Long Boarding with the Boys

Ashlyn Stackhouse talks about facing possible bodily harm and road rash just to hang with her friends, the long-boarding “boys.”        

Hanging out with a group of guys 24/7 is much different than hanging out with a group of girls. When the snow melts and the radiant sun beams down on Salt Lake Valley, most girls are excited to lie out by the pool and get sun-kissed. But a specific groups of boys who I know all too well, get overly-excited about the warm weather for one thing and one thing only: Longboarding. After only knowing Tyler, Mitch, Dave, and Bryce for only a year, I know this is the one activity they love to spend their time doing in the warm spring and summer months.

These guys begged and begged to let them teach me the magical sport, but I have always told them, “No thanks, I would rather not have road rash all over my limbs.” Except on one special, sunny day after we had all stuffed out faces with Café Rio, I said yes when they asked if I wanted to learn. I was willing to put my clumsy, unbalanced self in a death trap. We drove back to Tyler’s house in Cottonwood Heights, went out to the street in front of his house and they handed me an extra long board that they had laying around the house. This is when I started to doubt my sanity about saying yes to such a dangerous activity.

Ever since I was nine years old after falling off my bike and getting gravel lodged into my knee, I have always been terrified of falling on streets. So why would I agree to learn how to ride a wooden board with four, probably unsafe, wheels down a hill?

“It’s fun, Shlyn. I promise you’ll love it.” My best friend, Tyler said, using the nickname that they all called me.

I was relieved to find out that they weren’t going to make me ride down a big, scary hill for my first time. They first taught me how to just normally ride the board. Left foot towards the top of the board, push off with your right foot and bring that foot up onto the back of the board. This part was surprisingly the hardest part for me because I’m not the most graceful and balanced person in the world.

I continued to listen to all four boys trying to tell me the best way to do certain things on the long board, but my mind started to wander from the moving object I was riding on, to the four boys standing in front of me.

When I was younger, I always got along better with boys, probably because I have always been a slight tomboy throughout my life, but I still need my girly moments, of course. This explains why I find myself connecting with these boys more than I do with most of my friends. They are like the older brothers I have never had. Dave and Mitch are the brothers that do every adrenaline-rushing activity out there together. There was a time when Bryce was not be a brother to me, he was my boyfriend for eight months but things changed, which  caused me to see him more as a brother. Last but definitely not least is Tyler, a.k.a my best friend, and one of my favorite people in the world. He and I have such a strong sister and brother bond. I have never experienced that type of bond ever, until now.

Looking at all of them, excited to teach me something they all love to do was a very heartwarming experience. Even though I may have whined a lot during this learning process and completely let out the girl side of me, they still put up with me and helped me learn something new. Now, I may not be as good as they are, but at least now we have one more activity to add to the list that we can all enjoy together. I now understand why they love long boarding so much. It’s not just the sport itself; it’s the fact that you are able to grab your longboard and cruise with your closest friends.

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