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Saturday, May 8, 2021

Winter migration to paradise

The peaks and valleys of Maui, Hawaii provided the perfect place for the Western Longboarding Club to go to while trying to get away from wintery Washington weather.

Known to be a longboarder’s paradise, Maui is covered with hills stretching for miles, ditches to skate in and roads going down the sides of volcanoes.

Members of the Western Longboarding Club riding down from the top of the volcano Haleakala // Photo courtesy of Michael Rivera
Members of the Western Longboarding Club riding down from the top of the volcano Haleakala // Photo courtesy of Michael Rivera

Western’s Longboarding Club had their annual  Migrate to Skate trip, spending 11 days in Maui to get away from the bad weather and skate new areas.

The club skated Maui as much as possible, where temperatures were in the 70s and 80s, with some rain.

Sophomore Ben Bartlett, a member of the club, said skating down the highway on the south side of Hana in Maui was his favorite part.

“All my friends were there and it was a 10 minute run with the sun setting right as we went,” Bartlett said. “There were amazing steep downhill sections that flattened out. It was like a big roller coaster ride.”

Another part of this trip was being able to bond as a group. Eleven people went on the trip, including eight current students, two incoming students and one Western alumnus.

During the 11 days in Maui, the group lived on the beach sleeping in hammocks and their three rental cars. When they weren’t on their longboards, they spent time swimming and cliff diving in the Seven Sacred Pools, visiting Lavender Farms and seeing Mount Haleakala.

“Having a good time on a skateboard is everything. That is what it is all about.”

John Slugg 

The club has been doing the Migrate to Skate trip since 2013. The trip was started by Western alumni Nate Braks and Jason Windham. The Associated Students and business sponsors help fund trips.

The club does not have official meetings and instead holds unofficial meetups through members texting each other to see if anyone wants to skate.

The club plans on holding future meetups on Fridays around 6:30 p.m. at Sehome High School.

“Having a good time on a skateboard is everything. That is what it is all about,” junior John Slugg said.

Slugg takes part in organizing  Migrate to Skate.  He said the trip was difficult to organize, but it is rewarding when it goes well.  

The club is open to longboarders with varying levels of experience. Lessons on how to slide and stop are provided for inexperienced longboarders.

“Safety is a huge concern,” Slugg said. “If you have someone who doesn’t know how to control their board, you don’t want to take them on an open road.”

Maui is not the only site they will be going this year. For spring break, the club will be going to San Francisco to skate the steep hills there.

Migrate to Skate is considering going to either Costa Rica, Ecuador or Taiwan for their next winter break getaway, Slugg said.

A movie of the Migrate to Skate trip in Hawaii is currently in the works and is planned on being released in March.

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