Longboarding site will be in S. Surrey Athletic Park

SOUTH SURREY – Longboarders will finally have a place to call their own later this spring when the City of Surrey is expected to open the city’s first designated longboarding site.

The city made the announcement Wednesday that part of the South Surrey Athletic Park will be developed specifically for longboard use in an effort to provide a safe venue for local youths.

The popular activity made headlines last year when several boarders around the Lower Mainland were either killed or injured during longboarding sessions. In White Rock and South Surrey, a push was made to find some way of accommodating the increasingly popular street sport before somebody ended up sharing a similar fate.

Longboarding differs from skateboarding in that the boards are longer and generally used for cruising around streets rather than stunts and tricks.

Now local longboarders can practice the sport without fear of repercussions, as it would not be uncommon to see bylaw officers from both cities chasing longboarders off of city streets.

The site in question will be a service access road that leads to the park’s running track and because of its small slope and sight lines, the spot is safe for beginners.

“We recognize the growing popularity of the sport of longboarding among today’s youth,” said Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts. “In developing this site we want to ensure the safety of both the participants and the public.”

Surrey Coun. Linda Hepner, chair of the parks, recreation and sport tourism committee said more sites could be in the city’s future depending on how this pilot project goes.

“The development of more challenging designated longboarding sites in the future is something we will work towards as the sport continues to grow,” said Hepner. “We will be monitoring this pilot location over the summer to assess its impact on the community before we consider any future sites.”