Features — 31 March 2016
Feature: Local skimboaders are put on the map with magazine coverage

Imagine being featured in a professional magazine because of something that started as a hobby. That is exactly what happened to a few students from Rock Creek.

Living in Kansas can seem boring from time to time. After all, there are not a lot of interesting activities here, as compared to Colorado, where one can go skiing or hiking. Yet, a group of boys from Rock Creek have found a way to make what they have into an interesting hobby — skimboarding. The group, led by seniors Nick Beyer, Isaiah Dobbins and Michael Zabel, along with junior Blake Ruder, have created what they call The Kansas Skim Team.

“The Kansas Skim Team skims near Boggs Landing in St. George, Kansas,” Ruder said. “There is a creek right next to it, and that is where we skim. We also skim on the sandbanks around the river when it gets low enough.”

Their idea started two years ago, and since then, they have been getting some national attention for their rare hobby.

“I e-mailed a person at DB Skimboards about them putting us on their Skim Spot Finder Map,” Ruder said.

After receiving news that they had been placed on the map, Ruder received a response from the company. Matt McDonald, the media manager for DB Skimboards, who also runs the stories for Flatland Skimboarding Magazine and Skimboarding Magazine, sent Ruder a response.

“He was stoked about us skimboarding in Kansas and wanted to do an interview with us,” Ruder said.

After having everyone in the group answer his questions, they just needed to send McDonald some photo and video footage for the article. The group selected junior Dylan Vidana as their “media guy.”

In addition, Ruder said, “I am also ordering a new customized board from DB, and he [McDonald] is throwing in a free skimboard bag and some T-shirts for our crew.”

As far as the group’s plans for the future, Zabel said, “I would love to see Rock Creek create a skimboarding club after school to carry on our favorite tradition and favorite sport.”

The group, mainly consisting of juniors and seniors, has made some memories throughout their two years.

“My favorite memory is by far the night skimming nights,” Beyer said. “We had flood lights and glow sticks everywhere. It was pretty stellar.”

Although that may seem dangerous, the group has never experienced any major injuries together.

“Our skimming time, or ‘skim sesh,’ as we like to call it, consists of us hanging out and having a good time,” Ruder said. “We always have music playing, and it’s just an overall good time. There is no commitment, and there is no hatred toward any of the other riders.”

Article by Brynn Hammett, yearbook editor in chief

Photo courtesy of Dylan Vidana

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