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An article appeared in the Telegraph’s Supplementary Magazine recently, entitled ‘Rad Dad.’ It looked at 4 families – Dad’s had been part of the first generation of skateboarders in the 70’s – and were now passing on their skills to the next generation. But what of the Mums? Here, three ladies who in their own way have made a mark on the female skate scene discuss their thoughts:
LAURA GOH – Lichfield UK – School Health Technician
How long have I been skating? I think it must be about 20 years now give or take a few drunk ones at college and Uni! It was Michael J Fox in ‘Back to the Future’ and ‘Police Academy’ that made me want to take it up – that and this random lad I saw olling in my home town Telford, he had super pop! 10 years ago I went to my first comp – the first Girl Skate Jam UK – in London at what was Playstation Skate Park and won. From there I was picked up by Gallaz and got asked to film for Sidewalk’s second ‘Day in the City.’ I then went on to skate for Rogue Skateboards.
I always wanted a family although I still found the decision hard as I am very immature for my age and like to play far too much. But Rosie is the best thing to ever happen to me along with my husband Ben of course! We are a happy little family. I had a bit of trouble to start with though as I broke my arm skating when Rosie was only 10 weeks old. It wasn’t easy being a ‘new’ one-armed mom, I have to thank my Mum a lot for her help through those times.
My day is organised around Rosie’s needs; her sleeps, food and play. I built a mini in garage this year with the help of my brother and Ben so am starting to skate in the evenings again but taking it slow as my strength is not there yet. If I want to skate the local car park Ben is ace (the coolest husband and Dad!) – he is happy to chill with Rosie while Mom is out causing trouble in the streets. I hope to be able to get strong again and be able to skate to a level I’m happy with, as long as I can continue to have fun on my board I will continue to skate. It would be nice to be able to teach Rosie and go on skate adventures with the crew. We will see; she will probably want to bring her scooter ha ha! I’m not really a baby person but I’m definitely a baby Rosie person. If she gets into skating then that’s cool, but if not I will support any activity she’s is into. She has a board waiting, we will see; it’s up to her.
ALEX WHITE– Monterey USA – Video Producer and Freelance Life Coach
I think it was 1996 when I took up skating; it just got popular amongst all the kids. When I moved to Monterey from LA a couple years later I met a group of guys who skated every day and they became my lifelong best friends. One of them, Sam, is now my husband and Henry’s Daddy. My mom took me to the first All Girl Skate Jam in 1998 in San Diego, back then my parents were blissfully unaware of the trouble I was getting into on my skateboard!
I met Lisa Whitaker, Lori D, Tiffany & Nicole, Van, Amy & Vanessa and the rest of the Villa Villa Cola crew in like, 1999. Along with traveling together to do the contests, we would film for a new VVC video that became ‘Getting Nowhere Faster’. I was pro and getting paid to skate for a good 5 years. I would just try and jump down the biggest set of stairs or handrail or whatever for a long time. Eventually I blew apart my knee in 2006. Since then, I film more and skate less.
I thought I would be a terrible mother because I never really liked kids. Sam and I got married at 23 and waited a few years before popping out little Henry. I was happy we waited so I got to travel and skate and do all the things I really wanted to do. Skating hasn’t been a huge priority for me in the last few years. I’m more into surfing on a daily basis. Basically if I want to surf or skate I have to have my mother or my mother-in-law watch him. It takes some planning, but I get out there a few times a week if I’m lucky. Unless you have a baby, there’s no way to understand the ways it changes you. I’m much more patient and cautious, I’m also much more sleep deprived – I hope to get 4 or 5 consecutive hours of sleep one day but I am not holding my breath!
KERRY RIDGE – Glasgow UK – Digital Project Manager
I’m originally from Edinburgh Scotland, but currently live in Glasgow. I’ve been skating since 1996, and a bit before that in 1985 when I got my first board which I used to sit on and bomb hills. At the time I thought; ‘Why do boys have all the fun whilst girls sit around pining after their boyfriends?’ so I got a board and joined ‘em!
My dad and 3 younger brothers live just outside Newcastle, when we were younger he built us this haphazard ramp. It was a good effort considering he’s never done any previous carpentry/joinery and is used to cutting people open (he’s a surgeon)…Good effort dad! My mum hated me skating and thought it was very unlady-like… Until she moved temporarily to Tarpon Springs, Florida and developed a mini-crush on John Montesi (New Deal Skateboards).
I used to be out skating most evenings and weekends, travelling and having a laugh with friends – Livi skatepark was a favourite spot to skate – when we had minimal commitments to anything else! I met and became friends with a lot of different folk in Scotland, England, then started doing a bit more travelling to Europe and Canada skateboarding. I got involved with Skullz (alongside Hilary Pierce, Monica Shaw and the rest of the Aussie Crew) represent!
Having a baby has been amazing! It puts a lot into perspective, and actually makes you realise who and what’s important in life. You just have less time on your hands, so you prioritise the important stuff. It’s actually been quite good for me. And I have an unbelievably amazing support network of ace mummies who have been my rock. Having Lucas has shown me how strong women are and how many things they end up juggling. Utmost respect!
Lucas is already obsessed with standing on a board, but we haven’t pushed it. He just sees Paul’s board and wants to spin the wheels or stand on it; in the past he’s put out his hands for you to hold so he could balance himself, now he casually gets on and off no probs. We’ll see what happens!
[Laura images - Jenna Selby, Alex images -Sunny Smith]