Ozzie Ausband

Fifty One



Skateboarding. The clock becomes an enemy. Injuries and physical decline another foe. Bills, obligations, responsibilities… the list goes on. “I can’t find time. I can’t get hurt. I can’t do what I once did. I can’t…”  Eventually, skateboarding takes a back seat. Then it goes into the trunk. Then it goes into the garage. Then it goes away forever. I’m turning fifty one tomorrow. I run, lift weights, eat well and still… I feel my years every morning. I hurt. Always. This past week, I went to Kelly Belmar’s house as I wanted to give the eight foot channel a try. I don’t know about you, but I still dream about doing stuff on my skateboard. I’m realistic. I know my limitations. Yet, I still daydream about pushing past them. There is no glory for me. There never was. I got into the wrong line during the glory years.  It’s okay. I know exactly what and who I am. I’m proud of the person I have become since I gained sobriety. One day at a time baby…


I looked at the channel at Belmar’s last Friday night. First of all, it’s a big one. Eight feet. Secondly, the corners are terribly close. I stretched a bit and skated the pool. It is big and fast. I have been riding Belmar’s since Andy Macdonald took me there in 1993. I like its size and scariness. Belmar’s is no joke. I was just considering the channel. It was considering me. I thought, “The hell with it.” I pushed hard and rolled into the channel. I carved just under tiles and aimed for the corner of the channel. Momentary fear. Flight. Board tumbling away. Kneeslide. I did this about a dozen times and was rapidly running out of day light. I decided that it might be possible to air the channel. I carried my board across with me on my last few tries. I phoned MRZ. He said that he’d shoot it and we set it up for Sunday. I pictured it in my mind. Positive imaging. Resolute. Determined. Sunday came and in I went. Twenty to thirty tries.  I was a sweat-soaked mess. I wore my Superman shirt. I wanted to fly but I couldn’t do it. The times I had control of it and I thought I could make it, I came up short. The times I sailed over, I didn’t have control of it… I wanted to be Superman and I realized that I’m only Clark Kent after all. You want to know something? I’m cool with that. I didn’t fail. I think that failure would have been sitting around and talking about it. As long as I try…  I’ll be fine. Besides, there is always tomorrow. Thank you to Kelly Belmar for the session and MRZ for the images. Skate - Ozzie