Finger BMX, it's now time to see a finger Skateboard, and how that can compare. The product in question comes from Tech Deck, and in particular the SK8 Shop Bonus Pack which arrived on my desk for a review. So will I be able to pull off the tricks I've always dreamed of, or will it be Christmas 2003 all over again....
To get you up to speed, let's journey back to that fateful Christmas. I received a skateboard from a relative and was really excited to give it a go. Showing unusual restraint I didn't use the board until I got home from this family trip a few days later. With all that built up excitement I left the house, board in hand with the goal of one day making Tony Hawk proud. As I reached the top of the hill by my home, I stared down at the great run below. I'd decided which rails I could grind off and some prospective ramps. This was going to be great!
I started the run, pushed off the board and started to roll..... then abruptly stopped. It took me five more attempts before I could get any speed. When I did get speed I swerved right and left wildly. I just couldn't understand why it wasn't easy and why I couldn't do it. So I walked home and never used the board again.
The board was probably fine, and with age I can see I was probably being a bit spoilt. Still I never did get back on a skateboard again. The closest I've come since in playing Tony Hawks on the Xbox, and today I feel Tech Deck is a suitable step up.
The Sk8 Shop bundle is actually a pretty good entry point for a newbie like myself. It comes with three skateboards, three extra decks and a stand to show them off on. The spare decks can be fitted with the included tools - which include the worlds smallest screwdriver - that are clearly designed for kid hands. Fumbling around with the wheels I was able to switch one of my comic book style boards with an I heart NY inspired board. Extra stickers in the set let me apply a personal touch and spare wheels let me mix up the colour scheme.
It's all a lot easier than the real thing, which is perfect. Although if you're doing it properly it's actually harder to master than the finger BMX. With the BMX you can grab the handlebars at signs of trouble, whilst the skateboard sits under your fingers, meaning you need to have good control and momentum or it will just fall out from under you at the slightest hint of a jump. Despite this you can still do plenty of tricks, here's an example of how to 'shove it':
As with the finger BMX you've really got to immerse yourself in the world and let yourself go to get the most out of it. If the above video seems silly then this isn't for you. On the other hand if you sat watching the video with a puppy dog impression of confusion, mouthing "what the... but how... that's impossible!" then this just may be the toy you've been looking for.