Just keeps rolling along

Colin Gardner, sophomore in construction science and management stands on his hoverboard. (Nathan Jones | The Collegian)

For decades, the methods for getting across campus have remained the same. There is driving, skateboarding, biking and the age-old classic walking.

Now there is a new way, rolling.

Self-balancing scooters have been showing up in NFL locker rooms, have been sported by celebrities like Chris Brown and Justin Beiber and are now beginning to make an appearance on the K-State campus.

Students like Grant Pruitt and Savannah Elcock are joining the ranks of these professional athletes and celebrities by incorporating the board into their day.

Pruitt, freshman in business administration, first discovered the board through social media. He said he wanted to get a board to make his trip to and from his classes quicker, so he began surfing the Internet and settled on ordering a board form eBay due to its low price.

“The board is actually pretty quick,” Pruitt said. “About two hours of charging time is all it takes and it can basically run all day. It is also pretty durable; I have run it in to a couple of walls before.”

Pruitt uses the board primarily to get around campus but also uses it recreationally and has been featured on the campuswide Snapchat story riding it. He said he has even inspired one of his friends to order a board.

Though the board does not come without challenges; Pruitt said it was hard to get the hang of balancing.

Elcock, junior in elementary education, uses her board solely for recreational use. She said she enjoys the convenience of not walking everywhere, but does not want to use it to get to classes because it is difficult to control.

When Elcock first saw a board on Instagram, she said knew she wanted one.

“My friends thought I was crazy for wanting to get one,” Elcock said. “Now they think it’s fun; I have gotten most of them to try riding it. One of them even ran over my foot.”

Elcock often uses the board as a mean of socializing. She has encouraged most of the people who live on her same floor of her residence hall to try it. She and her friends sometimes refer to the board as “bleebs,” because of the beeping sound it makes when running low on battery life. They also plan on painting it to cover up scratches on the board.

Elcock said enjoys trying to teach her friends to ride the board, though it often results in a lot of falling.

“When you ride the board you feel like superwoman,” Jorden Schoenhofer, sophomore in secondary education, said. “The wind is in your face and the road is in front of you, until you run into a wall.”

The board not only garners attention from Elcock’s friends, but also onlookers. When she rides the board, she said she often hears people’s comments and catches them video taping the board on their phones.

The boards are made by various manufacturers and prices range from $400-$1,800. The average speed of the boards ranges between six and 10 mph.

“I don’t think these boards are the future,” Pruitt said. “They will probably get really popular in the next six months and die out.”

Elcock agreed, but she said it’s because they would just make the population lazy.

“They are just something mess around and have fun on,” Elcock said. “Kind of like a skateboard.”