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Gravity boards new recreational adventure

April 3, 1997

Mattew Lester / The Baylor Lariat

Chris Ekrem, a Huntersville, N.C., junior, rides his Gravity board on 5th Street.

By Kristin Nelson

Lariat Staff Reporter

Skating down a 45 degree incline on a board only 8' wide sounds a bit difficult, but according to gravity board enthusiasts, it is pure, adrenaline fun.

Gravity boards, the newest in recreational adventure equipment, have been spotted on the University campus in increasing numbers. The gravity board is much like a skate board only it is 8' wide and 47' long. It is also more challenging than a skateboard for tricks, according to riders.

'It's not a hard thing to pick up really if you know skateboarding,' said Chirs Ekrem, a Huntersville, N.C., junior.

The boards greatest feature is its wheels which allow for a longer, smoother, and quieter ride, according to riders. They are much like those found on in-line skates, and are also the key to the intricate turns, jumps and tricks performed on the gravity board.

'It's fun to carve back and forth down hills,' Ekrem said.

The board was developed in Salana, Calif. by surfers who wanted to have something like a board they could ride on the street or boardwalk, rather than in the water. It became a dry land practice tool for surfers.

There are currently only a few companies in southern Calif. currently selling the wheels and risers for gravity boards and the entire boards themselves. Enthusiasts usually prefer to cut the actual board out for themselves.

Despite the University policy against skateboarding on campus, the number of gravity board riders on campus is steadily increasing. Baylor DPS states that due to the ability to loose control of the board, and injury to the rider and other pedestrians, boards are not allowed on campus.

'We don't generally have a problem with this, ' said Lieutenant Gary Sargent of Baylor DPS. ' We usually just give a warning and there's never a real problem after that.'

In-line skates are also prohibited in certain areas on campus, such as the parking garage. Gravity boards have not as of yet posed a problem to the DPS.

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