Boomtown is changing perceptions about longboarding

Boomtown is changing perceptions about longboarding

"It's amazing how in control you feel when you're completely almost out of control," said skater Ethan Cochard. "It's an experience that's really hard to describe."

He's talking about longboarding, a sport where skaters go 40 miles per hour, straight downhill.

"Yea we're a little crazy, you have to be for this sport."

In this sport, broken bones and road rash are more common than stickers on a helmet.

"On my shoulder, all down my left side. just scars all the way down," bragged Cochard about his injuries.

Danger doesn't deter this group of skaters known as "Boomtown." Mostly in their late teens and early 20's, the group is trying to spread the word about longboarding.

"People don't have the best perceptions of skaters, we're trying to change that," said Ross Druckrey. "We're trying to be friendly with everyone out there, show them that we're just people trying to have some fun."

In Eugene, longboarding is illegal in the streets and bike lanes because of safety concerns, both for the skaters and drivers. However over the past year and a half, "Boomtown" has organized legal competitions, getting permits through the city, in an attempt to win over the public.

"The more people that are in it, the more accepted it will be in society eventually," said Cochard. "As long as we keep a very positive image, we'll be accepted by these fine people in this neighborhood."

The sport may be catching on, the group's Youtube channel, "Boomtown Broadcast," has more than 200,000 views.

"It's our way to show local Oregonians, or whoever stumbles onto the channel, what we do and what we like to do," said Cochard. 

What they like to do, is fly around on four wheels.

"It's kind of indescribable," said Druckrey. "It's a rush, it's adrenaline, but it's almost calming at the same time. It's an escape definitely, but it's also just a way to have fun with your buddies."