Jeremy Vreeken-Staff Writer
Feet or wheels? That is the question. For an increasing number of people on Dordt’s campus, the answer is wheels.
Whether it’s longboards, skateboards, bikes or scooters, alternative transport methods are very popular on campus.
“Dordt’s campus is really great for longboarding,” said junior Braden Graves, spinning the wheels on his board, “Everything’s paved and smooth, it’s awesome for getting around.” He should know. Graves has been skateboarding for the past 12 years. He loves Dordt’s friendly attitude towards longboarding but admits that sometimes it can be more hassle than it’s worth.
Junior Caleb Vanderhill agrees:
“I almost prefer being late for class if I’m going to longboard, at least I get the path to myself.” He is not alone in this thought. During peak times on the paths around campus there are so many people around that the benefit of bringing anything with wheels is nearly erased by the crowds. It can also become dangerous if someone doesn’t quite know what they’re doing on a longboard while trying to get around.
The fact is, there are so many people and longboards around that it is important to have some knowledge of proper board safety and maintenance. Here are some basic do’s and don’ts of longboarding:
Do: Longboard! It’s fun, it’s a good workout, and a great way to get around campus or around town. Plus it’s a great group activity!
Do: Wear proper footwear when longboarding. Flip flops don’t count. Sneakers or tennis shoes only.
Do: Tell people you’re coming. No one likes almost being hit by someone on a board. If you do hit someone you’ll probably fall too, breaking your ego at least, and maybe a bone.
Don’t: Yell at people to move out of the way. Respect other path users; pick a side and stick to it.
Don’t: Stand on the board with one foot pointed forward. You lack the proper control in this position. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart perpendicular with the direction you’re going.
Don’t: Ride through puddles or crowds. The water will rust and destroy your bearings (the ring inside your wheel that makes it spin) and riding through a crowd will destroy your reputation on campus.
Do: Practise. It makes perfect. And builds your confidence as a rider.
Do: Be safe. Be aware of your surroundings and others, wear a helmet when doing high speed rides, and don’t attempt what you can’t handle.
Longboarding is a fun and efficient way to get around campus. Doing it properly and safely will increase your enjoyment as well as improve some of the path congestion around Dordt.
“The biggest thing is to try new things, and to not be afraid to eat it,” said Graves, laughing, “It’s the only way to get better, but be as safe as possible.”