Longboards – as a mode of transportation – are safe for the streets of White Rock, writes Michael J. Klaver.

Safe for runners, cyclers, boarders

Editor:

Re: Safer places to learn skills, Sept. 19 letters.

Editor:

Re: Safer places to learn skills, Sept. 19 letters.

The writer of the letter to the editor suggests the streets of White Rock are not a safe place for people to skateboard, and that they should practise their skills at the skate park in South Surrey until they are sufficiently skilled enough to compete in a proposed – at least in the letter – race similar to the Tour de White Rock.

There are several problems with this logic.

Firstly, while the skate park is a good place for a skateboarder to practise tricks on a short board, it is not designed – nor is any skate park designed – for longboarders. The skateboarders some people are concerned about lately are longboarders; they do not ride short trick boards and the skate park is no use to someone using a longboard. Longboards are not designed for tricks – they are a mode of transportation and are designed for carving turns, not tricks.

As an aside, it is too bad the citizens of White Rock must leave the city in which they pay high taxes to find a place like this, and I commend Surrey for investing in its youth and providing facilities for them.

The writer asks, “What chance does a kid on a skateboard have with a heavy truck or speeding car without injury?” I would suggest about the same chance a kid going out for a run, or a bike ride would, and we do not ban these activities.

If the streets were inherently incredibly unsafe for skateboarding, we would see an epidemic of accidents in this city, which we do not. The vast majority of riders do so in a safe, responsible and accident-free manner.

We need more kids playing outside, getting the exercise they need, not restricting their access to healthy activities.

And, by the way, not all longboarders are “kids.” Some are adults – even old guys like me with grey hair – who ride safely and responsibly on the streets their tax dollars pay for.

The current environment where pockets of people rush to try to get activities banned which they do not care for and do not understand is greatly concerning.

Michael J. Klaver, White Rock

 

 

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