Meet New Zealand Skimboarder Sam Price

Meet Sam Price, 32-year-old from Omaha, New Zealand.

Words by Kelli Bean / Photos by Sam Price

Hey Sam, thanks for doing this interview with me. I have seen you around the skim community over the years and wanted to check in to see how things are going in your neck of the skim world. I know I am not the only one curious how things are going.

Q: How long have you been skimming?
A: Kicked it off in 2008

Q: Are you a flatland rider, wave rider or both?
A: Both. I think you’re a fool if you don’t do both in NZ.
Haha, that’s pretty amazing NZ offers a rider the opportunity to skim both styles.

Q: What do you love about skimboarding?
A: Everything. It was that glide feeling when I started then it turned into the progression, the beach and the people!

Q: Nice. Who were your role models in the sport when you were first learning?
A: I used to froth on the Sacramento (California, USA) scene sooo hard. Plus what was happening around BC (British Columbia, Canada). Tenth St Bros (Bill Bryan and co) were a huge inspiration.

Q: What is your favorite trick(s)?
A: Ummmmmm probably any shuv grab for flatland, they just look good especially if you pop high and grab high. Some people don’t pop them that high and can grab them low but they don’t look as good. For the waves any tech trick (shuvs, bigspins etc) thrown in on a wave is sweet with me.

Q: Where do you normally skimboard?
A: I have a lot of really good skim at home. The beach changes a lot so we can get really good flatland and really good waves. It can also be terrible ha. I found a good wave skim spot really close to home a few months ago but haven’t quite got to know it yet as it’s only realistically accessible by boat.

Q: What have you done over the years to progress skimboarding in New Zealand?
A: Made affordable, high performance boards and put on events. Be contactable and put out info. There was a stage there were I did weekly forecasts, newsletters, everything!
I remember those newsletters. From my perspective watching you over the years, you have certainly done a lot for NZ skim.

Q: Describe the overall skim scene in New Zealand currently?
A: This is probably the part where people would like to disagree. It’s dead. It blew up on 2009 through to about 2011, had another little rise in say 2013 then has only gone one way since. I feel that the internet is just easier than going outside. The level of riding has gone backwards, no one wants to fall, no one wants to try. I think there’s less than 10 active skimmers that I know of. I feel sad about it as I basically invested my life into it and now I just come off negative about it. I just call it as I see it.

Q: That is unfortunate to hear. I suppose the contest scene is also dead then?
A: We used to run comps. We even had heats and judges but I haven’t run an event in a couple of years now. It’s just a lot of work for very little reward. I would like to think someone young would step up to the plate here and I would help but I feel I’m being optimistic.

Q: Do you see a future for skimboarding in New Zealand?
A: I don’t know as far as a scene but for myself I want to put out more content and more epic stuff. More winching, more everything.

Q: That’s awesome. How do you find your inspiration with being far from more populated skim communities?
A: It’s fun, I like the beach, that’s all the inspiration one should need.

So true!

Q: Tell us about OXS Enterprises.
A: Wellll it’s a long story. It started with the Skimboards and has since spread into screen printing, a lot of content creating and now I’m starting to make spearfishing equipment. Working on not working is the short version.

Q: What is it like running OXS Skimboards?
A: It is brilliant. I still get a hoot from selling boards. The high was seeing it growing and getting great feedback. The low is watching it go backwards. I would estimate my sales on my smallest board which is for kids under 50kg is about 10-20% of what it was which I feel says a lot.

Q: A lot of us would love to shape a skimboard, describe what you love about making boards.
A: Making something from your hands and bare materials and turning it into something functional that works.

Q: On a personal level, what are some of your 2018 skim goals?
A: I would like to do a lot more stuff with the winch. I can’t detail too much. Sshhhh.

Q: Haha, excited to hear more in the future. You are living the van life, how has this lifestyle supported your skim aspirations?
A: It’s way more fun than I thought it was going to be and I thought it was going to be a lot of fun. To be comfortable and have everything I need when I go away now is amazing. I used to forget half of my gear haha.

Q: Where would you love to travel to skim?
A: Mexico for sure. Looks like a lot of fun and it’s warm.

Mexico is amazing, you must go!

Q: Besides skimboarding, what makes you happy?
A: Life is good. If you make the right choices and be honest about what makes you happy then life is a wonderful thing.
Very true. It was great to meet you, Sam.

Q: Any last words as we wrap up this interview?
A: The people who support me especially my partner Dani are fantastic. The people who buy my product and watch my videos are great support. Mainly positive which is great. Everyone I talk to and spend time with, you guys are great!
Sam’s online stuff –

Website – ​Oxsenterprises.com
Personal FB |
OXS Enterprises FB |
IG | Twitter ​| YouTube

Summer in Delaware on a Skimboard

Delaware skimboarder and photographer Andrew Marbl sent over a video showing what went down in Delaware on a skimboard during summer 2015. This video features the top skimboarders that live in Delaware and the East Coast area.

“I tried to capture the skimmer lifestyle and the activities that we do during the dry swells,” Andrew said. We also took a few minutes to ask Andrew a out summer in Delaware.

Checkout the interview with Andrew below and make sure to checkout his website: Marblproductions.com

Q. What is the summer like in Delaware?
A. Summer is plain, old fun. That is the best way to describe it.. fun. When the swell is firing, the skim and surf is great. There are many different spots and wave breaks to search for. If I am in the mood for some shorebreak, I can go to Bethany. If I want to surf I can go to Assateague on a sand bar. When the swell isn’t firing.. well the waves are non existent. It is a perfect opportunity to practice some shuv-its and tone down some airs. In my video, you see a lot of different activities besides just skimboarding or surfing. I really tried to capture what summer in Delaware is like from my perspective. If the waves aren’t good then we go and have fun doing something else.

DSC_0133

Q. What are some of the best skimboarding spots?
A. I am pretty biased towards Delaware. Skimboarding started here and I am stuck in the Delmarva roots. I would say stateline (Maryland/Delaware) is a great spot to catch some long liners. Naval Jetty’s is also a popular spot but is overrun by tourists in the Summer

DSC_0156

Q. What made you decide to make this video?
A. I love photography and video editing. The locals like to see pictures and videos of them skimboarding and I thought it would be cool to make a huge highlight video of the whole summer for all of us to watch and share. Last year’s video, The Lyfe, was a success so I decided to make another.

DSC_0218

Q. What was your favorite part of the video?
A. There are a few things I did differently than the past years video. I really like how the time-lapse when my cousin and I are sitting on a bench turned out. We did it in front of Bethany Surf Shop which is a major local hangout and a signature surf shop in Delaware. This year I also bought a quadcopter. I think it added another dimension to the video and provided a unique aspect.

DSC_0218

Q. Who was in the video?
A. Mostly Delaware professional and semi-pros. Some shots are from the Southside Shootout competition which is held in May at the Indian River Inlet. You might recognize some skimmers like Austin Keen, Morgan Just and Jackson Teeny. Delaware professionals Tom and Dave Bracht are also featured in many of the shots.

DSC_0655

Q. What were you riding in the video?
A. Most of the boarders in the video ride Exile Skimboards. On some of the beaches, the lifegaurds do not allow the hard boards to be used during the daytime hours so we ride a board called “Herlihy” which is made by Toobs Bodyboards. It is a very strong bodyboard made with carbon stringers with a big rocker which allows for big air and turns. The model was actually named, shaped and made by a local pro surfer, Colin Herlihy.

DCIM117GOPRO

Q. What was the best part of summer 2015?
A. Being able to visit the beach all the time is already a great summer. This year I went to the Street League Skateboard competition in New Jersey which was a fun new experience. But the highlight of my summer was going to Lake James, Indiana for a family reunion. I was able to fly my quadcopters, kneeboard, waterski, fish, boat and have fun with family members from all over the States.

The First Skimboarder in North Korea

We recently had the chance to talk with skimboarder/humanitarian worker/surfer Zeke Conner who works for the organization Surfing The Nations that is headquartered in Wahiawa, HI. They recently just got back from North Korea where they had the opportunity to do a surf and skate camp. With Zeke’s passion for skimboarding, he also got permission to bring the first skimboard into the country and share the sport.

north-korea-skimboarding-01

Q. What was it like traveling to North Korea?
A. Traveling to North Korea was almost indescribable. The trip is so rare and almost unheard of in this day and time, with that it carries it’s own uniqueness and experiences that you can’t get on any other trip. The U.S. Government did not recommend me going and family and friends tried talking me out of going. I was about to do what many thought was impossible and insane. I couldn’t believe it was actually happening until we got on the plane. Stepping into the country, my first impressions were “Right now I’m entering into the most mysterious and closed off country, that has the 4th largest army in world, to introduce the sport of skimboarding. While in the country we had to really be on our toes wherever we went though. We had to be careful how we carried ourselves and what we talked about. Before going on the trip I had to sign a paper saying that I agree I want talk about politics, share religious material, or take pictures of locals and many more other things. But throughout our trip, we were treated with great care and attentiveness, such as we had three full course meals every day and was always checked on to see if we were doing okay and enjoying ourselves. It was overwhelmingly good. The closest I’ve ever felt to being a king.

north-korea-skimboarding-04

Q. Were you being escorted the whole time?
A. Yes! We were escorted the whole time while in the country by 5 tour guides(4 males and 1 female) from the Korean International Travel Company(KITC). We actually built a very good friendship with our guides. We would hold conversations, laugh and play jokes with each other, and share our lives with one another. One guide was the tour guide for our 2014 trip to North Korea. So it was cool to see someone we knew in the country and pick back up where we left off.

north-korea-skimboarding-10

Q. What were the North Korean beaches like?
A. My team and along with the locals, only have access to two of the beaches in the entire country. The beaches we went to were so beautiful and clearly well maintained. I remember waking up early in the morning and seeing workers raking the beaches to make it look nice for the new day. No trash could ever be found lying around. The sand was fine and light brown, reminiscent of the beaches on the North Shore of Oahu. Walking along the beach, thousands of the most perfect shaped clam shells lay on the shoreline – almost as if they were placed there as a gift to us!

north-korea-skimboarding-09

Q. What were the waves like?
A. For the five days that we were there, the waves were pretty small. It reminded me a lot like the waves in my hometown on the Gulf Coast in Florida. On the first day we arrived, there was clean waist to chest high sets rolling in. When waves came in, it was a pretty good place for skim. You could catch some airs and wrap the waves to ride it back into shore. I would say it is a very comfortable place for beginner skimboarders to learn especially the Koreans. Overall, the waves were fun. No crowds!

north-korea-skimboarding-02

Q. Would you go back again?
A. I would most definitely go back! Surfing The Nations(the organization I work for) has made a commitment for return trips over the the next 5 years. To be able to share my passion for skimboarding with a culture completely unaware of its awesomeness was both humbling and uplifting. That is what draws me back. We go to not only bless but to build.

north-korea-skimboarding-03

Do you think people will start skimboarding in North Korea?
A. That is our ultimate goal. We were able to leave a couple of boards with the locals on this most recent trip and are hoping to do the same for next year. It’s all about planting seeds. Soon enough, with a little encouragement and support from us, we hope to see a Korean “Bill Bryan” emerge!

Q. What was the interesting thing you saw in North Korea?
A. It was not so much a single most interesting thing, as the overall experience. Simply being immersed in a culture so closed off that it has not seen, heard or even imagined surfing and skimboarding blew my mind. That is a really hard concept for us in the western world to comprehend, but it is the reality there. But if I had to choose one interesting story it would be the time we went to their water park . We were invited to their newly built water park to perform a surf demo in the wave pool. We would catch a wave and the crowd would go crazy! Large crowds began to form around us and in the pool to see what was happening. It was the first time they had ever laid eyes on something like that. We eventually got the chance to push people on some waves and to share the stoke. It’s amazing how a sport like surfing can unite people and bring so much joy along with it.

north-korea-skimboarding-05

Q. Anything else you want to add?
A. It was an incredible privilege to take part on this international trip. The friendships made and amazing skim experiences spur us on to work even harder with our local projects. I wholeheartedly recommend anyone looking for a new surfing adventure to check out Surfing The Nations website www.surfingthenations.com. Or you could help fund our local projects and encourage future generations of surfers right here in Hawaii. Mahalo!

Get to know Bick Skimboards

We had the opportunity to interview the Bick Skimboards dudes for the new issue of Flatland Magazine and we just reposted the interview here.

bick-01

Who started Bick Skimboards?
Twin brothers Harbor and Duran Bickmore out of St. George Utah.

How did the brand get started?
We started skimboarding at about 16 years old just for fun. After graduating high school we moved to the Dominican Re- public on a two year religious hiatus. When we got back we still both loved to skimboard. We also felt like there needed to be more high quality flatland skimboarding media. We are both professional rollerbladers, so we have a background in action sports. We grew up filming each other and making edits so naturally we wanted to do the same with skimboarding.
In 2014 we started putting out edits under the name Bick Skimboards. People liked the edits and started asking when
we were going to make skimboads so we thought to ourselves “ya know what… why not start making skimboards” When we decided to go for it we didn’t want to just duplicate what was already on the market. We wanted to do something new and better with the shape of the our board as well as the materials used to make them. We pretty much started from scratch, put in a lot of hours of research and product development and now here we are. We are super happy with how things have worked out and what we have done so far.

Has the skim scene in Utah changed since there is now a skimboard brand in the area?
Yeah, for sure. In 2014 We spent the summer filming a skimboarding video called “SO SICK”. All of the local skimboarders got super excited and more dedicated to skimboard- ing. Everyone was way pumped on filming sick tricks and putting together a section. That momentum has kept up even after the video was finished and we ended up having a skim season that was 11 months long. For sure kids are getting more dedicated around here and a lot of new talent is coming out of St. George.

bick-02

What are the main products you are offering this year?
Our most popular skimboard is the bamboo pop board. It’s a board made with bamboo and a high quality longer lasting crystallized HPL bottom. We also offer a board called the “first love” that is a more affordable option for kids looking to get into flatland skim- boarding as well as advanced riders. Other then that we got T-shirts, extra foam and cork traction, and bags.

Are you planning any video projects this year?
We are currently filming for the 2015 Bick team video called “Cult Leaders”. It will feature some riders from “SO SICK” and some new kids as well. Filming has been ridicu- lous this season. We are going out to film just about every day, and each rider gets about four or five solid clips a session. We are super happy with the footage we have so far. “SO SICK” was good and we are proud of it, but “Cult Leaders” is going to be insane!

bick-03

How has the skim community received Bick Skimboards?
It seems to us like the community has been supportive and excited about what we are do- ing. We set some goals for 2015 as far as where we wanted to be with sales and what not, and we have already passed our goals, so that has been good. The feedback we have gotten on social media and emails has been positive. Im sure there is someone out there who doesn’t like us, but who cares. Haha.

bick-04

What can we expect from Bick Skimboards in the future?
More media of course, not just a video but edits along the way. This summer we are going to travel to more competitions in washington Utah, Texas and California. We are grow- ing faster than we predicted so who knows what the future holds. We are going to stay dedicated and keep helping the sport grow as much as possible. We are also really excited about new talent in skimboarding so we are putting together a flow team to help up and comers get exposure and grow their local scene. Those kids are going to be the future of Bick Skimboards and skimboarding in general.

Kayotics Skimboards is back!

kayotics-01

Word on the beach was Kayotics Skimboards was gone. That is not the case and we took a couple minutes to talk with the man himself John Minns.

Seems like Kayotics kinda dropped off for a minute there. Is Kayotics really back?

We never left. We had a few years where most our original crew was just not able to skim. I think maybe a big part of it was people just expected me personally to keep dropping video parts and riding contests. I think most people make the association as I’ve carried this thing on my back for over 10 years. All my original crew were all growing out of skimboarding and getting real jobs. Hahaha. I think we just needed some time to re-focus and renew our crew and come back at it stronger than before.

kayotics-02

kayotics-06

Will Kayotics have a skim team again? If so, who’s on it this year?
We have now separated our team into Team and Legends/Pioneers. I want to make sure the young guns are on a come up and we can showcase them more in video and photos but I also want to make sure we don’t forget the dudes that brought us here. Our Sacramento contingency is on fire with Ruben Guttierez, JD Brown and Trey Conley. Those kids are killing it right now and I see the same passion in them for skimboarding as I did with the original crew down there. In Canada we are finalizing some things with Jack Bender in Ontario so it will be rad to get some love out east. On the west coast we have Oscar Blyth, Connor Broadfoot and Martin Jeffereys. Kayotics has Texas scene and helped get it go- ing with Carey Seyler when they were just getting started so we are continuing to work with riders down there. We currently are sponsoring Nick Reeves who is always dropping some great content. We are also working with Mitchell Lyon who is recovering from an injury but should be dropping some heat this summer I’m sure. When it comes to a team our focus remains the same. We want cool rad dudes who party and skim just like we’ve always done. We’ve been the industry badasses and I don’t want that to stop.

kayotics093

Will Kayotics have a skim team again? If so, who‚ who’s on it this year?
We have now separated our team into Team and Legends/Pioneers. I want to make sure the young guns are on a come up and we can showcase them more in video and photos but I also want to make sure we don’t forget the dudes that brought us here. Our Sacramento contingency is on fire with Ruben Guttierez, JD Brown and Trey Conley. Those kids are killing it right now and I see the same passion in them for skimboarding as I did with the original crew down there. In Canada we are final- izing some things with Jack Bender in Ontario so it will be rad to get some love out east. On the west coast we have Oscar Blyth, Connor Broadfoot and Martin Jeffe- reys. Kayotics has Texas scene and helped get it going with Carey Seyler when they were just getting started so we are continuing to work with riders down there. We currently are sponsoring Nick Reeves who is always dropping some great content. We are also working with Mitchell Lyon who is recovering from an injury but should be dropping some heat this summer I’m sure. When it comes to a team our focus remains the same. We want cool rad dudes who party and skim just like we’ve always done.

We’ve been the industry badasses I don’t want that to stop. We are always on the hunt for talent so send us your sponsor vids and photos if you want to join the dark side.

kaytoics-04

What can we expect to see from Kayotics in 2015?
Just more content. Our team will be shooting video and photos all season. We don’t have any major motion picture in mind yet but we’ll stack content and drop some bombs throughout the season. Just shorts on instagram and stuff to keep the skim fiends dosed up. The focus is easy for Kayotics and we’ll continue to follow the same recipe. Stoked for the new posse to carry on the legacy of skim, travel and party, in no preferred order.

What is the best way for people to snag some new Kayotics gear?
Always clutch to support your local retailers. If your local retailers don’t slang Kay- otics decks then ask them why. If they still don’t want to carry it tell them they are blowing it. Alternatively you can always buy online at www.kayotics.com.

This story was previously published in the June issue of Flatland Magazine you can read by clicking here.

Two Women And Their Love Of Skimboarding

Erin and Lorena looking for waves

Meet lovebirds Erin Carpenter and Lorena Zeppilli who currently reside in San Diego, California. Most of you know 28-year old professional rider Erin Carpenter who ranked 5th overall on the 2014 United Skim Tour. Lorena is 26 years old, born in Lima, Peru, who moved to California when she was 7 years old. Lorena is brand new to skimboarding but has already shown great enthusiasm for the sport.

The idea came to me to contact Erin and Lorena for this collective interview after once again meeting a female skimboarder on Instagram who identifies as lesbian or bisexual. As someone who embraces all the colorful people in this world who make this life special, it is important that as a sport we celebrate diversity amongst our community. Although in my thirties now, I can still recall how challenging my youth was particularly with my identity. This interview is for all of you confused, lost and looking for support including you boys. You are not alone.

Words by Kelli Bean
Photos by Chris Beletsis

Let’s start the interview off with Erin…

Q: When did you start skimboarding?

A: I learned how to slide along the shore in college, but that was while I was living in Riverside, CA about 40 miles east (inland) of Orange County, CA. Seeing as the beach (with traffic) was sometimes an hour plus away, I didn’t make it out to the beach as often as I wanted. But I instantly fell in love with the sport. Once I moved to San Diego, CA in 2009, I went almost daily and still do, when the weather and my job permits me to.

Q: What do you love about skimboarding?

A: The adrenaline rush and the fact that it is like skateboarding but more forgiving when you fall. Also that it is something that gets more fun the better you get, so it’s completely addicting. I love the fact that you almost defy physics and glide across the water. I have always loved being in the water and any sort of board sports, so it is the perfect combo.

Q: Will you be competing this year?

A: The Victoria Contest for sure, and maybe Oktoberfest. I just got a new job so time off for anything more is not looking too promising. I have a bad history with Oktoberfest, I always choke at that contest (not to mention almost drowning a few years ago). This year I was considering not doing Oktoberfest, but the fact that I always choke pushes me to want to end on a good note, so we shall see.

Crotching time with Erin Carpenter

Erin Carpenter at Wipeout Beach

Erin slicing a nugget in San Diego, CA

Back to shore with Erin Carpenter

Let’s see what Lorena has to say about our favorite sport…

Q: Had you heard of skimboarding before meeting Erin?

A: I had heard of skimboarding before meeting Erin, but I had never seen people actually get up on the waves and ride them with skimboards before. I feel like my most accurate memory of skimboarding (and this is sad that it has to be this) is from that show “Laguna Beach”. I used to watch it in high school and the character Stephen used to skim a bit.

Q: What were your initial thoughts of the sport when you first tried to run, jump and glide on a skimboard?

A: The very first time I skimmed was at the San Diego event “Skim Fiesta” back in January. I immediately fell in love with it. The ocean was huge that day, so I hardly got out on the water, but there was plenty of wet sand to glide on. I was able to do a 360 turn on the wet sand, with Erin’s guidance, and I couldn’t get enough.

Q: As a newcomer what advice can you give for those wanting to try but are too scared?

A: I would have to say, it’s really fun and that overcomes the fear any day. Also, the skim community is very nice and they’ll gladly teach you the safest, best way to do it.

Q: What have been some of your struggles you have had to or are overcoming in the sport?

A: My biggest struggle right now is feeling like I am plateauing or regressing. I’ve only been skimming since January, and I’ve had a lot of people tell me that I caught on really fast and that I’m doing great. For the past few weeks or more I’ve been falling a lot, or I have been unable to catch many waves, and getting more of that feeling like someone brand new might get. It’s been discouraging but when I look back and remember that I have only been doing this for a little over 3 months I feel better. It’s good to have the falls too and know that I can still get back up and skim. I know that I’m going to be skimming for a long time and this is just the beginning learning stage.

Lorena bailing

Lorena bailing like a pro

Erin Carpenter flying

Even pros like Erin Carpenter bail

Whether you are a professional rider like Erin or a newcomer like Lorena, you will bail and wipe out. It is all part of progressing in the sport!

Let’s shift the conversation to sexuality. As someone who runs a community for over a thousand girls, I have firsthand witnessed more and more female skimboarders identify as lesbians or bisexuals. I understand the nature of sexuality can be a very sensitive subject and as such I want to share how much I appreciate both of you being open to talk about yours. It takes a lot of courage to open up to the public so I ask that the skim community respect Erin and Lorena’s bravery.

Q: Erin, when did you first discover you were attracted to girls?

A: I guess if I want to be really honest with myself, and with you, and now everyone who reads this… I always knew I was attracted to other women. But I never felt comfortable admitting it. I had a boyfriend all through college who made me very happy, but we were young, and had many differences. Things didn’t work out for many reasons, one of them being that I needed to learn to be comfortable on my own, and find ways to be happy without depending on someone else. I also fell into a group of friends who were very open with their sexuality and ultimately provided me with the comfort zone I needed to be able to admit to myself and others how I really felt.

The first time I ever kissed a girl, I was in college and was at a club. My friend, who was already openly a lesbian, saw me do it and said, “oh my God I KNEW it!!” She told me she caught the whole thing on film and had sent it to all of our friends. She was just kidding and let me tell whoever I felt comfortable telling but I was very embarrassed because it didn’t mean anything, yet I knew it felt right. I think that was my turning point to really admitting to myself that I was interested in women.

Thanks for sharing! That would be mortifying but sounds like it played an important role in your admittance process.

Q: What about you Lorena, how do you identify sexually and when did you realize this?

A: I identify as bisexual. I know I am attracted to both sexes, and I’m very much into true commitments with individuals I care about. I have been dating women for three years now. I guess you could say back in 2011 was the lightbulb moment when I realized the full potential of my sexuality and really felt like I needed to venture away from men and explore women. Once you admit to yourself that you do want to be with women, then it’s easy to realize those feelings were there your whole life.

Q: Erin, what has your experience been like telling your friends and family?

A: My family took it really well, except older generations tend to have a slightly harder time with it. My parents are very open-minded and accepting and are more worried about me being accepted and happy than they are about what gender I date. My sister and cousins are all super supportive, and I love them to death for it! My friends are all pretty accepting. I do struggle though when I come into a new environment or job with how to say I have a girlfriend or that I am into women. You never know how people will react. Some people who I am pretty sure have very different views than me, I will avoid mentioning it as much as possible, because it is not worth it.

Q: What advice would you give to teenage girls and boys struggling with their own sexuality and “coming out of the closet”?

A: Be strong. Trust yourself, and who you are. Be the best person you can be. Only do what you feel comfortable doing. Don’t let anyone tell you when or where or with whom you must come out to. Do it at your own pace. Also, remember you are not alone and trust the people who love and support you, because I bet they are more accepting than you are willing to give them credit for.

My father once told me, and I think it is true, that if you are being discriminated against or you have the potential to be discriminated against, then you have to be a better person. You cannot be an asshole he says, because then they have two reasons to dislike you. No one is perfect, but if you always at least try your best to do the right thing, then you aren’t giving people who have skewed beliefs much to work with.

My other good friend Sera once told me that if you are going to be openly ‘gay’ then you have to set a good example. When people have questions, answer them. If all someone knows is what they see on TV or hear about secondhand then when they meet you they might be curious. If you prove that you can be a good person and be successful, and you are also gay, then they will see that gay people can be good people. If you are the only gay person they have ever personally met, then that’s what they will think of when they think of ‘gay’. You are then changing the world’s opinion one person at a time.

Great advice all around!

Now your turn Lorena sharing what your experiences have been and continue to be with telling those in your life you are bisexual.

A: Sharing my identity with my friends and family hasn’t been the easiest thing for me. The hardest part was telling my mom. She has been loving and understanding for the most part, but she was raised Catholic in Peru and it takes her a little bit more time to fully understand it. I haven’t outright told everyone in my life, although I’m sure some of them just know from social media or certain events. I feel like it’s easiest for me to assess the situation when deciding when and if I am going to tell someone. I also dislike that dating someone of the same sex means you have to take the time to pause the conversation and essentially come out to someone to tell them “hey this is my girlfriend” and then there are questions that come along with that. I wish it didn’t involve the extra step and that it was just seen as completely normal.

I can understand that.

Q: Here is a question for both of you. As an adult looking back, what would you tell your younger self in one sentence to let her know everything will be okay?

Erin: The world is much larger than you ever imagined, so keep an open mind and heart and have faith that things will turn out okay.

Lorena: Things happen at certain moments to get you to the next step in your life to allow your life to progress toward better, happier things.

Nicely said.

Before we turn the interview back to skimboarding, I have one more question.

Q: What do you like and love about each other?

Erin: I LOVE that Lorena is into skimming!! Plus she rips, and has picked it up super quick! I like her passion for adventure and trying new things, her perseverance, honesty, openness and that she is extremely sharp and driven. She’s a cutie and we have amazing chemistry.

Lorena: Erin is just about the nicest, most caring person that I have ever met. She is patient and compassionate; I am completely in love with her personality. Oh and those beautiful blue eyes don’t hurt either.

Aww, isn’t love grand?!

Erin teaching Lorena in San Diego

sharing laughs and stay warm

Q: Erin, how did the initial subject of skimboarding come up and what was Lorena’s reaction?

A: Well, haha, we met on Tinder (yup I admit it) so we started talking before we actually met. I told her I was addicted to skimming and she saw pictures. The first time we met I took her to the beach. She was watching my friend and I skim and then I asked her to try it on the sand. She said she wanted to wear a swimsuit next time so she could try. I must admit I was impressed. She picked it up even on the sand quicker than most do.

Q: How has the experience been so far teaching Lorena to skimboard?

A: It has been fun, but challenging at times because she gets frustrated with wanting to progress quicker. Patience is a virtue and this sport take loads of it.

Q: Most groms I speak to would love to fall in love with another skimboarder. I admit I share the sentiment as well. What do you love about being able to skim with your girl?

A: I can have my cake and eat it too. Both of my loves in one place.

Now it’s Lorena’s turn…

Q: Do you enjoy learning how to skimboard from your girlfriend?

A: Another quality I love about Erin is her patience and positivity, this makes it really easy to learn to skim from her. If I am having a bad day and falling a lot, she will wait for a good wave, tell me when to go and after that I will have a smile on my face. Not to mention, she is a really good skimboarder. I mean she’s pro, so it helps that she has the knowledge to help me learn the sport.

Q: Any tips or pointers we can use when teaching our partners to keep them motivated?

A: I think patience is key. But also there has to already be a passion for the ocean and the beach to keep someone motivated and to keep having fun.

Good point.

Lorena learning to skim

Great form for newcomer Lorena

Nice spray with Lorena

Q: Lorena, have you felt welcomed by the skim community at the beach?

A: The skim community has been extremely welcoming. Everyone is so nice and they all enjoy having conversations while waiting for good waves.

Q: What about the skim industry and social media platforms?

A: As far as the industry, it would help to showcase newcomers on social media maybe a couple of times a month? Overall, female skimboarders have to be shown on social media more often. This is venturing away from the topic of newcomers, but there are plenty of female professional skimmers out there and they are not getting nearly enough attention.

Q: As we wrap the interview up, what other things do you and Erin enjoy doing together?

A: Well it goes without saying we have a mutual love for the beach. We also enjoy cooking together, catching up on all of our favorite shows together, listening to podcasts, and having long conversations together. Erin is the best cuddler ever too!

Q: Last words before we say good-bye?

Erin: Thanks so much for interviewing me Kelli! My experiences by no means reflect anyone else’s because we are all unique, but I hope it helps!

Lorena: As far as skimboarding goes, I think it’s a really awesome sport. I already love it more than surfing because there are so many steps to it that all have to come together just right to get to that magic moment where you’re riding a wave.

Perfectly said.

Q: Erin, who would you like to shoutout?

A: Shoutout to the San Diego, California skim community for being one of the most open-minded and hearted group I have ever met! I love them all and appreciate all the tips and tricks they have taught me along the way, and for being super accepting to me.

Erin Carpenter in the zone

Sprayyyyy with Erin Carpenter

Pro Erin Carpenter boosting

Follow Erin and Lorena on Instagram for all their shenanigans.

You can follow photographer Chris Beletsis on Instagram and Flickr

xo, Kelli

If you need someone to talk to, find me on Instagram, Twitter or email me any time: kelli@SkimMermaids.com

Maui’s Spring Break Skim Jam

Spring Break Skim Jam 2015

On March 22, 2015 a newcomer to the sport Edward Oingerang watched over 300 spectators marvel at the 51 competitors he was able to bring together in a very short period of time. I am speaking of the success of this year’s Spring Break Skim Jam which took place at Big Beach in Maui, Hawaii.

Edward and I spoke early on because of being affiliated with the United Skim Tour; knowing how many pro riders would love a Stop in Hawaii and Edward’s keen interest in making this happen. Impressed with Edward’s drive and dedication, I contacted him for all the details.

Words by Kelli Bean
All photos by Lauren Fletcher unless otherwise stated

Hi Edward, great to touch base with you now that the contest is over.

Q: I am curious, are you a local?

A: No, I am originally from Guam. I lived there for 18 years until I joined the military and now currently reside in Maui.

Q: That’s cool, tell us why you love skimboarding?

A: Hmmm. Why do I love skimboarding? I have always loved board sports. When I was growing up, I used to skateboard. When I moved to Alaska, I picked up snowboarding and progressed quickly. I guess I love skimboarding because it has a feel of both sports combined. The feeling I get after hitting that one wrap going into a barrel, or the feeling after boosting and not knowing how much air I got until I realize how long I been in the air for, it’s just unreal. Skimming is one of those sports where we will skim a 3 or 4 hour session for that one good wave of the day.

Q: What inspired you to put on a skim jam in Maui this year?

A: I actually just moved to Maui less than a year ago, and I only started skimboarding about 7-8 months ago.

Edward Oingerang. Photo by @chrisylen on IG
Edward during the contest; photo by Christ Taitano

Since I started skimming, I have been hitting the beach at least 4-5 times a week. I got so addicted. That’s when I noticed there were so many skimmers on Maui who are just as addicted as I am. Also, a lot of these guys are super talented! As I became a regular skimming Big Beach, Maui, I started talking to all the other skimmers. I asked them about the skim scene and past competitions. I asked them if they would ever compete in one and they all pretty much told me they will. This is when I started contemplating Spring Break Skim Jam.

I wanted to try and somehow make Maui a destination for United Skim Tour, but I was told the tour only endorses already existing skimboard competitions. So that’s what gave me the extra push to make this happen.

Seems like it was a natural decision with all the local support you received.

Spring Break Skim Jam was pretty much a spur of the moment idea. As soon as I started thinking about it, I just started asking around for advice. First, the legend, George Bryan was in Maui for a few weeks. I skimmed with him for a couple days and then I asked, “what does it take to get United Skim Tour to Maui?” He said they only endorse already existing competitions. Then secondly, Kelli Bean from Skim Mermaids contacted me and told me the same thing and gave me the idea to contact Sean McClenahan of Skim Hawaii.

I am so glad I contacted you now!

Q: What were the chain of events to make the contest happen?

A: Sean has hosted previous skimboard competitions here on Maui such as ‘Westside Skim Jam’ and ‘Save Makena’. When I contacted Sean, I told him I would get a committee together which consisted of Sean, Brandyn Benson, Daniel Pardini and myself. Once I formed the committee we all met for lunch to throw down dates for the competition, get permits, get help from the best sponsors ever and get support from the Maui skim community. Then bam, Spring Break Skim Jam all came together.

I think about how insane it is that only 2 months ago this competition was only a thought in my mind and then we made it happen and it was a huge success. I would again like to thank everyone that was involved in making Spring Break Skim happen. Mahalo

Q: Is it safe to say there will be a Skim Break Skim Jam next year?

A: Yes there will be a skimboard competition in 2016! It is going to be even bigger! More details will be released around October 2015.

Great to hear!

Q: What are your long-term goals with the contest?

A: My long-term goal is to make Maui apart of United Skim Tour! The skim community is insane here. Being part of the tour would be absolutely epic. It would inspire so many groms as well as amateurs to take their talents to the next level. Skimboarding is already huge here, and this could make the sport even bigger.

Sounds like great reasons Edward! Good luck, and I am here if you need me.

beach shot of Spring Break Skim Jam 2015

You can follow Skim Maui on Instagram and Facebook.

Skim Hawaii offers skimboarding lessons, rentals and sales in Maui. They also deliver boards for free anywhere on the Westside of Maui, offering carbon boards, fiberglass or foam. Whether you are an advanced rider or a beginner, Skim Hawaii has you covered!

Make sure to support Sean and Skim Hawaii while you are in Hawaii.

Follow Skim Hawaii on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

DIVISION RESULTS:

Pro Men
1st – Austin Keen
2nd – Jesse Solomon
3rd – Pauli Solomon

Austin Keen at Spring Break Skim Jam
Austin

Jesse Solomon by Lauren Fletcher
Jesse

Pauli Solomon by Lauren Fletcher
Pauli

Women’s Open
1st – Tia D’Ambrosio
2nd – Lanikila Keliher
3rd – Amber Lewis
4th – Sophia Johnson

Tia D'Ambrosio by Lauren Fletcher
Tia

Amber Lewis by Lauren Fletcher
Amber

Sophia Johnson by Lauren Fletcher
Sophia

Amateur Open
1st – Kyle Dettman
2nd – Kernel Franz
3rd – Allen Johnson

Boys
1st – Anis Bel
2nd – Isaac Mullen
3rd – Beau Johnston

Groms
1st – Carter Bozich
2st – Alexander Vadao

grom Carter Bozich Photo by Denia Elamparo
Carter by Denia Elamparo

Vets
1st – Peterlane Gampong
2nd – Erik Covarubbias

beach shot at Spring Break Skim Jam 2015

Beach shot with Austin in his heat
Pro heats underway

Austin the trickster by Lauren Fletcher
Austin

Jesse Solomon in the barrel by Lauren Fletcher
Jesse in a barrel

Sean McClenahan by Lauren Fletcher
Sean McClenahan of Skim Hawaii

Brandyn Benson by Lauren Fletcher
Brandyn Benson

Interview With Skimboarder Lisa van Leeuwen

Lisa van Leeuwen at Barcelona Extreme Festival, Spain by Marc Costa Lucero

I met Lisa van Leeuwen, 20-year old flatland skimboarder, online a few ago. I was impressed by her love of the sport right away and she quickly became someone I looked out for and supported. This interview includes the European skim scene, which will excite a lot of you interested in The European Skimboarding Cup. It is an honor doing this interview with Lisa! I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did putting it together.

Words By Kelli Bean

Above photo at Barcelona Extreme Festival, Spain by Marc Costa Lucero

Hey Lisa!

Q: Let’s start off with where are you from and where you are living now?

A: I’m half Dutch, half Italian. I was born in Leiden, The Netherlands and this is where I’m still living.

Q: You are a flatland rider, have you skimmed waves before as well?

A: I have tried riding waves a couple times. Holland is not very good for wave riding so I only get to try it on some beaches in France. I had a lot of fun the few times I tried!

Q: How long have you been skimboarding?

A: The first time I ever tried skimboarding was in July 2004 when I was 10 years old. I have been skimming every summer since. I would say I started skimboarding more seriously since 2010 when I was 16 years old.

Nice!

Lisa van Leeuwen taken in France by her mum
Lisa hitting a box by Jean Michel.

Lisa van Leeuwen in France taken by her mum
Lisa in France, taken by her mum.

Q: How were you introduced to the sport?

A: Like many other young kids I was only skimboarding during summer vacations. I couldn’t do tricks and I rode a simple board from the local surf shop. I was 16 when I found out through a friend that there was an actual skim association in Holland that organizes contests. I was hooked ever since.

Q: Where do you normally skim and with whom?

A: I usually skim with Max van Leeuwen, Adrien Raza, Luke Dirks and Mees Oostdijk at the Zevenhuizerplas in Rotterdam. Unfortunately Luke has moved to South Africa. I also skim with the guys from the North of Holland (Brend, Kor, Jorn, Sebastiaan, Mathijs) and with the guys from the South (Jermo, Dali, Maxim, Thijs).

Q: Which riders influence your skimboarding?

A: Mainly the riders I skim with. Also Lexi Hutchings used to be an inspiration. Really too bad I dont see any new footage lately. Also skimming with other girls (Iza Batko, Aleksandra Dubas, Marta Czarna!) influence my riding. It pushes me to try new tricks and try even harder.

I understand your sentiment about Lexi and missing new footage of her talent. Let me share with you in hopes it brings a smile to your face – Lexi will be collaborating with DB Skimboards as well as myself to bring some new footage to all her fans in 2015!

Q: Describe the skim scene in The Netherlands for those of us who have never been.

A: The Dutch skim scene isn’t really big. There is a group in the North, in the South and the Rotterdam area. I know there are many other skimboarders out there I have never met. I think it would be nice if we managed to connect everyone. This is a goal of the Dutch Skimboarding Association. The DSA has an important role in the Dutch skimboard scene. They organize a tour of wave and flatland skimboard competitions and they go to events (festivals and other extreme boardsports events) to promote skimboarding and give clinics.

That is amazing!

Q: Which riders are pushing the sport right now, in your opinion?

A: Adrien Raza, Max van Leeuwen,Mees Oostdijk, Arjan Boom, Adam Szablak, Daniel Preiss,Friedrich Fluh, Semjon Szillat, Leo van Gemmern, Brend Plantinga, Kor van der Vegt, Jorn Plantinga, Sebastiaan Breitsma, Mathijs Volker, Michal Puchalski, Kuba Groth, Mariusz Wojt, Jedrula Tomaszewski, Remigusz Miczek, Marek Wolkanowksi, Gaba Kulka, Iza Batko, Isaac Thomas, Blake Zimmerman, Goon crew, Bick Skimboards crew.

Q: Which companies are pushing the sport right now in Europe?

A: I would say my own sponsor, SkimGuru. SkimGuru is involved in the Dutch skim scene and supports the European Skimboarding Cup. Also Seventyone is doing an amazing job!

Lisa van Leeuwen at Off the Hook Contest, Hoek van Holland, The Netherlands. Photo by Cris Bertona
Off the Hook Contest in Hoek van Holland, The Netherlands. Photo by Cris Bertona

Q: You are in a relationship with professional skimboarder Adrien Raza, who is the 2014 European Skimboarding Cup Champion. Does having the same passion for the sport benefit your relationship?

A: In a way it definitely does! We do skim a lot together and we both go to the same competitions. That means we get to travel together and explore the places we go to. Last year, for example, we went to the Barcelona Extreme Festival for a stop on the European Cup. We decided to stay a couple days longer and enjoy the beautiful city.

That’s wonderful. Let’s shift into competition now.

Q: When did you start competing?

A: I started competing in 2010. I joined the last event of the skim season. At the event there were only Dutch skimboarders and I remember how they taught me to go over my first ramp. After that year I joined many (nearly all) Dutch competitions. It became a way to see my friends from all over the country again.

In 2011, I joined my first “not Dutch” competiton. Me, Adrien, Luke and Max went to Scharbeutz, Germany. I competed with guys only and I dont remember much of my own performance.

January 2012, 2013, 2014 I went to the Boot Dusseldorf Indoor Skimjam in Germany. The first time was very overwhelming because in a skimpool you don’t have much space, so everyone lines up and looks at you.

2012 was also the year I went to Poland for the first time to join the famous Polish Skimboarding Open. It was a great experience and my first time competing with only girls. I don’t remember what place I took that year, it wasn’t great! 😉 The year after (2013) I did a little bit better and ended 6th.

In 2014, apart from the European Skimboarding Cup stops, I also went to Swider Skimfest in Poland. I took 2nd place. I also got 3rd at Polish Skimbording Open behind Iza (1st) and Marta (2nd).

Iza, Marta, Lisa at PSO 2014 by Seventyone
Lisa on the women’s podium with Iza and Marta at the Polish Skimboarding Open. Photo by Seventyone

Lisa van Leeuwen on a balcony Apartment Jelitkowo (after PSO 2014), Gdanks, Poland photo by Adrien Raza
Lisa on a balcony in Jelitkowo, Gdanks, Poland after the PSO. Photo by Adrien Raza

You have an impressive contest history spanning over the past four years!

The European Skimboarding Cup takes place over 6 contests.

Q: How many were you able to participate in 2014 and what was your overall experience like?

A: I was able to participate in 4/6 contests. I missed the contest in Sweden and the one in Latvia.

The first stop took place at the Boot Show in Dusseldorf. The skimpool is placed with many other extreme watersports. Although the contest itself isn’t huge, there is always a big amount of spectators which makes it very exciting.

The second stop was the Dutch stop. It took place at the opposite side of the lake, where my homespot is. This was a cool stop because I made it through to a second round.

The third stop was in Barcelona at the Barcelona Extreme Festival. We skimmed an inflatable pool which was placed inbetween a mountain bike megaramp and a skatepark and there was an awesome view of Barcelona.

The last stop I participated in was the Polish Skimboarding Open (PSO). The spot was prepared on the beach next to the sea and around the event there were loads of other things going on.

It is exciting for the flatland community in North America to witness The European Skimboarding Cup’s success in 2014. We have multiple board companies along the west coast but we are overall lacking the competition component. European companies take initiative and I find this inspiring, to witness flatland companies understanding the importance of offering their team riders and groms who love their product a way to come out, compete, meet the pros and have a great time.

Q: What do you love about competitions?

A: Although Holland is a really small country I don’t see my Dutch skim friends very often. These contest days reunite us. For me that’s the best thing about competitions. And of course the same goes for contests in other countries. I have been to Poland four times now and when I go back it’s great to see everyone again. It’s always a warm welcome. Another good thing about contests is that you’re pushed even more to try new tricks or new obstacles. You can learn a lot from the people participating.

I agree. Good luck at the first stop of the 2015 European Skimboarding Cup in Dusseldorf, Germany this weekend!

Q: What was the experience like for European skimboarders during last year’s Polish Skimboarding Open when some of DB Skimboards team riders traveled to the contest?

A: It was really cool to have met all the people we had only seen in videos. The funny thing is that in Holland/Europe we don’t really treat our pros like pros and they don’t act like pros; they just skim with everyone else and are easily approachable. It was nearly surreal when the DB team came and they had an autograph session at PSO. Quite cool!

Lisa van Leeuwen at the Polish Skimboarding Open 2014, by Lukasz “Fish” Gieraltowski Fotografia
Lisa at the 2014 Polish Skimboarding Open. Photo by Lukasz “Fish” Gieraltowski Photography.

Q: What do you think about flatland connecting between Europe and North America?

A: I think it could be very interesting but we are not quite there yet. Both scenes should first grow separately. Only when they are both ready it would be time to start thinking about connecting them. I can’t say anything about North America because I don’t know the scene too well but I think Europe is doing very well. The European Skimboarding Cup has a major role in connecting European countries.

Q: Do you have any ideas on how to bring the continents together more?

A: I think it would help if companies sponsored more internationally so the team would consist of people from different continents and/or countries. Traveling from Europe to America is really pricey. In my opinion that’s the biggest barrier. So bigger sponsorships and also more prize money to (at least) make up for the plane ticket would be a start. Generally speaking, more money flowing in the sport would help bring the continents together, in my opinion.

I agree with you, as this being a positive step forward. Seventyone recently picked up Canadian rider Anna Penn.

Q: What do you think about this new partnership?

A: I think it’s really cool! Especially for female skimboarding. Skim companies are already sponsoring male skimboarders overseas but as far as I know, no women. So I think it’s great Seventyone picked up a Canadian rider. I think it would be a good thing if American companies would also sponsor more girls in Europe!

Q: Who are you sponsored with?

A: I am sponsored by SkimGuru. SkimGuru supplies me with boards, clothing and supports my traveling to competitions.

Q: For groms wanting to be sponsored, what advice would you give them?

A: Compete!! Doesn’t matter in what category, just go for it! From day one I competed against guys, simply because there were no girls to compete with. At first it was scary and I was afraid to make a fool of myself. I’ve had quite some pushes in the back from my mum at the beginning but now I really enjoy competing with the guys. In a way there is less pressure and you can learn a lot from them.

Great advice!

Lisa van Leeuwen at Bretagne, France. Photo by Cris Bertona

Lisa van Leeuwen in Bretagne, France. Photo by Cris Bertona
Both photos taken in Bretagne, France by Cris Bertona

Q: Which boards do you ride?

A: I ride a customized medium standard DB Skimboards board. I also own a 2010 Lexi Pro, love the design but it’s a little bit too flexible for me.

Q: What are your favorite tricks?

A: One of my favorite tricks is the frontside big spin. Otherwise I like trying new ramps and fun setups. I wouldn’t say it’s my favourite trick now but this year I finally learned how to do 360 shuvs and that was a big relief.

Awesome!

Q: Where is your all-time favorite skim spot?

A: For pure flatland skimboarding I love a spot in France called La Baie des Trespassés. It’s just an endless slide! I also love the skimpark in Sopot, Poland. Unfortunately it wasn’t there last summer.

Q: If money was not an issue, where would you love to travel to skim?

A: I would love to skim the Virgin River in Utah, USA. Also I would love to travel through Europe and meet people from all different countries. Recently I found out people are skimboarding in Finland and Russia and I’m sure there are communities in other countries I don’t even know about. I really like how skimboarding connects people from different countries.

I love that aspect of the sport as well. I recently found an Instagram account from Moscow to check out!

Q: What are some goals you are thinking about for the 2015 skim season?

A: I definitely want to try to participate in as many competitions as possible. My dream would be to be part of the top 10 in one of the stops of the European Skimboarding Cup. In terms of tricks, I want to learn how to pop.

These are great goals.

Q: Let’s wrap things up. Besides skimboarding, what makes you happy?

A: I like cooking and sports. I really enjoy all types of sports; surfing, bodyboarding, snowboarding, skiing, yoga, pilates, tennis, and fitness. When I was young I also loved gymnastics and Judo.

Thank you for doing this interview with me Lisa! It’s always a pleasure connecting with you.

Q: Do you have any shout outs before we say good-bye?

A: First I really want to thank my sponsor, SkimGuru, for believing in me and putting so much effort in the sport. A big shout out to all the amazing people I have met the last couple of years in skimboarding. Also, Kelli keep up the good work! 🙂

Thank you Lisa, I will!

Lisa on Facebook
Lisa on Instagram

SkimGuru on Facebook
SkimGuru on Instagram

Lisa van Leeuwen skimming a flooded alley in the Netherlands by Marianne Mentink
Love this #ThrowBack shot of Lisa skimming a flooded alley in the Netherlands by Marianne Mentink

xo, Kelli

Photos by Marc Costa Lucero, Jean Michel, Cris Bertona, Seventyone, Adrien Raza, Lukasz Gieraltowski Photography, Marianne Mentink and Lisa’s mum.

Interview with European Skimboard Champion Adrien Raza

DB Skimboards team rider and European Skimboard Champion Adrien Raza from the Netherlands was recently featured on the DB website and we got the go ahead to repost the interview and mini skimboard edit here. The European Cup series of skimboarding contests is truly pushing flatland skimboarding into the next growth phase. Other flatland skim tours have appeared before, but this appears to be the most legit tour yet. Stoked to see new skim scenes supporting and pushing flatland skimboarding so much. Anyways, enough about that

Q. What was the 2014 skim season like for you? What were some highlights?
A. The 2014 season was one of the best yet! I was fortunate enough to travel to Poland, Sweden, Germany and Spain for the European skimboarding cup. Other than that, I managed to get some filming done and learnt a couple new tricks!

Q. What did it feel like to win the European Skimboarding Cup?
A. It felt really rewarding! We started brainstorming for the cup four years ago and finally got things running this year, so winning it after all these years was great. The title of ‘European champion’ sounds pretty cool too! I’m looking forward to next year’s edition and hope I can participate in all the stops this time.

Q. What was your favorite part of the European Skimboarding Cup?
A. My favorite stop of the cup was the Polish Skimboarding Open. It is without a doubt the biggest flatland skimboarding contest in the world. All the Polish skimboarders are super welcoming and the contest is always a good time. What I liked the most about it this year was all the original setups they built for the comp

Q. Where do you want to travel to skim to skim in 2015?
A. In north America I’d love to ride Chambers creek, the virgin river, the wedge and Spanish banks. Australia and the Philippines look amazing too. Maybe something for 2016?

Q. Where do you see the skimboarding going in the future?
A. I’ll stick to what I answered on my rider profile on skimboard culture back in 2009; ‘I see it becoming more mainstream’. The sport is growing in Europe and slowly shaping into a more professional sport. With the European skimboarding cup, new companies, young talented riders and sponsorships I can only see it going up from here. I just hope the sport doesn’t grow into a short lived fad.

Q. What skimboarders have influenced your skimboarding?
A. The skimboarders that influenced my riding the most was the guys from SHHH skimboards. Right after I started skimboarding they brought me along with them and taught me how to hit ramps and do all the basic tricks. Otherwise, I look up to riders like Kyle Lynch, Matt Ratoni, Mike Louie, Richard Docter, Blake Zimmerman and Isaac Thomas. The riding style of Isaac also pushed me to skim faster.

Q. What riders are pushing the sport right now?
A. A bunch of guys! Isaac Thomas, Blake Zimmerman, Adam Balaam, the Bick team, Daniel Preiss, Marek Wolkanowski and Michal Puchalski to name a few. Shout outs to all the Dutch riders killing it too!

Q. If you were stranded on a desert island that already has a plentiful resource of skimboards what three things would you bring?
A. The essentials: drinks, food and friends!

Q. If everyone rode a skimboard would the world be a better place?
A. Not at all! All the good spots would be way too crowded. Things would go the surfer way with local-only skimmer gangs fighting over spots!

Q. What is your favorite skimboarding trick?
A. The good old 360 shuvit!

Thanks again Adrien and everyone should be on the lookout for some new boards and product releases in 2015!

blog-adrien

Interview with Philippines skimboarder Ian Olmedo

Ian Olmedo by Mark Olmedo

Most of you who skimboard and are online will know Ian. This interview is a treat, especially for me. The sport is made up of a lot of beautiful riders; settle in with a warm cup of delicious and enjoy this interview with Philippines skim mama, 26 year old rider Ian Olmedo.

Words by Kelli Bean

Ian Olmedo by Mark OlmedoBoth photos by Mark Olmedo at Sitio Liwliwa San Felipe, Zambales

Hey girl!

Q: Let’s start off with your full name. A lot of us have wondered at some point what Ian stands for.

A: Arianne Rachelle M. Olmedo

Q: What part of the Philippines are you from?

A: The province of Cavite.

Q: Are you a flatland rider, wave rider or both?

A: I’m more into wave riding.

Q: How long have you been skimming?

A: I have been skimming since 2009. I was 21 years old back then. So, about 5 years.

That’s right we started skimboarding in the same year.

Q:  Tell us how you were introduced to the sport.

A: I was into surfing at first then a friend (Hi Ton!) suddenly asked if I had tried skimboarding. I didn’t give much thought to it at first because I liked surfing better. Then I looked for a surfboard online and was introduced to Gerwin Bautista (owner of Skate Skim Surf PH) who sells surfboards. He told me about Alon Skimboarding Club. I checked them out and got introduced to Arlene Nonato. One thing led to another, then I was on a skim trip every weekend with them.

The Alon Skimboarding Club seems like a great skim family.

Q: What do you love about skimboarding?

A: What I love about skimboarding is the adrenaline rush of running and getting that perfect wave even if it’s 1 super stoked wave per session. Also, the travelling! “Travelling helps a lot in riding different waves. It helps a lot to progress when you ride different waves from different countries.” -Matthieu Thibaud

What a great quote.

Q: Like myself, you have not gone the route of professional athlete but instead support others to achieve their dreams. What motivates you to give back to the community as much as you do?

A: At first, I was really concentrated on just getting better to be like Jen Jacobs, Keiao Bucasas and Anna Prophet. I tried competing and luckily won some. Then one day, it hit me, free riding is way better. I get to travel a lot because of skimboarding. I see that a whole bunch of kids have a lot of potential in the sport and the scene is growing bigger and bigger. I thought it’s time to share skimboarding in the Philippines to the rest of the world! So, I started locally first. 😀

Malaysia Contest with Tonet, Arlene and Ian Olmedo
Malaysia Contest with Antonette Bombase, Arlene Nonato and Ian

Q: Now that your focus is on supporting the community, how do you participate in contests?

A: Helping with the registration, organizing the riders with their heats, announcing. I don’t know if it’s help but I like how skim competitions run. I get tips from my travels on how to organize skim competitions. It’s also a learning process. 🙂

Q: Describe the skim scene in the Philippines for those of us who have yet to visit.

A: The skim scene in the Philippines is huge! Since we are a country that has 7107 islands and in the middle of the South China Sea and the Pacific Ocean, it’s super fun to have noticed that almost all the coastline in the country has skimboarders. Everyone is happy, sharing boards and taking care of their local skim spots.

I cannot imagine how fantastic that would be!

Q: Which riders are pushing the sport right now?

A: Biased or not, these riders sure push the envelope in skimboarding and I’m proud to say they have represented PH Skimboarding greatly. Jerry “Arjun” Jimenez (Cebu), Roderick “Manoy” Bazar (Eastern Samar), Sonny Boy “Bayogyog” Aporbo (Mati, Davao), Leo Espada (Tanauan, Leyte), Roberto “Obet” Yanuario (Tanauan, Leyte) and Rodel “ Panggoy” Patawi (Mati, Davao).

Manoy Bazar by Ian Olmedo
Manoy Bazar competing at Oktoberfest 2014, photo by Ian

Sonny Boy by Dylan Uy
Sonny Boy Aporbo by Dylan Uy

Q: Which companies in the Philippines are pushing the sport?

A: Philippine Boardriding Co. (FLUIDSURF) and Driftwood Local Enterprise. These two companies have been there from the start and they encourage younger ones to continue with the sport.

Q: Where do you see skimboarding going in the future?

A: Touring South East Asia for skimboarding competitions. Of course, this needs a whole lot of planning but once we get united with the idea, I’m sure this will push thru. I’m really hoping for it.

The industry in North America hopes for synergy with your athletes and South East Asia!

Q: What were your initial thoughts when you read in Aaron Peluso’s interview him share an excellent UST Stop would be in the Philippines? What do you think having a stop would do for PH skimboarders?

A: When I read Sir Aaron’s interview about thinking of having a UST stop in the PH, I was grinning from ear to ear. Everyone will freak out (including myself)–in a good way. I mean, all of the pros from the United Skim Tour are really huge in our country, basically like celebrities. But like I said, it’s a GREAT idea but reality checking, we need a whole bunch of supporters who could fund everyone to get here. And of course, on our side, we need to thoroughly plan that event because as we all know, there’s no money in skimboarding. We’re going to need government support! But hey! UST Stop #9 Philippines- YEEEW!

I was grinning as well!

Q: You mention earlier you have been fortunate enough to travel a lot, what has it been like to travel for the sport?

A: First, I was very fortunate with meeting Alon Skimboarding Club (especially Arlene and Brien Secades) because they were the ones who introduced me to the world of skimboarding and I get to travel with them locally and internationally (Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore). Then we tried taking it to the next level and worked on going to Taiwan and USA with Arjun and Manoy. Travelling for skimboarding is way better than I expected because it’s like the time is always limited. For example, we have to go to this spot because it’s where they shot Stimulus, MOV, Random Analog. It’s very awesome to experience our idol’s skim spots.

I bet!

Ian Olmedo and Manoy at Aliso Beach, California
Ian and Manoy at Aliso Beach in Laguna Beach, California

Q: What things have you learned in your travels that you can use to support the PH community?

A: Sharing, always share. Humility. Being very appreciative. The true meaning of responsibility and patience, which has got the best of me. Of course, respect for the local spots with the places I have visited.

Q: You are a very talented artist and Jaromanoy Skimboards is lucky to have you onboard using your artistic abilities. When did you start drawing/painting?

A: Wow, thank you! I started drawing when I was in kindergarten. I saw my sister doing some sketches and I tried to copy her. Then it progressed, I don’t know how, but I just started drawing and drawing, then started painting those drawings. I still have a lot to learn though and I am thankful for my tattoo artist friends because they give tips and help me a lot.

Ian Olmedo skim art
Photo by Dhen Migrino

Q: You also take footage, edit and create skim videos. I commend your hard work and thank you for showing us some of the PH lifestyle. What do you enjoy about making skim videos?

A: I enjoy being behind the scenes and witnessing everything about skimboarding; the surroundings and the riders, everything’s just natural. Then it escaladed to “how can I show the people how stoked it is to be a skimboarder?”

Sounds about right! I would love to ask you a few personal questions before we end the interview.

Q: Where do you normally skim and with whom?

A: I’m always in Liw-Liwa, Zambales with the Jaromanoy Skimboards crew, and mostly with Manoy.

Q: Where is your all-time favorite skim spots?

A: Magic Left and La Paz in Zambales.

Ian Olmedo by Manoy Bazar
Photo by Manoy Bazar

Q: What are some skimboarding goals for yourself you are working towards?

A: I really would love to finish the skim documentary here in The Philippines that I’m not yet half-way making. And still, working to travel to more skim spots. Someday..someday.

I am excited to hear you are working on a PH skim documentary!

Q: For the groms, what board do you ride?

A: Exile Skimboards double carbon hybrid.

A lot of groms tell me they want to fall in love with another skimboarder. You are engaged to pro rider Manoy Bazar.

Q: How did you meet?

A: We met at a skimboarding competition back in 2009. But before that, I was asked to design the poster of that event. I asked who the was guy on the poster I’m editing, and they told me that I’m about to meet him. Then we met at that skim competition. They introduced me to him as ‘the guy you were editing on the poster’. When I saw him skim, my jaw literally dropped.

Aww

Q: What is it like to be in a relationship with someone who loves the sport as much as you?

A: AWESOME! haha (Manoy, don’t flatter yourself 😉 ) But seriously, it feels nice because he gives me tips all the time and encourages me to go beyond my comfort zone in skimming. Like for instance, I used to be scared of riding backside, then he dedicated skim sessions for me just doing backside wave rides. Also, we get to travel a lot in the sport and it’s not just all about being lovey-dovey, we’re more like a team, coach/student, client/manager. Haha!

That is awesome!

Q: Besides skimboarding, what makes you happy?

A: Music and being a recording engineer.

Q: Do you have any last words or shout outs to wrap things up?

A: Ton Gregorio, if you had not mentioned skimboarding to me during our conversations, I never would have gotten curious about it. Mom and Dad for always supporting me! And to my idols Keiao and Muchu [Matthieu Thibaud]. For my videographer inspirations, Toeknee Bianchi, Matt Adams and Adam Hayward, I love all your work. Hi Manoy!

KGB and Ian Olmedo
Keiao Bucasas with Ian

Muchu and Ian Olmedo
Muchu and Ian at the Victoria Skimboards shop

Thank you Ian, it is always great to talk with you! Your enthusiasm for the sport in contagious. I cannot wait to meet you.

Photos by Mark Olmedo, Dylan Uy, Dhen Migrino, Manoy Bazar and Ian Olmedo

Ian Olmedo Facebook
Ian’s Instagram: @iandbanana

Jaromanoy Skimboards
Jaromanoy Skimboards Facebook

Alon Pinas Skimboarding Club

Ian Olmedo by Mark Olmedo
Photo by Mark Olmedo

If you would like to do an interview with me, please email me at ms.kellibean@gmail.com

xo, Kelli