This is the the online version of the article published in the April 2012 edition of Concrete Wave Magazine.
Even your grandma heard about it.
News even non-longboarders hear about.
By Andrew Yeung – Curator at longboardism.com
We go through a lot of news items and videos every day at longboardism.com and try to feature the most interesting ones for our core audience, longboarders. New deck releases or race reports get a lot of hype, but ask your non-skating friends if they’ve heard about so-and-so’s new deck and the odds of a ‘yes’ are pretty slim.
Nonetheless, every now and again longboarding does make it to the mainstream media. Here are some of those gems that transcended beyond the realm of the longboarding community. These are the things that people in general – maybe even your grandma – would have heard about.
The ladies have the upper hand
The Longboard Girls Crew got the world’s attention with a video by Juan Rayos (2.5 million+ views on Vimeo and YouTube combined). The LGC movement started spreading, adding chapters worldwide. This gave many girls the inspiration and encouragement they needed to pick up the sport. With over 160,000 ‘likes’ on their facebook page, marketers got interested too. Soon we saw lady longboarders in a Swedish TV ad for Peugeot. Then it was Mercedes’ turn when they paired Formula1 female driver Susie Wolf for a joyride with the members of the LGC. Here’s to girl power!
Downhill skating by the Millions
For many people, this will be the closest they’ll ever get to racing, let alone hopping on a longboard. Downhill Xtreme by Distinctive Wireless Inc. is a mobile game available on IOS and Android. The game has had over 1.5 million downloads on the Android market (we’re guessing similar performance on the IOS app store). It even made it to the top ten TOP FREE games for Android. The game has put ‘longboarding’ at everyone’s fingertips. Shame that the developers forgot to include helmets as part of the equipment.
Cameo deer appearance goes viral
We saw it on Espn, CNN, Fox News, CBS and countless other blogs and websites. Even gossip and celebrity blogger Perez Hilton featured it. If people saw only one longboard-related video last year, it was probably Ryan Vitale being tackled by a deer while skating a run at the second edition of the Buffalo Bill Downhill Race. Or was it him tackling the deer? You be the judge. The video went viral on YouTube (the original upload gathering over 1.3 million views with hundreds of other copies uploaded) and for a brief elusive moment, longboarding was part of every conversation starting with “Did you see that video of…?”.
“You’ll be subject to arrest”
– New York State Supreme Court.
A Supreme Court injunction and hundreds of police officers deployed to greet longboarders? This is what happens when your race calls itself ‘The Broadway Bomb – you could die’ and over 1,500 plan to attend. All the news network cameras were on the Big Apple that October weekend and no one knew how it would end. Hundreds defied the warning that they could be subject to arrest, and a scaled down event with a modified route went ahead with full police escort. Perhaps what summarized the day best was Abec 11’s Chris Chaput posing for a photo in-between two of New York’s finest published in the New York Times website (see image #7).
The longboard gets an electric boost
Some may say that and electric longboard is contrary to the spirit of skating, but the world at large still openly embraced the Boosted Board. This board is among a new generation of products catering to both skaters and a broader public seeking alternative ways of transportation. Gone are the days of heavy motors and bulky batteries. With a 6-mile range and weighing under 12 pounds, this Kickstarter-funded project sought $100K in funding and ended up with almost
half a million, proving that the electric skateboard is a bankable idea. Boosted Board even presented their innovation at TED 2013 conference (Video Below) and South By Southwest®.