I crossed paths with Michael Rivera & WWU Longboard Club via their kickstarter campaign, they weren’t trying to launch some kind of game changing product for the longboarding community. Instead they had a humble mission: raise money, grab some gear, grab the WWU Longboard Club, and head to California. Living out every longboarder’s dream of giving winter the ultimate middle finger, and skating the best hills the west coast has to offer.
Migrate To Skate Videos
Below are 20 questions I asked Michael:
1) How long have you been longboarding for?
Two and a half years
2) How did you first start?
I first started when I couldn’t afford to maintain my downhill mountain bike anymore and needed a new hobby. I had a Sector 9 cruiser at the time and had seen some rad videos of people sliding, so I bought a set of freeride wheels and a stiff deck to give it a try. I loved it and haven’t stopped since!
3) What inspired you to create the longboard club?
I actually didn’t start the club. Kevin Yen started the club back in 2011 before I had started skating. Since then he’s handed off club leadership to Nate Braks who organized the Migrate to Skate trip with me.
4) What advice do you have for any longboarders in college looking to create a longboard club on their local campus?
Send it! Its all about visibility with these clubs, so get out there and recruit new members around your campus during info fairs and such. Our club has a core of 6 or 7 riders who regularly shred, and then about 140 members who are just casual skaters, but we try to organize learn to slide days a few times a year to get more people acquainted with safe skating techniques. There are plenty of people on college campuses looking to shred, but without anyone there to teach them how to skate, it can be pretty intimidating. Skating is always more enjoyable with a few homies, so spread the love and teach a friend to shred!
5) Are there any longboard clubs out there that you guys are cool with?
Definitely! When we did the Migrate to Skate trip we hit up a bunch of Nor Cal clubs to show us around the area. We never ended up meeting up with any of them just because of the timing of the trip (the week before Christmas), but they were all super friendly and willing to help out!
6) What’s your favorite longboard setup?
For freeride I love my Honey H-Bomb set up with 50 degree Calibers and 80a Mini Zombie Hawgs. For DH I’ve been shredding a new deck that’ll be dropping soon from Uh-Huh Longboards here in Bellingham. Its one of the most aggressive shapes I’ve ever ridden and it loves going fast.
7) Out of all the places you skated on your Migrate to skate journey, which city was your favorite?
San Francisco. We never actually skated there because we were so distracted by downhill runs in Oakland and Berkeley, but we stayed with my uncle who lives right on the coast for a couple days and there’s just something about waking up, skating to a coffee shop and chillin on the beach before you start your day.
8) Would you rather fight 100 duck sized horses or 1 horse sized duck?
100 duck sized horses for sure, I’m pretty confident in my equestrian punting abilities.
9) What are you studying in school?
I’m studying Outdoor Recreation here at Western and I’m hoping to apply it to a career in action sports cinematography.
10) Who’s your favorite longboarder?
Louis Pilloni because he shreds and he’s just a super nice guy. A humble attitude goes a long way.
11) Whats your favorite trick?
I don’t do many tricks myself, but I love watching me some blunt slides and stalefish early grabs!
12) Would you rather freeride, downhill, or slalom?
Freeride all the way.
13) Stranded on an island, what’s the one thing you would bring with you?
A surfboard. As long as I’m stranded I might as well pick up a new skill!
14) What do you do when you aren’t longboarding?
When I’m not on pavement I’m snowboarding, shredding with the WWU Waterski Team, hiking, filming or editing video.
15) Favorite Food?
Drunken Noodle stir fry. Nothing beats a solid Thai dish.
16) Anything you would like to say to the longboard community?
Prepare for more growth! This sport has been exploding over the last few years and I don’t think it’s going to stop any time soon.
17) Any plans to go on another longboard road trip?
There’s no solid plans just yet, but I’d like to do another van trip this summer to do some epic downhilling in the Rockies. Migrate to Skate: Colorado?
18) What’s the fastest you’ve ever gone?
I think my fastest was 45 mph on a switchback run along the Columbia river this summer. At the time I was on a deck with a super short wheelbase, so I’m planning on hitting it again this summer and trying to top 50!
I actually got it on video here: http://vimeo.com/83688503
19) How metal are you?
Not at all actually. I’m more of a hip hop guy, but I listen to just about anything BUT metal.
20) What year do you expect to see hover boards by?
If I’m not shredding on a hover board by 2020, I’ve lost all faith in humanity.