I wouldn’t call it a favorite but one of my hobbies is learning new things. Its hard work, I tell you because where sport and adventure are concerned it often requires you to learn new skills and how to adapt your body to positions it was never used to before. Even if it only requires walking at a brisk pace, you also need to be quite fit so if you are like me, there’s that too; you need to do regular exercises to get your body into shape for new physical expressions of endeavor and reaching new goals.

There are hundreds of sports that we can all learn that don’t pose too many threats where physical prowess is concerned but these sports, chess for example, then require you to use more of your brain power than ever before. But adventurous girls don’t have much of a problem taking on the more dangerous pursuits that boys have been taking for granted for so long. When I was still quite young, most of the boys had a skate board. It was the fad then. The best that we could come up with were yo-yo’s, and even then, it was a seasonal sport. Now, well into the new millennium, girls can have it all.

I’m usually quite posh, so I’m not always keen to raise too much of a sweat. Not only will I smell but the sweat stains on my tracksuits and T-shirts do not impress me. But even though I am still a fuss-pot, I still dare myself every now and then. I was talking about skate-boarding earlier. Now I’m going to talk about long-boarding which requires similar skills of balance and good eye co-ordination. It undoubtedly requires a fairly good level of fitness too. It also requires you to be quite brave because different versions of this long-boarding thing, I am led to believe, is a lot more dangerous than skateboarding.

Interestingly, long-boarding and skateboarding both have its origins in what can only be described as a more majestic adventure which brings you a lot closer to the natural elements. Granted, both skating and long-boarding will bring you very close to the dirt if you are not careful and end up falling on your banana more times than you would wish. Long-boarding and its older brother originate from the ancient sport of wave riding, known today as surfing.

But for now, I am partially sold to the idea of trying my luck with this sport because all I need is wear my oldest pair of jeans, sneakers and T-shirt, so at least it is only these old things that are getting all grubby and torn, if it comes down to that. But because the sport in general is fairly dangerous, you’ll still need a helmet. As a beginner, I hope you will only be taking on small hillocks and short paths like I’m doing right now. So, a bicycle helmet will suffice. And it need not be the most expensive state of the art hard hat on the market. Most manufactured products come with the bare minimum fulfillment of safety requirements.

Because you’ll be using your smooth, well-manicured hands to steer you along dirt and tarred roads you’ll have to get a pair of hand gloves. A good, second-hand pair of leather gloves will do, but long-boarding retailers do stock specialist gloves designed for the purpose of steering and turning the board. Also, those of you who will be taking this sport a lot seriously than me will probably be trying to skate down longer, dangerous hills at elevated speeds. You’ll need a heavier, thicker pair of what the experts call sliding gloves.

As for the boards you’ll need for the different disciplines in the sport of long-boarding, suffice to say, long-boards are longer, thicker and wider than traditional skateboards. The advantage here, apart from the now-known dangers, is that learning to balance and stay on these boards is a lot easier than trying to do this on the smaller skateboards.

Ultimately, while I will probably still be addressing a number of my own fear factors, even after a few months of trying, you’ll probably be experiencing quite a rush. If you are able to keep your wits about you and stay in shape, stimulating your endorphins through natural physical pursuits is actually quite good for you. But you still need to be extra-careful. Join a club and try to stay as close to your group or team as possible. Over cross-country hills or downhill, this can be quite a dangerous sport if you are not careful.









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