Shredding with Freedom
There’s no sight of jetpacks and turbo speed engines, nor wings or supercharged machines. And yet here is a crew of ladies possessing passion and self-confidence, whizzing by at incredible speeds over 100 km/h (62mph) on nothing more than a plank on wheels. They are none other than the Longboard Girls Crew (LGC), a community started in Spain, and now comprised of female longboarders from all around the globe.
As we speak, these ladies are flying around mountain bends of Norway and Finland while blasting across sunlit streets of Spain. And of course California and Australia will forever hold any longboarder’s appeal but who knew these ladies were speeding through Cambodia, Hong Kong, and even Uruguay?
What really puts us on our knees is how effortless, graceful, and elegant the LGC makes the sport look. Windy seaside roads or mountain cliff bends make for beautiful photographs. But place an entire team of long-haired ladies wearing slide gloves, helmets, and pulling off complex manoeuvres with seemingly inherent though hard-trained fluidity, and the landscape just got that much better! (Put a bulked up skater dude on the same board and the picture is a tad bit different.)
Of course surfing and skateboarding has historically been a male-dominated world, but the Longboard Girls Crew have created their own respected place, exploding in popularity and size as they inspire females skaters internationally. And thanks to them, those interested now have a place to "interact and find a place where they can meet each other, showcase their talent, create local crews, share tips, arrange skate-meetings etc." Which all stemmed from the realization that the vibe was somehow different when skating with fellow female skaters, "more confident, relaxed".
But don’t take these "longboarders" to mean your university chicks languidly boarding down the Santa Monica Boardwalk, shades on and sipping a smoothie. The LGC is cut from a completely different cloth of competitive individuals looking for mile wide freedom with an Olympic spirit, testing their skills at maxed-out speeds or figuring out complex series of footsteps and tricks. They refer to their skating with one word that says it all: shredding.
Some of the main champions of the sport include names such as 26-year old Marisa Nunez – willing to shred anything from garage races to winning the 2012 IGSA Worldcup Women’s DownHill. Kati Torrebella, also 26 and a downhill rider, finessed her skating in Moyano with the LGC founder, Jacky Madenfrost. 22-year old Cristina Sanchez is a Downhill expert as well, and no stranger to Slides and Carving. Then there’s Maitane Rascón, 21, from the north of Spain and a lover of carving, sliding, and even dancing – an intricate skating style combining freestyle skating, surfing, and dance. Another key figure with the LGC is of course 23-year old Amanda Powell, an indisputable master of Dancing, Downhill and Freeride Skating.
Mercedes-Benz DTM racer, Susie Wolff (formerly Susie Stoddard), recently met up with three of the downhill skaters – Rascon, Sanchez, and Torrebella – in the video above to see them race. She notices that – whether sportscar or longboard – the medium is irrelevant because "the physics are very similar"; sportiness and agility is what counts. The summer vibes are in full swing so if you feel the need to step up the adrenaline to something racy, take a look at the video above and also those on the LGC website. These female longboarders are ready for anything gnarly! As the LGC states: "we’ve been skating for some time now, we’re still going at it, and we’re going to keep going for a long time to come".