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What's the Deal?

Travel at highway speeds on an elongated skateboard.

Where's it at?

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Popularized in California in the fifties, longboarding began by using modified skateboards to simulate surfing on city streets. Compared with normal skateboards, they're longer, stiffer and built for speed and stability.

Recent advances in design and materials have allowed riders to push the envelope with velocity and manoeuvres like high-speed slides. There are few formal lessons, but longboard meet-up groups, some organized through skateboard shops or Facebook, ride year-round across the country. To get started, you need a helmet, a board, kneepads and slide gloves. Learning how to stop, by sliding and footbraking, is the first required skill. Advanced riders reach speeds in excess of 100 kilometres an hour. In organized races, they compete for speed and for skills such as hand-slides and 360-degree spins. Cruise the hills of Malibu like a surfer, but don't wipeout. For Malibu rides see www.silverfishlongboarding.com.

Who's it for?

Those who want the thrill and speed of snowboarding while on pavement.

raynelongboards.com;

ontariolongboarding.com;

montrealsessions.forumactif.com

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Special to The Globe and Mail

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