Longboarding is banned in many public areas due to its association with the property damage and liabilities caused by street/trick skaters. Plus longboarding, being a mostly downhill activity hinged on momentum without the use of any brakes can create a pretty serious traffic hazard. Longboarding is extremely dangerous and should be done with caution by experienced skaters only.
Longboarding usually is thought to be based on skateboarding, but is actually a sport based on the concepts of surfing. Developed as a sport on the west coast in the 1950’s, longboarding and street skateboarding became popular with kids of the time, and soon split into separate styles in the 1990’s. A longboard, with the right setup, can give the feeling that you are surfing on the asphalt.
Longboarding in San Antonio started in 2007. San Antonio also has a decent area for skating(which I will cover in Part 2). There is wicked hills, open parking garages, and lots of open road.
Vocabulary before you start-
A longboard’s most basic use is travel. Commuter designs take many different shapes, including long, wide, and shorter hybrid type boards. Their trucks(what holds the wheels in place, and turns the board) are designed to be loose to allow for sharper turns. Also, one may prefer a shorter board, around 24″-35″ for commuting, as well as medium sized wheels (65mm-75mm), which help commuters maneuver bumps, cracks, and other minor surface obstacles. Commuting via longboard is extremely popular among college/young adult communities.
Dancing is a resurgence of old-school tricks in longboarding that involve a variety of walking and spinning moves. Dancing originates from board-walking in surfing. A board is usually considered a dancing board when it’s around 50-60 inches long and can be up to 12 inches wide. Although most of the tricks can be performed on smaller decks, a larger deck provides a more comfortable platform and takes more skill to maneuver.
Carving is an effective way to control speed when traveling downhill. Instead of coming to a complete stop, the rider makes a continuous “S” path by leaning left and right. By making so many turns, the speed can be controlled and maintained.
Sliding is the most effective braking technique for downhill skateboarders. It allows a skater to reduce his speed much more quickly than foot-braking, but requires a wider area depending on his ability to control the slide. It has also evolved into its own discipline of skateboarding, with riders performing various tricks and rotations while sliding. Slides can be done standing upright, or with one to two hands placed on the ground, to allow the rider to execute technical slides in any number of positions. When performing hands-down slides, protective slide gloves must be worn. These gloves can be purchased or made at home. They are usually leather gloves with sliding pucks made of hard, low-friction plastics attached by Velcro or glue.
Long Distance Skating
Longboards are now being used for traveling long distances. Any skateboard can be used for long distance journeys. However, decks designed specifically for long distance trips are typically lower to the ground than regular top mounted skateboards. The “Rayne Demonseed” board is often used for this discipline. A tradition of combining these journeys with charitable fund raising has emerged.
Long boarder Profiles
Mikey “The Love Boat” Garcia(12)
“Mikey is the person who started the craze of longboarding at MacArthur. He is the reason why most of the people here skate longboards. While everyone else was still riding the prehistoric wheel, Mikey was surfing down hills. He was the original here at MacArthur. Without him none of this would be possible.” – Anonymous
Origin (how he started to skate)- “In middle school, I skated regular boards, but soon realized I needed something faster, because I only used the board for transportation. I met a guy named Brannan Hasse who had Sector Nine (type of board) and immediately fell in love with it.”
Style (how and what he skates)- longboard slide and downhill racing.
Who I Skate with- David Hicks (Senior), Austin Tabbone(Senior), Preston Teeters(Senior), Devante Contreras(Senior) and several others.
My Board- I have a 47 inch Gravity Hyper-Carve with 76 millimeter Goddess of Speed Sector Nine wheels that use Reds bearings.
Preston “The Devastator” Teeters (12)
Origin – “Mikey Garcia and David Hicks introduced me to it, I have been immersed since.”
Style- “I like to cruise, go down hills , and skate parking garages.”
Favorite Skate spot- “Parking Garages are my favorite, because its all one smooth shot filled with either left or right turns depending on how it was built.”
Who I Skate with- Michael Garcia, Austin Tabbone, David Hicks.
Austin “Tabbone” Tabbone(Senior)
Origins- “I started skating with David and Mikey, I found my board at Zumiez and fell in love.”
Style- “Sliding, carving, cruising, and bombing hills.”
Favorite spot- ” The Stone Oak shopping centers at TPC parkway and everywhere else in Stone Oak.”
Who I Skate with- Mikey Garcia, Preston Teeters, David Hicks.
My Board- “A 46 inch Arbor Bamboo Pin-Tail ♥ which was recently stolen along with about a $1000 dollars worth of my stuff.”
Joshua De La Garza(12)
Origins- “Is this supposed to be who inspired me to skate? If so its probably because Sam Roberts said that I should get a long board so we could ride together.”
Favorite spot- “Any hill with smooth streets and no intersections.”
Who I Skate with- Mr.Sam Roberts.
My Board- Sector 9.
Justin “The opener” Myers(10)
Origins- “Started long-boarding shortly after mike started, when the craze here at MacArthur was young.”
Style- “Carving skate bowls, downhill, and sliding.”
Favorite skate spot- “My favorite place to skate is definitely the scenic route of the river Styx, its just so nice this time of year, but really I like to skate the trails at LBJ.”
Who I Skate with- Adam Oursland, Shawn Oursland, and David Gonzalez.
Stories and Quotes
“Longboarding is not funny; it’s actually pretty serious. I’ve screwed up a bunch of clothes and shoes, and I even have a couple scratches.”
– Joshua De La Garza (12)
“At the Brahma march some of the longboarders at Mac were told we weren’t allowed to skate, and if we did, the cops would be called. Later, we ended up skating alongside Dr. Turnbo. It was a personal win.”
-Austin Tabbone (12)
” Justin is so obsessed with long-boards that he draws long-boards shooting long-boards out of long-boards with long-boards as ammo.”
– Adam Oursland (11)
“My vision of longboarding is absolute freedom, no chains of limitation or meetings to decide where to skate next. It is a spontaneous act of self expression. Therefore, there is NO need for a club in my opinion.”
–Mikey Garcia (12)
“They are called many things: side-walk surfers, lumber riders, and daredevils, but their most common name is long-boarders, and their ranks are growing in the school, as they have been for the past two years.”
– Andy Guerra (11)
Stay tuned for part 2, which has a detailed beginners guide to longboarding. Some Sweet spots to skate (with pictures), and a list of what types of boards and their corresponding style.