By Sydney Goldberg
Photo by Quinnton Parker
I used to think longboarding was lame. I was a skateboarder. Why would I be caught dead cruising? And by cruising, I mean what that shirtless, flip-flop wearing schmuck you’ve seen around campus does. Every stride he takes is painful for you to watch because he looks like he is struggling just to stay on the board. Somehow, he thinks that his coasting moves will bring home the ladies. I am sorry to inform you Bro but I am in a sorority, and you don’t impress me one bit.
Funny story though, I started interning for the wonderful Concrete Wave Magazine, which embraces every type of skating known to man (slalom, longboarding, street, downhill, freestyle), so I thought what the hell, why not give longboarding a whirl?
As an intern, I organized a YouTube skate crew battle contest. I accepted video clips of different skateboarding cliques around the world, with the hopes of finding the ultimate crew (kind of like that MTV show “America’s Best Dance Crew,” only for skateboarding).
This submission did it for me.
I wanted to skate like Ian Joe Dutch.
Recently, my skateboarding had hit a plateau a.k.a. I was not getting any better. Not like I was good or anything in the first place but hey I had been skateboarding for almost nine years. Just like the Pringles slogan “Once you pop, the fun don’t stop,” my first Ollie harbored the unconditional love that I had for skateboarding. This love pumped through my veins as a young girl up until my Junior year of college.
That Spring break, I was mortified when I went with my friend Cheryl to Four Seasons Skatepark in Milwaukee, Wis. As I stood above the mini-ramp coping in the spine room, I pulled her aside and whispered into her ear that “I wasn’t feeling it anymore, and I wanted to go home.” I knew at that moment something had changed, I wasn’t 13 anymore.
Why did I hold such high expectations, that an activity I had done since I was 13 years-old would have the same effect on me at 20?
I needed variation.
Fortunately, a young lad by the name of Brett Myers presented me with the opportunity of change and some sort of salvation.
You know how you can find love matches online like at eHarmony.com? Well I decided to use that same approach finding a longboarding buddy. One look at the Indiana University Longboarding Facebook page, and I knew I was destined to find someone. Unfortunately, the joke was on me because nobody had checked that page for a year, so that would prolong my efforts…
One day, I received a message from Myers explaining that he saw my post on that Facebook page, and he had been trying to get a group of longboarders together. I was so ecstatic that I wanted to skate with him immediately.
Our first encounter: Could have been really super-duper awkward. I text messaged him, and was like “Hey I am skateboarding to Rise Skateboard Shop, want to come with?” Although hesitant at first, I persuaded him to join me. We met up in front of the Psychology building, with his longboard and my skateboard in hand. We skated away into the sunset, and the rest was history.
No but seriously, we hit it off extremely well. Before I purchased my O.G. G&S Fibreflex pintail 38″, he let me cruise on his fancy schmancy Loaded dervish longboard.
He showed me that longboarding was a challenge at times, even more so than skateboarding. Much like that shirtless frat boy I described earlier, at first I was struggling to stay on the board. Every stride that I took, my foot would clip the back wheel, and I would “eat” it. The longboard I ride is extremely flexible and has loose trucks, so foot breaking is not an option at 20 m.p.h. You man up, and ride it out.
With core company Deathwish Skateboards and Element Skateboards jumping onto the longboard/cruiser bandwagon, don’t expect “sidewalk surfing” to fade away anytime soon.
Expect it only to get bigger!
Longboarding tests your creativity, need for speed, and gives you a solid workout without busting your knees trying kickflips.
I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to rediscover their love for pushing.