The Northridge Longboarders Group
Everyone remembers that one friend they had when they were little. That one close buddy that was always up for anything. Whether it was about throwing water balloons at cars, or sweating it out building dirt jumps for your bikes in an empty lot, that side-kick of yours was always there, always willing to undertake some hapless journey, always pleased to share the spoils and hazards of your endeavors.
Well, after spending a good year skating with these cats, being apart of / involved with the Northridge Longboarders is like having a dozen or so friends just like the one you had when you were little. Always up to getting involved, always completely stoked to try something that could potentially get you hurt. Over the course of this last year I’ve met so many new and interesting people through the Northridge Longboard sessions. I’ve watched a brave group of individuals go from barely being able to stand on a skateboard, let alone make it move, progress to a point where stand up slides flow effortlessly, and even the steepest hills can now be safely navigated. The Northridge Longboard sessions have really fostered a wonderful environment for which people, many of whom never having really had any experience skating at all prior, can come and be exposed to numerous groups and individuals involved in the greater Southern California longboarding community.
Matt Peckson and David Seemiller crushing.
Rachel Bruskoff doin’ her ladies proud as she rages down this hill.
Sean Solymar could do this with one arm tied behind his back.
Matt Peckson floats a very quick toe-side slide under a late afternoon sky.
Tyler Nixon showing the camera how to properly administer thane lines onto blank pavement.
David Seemiller is one of those people that I’ve personally watched make leaps and bounds with his skating over the course of this past year. Keep an eye on this kid, he’s comin’ up.
Joe Gutkowski gives Rafael Bondoc the low down on his set up while the group waits for everyone to get to the top of the hill.
The group rounds out an afternoon session with a pack run down one of their home turf hills.
When I had just started out on a longboard, I would have been hard pressed to find someone willing to listen to me go on and on about surfing a canyon road on my skateboard. The interactions with people never seemed to make it past the phrases, “Are you crazy!?”, or “Aren’t you worried about falling!?”. In contrast to this however, the Northridge Longboarders have really built a wonderful community that prides itself on getting birds of the same feather to flock together. Personally, I think there is a common misconception with longboarding. With media the way it is these days, it’s easy to get caught up in the glamor of it all. The logo’ed up leathers, the huge stand-up slides, the speed, the tricks. All too often though, we forget that behind every pro, every athlete that now makes up what we see and know as professional longboarding, at some point or another, started out the exact same way as everyone else. Just as nervous, and just as apprehensive. It’s just nice to know now, that groups like the Northridge Longboarders exist. Always willing to skate, always willing to usher a brave new soul into the sport. To find out more about the Northridge Longboarders, please visit their Facebook page, or get in touch with the club president, Joe Gutkowski.