RSO “Red Cup Shred” Unites Longboarders
Andy Rovinski said he enjoys the feeling of freedom of longboarding. “It’s relaxing,” the Franklin junior said. Rovinski gets the opportunity to regularly enjoy longboarding with his registered student organization Red Cup Shred. “It forces you to live in the moment because you’re not thinking about anything else when you’re riding, you’re just doing,” Rovinski said. Fifty-two people joined together in three longboarding competitions held by the group at their first event of the fall semester. The race consisted of a three-mile push race, a downhill race and a freestyle competition. This three-part event was a success, according to organizers and participants. Young kids, teens, college students, and even some parents signed up for the race over the weekend. The event also attracted people from all areas, including contestants from Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor and Central Michigan.
“This event had a great turnout and there were no major problems,” said Jake Bielecki, Illinois junior and Red Cup Shred president.
The first part of the event, the “push race,” was a contest of speed, with the course winding around campus and through town, starting at Celani Hall and ending at Island Park. At the end of the first event, winners were able to choose from prizes from sponsors, including longboard decks, wheels, gloves, trucks, T-shirts, banners and stickers.
The second part of the event, the downhill race, was located at Canadian Lakes, about 30 miles outside of Mount Pleasant. The hill, about a half-mile long, allowed riders to reach speeds of 45 to 50 mph. For some riders this may seem terrifying, but for others, longboarding at these speeds is an adrenaline rush. The event rounded out with a freestyle competition focusing on sliding and tricks at Canadian Lakes. For Ortonville junior Dan Arney, longboarding is exhilarating.
“It’s not a scared feeling at all, it’s just pure joy,” the vice president of Red Cup Shred said.
He said while he’s riding, he doesn’t think of anything else.
“I’m focused intently on what’s in front of me,” Arney said. “It’s like driving a car with no windshield. It’s an instant adrenaline rush.”
Even though there were no major problems or injuries, there was some concern with the neighbors during the downhill and freestyle event. After talking to security, they were able to proceed with the event.
“Everyone shared the hill. We respected that they were letting us use it and we didn’t want to ruin our opportunity to use it again,” Bielecki said.
Due to the success of the first event, Red Cup Shred is planning on having more events in the future. They are excited to see more longboarders coming out to the events and group rides. Although colder weather is approaching, Red Cup Shred is not putting away their boards.
“We are already talking about having events in the spring so we can use the winter for promoting,” Beaverton junior Loryn Roberson said, an initial member and also the creator of the organization’s name.
While the winter is going to be an opportunity for the group’s promotion, they still longboard in the cold months.
“In the winter, if it’s dry enough, we still ride and we’ll go snowboarding,” Bielecki said.
Clyde Township sophomore Alexandria Loraine said she found out about Red Cup Shred at MAINstage this year.
“I had no idea that there was such a large group of people on campus that boarded, so I was of course excited,” she said. “I’ve been boarding since I was 15, so anyone else I can find that’s as excited about it as I am, of course makes a girl happy.”
Red Cup Shred is open for anyone to join.
“Anyone can join — beginner or experienced. We just want to bring people together who skate,” Arney said.
Arney said he has made some good friends from the group.
“Red Cup Shred is focused on bringing people together to form a longboarding community- and to shred the pavement,” he said.