Skaters become snowboarders with cold weather

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    JAMES M. SPEA

    The cold air is beginning to bite at your skin on the way to morning classes. The leaves are changing colors. Fall is on its way. Outside summer activities are on the decline. People are thinking about skiing, and looking forward to that first snow. Others are not quite ready to let summer go. They plan to squeeze out every last drop.

    Steven Gardner, an in-line skater, intends to skate until it snows and perhaps even after that. It isn’t the cold that keeps Gardner from skating. He recalls rolling out into bitter autumn nights last year with his friends, bundled up in mittens and a knit cap — Gardner ignores Jack Frost. He even skates after it snows, just as long as the roads are dry.

    “I hate when the snow drifts begin to melt and the streets get all covered with water,” Gardner said.

    It’s a difficult sport to keep up all winter, according to Gardner. Parking garages provide a dry place to skate in the winter. But more and more locations are posting signs warning skaters of impending fines for trespassing.

    There used to be a warehouse in south Provo known by the skaters as the “lumberyard.” Inside, various ramps were built for all-season skating. Gardner said this was a popular place to skate, until a couch fire burnt part of it down.

    Gardner has shown that a true die-hard can skate almost year around if he’s creative enough. Many skaters, however, switch to snowboarding during the snowy months.

    Jared Justice, a finance major from Spokane, Washington, skates in the summer and switches over to snowboarding in the winter. Justice has snowboarded and skated for years.

    The two sports complement each other. Snowboarding is often a skaters alternative choice for the winter, according to Brittany Hills, of Orem. Hills works at a local sporting goods store that specializes in snowboard and in-line skate sales. Hills said that in-line skaters and skateboarders make the switch to snowboarding naturally.

    “The sports have the same ideas and techniques,” Hills said.

    Many buyers of snowboards are high school and college males according to Hills, but she added that there are a variety of other buyers. Hills owns two boards herself and has been riding for seven years. She said that every one from little kids to adults are trying out the sport.

    “Many are even buying boards that haven’t even tried it out yet,” Hills said.

    If you haven’t tried snowboarding or in-line skates and aren’t quite ready to invest hundreds of dollars, you can rent both at various sporting goods shops around town. You can even rent them right here on campus.

    Cheri Bischoff, a recreation management major from Hawaii, works at Outdoors Unlimited. The store sells and rents sporting goods. It is located on the bottom floor of the ELWC. Bischoff said they have purchased 19 new boards for this year’s rental season.

    “Snowboards are becoming more and more popular,” Bischoff said.

    For under $20 you can rent a brand new board and a pair of boots for a day. No deposit is required; you only need a student ID, a drivers license or a credit card, according to Bischoff.

    And don’t give in to the Autumn chill quite yet. Bischoff said that in-line skate rentals are still very popular. A four-hour rental includes skates, pads and a helmet for under seven dollars.

    “After four hours of skating most people have had enough fun,” Bischoff said.

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