Endless Roads featured rider: Amanda Powell

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Endless Roads chapter 3 was amazing! My favourite so far. What made it so enjoyable was seeing the bond shared by a group of friends and witnessing the joy of receiving some new socks on your birthday. So I decided to catch up with the recipient and find out more about her time on our beautiful continent.

Hi Amanda, great to speak to you
Hey there! Great to speak with you as well, thanks for reaching out to me!

Where are you from?
Originally I’m from the South Shore of Massachusetts, on the East Coast of the US. But now I live in Los Angeles, California.

When did you start skating?
I’ve dabbled in street skating for over a decade now, but I was never too serious about it. I started longboarding almost two years ago.

In LA?
I began in Massachusetts, inspired by my hometown friends who tore up the local hills. Five months ago I had the opportunity to move to LA with my boyfriend Dane Webber, and we just went for it!

That’s pretty awesome, you moved for the hills?
Haha, and the weather! Dane got a full-time job offer doing Customer Service with Loaded, and Adam Colton’s room mate had just moved out. Everything just sort of fell into place for us.

Fortune favours the connected! Oh wait, you live with Adam Colton?
Yes I do, I live with a monster!

Was there a honey butter initiation before you could move in?
Haha! No, but I wouldn’t have been surprised if there was! It’s an adventure living with Adam and Dane. There’s a lot of singing, wrestling, Chinese Checkers, acro-yoga…

Sounds like a great skate house. What’s the local skater community like?
LA has an awesome longboard community. There’s almost a session every week night, and events on the weekends.

How did you end up on our continent all the way from LA?
When LGC first started, Jacky Madenfrost contacted me after seeing my very first video and asked me to “like” the Longboard Girls Crew Facebook page. I knew it was going to be a killer commonplace for girl longboarders all over the world, and I have been taking with them all since the beginning. When the idea of the Endless Roads trip came up, they emailed Marisa Nunez and I asking us to be the guest riders. Of course we said yes!

That’s great, how did talking to Jacky back then affect your attitude to girl longboarders? I can’t imagine you had seen/skated with many before then?
I hadn’t seen or skated with any girl longboarders before that, so it was a surprise for sure to be hit up not only by a girl skater, but a girl skater from Spain! I never expected to make international friends through skating, and now I have longboard friends from every part of the world.

Now, if a girl makes a gnarlly video it will definitely end up on the LGC site/fan page, but how did they find you over a year ago?
I had emailed my video over to the fellas at Loaded, thanking them for the inspiration and sweet product (I was head over heels for the Dancer at the time.) I think they put that video in the Loaded Newsletter and after that, I started getting hit up by longboarders everywhere.

What’s your relationship with Loaded now?
I’m a Super Ambassador, and that basically means that I coordinate everything with the Southern California Loaded/Orangatang riders and I am involved in a few things on the inside of Loaded like a little bit of product research and development and some event organization.

Do you have a cape?
Yeah, it’s purple.

And a lab coat? (for R&D)
Haha, of course. And a fancy name tag.

That’s legit. So you’ve been involved with the LGC from the beginning, how has the impacted SoCal and your wider network?
Well you’d think that SoCal would be the mecca of longboarding girls, but they’re really hard to find. I’ve been seeking them out, making shout outs on the LGC Facebook page and things like that in hopes of finding them. I started holding ladies only sessions in LA every Monday night at 10pm, our crew is still small but it’s slowly growing. LGC has a great inclusive outlook on girl longboarders, which is super important. We are encouraging of all girl skaters, whether they’re just soul carving, or shredding harder than the guys. The “girls only” sessions tends to make girls more comfortable to try new things on their skateboards. Which is rad!

Do you ever experience negativity from girls/guys who think ‘’girl only’’ sessions are too exclusive/segregate the community?
Not too much. I think everyone in our community is pretty stoked on the fact that more girls are popping up at every session, and they understand/appreciate “lady stoke”, which I’m super enthusiastic about.

That’s great to hear. What’s your role in the worldwide lady stoke community?
My goal is to always be progressing my longboarding and making creative media to provide inspiration for the ladies. I want to show them that if they want to, it’s very much possible to skate just as good (if not better) than the dudes.

That ‘’make your own damn meals’’ video is a strong piece of corroborative evidence. As is ‘’drafting who’’ with Ishti and Marisa
Hell yeah! Both of those videos really inspired me. I’ve been sort of caught up in downhill since I moved to California, but “Make Your Own Damn Meals” got me SO motivated to work on my freeriding and miniramp skating. Thanks chicas. (;

We’ll be expecting a freeride video from you. Soon?
Already in the works! I have a couple of videos I’m planning out and starting to film.

You’re a film-maker?
Not so much, Adam C. films me and I am going to be working with Jonathan Douglas from Calgary who’s in LA for the next couple of months. (He did a kickass job on “No Hunting” with Ethan Cochard and Carmen Shafer.) But this year I plan on trying my hand at filming because Adam has so kindly offered to lend me some of his magical film gear.

Nice! So when you come back to Europe you’ll be shooting and skating?
I’m sure of it. I was inspired to shoot while I was in Spain, but was super busy being filmed by Juan Rayos the whole trip.

Was this your first time in Spain?
Yes it was. What a beautiful country! I’m so lucky that my first time there I was able to see so much of it. We drove all over the country (…ever so slowly in that VW van, hahaha).

We never get to see the drivers or much of the people in the other van, who was responsible for the slow driving?
The production crew consisted of Juan Rayos, Monica Madenfrost (Jacky’s sister), Chus Nets (Jacky’s boyfriend), and Raul  Cervantes (Ra) who is a prominent figure in the longboard community in Madrid. The van didn’t go very fast in the first place, but Ra was to blame for babying that van. He really loved that thing, haha!

Was this your first time meeting everyone?
Yes, I had never met a single person on the trip until the day I landed in Madrid. We all immediately clicked. We didn’t have a choice, we were basically on top of each other for two weeks!(giggidy) Luckily we all got along really well.

Bus sandwiches FTW. How much notice did you have before the trip?
Haha, exactly. They approached me with the idea a couple months before the trip.

What did you expect?
The time of my life. I didn’t much make any expectations for the trip or mentally prepare myself for it. I kind of went into it wanting a culture shock. And I got it!

Biggest culture shock?
Tuna on everything, GROSS! Haha. And the language barrier, of course. I knew a little bit of Spanish, but I didn’t realize how little I knew until I was the only one there not fluent in the language.

 Who was your translator?
All of the girls were pretty good at English, so they gave me recaps on a lot of conversations that were happening. I was reading a book on Spanish the whole time I was there, so I tried to keep up with them, but it was hard to. I definitely improved my Spanish while I was there. Juan Rayos hardly spoke any English, though, so that was a challenge sometimes when we were filming. We always managed to make it work with Spanglish though.

You had time to read?
There was so much free time in the van while we were traveling.

How much skating did you do in those 2 weeks?
Non-stop. Some days were long travel days, but we’d still skate before and after the drive, and at every pit stop. If it wasn’t a travelling day, we were skating just about all day. Gador in particular was always skating, even when everyone was tired and burnt out. I’d always join her, she’s a machine.

Gador Salis. She is something else. One of the most talented people I’ve seen skateboard, how was 2 weeks of constant Gadorisation?
Just crazy. She’d push me harder than anyone. She’d be like, “Can you do this? Okay, now land it in a cross step!” We really thrived off of each other’s skating, we were inspired the whole trip. She landed a kickflip in a cross step on my Bhangra. She doesn’t even skate a Bhangra! WTF?

Must be something in the Madrid water.
Must be. Those chickadees shred.

Actually it’s probably all that tuna.
Oooof! Could be. I can’t get down with that though, yuuuck.

Haha, even in exchange for gnargical powers?
Oh my god, no! Not even for that! Hahaha.

In the last episode of Endless Roads, you got an extended cameo, how was spending your birthday with your new family?
It was such a blast. They really went all out for me with a cake, Sangria, awesome cards, some makeshift “Pro-Model” Slide Gloves, and CLEAN SOCKS! Haha, I didn’t bring nearly enough socks for a 2 week trip with no laundry washing. It was a stellar evening, everyone was smiling. We sang and danced in the streets of Avila all night.

One sock Amanda?
I brought like five pairs. I figured we’d be able to do laundry. I was wrong.

Ha. Wow. How about Hot food? Showers?
We had plenty of hot food and showers, just not many laundry options. I ended up washing some clothes in a sink.

How was it skating those humoungous beast boards?
Different and fun. Long Rodriguez makes those big planks, and they were fun but definitely took a minute to get used to. Riding them reminded me a lot of surfing, which was really neat because I’ve been surfing longer than I’ve been longboarding.

Did anyone try to slide those things?
I surely could not slide one. I didn’t see any of the girls get those tanks to go sideways.

Gador didn’t kickflip one?
Haha, definitely not. They looked like pieces of art, they were so beautifully crafted. We loved dancing on them but were cautious of not shredding them too hard.

Did surfing progress to skating?
Sort of. I still surf and I am trying to dial in cross-stepping. It’s much harder than cross-stepping skateboards but my skate skills help me progress my surfing and vice versa.

What do you ride?
A 9’0 JC Hawaii Flowmaster.

Ah, I meant with wheels.  
Ah! Of course. My ride of choice is the Loaded DH/Freeride prototype.  I run it with Paris 180s and Venom Bushings in there. 87a DH barrel boardside, 88a SHR barrel roadside. I generally rock it with 80a Orangatang Stimulus and Swiss Bones Bearings. Vicious Grip too.

Is that what you rode in Spain?
Unfortunately at the time there weren’t enough Loaded Protos for me to bring one on the trip. So for freeriding and downhill there I was skating a Clutch Lambchop, and I had somehow broken my Venom Bushings the first day so my setup was pretty weird. And for flatland I was rocking a Loaded Bhangra and Orangatang Nipple Bushings.

Sweet. Where did you have the most fun on the trip?
Galicia might have been my favorite place. We stayed at a surf camp and surfed while we were there, and did plenty of skating as well. We had the chance to link up with the locals and went on a cruise through the city and ended it with a BBQ. So many cool skaters came out for it, lots of good vibes. In Galicia we’d stay out until the sun came up, which was wild to me but I guess it’s common for the girls.

Was that episode 2?
Nope, you’ll get to see Galicia in the next episode. (The final one, Episode 4.) *sadface*

You’re an early nighter?
I wouldn’t call myself an early nighter, but I for sure go to bed way before the sun comes up.

Spanish Time takes a bit of getting used to .
That’s true. I thought I was a super energetic person until I went to Spain. I caught up on sleep a lot of time in the van. I’d recharge, and it was back to skating. There were times we just couldn’t stop and we’d skate into the morning hours.

Did you go straight back to America after the trip?
I did. I came home and my boyfriend had planned our cross-country move to California. I only had a couple of weeks to prepare for it, but I didn’t mind. I was ready for another adventure.

Have you had many adventures since?
Plenty, but all in California. I’m just starting to plan my next ones out of state and out of country. 2012 is going to be sweet.

Going racing?
I’ll be racing a little this year.

On our side of the ocean?
I might be, I haven’t sorted out my plans yet. It’s all in the works, but I’d love to get to a European race. It looks like such a blast.

Definitely! There’s a whole summer of fun skating planned starting with Bo Peep: Crash and Burn in June, actually No, KnK is before that in the spring. That much fun!
Guessing Madrid is high on your list of places to visit?
That all sounds rad. I love Madrid, but I want to see it all! I will reunite with LGC when they come to the US for the Maryhill Girls Freeride this summer, so I’ll be here for that. Then I’ll be going home to visit the east coast because I’m going to be an aunt for the first time! Maybe since I’ll be over that way I could just fly over the pond…we’ll see how it all plays out.

Congratulations Aunty ‘Gnarnda!
Hahaha, thanks! I’m stoked! I’ll be the cool aunt in California, sending him or her skateboards and noisemakers.

Did you spend any time in Madrid?
I did, but I would like to go back someday to spend more time there. My first day in Spain I held a longboard clinic in Madrid, which was a first for me, and I think we did well. Everyone was stoked by the end and that was the goal. We left Madrid the next morning and didn’t return until the trip was over, so I only got a couple of days to really hang in Madrid. That was one of the places we skated all night.

Moyano?
Oh yeah. All night. I tell people here in LA we need a commonplace like Moyano, where people are skating all day and night. I’m still trying to find the right spot for it.

If there was a Moyano in every city, the world would be a better place.
I couldn’t agree more.

Did you enjoy Mallorca?
Mallorca was incredible. The downhill was amazing, the beaches were beautiful, the locals were so friendly. I really enjoyed it.

Speaking of locals, did you meet Luigi?
I don’t recall a Luigi…

He is also known as Francesc, he has a Luigi like moustache and he’s one of the AllAroundBros.
Francesc! Yes he bought me an orange juice and we skated Sa Calobra together! Very cool dude and a very gnarly hill.

Sounds like him, buying women drinks. Did the Island remind you of the west coast?
A little bit! More tropical, but it was a relaxed atmosphere and had intense downhill runs, so it was similar to the west coast in that way. Sa Calobra is the craziest road I’ve ever skated though. Cliffs at almost every turn, I definitely took my time on that one.

Is that where you lost your board in episode 2?
Oh yeah, wobbled out on that turn because I was still getting used to skating close to people downhill…board shot right off the cliff. Paula Carmona (a Mallorca local and part of LGC) had met up with us for that session and we braved the climb down to retrieve the board together. Thanks Paula! (:

Paula and Amanda saving the board

Paula has loads of socks! You shoud have nicked some off her while you were there.
Hahaha so true! She’s a stylish chica with a plethora of colourful socks.

Have you kept in touch with any of the people you met on your travels?
I try to, but it’s hard because we are all so busy and far away from each other. I drop a line to let them know I’m thinking of them, they’ve all affected me in some way and I’ll carry that with me forever.

Marisa lives on/nearer to you right? Have you bumped into her or anyone else since the trip?
Marisa actually moved to Peru shortly after the Spain trip, so I haven’t seen her or anyone from the trip since. Every time I watch an episode of the trip I am overwhelmed with how badly I want to reunite with them all. I just have to be patient, I know we will see each other again this summer at Maryhill, and I’m sure there will be more trips to each other after that too. And I know when we get together we will just pick up where we last left off.

Great stuff! It’s been awesome chatting to you. 3 quick questions left.
Choose 3 numbers between 1 & 20
3, 7, 13

3 – What impact has longboarding had on your life?
It’s shaped me into the positive person I am today because of the amazing friends I’ve met (locally and internationally) and the creative outlet it provides.

7 – What is your favourite cheese?
Smoked Gouda.

13 – Do you have a pet?
Not currently. I plan on getting a dog when I have more time to dedicate to it.

Thanks for taking time out for this, I’ve really enjoyed it.
My pleasure, it’s been fun! Thanks for introducing me to AllAroundSkate! And thanks to my sponsors, who make it a possibility for me to do the radical things I do – Loaded Boards, Orangatang Wheels, Daddies Board Shop, Paris Truck Co., Triple 8, Holesom, and of course, Longboard Girls Crew!

http://amandapowell.tumblr.com/

Discussion10 Comments

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