Going with the flow

I recently made some purchases from the online ‘superstore’ oo.com.au, which is essentially an ebay-type website which delivers a variety of new goods usually at a discounted price. I’d been in the market for some noise-cancelling headphones to sincerely help with study and gaming in a noisy household, and I saw a pair in their catelogue which was 66% off. After a somewhat lengthy review process, I ended up buying a  different pair (these), which were delivered about a week later.

As I was going through the store, I couldn’t help but notice they were selling ess boards for a crazy $25. Having been introduced to my friend’s board, the unique style of riding instantly won me over as the next coolest mode of transport, following ice skating, roller blading and unicycling. From the boards I’ve seen, they can be anywhere between $90-$200, so I instantly bought myself one, which Bethwyn paid for as a birthday present.


Sadly, these irresistable bargains did not last as long as I expected. Although the headphones I decided on were apparently functional and worked as well as the more expensive sets I’d been considering, after owning them for one week, they snapped in half in my hands. Ironically it was while I was reviewing the headphones for the website, telling everyone how great they were and how much of a bargain it came to be. I stopped mid-review to complain about it, and after reviewing the returns policy, sent them back to get repaired/replaced.


The ess board on the other hand was awesome. It took a while to get any further than two metres, but after a few hours practice I was able to build up speed, slow down, balance on the two wheels while stationary and turn at varying degrees. Yesterday I thought I’d finally test it for what I’d intended it- I’d ride it to the library and train station, then ride it around campus between classes and work. Unfortunately I’m not that great yet, so my speed bonus was between 1.2x and 3.0x normal walking speed. It took a surprisingly large amount of effort and I fell off once quite spectacularly, landing on my back. Fortunately I curled into a ball so the momentum was absorbed rather than resisted, allowing me to rock back up onto my feet and dust myself off a moment after, but it was still a little embarrassing. Having stopped to rest a few times and quite exhausted before the working day had begun, I realised I didn’t have enough skill to ride it around moving people yet so I ended up carrying it on campus. I figured after work, the trip home would be another chance for me to get better at it. I guess I was getting smoother/faster- until I hit an ordinary gap in the pavement and the front wheel snapped off. I’d gone over plenty of gaps and been stopped at quite a few more, but this was apparently one too many as the wheel broke the plastic surrounding it irrepairably. I decided not to bother with the postage back to get a replacement.


When I finished the exhausting walk home with the dead weight ess board, I arrived in time to sign for a new package- my replacement headphones had arrived! With utmost care I removed them from the packaging and laid them down, to be ever-so-gently put on my head lest they snap in half again. It seems that with the death of one thing comes the arrival of another- the ebb and flow of the world. I don’t regret either of the purchases, but I think in the future I’ll fork out the extra few dollars to get a higher-quality brand.


And another important lesson I learned? Ess boarding actually isn’t very cool. Having lost the board itself I figured it was time to watch the instructional DVD it came with. It was a bunch of kids and teenagers riding around on the board doing tricks that were kinda lame, especially when contrasted with the pumping rock music they were playing in the background. Although it’s still a cool way to get around, I don’t ever want to take it so seriously that I start learning hardcore ‘tricks’ like jumping from board to board or wobbling my hips like my life depended on it. I think my ess board craving has been well sated for now.


There you go kids, take it from Uncle Johnny. Ess boarding is kinda lame, and cheap brands just aren’t worth it.


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