tools and parts

Your phone and computer are probably up to date and running smoothly right? Why are your skates so shitty then? You owe it to yourself to have good bearings and wheels, nice fitting, comfy skates… and tools and parts to keep the wheeled adventures flowing. If you’re a complainer about not having money for skate stuff ask yourself this: How much did you spend on bad food and alcohol this month? Thought so.

13. Bring Wax

For the longest time I thought the experience of skating was more “pure” without wax… I was wrong… and not sliding very well. However… Don’t be a wax bandit at skateparks. Just go faster.

14. Shower if you can

There are days where you won’t have to time or you’re camping or sleeping on a floor… However, I get some of my best ideas in the shower… and it feels really good to be clean, get dirty in the streets and then become clean again… Wassup with dat?

15. Be realistic with time

I’m still working so hard on this one: If you say you’re picking someone up at 9:00 am fucking be there on time. If you tell your girlfriend you’ll “be home at 5″ don’t come home at 6 you haven’t mastered being an adult yet… One day I’ll master this one.

16. Don’t get too caffeinated

Some of my worst decisions have happened from too much caffeine. Feeling like a prisoner in your body from too much stimulation will cause your machine (and your instrument) confusion.

17. If you don’t feel like skating: Don’t go.

Some of my worst sessions have been where I’ve forced myself to go like someones parents forcing them to go to church. It shouldn’t be: “I have to do this” it should be: “I need to do this.”

18. Remember your wallet and phone

Running late? Emergency? Going out for beers after? Looking for a spot? Girlfriend mad at you? You will need these tools.

19. Do research

Make a trick list, make a spot list, look up the weather, know when you’ll be kicked out or if there’s an event happening… Know when places are open and closed… What spots don’t exist anymore? and what spots have been updated? Will there be cars parked there? Will the spot be quiet or have too much foot traffic?

20. Enjoy the day and socialize

On your deathbed you’ll probably remember the funny conversations, insights and dumb moments more than the “tricks”. You’re a grown man that rollerblades… and that’s funny.

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