Longboarding jam is set for Sunday near Handley High School

Posted: June 25, 2013

The Winchester Star

WINCHESTER — Brothers Aaron and Chris Arslan are sharing their passion for the sport of longboarding with a jam this weekend.

The Red, White and Blue Slide Jam is scheduled for noon Sunday on Castleman Drive, a few blocks south of Handley High School. The rain date is July 7.

Handley student Aaron, 15, followed his 19-year-old brother, Chris, into the pastime two or three years ago.

“It’s basically like surfing, but on land,” Aaron said Monday. “When you’re going downhill, you can carve. The wheels are bigger than on skateboards. It’s a smoother ride than a skateboard.

“Longboarding is just more of a calmer, relaxing sport.”

Aaron rides on a 38-inch board, but says they can range from 36 to 50 inches.

“The length depends on the style of longboarding you like to do,” he said. “Usually, longer longboards [are] better for dancing, which is basically cross-stepping across the longboard.”

Shorter styles are better for freestyling and freeriding, which is when the rider whips the board around while going down a hill and slides the wheels across the ground instead of rolling them, Aaron said.

He said about 80 participants are expected at Saturday’s event, which should last about four hours.

The brothers, who are being helped by a third young man on the event, have gotten approval from Police Chief Kevin Sanzenbacher, according to Aaron.

A special-events application has been approved, Winchester Police spokeswoman Lauren Cummings said Monday. She said the organizers have also obtained insurance for the event.

Castleman Drive will be closed off so the jam can be held, Cummings said.

Aaron said Castleman is a great hill to slide down. He lives on Handley Drive, which is also good for longboarding, he said.

“Lots of my friends go longboarding, too,” Aaron said. “It’s a growing sport. It’s getting bigger in Winchester, I believe.”

Chris, who attends Christopher Newport University in Newport News, said he’s been longboarding about four years, after a friend took up the sport.

“I think it’s relaxing, and I like to be really creative,” Chris said. “There’s a lot of different styles.”

He said slide jamming is somewhat similar to snowboarding.

The brothers have been attending jams elsewhere, Chris said.

Tropical Island Coffee & Cafe, located at 39 W. Piccadilly St., will be vending at the jam Sunday, and MIK Woodworking, at 126 Windy Hill Lane, Winchester, will be there with some cornhole boards.

The jam, which will have various prize categories, is a way to introduce the sport in the area, Chris said.

“Winchester I don’t think really knows about longboarding that well,” he said. “We have a lot of good hills.”

The brothers are so into the sport, they’ve started their own longboarding company, Blac Jac Longboards, with their father, Bob.

“We build everything ourselves to sell,” Chris said.

For more information about the jam, contact Aaron at 540-771-0014 or Chris at 540-539-8455.

— Contact Sally Voth at svoth@winchesterstar.com