Longboarders from Portland, Oregon speak out about their mode of transportation and how it may be a trend that won’t be going away anytime soon.
As the skies turn a permanent shade of gray and the streets and sidewalks are water slicked in Portland, you can spot the occasional longboarder riding down the street. There is a sense that it is a mode of transportation that is best enjoyed with someone you know riding beside you, as every longboarder I saw was riding in a pack. Drew Lame, of Portland, spoke on this idea by stating, “People in Portland ride more and more because they know people who ride and it is something you can do with others.” Alex Nguyen said that Portland is pretty odd and that it wouldn’t be strange to see someone riding a unicycle or Segway, and a longboard is just another mode of transportation.
Even longboarders aren’t scared to admit that longboarding is trend. Alex Nguyen blatantly stated that it is a “huge trend.” Another fellow longboarder, Tony Garcia, agreed by stating, “Maybe it’s a trend, but that’s only because people want to be part of the skating culture.” These longboarders don’t see this trend going away as it is a mode of transportation to get around quickly and easily, and is much cheaper than maintaining a motor vehicle. They also stated that these are the reasons why it appeals to the younger generation as gas prices are on the rise.
If longboarding is a trend, I questioned the main appeal of longboarding. “I longboard because I think that it is fun, and I use this mode of transportation when I am going a short distance or just want to ride,” said Lame. Garcia shared some of the same sentiments as Lame, stating, “I enjoy riding around; it’s like you are exploring the world when you ride.” Nguyen said that longboarding was something he looked forward to after having class, but wasn’t sure of the laws prohibiting longboarding/skateboarding.
Actually, all of the longboarders that I questioned weren’t aware of specific rules or regulations prohibiting longboarding. Nguyen knew that some areas in Portland prohibit skating, but people usually just longboard in the biker lanes. Longboarding is convenient for short travels and riders don’t see another mode of transportation that compares to its ease.