Featured rider: Spoky Woky

5

Epic profanity laced chat with one of Europe’s leading ladies of downhill. She tells us lots about the french downhill scene, the origins of her strange nerdy nickname and getting more females to go FAST!

Who are you?
First – I’m French, it’s why I don’t speak English very well and because I can kick asses on the roads. Seriously my name is Marie, I was born on May 8th 1987 and begin longskate downhill at 16 yrs old, in Normandy.

Did you skateboard before you were 16?
I never skateboarded before. I was riding horses before I discovered longskate DH with my cousin, and never left after that.

Why do you guys call it ‘’longskate’’?
I think you ask me that because you English blabla don’t spell it like that (like my name fucking rosebeef). So as to differentiate between longboard (it’s surf on the waves too) and long- skate : a skate which is long . in france when you say longboard people imagine you on the bitch.

Haha! You mean on the beach?
It’s you the bitch

Are you always this polite?
Ask my friends , if you find some.

Well I’m your friend so I will say ‘’fuck yes’’!
Fuck you.

Where do you skate now?
I’m skating my bed right now.
I skate in Lyon it’s in the departement of Rhone Alpes , near the alps. here we have a lot of hills but not really long and the moutains are a one hour to drive from here.

Who do you skate with?
I skate with some VERY underground people yap… haha seriously the French scene is not what it was a few years ago. I skate with freeriders , unknown people from IGSA scene , but really invested in the creation of freerides and french races. I can say a few names of crew and associations like : the Lyon Longskate Crew , The Familia from Grenoble . We skate together more on events and but  not many sessions. For the moment i focus myself on Lyon to motivate people to go ride as often as possible. And it works, more people are motivated this year, a lot of beginners but soon I’m sure they will follow me. Some are really good but not in downhill , much in street dancing.

What did you mean it is not like it used to be a few years ago?
Few years ago french people were really motivated to go on races , travels , make roadtrips. I remember in 2004/2005 the two years I did the Chamrousse freeride, we were numerous french people that traveled to the Alps at the same time, it was awesome. Now the community is a little bit dislocated and people changed. A lot focus on their family life, they’re still there, but the huge American community imposed herself there around 3 years ago. And you can see sometimes more German and Swiss people on some events who are much better than frenchies.

How good are the frenchies?
You can take the igsa rank and get an idea of the level. The people who participated in the internationals races are not the best of the frenchies . But in 2011 one of this guys , Olivier Bareaud made a come back. He is the only french who can hope to be in the first twenty ranked on an international race. For sure we have some foals like Gabin Piton and Pierre Conan. They did a lot of podium on the Junior II discipline. The scene retrains slowly but certainly.

What is ”Lyon Longskate Crew” & ”The Familia”?
Lyon longskate crew inclued all the longskaters who live in Lyon. I know that now there are numerous longskaters who’re just cruising and they wonder if a community exists so we try to catch some. It’s not an association (but there are A LOT of downhill/longskate association in Lyon).
The Familia from Grenoble is an association . They create events (and dreams), and we (the LLC) are very friendly with them (in truth this the WORLD WAR) I’m kidding.

How come you don’t have an association in Lyon?
We have 3 associations of longskate in lyon , and a lot of roller inline too. In the associations who talk only about longskate and downhill we have the DDE69 , PoliticLongboardActivist and Lyon Rider (there is inline too)

Do you have a role in every association?  
I did some voluntary work in DDE69 a few times. But now I’m part of Lyon Riders because my goals changed a little. DDE69 was only organizing freeride and promoting the riders who wanted to race. I left there when i decided to begin racing in 2010 . With three other friends we had the same motivation and created an association/crew of racers. But some lost motivation. Then I went to Lyon Riders who proposed me to help me for my seasons. In France, associations are the only way to be helped in a sport (without sponsorship)

How was your first racing season?
I did some race before in 2006 and 2007 . But it didn’t bring me that special something, I hated that. I only wanted to ride. And in the head of the race in women race , there was Angelina Nobre, two times WorldChampion before Brianne Davies . And she was far far far ahead of every other women at this time. Thus the race was not really exciting, I had more the good feelings when I ride alone. Then I stopped the races.
It was only in the end of 2009 that I saw the rank of the european races: a lot of women from everywhere came to peyragudes 2009 and not so far for each others. I said to myself: wow I never raced with so many women, I want to do it! Then began my first year of races.
In France the championship was pretty easy since I was the only one to participe at most of the races. And for the IGSA I wanted to participate only at Graveyard Call in France. But I finished second against the other girls and I felt a lot of motivations to go on the other races. I did Teolo Padova, and Kozakov too. But there wasn’t any concurrence at those events… I was a little bored. But 2011 didn’t let me down, I’m happy.

What was so good about the 2011 season?
It was all I exepected from a race between other women. Slap, slap and slap again. I mean I’m not that bad when I race but I know there are others better than me; I wanted to meet some monsters of downhill. I met Katie Neilson (reaaally badass rider from far, another world from me), I fight against Rebekka Gemperle , Tamara Prader was following me closely and I took a slap from Kirstina Engstrang, I was impressed by Dasha Kornienko. I saw some other girls raising their level at every event and I hope to race again with them next year: Kari havenik , Gloria Kupsch, Fee Bucheler , Anni Lindermaier and a lot of others. I really don’t care about my rank , if I felt some adrenaline during my run it makes me happy. The best run that I did this summer was against Rebekka and Kristina at Insul, a lot of suspense and finally I lost my run and didn’t qualify for the final. But I was happy, we girls rode tight, it was awesome. I’m not proud of myself when I win a race where everything is easy, it doesn’t bring me anything, doesn’t make me grow up. In the race I look forward to the adversity and the fight.

You’re a fighter not a lover?
Sometimes I say to myself that I am still too kind. I’m not a fighter in my soul but I try to be one. I really get to like those moments of a  race because it’s the moment where I really feel who I am.

Is that Spoky Woky?
Spoky is a nickname. I took it from my sister and keep it for the internet. I met other riders on forums when I began downhill. And they still called me like that. For Woky , i can’t explain any sense for that.
In “the real life” I’m a Nurse. Every day I take care of people in hospitals. I guess it’s because I like to help people, I understand their pain, sometimes I feel really weak because people don’t get better and I can’t do anything for them and sometimes I feel useful because there are some good results. When I’m at work I’m really patient and polite (yeah i know you can’t believe it) but when I’m riding I am rough, impulsive, unsocial I think I become the total opposite. But close friends know that sometimes I can be nice.

So Spoky Woky is your racing side?
I think it’s my skateboarding face

I thought it was something like your love for Star Trek + Star Wars?
My sister criticized for a long time the shape of one of my ears, to irritate me she called me Spoky. And yeap simply because I needed a last name for my Facebook nickname I stayed in the stars. And at the end I realised that the wookies are a good image of myself: cute, wild, dangerous little thing. I don’t know if they want to eat you or be nice.

Wookies are hairy!
Like your balls

Just like you love them
Bitch I hate you, go to hell, wookie community will make plaits with the hair of your testicles in hell. There is a lot of hell in what i said.

Sounds like you have ‘’blue wheels’’
FOR SURE !!! I’m never fed up of ”riding”!

Do you ride with meany girls in Lyon?
Until then (since i’m in lyon , it means 2007) I had never been able to take an inhabitant of Lyon to ride with. At each time they never persevered and left. But since the end of February a girl asked me if she could come to a session. I invited her on a beginner’s spot to evaluate her level. I was pretty impressed, she slides well , and followed us on the little downhill. Her name is Lyde, she came from nowhere and told me that she met Rebekka at Hot Heels Africa who advised her to meet me. She saw her winning the race in south africa and found that awesome. She wants to go fast , I haven’t seen that kind of motivation for a long time from a girl. It promises a lot of good sessions. I hope other girls will join us soon!

How do you get more girls to join?
I’m dealing nice panties and sunglasses… I’m kidding.
I admit that for a few years I really didn’t care about that. For sure I tried to convince some women to try it but it never succed. Girls, like boys, have to been really passionate to pass the first step of the beginners: learn to break and get past the fear of the speed. Lot of Girls prefered longboarding than street skateboarding. It’s less agressive. But when they go downhill they are very scarred. Then I didn’t persevere to get more women.
In 2010 here they came from spain: The Longboard Girl Crew. All sharing pics of female longboarders on Facebook. First my friends told me to send some pics of me. I did it and I saw that there were so many other women that I never met and wanted to shred like the boys. Then I had a little hope that it would succeed and when they published their 2nd movie “carving the mountains” there were no doubts anymore , A LOT of girls became crazy about longboards after watching this movie. The machine was engaged!
Since the beginning of September 2011 each country created there own Longboard girls crew :germany , sweden , canada , argentina , peru , mexico , portugal , and many others… then France! Woop Woop! I immediatly looked at the fan page , they published a movie (almost the same as the first of the spain crew : girls cruising and cross steping on the sunset summer). They were totally new in this community and a little bit lost. I got in contact with the founding members to get more information about the crew: they began following the LGC wave. I explained that longskate had institutions and I proposed myself to help the crew to grow up in the french community. Now this crew is strong enough to get more and more women and I hope that some would come to the downhill scene.

What’s your role in LGC France now?
The girls naturally invited me to be an administrator of the page. For the moment I try to do my best to give advice, but the baby already flies by it’s own wings. Girls are motivated, I only have to support them in each decisions they make. The only thing I tried to introduce on this crew is the wearing of awareness. I don’t want people thinking it’s easy! Because girls can ride hard too, it’s dangerous, even you’re a girl, the risks are the same. And this LGC wave is kind of fashion: sunglasses, mini short, the wind in the hair… without helmets!! Too many naked heads, I hated that! I couldn’t fold my arms and wait for accidents to happen. It was my first advice: wear a helmet . But you know the girls and the fashion, they prefer to die than to be unfashionable. I had to find a nice way to make the helmet acceptable  in this new community. With the other admins we decided to create a photo album, it would be a “group photo” repertoring every french riders but at one condition: to wear a helmet. I wanted the girls to be responsible in their own practice and make the helmet a nice accessory for going skating, like a new jewelry. I invited all the girls to send me a nice portrait photo with a little bio and a sentence on “why you’re wearing a helmet”. I admit it took a little time to get photographs. But now girls caught the sense of wearing the helmet and can spread the wearing of awareness. Now they always wear one, I did what I thought was right. Even if it means making me creepy old boring girl. – https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.191864954243385.41684.144511388978742&type=3

Wearing a helmet is sexy!
Yeah it makes the difference between a rider and a poser haha. It’s really difficult to introduce the safety gear in skateboard community.

What other stuff are you working in for the girl’s crew?
I defend her against the miserable boys haha! But nothing else for the moment. I hope that next year they will finally make their own place in the french community and get more members. First we will see if we continue to exist, I hope it will.

For someone who skated in Pre-LGC years, what do you say the major difference now is?
For me longskate was only about downhill. In downhill we are totally unfashionable we buy old leather suits on ebay, shred it, ride with home made gloves and shoes. It’s not a looking good discipline. I think thanks to the emergence of dancing , with the movies of Adam Colton  (I remember seeing the first maybe in 2006?) a new generation appears: the dancer/freeriders . No more leather suit: bowl helmet (or not), nice shoes, no gloves, power slides, cross step – a really polyvalent style where fashion could take find it’s place. Like I said , girls are attracted by fashion and they introduced some more and more and feed it everyday. The type of girls in downhill were like tomboys but after years the feminization of the discipline developed, costumized suits and boards, girly stickers… And in the dancing environment all is permitted! All the girls accessories can find their place.
Before a female rider was really rare, now they come in groups. It’s like a big wave. Some boys really don’t understand the success of this movement. “how could they be so famous? they even don’t make a real trick? they don’t shred!!! “. Sorry guys but this is just the beginning of the  ascension of the girl riders!
I think we need more time to know what differences have been made . But we were so few women before LGC, so it’s really difficult to compare the two generation. The only thing that I know is that a woman on a board was really rare and now it’s raining from every where in the world.
 

The rain is good?
I say to myself that rise is assured. For the moment. We will see how the things are moving… I watch the thing evolving from far.

What do you ride?
I’m riding a Fibretec FlyingPan on Raptor Trucks , Smb bearings and Orangatang In Heat – Purple.

How long have they been your sponsors?   
My first real sponsor with free material was Smb Bearing since 2010!  After that came Raptor trucks in the same year. In 2012 I got Orangatang ,Fibretec and Fat Ant Bushing.
I got others sponsors and partnership for 2012 like Garnier leather suit, Offshore Limited extreme watch. And I’m still supported by a local shop in Lyon: The Cri Du Kangourou (CDK).

What plans do you have for this season?
Do the euro tour again . But less of french championship unfortunately. And I really hope to find some money to come out from Europe and visit another tour continent.
And for the Lyon scene I’ll participate to a “Festigliss “ event : we organize with my association a slalom race :
For the third consecutive year, the Departmental Park of Parilly (Lyon / FRANCE) will welcome one of the biggest events of wheels of France and in particular Parilly Slalom Contest Act III, stage of the French cup 2012, World Cup ISSA but especially French championship 2012. https://www.facebook.com/events/162430100527193/

You’ll get money from your sponsors to race outside Europe?
I don’t know. but I will try. it’s really difficult to get money. For the moment I pay by myself all my registrations and other travel expenses.

You’re coming to Bo Peep?
No I go to a french championship who is at the same date in Normandy, sorry bru!!

Choose 3 numbers between 1-23
5 , 7 ,8

5 – Who is the best skater you’ve met ?
THE BEST SKATER. I’m not really good to evaluate who is the best. I met some very good skaters on the euro igsa tour . I’m really impressed by the level of each one but I don’t have an idol. For sure this year Mister Patrick Switzer caught the focus of everybody in Europe. But I’m waiting for the come back of Kevin Reimer, just to see what could happen. In women I’m still admiring Angelina Nobre, I really don’t know if today I could win against her but it’s sure that I’m far from her level of technicality. She was always giving advice, even in a race. I’m really proud to walk in her pioneer steps.

7 – What is your favourite cheese ?
The NEUFCHATEL !!!!!!

8 – Best board you’ve ever ridden
My flyingPan , the first time I put my feet on that board I really felt at home.

It has been awesome to finally do this. You are my favourite pute in all the world. I wish you fun runs and an injury free season! See you in Madrid in September bitch!
Thank you Bitch, see you there and lets enjoy fist fucking.

With plenty of speed cream?
shhhh dont talk about this secret french weapon. they will kill you with cheese and frog legs.

Any thank yous?
First i would like to thank my parents who still support me in my passion. My friends and my cat who supports me only because I’m me.

You can follow my adventures on :
http://spokyonwheels.tumblr.com
http://vimeo.com/spokyboogs/videos
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Marie-Bougourd-Spoky-Woky/204341662970268 .

And other links :
http://www.fibretec.ch/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/loadedorangatang/
http://longboardgirlscrew.com/
http://www.facebook.com/lgcfrance
http://www.cdk.fr/
http://www.ffrs.asso.fr/
http://www.descente.fr/
http://www.lyonriders.com/
and because i don’t forget my origins
http://www.ridersenbray.com/ads/
http://www.lafistiniere.fr/pages/indexlogofrpag.html