Kelli Bean took the time to interview Julieta “LangLang” Aporbo a 15-year old skimboarder from Amihan sa Dahican, Dahican Beach, Mati, Davao Oriental, Philippines. Enjoy! Photos by Dylan Uy.
Q: Wave rider, flatland or both?
A: Wave rider mostly, flatland riding when there are no waves.
Q: Describe your personal style of skimboarding?
A: Mostly side skimming, wave riding and some tricks.
Q: What year did you start skimboarding?
A: I started skimming in 2009; I was around 11 years old.
Q: How did you first learn about the sport?
A: I saw our team founder, Kuya Jun Plaza skimming, and my older brother Bayogyog is one of his riders. They both taught me how to skim.
Q: Where do you normally skim?
A: I skim here at Dahican Beach, Mati. But I have tried skimming at Taragona and Digos, which are also in Davao Oriental.
Q: What spot is your favorite and why?
A: Dahican is still my favorite, the skim spot in front of our hut allows for good barrels and long rides.
Q: Describe the skim scene where you live?
A: I am the only local skimmer on our team and here in Dahican. Mostly my teammates and some visitors try skimboarding. Some girls try but I usually skim with the boys.
Q: Whom do you skim with?
A: I skim with my teammates, the Amihan Boys.
Q: Who are your role models in the sport?
A: My role models are my coach Jun Plaza, my brother Bayogyog, and the rest of the Amihan Boys. I also like Keiao Bucasas and Amber Torrealba.
Q: Where do you want to travel to skim?
A: I want to go to Leyte and Zambales in the Philippines. Internationally, I want to try Hawaii.
Q: Describe you contest history?
A: I have joined competitions in Digos and here in Dahican. I usually compete with boys in the Beginner category. I won 2nd Place in the recent Amihan Sa Dahican Skimboarding Woodie Competition. I beat over 10 other boys in the competition.
Q: Contest highlights – good and bad?
A: I was happy I was able to ride big waves. I was able to do tricks like shove it in both backside and frontside. I wish I could compete with more girls.
Q: What are your contest aspirations for 2013? In five years?
A: I want to improve my rides, do tricks like 360 and barrel. In 5 years, I want to try traveling and skimming at Leyte, Zambales, Hawaii, and California!
Q: Have you taught someone else how to skim?
A: Yes. I teach visitors, both girls and boys, who come to Dahican Beach. I like teaching because I like seeing people get to ride.
Q: What other board sports do you enjoy?
A: I also like surfing, paddle drop, stand up paddleboard, even skateboarding.
Q: If it has happened, how do you handle criticism, pressure or rejection being a girl in the sport?
A: I try not to react when people criticize me for being a girl who loves this sport. I usually show them my skills so they know being a girl doesn’t mean I can’t win in competitions.
Q: Where would you like to see skimboarding go in the future?
A: I want more girls on my team the Amihan Boys (maybe it can be called Amihan Boys and Girls in the future), so I can mentor them, help them with tricks, and so I have girls to compete with!
Q: What skimboarding goals do you have?
A: I want to continue competing against boys my age/skill set and see if I can beat them! I want to continue learning tricks!
Q: What are your favorite tricks?
A: My favorite tricks are 360 Backside and Kick Flip because they are very hard for me to do. I want to master them.
Q: What do you like the most about skimming?
A: I like how skimming makes me feel happy, it makes me forget my problems.
Q: What else makes you happy?
A: Besides skimming, surfing and being in the water make me happy. Being with my family makes me happy.
Q: Tell us something people may not know about you?
A: I like watching surf and skim videos. My favorite movie is Soul Surfer.
Q: Last words? Shout outs?
A: I want to thank my coach Kuya Jun, my brother Bayogyog, and my family for supporting me. I want to thank Kelli Bean for discovering my talent and me.