This past week, I joined the ranks of those annoying electric skateboard evangelists.

As someone who figured I’d just ride skatepark bowls in between surf sessions until I could no longer walk, this new development was a revelation. I’d always thought of the electric-driven skateboard as an annoyance, a humming, soul-lacking derivation of the push-powered transport of my youth.

Why the change of heart? Turns out, an electric longboard is whole heck of a lot of fun, and when you really get the thing moving, it sure feels a lot like riding a wave.

Granted, I’m still getting used to the thing but I’m sold on this e-longboard as another way to mimic the feel of surfing, complete with the opportunity to carve the concrete face and enjoy the glide.

A few years ago, there were only a handful of brands from which to choose. But nowadays, there are a ton of longboards (and some shorter boards) filling the market in all different budget categories. You can spend $2,000 or more for the best of the bunch but there are a lot of really good boards, considered mid-range models, that sell for $600 or less. Those have been just fine for my purposes.

One word of advice: Even though it looks dorky, please wear a helmet if you decide to jump on the electric longboard bandwagon. Taking a tumble while blazing along a road at more than 20 mph can cause serious bodily injury. YouTube is filled with videos of people who didn’t heed that warning and they ended up hospitalized in pretty bad shape.

Still, zipping along the pavement on an electric board is close enough to surfing for me to keep me stoked in between surf sessions.

WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR NLAND SURF PARK?

Social media was buzzing this week with talk that NLand Surf Park in Austin will be closed for the entirety of 2019.

But the reasons for such speculation are still murky. NLand hasn’t put out an official statement yet but that hasn’t stopped fans of the surf park from sharing all manner of tidbits about the park being sold or being closed for all of next year to undergo a major renovation.

Stay tuned to this column for information on NLand’s future as it becomes available.

Stephen Hadley is a longtime surfer who lives and works in Galveston. If you have an idea for this column, email him at stephendhadley@gmail.com.

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