WORDS Marcus Bandy PHOTOS Aaron Hollebeke
I ride long boards because they are skateboards and I love riding skateboards. That, and I believe in the mighty power of playfulness—long skateboards provide me with quality opportunities to transform an otherwise mundane and sterile environment into a radical playground for both my mind and my body. I also love surfing. In fact, many of skateboarding’s founding fathers and sisters started as surfers and later moved to land with a desire to recreate the fluidity of riding the rolling energy of the ocean. I strive to achieve that very same goal. For me, longer boards lend to a more grounded approach to skateboarding, with a focus on subtle, subdued, yet precise movements that are best realized in flowing motion. Add the above to the fact that steep, winding, mountain-road skateboarding is best enjoyed via long skateboards attached to wide stable trucks with beefy soft wheels on ’em and my stoker is fully sparkin’. Fast, flowing, and fluid! This Action Now column is a tribute to my love of riding boards which are long wheelbased.
Looking back, my love for long skateboards began randomly, by accident, before there was a subdivision of the industry named after it. The beginning for me can be traced back to a fateful session in the early 90’s in Austin, Texas when I had just broken my board for the third time in a single week via stomping the tail off of it attempting varying degrees of the not-so-magical rocket-heelflip. I didn’t have enough money at the time for another new board (and as you can imagine nobody was interested in me breaking one of theirs). But my roommates and friends were headed out for a session downtown anyway, so did the only reasonable thing I could think of and I teadiously peeled off the griptape from my broken deck, applied that in strippes to a 40 inch 2 X 10 piece of lumber sitting in the backyard, I then literally screwed my Venture Trucks and 52mm Spitfire Wheels to that, and we hit the streets rollin’. I rode that heavy piece of lumber all day long and even awkwardly railslid it down a bench off some stairs at the University of Texas campus. Until, ultimately, the weight of the thing, combined with the many cracks in my path along the way, finally tore the screws and front truck off of my dope-ass log jammer. I ended up having to carry it a couple miles back home. But guess what? It was totally fun—every minute of it! After that session I realized something—I learned through that experience that skateboarding is what ya make of it—it’s yours as an individual—you own it—get rad or get lost!
To be completely honest, I could have pretty much ended this entire column with my first statement—I ride long boards because they are skateboards and I love riding skateboards—and I believe that alone would have imparted the whole of the simple ethos that Wheelbase Magazine was founded on and what we strive to achieve here with the magazine today. That being said, there has been some recent buzz about the sustainability and direction of what has been coined the “Longboard Industry”. Well, my best response to that sort of noise is a quote from the honorable Hailey Shredlassie:
Until the philosophy which holds one skateboard superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned, everything is lame. Me say lame. That until there are no longer 1st class and 2nd class skaters of any nation, until the length of a man’s board is of no more significance than the color of his bushings, me say lame. That until the basic skaters rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to wheelbase, me say lame. – Hailey Shredlassie
Ha ha! Anyway, I enjoy riding all types of skateboards—in all types of ways—longer boards indeed! I want that simple concept to grow and thrive, and as long as Wheelbase is here this is the mission, y’all. Surf’s up!
– Marcus Bandy