Do gooder dudes, Ray Elizondo and Mason Berube are promoting a volunteer litter pick-up, throughout the community of Pelican Rapids May 30. They’ll be moving fast—because the “Longboard Cruise and Clean-up” will be on skateboard, by a
gang of volunteer ‘boarders.’
PHOTO BY LOUIS HOGLUND
Ray Elizondo and Mason Berube will be rolling through the streets of Pelican on a campaign to clean-up the town—by longboard. Elizondo is a 2013 graduate of Pelican Rapids high School; Berube, 2015.

Longboarders ready to roll about town, on the lookout for litter

“Boarders” with a spirit of community volunteering, will take the streets May 30—for a good cause.

Longboarders Mason Berube and Ray Elizondo will be leading a gang of skateboard enthusiasts on a mission. They’re expecting at least a dozen local skateboarders to roll on a campaign to pick up litter around the Pelican Rapids community.

A longboard is like a skate board—only longer. The presence of long boards, as an environmentally-friendly mode of transportation, has become increasingly evident in the Pelican Rapids area.

“I was longboarding to school and back, and at the time, I feel like I was about the only one,” said Berube, who graduated from Pelican Rapids High School in 2015. Nowadays, there are probably at least 20 youth and young adults who are regulars on the Pelican streetscape.

Elizondo got more active in boarding about four years ago. A 2013 Pelican graduate, he lives in Dilworth but is home frequently to visit his parents, and also board around town. Longboarding is a hobby that you can get into for about $60 to $300, the approximate range in the price of a board, said Elizondo.

Longboarders aren’t as prone to the “tricks” and stunts of the “shortboarders,” said Berube. Pelican is a fun town for boarding, because it is somewhat more “hilly” than most prairie communities. The gentle slopes make for long, and sort-of-safe board runs, said Berube, noting that the higher terrain on the east side of town, and the long slope by Larry’s Super Market are favored spots.
Of course, there are two sides to every hill—and one side is more physically strenuous.

“Well, you have to go up to go down,” laughed Berube.

Younger, inexperienced boarders are encouraged to wear helmets and pads, for safety. “It’s like a bike. As you learn how to ride, you become more proficient,” said Berube. “You should take proper precautions—especially beginners.”

As for the history, skateboards really came into the pubic eye in the 1960s. Berube suggested that the evolution of the “longboard” is linked to California. “They emulated surf boards,” said Berube. Plus, the longer boards and bigger wheels actually provide an efficient form of quick, practical transportation.

The longboard litter pick-up is being billed as ‘Longboard Cruise & Clean-up.’

The designated meet-up spot Saturday, May 30 is at the Pelican city swim pool at 1 p,m.

“We are hosting this event as a way for the longboard community to connect with one another, meet like-minded people and partake in a constructive movement,” said Berube. “We will be cruising the streets and picking up trash at the same time.”

Trash bags and gloves will be provided to participants. Trash bags will be donated by Larry’s Super Market. This event has been approved by Pelican Mayor Brent Frazier and a sign to promote the event will be placed at the Pelican Rapids Fire Hall one week prior to the event.

“We see it as a way for people to connect, meet people with a similar passion—and do something positive,” said Berube.

For more information, call Berube at (218) 850-2022, or email: masonjberube@gmail.com.