Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIII, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Skateboarding and Longboarding on and Around Campus

Even though alternative transportation is rampant on Whitman’s small campus, only a handful of Whitman students skateboard. Whether longboarding to class or skating for leisure, those who own boards on campus represent a small fraction of the student body.

Whitman’s campus isn’t exactly ideal for the sport. For skateboarding you mainly just need an open, rarely frequented area with various obstacles and terrain. If there is a skatepark nearby, obviously that is a large draw, but for Whitman students, the nearest park is in College Place. On campus, skaters use the small area outside of Olin Hall or can be seen behind North Hall practicing tricks.

Quinn Lincoln '16 longboards down a hill behind North Hall. Photos by Halley McCormick.
Quinn Lincoln ’16 longboards down a hill behind North Hall. Photos by Halley McCormick.

As for longboarding, all one really needs is a hilly area that is hopefully nicely paved, ideally with not much traffic.  In Walla Walla, serious elevation change is something of a rarity, so most long boarders on campus mainly direct their hobby toward getting to class. However, there are students who do manage to find places off campus to longboard from time to time, like first-year Connor Hood, who likens his hobby to other extreme sports.

“It’s a bit like snowboarding for summer. I enjoy going fast and sliding around. I get a rush out of it, I guess,” said Hood.

Skateboarding on and around campus provides a similar release for the skaters.

“[Skating] allows me to take a break from the externally legislated tasks an individual has to do at school and … do something that is purely for me; it simply allows me to have a release and get out excess energy,” said Zach Gordy, a sophomore skateboarder.

Tom Shellum, another sophomore skateboarder, also explained his love for the sport.

Tom Shellum '15 skateboards outside of Olin Hall.
Tom Shellum ’15 skateboards outside of Olin Hall.

“Skating is a lot of fun. Like any sport it’s a good way to be active and get exercise, but it also has an element of creative expression that I don’t think you can find in most other sports. I think the combination of athletic activity and creativity that skateboarding offers makes it a great stress reliever, so it’s been a good hobby to have at school. It’s also been a good way to meet people outside of the Whitman bubble. I’m friends with a lot of skaters in Walla Walla just because we see each other at the park so often.”

Although Whitman is not an ideal skating location for the skating community, there are several places they frequent.

“If I’m skating on campus, my favorite place would be the weird banks that are behind the green fence on the Ankeny side of Olin. They are pretty small but very steep which makes them challenging enough to be really fun to skate, but if I can find a ride I always prefer to skate at one of [the parks]. There is just a lot more you can do at a skatepark than on flat ground,” said Shellum.

Although the skateboarding community is small, their unique interests have drawn them together.

“Everyone I’ve met who boards is really fun to hang out with, some really good people––guys and girls too, which is really fun,” said Hood.

Even campus security seems to get along with the skateboarders, even if they don’t approve of turning every part of the campus into a skate spot.

“Despite the stereotypes of skaters not getting along with cops, we actually have a pretty good relationship with Whitman Security. They let us skate pretty much anywhere, and if there is a spot that they don’t want us skating, they are really nice about telling us to leave,” said Shellum.

The rest of the student body seems to be ambivalent to the skaters, making the community even more isolated from the mainstream.

“I don’t think people really care about skaters one way or another at Whitman. Everyone does their own thing here so I think seeing someone skate is not really a novelty people pay much attention to. People are always surprised when they find out I skate, even though I frequently skate at spots around campus,” said Gordy.

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  • P

    PhoenixMay 2, 2021 at 3:10 am

    Very detailed and helpful guide article to play with skateboard and longboard during campus. I really enjoy this reading. I will surely try this tips on my phoenix homes place.

  • E

    EliraApr 23, 2021 at 5:36 am

    Wonderful guide to play the skateboard and longboarding around campus. i will apply this idea during my camping event. I already planning to to camping activity on relevant place to play the skateboard. Thank you for sharing this article.

  • A

    AlnaMar 10, 2021 at 10:38 am

    Wow its just amazing article and I’m a biggest Skateboard fan and few friends of mine in our university made a skateboard group to experience the sport. We help each other to analyze new tricks and pass cruising on weekends. Thanks for sharing this article with all of us

  • R

    Rocaky JamyFeb 27, 2021 at 10:24 am

    You are a skateboarder, I have been skateboarding for 10 long years. I like to ride my skateboard. I have built a website with over 10 years of experience, where I share various skateboard and longboard techniques you can see if you want. https://skateboardcave.com/

  • K

    KERRY WASHINGTONJan 18, 2021 at 4:17 am

    Longboarding is a good option for me. But for more wonderful experience i will recommend electric scooters.


  • C

    Colin KintSep 3, 2020 at 3:18 am

    Hi Cole,
    I also ride longboard to commute between my home and campus which is not a great distance apart. Traffic is also thin on the street. A longboard is an efficient, environmentally-friendly form of transport. Anyone who wants to purchase a longboard I have an important piece of advice for them. The advice is when you build your own longboard, keep in mind that longboard trucks play a crucial role when it comes to riding a longboard effortlessly. So, you need to choose longboard trucks that will make your longboard highly stable and enable you to cruise through on the town sidewalk with high-speed.

  • A

    AaronJun 30, 2020 at 12:47 am

    Atom dropthrough is my choice. Prolongboarders also recommend this one.

  • N

    Nethan PaulDec 23, 2019 at 12:17 am

    The content is very informative for both skateboard and longboard as well. I have gone through the entire content and able to learn lots of things on both. I have started with skateboarding but I want to learn longboard as well. I have purchased swagboard electric skateboard for practice purpose and it is a nice experience so far.

  • H

    HeelsidechillDec 10, 2017 at 3:17 am

    Longboarding is a lifestyle and I absolutely love it. That said I feel that many new riders are hesitant to start longboarding simply because they think it’s too difficult or they don’t know where to start.
    I’ve put up a beginner longboarder’s guide up in my blog, check it out here.

  • T

    ThomasJul 12, 2017 at 4:21 am

    I’m a Skateboardfan and few friends in our college made a skateboard group to enjoy the game. We help each other to learn new tricks and go cruising on weekends.

  • W

    WilliamJun 4, 2017 at 8:12 am

    Riding longboards is awesome and I think it’s the best to transition from skateboarding to longboard as you get older. I’ve worked pretty hard at maintaining balance since you get worse as you get older. Never say never, longboarding has got me through

  • D

    David WozniakAug 3, 2016 at 11:32 pm

    I always suggest Newbie rider t o wear the safety gear for secure starting otherwise it may seem not good. I have an Atom Drop thourgh longboard Atom Drop thourgh longboard that give me better stability.

  • P

    PasupiJun 20, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    I used to go to college by riding on longboard as the way of my college don’t have too much traffic. I am really lucky.

  • S

    ShellyJun 8, 2016 at 10:12 am

    Skate park is essential to practice skateboarding as you mentioned in your post. But it is rare in the most of the place. Nowadays its popularity is increasing, skateboarders don’t worry about skate parks. It will be near your place soon. Keep skateboarding!!!!skateboards

  • L

    LewisMay 26, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    I am not a very good longboarder, i can longboard but i really am a beginner. i would like to make long distance trips on high speed. is a drop through the best choice for me?

  • C

    Chris JonesOct 22, 2015 at 12:58 am

    Fan of longboarding.
    While skateboarders mostly polish their tricks, longboarders perform other activities as well.
    Longboarding is done on the street, rather than skateparks and has a few variations which correspond to different deck shapes.

  • K

    Kev SmithJan 8, 2015 at 9:25 am

    Longboarding will continue to get more and more popular. I just bought an Atom Drop Through after having a Sector 9 – such a cool longboard!