By George Kankia
Summer is coming to a halt and the memories of swimming, fishing and living the life are all that we have left. Freshmen Robbie Baskent is having an extremely hard time letting go of his favorite passion. Longboarding the streets from dawn to dusk. This is a sport many Upper Arlington try to pick up but very few actually succeed in. Robbie is on his way to representing Upper Arlington in many completions alongside Ethan White and Kenny Malkin. The Sport of longboarding is a huge sport in many countries and US states especially in hot climates and big hills. Robbie will tell us all we need to know about this trilling sport.
Q: For those of us that don’t know what longboarding is would you mind explaining it to us real quick?
ROBIE: It’s really just a long board with big rubber wheels. It’s kind of like a combination of snowboarding and skateboarding. It’s really a neat devise. All you need is some hills and determination. This sport is dangerous and can be quite expensive.
Q: I think we can both agree that Columbus is flat and longboarding isn’t much fun on flat streets. Where do you go around these parts?
ROBIE: I am only 15 years old and I don’t have my license yet so I don’t usually go too far. Some of those big streets that lead down to the river are good like Bethel Rd. I usually skate parking garages down at OSU after the cars leave. I can usually get a lot of speed doing that. But id has to say my favorite spot around here would be down in Grove City in this one park, (I cant say because I am not suppose to skate there). The hill is in this woody area and it’s a long windy road that runs for about half a mile and I can sometimes catch up to the cars going down it at 35 miles an hour.
Q: What do you do about longboarding in the winter?
ROBIE: During the winter I usually longboard as much as I can. It’s hard because the weather takes out most of the fun and I don’t have much determination to go out and skate. But during winter break I usually go to California to visit my dad so I take my boards down there and skate all the hills. I was born down there and I lived there until I was 13 so I know all the good spots around Newport Beach and South LA. The “boarding” atmosphere in California is different than out here in Ohio. The weather and ocean allows kids to be outside and skating or surfing all year round and this is a huge advantage. After getting back here I really like to show off and pull my moves out on the streets. Id says that keeps me going in the wintertime.
Q: I did some research on this topic and I noticed something about people buying different wheels for different purposes. What kind of wheels do you buy and how often do switch your wheels out?
ROBIE: Lets see. I usually don’t pay to much attention to my wheels. My favorite would have to be President wheels now that you mention it because I always buy those. I love to skid my board (which is when you turn your board to the side while moving fast and you are able to stay in the same direction that you were going). President wheels allow me to do that easily. I probably change my wheels 2 or 3 times a year. Every summer I get new ones for my longest board and I put new wheels on my shorter longboards whenever I need to. You know not that often.
Q: Do you compete in Championships?
ROBIE: Most of the Slalom championships I would be able to compete in are to far from home for my parents to be able to go. (Because I am 15) But I have competed in the Port Side Surf Tournament in Newport California last winter and back when I lived down there. But yeah I can’t wait to be of age to go out to Australia and compete seriously in longboarding.
Q: Would you agree that snowboarding, surfing and skateboarding help you a good amount in longboarding?
ROBIE: I think that when I go snowboarding and skateboarding and take a break from the hills I am able to see longboarding differently when I get back to it. I see it in a sense that it is much safer than skateboarding because you’re not going up rails and half pipes but just cruising down the street. I feel like without other forms of “boarding” longboarding would be much different. Probably wouldn’t be as fun.