On July 19, Winnipeg company Scam Skate, in partnership with How We Roll, Winnipeg’s Facebook longboarding page, hosted a longboarding competition at Sugar Point, located at Gateway Road at Chief Peguis Trail.
What is longboarding, you ask?
Longboarding is a sport in which participants ride on longboard skateboards. It has its roots in surfing, which is why many longboards resemble surfboards. A longboard is larger in size (both length and width) and heavier than a skateboard, resulting in more stability, traction and durability. These characteristics help with maintaining momentum and the longboard’s larger wheels and wider trucks (axles) give it more stability to allow for a faster speed.
The angles at which some longboards can turn, as well as their ability to coast long distances, make them ideal for transportation. Some say a longboard is even better than a bicycle because it doesn’t have to be locked up and can be carried anywhere.
Competitions such as the recent one held at Sugar Point offer participants a rare opportunity to test their skills, meet other people who love longboarding and learn from the more experienced competitors.
Three different challenges were set up on the asphalt path. Depending on skill level, competitors decided which ones to try. The first and easiest challenge was a slalom course where participants had to weave in and out of a series of pylons.
The slide contest was next, in which competitors turn their boards sideways while standing on them.
The third and most difficult event was a jump obstacle, in which participants had to jump over a bar while their longboards slid underneath. All require lots of practice, perfect timing, excellent balance, confidence in ability and a little bit of risk-taking!
Many of the competitors came from North Kildonan. Sugar Point was chosen due to its smooth, new asphalt and because of the moderate height of the hill. This elevated, public space was a great way for people in the community to become interested in the sport.
Longboarding as a sport is gaining momentum and is becoming more and more popular. Young and old alike are picking up the sport because it is less risky and easier to master than skateboarding.
Participant, Ryan Maione said "it is such a diverse sport, you can simply just cruise around, you can do tricks, you can board dance, you can go as fast as possible, and they are all super fun!"
Whatever your reason for trying something new, longboarding looks like tons of fun! Just remember a helmet and knee/elbow pads!
Charlene Kroll is a community correspondent for North Kildonan. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org