Hi Gabe, it was great meeting you at the complete streets event a few weeks ago at the main library. You caught my attention when you spoke about how communities should open their streets and bike lanes to longboarders and skateboarders. I think you’re absolutely right that communities should open streets up for alternative transit need.
Q. Gabe, you’re project is a little different from opening streets to longboarders. At the complete streets event you discussed wanting to have a ‘Spring Outlaw Ride’ on Saturday May 12th, 2012. Could you share the details about what you’re planning?
A. In the spring I would like to have the CHS student parking lot and Parker Ave. between Valley St. and Maplewood Ave. set up for riding and I’m trying to get some known longboard companies to come and set up tables.
Q. Gabe, I’ve heard of skateboarders. When you spoke up that was the first time I heard about longboarding. Tell me more about longboarding, and how does it differ from skateboarding?
A. The biggest difference between the two is something most people overlook. Size. A skateboard is either 32 or 33 inches long, from 7 to 9 inches wide, the trucks are rarely more than 5 inches wide, the wheels are between 49mm and 60mm across. Longboard wheels range from 60mm to 139mm, the trucks are anything from 150mm to 250mm, the decks are absolutely any size you can imagine. On a longboard you have multiple different riding disciplines like downhill and free riding whereas skateboarding is either street or vert.
A. We have to have the towns sponsorship because of the massive insurance costs of an event like this and any corporate sponsors can be charged for table space which is a chance to make money for the longboarding community and they will hopefully bring boards that can be raffled off or given as prizes at the event.
Q. Have you secured sponsors for the event?
A. I haven’t secured any sponsors yet so if anybody is interested it’s an amazing chance to get word out about a company, store, or product. We want more than just longboarding companies, if you make popculture apparel or buttons or something like that, or you run a food service establishment and want to set up a table to sell food and drinks to the riders, contact me at GabeNorstein@gmail.com
Q. When did you decided that you wanted to be a professional longboarder?
A. To be honest I never really expected to make anything of it. I wanted to learn how to ride because before that I rode my bike everywhere and I also liked to take the train to other towns and I couln’t take my bike with me on the train and once I got to point B I had nothing to do. Now the whole way from point A is an adventure and when I get to point B I can turn a 20 foot stretch of road into a playground for my board.
Q. What do you love about your favorite way to get around town?
A. There’s a kind of rush you get when you’re pushing at a really nice pace and you know your board is dialed in exactly how you like it.
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