Riding the Rip

I was hovering around 12 when I got my first pair of rink style roller skates.  They were wrapped under the Christmas tree.  It was hard to mistake them, mostly because of the weight.  When I lifted the brightly wrapped package to give it a good shake, I dropped it on my foot.  Nearly ending my career as a professional roller skater before it ever began.

The shape of the package was also a giveaway, because I had asked for a trunk style case to transport them with me to the roller skating rink on Friday night.  The trunk served a dual purpose, as I could hide my Maybelline Baby Blue eye shadow in a secret compartment, so that I could apply it to my entire eyelid in the small dimly lit bathroom of the roller skating rink.

Only once did I forget to wipe the blue eye shadow off before the designated time that I was to be picked up by a parent.

The year was 1972.  Good times.

I was a pretty decent roller skater.  How can you go wrong, really, considering that you have 8 whole wheels keeping you adrift.

Emme began campaigning for a pair of Heelies when they were first popular a few years ago.  She saved up her money and we finally relented and let her get them.  I wasn’t too worried, since she was still low to the floor, with a wheel under each heel.

This year she set her sights on a Ripstik.  For those of you who live with their head buried in the sand, like me, a Ripstik is a contraption not unlike a skate board.  Except that there is a wiggly bar in the middle and the entire board consists of only 2 very unstable wheels.  To view a commercial of this product, click here.

When I first laid eyes on a Ripstik at the park, I told her absolutely no way would I let her break a femur as she negotiated that unstable contraption.  Because as far as I was concerned, rip was the crucial element in the name, since I was certain that she was going to rip every tendon in her legs and arms should she attempt it.

At a cousin’s house one day, my fears were confirmed when I witnessed two adults try to take a spin on a niece’s Ripstik.  Both ended up on the ground, legs still high in the air.

But my daring and dangerous Emme climbed aboard.  And after a timid launch, I watched her wiggle her way down the sidewalk.  More trips to the park, wherein she borrowed a fellow homeschooler’s Ripstik, proved that she had the gift of the Ripstik.

We relented, and Emme became the proud owner of a hot pink and black Ripstik on Christmas morning.  I’m rather astonished, and very proud of the her sense of coordination.

I think maybe I was born during the wrong time period.  How awesome would it have been to have something like a Ripstik when I was 12.  I would not have had to wait to go to the Roller Rink on a Friday night.  I would just hit the sidewalk, wind in my hair.

Oh sure, I would have missed my Maybelline Baby Blue eyeshadow.  An integral accessory to the skating experience.  But on the bright side, I would never have known the shame of the couples skate.

And don’t worry, I have no intention of taking her Ripstik out for a spin once I’ve got my sea legs back.  But at dinner I did hear the gauntlet get thrown to the ground with a thud when Fiddledaddy, a former surfer dude, made mention that he was certain he could ride the Ripstik.

Note to self:  update insurance policy.

I’m perfectly comfortable relying on the MommyVan for my wheels of choice.

7 Responses to Riding the Rip

  • I’m one of those people who had her head in the sand and had no idea what a Ribstik was so thanks for the link. I would have loved that as a kid. I did own a skate board when I was younger (way before you!!) and lived on a hill that was not used much by cars (again way before you when not everyone had a car) so man did we all go down that hill fast. I’m glad that your daughter has the talent and that you have insurance.

  • I don’t have my head in the sand; mine’s in tar. I am so clueless about stuff like this. I rely on YOU to tell me the cool toys my children should know about to stay out of the “nerd” category. Thanks for letting me know about this one. :>)

  • My kids campaigned for a ripstick several years ago. My daughter managed to get a “green stick fracture” in her arm while using her heelys in the church gym. Therefore her daddy banned either child from a ripstick. Instead we go to the same roller skating rink I went to as a child.

    Maybelline Baby Blue eyeshadow? I remember the days. There was also the lovely (not) green too!

  • My kids are more fans of rollerblades. However, since we live in the land of perpetual ice and snow and wind we told her she could get some come spring. At 14 and currently sharing a shoe size with me, Christmas is not the time to buy rollerblades for a still growing teenager.
    I hope that if Fiddledaddy does attempt the ripstick, not only will he come out unscathed, but that you happen to be nearby to document it on video 😉

    • Oh Lisa, you know I will. Why just this morning he was talking smack. He has “researched” how to do it by watching various You Tube videos. I’m off to make certain the video camera is charged to capacity. 🙂

  • My head was only semi-buried; I’ve seen them, but I didn’t know they had a name. 🙂 The ripstick seems like too big of a workout for a “fun” toy… I think I’ll pass, haha.

  • I got a ripstick for Christmas 3 years ago…… and have failed to master it yet.

    When my parents bought it for me, they forgot that I’m balance-challenged. Last spring, much to the amusement of our mail carrier, I remember clinging to my sister’s back as I attempted to stand on it. Tragically, my sister made the mistake of moving away once I actually got on.

    You can imagine what happened next 😉