A short temper for longboarders

Like most students who live on or around campus, I walk to each of my classes. However, there’s another breed of people who don’t — the longboarders and skateboarders. I don’t know about you, but nothing bothers me more when a boarder comes riding up behind me and comes a little too close to either hitting me or running over my feet.

I understand it’s an easier and faster way to get to and from class, but truthfully I hate it. There’s no respect between boarders and walkers. I can’t count the number of times I’ve had to go out of my way to avoid being hit. At first I was totally okay with people who use these methods of transportation, but there’s been a steady rise in the number of people coasting around campus. Is it seriously that hard to just walk to class like the rest of us? I don’t think so.

Are they rude or simply trying to get to class? Photo by Bria Benner.

It’s ridiculous that people choose to “ride” to class, considering how terrible the paths are. I’m not going to lie, I get some joy at seeing them having to jump off after a bump or get run off the path by the students walking to class. Why? Because those paths were meant for walking, not boarding. They’re called walkways for a reason.

I may be coming across as rash but I’m getting sick of being run off my path just because somebody is impatient.

“But what about bike riders?” you may ask.  True, they’re around campus too, but not in numbers even close to boarders. Also, bicycles have brakes; longboards and skateboards don’t. Instead of being able to grab the brake and slow the pace, half the time the person riding the board jumps off. Not only is that unsafe for the boarder, but a huge safety hazard for those around them as well.

I’m not saying longboards or skateboards shouldn’t be ridden at all, but one thing is missing from the relationship between them and those walking — communication.

Despite the common courtesy practice of saying “excuse me” when wanting to pass someone, I’ve yet to hear someone on a board say this to me as they’re running me off of a walkway. I have absolutely no problem with people riding their boards on campus, but please give a heads up before you catch the back of my heels and cause yourself to run off the sidewalk because in all honesty, I probably wouldn’t feel too bad about it.

In general, I truly don’t mind longboards or skateboards on campus. What I care about is respect for those walking. Use proper manners and don’t assume the right-of-way goes to the boarders just because they are traveling at a faster speed.