It’s almost impossible to walk through CU’s campus without having to dodge a few longboarders. They swiftly glide from class to class, precariously weaving through crowds of students, trying to avoid collisions. CU’s campus is superb for longboarding but always inundated with students.
During these times, the longboard enthusiast pines for an empty stretch of smooth concrete, but such a sight is rare during the school week. One long boarder, however, decided that there should be a time and place for nothing but smooth, worry-free skating.
That longboarder is Alexander Perry, a sophomore and Resident Advisor in Stearns East. He organized the Stearns East Longboarding Crew.
(CU Independent File/Jessie Van der Linden)
“I started it because a lot of people in Williams Village longboard, and they bought their boards for CU,” Perry said. “As a role model, I feel it’s my duty to show them how to longboard. I thought it’d be cool to impart my wisdom of skating to them.”
The Crew meets on Thursday nights at 9 p.m. in front of Stearns East. They then take the Buff Bus up to main campus and meet up with the rest of the crew at their starting point, right by the bookstore on the Hill. The rest of the night is filled with nothing but the best longboard rides, free from interruption or fear of hitting an unsuspecting student on their way to class.
Despite the name, the Stearns East Longboarding Crew isn’t restricted to Stearns East. Anyone who has a longboard and wants to take full advantage of CU’s sidewalks in the evening is highly encouraged to come along. Perry said the group is a good starting place for freshman skaters.
“A lot of the freshmen aren’t familiar with good places to skate on campus, so I’m showing them the really thrilling rides they can take when no one is around,” he said.
Aside from helping longboarders get to know the good routes on campus, the Stearns East Crew is a way to blow off steam after a long day of studying and classes.
“It’s all about getting away from homework and the stress of everything associated with school,” Perry said. “It’s a great way to take a breather, meet new people, and get to know Boulder and the campus better.”
One of the longboarders who joined the crew to skate at their first meeting was Sebastian Macaya, a freshman who lives in Stearns East.
“I came because I knew all the pathways were made of smooth cement so you can go really fast, and I knew all the sidewalks would be empty,” Macaya said.
Macaya spent the evening practicing his powerslides, a braking technique where the skater rapidly rotates the board so it is perpendicular to the direction he is moving.
“I liked that we had the freedom to ride wherever we wanted,” Macaya said. “I was disappointed that we couldn’t go on the street, but I know that’s against the law and stuff. I would definitely recommend it to anyone.”
Freshman Samuel Boisseau also rolled with the crew that evening. Boisseau said he was drawn to these like-minded students.
“I made the decision to join because I wanted to meet other students who love to shred longboards,” he said. “It was also a good intro to the hills around campus. I love it because when there’s a big group of people, I feel like a force.”
Many students find it’s easy to enjoy longboard once you get a feel for it. Perry said he began longboarding when he wanted an alternative way to get around.
“For me, it started as a means of transportation,” Perry said. “Getting from point A to point B without the hassle of locking up a bike and wondering who’s going to steal my front tire is really nice. After a while, it became my passion. Me and my friends would go and longboard when we weren’t doing homework, and it became a part of my life.”
Longboarding is a fun but dangerous activity, so it’s important that skaters have some basic etiquette. Perry has four main rules:
- Always wear a helmet.
- If you’re skating during the day, and the sidewalks are crowded, be respectful and dismount.
- Don’t longboard in the streets, unless you want to get a ticket.
- And, what Perry describes as the most important rule, always have fun.
“Never feel like longboarding is a chore,” he said. “It’s not something you have to do, it’s something you get to do.”
For more information on the Stearns East Longboarding Crew, contact Alexander Perry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Lucas Fox at Lucas.email@example.com.
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