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Longboarding: A sport of speed and tumbles

by Ocean DeRouchie November 24, 2015
Longboarding: A sport of speed and tumbles

A spotlight on the extreme sports that have been on the rise over the last few years

The sun shines on my face, my jacket is helping me keep my speed reasonable. I’m carving and gliding along the pavement with effortless motion. My board is my trusty steed, I feel balanced and safe. There’s nowhere else I need to be.

Graphic by Charlotte Bracho.

Graphic by Charlotte Bracho.

At the ripe age of nine, I excitedly told my mom that I wanted a skateboard. On Easter I woke up, and there sat a skateboard, decorated in a big pink bow, surrounded by egg-shaped chocolates. I fondly remember days of sitting on my skateboard, rolling down St. Dominique Street. I lost my fear of speed pretty quickly though, and soon enough, residents of Plateau-Mont-Royal were spotting a little girl skating around town.

Almost a decade later I’ve evolved to longboarding and I’ve never looked back.

The biggest thing skating did for me was give me confidence. I’m not here to tell you how to skate, but I am going to tell you why you should.

Forget street decks. You don’t need to know how to pop ollies, and you don’t need to be the next James Kelly. No need to think about team efforts or routine practices. Once you have a board (more on that later), just get right to shredding.

Things you should know: you’re going to fall and it is definitely going to hurt. Also, you’re going to catch speed and even though it is going to seem scary, you’re going to feel like a total badass.

First, cop yourself a board. Don’t grab some generic shitdeck from Zumiez though; do some research. Take into consideration your height and weight, what you want to do (downhill, sliding, or commuting) and watch some videos. Sometimes, a complete setup will get you through, but if you want to try a little bit of everything, it’s best to create a setup of your own flavour.

For my first longboard, I chose the Landyachtz Drop-Carve 37.5”. That being said, I’m 5’2” and I needed something relatively small for learning how to slide. Maybe you want a pintail, maybe you want a board that’s great for bombing—it’s all up to you.

Once you have a vessel, just go out and play. Lose your inhibition. At first, you may feel unbalanced, but just get comfortable. Work on your footing. Watch videos. Get super into it and skate anywhere you would walk to. However, keep to sidewalks and bike paths until you’re super comfortable. Be smart, be safe and lose yourself in it. If you’re like me, you might be aware that people are eyeing you up, but forget that people are looking at you; they’re just admiring your sweet setup, bruh!

For first-time skaters, all this can be kind of nerve-wracking. Forget about it! Take advantage of sunny days and practice in your spare time. Skating can be inspiring, meditative, confidence-boosting and ultimately one of the greatest feelings ever. So get out there, kid. Listen to FIDLAR, hop on your deck and go have fun; the world awaits you!

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