Photos by Wendy Caputo
Words by Kelli Bean
A: Sydney Leigh Pizza
Q: What grade are you in school?
A: I am in 5th grade at Garret Park Elementary School.
Q: Where do you live?
A: I live in Kensington, Maryland and in the summers I live in Dewey Beach, Delaware.
Q: Are you a flatland, wave rider or both?
A: I love to do tricks so I ride more flatland but since I live at the beach, I like to ride waves as well. This summer I am hoping to improve my wave riding so I can do tricks on a wave.
Q: What board do you ride?
A: I ride an Exile Super G. It is turquoise/blue on the front. On the back it is green and has blue and yellow. On the front it has a custom paint job that says Sydney and has a pink pig next to it. I have completely decked out my board with Alley Oop stickers and a Good Vibes sticker. Of course I have wax!!! It is orange.
Q: How long have you been skimming?
A: Since I was 6 years old – this is going to be my 5th year skimming. There is actually a video of Jason Wilson teaching me on my Mom’s Facebook page (September 2009). I hope to keep progressing in the sport, so I can teach others!
Q: That’s great, Sydney! What are your favorite things about skimboarding?
A: My favorite things about skimming would probably be the community and the counselors. The time and dedication that they put into the sport just makes me want to be like them even more!!!
Q: Have you participated in a skim camp before?
A: I have participated in Alley Oop skim camp for many years. It is the best!!!
Q: Where do you normally skim and with whom?
A: I normally skim at South Side (Indian River Inlet, Delaware). On Wednesdays, I go to Gordon’s Pond for a team skim session. I am at Alley Oop Skim Camp most of the summer so I get to skim with Gordon Levine, Lucas & Sam McCoy, Nick & Alex Yokley, Ellen Wood, Dave & Tom Bracht. Ellen Wood and I practice together at Skim USA contests, we are contest buds.
Q: Very cool, I would love to meet Ellen. Where is your favorite skim spot?
A: My favorite skim spot would be South Side in general. I think that South Side is an interesting place. The wave sizes are always changing.
Q: Can you skim year round where you live?
A: The answer is NO. Sadly NO.
Q: Where would you love to travel to skim, if you could pick anywhere in the world?
A: Peru. The reason is because my grandmother is from Peru and she keeps telling me when I’m old enough she will take me there to skim.
Q: That’s exciting! Describe for us your contest history.
A: I have been competing since 2010. Up until last year, I only competed in the Zap Amateur Contest in Dewey Beach, Delaware. I started in the Mini-Menehue Division because there were only 2 divisions for girls (14& under and 15& older). I remember 2 years ago when I was just learning how to wave ride, I switched into the Girls Division (14& under). I was competing against Brooke Marble and Eddie Shoop plus another girl who I vaguely remember. I came in 4th. It was also the first time I had made it through the first day and into the finals.
Last year Skim USA made it better for girls as they created 3 divisions so now I compete in the Girls Division. Last year I competed all over the East Coast in almost every Skim USA contest and I came in 1st place in every contest except the Zap Amateur. I came in 2nd in that contest. This year I competed in the Boardwalk Blow-out in Florida in February. I am very excited for this year’s competition schedule!!
Q: Impressive contest history, you are well on your way to becoming pro! What do you love about competing?
A: The thing that I love most about competing is that I get to meet new people most of the time!! Also that I get to hang out with my friends.
Q: Which contests will you be competing in during the 2014 season?
A: The contests that I will be competing in this year are most of the Skim USA Contests – all East Coast contests.
Q: Are there any tricks you would like to learn this summer?
A: Yes, I would like to learn how to do a 360 shuv, finally master a Big Spin, and how to get air.
Q: Who are you sponsored with?
A: I am sponsored by Alley Oop. I am part of the Alley Oop Massive. I represent my team all the time. I wear Alley Oop everything as much as I can which means I have to be the best person I can be because I am representing the brand. I have to go to team practices every week and I have to work hard at doing my best.
Q: That’s fantastic, Alley Oop is lucky to have you on their team. Who are your favorite skimboarders you look up to?
A: My favorite skimmers are: Jason Wilson, Corey Mahoney, Ellen Wood, Lucas and Sam McCoy, Daniel O’Connor, Gordon Levine, Ed Hayden, Alex and Nick Yokley. Those are just some of my favorite skimmers. The reason why I look up to them is because they have been/are some of the greatest, kindest, and loyalist friends I will ever have!!!!
Q: Awesome! The video you made is very good, what made you want to make a skim video?
A: My mom helped me make the video. It was a project for school, I had to share something about myself with my class.
Q: Great idea for a school project. Besides skimboarding, what makes you happy?
A: Skateboarding, my family, hanging out with my friends, playing basketball and softball, going to school, watching NFL football, and pigs.
Q: Any shout outs before we end the interview?
A: Thanks for all the support that my mom, Jon, grandparents, and teachers give me.