The Oswego State campus has found a new trend that is sweeping, or rolling, through its walkways. Students are abandoning their cars, bikes and scooters for longboards, essentially a surfboard with wheels.
Longboarding, a variation of skateboarding, involves more speed and maneuverability than typical skateboards, but can make old-school tricks more difficult to pull off. A longboard can vary from 35-60 inches in length, compared to a typical skateboard, which measures approximately 30-35 inches in length.
Longboarding is rising in popularity amongst college students across the country. One reason for the rise is because longboards allow riders to achieve speeds much higher than skateboards. Longboards also give riders the sensation of surfing or snowboarding on concrete.
Senior Adam Horeth has been longboarding for two years and describes his passion as an experience far deeper than a means of transportation.
"Longboarding is like a meditation; it tunes the senses to be aware of precise control over movement and following a flow," Horeth said. "It’s also a great means of motivation; there is always something new you can learn or old to perfect."
Malakai Kingston, from http://silverfishlongboarding.com, has been longboarding for 10 years and said that part of the reason for the increase in longboarding activity amongst college students is because of its simplicity.
"Accessibility is why its popularity is on the rise," Kingston said. "It is easy to get a longboard and it is easy to ride one as well. Plus, it’s also easy to pack and store, as well as being addictive and a lot of fun to ride."
Other than a fun and simple means of transportation, longboarding has some other affect on longboarders, such as being a great source of exercise, Kingston said.
Horeth says that one of the reasons longboarding has become so popular amongst college students is because it relieves stress while getting students from place to place.
For those on the daring side, speedboards are available for thrill seekers. Speedboards, or downhill longboards, are used to achieve high speeds while riding down steep hills. Speedboards are roughly 36-46 inches long and are easy to navigate due to its stiffness.
Longboarding is not just for guys. Girls also have been seen around campus on longboards. One girl in particular is sophomore Alexandra Levy, who has been longboarding for two years.
"Longboarding makes me feel like I’m in tune with nature," Levy said. "It’s peaceful and allows me to take time out of my day to be able to think in a calming, relaxing environment."