“Ideally, I can incorporate both my passions in the future.”
Spreading the gospel of longboarding
Three years ago Bishop gained a lot of confidence after entering a big competition in Harvard for his first real downhill race and placing third. He also placed in the slide jam at the same event, realizing he could do this for a living.
Bishop’s sponsors (which he began to get while still a senior in high school) now include Original Skateboards, Bern Unlimited, Brushwood, Posh Culture Apparel and the latest, Surf-Rodz Truck Company, which makes wheels for the boards.
“Sponsors are crucial to help out with the expenses you incur going to events all over the country,” said Bishop. “Also getting all the gear I need is a big plus. Original Skateboards is my biggest sponsor.”
Recently Bishop made an appearance at Top Dog on Bearskin Neck in Rockport, signing posters and skateboards for young enthusiasts. “There must have been 75 kids there,” he said. “It’s important to build support for the sport in the local community. I brought along a bunch of posters that I gave away, and I’m always willing to show people the proper way to do things safely.”
Now living in Beverly, Bishop goes to competitions all over the country. He has spent a lot of time in California, Washington and Florida as well as the six New England states. He’s hoping to go to Europe to compete next summer.
“I’m always looking for steep hills and roads not high in traffic to ride on,” said Bishop, who recently got engaged to Heather Fontaine, a Hamilton-Wenham graduate who teaches first grade in Saugus. “I try to stay away from skateboard parks for the most part. Beverly has some OK hills, but there are even better ones in Ipswich, Topsfield, New Hampshire and Maine.”