What’s a Pivotboard Anyway?
To say that I’ve been putting off writing this ‘What’s a Pivotboard?’ article, has been something I’ve been putting off for quite some time, is an absolute understatement.
Yes, I’m very damn well aware that it’s (pretty much) a requirement for all web sites with an obscure product (such as a pivotboard) to provide our visitors & potential customers with such an article. I also have a perfectly good understanding that it could be useful reading material.
My only problem is, that I’m torn. I’m torn, because I fucking hate such annoying clichés.
These type of articles are boring. They often lack creativity, and wreak of the cookie-cutter, basic ‘required reading’ bullshit, that I grew up hating my entire life. Nobody likes to read text books.
Sergi Nicolas isn’t Boring, far from it. Image Courtesy of www.streetboardermag.com
I don’t believe I was given the gift to write with, understand, and create with the English language to write instruction manuals, documentation, or dictionaries. These things may well be perpetually evident in the barbaric ritual we call ‘work’, but I still refuse to cave.
I think most of us skaters all pretty much suffer from the same issue, in that we are all rebellious, creative, and downright unruly.
I therefore decided that in order to suffer creating such a droll, and likely to be boring subject, then I would have to do it my way.I’m hoping that in doing so it may make more interesting reading for you, but more importantly, it won’t be as boring for me, which is actually what I’m aiming at here. In case you didn’t notice yet, I’m well amused with myself.
So here we have it, Rick Lowe’s version of ‘What is a Pivotboard?’ I guarantee it’s neither boring, nor what you expected to read before you clicked into this article.
The Split Personality
Pivotboard (just as some other sports in the world do) goes by several different names.
The first ever Snakeboard, and the ‘Pro X’ Model
The original inventors of the pivotboard, called the original product the ‘snakeboard’, a German board manufacturer produced boards and called them ‘streetboards’, and was followed by several other companies, too. I call them ‘pivotboards’.
This isn’t a history article, so I won’t bore you with one. It seriously isn’t interesting at all. Really all you need to understand about the three names in reading this article, is that;
Pivotboard = Streetboard = Snakeboard
Whatever you choose to call the board, I really couldn’t care less. We’re all one big, extended family (with all the associated extended family issues that come with it, of course).
Do The Locomotion
The movement that a pivotboard makes, is actually unique to the product, or at least in conception.
The way that a pivotboard generates motion, was discovered by 2 kids messing around in their garage. The first ever functional pivotboard was made of 2 roller skate trucks, connected with an iron rod in the center.
I guess you could say the board, and the movement is made up of a double-articulated mode of transport, that generates momentum from upper body movement.
Most of us just prefer to say it’s a weird looking wiggle-stick and be done with it.
Science Alert: The motion of the board was actually patented as ‘non-holonomic motion’, and covered the motion of any form of transportation using such a technique of shifting weight to create movement. Not bad for two creative kids in a garage in South Africa.
The Action Sport
The sport of pivotboard has evolved into what it is today from a core group of dedicated riders worldwide. Many of us come from the original days of the snakeboard era (it still makes me cringe today).
White Boards – Fat Metal Deck
Pivotboards are usually skated in the same places as skateboards, inline skates, and scooters are seen being used, such as skateparks, street spots, cruising around.
We use them for jumps, flips, grinds, manuals, carving around, being carried like a not-so-fashionable handbag, leaning on them while talking, and generally loitering about, etc.
The ‘Hybrid’ Sport
Some people like to describe our sport as a hybrid between snowboarding, and skateboarding. Although I dislike the association with either one (because pivotboards don’t feel like or skate like either one), it’s a somewhat logical association.
Pivotboard is like snowboarding with a real set of trucks, so that you can do actual grinds. Take snowboarding onto street handrails, ramps, and street courses.
In a similar way, a pivotboarding is like taking a skateboard, and giving it bindings, giving us the ability to flip and spin like snowboarders on skateboard obstacles.
So we spin and flip like snowboarders, and can spin and switch between grinds and slides.
By the way, not being able to bail, sucks ass sometimes. There’s no amount of ‘learning to fall’ that’s going to help you in some of the situations we find ourselves in. I have plenty of scars to prove that!
So there we have it. You really wanna know what a pivotboard is? It’s a weird looking wiggle-plank.
Watch the videos, look at the photos, and look in the store at our products. They’re all the education you’re really going to need about this weird, yet wonderful wooden toy.
Eduard Wojcik – Backside Nose Slide – Image Courtesy of www.streetboardermag.com
Buy one, learn to ride one, and experience the ride for yourself. Keep an open mind, and just go with it, you’ll be surprised just how awesome this strange looking contraption can be.
I can only tell you that the wiggle-plank took over my life, and changed it infinitely for the better. Since the day I picked up this board, my was never the same again, and has never truly been boring, for which I’m eternally grateful.
I hope that you, too, find even a miniscule amount of the awesomeness that this board has brought me.
Welcome to the brave new world of wiggle-planking.
Live long and prosper.