You finally got your electric skateboard to college! Now you can forget those long walks to the other side of campus that are oh so boring and slow! You can also forget being late. But there are still so many people blocking the walkways! Maybe this board was a big waste of money… or maybe you’re just not thinking outside the box.
In this article we’ll cover the best tips to get around your campus a little faster and make it more enjoyable.
Take to the street
There’s no denying that college campuses can be super busy and packed. Students are rushing and bustling to class (you know who you are freshmen…) and there always seems to be a ton of people in your way when you’re late. My college UConn has a total of 26,000 students on the Storrs campus alone. Universities are like mid-size cities or towns, there’s a huge population within a small vicinity. It can be extremely packed in every direction you look.
So how can you get around on your electric skateboard if there’s no room?
Hit the street my man! Think about it, I’m almost positive your college campus has an intricate amount of streets and roads that go in and around campus, especially if you attend a massive state school. These streets are excellent for gliding to and from class with ease. Just like how you’d ride around your own town or city on the street, you should do the same at your college.
Be sure to avoid and look out for cars, bicyclists, freshmen sprinting across the street, potholes, and rough patches in the road.
Most colleges keep their roads well paved to give a prestigious and professional look. This is the perfect place to ride your electric skateboard! You can even ride in the middle of the street if the roadway is busy enough. Always be sure to pull over to the right if a car comes though. Let them pass, and avoid collisions
Think about it, you wouldn’t ride your electric skateboard on the sidewalk in midtown Manhattan. That’s asking for a massive collision with an unsuspecting pedestrian or top level CEO who’s too busy texting and walking. If you ride on the road when you're in a busy-ass city, you should do the same with your electric skateboard.
Avoid walkways during busy times
There’s no denying that walkways become packed once classes come to an end every hour. There’s physically no way for you to move around that many people with an electric skateboard. You need a path, specifically one that doesn’t veer around and offers somewhat of a straight line. The less turns the better.
When it comes to your college, try to ride your electric skateboard on those major pathways during a time that’s less busy. Maybe leave your dorm 2 minutes earlier. It can make all the difference in whether or not it becomes a traffic jam on campus.
Speak up if you need to
Similar to a bicycle that has a bell, or a car with a horn, you must speak up when the occasion arises. What I’m talking about is for your own safety, and for the safety for other people involved.
There’s been times when I’ve been riding to class and people are in my way, talking about on their self phone, or too busy to notice that there’s a whole world going on around them - one of those things being you on an electric skateboard.
If you need to speak up, don’t be afraid to yell or even assert yourself. Say “Excuse me!” or “Coming through!” If this gets them to move out of the way then perfect! And if they’re not happy about the fact that you yelled, so be it.
You have somewhere to be and someone blocking your way is an obstacle that comprises the safety for both of you. Just politely say thank you once you’ve passed your fellow peers and voila. Hopefully you won’t have to speak up too much but college kids are not the most aware with all the social media and technology hanging in front of their face nowadays. Do what you must and use your voice!
Lighting and safety equipment
No glove… no love. Never mind wrong subject.
If you’re out riding anywhere that’s busy with cars, pedestrians, bikes, buildings, tight corners etc, wear safety equipment! Like they say to motorcyclists: “dress for the slide, not the glide.” Meaning wear the appropriate gear as if you were preparing to fall off on your motorcycle. Of course this is nothing that we wish to have happen, but it’s what’s best for your health and safety.
The old saying goes, hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Of course we’re only talking about riding an electric skateboard here, not motorcycles. But some electric skateboards can hit speeds of 25 mph or more! Try going 25 mph in a car and then coming to a complete stop. It’ll shock you how rough the g-force is when coming to a complete halt. Not try that with an electric skateboard. No seat belt and nothing to stop you from flying off the board. Trust me, that landing and impact with the obstacle won’t be pleasant for all parties involved.
So what can you do to help prevent this?
The first is obvious, use common sense. If you’re riding around campus even if it seems kind of empty, don’t try and push your electric skateboard to the limit. Use your lower speed modes. When I’m on my way to class in the busy city of Stamford CT, I’m always using my Ownboard Mini KT’s middle speed mode, which levels out to about 18 mph. Even that speed is sometimes a stretch.
Next, wear a helmet. They may not be the most aesthetically pleasing, but it can save your life. Brain damage is not joke and according to bicycle and skating studies.
“it’s proven that helmets can reduce brain serious brain injuries by 70%”
Don’t be part of the statistics of subjects that didn’t use their helmet!
Another great way to protect yourself is through elbow and knee pads. Yes, they are a lot less popular than helmets but they definitely save your bones and joints from injuries and prevent major road rash. I’m not going to lie, I don’t use these tools, but I highly recommend them for someone who may have had previous injuries to the elbows and knees.
Lastly, equip you and your board with the proper lighting that’s needed if you ride at night. There are many lights that are specifically designed to be placed on electric skateboards. These lights come with different flashing modes that make it very easy to be seen.
You can also use reflective jackets and patches that you can simply just place on your clothes that make you visible from quite a distance away. These simple methods can easily be used to prevent those nasty collisions and possible time in urgent care! Safety first!
Don’t be afraid to use your feet
What’s one of the best ways to get around your college campus using your electric skateboard? Use your feet!
What do I mean by this? I mean, get off your skateboard and walk. Well then what’s the point of having an electric skateboard on campus if I’m going to walk and have to carry it around?
When the time comes, you may not have any other option than to use your feet and walk. Your electric skateboard might be limited when it comes to where you can ride on campus. It’s possible that there’s no hard surface or pavement to ride on, or maybe it’s against university policy to ride in a certain area.
Whatever the case may be, sometimes just picking up your electric skateboard and carrying it for a short distance is the best option for you. It might not be the most fun, but walking to the next best area to ride your electric skateboard is sometimes mandatory.
Even on my commute to class, I have a 6 foot staircase that brings me up to a parking garage. I have no choice but to pick up the board and walk for about 15 seconds and then I resume to riding. Or there's this one section of the sidewalk that has an unavoidable bump that is such a pain in the ass. I use my Ownboard Mini Kt’s kicktail, pick up the board, and quickly jump back on.
Unless you have a board like the Evolve Bamboo GTX or Carbon GT that offers all terrain wheel setups, you will be left to riding on the pavement.
The smoother the better
Liked stated above, the smoother the ride the better. Try to find pathways that have less bumps, obstacles, and pedestrians. The smoother the road, the more enjoyable and less annoying the commute to class will be. Have you ever rode on a surface that was gritty and bumpy? It’s not exactly fun... in fact, there are many times where I just walk.
Go back to using the road or use a path that is very smooth. Remember, you’re on an electric skateboard, you can make up time by increasing your speed. Just because the path is longer, doesn’t mean you’ll have a longer commute to class. Speed up a little if you have to.
Does your campus have a secret trail that no one knows? Is there a more fun and cooler way to get to class? Is it a place that people despise don't like to walk?
Take it, and go for a ride!
No one said that commuting to class had to be boring! You’re riding an electric skateboard for god’s sake! You’re already going to have more fun than walking (or running) to class, might as well make your ride a little more scenic. Maybe pass by that hot girls dorm and see if she’s around, or go around the lake and take in the views of the sunset hitting the water. Get creative and enjoy your time riding as much as possible. After all college is not forever, and besides studying, aren’t you supposed to be having fun!?
Here are some scene or fun ideas that come to mind where you can ride around Campus.
- The quad
- A pond, lake, or river
- The girl's dorm (don't be too much of a creep)
- The woods
- Parking garages (great smooth place to ride too)
- Roads and streets just outside of campus
- Hills (awfully fun to ride down)
- Athletic fields
- Bridges or tunnels
Make a route-ine or mix it up!
Finally, the last tip I offer to you is to make a routine for your rides on campus. If your schedule and college is really busy, find a routine that saves you time and makes it more fun. Try a different trail, path, or road every day until you find the right combination to get to where you need to be. If certain paths and times work for you on your Monday-Wednesday classes, stick to them. Same goes for your Tuesday-Thursday classes as well. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Last but not least, don’t be afraid to mix it up! If you just want to go wild and explore different parts of your campus you never have before, do it! Some days if I’m feeling it, I’ll take a giant detour to get to class. I’ll end up passing churches, new restaurants, the YMCA, and all the beautiful buildings, people, and culture in Stamford CT. Something like that never gets old, and makes riding an electric skateboard the most enjoyable part of my day. Cheers! And happy gliding!