Burly places worth a longboard cruise

Johnny Sudekum, Writer

YouÕd have to be blinder than Scooby DooÕs Velma Dinkley without her glasses on to miss spring on the horizon.

Snow is melting, the earth is turning-letÕs turn our wheels with it.

As snowboards and skis freturn to their places in storage, longboards emerge to rekindle the nostalgia in carving turns. While ski-mountains are nearly a 45-minute drive from campus, longboarding hills are smack-dab in the middle of Burlington.

More than a mode of transportation, longboarding has forged its way into UVMÕs culture alongside Ben & JerryÕs and mason jars.

Whether youÕre more talented than Otto from Rocket Power on a board or as clumsy as Squid, anyone can enjoy a little time on a board.

For those of you who feel more comfortable on your board than walking on your own two feet, Burlington hosts hills ranging from steep to mellow, short to long.

A gem in its long and consistent downslope, Henry Street offers about 1000 feet of fresh pavement. Traffic tends to be low in this spot but eventually it intersects the usually busy North Willard Street.

To add to the beauty of Henry Street is the deli that sits toward the bottom of the hill.

Henry Street Deli offers classic sandwiches just like mom used to make with all the standard market accouterments from Oreos to Arizona Iced Tea Ð a perfect refresher after a long run in which you may or may not have wiped out.

While itÕs not uncommon for Henry Street to attract a solid amount of skaters on a bluebird day, just parallel is its twin, Loomis Street. Loomis offers all the beauties of Henry Street, excluding the pleasures of a market at the bottom.

If youÕre looking for minimal traffic and a place for party trains, Carrigan Drive has your name all over it. By starting your descent towards the back entrance of Jeffords Hall, youÕll have 1500 feet of shralping until it flattens.

Looking for more gnar? Or a hill steeper than both our in and out-of-state tuition? Set your gaze on none other than Battery Street, right next to Lake Champlain.

While you feel more badass than Brink when you skate down, this hill is ruggedly steep and usually packed with cars. Problem. ThatÕs why if youÕre going to attempt Battery, pick an hour of day when traffic is less sketchy than the hockey house.

Of course a helmet can throw off your steez – if youÕre going for that – but it does a good thing, you know? Helmets are a lot like condoms, itÕs better to be caught with one than without one in a time of need.