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My Weirdest Hobby

November 11, 2013

The other night, my friend and I were walking through a new shopping mall when I said “Oh my god! There’s one!” and began fumbling for my camera.

“What?” he asked, looking around and the expanse of sidewalk and shrubberies. “What?”

So I had to explain my weirdest hobby: collection skateboard prevention device photos.

Skateboarders like to “rail slide” – hop their boards up onto handrails or the edges of benches or planters or wide stairs so that the wood part of the board slips along the surface. I think they stole this move from snowboarding. Here’s a quick video that explains this better than I can in words:

They even wax the surfaces to make sliding easier, which also leaves a greasy-looking trail along the edges of the bench or what-have-you. This is where anti-rail-sliding devices come in.

They’re little objects embedded in the edges of things to interrupt the surface.


Sometimes they’re metal or plastic. Sometimes they are pretty or sculptural.


Sometimes they’re just divots cut out of the surface – this is more common where it freezes.


They’re all around us, though, and mostly unnoticed.

I don’t actually care about the devices themselves as much as I care about noticing what is around me. Taking photos of these devices is like a treasure hunt. Just when I think I have “collected” all the designs, I find a new one.

So far I have found 39 completely different kinds of these devices.

That’s my weirdest hobby. What’s yours?

  1. November 12, 2013 12:42

    I never even would have thought to look for such a thing, but now I’m going to look every where skateboard prevention devices. I don’t think I have any weird hobbies except peeling the skin off my lips.…that’s a habit. Maybe my elephant collection is a little weird.

    • November 13, 2013 06:44

      I can’t even let my lips get chapped or it is all over. Pick pick pick.

  2. November 19, 2013 16:19

    That IS a weird hobby, but suddenly now I’m going to be seeing them everywhere!

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