Colleen on Pushing Wood and Doing Good
Daisy: How long have you been skating for?
Colleen: I know for sure I have been serious for a year as of my recent 22nd birthday! I got a helmet from my awesome friend and roommate Paige on my 21st birthday. This time last year I was skating a lot and going further and in more traffic and really wanted a helmet. Having a helmet gave me a bit more confidence too! Anyway, serious for a year exactly and longboarding since 2011 Broadway Bomb (October). I also had a cruiser as a kid but did not go too far.
D: What discipline of skating do you identify with most?
C: Distance pushing. I am unsatisfied with most skates less than 10 miles. I really like checking out neighborhoods in NYC, seeing how people react is awesome and sometimes unexpected, people either love or hate that we are skating in the street. I love street races but I’m still too hesitant in traffic to be great. So again I’m into distance pushing. I like skating with a lot of people far preferably with bridges involved.
Pushing around is a great way to see a city. What are some things you’ve seen on your skateboard that you would have missed had you been in a car?
I think you see more or different things in a car (as a passenger, I don’t really drive). Skating makes you very aware of the pavement, there are all types in the city! Skating the city makes you take different routes and brings you to tons of parks. Skating gives you a better vibe of the city, you see less than from the window of a car. When skating you are almost on autopilot and not thinking but you really feel the neighborhood.
Tell me about the skate scene where you’re from.
My skate scene was, until this summer, Eric Danger Palmer. We did big treks together all over NYC and NJ. We eventually frequented races and had a lot of extended skate friends. Since the fall I have started going to a lot of skate meet ups and meeting most of the NYC skaters. The scene I’m in is people who meet up at Columbus Circle. Then we go skate! Either in the park or down Broadway or wherever.
You just went on your first skate trip, is that correct? What events did you participate in?
Yah! Eric Danger Palmer, Joao Morales y yo all went to Miami in January. We stayed with Andrew Andras and his way too nice family! We hit up South Beach Bomb and UltraSkate. Then we meet up with Blue Sky at the SurfExpo and then finished strong at King of Kona. Awesome time and so many good people, and so much of NYC was out there!
Dang girl! That’s a pretty intense first trip! Tell me about Ultra Skate. What was the format, and how did you do? What other girls were there?
The race was on a Nascar race track in Homestead Florida which is right by Miami. Each lap was 2.2 miles and we circled the course for 24 hours, 9am-9am. To calculate our distance we each had an ankle bracelet on with an RFID chip that counted the laps that were then multiplied by 2.2 and posted in order of who had the most miles. You could stop and start as much as you wanted, the idea was to go the furthest distance in 24 hours.
There were 5 or 6 girls there. The top 4 all broke 100 miles!
When you skate long distances, do you experience more of a physical or mental workout?
Physical, I have the mental pretty set for skates under 50 miles. At the top of the hill you can get pretty tired and your feet can hurt after a few hours. After my first 100 miles at UltraSkate my mental was slowing me more than physical. Uhhh so I don’t know if I answered that. I got a strong mental and physical but when my body really stopped working at 150 miles I lost the mental and physical. SO mental is harder I guess, also I lost a little motivation when I broke the record and it started raining. I should have continued but I had gone too hard during the day and ruined myself.
What did it feel like to cross the finish line after 24 hours?
I was sleeping on the pavement in the last hour, but it felt awesome breaking the record earlier in the night! But the race is slow I kind of knew based on my pace when it would happen so it wasn’t an explosive feeling.
Florida’s premier downhill race and the first of the season, King of Clermont, was blown out a month prior to it’s set date by some kooks getting injured on the course and then being assholes to the residents. King of Kona is Cameron Frazier’s answer to all of the nonsense. Cam somehow put together a sweet-ass event in no time while simultaneously moving to Southern California and still doing everything possible to save Clermont in time for KOC. What was your experience at King of Kona, America’s oldest and most longboard-friendly skatepark, and is it an event you would like to see happen each year?
I totally want this to happen every year it was so much fun! It needs to happen again! I haven’t had enough park practice to really enjoy the place to the fullest and it motivated a lot of my friends and I to get better at skating in a park.
How did the South Beach Bomb differ from the Broadway Bomb?
The course was way flatter and the traffic was way mellower. They had a false start which hasn’t happened in past years of the Broadway Bomb. Very similar vibe all around and super fun. Also not as big and didn’t feel as long.
What is the longest distance you’ve pushed, from place to place, besides UltraSkate?
Eric Danger Palmer and I went ‘Island Hopping’ once. It was probably 30-40 miles. We skated Manhattan, Roosevelt Island, Randall’s Island, Queens, Bronx and we may have even taken the George Washington back to NJ.
What skate plans do you have for this year, and what skate dreams do you have for the future?
In a few weeks I’m going to Puerto Rico to visit my friends Noishh! He helped push me to skate so it will be fun skating with him in PR, parks, hills and I’m excited to explore via a big skate. The day I get back Nielsen, Eric and I are hosting a Skate Race in Hoboken NJ! This is the first event I’m helping to run so I’m so excited!!! We got way more companies to back us than I expected and so many prizes for everyone! After that I’m looking forward to Chief Ladiga in Georgia!!!! There is also a push event thing (I haven’t read all the details) in Florida in April. I am also psyched for the Broad Street Bomb in Philadelphia. And in November an Adrenalina!!!! AHHH! got to train!
Are you interested in learning other disciples or does distance pushing satisfy your need to skate?
Pushing is good for now but I want to be well rounded! I got a moving ollie down pat today!!! I want to be able to slide too! I’m not sick of pushing yet but there is so much more out there!
What other sports did you participate in before skating, and how has it helped you, mentally or physically?
I did typical team sports as a kid which just teaches you to practice. I also did Tae Kwon Do for a long time which helped as well.
What is it like to skate NYC everyday?
The best! You have whatever you need! Traffic, chill, parks, hills, flats, free water at starbucks, nice bike shops that let you borrow a wrench if anything gets loose!
You took third at the Blue Sky Mile Challenge, I heard the prize money was the same for the women as it was for the men. That is so rad, would you like to see the industry follow Blue Sky’s lead on this?
This is difficult for me to decide. YES, because its awesome and it gets more women racing but I’m not SURE if its fair. There is less competition so you have a higher chance of winning, groms and masters did not have an equal prize. But the entry fee is the same for men and women and everyone was eligible for those categories with the equal prize money. Honestly the prize money was a factor in my decision to race with a fairly high entry fee. That race really got me to meet people and start looking at the sport competitively.
Well it sounds like it was a successful practice if it got at least one more female to think competitively about the sport.
What is your role in the Blue Sky family?
In Miami Eric, Joao and I were ‘by ourselves’ since everyone else from Blue Sky was in Orlando for the SurfExpo. We kept joking with Matt about who was team captain. After the Miami Bomb Blue Sky called me to see how everyone did… I then bragged that I was team captain but the guys said I’m just team Mom.
My actual role is to represent the brand in NYC, skate with everyone and just have a good time and let people try the equipment that Blue Sky sells. I have also been helping with drawings of boards for manufacturing which is awesome since I went to school for engineering and I’m using what I have learned.
How does it feel to be part of the Blue Sky Family?
Awesome we are all fairly new skaters with a lot of potential, it really works with a fairly new company with a lot of potential! I like how small and diverse the team is. We don’t get lost or forgotten but we all skate different disciplines and can help each other out.
Surf Expo must have been rad. I’m a geek for trade shows. Did seeing Surf Expo open your eyes to the industry? And please, tell me… how much was Beefy loving the lime light?
Surf expo was awesome! Saw every board and invention I could ever need to. Everyone was really nice and enthusiastic. And everyone liked to party, tons of beers at the end! Beefy was cool and the limelight tired him out!
What are some adventures you’d like to go on with your board?
I want to do a cross country (any country), or something 1000+ miles. FOR SURE eventually. Chief Ladiga will give me a little taste of this so I’m psyched. For those who don’t know Ladiga is a 188 mile race over 3 days.
Tell me about your recent trip to Puerto Rico.
Since I was busy for Guajataca and didn;t get to go to PR with everyone in Janurary I visited Noishh Boom over my spring break. He lives in Aguadilla. We went to 10 skateparks, tons of spots and a few nice hills. He really showed me the whole west coast of PR. We even got to go to Hotel Intercontinental in Ponce, there was a real abandon pool and awesome skating.
And I’ve heard that you’re the first female to sign up for a pretty hefty feet… Tell me about that, when do you leave, what are you expecting?
In July I will be part of A Push to Remember, Skateboarding Across America to End Alzheimer’s. This has been put together by Jack Smith. We will be traveling from Oregon to NYC! Checkout the facebook page for details and updates!
Is there anyone else you want to thank?
My awesome sponsors:
REY Trucks, Seismic Skate Systems and Ghostskate NYC.
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Check out this video of Pamela Lobo from Longboard Girls Crew Costa Rica skating fast a local spot named ‘Berlin’. You should definitely take a look!
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The ‘Copina She Ride’ is coming soon! Get ready girls, because this event will be held on September 6th and 7th. This is going to be rad! Click here to check the event