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The Dart: Vidalia student starts weekend with neighborhood cruise

Jay Sowers / The Natchez Democrat — Christian McGuire, 11, maneuvers his two-wheeled skate board Friday afternoon in front of his family’s Vidalia home. McGuire and his brother, Landon, are both students at the Concordia Parish Academy of Math, Science and Technology.
Jay Sowers / The Natchez Democrat — Christian McGuire, 11, maneuvers his two-wheeled skate board Friday afternoon in front of his family’s Vidalia home. McGuire and his brother, Landon, are both students at the Concordia Parish Academy of Math, Science and Technology.

VIDALIA — Christian McGuire didn’t waste any time getting his weekend started Friday as the 11-year-old weaved through a set of traffic cones on a two-wheeled, skateboard-like device.

“It’s called a RipStik,” McGuire shouted. “All it is is moving your feet in different directions.”

When The Dart landed on North Oak Street Friday, McGuire had just finished his first day at the Concordia Parish Academy of Math, Science and Technology, which is a magnet school in the Concordia Parish School District.

McGuire was in the fifth-grade last year when he and 120 other kindergarten through fifth-grade students were the first group to attend the magnet school, which is located at the former Ridgecrest School site.

McGuire, who is now in the sixth-grade, will also be in the first graduating class of the school.

“The school will expand each year they move up, so if he stays there he’ll be part of the first graduating class,” Christian’s mother Christie McGuire said. “He loves it there, and he’s learned a lot.”

“Sometimes, I feel like I need to go back to school just to keep up with what they’re learning.”

Christian’s brother, Landon, is a first-grade student at the same school with his brother and both said they had a good first day of school.

But school was the last thing on the brothers’ minds on Friday afternoon as the two rode up and down the street — one on a RipStik and the other on a bicycle.

The RipStik, Christian said, is a mix between a skateboard and a surfboard. The device has two, large rollerblade-type wheels connected by two narrow platforms for the rider’s feet.

The biggest difference between the RipStik and a skateboard, Christian said, is that you don’t have to take your feet off to move. When the board is twisted back and forth, the rider gains movement and is propelled forward.

Christian said he used to like riding his skateboard, but now prefers his RipStik most of the time.

“I can ride all the way to the corn fields if I wanted to,” Christian said as he rode down Oak Street.

Christian’s obsession with his RipStik is welcomed at times as long as it gets him and his brother outside, Christie said.

“We got Christian one first and then got Tanner a beginner one after that, so he could learn, too,” Christie said. “Kids these days are different than when I was going up and they spend a lot of their time inside on the computer or iPad.

“Anything that gets them outside and away from technology from time to time is great.”