Nothing pleases me more than to see a girl cruising along the mean streets of Auckland showing everyone who’s boss. And when a girl new to longboarding nails her first foot stop/slide/corner and cracks a smile you could see from Jupiter, it’s fantastic. But I have to recognize that in my case, and at least a few others in Auckland, I wouldn’t be anywhere if it wasn’t for the boys.
I remember turning up to my first meet, just myself and two other girls amongst a sea of around 30 other blokes, nervous and scared but mostly excited.
Before I had a chance to even squeak my name, a local boarder by the name of Larry strolls on over, takes my board out my hands, and loudly and clearly claims “your board is shit.” Cheers man, much appreciated I reply.
More than enough to send my nervous ass packing back home, feeling more than a little defeated. But what Larry did for me that night I’ll never forget. Screw the shitty board (which, admittedly, was some $40 huck thing from NZ’s equivalent of Walmart), he pushed me along with patience and showed me how to foot break properly, where I needed to be standing on my board, how to make sure my toes were a little over the rail to make it easier to turn. By the end of the night I knew how to take apart the set up on a board and how to put it back together again thanks to Larry, and he’d also sent me home with some borrowed trucks and better wheels (all the better to longboard with, my dear). Two weeks later, he sends me a message – ” I’ve picked up a new deck for you, just pay me back when you can”
I owe my longboarding life to Mr Lawrence Thompson. Despite his stellar first impression he’s become one of people I trust most when it comes to boarding, and I can’t wait to go skating with him any chance the sun’s out (or the lights are on in the carparks). He’s not the only one – the fabulous Jestah, whose patience, kind words and beautiful nature keeps me on my board and my buddy Nigel, whose been the Larry to my friend (and new boarder) Olivia and who I cannot thank enough. I love these guys for all they’ve done, and they’re the reason I’m still kick-pushing today. That, and something Jestah said to me that made me smile:
“Can I just say something – thank you for putting foxy ladies on boards and bringing them out. The level of stoke you girls bring to the meets is awesome.”
Cheers to you Jestah, and to you Nigel, and to you Larry. Right back at you!