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Guest interview #4

My name is Alethea and I’m 26 and I’m currently doing a PhD (looking into marine plastics).

I started skating off and on about 4/5 years ago but I started skating seriously probably about a year ago. I was always into the skate/surf aesthetic but only started skating as an adult (and after meeting my boyfriend who skates). 

As a woman who started quite late on, I still sometimes find it difficult to call myself a skater, and feel like a bit of a phoney, despite how proud I am of my skate achievements. It does feel cool to be a skater, even if sometimes I don’t feel like I deserve to call myself one! 

My family are pretty open about my skating, what with me being an adult. Most friends just think it’s pretty cool that I skate now. 

The worst injury I’ve had so far is falling on my face and bursting my eyebrow open. Luckily I only needed steri strips not stitches, and it definitely hasn’t put me off skating. I haven’t skated the quarter pipe that gave me the injury yet, but hopefully I’ll get it back soon...

I think skating has changed me as a person to an extent - when I first started skating I would cry at the slightest fall, knock or shock, but when I burst my eyebrow open I didn’t cry once (and don’t really cry despite how bad the injury is). This mentality has translated to the rest of my life, I feel like I’m a lot more resilient. I was always very scared of public speaking, but I always tell myself that if I can drop in to a bowl/quarter pipe/half pipe that I’m scared of then I can just talk in front of people. It’s definitely helped with my confidence. 

I think skateboarding as an Olympic sport is a difficult one, like with snowboarding. Even if people are able to do the same tricks, the execution and style of that trick can be so subjective. It’s good that skateboarding is being recognised but the thought of it being a “scoreable” sport doesn’t really appeal to me.