By Jennifer Murphy
The longboarder is not usually phased by the world that continues to change with roads being repaved and new structures being built. He sees it as his playground. Each turn on his board is something unexplored. Each slide a rush that has not been felt before. He is always searching for the next hill to ride. The longboarder lives in the moment. Austin, Texas is known for its hills and longboarding scene. We have compiled a list of places that are great spots for longboarding for expert, beginner, and the simply curious.
The University of Texas at Austin
Exercising the mind and the body – longboarding is fun way to get to class each day at UT. Guadalupe Street is a popular cruising spot to get to campus and it is a great area for a beginner to get accustomed to longboarding. Some riders of all skill levels may “dance” with the longboard, which involves a variation of walking and spinning movements.
It is also an advantage to have a longboard when Guadalupe is congested with cars during busy hours. UT allows longboarding on campus, but prohibits trick riding that they define as “wheels removed from contact with the surface in a repetitive procedure.”
Comanche Trail off of Oasis Bluff Drive
A secluded place in the mountains – you can ride downhill onto Oasis Bluff Drive after Comanche Trail. It is followed by a winding turn, which then picks up speed and cruises with ease down the road. After you pass the bridge on Oasis Bluff, you will begin to decelerate when the road transitions into uphill. This area has a good road surface and the restaurant Oasis is nearby to hydrate you after a long ride.
Whitemarsh Valley Walk and Marly Way
Both Whitemarsh Valley Walk and Marly Way have long winding roads and speeds can go up to at least 50mph while longboarding. These spots are popular for some Austin skate clubs because the wide downhill roads give longboarders room to express themselves. To control high speed, carving and hands-down sliding may be used. Carving is making a “continuous ‘S’ path by leaning left and right” and hands-down sliding requires ‘sliding gloves’ with one or two hands applying pressure onto the road while keeping the board balanced.
There are hills everywhere in Austin! Just step outside and explore.
It does not matter where you live in Austin, there are always opportunities to longboard. You can meet fellow longboarders, join a longboarding club, or even start one. Whatever the road you choose to ride, please take the necessary safety precautions – wear protective gear, be aware of cars and other people, and obey the law.