As you may or may not know, Bustin sponsors a handful of longboard clubs and we are so stoked to see so many communities poppin’ up around the world. . While speaking to one of our newest clubs, the Longboard Connection at Berkely, I asked Carson, founder of the club, if he could write a quick blog to help students on other campuses understand how they may be able to start a longboarding club on their campus….
What’s going on? My name is Carson Lee, and I am the President and Founder of UC Berkeley’s longboard club, the “Longboard Connection at Berkeley.” I started the club in the Fall of 2009, and have watched it blossom from a one-person Facebook Group, to an official student organization with sponsored events and weekly sessions
When is the right time to start a longboard club at your school, be a high school or college? If there is no longboard club at your school, and you know there are longboarders out there…..START ONE!!! How?
1. Do you love longboarding and are you dedicated to make the club work? If so…
2. Contact your student government, and inquire about how to register/start a new club. There are different rules and regulations for each school, but they are usually pretty simple.
3. Culture cannot be underestimated when starting any group, whether it is a club, or even a business. You get to decide this. Do you want it to be mainly about teaching beginners? Do you want it to be a relaxed, inclusive environment? For the Longboard Connection at Berkeley, the central culture was an inclusive one based on connecting people together, regardless of skill, race, age, sex and simply HAVING FUN. Centering everything on this culture is key.
4. What kind of central communication system do you want to have in place to contact members about events and general discussions? The two most common forms are a traditional email list, or a Facebook Group. I recommend a Facebook group because everyone is on Facebook anyways. The Facebook group ends up not as just a way to communicate to the members, but ends up acting as a central portal/website where people can confidently go to for all purposes related to the club.
5. Regardless of what you choose as the primary way to contact your members, create a Facebook Group ANYWAYS. We live in the age of social media, so grasp it! This will be your primary way of advertising your club. Remember that I did not know a single longboarder in UC Berkeley. All I did was send an invitation to join the group to every single one of my friends, and before I knew it, people I did not know—the longboarders—started joining. For an example of the Longboard Connection’s group page go here: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=172812920832
6. Publicize, Publicize, and Publicize. You need to actively post your Facebook group to popular longboard sites(like Silverfish Longboarding), and even better, to a school newspaper.
7. Contact board companies, truck companies, wheel companies, and any local skate shops that you think that you would like to partner with in the future. You are NOT asking for a sponsorship for an event in these initial contacts. All you are doing is dropping a friendly hello, and letting them know that you started this club and that you would love to work with the company in the future on any events.
8. GET ROLLING. Skate. Start weekly sessions! Do anything! Let your members know through Facebook Event Invites, or Messages that are sent to all the members. It can be good to have consistency(i.e. skate every Thursday Night), to establish a presence and not confuse members
9. Dedication. Channel your passion of longboarding through your club, and it will survive and prosper J
Feel free to contact me, Carson Lee if you have any questions at email@example.com. To see how our club works, visit http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=172812920832.
Now go and START A CLUB!!!