Students on campus last fall may have noticed a new trend rolling past on the way to class. Longboards are wider and longer than skateboards, and they are often used for cruising, downhill racing and transportation.
One student who gets around campus on a longboard is Candice Dungan. Dungan, 21, is a senior public relations major from Hudson, Ohio, who describes herself as an extreme sports enthusiast.
Dungan has enjoyed snowboarding, skiing, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, kayaking and mountain biking.
“I just love being outside and doing things where, like, I have to be active,” she said.
Dungan was previously the president of the ski and snowboard team at Kent State. In high school, she competed in snowboarding events.
In June, Dungan said she started longboarding because she wanted something to do during the summer. She said the sport is an investment.
“I bought a board on eBay for 70 bucks because I was like, ʻWell, you know, I donʼt know if Iʼm gonna like it,ʼ” she said. “But hereʼs what happened: I loved it, and I had to go buy a brand new whole set after a month because my eBay board just completely fell apart.”
Because the sport is an investment, she suggests trying it out ﬁrst. Dungan said she often lends her board to friends so they can try it out.
Dunganʼs love for extreme sports started at a young age. At just three years old, she began skiing. She said she “basically grew up” at Boston Mills/Brandywine Ski Resort in Peninsula, Ohio.
“It was actually my mom [that got me into it]. [...] She actually still snowboards. She hits 30-foot kickers. Sheʼll hit a box. [...] Sheʼs better at moguls than I am, which is embarrassing,” Dungan said with a laugh.
Today, Dungan has a daughter of her own. Mona is almost three years old.
“I describe it as the best of times and the worst of times because sheʼs never been funnier [or] more active, [and I] never could do so many fun things with her, but at the same time, she knows how to throw a tantrum when she wants to. For the most part sheʼs pretty good, you know. Sheʼll listen to me and sheʼs just happy-go-lucky, but if you put the wrong shoes on her that she doesnʼt want to wear that day, I may not make it to class on time. But that just comes with it.”
Dunganʼs daughter rides her longboard — “I have to hold her hands, but sheʼll stand up on it and Iʼll hold her hands and sheʼll go, and sheʼs working on learning to push.”
“I actually wasnʼt even going to go to college,” Dungan said. The adrenaline chaser thought that she could teach snowboarding and work odd jobs for some time. “But then I got pregnant right after senior year, so I had to pick somewhere for school and Kentʼs close by and I knew a lot of people that went to Kent so I was like ʻAll right, Iʼll go to Kent.ʼ”
Not knowing what she wanted to study, she started out as a communications major. In the class Media, Power and Culture, Dungan discovered her calling.
“They talked about different jobs that had to do with mass media, and they came across p.r.,” she said. “It was, like, writing, promoting, event planning, social media [...] I would love to do each one of those things separately [...] You know, this just makes sense.”
Dungan started her own blog, Chase Adrenaline. She actively writes about companies, events and products for others involved in extreme sports.
“Just anything that has to do with extreme sports,” she said, “Iʼm like, ʻThis is really cool and I want everyone else to know.ʼ”
She is currently an intern at Sun Valley Sports, where she does promotions, event planning and social media. She has also done freelance write-ups for Boston Mills/ Brandywine Ski Resort. Others have also approached her for new projects.
Rallying the girls
Dungan participates in races for snowboarding and longboarding. Since it is a newer sport, Dungan said girls are under-represented in longboarding. The races usually donʼt have girlsʼ brackets. She hopes to get more girls involved in and excited about the sport.
“Over the summer, we had open track days at the Akron Derby Downs, which is, you know, where they do the soap box derby races,” she said. “And, you know, guys bring their girlfriends to sit and watch and Iʼm like ʻWhat are you doing watching? Come here! Get on the board! We have demo boards! Get on it. Do it yourself. Why are you just on the sidelines?ʼ [...] Iʼm just really trying to push girls [...] I just think ʻWhy not? Why canʼt we do it?ʼ”
Taking care of her daughter, doing school work, blogging and racing understandably take up most of Dunganʼs time. Though her friends may call it “lame,” she said her busy schedule will pay off.
“Itʼs a lot to juggle and a lot to do, but I make time for everything that I love because I love it,” she said. “You have to have priorities.”blog comments powered by Disqus