Oh Kids and Thier Sporting Extremity
August 3, 2006 6:13 PM   Subscribe

Ropeboarding. Just when you thought the kids down the street couldn't get any more insane.
posted by patr1ck (57 comments total)
Some friends and I heard about this through the local grapevine, since the founders seem to be from our area (I've never actually met them – this isn't a self-link). The basic idea is a rope attached to a tree or bridge, with a wakeboarding handle attached to the rope and a board of some type on the end of the rope.

We tried it with an old skateboard with no trucks/wheels and had varied success. It looks pretty silly, but it's a lot of fun.
posted by patr1ck at 6:13 PM on August 3, 2006

looks like we have a new way to hurt ourseleves this weekend. awesome!
posted by teishu at 6:17 PM on August 3, 2006

I remember this. It's called a "swing."
posted by davebush at 6:25 PM on August 3, 2006

For those who are wondering, it appears to be a rope swing with a wheel-less (truckless) skateboard attached to the bottom.
posted by mrnutty at 6:25 PM on August 3, 2006

It seems to me that swinging above dirt while holding firmly onto a handlebar is less insane than rolling off a 3-foot-high cement ledge onto pavement and expecting to land solidly on a small board with wheels attached to a flexible axle.
posted by cribcage at 6:28 PM on August 3, 2006

Wait a minute, this doesn't look especially dangerous. Bah! Kids these days!
posted by aubilenon at 6:29 PM on August 3, 2006

Now hold on a second... We used to do this back in the late eighties with our old skateboard decks. We'd drill a hold in the center and put a rope through it then rip it up.

The ski handle is a nice extra, we didn't have that.
posted by DragonBoy at 6:36 PM on August 3, 2006

You want extreme? Ghostriding da whip. NSFW I guess.
posted by bob sarabia at 6:37 PM on August 3, 2006

Gravity: It's not just a good idea. IT'S THE LAW.

Some kids down my street found a way to attach a ladder to a long sturdy sheet of metal. They propped that up and were using a truckless skateboard on that. They were calling it RampSlidding. I suggested they put wheels on the board. Now they're all in the hospital. They're calling it Traction. It's the new rage around these parts. Involves morphine.
posted by ZachsMind at 6:38 PM on August 3, 2006

As someone who was at the **Beginning** of the skateboarding craze, let me say. Going faster was never the problem.
posted by Balisong at 6:39 PM on August 3, 2006

Oh, wait.. I see, you're not being pulled.

then it's like when we latched up our snowboards and took it on our neighbor's trampoline to practice our "Air posing style".

Sharpened steel edges on a new trampoline causes havoc.. glad it wasn't ours.
posted by Balisong at 6:42 PM on August 3, 2006

Wait a minute, this doesn't look especially dangerous. Bah! Kids these days!

Bumper-skiing, bumper-skating, bumper-skitching is the way to go -- grab the rear bumper of a car, crouch-down low and hold on tight while it rips down a snowy/icy road!
posted by ericb at 6:43 PM on August 3, 2006

Balisong...define "beginning"... I'm willing to bet I've got ya beat on this one...
posted by HuronBob at 6:44 PM on August 3, 2006

Back in the day, at the beginning of the skateboarding craze, we didn't have skateboards. You couldn't just buy one downtown at the Walmart. We had to build them from scratch by sneaking into my sister's bedroom and stealing her roller skates, then getting out dad's tools in the garage and cutting holes in the backs of sturdy chairs or walls. Cupboard doors sometimes worked in a pinch, but Mom always figured it out. This was long before anybody thought that helmets and knee pads were cool. And we had to fend off the neanderthals cuz they kept throwing rocks at us.
posted by ZachsMind at 6:46 PM on August 3, 2006

Damn kids..

Just steal some wood and build a half pipe like WE used to do.
posted by Balisong at 6:46 PM on August 3, 2006

The handle really differentiates it from just a swing. It lets you jump off the board, kick it, flip it, throw it around, etc. It adds a lot of variety. This "sport" as brutal on your arms though, I would imagine the guys that do it full time have crazy upper-body strength.
posted by patr1ck at 6:46 PM on August 3, 2006

Bumper skitching is about a hundred more "extreme" than this, which is basically a swing and alot of posing. Skitching is truly dangerous and lots and lots of fun. And its even more fun in the winter on icy roads without the skateboard (though it tends to wear out boot soles rather quickly).

The truly crazy would do it with cars that didn't know you were skitching them.
posted by fenriq at 6:47 PM on August 3, 2006

define "beginning".

OK my first "real" (not plastic) board was a 5ply board.. I can't remember the name... shaped like a surf board, with Marco-Polo trucks and baked clay wheels with open berrings.

This was in 1974 or so.
posted by Balisong at 6:49 PM on August 3, 2006

Ok, not to be snarky, but I had this as a kid, except instead of a skateboard it was just a big log on the bottom, with 3 different grips on the top. And it was on an incline (cause we were what, 12? and really short) so you could get a good running start and almost get horizontal.
posted by muddgirl at 6:50 PM on August 3, 2006

If you guys want to really get old school..

About the time that Burton first came out with the fishtail snowboards, (their earliest designs), we used to take skateboard decks, and install a Gorilla rail right down the middle, drill a hole in the tail and attach a rope to hold on, SexWax up the bottom, steal "bindings" from baby safety restraints off of shopping carts, and take those down hills backwards.

This is way before the whosle snowboarding craze..
there probably isn't a YouTube that covers that, tho.
posted by Balisong at 6:55 PM on August 3, 2006

Regarding "bumper-skitching", my Dad tells me that if you were able to bumper-skitch a cop car you would win the day.

I'm sorry I'm not old enough to have been a part of it, but come winter... :)
posted by patr1ck at 6:56 PM on August 3, 2006

Balisong...define "beginning"... I'm willing to bet I've got ya beat on this one...
posted by HuronBob

I'll play. I got my first board in 1966.
posted by tellurian at 6:57 PM on August 3, 2006

Bah, we had eet tough when I were a kid.

We did proper dangerous things. We used to get skateboard, attach rockets to it, shoot ourselves in the head, set fire to ourselves, launch rockets and then try and land in a minefield.
posted by sien at 6:57 PM on August 3, 2006

Aw, so cute, what a bunch of t-hugs.
posted by anthill at 6:59 PM on August 3, 2006

I got my first board in 1966.

It used to suck listening to the Carpenters, and Sly and the Family Stone, trying to get enough aggro to jump off the curb.
posted by Balisong at 7:01 PM on August 3, 2006

Dogtown and Z-Boys.
posted by ericb at 7:05 PM on August 3, 2006

We used to knock on neighbors' doors and run away when I was a kid. Now THAT was a sport! Especially when they pulled out the shotgun...
posted by ZachsMind at 7:06 PM on August 3, 2006

jump off the curb
Are you kidding? I just found a gentle slope, sat on the board and rolled down. Get off the board and carry it back up the slope. Repeat. Hours of fun.
posted by tellurian at 7:08 PM on August 3, 2006

Anthill... I had mine in '66 as well... about 1.5 feet of 1.5 inch lumber...
On the back side of the famous Cascades Falls, there was a soap box derby hill ... I broke my arm falling off the board going about 30 miles per hour down that hill.

Rode my Honda 50 (yep....bet you're all jealous now!) home with a broken arm...

OK..somebody beat '66... :)
posted by HuronBob at 7:09 PM on August 3, 2006

Not only does it not look dangerous, it doesn't look all that fun either. Although I guess you never know till you try...
posted by fungible at 7:11 PM on August 3, 2006

And oh yeah if anybody hears about "Gratis Ropeboarding", just for the record our group who originally invented the sport is not in anyway apart of them for they have stolen our idea and betrayed our group of friends. (via)

Uh oh. Looks like there's a fight a'brewing. Maybe they'll learn how to do flying kicks on that thing.
posted by renraw at 7:26 PM on August 3, 2006

Dang, good work renraw. I googled for stuff before posting but I guess that stuff didn't turn up (I see now it was on page 4, I didn't make it that far). Interesting...
posted by patr1ck at 7:31 PM on August 3, 2006

Not as dangerous as kite tubing.
posted by Frank Grimes at 7:34 PM on August 3, 2006

OK full disclosure..

Some of the guys I used to skate with became big names in the "boarding" sports community.

The most notorius were Jason and Joel Lee, the founders of Mountian Board Sports.
Another guy I used to skate with, Dontje Hildebrandt went on to be a "Skateboard Ramp Conultant" with the Warped tour.
posted by Balisong at 7:37 PM on August 3, 2006

I don't know, seems pretty easy and non-dangerous.

Like doing triple kickflips on a trampoline, jumping around with a deck. It's impressive and cool and all, but the danger level of not making a trick is pretty low compared to trying the same thing on an actual ramp or down actual stairs.
posted by mathowie at 7:37 PM on August 3, 2006

This is extreme!

Extremely stupid. And I don't mean dangerous stupid, I mean just stupid.

I mean seriously, truckless board + rope = new scene? Come on.
posted by Ynoxas at 7:40 PM on August 3, 2006

Aw, come-on.... the video is actually pretty neat...in an urban, backyard sort of way.. us old guys couldn't do that if our lives depended on it...

Let the kids have fun...or just tell them to get off your lawn and be done with it!
posted by HuronBob at 7:42 PM on August 3, 2006

So it's a swing?
posted by delmoi at 7:44 PM on August 3, 2006

After you try it you realize that holding on isn't as easy as it seems. Letting go by accident or by lack of co-ordination is part of the danger. But yeah, I would agree that this definitely isn't the most dangerous extreme sport out there.

Injuries happen though, apparently: "Justin = Crushed Virtibrate?"
posted by patr1ck at 7:45 PM on August 3, 2006

i have this really pathetic memory of my blue plastic or something skateboard with 3 wheels on it. Discarded by an older sibling.

yes, 3 wheels. one had been lost, and the part of the truck where it should have been was ground down pretty far. to ride it you had use one leg to push while balancing on one knee on the board, while Pulling up the front left side, where the wheel was missing.

hence the ground down part. Lots of injuries. Why not just swap out some roller skate wheels? The ones we had were Metal, and i was only about 6 and couldn't get them off. 1977.
posted by th3ph17 at 7:57 PM on August 3, 2006

OK, just for fun...

How many of you have actually been charged with a crime for skateboarding?

I've had 3 "skateboarding on the sidewalks" tickets, and I got charged with stealing lumber out of Hugh M. Woods lumber yard (I worker there as a yard man) for stealing 2X4's 3/4" plywood, 1/2" plywood and masonite for this kickass halfpipe we were making that had a 12' vert and a transition comming off one deck.

One of the "Skateboarding on the sidewalks" tickets had apparently been put on my record as a Moving Violation and put against my driving record. I refused to pay the fine for 8 years (driving on a suspended licence) until my wife forced me to take care of it.
posted by Balisong at 8:06 PM on August 3, 2006

in 1966 skateboarding was nothing like we know it today. If you've seen "Dogtown and Zboys" (the documentary) you know how it developed in the mid to late 70s. The rope swing thing could be extreme, if they increase the length of the rope and drop, add multiple swings, etc.. it takes a while, and it takes someone crazy enough to lead the way.
posted by stbalbach at 8:10 PM on August 3, 2006

We built something like this when we were kids too. It had a stick handle and a swing seat to stand on. We hung if off a little cliff, probably about 10' or so so if you ran and jumped with enough speed you could do a complete flip, which was the height of coolness. I remember falling off it once and taking out a small tree.

Of course wWhen we were kids we also got a big old glass TV screen one winter and used as a sled. On the road. It went about 400mph, and I don't remember posting lookouts for traffic so we weren't the worlds most sensible kids or anything.
posted by fshgrl at 9:13 PM on August 3, 2006

balisong i'm not sure to whom you're addressing your attempts to establish your old-school skating cred.

the bumper-skiing reminds me of my dad. when he was a kid he grew up on a dairy farm in upstate new york. he told me that when they were kids, on a rainy day they'd grab a stick and go out to the barnyard and run the cows around until the yard got all thick and slippery with mud and cowshit. then they'd sneak up behind a cow, grab its tail and smack it on the ass. not knowing what was going on, the cow would freak out and run away, and voila: cowshit skiing!

i think he was yankin' my chain.
posted by sergeant sandwich at 9:17 PM on August 3, 2006

Not you, apparently.
But do go on with your cowshit skiing story.. It's not boarding, but sounds facinating.
posted by Balisong at 9:23 PM on August 3, 2006

Screwing around standing on a rope swing is now a sport? Add me to the club of people who've already done it, but neglected to make a glitzy I'm-so-kewl video. And yeah, it's good entertainment, and yeah, it's hard work for your upper body and actually especially hard work for your abs.
posted by eritain at 9:43 PM on August 3, 2006

Are you kidding? That dumbass with two crushed vertebrae is totally extreme!
posted by bob sarabia at 10:51 PM on August 3, 2006

May I just say that our Mommy-state, overprotective culture has jumped the shark if a freaking swing is an "xtreme" sport. What's next, extreme sliding on a summer day wearing shorts? JungleGymorama?

Pah. Kids today. Why in my day, we wouldn't have even gotten on the rope unless it was suspended over a pit of broken glass and rusty razor blades.
posted by dejah420 at 11:35 PM on August 3, 2006

My first board was made from left over bones from a sabre-tooth tiger than I brained to death with a rock. I tied them together with some vines. I had to INVENT wheels; I carved them out of stone and attached them to the board with a sticky mixture of mud and my own feces. For I ramp I used the local black monolith. You could totally get some extreme air off that thing.
posted by papakwanz at 1:09 AM on August 4, 2006

On muddy days, we used to go out in the woods, run as fast as we could, and then leap chest first on to the path and go sliding down. Kids with boards don't know.

And my little sister had a swing like the one in this post. Only she never broke her vertebrae falling off it.

Get off my muddy path.
posted by pracowity at 1:21 AM on August 4, 2006

Can't find a link, but I remember reading about kids in Liverpool going though a phase of tying a rope high up in trees next to double-decker bus lanes, and then swinging out and running along the side of the top deck as the bus drove past. Gave them a thrill and freaked out the passengers, I imagine.

And yes, some of them swung out too early and said 'hello' to the front window of the bus.

Don't think it was an urban myth, though.

If it ain't going to get you shortlisted for a Darwin award, it ain't extreme.
posted by dowcrag at 3:10 AM on August 4, 2006

Whatever happened to stealing black powder and dynamite caps and making booms?
posted by mrmojoflying at 6:20 AM on August 4, 2006

I had one of those blue plastic skate boards too when I was a kid... I also had one just like it, except aluminum... meaning, A. it was nearly indestructable, and B. the ends were very sharp. I rolled down plenty hills... many of them on my back, using the board as a louge.

I think most kids have done *something* in the realm of EXTREME, but you know, without sponsers...
posted by LoopSouth at 7:12 AM on August 4, 2006

For me nowadays, making it from my Saturn to my cubicle without getting winded is a sport.
posted by ZachsMind at 7:46 AM on August 4, 2006

Subway surfing.
posted by ericb at 8:02 AM on August 4, 2006

posted by squirrel at 8:59 AM on August 4, 2006

posted by MythMaker at 4:43 PM on August 4, 2006

« Older Tiki's Trip To Town   |   Death in the Desert Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments