Skating Through the Neighborhood


Credit: Will DeSimone

Ivy resident Towles Lawson has used his hobby of motorized skateboarding to get through the pandemic.

William DeSimone, Staff Writer

Once in a while, the people who live off Dick Woods Road in Ivy get to see an electric skateboarder flying down the street. Wearing his biker helmet and holding a controller in his hand, his dog chases after him as he travels through the neighborhoods. Seeing it from a window during quarantine is the highlight of one’s day. But who is this electric skateboarder? 

The skateboarder is none other than my neighbor Towles Lawson, who lives up the road from my house in Ivy, “I’m getting pretty tired of this quarantine,” he told me when I asked about his experience with COVID this year “…but skating is good exercise, and no one seems to complain.” 

Luckily for him, his job as a landscaping consultant and inventor has been largely unaffected by the pandemic. This has given him ample time to pursue his other hobbies, such as using his own electric skateboards. “My first board was a bamboo longboard, but pushing uphill was difficult,” he explained, showing a collection of longboards. “I bought an electric longboard in 2013, but it didn’t really have the power I needed, so I added another motor to it.” 

He flipped over one of his longboards, showing a burn mark on the bottom. “I was thrilled with the first one I built, using a model airplane motor and an electronic speed controller, but that combination allowed too much current to flow through the controller and it broke. There was awful smelling smoke, but no actual fire.” 

Nowadays, he uses his latest electric board with air-filled tires to ride on all terrains. He travels down to the edge of his property, though he used to ride all the way down to Dick Woods Road. His dog is a Pointer, a breed that’s used for hunting and needs plenty of exercise each day, “Getting him to run along with me was easy, after he got the hang of it.” 

Mr. Lawson rides his electric skateboard almost daily, but cautions readers who are thinking about getting their own, “I strongly advise against skateboarding whether or not it is motorized, but definitely wear a helmet. Find out what falling off at twelve miles per hour feels like before going twenty.”