Guest Interview #5
Photo Kim Ford
Hi what is your name and how old are you?
Elizabeth Stuart, and I am nearer 70 than 60.
I started riding a skateboard in my 20s. My nephew and niece had skateboards, I had a go and that was the start. I used to skate to workon a plastic board; my nick-name was ‘Skate’.
How does it feel to do something as cool as skateboarding?
I’m glad I’m still able to cruise around on a longboard. I now push with a pole, which makes me a Land Paddler.
How do your friends and family think about it?
They know I’m sensible – I skate within my limits and wear protective gear.
Have you had any injuries since you started? And if so has it deterred you from skateboarding in anyway?
One broken arm and countless lacerations. That hasn’t deterred me but has probably made me more cautious.
How has skating changed you as a person?
I’ve made some great friends through skating. I enjoy the creativity of recceing skate routes and being an administrator for the Very Old Skateboarders and Longboarders FB group. In one way, skating has made me more introverted as older women riding skateboards attract so much attention that I tend to seek out lonely places to skate where I can just skate without being a tourist attraction..
What do you think about skateboarding being in the olympics now?
I worry that it could entrench views that there is only one kind of skateboarding whereas actually there are many different skateboarding disciplines.
What’s your opinion on the girls skate scene now?
I don’t have an overview. I attend women only events from time to time and am aware that advertising girls’ groups in mixed gender groups sometimes evokes expressions of resentment from members, even if the group admins are supportive. .
Where do you see yourself in the skate scene in 10 years time?
If I am lucky enough still to be skating in my late 70s I will still be pushing myself along with my land paddle, enjoying beautiful cruising routes. If I can no longer skate I’ll bepicking up litter at skate events.
What advice would you give anyone just starting out, either young or old, to help them keep skating?
Skate with others because you make more progress that way, and learn how to maintain your board.
Do you think a skate school is a good way of learning? And coaching is needed in skateboarding now?
Learning how to skate in a skate park is something I haven’t done and wish I had. I definitely need some lessons!
Any final words you would like everyone to know about how you feel about skateboarding? Thanks
It’s ok to skate when you’re older.