A new organization has been created on campus this fall: the Longboard Club. For those who don’t know, a longboard is an elongated skateboard with larger wheels than a typical skateboard. Longboarders practice things like “downhilling” — riding downhill at high speeds — and freeriding, which is performing tricks while skating downhill.
The club is open to all, and students do not need any prior experience with longboarding, only a willingness to learn. Its president, Moiz Khan, a junior biology major, created the vision for the club.
Khan has been skateboarding since he was 12 years old, and it was once his favorite past time — until he learned about longboarding.
“As time passed on, I learned about longboarding, and how you could carve down hills, do slides, and it was so much more fun,” Khan said.
The inspiration for starting the longboard club at NSU arose when Khan met other longboarders on campus. He wanted to bring the community together to share their common interest. Many students, like Jim Gauthier, the vice president of internal affairs for Longboard Club and junior computer science major, use longboarding as a quick and easy means of transportation to and from class. Both Khan and Gauthier describe longboarding as not only an enjoyable sport, but also a mechanism for stress relief.
“I find it very fun to just cruise around at night and clear my head,” Gauthier said. “I’ve probably longboarded around this campus more than I have walked.”
The short-term goals of Longboard Club include building the longboarding community and starting a mentoring program within the club. The mentoring program will entail teaching new members who may not have any experience with riding longboards.
“Our eboard will allow people to ride their longboards and teach them how to longboard, how to stand, how to maneuver yourself and everything [else],” said Khan.
Gauthier said that he was most excited about the mentoring sessions where he would be able to teach other people how to longboard and get them into the sport. He added that he plans to assess the skill range of new members and then place them into groups based on the level of experience they possess. By doing so, the club can give more assistance to the members who have little-to-no experience.
Long-term goals of the club include installing longboard racks outside campus buildings, starting longboard rentals and creating a specific path exclusively for longboarders and bikers. One of the issues Khan hopes to address is in the club’s mission statement: “To ensure safety between boarders and pedestrians.” Khan said in order to carry out this goal it would be the job of both parties to remain aware of their surroundings to avoid accidents.
The path Longboard Club hopes to build is a “non-pedestrian, non-motorized vehicle path” that will be open to both bikes and longboards. Having a separate longboard pathway will eliminate the possibility of accidental collisions between longboarders and pedestrians.
The Longboard Club will offer activities like mentoring program meet-ups, once a week free skate hangouts and competitions between members in races. The club also has a local sponsor, who may offer prizes for winners of races and discounts for club members in their shop.
Prospective members for Longboard Club can follow the club on social media at @nsulongboardclub.