Standing on a board only a couple of inches thick and traveling downhill at a speed of over 50 miles an hour with nothing to stop you but the laws of physics themselves seems quite terrifying to most, but to Junior Matt Richey the thrill of longboarding has become his passion. He struggles to even find words to describe the feeling of going down a big hill.
“It’s all adrenaline,” he said. “I’m not even sure I can describe the feeling other than a balance between fear and control.”
It all started a year ago while Richey visited a friend in San Francisco and saw a bunch of guys “mobbing” down a mountain reaching speeds of over 50 mph. Instantly, he knew he needed to begin experiencing what he had witnessed first hand. Since then, Richey has achieved one of his “greatest [longboarding] accomplishments” which was when he traveled to Maryhill, Washington with 14 of the best Downhill Skateboarders from Texas.
“The Maryhill events are the most famous in the world,” he said. “So it was amazing to be able to skate with some of the best skaters from around the world.”
Richey has plans to continue his passion for longboarding as long as he can throughout his life. Currently he has plans of traveling around the US over summer to compete in bigger North American races and to even compete in races all around the world after high school.
With a year of experience under his belt, he is fully aware of the dangers that come along with the intense sport. Richey greatly expresses the necessity of wearing all the proper gear such as gloves, a full leather suit in race situations to “help you keep a majority of your skin when you bail,” and most importantly a helmet.
“There have been too many deaths in the sport to even take the risk of not wearing a helmet,” he said. “The consequences aren’t worth it.”
The recognition of the high intensity of the sport further leads Richey to advocate the importance of not giving up to those interested in longboarding.
“You are going to fall,” Richey said. “You need to get past that fear and push yourself to get better.”