A couple years ago, my friend and I were going through my garage looking for stuff to do. I could say something epic like that was the day that my life changed forever, but I won’t. It was the day I first came across my brother’s longboard skateboard – a Sector 9 in case you were curious.

Not knowing why this board was longer than most, we had to try it out. Being smart and mature kids, I convinced my friend to put a giant box over his entire body and ride the board. For less embarrassment, we can pretend that we thought it was protective. Anyway, he couldn’t see and ended up hitting a curb and slamming into the ground. Now that was the moment my life changed forever.

Sorry, I had to say it. From that day on I rode that longboard every chance I got. I convinced all my friends to get longboards too and we would go on adventures all around the city, just riding around. We would challenge each other to see who could go the fastest or do the craziest thing.

Looking back, it was a terrible board. The wheels were old, the trucks were so loose they were about to fall off and the deck was chipped like crazy. It was probably the reason my girlfriend fell so hard on it. Don’t worry about her. She was fine.
I could have fixed it up or at least tightened a couple of things up. It probably would have saved me a few gnarly falls and crazy raspberries too, but, hey, what can I say – chicks dig scars.

Then, it was off to college. A world of new lands and opportunity. I even bought a new board (Longboard Larry’s Humu) and was ready to conquer the concrete waves. But all I could think about was how crappy the roads are here. I’ve never seen bad roads given that I come from San Diego where it is a law for the weather to stay 70 degrees and sunny year round.

That would never stop me from riding though. There are a few hills here and there and I like going down the river path every once in a while. I even rode down to the beach on my board. I have always wanted to try the hospital garage but have never gotten around to it.

Whether it is for exercise, to practice my cross-stepping or just to cruise around the city, I feel longboarders get a different perspective on life.
With my current board (loaded ceviche with Paris trucks and otang wheels) I look at every road as somewhere to ride, every hill as somewhere to bomb and every parking lot as somewhere to do tricks.

If you were wondering, yes, you can do tricks on a longboard. Watch some Loaded Newsletter videos on YouTube and you won’t regret it. Longboarding gives you a view of life that is freeing. I always think, ‘Oh, that would fun’ or ‘I can do that.’ I could never be negative or closed off in my longboarding mind set. It is truly a lesson in life. Just chill out and have fun. To throw a clich’eacute; out there – life’s too short, so live a little. That’s probably not the right wording but who cares right?

And remember kids – always wear a helmet.

Manrique is a member of
the class of 2012.

Israeli-Palestinian conflict reporting disclosures

The Campus Times is a club student newspaper with a small reporting staff at a small, private University. We are…

Notes by Nadia: The myth of summer vacation

Summer vacation is no longer a vacation.

Recording shows University statement inaccurate about Gaza encampment meeting

The Campus Times obtained a recording of the April 24 meeting between Gaza solidarity encampment protesters and administrators. A look inside the discussions.