Girls take to the streets

As Mother Nature changes, the scene on campus morphs along with it. An array of flip-flops, t-shirts, shorts and skirts replace the monochrome scene of dark, heavy winter coats.However, general attire is not the only thing that has shifted. Beside many of those students now sunbathing on the library steps, a certain accessory is around that serves to unofficially declare spring. Boarders, and more specifically, female boarders. Perhaps more than any other year, the gals of UVM have keyed into the joy of longboarding.Quick lesson. Skateboards are the conventional, old school, short boards. Most people with skateboards think of the whole transportation element of the sport as an added benefit. A real skateboarder spends their time perfecting their ollie and doing pseudo-acrobatics on the nearest rail. Think Tony Hawk.Longboards, on the other hand, are used either for downhill racing or transportation. These boards are basically skateboards, but longer and generally wider. Their added weight and bulkiness makes them less suitable for many skateboarding tricks, but contributes to a smooth motion by providing more momentum. These are the boards that countless chicks have grown to love. Lori Gambardella, a UVM sophomore, took in some sun as she chowed down on a New World tortilla and propped her elbows up on the longboard behind her.”I board because it’s fun,” Gambardella said, “campus is a good place to ride around and I feel like it’s very accepted.”When asked what she thought about the new wave of women asserting their skills on wheels, she shrugged nonchalantly. “I think that girls just want to try it out,” Gambardella said, “it’s no longer seen as ‘a guy thing’ and we have picked up on the fact that it’s fun, easy and quick.”You hear that, girls? Just like boarding on the snowy mountains, boarding on pavement has shifted from predominately masculine to gender neutral. For the gals who haven’t quite caught on yet, UVM student Jessica Vincent has some advice: “Try it before you knock it.” And for all of you walkers, the boarders claim that there is no need to briskly shuffle to the side of the path when you hear those wheels coming. Garden said he always warns walkers in advance when he is approaching and that they have nothing to fear. Gambardella shares his sentiments. “We know what we’re doing,” Gambardella said, “We are definitely in control of our boards.”