Christian Hickerson’s Passion for Longboarding

While cruising down a steep hill at about 45 mph, senior Christian Hickerson quickly gains speed. He feels a gust wind and a rush of adrenaline. He’s on top of the world. While riding, he looks forward to see a car coming towards him. With little reaction time, Christian bails out of the way, skidding across a driveway.

“I got scars all over my arms and les,” Christian said, “and when my mom noticed, she tried to take my board away, so I went and hid it under my bed.”

This wasn’t a normal skateboard accident. Christian was longboarding, a sport similar to skateboarding that he picked up while living in California. Also known as “sidewalk surfing,” longboarding originated in Hawaii and made its way to California.

Christian’s mom, Elaine Hickerson, was at work at the time of the accident. She works at a pediatric hospital, so she’s used to seeing injured children. When she heard about her son’s accident, she was afraid he would have to go to the emergency room, but the wounds weren’t as bad as they originally thought. Elaine remembers telling Christian that she never wanted him to long-board again.

He didn’t listen.

“I’m okay with it if he is wearing protective gear, which he doesn’t do,” Elaine said. “He’s had some pretty intense wipe-outs.”

Christian doesn’t believe longboarding is more dangerous than skateboarding; it just depends on how crazy you get with it.

There are also different tricks associated with this sport. Slalom, an act of weaving in and out of obstacles, is one trick that Christian particularly works on. He’s also learning to slide which will allow him to slow down without putting his foot down. The major differences between skateboarding and longboarding is that a longboard is much bigger and faster.

“Longboarding is almost like surfing with wheels,” Christian said, “and it’s a lot more relaxed than skateboarding.”

Christian started this unique sport when he was 11-years-old. Several of his friends were longboarding at the time, so he decided to try it out. He found it to be a relaxing activity, and he continued it when he moved to Missouri.

“I like longboarding because it reminds me of California,” Christian said. “It’s a chilltastic thing to do.”

While it may be “chill-tastic”, longboarding does come with many safety concerns due to the speed. Christian’s mom isn’t the only one concerned about his safety.

“I’m constantly scared he’s going to get hit by a car, but it’s really cool and super fun,” sophomore Alexis Happe said, “though I would never try it; I’m not that talented.”

Every moment Christian longboards is a dangerous one, but they’re moments Christian lives for. His most exciting memory while longboarding was when he was gliding down a huge hill, cars barreling down both sides of the road. He managed to maneuver himself between the cars and come out on the other end unscathed. He replays this moment in his head as a triumphant one. While others may view this sport as risky and treacherous, Christian cranks up his music and finds it relaxing escape from reality.

“Even though it’s dangerous, I like the adrenaline rush, plus it reminds me of the good ol’ days back yonder,” Christian said.