Wednesday, June 9, 2010
The LONGBOARD- A perfect patrolling vehicle
At first, I thought a perfect RLSH vehicle might be a bullet proof motorcycle equipped with net launchers and a grappling hook gun.
After hitting the street with the NYI (see previous entry), I think it's something much simpler- a piece of wood and four wheels.
A longboard differs from a regular skateboard in that it's designed for riding instead of hot dogging and doing tricks. The boards and wheels are bigger.
The advantages are many-
1. They are light enough to carry and run with, if you have to.
2. They can cruise through areas larger vehicles can't access.
3. They are easy to jump off of in case you have to spring into action.
4. They give you street cred.
5. In a worse case scenario in which you lose or destroy the board (which is hard to do- they're pretty sturdy) while it does suck, a longboard is a cheap vehicle in comparison to a car or even a good bicycle.
and of course-
6. It's hella fun.
Some things to keep in mind:
1. Learning to ride a board is like everything else- you slowly improve with practice. You have to suck it up and not be embarrassed of your lack of skill. Find a park, a parking lot, or a quiet street and practice riding around, and hope the neighbors peeking out their windows aren't laughing too hard.
2. Riding with someone who knows how is always helpful.
3. Wear protective gear. No, not a stun baton- pads. Consider it part of your new look. As someone who currently has two skinned knees, two skinned elbows, and a sore wrist, I am telling you that you can save a lot of hurt immediately and down the road wearing proper knee and elbow pads as well as hand and wrist guards. A helmet is a good idea, too.
4. Obey traffic laws. Your area may have specific laws about skating, so check into it. If you're skating at night, it may be wise to pick up a flashing light like bicyclists wear. It may blow your cover of darkness, but it will allow cars to see you. That might be the difference between you being Batman or...The Pancake.
5. Have fun, check out your local skate shop, hang out with other skateboarders.
The one I got was a surfboard style and really long. It cost about 60 bucks or so on eBay. Although I like the style, it is a bit stiff for patrolling. The NYI guys had awesome compact longboards (similar to the one pictured) and those run about 150-200 bucks. It's worth the investment.
Look around online, or even better, check out your local skateboard shop where you can see them in person and probably even take them for a test run.