Blog Archives

The First Time

I’ve never been good with wheels.

I spent the majority of my life playing sports (soccer & skiing) at a competitive level, and before I was about to truly hit the prime peak of becoming pretty fantastic at those sports, my knees told me they’ve had enough. I was about 13 years old when it first happened. I was rollerblading down my driveway when my right knee dislocated and I went face first into the pavement. The pain was unbearable. You could hear me screaming two towns over. I haven’t been back in a pair of skates since.

Except mine were lime green.

In my attempts to get over my fear of wheels and my knee dislocating again, I took on skateboarding. I was shaky and uneasy the entire time. I didn’t ever feel like I was in control of the board and found it difficult to work my way around corners. A few years ago, a friend introduced me to the world of longboarding. I stared in disbelief – it’s a longer board, bigger and nicer wheels, and trucks that look like they can actually move. I watched my friend as he boarded up and down the street with ease and grace.

I immediately thought that it would be easy for me too. I jumped on the board and used my foot to start the momentum – just like a skateboard. I could feel the difference in the board itself – it just seemed to work better underneath my feet. I was in control. It reminded me of a combination of skiing, snowboarding, and surfing all at once and on pavement. The ride was smooth feeling and my heart pumped as I worked up cardio to keep speed. Of course, I made sure to apply the appropriate safety gear, complete with knee pads and brace to stave off another injury and helmet, since my head is a pretty important part of me. I was no stranger to the elements of staying safe when trying a new sport.

Being on the board was exhilarating. I carved up and down the street at a speed I wasn’t sure was even possible. Keeping my feet on the edge allowed for more of an ability to carve and take some nice, big turns and corners (because I was no where ready to take a short-turn just yet). As I grew more comfortable and confident on the board, I was hooked within two hours of riding for the first time.

If I can get on a longboard and be comfortable, I encourage anyone and everyone to give it a try. Not only is it beneficial to your health and can get you to shorter distances faster than walking, it is also a fun recreational experience – as long as you have the right safety gear.

Get out there and longboard!

– Amber Bordun

Advertisements

Plunder Ventures is Designing a Longboard Brand!

Let’s just call the customer Mr. Confidential for now, but I assure you, this is completely real. We’ve set up the significant distribution on this deal and we’re working to come up with ideas. Lots of ideas. But our ideas aren’t good enough! We need your help in getting the ball rolling on some new paradigms, and to give us feedback on the designs people suggest while responding to this post.

What We Need From You

Design Ideas – comment on this post or send ideas to  tparlette.hba2011@ivey.ca

Design Opinions – indicate your interest in evaluating ideas

Designs – Do you have a design that would work perfectly? Read on!

Raised Boards Queens Park Toronto Board Meet

Longboarders at Queens Park, Toronto

What’s Important:

  • Safety
  • A great ride
  • Something that’s differentiated, that people will want ‘just cause’
  • Undeniably cool looking products
  • Your creativity!

We Can Control:

  • Deck Shape– Don’t be fooled by the picture above, we aren’t stuck with a pintail shape.
  • Materials– We will likely be working with moulded & cut plywood, unless you can convince us otherwise.
  • Components 
  • Graphics on the back
  • Wood Colour
  • Grip-Tape Placement & Cut

Target Market Insights

  • Males are traditionally 75% of the end-users, and females 25%
  • (That means that likely 75% or more of skater parents are Dads)
  • Parents – Christmas Shopping for youth aged 9- 14
  • Parents – Christmas Shopping for youth aged 15- 19
  • Parents – Christmas Shopping for youth aged 19- 24

*** Scroll down for Timeline

A great father-son activity.

Skater Dad Enjoys a Day of Longboarding with his Son.

Timeline: 

Ideation- Internal Ideas: Work out internal costs & constraints, try to gauge what the various stakeholders think they want.
Week 1: August 25th – August 31th. 
Ideation- External Ideas: Get forum input, artistic community ideas, blog & stumble upon input. 
September 1st 2011 – Septeber 6th 2011
Design Selection & Development: Share responses & submissions and ask the communities for feedback and preferences.
Week 4: September 7th 2011 – September 14th 2011
Design Finalization: Choose final designs and submit them to our manufacturing partners to be turned into official SKUs with manufacturing that can be scaled to demand.
September 14th – October 1st

Product Launch: Mid October 2011The earliest that product will be available for sale. 

And you may be wondering, “why would you design a longboard brand to launch in the winter?” Simple! We’re making it a longboarder’s Christmas this year! Ho ho hope to hear your ideas 🙂

Contact

Submit any ideas in the comments or to the email below.

Send your design idea with your name, phone number, and location (country, state/province, city) to tparlette.hba2011@ivey.ca

And as always, make sure to check out: Longboardable.ca !

www.longboardable.ca

Grassboard your Longboard. 2 dirty ways to use grass to your advantage on a Longboard

Longboard on Grass. Bottom of Withrow Park Hill

Longboarding at Withrow Park in Riverdale (Toronto, Ontario, Canada). Restless Splinter.

Thousands of students across Canada and the United States. have already discovered the tremendous benefits that longboarding has to offer- fitness, time savings and smooth rides down paved hills to name a few.

Did you know that you can ride your longboard down grass hills as well? There are two cool reasons why you might want to do this.

1. Grass has speed-taming effect. At the park, you may be tempted to ride down long paved paths. If you find yourself picking up a tad too much speed, look for a grassy patch. Carve onto it, and slow the *%K down!

Tips:

  • Turn at a 45 degree angle when moving from a paved surface to a grass surface (or vice versa), especially if the grass is not perfectly level with the pavement.
  • Riding onto a flat or low-incline grass surface will slow you gently to a stop.
  • Watch out for pine-cones and sticks!
  • Cut across grass patches when turning onto intersecting paths.
  • Ideally use a board that has a fully-gripped deck, not spray on grip.

It takes some getting used to, but you’ll be glad you did it if you get out of control and need to bail.

2. Tackle steeper hills. On paved surfaces, there’s a limit to what most of us will tackle. The fact is, on grass, since there’s more friction to slow you down, you can tackle steeper hills without getting up to dangerous speeds. It’s loads of fun. Does anyone have a scientific equation for this phenomenon? If so, let me know in the comments 🙂

Tips:

  • Lean back
  • Watch someone else do it first
  • Try on a smaller hill first
  • Bail if you have to

Careful, you might get grass burn!

A note about bearings and maintenance. If you choose to use your longboard on grass, your bearings will wear out faster. However, most riders (including myself) really can’t tell the difference. If you can tell, then I sympathize. You have two options- buy a new set of bearings (under $20 retail) or miss out on grassboarding!

Open up a whole new world of places to go on your longboard. Scroll down for more pics.

Grassboarding in Toronto

Andrei Calinesu before riding down.

Andrei Calinescu withrow hill.

Andrei Calinescu mid-hill.

Andrei Calinescu bottom of withrow hill.

Tristan Parlette tackles Withrow Park hill shirtless.

Withrow Park grassboarding on a Restless Shredder Longboard.

What a high!

Longboardable Logo

www.longboardable.ca

In other news, our new online store is nearing completion. Should be up and running by September 2011. Tristan Parlette.

Why I Chose Longboarding

You’ve probably noticed a lot more people riding around on wheeled platforms this year. They’re not regular wheels though, they’re extra wide, and extra soft. The soft, flexible, polyurethanes that we have today weren’t always around. Longboarding today owes its existence to the evolution of durable, yet affordable plastics, not to mention to the invention of trucks.

Of all the many benefits of Longboarding, here are the TOP 5 REASONS why I Longboard.

1. Short learning curve.

When you’re busy, picking up a new sport is the last thing on your mind. But to reap the many benefits of longboarding, it helps that the sport is damn easy to learn. In the words of a fellow Tristan, “There was literally nothing to learn” (in the context of me teaching my sister how to longboard).

WHY is it so much easier to learn than Snowboarding, Skateboarding or Wakeboarding?

The ANSWER may surprise you. Continue reading, or scroll down.

2. Worry-Free Six Pack

When you get into the habit of Longboarding, your six-pack just happens. Impossible? It happened to me, and it can happen to you.

I’ve only had a true six pack twice in my life. The first was when I was in my mid-teens. Back then, I had the self-discipline to go to the gym and do sit-ups 3 days a week. That gym was a dungeon, but it was all worth it for those coveted abs.

Then highschool rolled around. Along comes drinking, weed and income to buy fast food. Opps. That six-pack shrunk to a four-pack, then to two pack.

The beauty of longboarding is that your abs develop naturally as you move from A to B. You don’t have to think about isolating muscle groups, or cramping your back. Your abs develop on their own, because they help you progress in the sport. Your abs are flexed naturally, not forcefully.

What would you do if you stopped thinking about your gut, and started thinking about something else? Who knows. But thinking about your gut is a huge waste of time, no?

There’s nothing wrong with a gut, and you shouldn’t feel shame for who you are. But if you want a solid core, and you’re like me and just naturally lazy, taking up Longboarding will surprise you in more ways than one.  Your woman (man, or lack there of) will thank you for it.

3. Shorter Commutes.

If you’re like most recent grads, you probably take the bus, or public transit to get to work. (I’ll get to you car and bike people in a minute!) The problem with transit isn’t just the speed of the vehicles. Admittedly, the transit stops slow you down, but in many cases transit saves you time because transit vehicles often have the luxury of avoiding traffic with dedicated lanes or by being underground.

What really kills transit as an efficient transportation option (in terms of total trip time) is traveling to and from the stops! Longboards really cut back on this time. Your walking time can be reduced by 2/3rds, with a longboard. Easy. And what about those days when you get up a tad too late and you miss your bus? No sweat- beat it to the next stop! More often than not, you can catch up to the bus with your longboard, and save your late ass from having to make up an excuse. Longboarding is a refreshing way to wake yourself up.

Then there’s the time you save walking in your neighborhood- getting to and from stores, your place, restaurants, the post office, fast food, the bank and so on. Individually, the trips don’t seem like much – 10 minutes saved here, 2 there – but collectively, small savings can free up a lot of time. I calculated that I save 30 minutes per day by longboarding around my neighborhood. That’s a 90 hour savings for a 6 month season (seasons are generally 8 months in Canada, but I took out 2 months to account for rain days).

So longboarding frees up an extra 90 hours in my life, what will I use that time for? Well, I’ll use it for sleeping in. I’ll get more work done in a day. Relax more. Read more. Socialize more. What would you do with an extra 90 hours?

Bike People. I hear your skepticism. Why not get a bike? You murmur. Bikes are, after all, faster than longboards. You’ve got me there.

Here’s the thing. The average speed you travel is not the only factor at hand. Disagree? Then might I suggest you take an airplane to work? Clearly there’s something else at play here- albeit exaggerated in the plane example. Speed isn’t the only factor that affects how long it takes to get from point A to point B.

Taking an airplane would be absurd traveling across town to your office. Why? Because you can’t walk out your front door and onto a plane. You have to set up your flight, and get to and from the airports and wait for your bags to finish rotating around a metal conveyor belt. Waiting, security and boarding will eat away at your time. Now, at sufficient distances, taking a plane does make sense. At some distance, a plane and a car actually take the same amount of time in total.

Total Trip Time = Distance /Average Travel Speed + Set Up Time + Put Away Time + Delays

Now, unlike bikes, with longboarding, you can ride right out the door every single trip. (Most people don’t keep their bikes in their front closets.) And when you’re on a longboard, you can take shortcuts that bikes simply can’t pull of. Bikes make sense for distances of >1 KM. (up to a certain point)

Longboards make sense for distances <1 KM.

I drive. Not a ton, but enough. Cars are good at what they do, and since they’re a permanent fixture of you place of residence, the set up time is pretty modest. But what about parking…

Parking kills your time gains. Looking for it, walking from it, paying for it, defending yourself for where you do it. Don’t even get me started. But hey, you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do. Parking is one of those annoying facts of life and owning a car. But you can still save time with a longboard! I longboard to and from my dad’s car wherever I go.

Most people don’t associate time-savings with Longboarding. But here’s the catch- when you’re doing something to save time, you will naturally do it more. Commute your gut into a six pack, and save time in the process.

3. Sweet, sweet carving.

I’ve cross-stepped around the biggest selling point of longboarding. You can carve down a street, the way you carve down a snow-covered hill. You can even propel yourself across mostly flat terrain. No holding onto a rope behind car, though that does sound like fun. I never thought it would be possible to feel a smooth road in the same way that you feel power on a hill, or perfectly flat water at the cottage. I was wrong.

4. The terrain park is already built.

Just take a look in your backyard. If you’re like most people, you live in a city. Your city is your playground. I guarantee that if you live in any decently sized metropolitan area you will discover a ton of great longboarding spots, that are already there!

Board Sports are my thing. I was weened on Waterskiing, and have indulged in Skiing, Snowboarding, Surfing, Wakeboarding, Kneeboarding and Wakeskating over the years. I was never a fan of Skateboarding because I didn’t have the patience, or the tolerance for pain. The fact of the matter is, these sports are great, but I can’t live in the city and get any good at the same time. They simply aren’t accessible. I can’t wakeboard home from the bank, though if anyone finds a way to do this, kudos! Drop me a line.

5. The price is right.

You can get a decent complete for $250. And the nice thing is, you aren’t paying for gas for your boat or for lift tickets. There’s barely any maintenance and you can use the helmets and pads you likely already own. And if you substitute transit, for longboarding you can put those savings towards a better board. Then there’s the value of your time.

Bottom Line: When it comes to board-sports, you simply can’t beat a longboard in terms of value. I discovered Longboarding last year and am on my 2nd season. Today, I’m maneuvering the streets in ways I hardly thought I was capable of last year. It’s really that easy.

5. bonus; help the environment by consuming less fuel.

I’m not saying a longboard the solution to the environmental crisis, but it’s a step in the right direction. The less we burn the better.

Your answer…

So why is Longboarding so much easier to pick up?

Simple- accessibility. Unlike Wakeboarding and Snowboarding, you can typically longboard within 2 minutes of walking out your front door. The result? While the sport might not be THAT much easier pound for pound, it is much MUCH easier to get the time in. Not to mention, you save yourself all the extra work and energy involved in putting on snow gear, or filling up your boat with gas (and recruiting a spotter) every time you want to go out. That effort can be redirected towards getting better, and getting better faster.

And what makes it easier than skateboarding? Cracks. Longboards can ride over cracks with ease, (due to the big urethane wheels). Skateboards can ride over cracks too, but for beginners, cracks can bite, and seriously turn you off the sport.

And lastly, if you’re from Canada, check out our commerce store. We live and processing orders as of Friday August 19, 2011.

www.longboardable.ca