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July 16, 2021

Interview with New Zealand's women's park skating champion Krysta Ashwell

Krysta Ashwell skating

Let’s start from the beginning, when did you start skateboarding? What are your early memories about skateboarding?

I started skateboarding when I was thirteen, but I definitely remember being obsessed with wanting to get a skateboard and skate like my brother when I was about seven years old, but my parents refused to get me a skateboard. So when I was thirteen and had a part time job, I was able to save up money and finally get the skateboard that I had always dreamed of getting. I had my daughter at fifteen years old so I stopped skating until I was about twenty and now I have been skating ever since.

What are some of the challenges being a female skater? What some of the ways you have found help overcome these challenges?

Haha right in there with the hard questions.

There is a few challenges, one would be the constant mental battle to commit to tricks, it’s like you go into it full commitment then the last split second ya brain goes NAH! - It’s so hard to explain, it’s like my brains telling me what I’m doing is too dangerous.

People like to watch you while you skate, probably because they like to see if us girls can even skate but sometimes it becomes very off putting especially for the young girls and the ones just starting out skateboarding.

Skate shops don’t stock women’s sizing in skate clothing and shoes, and if they do have women’s clothing it’s just crop tops haha

Only way to overcome these things is to keep going, don’t let other people stop you from doing what you love – If you’re born to do something, you’ll get out there and do it eventually.

What advice would you have for anyone interested in getting into skateboarding?

Laugh when you fall and don’t be afraid of failure, you can’t get good at anything in one day of trying.
Grab a buddy and go skate

Who are some of the skaters that inspire you?

There are so many amazing skaters but these guys are my fav:
Lizzie Armanto, Rodney Mullen, Pedro Barros, Josh Rodriguez and Bob Burnquist

I’d love to hear about how skateboarding is part of your life now, what are some of the competitions you compete in?

Skateboarding is in my blood. Every day I wake up and want to go skating but unfortunately skating has to wait for the weekends when I work full time and being solo mother makes it tricky.

I love being part of the skate community, the competitions bring everyone together which is so amazing.Every skate comp is like a family xmas gathering.

Thanks to Yeah Gnar NZ I have been able to go to competitions like
Daughters of Doom – Australia.
Bowlzilla NZ and Australia.
Thomson Park Bowl Jam.
Kerikeri Vert Jam.

For the first time in history skateboarding is included in the Olympics. Do you think this will change perspectives of skateboarding?

I think with it being in the Olympics it is definitely going to change the perception of skateboarders, as it is often quite negative.

But at the same time I fear that the fun in the sport will be taken out for some people because they will constantly be skating competitively rather than just hanging with mates and doing what we all enjoy together.

It is still so hard to imagine skateboarding being considered a serious sport because it has always been a fun recreational thing to do with mates. But I guess times are changing.

Krysta Ashwell black and white

Krysta Ashwell bowl skating

Krysta Ashwell fish eye lens

Krysta Ashwell midair

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