Friday, September 20, 2019

Small Update on Charitable Efforts

Life has been busy since I last wrote on this blog. My wife and I moved to China, we had a son, went to medical school, moved to the Caribbean, and are now moving to Georgia. Before we move to Georgia I had the chance to visit the Dominican Republic with Mentor's International.

Mentor's International is a group that helps people break the cycle of poverty. I'll post more about it in a couple days but until then I wanted to share this photo. There was a literal mountain of trash near the neighborhood. I was amazed by their resiliency and hope in making their lives better. I'm excited to share more about it soon.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Mason's New Blog

Mason writing here with an update to some of my adventures.

As Jamie and I move on to adventures in China, medical school, and life in general I decided to make another blog. Longboard for Love will continue on it's merry way but I felt like it wasn't the platform for me to write about my current adventures and thoughts. Therefore I left it alone where the team will post about our longboarding goals and escapades, and made a new blog for my own personal adventures. I did this in part due to the insistence of friends, family, and co-workers who wanted to hear about China and asked that we share pictures and anecdotes from our journey.

So you better freaking read it. You can find it at

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Merit Academy

A few years ago, right before our 650 mile journey, I had the chance to visit a local school called Merit Academy. I was able to talk about what we do and try to raise some money for Bridge of Love. Recently we were contacted by a teacher at the school, Mrs. Moody, and asked to speak for her class. This opportunity is a dream come true to me. When I was 12 and living in South America, an Englishman came and spoke at my school. He was riding his bike for two years around the entire world! It was inspiring. When Kenton and I did our trip we tried to speak at schools because I wanted to inspire young kids like I had been.

Merit Academy is a pretty awesome school. The class we were asked to speak at is a service class! I wish I had been able to take something like that in High School! I asked the kids about the class and they said that the school requires students to do a service project or to take the class. What a great curriculum!

Tanner and I went to the class to present. We shared information about who we are and what we do. Our main goal was to teach the kids that: 1. Everyone has something they feel passionate about which can be used to serve others. 2. Service is not always easy nor is it convenient. There are drawbacks and trials will arise which one will have to push through because... 3. Service is worth doing and needs to be done. The rewards, intrinsic and extrinsic, that come from serving others makes the difficulty more than worth it. Also, as human beings, we have the responsibility to help others and lift the collective burden of the world to make it a better place.

We loved the presentation although we weren't sure if the kids did. I have a hard time reading teenagers responses, it made me feel old. Mrs. Moody contacted us a few days later and said the kids LOVED us. That made us feel good. She invited us back again and I was able to go present again to another class. After this presentation one of the students came up and asked how he can get involved. I got his info and we are going to talk to him soon. It was edifying to see how the things we have been doing are inspiring other young people to serve.

Tanner and Mason at Merit Academy

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Push Race Results

The Push Race team. We were sad that Kenton wasn't able to make it because we had a lot of fun.

Well I would say an update on the Push Race is a few months overdue.

Back in August our team participated in Provo's first ever Longboard Push Race. We were approached by Recyclops who was in charge of recycling and garbage for the event and wanted to sponsor a team to participate in the race. There were two different races happening. A one mile individual race and a five mile team race. Since the prize for the individual race was $2,000 everyone on the team wanted to compete in both events.

Tanner speeding along with Scott right behind
The individual race ran in heats, with the top five on every heat progressing to the final race. I am happy to say that each team member qualified for the final race. The team race was scheduled right before the race for individual finalists. About four teams were signed up to compete and we were confident that we could win. Our confidence must have scared off all the other teams because none of them showed up for the race, and we won by default. I was a little disappointed that we weren't able to showcase our team skills in a competition but when we were handed our prizes I couldn't complain.

All day the events had run pretty smoothly, with enough time between the heats for competitors to peruse the booths and stands set up by local longboard shops and charities and enough space on the track to race safely. The last race was a little disappointing. Previously the qualifying heats had 10 racers. The final race had about 25 competitors which really crowded the track. Depending on placement in the qualifying race competitors were given different positions on the start was crowded.

The race began and we were off! Due to the crowding placement was hard to establish. Sadly Danny and Ben Smith crashed into each other and both went to the ground. They quickly got back on their boards and made up for lost ground. Ben ended up getting 5th place with Danny close behind. None of us won the $2,000 but we had a lot of fun competing. The event was well done and I think a lot was learned about how to run a Push Race. We are looking forward to competing again next year.

Three of the team at the start line

Ben and Danny's dad came to cheer us on.
Our prizes. Despite the win by default we are pretty excited.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Push Race

Big news to all living near Utah Valley. This Saturday is the first ever push race in Utah. The event is hosted by Jaseboards and looks like a blast!

What is a push race you might ask. Well it is basically what it sounds. It is a race on flat terrain with boards that are propelled only by the rider's pushing. This particular event will have two races. There is a one-mile  race and a five-mile team relay race.Prizes will be awarded and the winner of the one mile race wins $2,000. The race only costs $20 which also gets you a t-shirt and  sunglasses.

The event starts at 4:00 pm this upcoming Saturday in the North West Utah Valley University Parking Lot. The parking lot provides a 1/4 lap track and races will be run in heats. The event will continue till about 10:00 that night and has other activities like tarp surfing, vendors, and concerts so even if you don't want to board you can come support everything else! The hope is to have about 200 racers and 3,500 attendees so come and have a party!

The purpose of this event is more than just having longboard fun and frolic. The event is also intended to help some great local non-profits like UVU Enactus and Help International gain awareness for their ongoing projects.

If you want to learn more about the push race you can see a news article here or visit the Facebook page here. You can also sign up for the race here. Our team will definitely be there helping to support this wonderful effort and we look forward to seeing all of you there as well!

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.