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Saturday, September 30, 2023


Students log many hours on their longboards

Longboarding is a passion that many students have turned into a useful method of transportation. They are using their longboards and skateboards to ride around the university, because it is quicker and more convenient to carry around.

“It’s more fun than biking and much faster than walking,” said finance junior Ryan Ackley. “It’s easier to store and you don’t have to worry about locking it up.”

Ackley has been longboarding for about four years and uses his board to get to his destinations throughout campus. Before his freshman year, Ackley has had an interest in extreme sports such as wakeboarding and snowboarding.

Since Houston weather does not have the suitable conditions for these sports, Ackley said he found longboarding to be the next best thing.

“I’ve always been a snowboarder and a wakeboarder,” Ackley said. “You can’t really snowboard in Texas so this is kind of my fix, my feel of board sports.”

Not only do some students find longboards to be easier to store, but find it safer than any kind of transportation.

Pre-medical biology sophomore Gabrielle Bolden said she has been longboarding since third grade and prefers riding a longboard more than a skateboard because she finds the wheels to be more dependable.

“There’s cracks on the sidewalks and you can get knocked off your board,” Bolden said. “The wheels on a longboard are wider, and the base of the board allows you to take quick, sharp turns to avoid crashing on someone.”

Mechanical engineering junior Will Stewart said he has been longboarding for only a few days — inspired to do so after seeing other students doing it.

Stewart’s interest in this sport encouraged him to purchase a stowboard, a versatile board that allows the rider to fold it up for quick storage, to see if it was enjoyable and if it shaved off time from his commute.

“I just saw other people boarding and I just wanted to see for myself,” Stewart said. “I was absolutely curious to see if got me to my classes any faster.”

Although some ride individually, others are forming friendships with other boarders. Students are meeting up not only on campus but also throughout the city. After practice, Ackley said that he and members of his ultimate frisbee team often take their riding to the streets.

“We have a bunch of guys that longboard on the team,” Ackley said. “We all go board together after practices.”

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