• Catching The Dream : as a Newbie

    Catching The Dream

    It’s a misty January morning in Arendal, Norway, and the snow has turned into big patches of ice since the temperature is constantly rising and dropping. But in two weeks, this ice and snow will be replaced by sand and oceanwater. In two weeks I will be on a plane to my dream destination of a lifetime, Hawaii. Where I want to really enjoy life, involving surfing, skating and making art. Going there basically blindfolded but with no worries at heart, since it is a pursuit of happiness. This is the first chapter of my adventure. But first I want to let you all in on how it all started!

    I’m a regular girl with an american and latina heritage. Born and raised in the suburb outside of Stockholm, Sweden. Growing up in a scandinavian city, there are hot, lush summers and cold, long winters. When I was fourteen, I started hanging out with the local skatedudes. They would often skate around the trainstation or by the ramp at school and during the winter, snowboard on the local hill by the lake. Yes, I totally had a huge crush on one of them. After awhile that crush ran it’s course, but the secret crush I had to try skateboarding never really faded.

    I asked my sister who had a toy skateboard, if I could borrow it. I soon realized I didn’t have the patience to try and do tricks. During that time I also noticed, that lately my skater friends had been cruising around town and hills with these enlarged skateboards, almost like miniature surfboards. It looked way easier. So I asked them where they had gotten the boards. When I found out, I asked my stepfather to take me to the nearest Toys’R’Us. To my joy they where on sale! Only four left in stock, we bought them all for 8 dollars each. They had a real simple design, a rounded nose and thinned out by the tail, approximately 1,20 m long.

    I started pushing to and from school for a couple years. Slowly picking up speed, needing less time to get to school. I always went alone, because I never had the courage to skate with the guys. I always kept it safe, never bombing any hills. Soon I got a girl friend to try it out, and eventually she got her own board. We cruised a little together, but nothing major. We were kind of chicken. We also started going to these skate events, and one time it was for only girls and they introduced us to Downhill. Man, it seemed so much fun and badass. But we were still keeping it safe, and I never really wanted to trade in my Toy longboard for a real speedchasing one. After that summer the longboarding kind of took a pause, because life happened. Graduation was coming up and I had to think about my future, and I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do with it. But once in awhile I would dust out the old board and start cruising around again, but never for long. I started picking up speed and trying to go down steeper hills, but I would always freak out when the board started to wobble. I never had the courage to just go in to a skateshop and ask them about it, and give me tips. I didn’t want to seem like a newbie and somehow associated it with being a coward.

    In 2010, after I had been to art school, I was working at a job that made me pretty miserable. I was also fed up with not really feeling in place. I had friends and we would go out to party and have fun, host dinners and go to concerts. But it got kind of got old. I always had visualized being that rad skater chick, but the summers are short and I never pushed myself enough to start skating with others.

    Two friends of mine where on a backpacking adventure and they asked me if I wanted to meet them up in Bali, Indonesia, in a couple of months. I started saving up money. During that time I also decided to move with a friend to Norway, to spend the summer working. But after the trip to Indonesia, of course. So now I had some future plans and when I had booked the trip to Indonesia and handed in my resignation notice at work, I swore to myself I was going to learn how to surf.

    Spring came and right before my trip, I dusted of the old longboard and started cruising around again. Pretending that the pavement where the waves. There was one hill, right by the freeway, that wasn’t too much of a speedkiller, but long enough to enjoy, that became my goal to bomb before I left. My wheels where pretty beat and hadn’t been cleaned since I bought it, so I really never got in to high speed. But I loved it! When I had conquered that hill without any hesitation, I felt so good about myself. And at the same time so liberated and just amazing.

    1Catching The Dream

    The stoke didn’t stop there. Paddling out for the first time to catch my first wave in Bali, I was hit with happiness and invincibility. Even if it was the tiniest white water wave, I felt like Moses crossing the red sea. It is something I will never forget. I got to surf a couple more times at a beautiful spot in Lombok, but a week in, on my month long trip, I was injured in a moped accident and couldn’t be in the water for the rest of the trip. I was super bummed. But it didn’t stop me from buying my first surfboard on the last day of the trip, and taking it back with me home.

    After the trip I moved to Norway, in 2011. This is a land filled with mountains and hills. I hadn’t brought my longboard with me, but I soon got to know some local skaters here too. They where driving around trying to find diffrent hills and roads to slide down. They asked me to join them, but I always made up an excuse. But after I had been home for a visit, I took my Toy’R’Us board with me back, and started to cruise a little on my own again. I also found out that surfing was big in Stavanger, and I went on my own for a weekend and got to surf a little. It was much messier and colder than Indonesia. But the experience was mind blowing and gave me an even more urge to do it. I started checking out surf videos on the net, and fell across a surf documentary about the origins of surfing. Hawaii! I started to skate more and more, finding a route I really enjoyed. If I couldn’t sleep or wake really early in the morning I just jumped out of bed, put on some clothes and leap out the door and start pushing. If I wanted to clear my mind, I would just grab the board and take that route. It led to the ocean and I would sit down by the water and just breathe and daydream about surfing.

    Soon, friends would tell me they had seen me riding, and told me I looked so happy. And the boys told me I should really join them. I really wanted to, so I agreed once. But when I saw the hill they where sliding down, I just gulped. I felt kind of uncomfortable and in the way. They where playing around and trying to pep talk me to just go for it. I tried a couple times, but I never really gave it my all. I found the speed totally scary. And there weren’t any spare helmets and it also started to rain. I kind of felt a pressure, that really was only coming from myself, to have to take this hill on one go. Maybe I could have, but I wasn’t ready mentally or by experience. I got mad at myself, because I really wanted to do it good and show off, but I just didn’t dare to.

    Even if wasn’y my most glorified experience, it didn’t stop me from continuing. And soon an idea started growing in my mind. I really wanted to learn how to surf properly, and to skate more in settings that would inspire me to continue with my art. Surfing stems from Hawaii and there is a huge art scene, and of course you can skate there! So what the hell am I waiting for? I started researching and checking out what kind of budget I needed and how the Island life could be. I didn’t want to rush it either, and made it my goal to go there in the fall of 2013.

    2Catching The DreamI started to save up money and just embrace the feeling that this is a dream that many probably would only dream about, and not make reality. But I am a girl, that doesn’t just talk the talk. I always wanna walk the walk. I put on an art exhibit where I used, surfing, skating, animals, graffiti and hiphop as my inspiration. Just to keep up the motivation, get some extra savings and inspire the cold little town I lived in. I sold out almost the hole exhibit and that just told me, that I’m on the right path. Eventually the months passed and I started getting fed up with living in the tiny town. I loved my job and I loved my friends, but there was something missing. And just looking at videocklips on the internet and painting wasn’t enough. In the fall of 2012, I got an offer to move to Copenhagen with my sister and her current girlfriend, and I jumped at it.

    But when I was visiting a friend, to search for jobs and an apartment, it didn’t go well. I just sat down and thought for a minute. It was gonna cost so much money to do this move. And my main goal is to go to Hawaii. I suddenly started to count, and in 5 minutes I had booked my ticket to Hawaii. It all happened so fast! I made som phone calls and got a plan going. Staying with a friend to save up on rent, I got work an extra montth (I had already quit my job, since I thought I was going to move to Copenhagen) and then I had found this super cheap ticket to Honolulu in february. The universe was talking to me, that this is it. Just go for it, girl! There was no reason to wait any longer when I had everything I needed to get there. When I had booked the ticket, I suddenly jumped up with joy and made my victory dance. Laughing out loud and started to call my family. I’m going to Hawaii in a couple months!

    Later on I found this series of short movies on the net, with a crew of girls that cruised around Spain. I was so fascinated and impressed. Because that is excactly what I wanted to do, and I want to become that good! I looked in further of who had made these videos, and I soon found out that it was Longboard Girl Crew. I found the website and couldn’t believe it! An international crew of fellow girl skaters, all around the world. I felt that this is was excactly what I have been looking for! I knew that girls skated all over the world, but I just hadn’t thought that there would be such a big community. And after seeing those videos, I’ve made another vow; to start and learn how to Down Hill and Dancing as well!

    All these dreams and new goals, is excactly what I want to be pursuing. To make those activities my every day life, and enjoy it to the fullest. For so long I’ve been dreaming of being one of those surfing and skating chicks. Living fearlessly on a board and enjoying every minute of it. Even though I think I have a fear for speed and making a fool out of myself. It is still something I feel a longing for. And I’m sure that these things will give me my bliss. I take that back, I don’t even doubt it will! I’ve been skating on and off since I was fourteen now. But I don’t want to be pushing on the same spot anymore. It’s about time I chase that dream and make it happen. I might not know the lingo or anything about the equipment. But there is a drive and motivation now, that is stronger than ever, to find out. And I hope I can from my story, of going from a newbie to someone who can really rock out on board and enjoy it all the way, inspire more girls to pursue it. And somday in the future skate together and spread the stoke!

    In two weeks I’ll be boarding that plane with a backpack and a small stereo vinyl cruiser, on the 20th of february 2013. Going on the quest of my life so far. My mom always says to me, ”Life is what you make of it”. And my sister has a tattoo that says, ”Love what you do, and do what you love”. Truly motivating stuff! I hope you will want to read more about my adventure, and where those roads take me.

    Lorenza D. Walker

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Discussion 19 Responses

  1. 19/02/2013 at 11:31 pm

    I can totally relate to your story. Loved reading it by the way!
    I’ve been riding for two years now (I have a Globe UNGU Cruiser) and I’m mostly afraid of speed and looking like a newbie as well. I just ride around campus (I’m in college) when it’s empty-ish and no tricks either. Which is why I ride alone, and mostly. I have such a strong drive for it though, I become frustrated with myself when I don’t have time for it or am afraid to pick up speed. And surfing! KUDOS on even giving it a shot! I have always wanted to but I’m afraid of wiping out real bad and losing myself in the water lol.

    I would love to hear how your trip goes, you leave tomorrow! Good Luck! and don’t hesitate to shoot me an email, your story inspires me and gives me hope (:

    Much Love From Another Fellow Girl Longboarder <3

    • 22/02/2013 at 6:18 pm

      Hey Paola! So glad you likd the article, and I’m glad you wrote. We feel the same way, and this is excactly why I wanted to write this! So we can inspire each other, by showing how you can turn that drive and motivation into actual fun and development! I just woke up, and can’t believe I’m here. I’m sooooooo stoked now to just plunge myself into the water and to get ahold of some logboard gear, haha. I would love to keep in touch via mail as well! I’ve attached my mail via this answer, so just feel free to write something, if there is anything else you wonder.

      Take things easy, I like the design of your board (googled it!) and it seems nice to cruise. Maybe check out if there are any fellow girl riders in your community? I’ve come to terms that is totally ok to wipe out, that is apart of learning. Might feel silly, but it will only help you find out what you need to think about when you’r riding! Just keep in riding!

      Malama pono (take care) and BIG LOVE!
      from fellow rider, Lozo

  2. 21/02/2013 at 8:51 pm

    Hey Paola! So glad you likd the article, and I’m glad you wrote. We feel the same way, and this is excactly why I wanted to write this! So we can inspire each other, by showing how you can turn that drive and motivation into actual fun and development! I just woke up, and can’t believe I’m here. I’m sooooooo stoked now to just plunge myself into the water and to get ahold of some logboard gear, haha. I would love to keep in touch via mail as well! I’ve attached my mail via this answer, so just feel free to write something, if there is anything else you wonder.

    Take things easy, I like the design of your board (googled it!) and it seems nice to cruise. Maybe check out if there are any fellow girl riders in your community? I’ve come to terms that is totally ok to wipe out, that is apart of learning. Might feel silly, but it will only help you find out what you need to think about when you’r riding! Just keep in riding!

    Malama pono (take care) and BIG LOVE!
    from fellow rider, Lozo

  3. 26/02/2013 at 12:41 pm

    Hi Lorenza, your story is amazing! I can relate to a lot of things you’re going trough. I surf, skate, snowboard and try to make art myself but it never really gets to where I want it to be. Fear kind of holds me back and this thing called life seems to put all those things in last place. Reading your story gives me a lot of energy and hope to go and do what I love! I’m looking forward to reading more of your adventures!

    Take care!


    • 28/02/2013 at 9:17 am

      Hey Naomi!
      I know excactly what you mean about life putting your dreams for last. And somehow fear can be apart of life living you, instead of you living life! You have to find that balance to both live out your dream and also doing what you gotta do. I hope you can weave in what you love to do, like art, snow,skate and surf into your pattern of life. Keep me posted as well of how it goes. Feel free to ask about anything, exchange tips about art or anything. Live fearlessly, girl!

      Malama pono,

  4. 26/02/2013 at 1:27 pm

    I loved reading your story Lorenza! Skating is one of those hobbies I love to do but I don’t make enough time or make an excuse to not do it because fear of stacking it or just laziness. I love how my mind switches off when I skate so I need to
    make it a priority! You’ve inspired me to really get off my ass! I love the idea of skating around the world and just living. I’m a
    photographer so I can relate to just wanting to create and skate! I can also relate to finding hills scary, nearly busted my ass
    once due to an insane death wobble. It’s so inspiring to read your living your dreams. Wishing you the best of luck in Hawaii!!
    If your ever in Sydney, Australia lets go for a skate.

    Jess :)

    • 28/02/2013 at 9:23 am

      Aloha Jess! There are so many girls out there with the similar thoughts and feelings towards skating. I really wanted to highlight that anything is possible, as long as you out your mind to it. Fear is always going to a factor, because there is always consequences of either the good or bad sort. Either you bomb that hill smoothly and dangerously fast, or you bail, because fear takes over and makes you hesitate. So what I’m trying to live after is to never hesitate. Not only in skating, but also in everyday life. With an open-mind and as little as possible hesitation, you will suceed with anything you put you mind to! :)

      So let’s conquer those hills girl! And take lot’s of pictures on the way : ) I’ll definatly holler if I’ll be in the neighborhood of Sydney, another dream destination!!

      Malama pono!

  5. 26/02/2013 at 4:54 pm

    This article was great. I feel exactly like you! When I first came across the Longboard Girls Crew it completely inspired me to continue without fear and finally become the rad skater chick I’ve always dreamed of being. Reading your article made me realize that there are plenty other girls out there with the same dream and the same challenges to overcome. Right now I live in rural Indiana USA, and I’m in the “saving money” phase myself. I just want to wish you good luck with your journey and stay inspired!! I can’t wait to hear more from you as you play out your life the way YOU want to play it out!!

    • 28/02/2013 at 9:35 am

      Hi Aubrey!
      There is such a big community of girls skating, and it’s awesome. And sometime you just have to find your local ones or even start it yourself! I’m myself trying to find girls who skate in Hawai’i. It feels a little tricky at first, but when I get my own base here it’ll probably be easier. Might have to start something here on my own! That would be so cool! What are you saving up for, mind I ask? (Just because I’m traveling doesn’t mean everyone else is! :))

      Mahalo for wishing me luck! Motivates me, that I can inspire and motivate others aswell!

      One hill at a time and take care!

      • 01/03/2013 at 8:18 pm

        Thanks for the response!

        I’m actually saving up to travel myself :) Can’t wait to pick up and get to a new destination! There’s definitely a veryyyy small group of girls here that longboard, but I’d really like to find a concentrated area where I can push myself to try new scary things on my board everyday! Hawaii has always been a dream of mine, I’m sure you’ll absolutely LOVE living there!

        YES, it’s all about inspiring others and trying to get other girls to discover the “stoke” of longboarding! We’re a growing community and I can’t wait until we take over the world! :)

        • 01/03/2013 at 9:40 pm

          Wherever you travel, you can bring your board! YAY! Just start pushing around the neigbourhood and you’ll find a spot! And my plan, once I settle is to watch youtube vids of slides, dancing etc. Just to get going.

          I wish you well on your saving for travels, it’s exciting! Take over the world girl!
          Catch you on the flipside!
          Aloha, Lorenza

  6. 26/02/2013 at 5:36 pm

    Wow, how inspiring is your story?! amazing, I’ve always had a desire to be one of those amazing skater girls too, and this year i had a few outings with some of my fellow skater(boy) friends! and had my first experience of long boarding. Then the winter arrived and the bitter cold/snow and saving for my own travels sort of got in the way(or i let it)But i’m off to Sydney soon and intend on persevering with skating(possibly surfing?!)in a warmer climate and trying not to worry too much that i look like a right newb! good luck with your journey in Hawaii and Jess feel free to email me if your looking for a skating buddy! :)x

    • 26/02/2013 at 10:13 pm

      Hey Vivienne! When your here in Sydney we must definitely set up a skate date! I have a bunch of friends who are just starting and it’s so much fun! My email is jesspace@ymail.com

    • 28/02/2013 at 9:44 am

      WAY TO GO GIRLS! Glad to see some networking going on! (or skateworking hehe) So awesome to hear your going for it in Sydney. Definatly try out surfing when you can in Sydney! Whatever happens you just fall in to warm and soft water. And everybody starts out as a newbie. We have all (or are) been there! I’m barely there even a newbie on the surfboard. And pale, I need to add. So need to work on not getting sunburned while I’m trying to be gracious. But it is sooo much fun, when you stop thinking about what others think. It is just you, the ocean and board connecting. You just need to get a feel of each other! Even if it is surfing or skating, when you catch that first wave or hill perfectly it is THE BEST feeling, and that is one of the reasons you continue doing it! I’m so glad to hear you where out with your skaterfriends, they can probably teach and inspire you to learn! Keep it up and keep in touch!

      Hawai’i is beautiful, am so ready to find a place to settle down, so I really can focus on the skating and surfing. : ) Good luck with your move to Sydney. Hope you and Jess meet up and bomb some hills!

      Malama pono and Aloha!

  7. 26/02/2013 at 5:39 pm

    P.S that dress your wearing in the photo is possibly the most beautiful item of clothing i’ve ever seen!

  8. 27/02/2013 at 12:04 am

    wooooow, really inspirational your history, i’m from Chile and i’m in the same situation, longboard it’s my passion and Hawaii my dream and you history make me feel with more power for make my dream come true. I wanna follow your history to close and try to make a similar history one day… GOD LUCK!!!

    • 28/02/2013 at 9:48 am

      Kari! Anything is possible! And don’t be afraid to let your dreams come true! Just see what you have to do and need, to make it realized! Feel free to ask for tips, I’ll try and answer as best as I can. Just keep on skating and have lots of fun on the way! You’ll get there girl!!!

      Take care and Aloha!

  9. 27/08/2014 at 9:38 pm

    Never too late to read an inspiring article like this! I love the way we can all connect with each other ! The most important thing is to encourage ourselves to follow our dream !! I’m from Mexico and I am a newbie and also at first was too afraid but then I thought to myself that I have to take every opportunity that I have to push myself to the limit! Love how with some words u can inspire and motivate others to do what they love! Keep doing that Lorenza! Greetings from the Caribbean!

  10. 15/12/2015 at 4:33 am

    I love longboarding: It’s practical. I can go around in a longboard instead of using a car on some days. I’d like to see volleyball or baseball have some direct real life application (okay, the sports kind of have, you can run faster and whatnot but still! It’s different from longboarding’s practicality).

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