Cruisin’ Hawthorne Trail

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Wahines of the Waves is an all girls club that breaks down stereotypes against girls and extreme sports. As Vice President I can testify, this is a rad group of girls.

The club connects members to other girls with similar interests. Whether a wahine wants to learn or just participate WOW is the best way to do it.  I, for example, am always on the lookout for beach trips, but I also like to try to wakeboard every now and then and I like having someone on the boat to give pointers.

On any given day a wahine may post something like,

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“The Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail stretches 16 miles from the city of Gainesville’s Boulware Springs Park through the Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park and other local and state conservation lands.” Florida State Parks

Today, a group of us headed over Hawthorne Trail, longboards in tow, to carve some pavement.

There is no real way to put to words that feeling that riding a long, smooth line on a longboard gives you.  Longboarding is this strange combination of peaceful elation and intense focus; nothing feels better than gliding, uninhibited over concrete, but one little rock or crack and you’ll end up covered in road rash.

I’ve been longboarding for nearly my whole life, but I’d always viewed it as a form of transportation.  In Berlin this past summer I realized how much more social it could be.

I went to Berlin for a photojournalism study abroad program. For our final project we were challenged to photograph and interview someone about their life in Berlin. With my background in skate photography, I was determined to interview a skater.

As days passed and more and more subjects failed to respond I began to frantically search for a subject, any subject.  By some stroke of luck I wandered upon a skate/snowboard shop and inside I met Phil Van Schönewald. Phil invited me on a “Rollerunde” at 5. I had no idea what the word meant, but he told me to come back at 5 and he’d lend me a board.

When I returned to shop I was meant with about twenty other people with longboards and foreign languages.  Phil introduced me, but all I understood from the introduction was, “Marley… photojournalism… Florida.”

We spent the next two hours skating through the bustling streets of Berlin and ended the evening drinking beers along the spree.

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Despite all the fun, I also managed to find my subject: Björn Trakowsky, the founder and publisher of an online longboard magazine: rolligebrettl.

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