Longboarder Get’s A Rough Ride
A Timaru longboarder says he is sick of being abused by other road users when he skates around town. Matt Blein, 20, told the Herald this week that within the space of an hour he was abused by four people for being on the road. “I had one lady scream at me . . . about skating on the road. I think it’s time people realise I’m no different to a cyclist [on the road]. I skate in the bicycle lane. It’s not like I’m swerving in the road. “I indicate using my hands. I follow all the biking rules.” He said a friend of his was punched in the face while longboarding. “It annoys me as a skateboarder; we seem to have earned a reputation as being violent, and yet we get yelled at.
I can understand if they got mad [if we were] destroying property, but I do not. I’m only trying to get to home or town. “I also find people blast their horns at me. That’s not going to help, that’s going to give me a fright and make me fall off my board.”
Matt said he used his longboard as a cheap form of transport. “It’s my transportation. I don’t drive.” He also enjoyed it as a sport and said he was considerate on the road. If traffic was busy in town he would get off the longboard and walk.
“Some longboarders gave it a bad name, but there are inconsiderate road users in every group. You think car owners are responsible? You can’t associate every car with boy racers.”
In an effort to disassociate themselves from irresponsible longboarders who are “out there to cause trouble”, he and his friends now called themselves “landsurfers”.
“I’m not the only one that’s getting yelled at.”