Longboarding in Spokane, WA


Photography by Celeste Sievers

As are most of my summers, 2012’s season of heat has been filled with numerous ups and downs, as well as several life altering events.  However, even with the tumultuous ebb and flow of life, I did stick to one of my summer goals: I finally learned to longboard.

Photography by Celeste Sievers

I am fairly athletic person.  I am about six-feet tall, and incredibly lean.  My metabolism is incredibly fast-paced (even at twenty-three), and my buck-forty frame has been pretty-well locked in for the past five-years or so.  I tend to be very coordinated and quick, compared to most people; this is most likely due to my slender frame and years of throwing freight as a grocer.

Essentially, I wanted to enjoy the summer weather with my friends, and longboarding became that means.  I enjoy being outside; my girlfriend (Celeste) and I go hiking every now and again, but on the whole I’m generally an inside guy—hermit-like really.  I do a lot of reading and writing, and my primary occupation has me usually working indoors at a local Fred Meyer for eight+ hours at a stretch.

Although, some part of me has  always been interested in skateboarding, and by extension longboarding, but I never really had that push to actually try it out until recently.  I am the type of person to dive head first into a new project or activity, and this coupled with the fact that I have quite a few friends who just recently started longboarding again, I did exactly that—dived head first…with no regrets.  Longboarding is a sport that seems to have really come back in the Spokane area in recent years, so with all of these things in mind I found myself finally giving it a go.

Photography by Celeste Sievers

I went out with my friend, John ‘A1 Sauce’ McDonell, to our local “Big 5” and bought myself a relatively cheap (approximately $79.99 with tax) “Golden Beach” 46’ pin tailed longboard (featured left).  It is a tad on the long side (there are longer though!), but because I was first starting out I wanted a board more built for cruising and stability, rather than tricks.

After practicing quite a bit, I have really gotten into it.  I live in the historic Browne’s Addition of Spokane, WA, and because of the age of the district there are some spectacular hills and stretches to skate on and down.  I’ve actually got so into the sport, that I’m finally brazen enough to try and start learning how to do some basic slides and manuals with my board.  My friend, John, and I decided to buy sliding gloves and begin practicing.  For those of you who don’t know (because hell…I sure didn’t know until a couple months ago!) sliding gloves are essentially a pair of utility gloves with plastic pieces (called pucks) attached to the glove via Velcro.  Some gloves just have pucks for the palms, but others have pieces for the fingertips and thumb, as well as the palm.

Photography by Celeste Sievers

I ended up picking up a pair of Loaded sliding gloves from “The Mountain Goat” on Sprague in downtown Spokane (featured right).  They ran me $54.99, but what is nice about the Loaded gloves is that they have pucks for the fingers and thumb, instead of just the palm.  My buddy John picked up his gloves from a “Zumiez” for $39.99, but because it only has the palm puck the fingertips are already shredding after only a couple weeks of use.

(As an aside, John and I are planning on trying to make our own sliding gloves, and we’ll probably post a tutorial on YouTube—I’ll link here if it comes to fruition)

We’ve slowly been perfecting the Coleman Slide and the Front Slide for the past several weeks, and save for one serious wipeout, it has been phenomenal.  I would highly recommend it.  It is fun to cruise and chat without really having a care in the world.  It sheds me of my responsibilities for a brief moment, and in the moment I’ve been able strengthen my friendships—what’s to complain about?

If you have the interest and the ambition this is most-definitely a sport that doesn’t cost much right off the bat, and if you really enjoy it you can always improve on your equipment.  There are a million different styles of boards and gear for body shape and type of enthusiast.

I’ll post videos and pictures as they become available.  My friend and I aren’t terribly good, but we do like to snap a picture or two of our desperate plans to be better, and I’d love to share them with everyone.

What are your summer sports?  Do you live in area that promotes the outdoors, or do you have to go out of your way to find it?

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10 thoughts on “Longboarding in Spokane, WA

  1. Anthony,

    Good for you! It’s great to get outside and enjoy this part of the world. It (seems) so out of character with the Anthony we have got to know here. But unexpected is good. But don’t stop writing pal………..

    7takearisk7 * John

    1. Writing is still the primary focus of my life. I’ve been dragging a bit lately, but I’ve just recently transitioned jobs and I’ve been squaring everything away so that I can finally top of my Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing. I start back at EWU on the 25th! Hopefully a Master’s will follow suit.

      The Longboarding has been a recent endeavor, so that is probably why it seems out of character. I just felt like I needed a more carnal outlet, and for whatever reason it spawned into longboarding.

      How have you been doing though? I saw your vacation photos–they were amazing! I can’t imagine the creativity that must have been buzzin’ after a trip like that!

  2. I’ve recently moved to Spokane and I’d like to get back into longboarding. I’m having a really hard time finding a combination of a nicely sloped, traffic free and smooth roads. Do you know of any popular places, or just good places to practice sliding?

    1. First off apologies for taking so long to reply–the bug got me and I’ve been disposed for a week or so.

      Spokane’s roads are atrocious, but there are a couple of great places to skate. I thinking of doing a comprehensive guide (with video and directions) for next summer detailing out some of the best spots in town.

      Downtown is a great place to longboard. The sidewalks are mostly concrete, so if you hit that early morning period it’s a perfect spot to skate without colliding into a crowd. Also, there are some great spots within Riverfront Park. A lot of the bridges are perfect to start practicing some slides. They slope gradually, so you can practice the motion without taking a serious tumble.

      I skate a lot in Browne’s Addition (just west of Downtown), because that is where I live. Some of the streets are impossible to skate on, but there are a couple towards Sunset Highway that are perfect to Coleman slide on.

      If you are looking for a whole day affair check out Cheney. It’s a bit out of the way, but due to all of the new development there is a lot of empty, newly paved streets that are perfect for shredding. I usually like to make a day out of it, and spend 8, 10, 12 hours with a couple of friends practicing different slides and whatnot.

      Hopefully, this will help you get started. Drop me a message if you find a sweet spot.

  3. Winter is upon us, and I just got a new longboard. Do you know of any good places to shred indoors, such as a parking garage or similar? I live on the Northwest side of Spokane, down Nine Mile, so any spots near there would be appreciated.

    Thanks!

    1. Let me get back to you on that in the form of a post. My buddy John and I have been scouting out indoor-ish areas for a lengthy post. We’re also considering starting a ‘Beginner’s Longboarding Club,’ and we’re planning and in the prototype stages of building our own boards. Once we have some of these projects a little further along I’ll do several posts and make sure to drop you a link to the ‘Best Areas to Longboard in Spokane’ post.

  4. So I figured I’d resurrect this post from the dead as it were to ask how the board handles? I’ve been looking at the same board for a while, (same color too!) and I’m going down to Colorado this weekend(I live in Wyoming) to get a board. Is it a good pick in terms of boards?

    1. Thus far it has been great. It still handles well, and the length is perfect for straight cruising. It handles well during slides and tail manuals as well. I just recently replaced the trucks with a nice pair of Bear ones along with some Orangutan Durians and Seismic bearings. I’m finally gearing up to another post detailing out the improvements and whatnot. Cheers on your future long boarding adventures!

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