Most people take up low impact sports like swimming or cycling as they age. Not Lena Salmi, a 64-year-old woman from Finland who started skateboarding at 61.
Not afraid to take a spill, the Helsinki native began longboarding at the age of 57, according to Hypebae. At first, it was more a matter of logic. She used to cycle to the Olympic Swimming Stadium, but thought her bike would be stolen while she was inside training. Instead, she took up longboarding so she could store the board in her locker.
Once Salmi got the hang of longboarding, she got the itch to learn how to skateboard and head to the skatepark.
“When you begin at 61, you recognize that you’re not in a hurry anymore – you have your whole life in front of you,” she told Hypebae. “And as an old beginner in skateparks, people take you into consideration and give you some space, which I actually don’t want!
She doesn’t want that because she considers skateboarding a big part of her social life. In fact, she’s the Facebook administrator for a group called “Very Old Skateboarders,” which has more than 2,000 members.
“There’s no shame within this group. I may ask some stupid questions and none of the group members will laugh at me,” she said. “Talking in this group with others with the same hobby just gives me the courage to continue.”
The group description reads, “This group is for ‘older than normal’ skaters, people who might have been told “you’re too old to be doing that” but don’t care. If this sounds familiar and you like skateboarding or longboarding – any style or discipline, any ability level – then this group is for you.”
Members ask questions, give advice and arrange meetups throughout the world.
“I’m new in this group and glad to be here! I’m 65, used to skateboard in college, and am soon to get a longboard. Any recommendations will be welcome. How long a board should I get?” one member posted.
Within the hour, multiple people chimed in.
Who says skateboarding is only for teens?
As for Salmi, she’ll continue cruising the streets and skateparks. After all, she’s got her whole life in front of her.