Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Longboard Helps: Sliding

From new team member Danny Smith comes a little of his wisdom and expertise on an aspect of longboarding that can help take you to the next level....sliding. Foot-braking will only get you so far and may loose you "cool" points (as well as the bottom of your shoe). So here we have it...


Danny's Sliding for Beginners
My brother Ben doing a heelside slide

Who - Any longboarders ready to take longboarding to the next level!

What - sliding is the act by which longboarders achieve Nirvana. Or if we’re listening to the physicist it is when the wheels loose full traction and the wheel is not only spinning forward, but “sliding” crossways across the asphalt. It is a beautiful sight and an even more invigorating feeling.

When - In the morning, after brunch, throughout the mid-afternoon and even in dreams.

Where - In the steepest canyons in Utah, across the flats of Texas, in the middle of a dance combo, or right in front of your girl to impress her.

Why - What’s all the hullabaloo about powersliding? Well if you haven’t noticed there are only so many hills that you can ride without burning through the soles of your shoes. Sliding provides an alternative to buying new sneakers for every downhill session. A longboarder’s progression can only go so far without the skill of sliding.

How - Everyone has their own style of learning to slide, but I’ll share my experience. As I was riding I would get the feel for powersliding by placing my hand on the ground with an old work glove
covered in duct tape which acted as a temporary sliding glove.

Once I was comfortable with that I started trying to do a standing heelside 180 slide. This did not involve the sliding glove, but rather was a slide starting from my normal stance and ending in fakie stance while standing up. This picture below is the middle of a standing heelside 180 slide.

After I mastered the heelside 180 slide I began experimenting with speed checks (a quick slide that slows you down but doesn't stop you), front and backside slides, and more. Just focus on the basics at first. In my opinion though, the best way to learn is to just try it. Wear a helmet and when you cut up your elbows and knees just get back on and keep trying. There are countless instructional videos if you need visual instructions, so I’ll finish by giving you a one word sermon - COMMIT. If you don’t throw your whole weight into the slide it may end with a crunch (your body hitting the ground). COMMIT to the slide.

Check out Ben doing this awesome toeside speed check!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Cause for Hope

Well the team has been talking and we have decided that with our new adventure coming up we would like to reach out and help another charity, Cause For Hope. We are excited about helping this charity and would like to explain a little more about them.

Cause for Hope's mission is to be the most effective organization in helping families in developing countries escape the clutches of multi-generational poverty and achieve lasting, sustainable self-reliance. We offer many services, but the differentiation of the foundation is found in the mentoring services we offer to those families we serve. Meaning…we assist in business development, we teach vocational training, we assist w/ job placement, we occasionally do micro-loans, but the key element is the mentor assigned to each family, local employees of the foundation who commit to assisting these families. This is done with personal one on one visits in their homes or businesses 2-3 times monthly generally between 10-14 months. In this way we can assist them with family and business budget, savings, debt elimination, re-investing in their business and other basic habits needed to break the cycle of poverty. Generally the most common feedback we receive has more to do with the individual customized assistance of the mentors than any other class we teach, and business we help them develop or job they receive. The most rewarding feedback we receive has to do with breaking the cycle of poverty when our families say…”we were in poverty, as were our parents and their parents before them, but our children will not be in that same situation.”

Many of the people Cause for Hope helps are in Latin America. Just like Romania was near and dear to me from my time spent there on my LDS mission I also feel close ties with Latin America, as do other members of the team who served their LDS missions in countries like Ecuador. From the age of 11 to 14 my family lived in Chile and I have to say that those years were very influential to my development and life. They really shaped the person I am today. I am proud that we can be helping an organization as wonderful as Cause For Hope, and I am excited to be helping people who I called my neighbors in a place I called my home.

Longboard For Love has really enjoyed our association with Bridge of Love these past few years with our 650 mile California trip and Dance-Off Contest. You can find out about what they do in the "Charities" tab. Even though we now turn our sights to help Cause For Hope we will still leave a link to donate to Bridge of Love in the "Charities" tab if you feel so inclined.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

And Then There were Four....


With this new endeavour Longboard For Love is expanding our team a little. As you saw from the application we sent to Guinness World Records we hope to have six people. I am proud to introduce the two newest members of the team which brings our numbers to four. They both wrote a little bit about themselves below.

DANNY:

My name is Daniel Smith. I’m named after Daniel in the lion’s den. My friends call me Danny. As far as I know I don’t have any enemies, so they don’t call me anything. Since the time I was a wee lad of 16 years of age any time my friends asked me what I wanted to do the answer was (and is) “let’s go longboarding!” I feel free on a board. And it’s the only way I can impress the women. I’m a full-time student at Brigham Young University, pursuing a mechanical engineering education. The three things I love most are 1) God 2) My family 3) Longboarding or food (it’s a tie). Life is SO good.

TANNER:

Hello. My name is Tanner Bennett. I was born in the one thousand and ninety third year of the current era. I was born on a cloudy, rainy day. All I remember of my birth was that when the doctor lifted me up to give me the sacrificial spank on my hindparts, a ray of sunshine parted the clouds and rested upon my face, illuminating my eyes and being. That was when I knew that I was destined for greatness. 

Mason happens to be my older brother. What anyone did in the world preceding this one to deserve him as a brother exceeds human comprehension. That should give you a little hint of how cool I am. When Mason first crashed his longboard into a parked car, it was me who our grandmother tried to make rub ointment onto his wounds. When Mason, first tried to bomb Fairway Drive all the way to the bottom, it was me who was following his tail on Roxanne (the first longboard we ever owned). Longboarding is what we do, and by golly we do it well.

When Mason did his trip across California, I was happily serving the great people of Ecuador as an LDS missionary and even though I didn’t get to do the trip with him, I had the greatest experience of my life there. Now it is time to resume my place in world of longboarding. It is time to don once again my helmet of safety and take up my board of long length and help raise money for good causes around this good green globe to better the lives of the inhabitants therein. This is my cause. That is my quest. Heck ya.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

World Record

We are going to set a world record. Early last month Kenton and I submitted an application to the
Guinness Book of World Records. Here is the application below. We hope to hear back from Guinness World Records by March and then, if we are accepted, we will set the record in May.

Application:
A team of longboarders, Longboard For Love, want to set the farthest distance traveled by skateboard in a 24 hour relay. They will be riding, relay style, along Bear Lake bike trails until time runs out. A support bicycle will follow the active boarder with supplies such as water and first aid. The team will carry a GPS that will track the miles traveled during the allotted time, as well as tracking mile markers on the trail. 


The support bicycle will also have a bike computer attached to track miles traveled as well. Longboard For Love is doing this as another fundraising attempt for local charities. The team founders, Mason Bennett and Kenton Durfee, recently completed a month long skateboard journey along the California coastline and raised over $7,000 for a Utah based charity organization, Bridge of Love, which helps orphaned Romanian children. This money was used to pay for a tutor and computers for the orphans. Bennett also collaborated with friends in New York to do a Skateboard Dance Competition. Funds raised from the dance competition were donated to Bridge of Love. The hope with the relay is to be able to raise funds for charity, as well as spread popularity and awareness for the sport of long-distance skateboarding.

It is anticipated that the team will consist of no more than six members. We are aware that there currently is a record for the farthest distance traveled on a skateboard in 24 hours by one person. Andrew Andras holds this record and traveled 261.8 miles in one day. We don't want to challenge his record but instead want to make a similar record. Instead of a solo race we want to do a relay. We believe by switching out boarders every hour or so we will be able to travel significantly further than Andras as well as establish a similar record that other longboard skateboard teams will aspire towards beating.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Dracula's Dash for Hope 2014


This was another fun year of running for Bridge of Love's annual 5k race, Dracula's Dash for Hope. I am happy to say that I ran much better this year than last year. I even medaled and got third in my age group! After four years of running cross country in High School and not being very good, this made me feel pretty happy. Here are Jamie's instagram pictures of the race. It was a fun event this year. Lots of volunteers came to help out and the race had a fairly good turnout. Next year we hope to see even more of you there!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Concussion: A Reminder To Wear Helmets

A friend of mine just posted this to Facebook. It is a video of his sister-in-law after a bad bicycle accident. It is pretty funny but also a good reminder to wear a helmet. If she hadn't it might not have been so humorous but tragic instead. 

Hope you enjoy it! Don't forget to wear a helmet!


Saturday, August 23, 2014

One Year (and a Few Months) Later

I had hoped to write this post exactly one year from the completion of our first trip. Unfortunately due to a busy life schedule I couldn't find the time. Better late than never. Here is a little review of what is going on with Kenton and I, as well as Longboard For Love.

Life has been crazy this past year. A few days after finishing our longboard journey I went back to Utah and married my sweetheart Jamie. We have had a wonderful year since then. Almost immediately after getting married we moved to Davis, California to research at the California National Primate Research Center. After working there a few months we moved back to Utah where I picked up my schooling again and Jamie started working. School has been crazy. Currently I am trying to pack a full years worth of Organic Chemistry into one summer (...I have dreams where I am studying chemistry...or taking exams...terrible dreams...) as well as preparing two papers for publication based on the research I did last summer. Life is good.

Kenton went home to Arizona where he worked with his dad's business and tried to find true love. Soon after he went back to BYU Idaho where he continues work on his business degree. He has since been blessed to find love and was recently married to an enthusiastic and adorable young lady, Alexis. They are the cutest couple and I am so happy for the both of them. She is up at school with him and they are just studying away. Life is filled up with school...school seems to be taking the most of our time and energy.

As far as Longboard For Love well....between new marriages, jobs, and school it has been difficult to plan out another trip or even organized our schedules to decide when we want to go again. Things are in the works though. I am going to do a short trip in celebration of the completion of my final exams. I just submitted an application to the Guinness Book of World Records for another journey we hoping to do. We won't give details yet but it will involve a relay of sorts with a larger team of people coming to Longboard For Love. We will be doing it to raise money for charity again. The big details still need to get hammered out and when/if Kenton and I find time we will do that.

Just wanted to keep ya'll updated. Thanks for reading!