Back on board: Loryn Roberson makes triumphant return to downhill longboarding in time to represent Team USA at World Skate Games
Nearly four years ago, Summit’s Loryn Roberson hung up her longboard, her racing kit and helmet to go all in on her career path.
Though the decision led Roberson to a communications manager job at Keystone Ski Resort and eventually the senior communications manager position at Copper Mountain Resort, her passion for skateboarding never faded.
That fire led Roberson to placing well at her first downhill skateboarding race in nearly four years, opening the door for her to represent Copper Mountain Resort, Summit County and the United States at the World Skate Games in San Juan, Argentina, next week.
Roberson — or better known as Lorynlongboards on Instagram, first got into longboarding as a means of transportation during her freshman year of college at Central Michigan University.
“I bought my first longboard right after I graduated high school,” Roberson said. “I bought it purely for the purpose of pushing around my college campus.”
Shortly after buying her first longboard though, Roberson discovered she could skillfully ride them downhill at a rapid pace. Roberson entered her first downhill skateboarding race in 2012, and while on the downhill skateboarding world tour in 2015, Roberson placed third overall.
Despite seeing widespread success, Roberson made the decision in 2018 to take some time away after landing her role at Keystone Ski Resort.
“I took some time off from skateboarding,” Roberson said. “I was really focused on my career and the ski industry.”
This spring Roberson made the decision to once again don her sleek aerodynamic helmet along with her longboarding slide gloves.
“As soon as I stepped back on my board, the thrill of it came back,” Roberson said of her return to the sport. “I am a huge adrenaline junky, and it was my identity for so long. I wanted to get back on the board and make sure I could still do it.”
In Roberson’s first race off of her hiatus, Roberson notched a fourth-place finish at the Maryhill Spring Freeride in Washington state back in April.
At the time, the race was just a freeride where a road is closed off and athletes go out to have fun.
“I did it to see if I could still skate and go have a good time,” Roberson said. “About a month before the event, they announced it was going to be a world qualifier for the United States skate team. I ended up doing really well, and I had a point to qualify for the (World) team.”
With a race under her belt for the first time in years, Roberson continued to train on the Swan Mountain Road portion of the Summit County recreation path and Ute Pass Road while in Summit County.
With her eyes set on claiming a spot on the U.S. women’s downhill skateboarding team for the 2022 World Skate Games, Roberson entered her second world qualifier in order to garner enough points to hopefully be named to Team USA.
At a downhill skateboarding race in Vermont, Roberson placed third overall to rank fourth in the U.S. and secure one of the six spots on the U.S. women’s World skateboarding team.
“It is an incredible honor,” Roberson said. “The United States has a pretty talented crew of females who can shred pretty hard. To come back — and now be considered one of the older people that have been on the scene for a while — felt really good.”
Roberson will join five other women and six men on Team USA at the World Skate Games. Each country attending will also bring their top six male and female athletes in the event.
Roberson will begin practicing with Team USA in San Juan on Nov. 8 and then will start individual qualifiers on Nov. 11. After qualifiers, Roberson will be seeded into a bracket and will then race against other competitors in a series of heats on Nov. 12.
Roberson is looking forward to visiting San Juan for the first time while striving to make the downhill skateboarding final, which will end the day on Nov. 12.
“I am really excited to go and see so many of my friends that I have met across the world,” Roberson said. “A lot of these people I have been skating with for 10 years, so to come back after a bit of a hiatus is going to be pretty awesome. A lot of us are the only females in our scene, so when we get all together it is pretty special.”
Roberson is thankful to her sponsors Copper Mountain Resort, MIDS and Venom. For results from the World Skate Games, visit WorldSkate.org.
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