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.