What’s the story, Liz?
“Back in January, as one of the admins for Very Old Skateboarders Facebook group, I was asked whether we would take part in Facebook’s Gallery of Groups exhibition which was to take place in February at the Oxo Tower on London’s South Bank. Our exhibit would feature a short video of what the group is about and how it connects other like-minded skaters.
Lena Salmi, who founded the group, and Sabina Edwards were both admins with me at the time so we met with the Facebook’s PR company at a couple of locations where we were videoed and interviewed. At the end of the month, Time Out London released the video under the title “Meet the Very Old Skateboarders”.
Shortly after it’s release, Billy Meiners of Landyachtz Longboards was scrolling through Facebook. “I stumbled onto the video of Elizabeth when something came up in my feed about a group of older gals in England who skate and started a Facebook group to connect with others. One thing that caught my attention was seeing Elizabeth on the old Landyachtz Grom Race. We stopped making that board a few years back so I’m stoked to see that she’s still skating it and getting some usage out of it.”
“That’s right,” says Liz, “Landyachtz supporters viewing the video on the page noticed that in the video I was riding a Grom Race, a beautifully etched Landyachtz board no longer produced. They also noticed that it was looking weathered and frayed. I had bought it second hand and my local cobbler, a true craftsman, had hammered in some leather to protect the ends. Now even this leather was falling apart. The film crew honed in on this bit of my board, highlighted the damaged bits and made it look even more ropey.”
“The original post on the Landyachtz page had a caption like, ‘Looks like we’ve got a new team rider’ or something like that,” says Billy. “The post got a huge response! So many people were stoked on the crew of skaters in England and especially Elizabeth. Most people are under the impression that skateboarding/longboarding is something you do when you’re young and you grow out of it or get too hurt and have to stop at some point. It was very inspiring for people to see this group, including women in their 60’s, skating and getting rad. We got a lot of comments like, ‘I’m 50 and I just got my first board! Stoked to give this a try!’ I think once people see that skating is something you can do your entire life they are more willing to give it a go.
Elizabeth continues. “Two days later Landyachtz Longboards messaged me. ‘We saw the video and were very inspired by your story and your passion for skating. To help spread the stoke we would like to make you a one-of-a-kind longboard. Is that something you would be interested in?’ I was gobsmacked! Then started the conversation about the type of board I would like. A board that is very low off the ground, capable of taking large wheels without wheel bite, pumpable, with very turney trucks in front to use for easy cruising and some distance skating.
“Landyachtz just came out with a new Evo 36,” says Billy “which I figured would be perfect for her (low to the ground and good wheel clearance). I set up the ideal “Silver Skater” board and sent it her way. Once she got it she took it out for a ride and told me it was great!”
Elizabeth goes on, “the Evo is designed for downhill skating, but it’s just as efficient for flat land pushing. Billy set it up to be as close to the Grom Race experience as possible and included nuts, bolts and risers into the bargain. Except, it wasn’t a bargain. It was a gift!”
“I’m really stoked to be able to connect with somebody like Elizabeth,” says Billy “and help her out with a fresh board that has enabled her to enjoy longboarding even more. Rolling around on four wheels has provided me with a large amount of happiness and I get a lot of satisfaction in sharing that with other people.”
Elizabeth has the final word, “On 22nd February I unpacked my new board, a luxurious Evo 36 – Falcon. I love the simple graphics and colour. I love the way it’s been set up to correspond with my riding style, abilities and limitations. I love the way it rides. I cannot thank Landyachtz enough!”
Yep, that was a beautiful thing 🙂