Fear & Clothing: Two Main Reasons why Girls Don’t Longboard
Why wouldn’t a girl longboard? As a newbie girl boarder, I have identified the two main reasons and found solutions for both.
- It’s pretty freaking scary: you are not strapped in; you may get hit by cars; coordination and balance are necessary.
Seriously though. One of the main reasons that I often choose to walk instead of board is because of what I’m wearing. I enjoy wearing skirts, dresses, and cute shoes. Often times, these cute shoes were $15.00 on sale from H&M and literally have no sole (soul). This is an inconvenient thing when you’re boarding along Academy next to the new ISE lab and you’re about to go down that swoop and straight into oncoming traffic.
Foot braking should be one of the first things you master, and it should be possible with the shoes you’re wearing. Also, when choosing shoes to board in, you have to keep in mind the amount of traction those shoes will provide: traction is key to controlling your ride and maneuvering effectively.
So here’s the solution: get shoes that you could wear with any cute outfit you want, but can also ride in. I tend to wear my beat up boat shoes that I got when I was 13, but since the leather is stretching, I may need to invest in some new options.
Photo credits:Personal photograph, Vans photo from Zappos.com
Vans are pretty great because they have a flat waffle sole that increases the surface area that you can brake on. Don’t believe you can be cute/girly/cool/hot/chic while wearing your sneaks? Check out my Pinterest board here.
As for not wanting to wear skirts and dresses while boarding, I say, “Why not?” Seriously. I actually put on a dress and longboarded barefoot to an interview once. Barefoot isn’t the best decision, but dang it’s breezy, and a way better option than heels (although this can be accomplished, too, with practice!).
The key to boarding when wearing things that could, well, expose you, is to not go crazy with speed or tricks. A casual push on your board is not so different from taking a long stride while walking. Still worried? Just pull on some bike shorts underneath. Girls do that all the time while wearing dresses and skirts while biking. However, if you’re going to be getting cray and race or do tricks, just put on shorts…and knee pads, elbow pads, and a helmet.
Fear of falling, fear of failing, fear of ridicule. First off, everyone falls. However, just be careful and go at your own pace. As for fear of failing or ridicule? I’m not good at longboarding. At all. And yet I have both guys and girls telling me all the time how bad ass it is that I board. One guy literally walked up to me and said, “I love you because you board,” and then just walked away. So trust me, once you get beyond your own inhibitions and just give it a shot, you’ll love it, and others will randomly compliment you! Win win situation.
Wanna give it a shot? Here’s how to get started: Ask a friend who skateboards, longboards, or snowboards to determine if you’re normal or goofy. They’ll know what to do. Then find a friend who you’re willing to hold hands with — no boarding experience required! Get on your board, hold your friends hands, and just start rolling around to get used to the balance. Practice a lil bit of turning, practice your pushes, and once you become faster than a snail, practice braking! And now you’re a pro.
Personal goal? To have half as much fun as these girls: