A GRANDFATHER who took up skateboarding at the age of 82 has insisted "age is no limit" in life. but has ruled out trying halfpipes.

Don Morton took up his new hobby in September after previously being a passionate skier and rollerblader, which he took up at nearly 70, having previously taught rollerblading at Glasgow Caledonian University’s (GCU) Arc Sport Hall, only giving it up last year because he felt too old to be an instructor.

Mr Morton, a former businessman, from Newton Mearns, East Renfrewshire, got into rollerblading when he retired and wanted a hobby he could do year-round because the ski season is so short.

His friend Colin Dalgliesh, 55, a technician at GCU, took him out for his first try on a skateboard in September, and now goes out three times a week in good weather, in Bellahouston Park, near Ibrox, Glasgow.

He does not wear a helmet and only wears wrist guards on his board because he said he is "not worried" about hurting himself if he falls off and said he is ‘living proof age isn’t a barrier’.

The father-of-one and grandfather of two said: “I am the living proof at my age that age is not a barrier to doing it.

“It’s good to try something a bit different - it’s a barrier we have to break down a bit.

“There is no reason to not take it up - older people can have a very fun time just going on the pathways.

“I’m in the process of building up speed.

“I go out every week, in the summertime maybe two or three times a week."

He added: “I’ve only been doing this for a few months.

“I am not a skatepark boarder - I’m too old to go down and do that kind of stuff.
“The skatepark is for younger people not for me. It’s far too physical for me - you don’t expect an 82-year-old to be doing halfpipes, ramps and bowls. I’m not attempting to do anything reckless."

He said it was his love of rollerblading and skiing that inspired him to do more, saying:

“I’ve been rollerblading for more than 15 years. I’ve been a skier and when I retired, I had more time and skiing has such a short season so I was looking for something I could do all year round. So I thought skiing and skating are vaguely similar so I’ll try skating and see how I get on.”

Having a friend to give him hints and tips on how to improve has helped Mr Morton get up to speed.

He added: “I got into this because I met Colin, who is a lifetime skateboarder. I’d always had a fancy to try.

“Starting off, it’s quite tricky and it’s not something you can do immediately.

“All these types of sports, skating, skateboarding, you have to practice it to be able to do it.

“Before skateboarding I did rollerblading, and Colin came to the track and that’s how it all started.”

His interest in rollerblading took him down to London at the Millennium as it had not proved so popular in Glasgow, and he then became an instructor - despite being 67.

He said: “This was around the turn of the century, and at that point, there was no skating activity in Glasgow so I had to go down to London to find out about it.

“People kept asking me about it and how do you get into skating and that encouraged me to take certification to be an instructor to teach people to skate.

“You don’t go to get a skating lesson and expect the instructor to be 82 years of age so it was time to give that up, so again, I found myself looking for something extra to do.

“It wasn’t such a big step to transfer to go from skating to skateboarding.

“I gave up instructing in the last year, there is a time when you have to retire.

“I’ve not given up skating just the instruction side."

And he also hopes his efforts will inspire others of his age to take up the pursuit.

He said: “The public’s perception of skateboarding is when you get to 20, you don’t do it anymore.

“If I asked any adult over the age of 40 if they would like to try skateboarding they’d say ‘I could never do that’.

“They might fear they would make a fool of themselves and people over-worry about falling.

“But anyone who wanted to do it would be able to do it.

“It’s fun, it’s pleasurable, it’s recreational and it’s not demanding physically.

“It’s invigorating and it tones you up.

“I’ve had a couple of falls, but I know that from my skating experience there is no way you’re not going to fall. They are inevitable.

“I just wear my normal clothing and wrist protectors. I’m not worried because I’m not challenging myself the way younger people are.”