By: Nicole Shakhnazarova, Contributing Writer
The new skateboarding club on campus, the Glider Alliance, is a student organization composed of predominantly longboarders, but skaters and riders of all disciplines are welcome. They currently have roughly 30 members.
Conceptualized by Towson alumnus James Ficklin in 2013, the group has a key mission of uniting skaters.
“[Ficklin] wanted to get a group together and share the love of skating and make a family out of it,” president of the Glider Alliance Lucas La Vista said.
Varying in proficiencies, the organization encourages students of all skating abilities to join and find support.
“Glider Alliance has people who are semi-pros, beginners, sponsored skaters, a couple of people who can handle speeds of 30 mph downhill,” La Vista said. “No matter how much or how little experience they have, we encourage beginners to skate, even if standing on a board is all they can do.”
The club has open meetings Mondays and Thursdays at 8 p.m. in room 17 of Hawkins Hall, and the time after the meetings is usually used to skate.
“The meetings we hold include teaching newbies the basics of skateboarding, and the practice after is used to put the things they learn in the meetings to use,” La Vista said.
In addition to practicing their skills and teaching beginners to accumulate theirs, the Glider Alliance also competes on a national level.
“The Mid Atlantic Freestyle hosted by WheelRZ and Faceplant Boardriders is a very important tournament on our calendar, and we all travel to Delaware as a group and compete,” La Vista said.
Expanding the organization is definitely an objective that is on La Vista’s goals for the upcoming semester of Fall 2016.
“Many of us are from out of state, so when we’re home for the summers and winters we are going to keep trying to expand the group by inviting out of state skaters to join,” La Vista added.
La Vista also stated that Glider Alliance “is looking to shift back the practice times to during the day next semester instead of in the evening as everyone seems to enjoy skating in the sun.”
Glider Alliance invites students to join them April 28 at 8 p.m. in room 17 of Hawkins Hall, where sponsored skater Jarrid Lopez will teach students how to become more proficient at skating and talk about his experiences as a sponsored skater. The following day, Glider Alliance will be skating all day on campus behind Smith Hall.
“This is also open to everyone and we encourage as many people as possible to come out and try skating,” La Vista said.