Longboarding Rolls Into WKU
Sliding down streets and weaving around obstacles, longboarders claim a unique mode of transportation. Now, WKU boasts its own longboarding club. The new club will host its first meeting Sunday at 4 p.m. in front of Southwest Hall. Whitehouse, Tenn., sophomore Caleb Nobles, the mastermind behind the club, said everyone is welcome. The group currently has about 27 members. Nobles, began longboarding a few years ago and wanted to create a community of longboarders when he came to WKU. A longboard has a wider wheelbase and more weight than a skateboard. Nobles said longboarders flow with their environment and get great exercise. The group, called the Hill Bombers, mostly rides at night when there is less traffic. They practice on slopes, at the skate park, downtown and in parking structures.“I really enjoy how you can cruise, like surfing on concrete,” he said. “You can easily get lost in it.”
Boarders often kick off and keep themselves going by carving, or “flexing,” the board back and forth. Fellow longboarder Ryan Wilkerson said riding allows him to see a lot of things he would miss in a car.
“It’s a more intimate way of seeing the city,” he said.
Wilkerson, attended WKU before moving to California. When he moved back to Bowling Green a couple of years ago, he started looking for a group with common interests. He said he is happy to have others to ride with. Wilkerson, an audio engineer, said his longboard, or “burger fetcher,” is a great way to get around.
“I can just ride down to the store and get a hamburger and kick back,” he said.
Comparing longboarding to music and candy, Wilkerson said he likes it because it’s fun and relaxing, not because it’s important. Like Wilkerson, WKU swimmer Loui Little longboards to relieve stress.
The Melbourne, Australia, sophomore said he uses his longboard to replace his surf board, and the hills of Bowling Green to replace the ocean back home.
“It feels great,” he said. “The wind in my hair, it’s almost surreal. It helps my sanity, chasing those concrete waves.”
Although there is some risk involved, Little said he is careful about how steep the hills are and how fast he goes. He also said longboarding is the least dangerous of board sports.
Little met Nobles one day while longboarding and eventually helped form the club. He said they are happy to teach new members and share boards.
“Come one, come all,” Little said.
By Mary Anne Andrews