Skating down a mountain at speeds up to 55 mph while making fast turns and performing tricks is how the members of ASU’s Longboarding X-Devils get their rush.
“The X-Devils is a group of people that have a passion for riding,” said Cole Kurtz, business management sophomore and co-president of the Longboarding X-Devils. “We have snowboarders, long boarders, skate boarders, wake boarders, mountain bikers and dirt bikers.”
There are similar longboarding teams at NAU and UA, Kurtz said.
This year was X-Devils’ first year as an official club at ASU, but this is not where longboarding in Tempe started, he said.
Kurtz is also on a local team called Team 480, which he said has been around for about a year.
The X-Devils and Team 480 work to help people in the community learn about how to safely ride longboards, he said.
“We have different types of events, from competitions to clinics for people who want to learn how to longboard,” Kurtz said.
Competitions that Kurtz has planned have drawn attention from professional longboarders from Tucson and Colorado, he said.
At a clinic on Oct. 24, about 70 people showed up to learn about how to longboard more safely, he said.
“We do other things like campus cruises, too, where we skate around campus and in some of the parking structures,” he said. “I’m sure ASU loves that.”
X-Devils is hoping to expand more in the next few years to be able to reach out to more of the ASU community, Kurtz said.
He is currently working on getting ASU to sponsor his riding season this year so he will be able to compete in tournaments throughout Canada in summer 2010.
“I feel I’m at the adequate level to compete,” Kurtz said, “I think it would be a great opportunity to be able to represent ASU while I travel around Canada and compete.”
Currently Kurtz has a national sponsor as well as a local sponsor, Wild Child Sports, which sponsors him and the other members of Team 480, he said.
The club is also working with ASU student videographers to shoot a video for its sponsors, Kurtz said.
“Everyone’s working, but we all love what we’re doing,” he said.
Outside of the events, the X-Devils try to make a point of riding together weekly, Kurtz said.
Justin Suriamata, 16, has been a part of the X-Devils since it started over the summer.
“We are able to feed off of each other’s energy and make each other better,” Suriamata said.
Though he is still attending Mountain Pointe High School, the club members welcomed him to ride with them, he said.
“There are even guys that are maybe 30 that ride with us because it’s the passion that is important,” Suriamata said.
When the X-Devils go out to ride, they practice different tricks and styles of riding, he said.
“We go as fast as we can,” Suriamata said. “No one’s ever gotten too hurt though.”
Kyle Bingham, owner of Wild Child Sports and one of Kurtz’s sponsors, said he found out about Kurtz about six months ago.
“In terms of longboarding, he’s able to encompass all of the important aspects of riding,” he said.
Kurtz and Team 480 are able to help promote Wild Child Sports while Bingham helps them with anything from equipment to tournament entry fees, he said.
Bingham said he and Kurtz have worked together to help longboarding grow in the community through different clinics, videos and events they have worked on.
“I think given [Kurtz’s] talent level and how long he has been riding, he definitely has the potential to eventually compete with the professionals,” he said.
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