Long Boarding: A Liberating Experience For Eugene Riders

Fall colored-leaves swirling like a tornado, mapping the path of long boarders making their way towards Tactics board shop on 4th Avenue in Eugene, Oregon. A place where board-obsessed can come together to discuss rides and shop for gear.

Thomas Fairbanks, a 24-year-old University of Oregon student, came by Tactics to have the staff help him fix the condition of his well-used Sector 9 long board. “I don’t know if it is my riding style of what but I can’t seem to keep a board in one piece for more than six months.”

Fairbanks has been riding long boards since he was a freshman at the U of O at the tender age of seventeen. After years of borrowing and riding on used boards, Fairbanks rented a long board from the UO Outdoor Program and the rest is history.

“I love putting myself outside of my comfort zone so I decided to make the leap and buy a board from Tactics. [Boarding] is something I never thought I could do so when the guys here set me up with a board custom made to fit me. It boosted my self-confidence,” Fairbanks said.

Based from their personal experiences riding, three U of O student long boarders in an interview yesterday said Eugene is friendly towards the long boarding community.

“I’ve had cops and stuff tell me to stop riding in places I believe I should have the right to skate but the harassment was more than I’ve experienced in Washington State when I lived there,” Nora Baker said, a 21-year-old transfer student from Washington State University.

One thing all three boarders had in common, not one was aware it was illegal to skate or long board on the road and sidewalks, according to Suzi Steffen, a U of O Reporting 1 Professor.

“I look at it as a rule that was made without little thought because it is one of the most unrealistic and ridiculous facts I’ve heard of,” said Vincent Carbone, another 21-year-old U of O student. “The outskirts of Eugene have endless roads and hills, leaving you feeling like your riding through a ghost town. Maybe that is why I haven’t had any problems with the city.”

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