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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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Stony Brook’s Concrete Kings

The longboarders on campus don’t ride just for recreational purposes – it’s a way of life, a social agent and a green-mode of transportation that helps them get to classes quickly.

Alex Neufeld, a biochemistry major, launched the Concrete Kings at Stony Brook/Stony Brook Longboards to unite fellow riders in a community where they can share ideas and talk about their passion for the sport. The “Concrete Kings” title was derived from his time spent at a Brooklyn store where riders dubbed themselves that name.

Neufeld, the club president, has a lot in mind for the spring semester when they’ll become an official club. They plan to participate in events like the Broadway Bomb in New York City, where riders have the freedom to go down Broadway sans traffic interference and charity events where they can raise money for each mile they ride.

Neufeld became serious about longboarding this past spring when he began by riding around the halls of his dorm building. At that time, Sean Caruso helped Neufeld and other friends by acting as their mentor. Caruso taught them a technique, the stand-up slide, and is now the club “coach.”

“He has the mechanics on how to push you,” Neufeld said.

The club is not only open for experienced riders, but also for the inexperienced.  Caruso, a mechanical engineer major, is the go-to guy for those just starting out. As an avid long boarder for four years, he can teach new riders techniques for success: balance, sliding, carving, speeding, stopping and safety.

“It’s not about how good you ride – it’s how you ride,” he said.

“I do not currently longboard, but with some guidance from the club and my current stability skills, I don’t think it’s too far out of my reach,” said Dean Bowen, the club advisor and manager of fitness and wellness programming at Stony Brook University. He believes that everyone should stay active and that the Longboarding club can assist in “infus[ing] this mentality across the campus.”

It doesn’t take long to fall in love with longboarding. Garret Zeidner, the club secretary and a psychology major, bought his first board this summer and compares the progress to a “relationship.” At first, Zeider thought of it as a means to get to class. Eventually, it became an “acquaintance, [he] fell in love with it and now it’s a part of [his] life.”

“You can break bones and fall all over with road rash stripping you in random spots – it just makes you want to get back on that much more,” club member Lauren Rosenblum said about longboarding, “I joined because the sport has exploded on campus and I think it’s a great opportunity to bring that community together.”

The club also plans to join ranks with organizations like the cycling, fitness or environmental-related clubs because of their overlapping interests. Longboarding can be seen as a cardio work out or an eco-friendly mode of transit. Caruso has even ridden to East Setauket, Huntington, Ronkonkoma and other towns relying solely on his long board.

During the spring semester, club rides will most likely happen during campus lifetime. Check out their Facebook group, “Concrete Kings at Stony Brook/Stony Brook Longboards,” for more information.

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