Anyone who “longboards” can tell you that ripping and shredding the meandering roads of Rappahannock County is pure and simple bliss. There are very few feelings in the world that can give you complete control, freedom and relief of stress like longboarding can.
What, pray tell, you may reasonably ask, is longboarding? To the uninitiated, it may look like a form of skateboarding — and it is. But actually it is more akin to snowboarding. Or surfing with wheels.
While skateboarding is associated with death-defying, acrobatic tricks in city parks, longboarding, like surfing and snowboarding, is best designed for the wide open spaces of the great outdoors. It appeals to young people, like me, who have our fair share of moments when we just want to do whatever we want, how we want and when we want.
“Longboarding gives you that satisfaction. You are the only person in control of your fate when you’re staring down that steep hill in front of you, gradually increasing speed,” says Conner Miller, a passionate longboarder who has just about conquered every hill in Rappahannock County since he started three years ago.
“When at your maximum speed, the wind blowing in your face and you look up and see beautiful land surrounding every way your eyes follow, it’s just an indescribable feeling,” Conner goes on to say.
Any longboarder riding in the country will tell you the best time to ride is when the sun is slowly falling into the mist of the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains. “Scenery is a very important element when long boarding,” Conner continues, “When you’re entirely engulfed with amazing land such as Rappahannock County, it just makes the experience much more special.”
For those who want to give longboarding a try, make sure to start with small hills that are more long than steep.
But be prepared for a fall or two. Crashing is part of longboarding. You can lose control by going over pebbles or having too much “wheel wobble.” So always remember to wear a helmet.
Patrick Hanberry, an intern at Rappahannock News this summer, is off to college this fall, out west where the snowboarding is best.