Longboards boom

They can be seen on just about every sidewalk on campus swaying and rocking about. Longboards are becoming more and more common as a student choice in transportation around campus.

The structure of the longboard mimics that of an ordinary skateboard but with exaggerated features. The base is elongated and the wheels are larger, making it harder to do skateboard tricks. These two features give give the rider the impression of surfing, but on the street.

Yeison Restrepo, a junior majoring in communications, has had his board since freshman year. He said he uses it every day.

As far as convenience, he said some areas are inaccessible to the longboards, such as rough sidewalks and patches of dirt and grass. Nonetheless, Restrepo makes do with his daily commutes.

Restrepo said he prefers riding his board  to avoid the  hassles of having a bike.

“It’s nice just standing around and being able to walk around with (the longboard) and not have to lock it up. If you’re running late to class, you can just go straight in. You don’t have to lock it up like you would a bike,” he said. “It definitely saves you an extra couple of minutes.”

When Restrepo pushes off walls and railings, students on the walkway yield to his approaching presence. A major problem among students is posed by the growing popularity of longboards and their need to be on concrete.

Longboarders zipping by at lightning-fast speeds are starting to trouble many students, such as graduate student Matthew Morley.

“It’s a trend gone annoying,” Morley said. “It’s a nuisance to those who have to avoid getting slammed into by one of them. A lot of people buy these longboards out of trend and don’t even know how to operate the thing.”

Morley said longboards lack practicality, as they are designed to be fast but are also chunky and hard to control.

Longboards will set buyers back anywhere from $69 to $229, depending on the quality of the board. For more information, visit www.skateparkoftampa.com