Longboarding catching on in Albuquerque
Posted at: 02/11/2014 10:46 PM
Updated at: 02/11/2014 11:10 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4
Albuquerque is increasingly becoming a hotspot for longboarders, thanks to its steep hills, ditches and empty channels. Longboarders typically use a 38-inch or longer board, good for going long distances often at high speeds.
Longboarders like the Duke City Bombers group plan rides and teach safety clinics around town. They say the appeal is a fast, adventurous ride almost anyone can get into.
“If you're 40 and you don't want to fall anymore, you're still going to fall cause its skateboarding, but you can go and cruise a hill and take it pretty mellow, or if you're 21 you can go somewhere and do 60 on your hill,” longboarder Chris Cade said.
Longboarding has caught on quick in Albuquerque partially because of the parallels with snowboarding.
“It's a good way to cross-train in the off-season, if it's too snowy in town to skate you can head up to the hills and keep your legs strong,” Cade said.
But also because the city of Albuquerque is made for it.
"What we're really known for is the ditches, everybody knows the ditches out here and we have a lot of hills, great skate parks,” longboarder Tim Elwell said.
A lot of longboarding hotspots -- ditches, sloped streets and parking garages – aren’t technically allowed.
But many skaters, especially those who use boarding as their mode of transportation, hope people will start giving the sport more credit.
“Normally we get stopped and we get cited for the city code we've been stopped with is toy in the street...which technically it is a toy but if I'm moving from point A to point B, what's wrong with that?” Cade said.
To learn more about longboarding in Albuquerque, visit https://www.facebook.com/Dukecitybombers
UNM had this to say about skating on campus:
UNM does have a general, campus-wide policy regarding bicycles and other non-motorized vehicles. Below are some pertinent snippets from the policy.
The University encourages the use of non-motorized vehicles for commuting to campus and for cautious transportation on campus, inappropriate use can cause injuries to persons and damage to property.
Individuals using bicycles, skates, skateboards, and other non-motorized vehicles on campus must at all times yield to pedestrians, use due caution, and exercise concern for the safety of self and others.
Motorized and non-motorized devices used by mobility-impaired individuals are excluded from this policy.
The users of non-motorized vehicles are responsible for being in control at all times of their bicycle, skates, skateboard, or other non-motorized vehicle so as not to endanger the safety of themselves or others.
In all situations, pedestrians have the right of way and users of non-motorized vehicles must yield to pedestrians. The speed of non-motorized vehicles shall be limited to a prudent rate that will avoid collisions. Users must keep a reasonable distance, generally 15 feet, from buildings to ensure use of non-motorized vehicles does not disrupt University classes or business, interfere with pedestrian traffic, or damage physical structures. Areas fifteen (15) feet around buildings, areas inside buildings, and handicap ramps are designated as Dismount Areas in which the use of non-motorized vehicles is prohibited. Dismounting may be necessary to access bicycle racks.
Prohibited acts include acrobatic maneuvers, stunts, trick riding, using excessive speed, and skating or riding on any non-motorized vehicle on handicap access ramps.
Users are encouraged to use safety helmets and other protective equipment and clothing. Bicyclists shall comply with all applicable state laws and regulations concerning the proper riding of bicycles and required equipment including lamps, bell, and brakes.
The UNM Police Department and the University Safety, Health, and Environmental Affairs Department are responsible for enforcing this policy.
A campus-wide administrative committee and a student group to address concerns not only regarding skateboards, but also the use of all non-motorized vehicles on campus, was formed in 2011.
Areas of concern include personal liabilities and injuries to pedestrians, accessibility issues for students with disabilities, and damage to UNM property.
UNMPD says most of the violators to this policy are not UNM students, rather HS students who come to campus to skate, bike, etc.