Skateboards roll alongside bikes on La Verne’s byways.

by Grace Casale

Adam Ferreras, a sophomore business major, pulls up in his gray Dodge Dakota. It is 9:05 a.m., his first class starts in five minutes, and he is at the intersection of Third and E streets. He reaches into the truck bed and pulls out his Active skateboard. He slings on his backpack and heads straight for Founders Hall. “I don’t want to use the parking lot so I ride my skateboard,” Ferreras says. He is putting a skill learned in his teens to good commuter use. “I prefer the board over the bike.” For the brief solo ride, Ferreras tunes into his own music. “I haven’t used my board in years but riding on campus has made me get back into it and love riding again.”

Affordable, green, healthy, time efficient, cool, calming, a great way to meet people and just pure fun. This is what longboarding and skateboarding are all about. The number of students who ride on campus rises each year and, therefore, boarding is not only a way of transportation but has become its own campus culture. “Boarding is such an awesome way to get around on campus,” says Brittany Hines, a recent La Verne graduate. Boarding saves students time. Instead of searching for a parking spot, they can ride straight to class, and, instead of locking up bikes, they can bring their board right into class. Boarding saves students money. Parking permits are not a worry; for those who purely use the boards for point-to-point transportation, gas is not in the money equation.

Both types of boards are in play at La Verne. Skateboards are geared toward tricks but can be used for transportation. Longboards are best suited for cruising. On campus, longboards are the commuter choice. Nevertheless, both enter riders into a common culture and atmosphere. Board pricing varies between $100 to $300, significantly less than most bikes. Then there are penny boards, which average $100 and are another popular choice for those riding just on the smooth campus pavement. In the competitive skating world, longboards are for those who push the limit and do extreme downhill riding. They also make a great choice for riding off campus because of their overall stability, carving ease, wider base and greater speed. For those making a choice between a bicycle or longboard, the board wins when it comes to security. One can heft the board to class and tuck it under a chair.

Positives of boarding

Students looking to go green and be healthy find a match with boards. Plus, boarding on campus is a great way to meet people. Jovannie Slusher and his friends ride on campus to classes. In between, they ride together to grab food. “I got a board; then all my friends started getting them so we could ride together,” says Slusher, a senior, who lives at La Verne Vista. “I started riding because I saw others riding, and it seemed super convenient and fun to do.” Most students have a Sector9 longboard, available at local skate shops. Slusher notices many more males riding boards than females, although, there are more women then he expected (he knows about three himself). Slusher and his close friends meet up to ride on occasion for fun rides, and he says he uses his board to get everywhere. “I don’t like walking anymore, and if I’m walking, it’s only because something is wrong with my board, and I did not have time to fix it.”

La Verne senior Cooper Durette lives off campus in adjoining Pomona and sometimes rides a Creature Skateboard about one mile to school. His lifestyle and mentality when he rides is as if he is surfing. “Its like I’m surfing the streets,” Durette says. He is part of the waterpolo team and says most of his teammates ride, either with boards or bikes, on campus to practice and really anywhere. Riding on campus is nice because the ground is smooth and perfect for cruising. “Push don’t pollute,” Durette says.