31. Rider 


Old well-trodden paths grew tedious to me over time, I bored of my surroundings, I bored of London and I bored of life in this city. A dull grey had washed over the urban sprawl, rendering it limp of life. A trip to Toronto soon sorted me out though. One maple board later, and I suddenly have a brilliant new perspective of everything that surrounds me. Suddenly that route that I take every day on foot becomes the ride of a lifetime. The hill I hated to climb, a challenge. The faceless people who trudge miserably through town, an obstacle that I weave around with a grin on my face. Longboarding has already taught me a lot about happiness, particularly reinforcing to me how it is a lifestyle choice and not an aspiration. 

I’m not that great at longboarding, let’s get that straight. But after about a month of riding I can honestly say that I feel an intense buzz when hitting a speed that’s a little faster than I’ve hit before. I am overcome with a sensation that I am flying. Released, with a fleeting freedom, from my own physical self. 

Without getting uneccesarily philosophical, I do wonder why the simple act of longboarding is so good at unlocking a pure joy from within my soul.

My soul, as the greatest part of me, is the one thing I must learn to please and placate in life and longboarding seems to be a simple way to unlock an inner oft-bounded peace of mind. In short, there’s something pretty magical about coasting through life on a set of wheels, all working in unison. 

Perhaps the simplest, and least pretentious, way of understanding this is by taking it on face value. Longboarding allows me to see life through a joyful lens, a lens that impacts all other facets of my existence for the better. It is an act that reminds me of a goodness that is always around me, but I don’t always see. Within this, there is a simple lesson to be learnt. 

Never wait to be happy or ever work towards being happy. Just, do things that make you happy. Life is always lived in the moment and if you can’t be happy in the moment then you won’t ever be happy. 

If you are stuck for ideas and want a potential fast track to happiness, Try riding a longboard. It works for me. 

(Photo – Eli Woodbine, 2015) 


5 Comments Add yours

  1. I don’t have a longboard but what you say reminds me of what I feel when I ride my bike in my London neighbourhood. I feel like a hybrid, neither pedestrian nor car driver, slow enough to see but faster than any walker, moving forward thanks to my own physical effort and steam, and most of all, I know exactly how long it takes me to get anywhere because i never get stuck in traffic 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. eliwoodbine says:

      Amazing. Completely agree. London can be fun with a different perspective. I used to work in central (advertising) .. And one day I found my old childhood scooter.. I scooted along Oxford street on it. The looks I got alone made my day.. Haha .. London is a bit too busy for me all in all though! Stay safe riding. Eli.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Of course it is, it takes great force to get me out of my London Fields neighbourhood and I try to avoid Central London as much as possible, though I would have loved to see you scooting down the length of Oxford Street, bent down to reach the handles… 🙂
        have a lovely weekend,

        Liked by 1 person

      2. eliwoodbine says:

        Haha it was a very small scooter and I’m over 6 foot. You are imagining I totally correctly! Haha. Have a lovely weekend too,. Eli.

        Liked by 1 person

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