I’ve never been good with wheels.
I spent the majority of my life playing sports (soccer & skiing) at a competitive level, and before I was about to truly hit the prime peak of becoming pretty fantastic at those sports, my knees told me they’ve had enough. I was about 13 years old when it first happened. I was rollerblading down my driveway when my right knee dislocated and I went face first into the pavement. The pain was unbearable. You could hear me screaming two towns over. I haven’t been back in a pair of skates since.
In my attempts to get over my fear of wheels and my knee dislocating again, I took on skateboarding. I was shaky and uneasy the entire time. I didn’t ever feel like I was in control of the board and found it difficult to work my way around corners. A few years ago, a friend introduced me to the world of longboarding. I stared in disbelief – it’s a longer board, bigger and nicer wheels, and trucks that look like they can actually move. I watched my friend as he boarded up and down the street with ease and grace.
I immediately thought that it would be easy for me too. I jumped on the board and used my foot to start the momentum – just like a skateboard. I could feel the difference in the board itself – it just seemed to work better underneath my feet. I was in control. It reminded me of a combination of skiing, snowboarding, and surfing all at once and on pavement. The ride was smooth feeling and my heart pumped as I worked up cardio to keep speed. Of course, I made sure to apply the appropriate safety gear, complete with knee pads and brace to stave off another injury and helmet, since my head is a pretty important part of me. I was no stranger to the elements of staying safe when trying a new sport.
Being on the board was exhilarating. I carved up and down the street at a speed I wasn’t sure was even possible. Keeping my feet on the edge allowed for more of an ability to carve and take some nice, big turns and corners (because I was no where ready to take a short-turn just yet). As I grew more comfortable and confident on the board, I was hooked within two hours of riding for the first time.
If I can get on a longboard and be comfortable, I encourage anyone and everyone to give it a try. Not only is it beneficial to your health and can get you to shorter distances faster than walking, it is also a fun recreational experience – as long as you have the right safety gear.
Get out there and longboard!
– Amber Bordun