A new type of transportation and recreation is quickly rolling its way into the campus life of UVU. Many students have seen some boy or girl carrying around a longboard in the halls or riding one in the parking lots.
Some students may wonder what the appeal is of standing on big planks of wood? Why do all these students bring boards to school and carry them around?
“One, it’s very enjoyable, two, it’s fun that everyone can have, and three, it’s a great method of travel. I love longboarding because it’s just about friends going out,” Riley Wallin, a sophomore at UVU, said.
The cost of a basic longboard is about $100. An advanced board can run as high as $200. To compare, a bicycle will begin at a few hundred dollars and work all the way up into the thousands.
Alex Welch, a sophomore, concurred with Wallin. “I think skating’s a great way to get around campus! Not to mention it’s relatively cheap and great exercise,” he said.
Many people who board around UVU cite the time advantage as the reason they started cruising around. Oftentimes, in conversation with longboarders at UVU, they will mention a wide class schedule or construction as making a big impact on their time. Chris Miller stated, “Longboarding is a hobby that has increased my coordination and is a good way to exercise. It also allows me to reach classes in time.”
The biggest criticism that college longboarding has received is that many are worried about the danger of longboarding. A lot of press and attention was given to the struggles that the University of Utah had with some professors and students being angry with boarders on campus.
“[Collisions] are almost always an accident and it should just be brushed off unless the pedestrian is hurt, then the boarder was going too fast,” said Riley Wallin.
“Longboarders aren’t necessarily high people not paying attention. For the most part, they’re probably paying more attention than the pedestrian,” Welch said.
“One thing that I’d love for pedestrians to know, if you hear a longboarder, just keep walking in a line. Please don’t try to dodge this way and that, it just complicates things, especially if you hear them coming from behind. Granted, they can look to see where the boarder is, but just keep walking in a straight line after that. Don’t do some crazy shake n’ bake,” Welch said.
Many students love to longboard simply for the fun of hanging out with their friends. As Tyler Romney, a sophomore at UVU put it, “Boarding is a great sport for the bros on a sunny weekend…I need downhill boarding time, not down-and-bored-time.”
Welch took it a step further, saying that boarding has helped him to improve as a person and connect with the world around him, especially in an increasingly technological and isolated place.
“It’s taught me a respect for other people and to keep my eyes open and pay attention. It’s easy to forget those around you and live in your own world, but when you’re skating, it teaches you to pay attention to those around you,” Welch said.
To anyone who has wanted to start to board and get in on the rapidly developing community at UVU, Riley Wallin gives this advice: “I say go for it. Start small, it takes time. It’s just to relax and have fun.”