Skateboarding is widely believed that to be great at a sport you need to start extremely young and practice every day. Solid training time is absolutely necessary, but you don’t always have to start as a child to have a chance at developing some real skill.
Neal Unger is an example of exactly what happens when passion meets possibility. Neal picked up skateboarding at the inspiring age of 60 and has been hooked ever since. Maybe Neal’s inhibition is possible because of his mindset. As compared with many of his professional skateboarding peers, Neal’s primary goal is not to become the best skater that’s able to pull off the most insane tricks.
Instead, Neal says his motivation is to continue researching the inner workings of his mind. We all know that the best place to really get to know yourself is on the board, in the waves, in the seat, or on your yoga mat. Neal takes that to the next level - using his skill on the board to really uncover what makes him grow, tick, and enjoy being alive.
It’s really quite poetic, as Neal puts it. He says, ‘as I gain more balance in my life, I gain more balance on my skateboard’. Sponsored by Sabre Trucks, Neal is a beautiful example of what it means to be in the game for all the right reasons. Neal doesn’t wear a ton of bold or flashy gear. Instead, if you are lucky enough to catch an impromptu sesh with Neal, he’s likely to be sporting a faded tee and worn jeans. That sincerity (and his advanced age) are what set him apart from the rest and what make him a true inspiration.
Naturally a California native, Neal grew up around skateboarding but never, in his younger years, did he feel the motivation to really hop on the board himself. Sure, from time to time he would go for a quick ride, but it wasn’t until he was way past his ‘prime’, as naysayers would put it, that he really put concerted effort into building up his skills.
Now, at 60, Neal has earned himself the title, ‘the dude’, and continues to astound skaters and non-skaters alike. If you’re into skateboarding, his skills are certainly something worthy of praise. If you don’t know the difference between an ollie and a half pipe, you can still get behind the fact that Neal is a pretty inspiring guy! His relatability and charm have made Neal a lovable character. Make sure to keep an eye on the guy because as he puts it, he wants to see just how young he can keep feeling and isn’t skipping a beat.