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  • Published: Feb 10th, 2012
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Skateboards Vs Longboards

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English: Longboarding with the Kahuna Big Stick

Image via Wikipedia

Skateboarding is one of the most amazing thrill rides that anyone can do. Most people see skateboards as one large lump of sports, and when purchasing a board and deck most people just assume that all boards are made equally and are meant for the same thing. If you have been looking towards purchasing a new ride to get in on the action, you’ll have to know the difference between a street deck and a longboard. There are completely different options as they perform different types of tasks. Consider the following differences between both types of boards to make the ultimate decision when you’re about to purchase your next skateboarding product.

First and foremost we’ll discuss longboards. Longboarding is a popular activity that transcends the initial invention of the skateboard in the 1970’s. The longboard is meant for cruising through town, riding down hills, and pushing less than any other type of board. These specialized boards are longer, have larger trucks and wheels, and are easier to learn on than other boards. In most instances, you will not have to push hard on these options as one push will have you gliding down the road with relative ease. The wheels are usually softer, the bearings faster, and the turn radius much looser than traditional boarding options that you will find. These are not meant for half pipes, tricks, or anything fancy. If you’re looking for transportation, this is a great option to look into. They might cost more than the average option, but it will be well worth the investment.

The second type of board you can purchase is your standard street skateboard. These types have double kicktails at the nose and the tail of the board, and are usually no longer than 32 inches long. They also have a deep concave in the interior of the board, utilize smaller trucks, and harder wheels. These boards are meant for those that are looking to ride their boards for more than transportation. You’ll find that there is a higher learning curve on these, and if you’re planning on doing any tricks, you’ll expect to take some major spills. Street skateboards are the only boards that professional skateboarders ride in contests, magazines, and any other form of promotional media. They are made of harder woods, glued together with tight epoxies, and are meant to take major impact. The same impact on a longboard, for instance, would snap the wood fast. The street boards are meant to take serious impact, with some boards even having an interior lining of titanium. All street boards come in 7 to 8 plys of wood and are meant for tricks more than transport.

At this point, considering both options above, you should have a clearer picture of what kind of board you’ll need. If you’re not into tricks or flying off stairs or rails, go for the street style. If you want transportation and easier learning curve, go with a longer board.

 

When Im not boarding I like to blog about medical assistant training on my healthcare blog.

What Makes a Sport Extreme?

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AUGUST 9, 2009 - Extreme Sports : Rider show h...
Image via Wikipedia

Extreme sport shot to popularity in the nineties, despite popular belief, the definition of extreme is not how inherently dangerous the sport is, but whether or not it aligns with a number of other unwritten rules. Extreme sport’s lowest common denominator is that of counter culture, by counter culture I mean being in opposition to the established culture of sport and recreation, that is, values of safety, fair play and sportsmanship. Cycling is statically one of the most dangerous sports, as riders often pick up numerous injuries, whereas Squash is one of the most lethal, more people die playing Squash than in any other sport.

A sport being classed as ‘extreme’ therefore, isn’t all about danger and death, rather it is a division of competitive sport that flies in the face of traditional ideals. Extreme sports are commonly perceived to be performed at high speed and provide an adrenaline rush, though this does not tell the whole story. Consider motorsport, arguably the quickest and most adrenaline inducing sport, this does not fall under the ‘extreme’ banner.

Rather, we may think about extreme sports in terms of their youthfulness or lack of tradition, thus BMX is far more widely thought of as an extreme sport than motor racing. Another facet of extreme sports is the propensity to perform stunts, this comes back to the counter-cultural aspect of the genre, rather than straight out competition, extreme sport allows an encourages the performance aspect; who can perform the most outlandish stunt? One thing we can say with confidence about is extreme sports is that they are largely individual endeavors (winning is based on time or accumulation of points) rather than team ‘games’.

The definition of extreme sports has changed over the years, closely intertwined with the marketing of certain sports or activities as ‘extreme’. When the term was first coined extreme activities were considered to be things like scuba diving, skiing, mountain biking and snowboarding. As these pursuits became more popular however they no longer warranted the ‘extreme’, counter cultural moniker and have been superseded by more youthful variations like skateboarding, BMXing and aggressive skating.

It is key to recognize the important part that other cultural artifacts play in the image and popularity of extreme sports, video games like the Tony Hawk series have done wonders for the popularity of skateboarding while punk rock bands like 182 have always been closely associated with the culture of extreme sports. So it seems extreme sports are fundamentally youthful, counter-cultural and influenced by media, while thriving on the perception of danger or risk of injury.

Joe is a copywriter and extreme sports enthusiast. He doesn’t do anything as dangerous like jumping off cliffs, but he does like to ride his BMX bikes.

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