Life As A Female Longboarder

By Rocky Poole

Newquay, it’s a town where many memories are made. Some reckless ones, some wild ones, some you will never forget and many more you wish you could. And the glue that holds this memory making town together are the surfers and skaters that call this place home. Forget the transient population that float into town for a ‘summer surf experience’, we are the people come rain or shine that can be found pounding the pavements or riding the waves. Newquay’s scene is famous for Fistral and the Boardmasters bandwagon that rolls into town every summer. 

Fistral is the spiritual centre of UK surf and when the wave conditions are right here there is nowhere better so this is the obvious choice for the event but there is so much more on offer. If you look beyond the mainstream and away from the tourist traps, you’ll find the local skaters, usually looking sweaty and bruised but with huge grins on their face that’s my crew.

Wooden Waves is our local skate park and not a bad one, but why would you limit yourself to that alone when there are so many quality tarmac hills to be smashed. Skate culture in Newquay is simply about having fun, hanging out and sharing experiences. The tarmac here is bliss! Newquay is perfect for endless cruising and its paths really are incredible.

We spend our days following a similar pattern: Wake up with with blurry heads. Eat yesterday’s pizza for breakfast. Grab our Longboards, pads, homemade slide gloves and a shed load of energy drinks and that’s us.

I think secretly we’re all ‘Zephyr Dogtown wannabes.’ The experiences I’ve had have been somewhat interesting to say the least. I remember the first time I bought a longboard, an eBay ‘Made in China special’, but it more than did the job. I could ride a longboard and I had the confidence to match.

However, being a girl, my skills with tools weren’t as great. So, with trucks and wheels loosely attached, or should I say, practically hanging off my board, I ventured to a hill we call ‘Hill Bomb’. The name’s self-explanatory. Bomb is what I did. For a good 50 seconds I was Jay Adams For the next half an hour I was an embarrassed mess. Being one of the only female longboarders in Newquay, who: ‘genuinely’ skates, not carries a board and pretends to be a sk8r girl’, you have to be prepared to embrace the male skate culture. The hot days on the hills, the sweat stains from long-sleeved clothes, with the smell to match, and of course shockingly bad teenage boy humour.

We spend our days following a similar pattern: Wake up with with blurry heads. Eat yesterday’s pizza for breakfast. Grab our Longboards, pads, homemade slide gloves and a shed load of energy drinks and that’s us.

Newquay does have its downsides though. As a longboarder stuck in one location, you find yourself constantly trying to find new roads to skate. Being a 17 year old, you’re reliant on your parents to take you places, and when saying ‘Mum, can you take me to the big dipper?’ (a vertical main road with a slip road perfect for speed) her reaction tends to be somewhat high pitched. I skate a terribly made longboard with OJ 75 ml soft wheels. Do I care? No.

I skate freely, happily and I can carve and slide to my heart’s content! A deck is a deck, made of wood or carbon fibre, it’s a board. And the fun out of it, is exhilarating! I think sometimes, we should realise, it’s the rider that performs, not the board.

‘I skate, I surf and you’ll most likely find me, sweaty and blood stained in a heap at the bottom of a hill.’ We can all remember being a teenager, apparently the best times of your life, the times when you can do what you like and be as free spirited as possible! Many people tell me, ‘you’ll lose your free spirit and courageousness one day, when you settle down with a proper job and kids!’ I think I’ll need to be proved on that point. I believe, as long as you keep a wild heart and courage to match, you can live your dream! I’m looking forward to travel and living free and I’ll remember the days on the hills skating.

Sadly for me I have already had to take a break. I’ve recently undergone an operation on my knee after a fall. The doctors and my parents, have said ‘No more skating Rocky Poole’. That really hurts. Being so young and told already to give up your passion. I still venture out on crutches or in a wheelchair to see the guys and I sit there wishing I could skate. However, as much as I love going down hills on longboards, wheelchairs are pretty rad too – speed wobble in a chair isn’t the best though – don’t tell my mother that!

Whether or not I stick to their words, is another story in six months’ time. At the moment I’m still super hyped to get back on my board!

‘The hills will still be there when I get back!’