Why Longboards Suck

Some of them have handheld brakes.
Share |

Image via Skatebrake.com.

Last fall, as I locked my bike up to a post at the corner of Grand Street and Manhattan Avenue one afternoon, I witnessed a scene so perfect it was almost as if I had manifested it. A crust-punky girl was riding a longboard the wrong direction (westbound, on the eastbound side of the street) on Grand Avenue's new bike lane. She was approaching the intersection from the SW corner as a livery cab was making a perfectly legal right hand turn onto Manhattan Avenue from the southeast corner, and he crossed the bike lane slowly, held up perhaps by pedestrians crossing with the light.

She held her ground, and unable to stop herself properly, she hopped off her board and put her hands on the top of the cab's hood. "What are you doing?” she shouted. “This is the bike lane!"

In recent years, two longboard-only shops have opened in theoretically cool New York neighborhoods, the Lower East Side and Williamsburg. Longboards clog the city’s newly minted network of bike lanes with people who hardly know how to push, and who might think they are riding a “skateboard.” Longboards and skateboards rarely compete for real estate—you’ll never see a skatepark or Tompkins Square swarming with longboards—though territory isn’t the issue at the root of the hostility toward longboarders. Unlike their hatred for BMXers, which stems largely from bikers’ ability to seriously injure everyone else at the skatepark, skateboarders’ distaste for longboarders is more purely ideological.

Skateboarders, an intentionally inarticulate bunch, might not be the best to ask why. Blessed with the art-school dropout pretense that taking part in an urban subculture can provide, and saddled with the pot-choked vocabulary of their ancestral homeland, skateboarders are very opinionated but economical with words. Asked how they feel about longboards, they typically resort to simple, timeless insults. Longboarders are kooks. Longboarders are losers. Longboarders suck. Superficial as it may seem, their blunt loathing is the key to understanding why the longboard is an insidious, parasitic vehicle.

To an outsider this might appear to be a classic case of the narcissism of small differences—Freud’s term for the hatred that tends to exist between two distinct groups with more similarities than differences. They exaggerate the minor differences that exist between them to maintain a stronger sense of self. Scotsmen and Englishmen, for instance. Northern Californians and Southern Californians. Skateboarders and longboarders.

There’s some merit in this Freudian take on the feud, too. After all, skateboards and longboards are made of the same stuff—wood, trucks, wheels, bolts, bearings, and sometimes grip tape. But when it comes to the question of what they can do, or rather what they enable their riders to do, the differences between skateboards and longboards start to pile up. A skateboard allows you to take part in nearly half a century of progress; a longboard enables you to roll and powerslide (and this only if you get really good at it, and if you have protective gloves).

The street skateboard has evolved hand-in-hand with street skateboarding, changing as skaters’ abilities and needs changed. As skateboarding in Southern California’s drained pools gained popularity during the drought years of the ’70s, the boards got larger, and eventually ramps were made to replicate the experience. And when Powell’s Bones Brigade ruled the day, the single-kicked fishtail boards, best suited for vert and kicker ramps, dominated the market. And as skateboarding moved to the streets of San Francisco, and Justin Hermann Plaza was the epicenter of increasingly technical street trickery, two-kicked street skateboards became more popular—the rails on the boards gone, the concave and kicks relatively flat, as pressure flips were still considered a real trick. Then, during the mid-to late ’90s, this innovation in skateboarding technology sort of ceased. Now, the kicks are steeper than an early ’90s board, the nose and tail thinner and more similar to one another, and the outside edges of the deck have lost their curve; the skateboard is now better primed for larger sets of stairs, more switch, nollie and fakie tricks, and flip tricks, that actually leave the ground.

Year after year, wrongheaded inventors would try to improve upon the skateboard’s now perfected design. These dreamers came both from within skateboarding and without—the latter group often more extravagantly wrong than the former—and none of them have managed to make a significant, fundamental change to the design of the street skateboard. Innovation in street skateboard design ceased maybe thirty years after the ollie was invented.

The longboard, on the other hand, is deliberately primitive. With its tropical design elements and surfboard-esque shapes, the longboard takes skateboarding back to a past that never quite existed. Though skateboards evolved from surfboards, even in their earliest forms they were never nearly as large—they were tiny compared to what street skaters ride today, and an order of magnitude smaller than longboards—the need to stay afloat not necessary on land. That, and the wheelbase provided by roller-skate trucks was quite narrow. These little things could hand you your ass, if they wanted to. Skateboarding, even in its nascent form, was never free of risk.

And though the longboard was designed with downhill skateboarding in mind (which is incredibly dangerous and requires both balls and talent) they are more frequently found on city streets and on college campuses, in bike lanes and walkways, used as a sort of cowardly and silly compromise between biking and walking. The convenience and ease of use they provide is a major selling point. Not only are they easy to use; they’re incredibly limiting, too.

You can’t even ollie with a longboard. The simplest of tricks, the one that has enabled everything that street skateboarding has become, is by design simply impossible with a longboard. Even those that do have a tail are too massive to reliably take off, and so long that it would take a massive ollie to even guarantee your rear wheels clear the smallest of curbs. They’re the dodo bird of the skateboarding world. Unfortunately, unlike the dodo, they won’t go away.

Perhaps they’re more like the ostrich: not only flightless, but also oversized, stupid and cowardly.

Due to their sheer mass, longboards provide a certain safety bubble for those who ride them, and this is precisely why they are popular. The massive decks, the wide wheelbase, the butter-soft wheels, all these things add up to the sort of luxuriously smooth ride one might reasonably expect from a Cadillac, not a skateboard. Whereas a skateboard will punish you with loose gravel ground into your palm for not ollieing over a crack, a longboard's wobbly-deck suspension will make it seem as though it weren't there. While a skateboard will throw you to the ground for hitting the most minuscule pebble, a candy-colored longboard wheel will absorb the debris, and spit it back out as the wheel turns again.

This safety makes neophytes comfortable taking to the streets immediately after purchasing their first Sector 9, riding what appears to be a skateboard the wrong way in the bike lane, with no idea how to stop moving, and little incentive to learn. (A company called SkateBrake has even invented a handheld brake for longboards—just $109.95!) They'll never be forced to deal with the dangers inherent to skateboarding, because longboards are designed to protect their riders from the concrete by providing them with an unseemly amount of real estate to stand upon. And for this very reason, they proliferate, and bike lanes and college campus walkways become clogged with mongo-pushing, mall-gripping longboarders, almost none of whom know how to stop, and none of whom likely give a shit—they just want to cruise.

And it’s this apparent harmlessness that, counter to logic, makes longboarding a more pernicious threat to skateboarding culture. A popular New York City skateboarding blog recently speculated that, should a longboarder, coaxed onto First Avenue or any other busy street by the false sense of security that longboards provide their users, get killed by a passing vehicle, the City of New York might move to ban skateboarding from the street entirely—missing the distinction between longboards and skateboards, longboarders and skateboarders, with skateboarders getting the raw end of the stick. (The author of the blog refused to comment about this, having deleted the post after a deluge of longboarder hate mail and comments—I’m prepared for the worst.)

Not only are longboards comically outsized, castrated, and flightless versions of skateboards, there is ample reason to believe that they could potentially make skateboarding look even worse in the eyes of the law than it already does. This is the more insidious threat that longboards might pose to skateboarding, and skateboarders: that this subculture could be defined from its lame and fainthearted fringe rather than from within.

Longboarders, like Blue Dog Democrats or guys who sag skinny jeans, do everyone a disservice by refusing to pick a fucking side. In the rare instance that they do pick a side, it’s usually against traffic. As someone who still skateboards more than they sit in front of a desk writing might put it, longboards are fucking lame.


Share |

Comments

You completely duplication our mean and the difference of our information. non-medical in-home care in Granger

The people not reading your blogs are missing out a lot of quality contents.voyance audiotel pas cher

ant extermination
Many thanks for the exciting blog posting! Simply put your blog post to my favorite blog list and will look forward for additional updates. Simply wanted to write down a word in order to say thanks to you for those wonderful tips.

press release app
A debt of gratitude is in order for setting aside an ideal opportunity to talk about this, I feel firmly that affection and read more on this point. On the off chance that conceivable, for example, pick up learning, would you psyche overhauling your web journal with extra data? It is exceptionally helpful for me.

tech public relations
Wow! This could be one particular of the most helpful blogs We’ve ever arrive across on this subject. Basically Excellent. I’m also an expert in this topic therefore I can understand your effort.

tech public relations
would also motivate just about every person to save this web page for any favorite assistance to assist posted the appearance

while the are searching for engine construe spoil a particular overall of human to the location and all one-way links on them, so if you someone one in every of your inks on a pagerank 5 location you found in change get hierarchal higher within the are looking for engines Large Quantity DA domains | Blogs creation

2 week diet
Great info! I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have.

2 week diet
I can see that you are an expert at your field! I am launching a website soon, and your information will be very useful for me.. Thanks for all your help and wishing you all the success in your business

Just pure brilliance from you here. I have never expected something less than this from you and you have not disappointed me at all. I suppose you will keep the quality work going on. Long Island Face Painting

Long Island Face Painting
nteresting post. I was looking for this kind of information and enjoyed reading this one. 50s retro dresses

press release app
I’m happy I located this blog! From time to time, students want to cognitive the keys of productive literary essays composing. Your first-class knowledge about this good post can become a proper basis for such people.

health pr firms
I concede, I have not been on this page in quite a while... then again it was another bliss to see It is such an essential theme and overlooked by such a variety of, even experts. experts. I thank you to help making individuals more mindful of conceivable issues.

This is not certainly printing but additionally decoration of these items. The age of efficacious reachable now not one of a kind to hot Prints shops but moreover on-line. cheap brochure printing sg

nova scotia student loan
cherish this site!! The glimmer up the top is magnificent!!
cure panic attacks

As much as is increasing awareness of citizens it is easier to implement program sustainability and preservation of the environment.freetourstockholmcity

(a) classified ads in special sections of major commercial online services. Business SEO

3 week diet
I thought it was going to be some boring old post, but it really compensated for my time. I will post a link to this page on my blog. I am sure my visitors will locate that extremely useful.

Hand them in and also, given that you're collecting all of the XP instantly you will get a tremendous boost.FIFA News

link building service
Good post but I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this subject? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Appreciate it!

Great webpage brother I am gona inform this to all my friends and contacts.xiaomi mi6

I am very happy to read this article .. thanks for giving us go through info.Fantastic nice. I appreciate this post. pr app

I have been getting a lot of useful and informative material in your website.betty

nova scotia student loan
Interesting topic for a blog. I have been searching the Internet for fun and came upon your website. Fabulous post.

My friend mentioned to me your blog, so I thought I'd read it for myself. Very interesting insights, will be back for more law exam preparation

free pr
I was reading your article and wondered if you had considered creating an ebook on this subject. Your writing would sell it fast. You have a lot of writing talent.

Hello I am so delighted I located your blog, I really located you by mistake, while I was watching on google for something else, Anyways I am here now and could just like to say thank for a tremendous post and a all round entertaining website. Please do keep up the great work. fat diminisher system reviews

yoga burn reviews
I just got to this amazing site not long ago. I was actually captured with the piece of resources you have got here. Big thumbs up for making such wonderful blog page!

Visit the three sisters
Very interesting to read this article.I would like to thank you for the efforts you had made for writing this awesome article.

picture editor
Welcome to FreshStart Cleaning Service! We are the most reputable carpet cleaning firm in the Daphne, Baldwin, Mobile and Escambia area. We pride ourselves in providing the most thorough carpet cleaning, upholstery cleaning, tile and grout cleaning and water extraction services.

This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing blog that understand the value. Im glad to have found this post as its such an interesting one! I am always on the lookout for quality posts and articles so i suppose im lucky to have found this! I hope you will be adding more in the future... geschlossene fonds

دانلود فیلم متولد 65​, دانلود رایگان سریال, دانلود سریال جدید, دانلود فیلم و سریال با لینک مستقیم, دانلود فیلم های جدید و برتر, دانلود رایگان فیلم و سریال با لینک مستقیم دانلود فیلم متولد 65

I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.bmw 228i car covers

As a seo visitant sworn to ethical search engine optimization services, all our tactics are colorless hat. We aver our line relationships earnestly and aim to pass lasting lineament. seo packages usa

i really like to combine up my anchor texts a whole lot as feasible, and even use my call as a part of it quite a bit of the time: “Mark – domestic home equipment” cheap seo company

Them hope you will give more information on this topics in your next articles
long island pr firms

I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style of blogging. I added it to my favorites blog site list and will be checking back soon. Please check out my site as well and let me know what you think. Escorts in islamabad

Your articles and listing are inspirational. free casino bonus

خرید اینترنتی لباس - فروشگاه اینترنتی لباس خرید لباس فروش لباس خرید اینترنتی کیف خرید اینترنتی لباس خرید اینترنتی کفش خرید اینترنتی لباس

Everybody; disabled and abled alike deserve to love and be loved. Love keeps the world moving but for the disabled, finding true love or a compatible single to build a long-term relationship with can be real pain in the neck. However, that is about to change 3 week diet review

Very interesting blog. Alot of blogs I see these days don't really provide anything that I'm interested in, but I'm most definately interested in this one. Just thought that I would post and let you know
company setup in dubai

All the contents you mentioned in post is too good and can be very useful. I will keep it in mind, thanks for sharing the information keep updating, looking forward for more posts.Thanks nova scotia student loan

Really a great addition. I have read this marvelous post. Thanks for sharing information about it. I really like that. Thanks so lot for your convene. Diamond

You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me. Diy Smart Saw review

Keep posting article like this. It is fun. Nice photography too! 3 week diet review

I love the way you write and share your niche! Very interesting and different! Keep it coming! ​family law dayton ohio

I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style of blogging. I added it to my favorites blog site list and will be checking back soon. Please check out my site as well and let me know what you think. Exfoliating Mitt

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog, I will keep visiting this blog very often. fat diminisher system reviews

This is very educational content and written well for a change. It's nice to see that some people still understand how to write a quality post! Dofollow Blog Comments

Thanks for your information, it was really very helpfull.. obat kuat alami