To long board or not to long board?
Transportation is a big deal at Stanford. Considering the vastness of the campus and demanding schedule it is no surprise that the majority of students rely on some more accelerated form of transportation than their ligaments. But to say that it is just a matter of efficiency would be completely naïve. Style is at least half of the objective. And while there are some pretty sleek fashionable bikes, it’s the long boards that are definitely more trend driven.
Long boarding is the act of riding a long skateboard. Long boards are a kind of skateboard but generally have a more springy deck, larger, softer wheels and are usually more stable than skateboards. But like many things, the touted benefits of long boarding could also be somewhat disastrous under unfavorable circumstances.
For example, long boarding is pretty emblematic of hipster culture and it is not unusual to catch long boarders donning ironically patterned button downs, skinny jeans and beat up converse. So, while a huge proponent of being a hipster is emitting an air of casualness, thereby making it seem like their projected hipsterism is as natural as the whole foods snack aisle, there is no denying that many hipsters and thus long boarders are actively trying to cultivate a “cool” look. And while hipsters are frequently satirized these days, it doesn’t stop people from seeking that signature style and others from silently admiring it. But if you are a member of the skateboarding community you definitely do not feel admiration towards long boarders. Skateboarders were coasting before long boarding was cool and they will be passionately endangering their physical wellbeing long after hipster culture gets a paragraph in US history textbooks. They have no patience for this hipster hijacking of their culture that used to be scoffed at and is now being misappropriated. It is like how Jamie Oliver might react towards a Duncan Hines cake mix, a craft made simple for the lazy masses.
Long boarding is nice because you have access to your hands. Yes some people manage to effortlessly execute handless bike riding but it is most definitely not a given. And if long boarding goes awry and you are carrying a hot coffee in one hand and your case-less iphone in the other (because phone cases are not adequately blasé) everything you were so deftly carrying, including yourself, could be splayed across the street.
Which brings me to my next point, which is that long boarding could potentially improve balance, flexibility and coordination. But if you do not have those qualities, the possibilities for injuries are limitless. And while wearing a helmet is not considered cool on a bike, a helmet-donning long boarder is as antithetical as a neon army uniform. You will only receive mocking disdain from both the biking and long boarding communities.
But there is an indisputable advantage to long boarding that applies to females and Scotsmen alike, and that is that skirt-wearing is much more feasible or at least less revealing than it is on a bike.
So making the decision to bike or to long board isn’t just a matter of two or four wheels. It’s about the implications of the form of transportation. They say it’s the journey that matters, not the destination, so you better make sure you are traveling in style.