Moncton's longboard ban frustrates skaters

A Moncton skateboard shop says sales of longboards have doubled in the city since last year, but skaters are still not permitted to use them on city streets or sidewalks.

The skateboards have a longer deck and are designed more for cruising than doing tricks.

But longboards are not allowed to be used along the city’s streets. People caught longboarding on streets or sidewalks in the Moncton area could face fines from $45 to $125.

That bylaw has a direct impact on people, such as Cody Bernard.

Bernard said he doesn't have a car or a bike so he uses a longboard to get around the city.

Ciaran McCarthy, the manager of Boardertech Skateboards and Snowboards, said the mode of transportation isn’t going away and local laws will have to change.

The store is continuing to sell longboards even with the existing bylaw.

"We have to almost share it in some way,” McCarthy said.

“As long as the kids have helmets and stuff like that ... I don't think this is going to go away. So we're going to have to learn some way of handling it."

But RCMP Sgt. Pierre Parenteau said longboards belong in skate parks.

"The problem is that longboard skateboards don't really fit on the streets and sidewalks,” he said.

Compromise needed

McCarthy said he drives a car so he understands what it is like when longboarders are not respectful of others on the road or sidewalks.

But he said there can be room for them somewhere outside of the skate park.

McCarthy said he and other longboarders would be willing to meet with any city officials to help work out compromises to get them on the streets safely and legally.

He said both motorists and skaters have to be prepared to co-exist on the roads.

“You have to be experienced enough to map out where you're going to go,” McCarthy said.

“It's almost stupid, I guess, not to understand the road. So it's up to them to do that. And it's up to drivers I think not to be frustrated seeing kids, you know, on the side.”