November 18, 2013 by louiebrahgirl
Longboarding is something that is highly misunderstood. Unlike it’s cousin skateboarding, longboarding has only recently come into light and I think it’s time I contribute my own opinion to this slightly touchy topic. Today I will be covering the stigmas and misunderstandings regarding longboarding.
“What even is a longboard? What makes it any different than a skateboard?”
If you longboard, you have gotten this question dozens of times. It’s true, skateboarding and longboarding can be seen as similar. Are they exactly alike? No. Just like riding a motorcycle and riding a bike are vastly different, so are longboarding and skating. Skating often takes place in parks, pools, or urban settings. Even though there are shorter longboards on the market (see Landyachtz “El Barbaro”) that can be ridden in parks and pools, for the most part this is reserved for skateboarders. Skateboards are also very uniform and similar compared to longboards. You will rarely see a skateboard that is longer than 35″ or shorter than 28″. Longboards can come in a range of sizes, some going past the 60″ mark. They also generally have bigger wheels and wider trucks as compared to skateboards. Longboards are also meant to function differently than skateboards are. Due to their hard wheels and large kicks, skateboards are meant for traction and stability on smooth pavement, as well as their function in tricks and urban settings. Longboards are often the opposite; their wheels are generally softer unless you are using a techslider and can be used on a variety of pavements. Many longboard wheels and brands are also often prized for their sliding ability, the opposite of traction (what most skateboarders seek). What sets longboards apart on top of this is their mainstake of use: freeriding and downhill. You simply cannot achieve the same kind of stability or speed going downhill on a longboard as compared to a skateboard. The market for wheels catering to freeride is also much larger than skateboarding.
“Only frat-boys and hipsters longboard.”
Like any other popular or up-and-coming hobby/pastime, longboarding has it’s “posers”. Don’t get me wrong, I love that more and more people are getting involved in the sport and learning to enjoy it as much as I do. But I longboard because I LIKE to longboard. Not because I want to SAY I longboard. That is the difference between someone who likes the sport and someone who just perpetuates stereotypes surrounding our sport. I think this is the same kind of misunderstanding that follows playing a musical instrument. Just because you think playing guitar is cool, and you carry a pick in your wallet, doesn’t make you some kind of great guitar player. You just perpetuate the stereotype.
Ok, yeah it is. Sometimes. This is why (for the most part) I always wear my safety gear. People who don’t wear saafety gear when they longboard are just asking for an injury. In my opinion, a helmet may look dorky but it looks a heck of a lot better than stitches.
These are some misunderstandings and stigmas that surround the sport of longboarding, and I hope I helped to clear it up.