Smooth & Speedy Without A Seatbelt: Students Travel by Longboard

Andrea Salow

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Students travel by car, bus, bike, and even foot. However, a new mode of transportation, longboarding, has sparked interest in a number of West Delaware students.

The art of longboarding is similar to skateboarding. Longboards and skateboards differ in length with the longboard measuring up to 15 inches longer than the traditional skateboard. Skateboards are designed for tricks and ramps while longboards are used for cruising and travelling short distances.

“I go to bowling practice (by longboard), or I will ride from one side of town to another,” Jeffrey Boeckenstedt (11) said.

Both Boeckenstedt and senior Drew Noggle started longboarding with friends.

“I rode one of my friend’s (boards) and fell in love with the smooth ride,” Noggle said.

Teacher Christian Carper also learned to enjoy longboarding before teaching at the high school.

“I started longboarding in college at ISU,” Carper said. “I had some friends that skated, and I watched other people riding around campus. I thought it looked like fun.”

The ease of longboarding depends on weather, elevation, and distance.

Carper appreciates cruising on his longboard and enjoying the weather. It does, however, hamper his ability to carry large items, such as bags of flour and sugar, to school for his foods classes.

Like skateboarding, longboarding takes coordination and conscious effort to control the board, so a person won’t get “speed wobble,” what Carper defines as a shaking that is hard to control. The board’s motions relies on a person’s balance and foot position. If a person is not careful, they may wipe out.

On Noggle’s thirteenth birthday, he skated down a hill, flipped his longboard, and ended up with skid marks from the road on his forehead.

“I continued to go to a camp for my Confirmation, not knowing if I had a concussion or not,” Noggle said.

Carper said that despite the dangers, longboarding is a “great way to get outside and can be a good way to hang out with others.” He added anyone is welcome to see him about questions and information on longboarding.

“It’s peaceful and Zen almost,” Boeckenstedt said. “Once you can get your mind off the board and realize you’re going almost forty miles an hour and all you have around you are Iowan trees and cornfields, it’s honestly just beautiful.”

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