North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Longboarders attend Sk8 Festival

 

September 27, 2017 | View PDF

Christopher Andersson

Longboarders race down the Centennial Trail during the Centennial Sk8 Festival's 8.5 mile sunset race on Sept. 23.

The Centennial Sk8 Festival, an event for longboarders in Snohomish County and across the county, returned for its fifth year in Arlington.

The races took place on Sept. 23 and 24.

Longboards are similar to skateboards but usually feature more stability and traction. They are typically meant for longer distances or races.

Racers came from as far as the east coast to race on the Centennial Trail this year, including an 8.5 mile sunset race on the Centennial Trail, a 5K race, a 14.5 mile countryside race and a one-mile race for kids.

A festival was held at Haller Park.

"This year is different at Haller Park because we're filling it up," said Arlington local and event organizer Angela Kuhn.

"It is full of vendors and activities for the community because we want them to come out and see what we're doing," she said.

Organizers brought in athletic activities and kids' activities for the community at the park, she said.

Kuhn said that the event continues to bring a large number of people out.

"Last year was a smashing success in our opinion. We had great weather and had a number of racers come out," she said. "This year we're on track for it to be our best event yet."

She said that the sport is growing and people get into longboarding for all kinds of reasons.

Kyle Yan was a race participant this year and he flew in from New York City.

"I got into this sport when I was in college and found it was a healthy alternative. Instead of taking the subway, why not just spend 20 to 30 minutes on your skateboard," he said.

Now he said longboarding is both a hobby and one of his primary means of transportation.

"It's a great form of transportation and green commuting," said Kuhn.

This is his second time coming to Arlington for the races and he said he has enjoyed them. "I think it was organized really well, and I think it has been this year as well," he said.

Others said they got into longboarding as a way to exercise. "It's better than running, at least in my book," said Hope Jackson, who currently lives in Everett and grew up in Arlington.

"I like going fast. Usually when I'm running I feel like I'm going so slow, but longboarding has a different feeling of accomplishment, which I really like," she said.

This is also her second year at the festival and said she is doing all the races this time.

"Everyone at the event is really nice. Last year I didn't know anybody I only had my one friend," she said.

"It can be hard where you're in a situation where there's a ton of people and they're all close, but they're all really welcoming here," she said.

Kuhn said that longboarding is gaining popularity for exercise. "Longboarding is a great activity for individuals and families, it's great for all ages," she said.

Individuals from age 7 to 63 registered for this year's races, she said.

"We think it's a sustainable sport and we want to encourage its growth," she said.

Kuhn and her family are from Arlington and took over running the event a couple of years ago. She hopes to continue be involved in growing the sport and Centennial Sk8 Festival.

"I think the community likes that we are also part of the community. We're a local family that is active here and in the outdoors world, and I think the community will stand behind us as we grow this event," she said.

More information about the Centennial Sk8 Festival is available at their website at http://www.centennialsk8fest.com.

 

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