Dominique Vukorep – Rayne Amazon

Rad Vancouveran Dominique tells us all about her adventures skating all over the world, her local scene and a mini donkey named Gnar. Enjoy

Claudio Uribe photo

Claudio Uribe photo

Hello Dominique, how was your weekend?
Pretty decent got some snowboarding in on Friday, slept in on Saturday. Not that interesting, did some planing for Puerto Rico.

What’s happening in PR?
Racing of course, haha and partying and much needed vacation from work. Brianne and I are planning on renting a car and seeing some beaches and sun. ha

What are you looking forward to most about it?
Seeing people! I am actually not a huge fan of the actual race day, I like to skate closed courses though so that’s why I race. but its the people that keep me coming back for more.

Who are your favourite people to see at events?
I can’t pick favourites, everyone is pretty rad in there own way. That’s the great thing about this sport – it brings so many different people together.

Who is Brianne?
Brianne Davies, all star haha! You must know her right? Brianne is one of my best friends and she was one of the first people I met when I started skating.

Stoke Sisters - Francois Gonthier photo

Stoke Sisters – Francois Gonthier photo

How did you meet?
We officially met outside of skating going to a hockey game, haha it was so long ago. But we knew the same people for a long time, we just never really talked much till that night.

When did you start skating?
I started in 2009. I knew a bunch of people that skated and I was terrified at the thought of going downhill fast on a board. So I decided to challenge myself and eventually skated cypress mountain. Once I got that out of the way my next fear was competition. I hate competing, scariest thing ever. I get mad anxiety so I decided to force myself to race. Danger bay 2009 was my first race.

Is that Cypress hill on steroids?
Nah, it’s actually pretty easy. As its a mountain road its not much faster than 85km, you can get faster if you train people. When I first did it I had only been on a board for 3 months and had no leathers so it was scary as.

How did you get over your fear of speed?
After doing it once (going down cypress) speed was not so scary anymore. You realize its not that bad. Plus the adrenlin you get overshadows the rest.

What did you ride in those early days?
Haha safety board the Evo, its a good board to start with. It’s so stable you could drink a cup of tea and fly down a hill at 100km and not fall off.

Can you please make a video of that?
Haha I should, too bad I ride for Rayne now. Well not ”too bad”, they are awesome, I just can’t be filming tea videos on evos.

Why did you force yourself to race?
I like to challenge myself with things I am afraid of. I don’t want to be held back by fear.

How was Danger Bay 2009?
The event was awesome, the race was less than. I was so wound up that I kicked my board behind me on the go then I ran grabbed it and did it again. Haha was so embarrassed.

Who were the other girls in the competition?
There were 24 girls that year. So I can’t remember them all. But Brianne Davies, Anna O’neil, Katie Neilson, Christan Gregerson, Carly Richardson to name a few and of course the never forgotten Glenna Evens.

Scott Wipperman photo

Scott Wipperman photo

What did you learn from that race?
That I am a spaz… and to breath.

How does your spazness affect your skating?
I am always getting wound up at the last second then trying to take some corner on a line I have never tried before until the race instead of keeping my cool. But hey, that’s part of the game, you’ve got to have the mental game as well as the physical. And my mental head space needs some work. But at the end of the day it’s all about riding a closed road with my friends.

What other races did you do in 2009?
After DB I went to Brittania but I did not race it, I just entered it to get some practice because I was still really new. After I went to Vernon where I got third, then Calgary and Paskapoo where I got first and finished the season with Mary hill where I placed second.

What was responsible for your success?
Luck. and unicorn hair.

Where did you skate outside races?
I skated giants head a lot, British Properties, Mount Seymour and Cypress. All around Vancouver in general. But Giants head is my favourite.

Brad Miller photo

Brad Miller photo

What is special about giant head?
Giants head is a road like no other. Its in Summerland BC, it’s a narrow road with tons of corners and steep. Its great for free riding. The road is just access to a park up top so its not that busy. Its a great place to go for the weekend and just skate for two days straight. However its can be brutal and a lot of skin has been lost on that road. They hold a free ride even on it every year. Ride the giant is a weekend of non stop skating and smiles.

What is the community in Vancouver like?
Pretty big and has grown so much since I started. There seems to be longboards everywhere. I think Bricin has a lot to do with the scene here. He has had a major hand in promoting it for years. And of course having two major board companys like Rayne and Landyatchz helps.

What is the role of Rayne and Landy there?
Both companys are pretty good at making local events to get kids stoked and giving out swag. Running slide jams and so on. When there are shops easily accessible for kids it makes for a good place for them to go and talk skating and try new gear.

Do you have a favourite grom?
Probably my switchback team mate Mike Slota though I don’t think he is a grom anymore. Last year was it for him. He’s a funny kid.

Skating with Alicia - Andy Russell photo

Skating with Alicia – Andy Russell photo

Funny ha ha or ‘’funny’’?
Both?  You get to know people when you  travel with them and you get to see a lot of sides of them. He loves to skate and he is pretty down to earth. I don’t base favourites based on skating ability. He is a rad skater but personality goes a long way in my opinion.

What makes skating in Vancouver special?
There is always someone to skate with. You seem to run into skaters everywhere so always a chance to meet new people. Everyone is welcoming and accomidating. Dry days are special in Vancouver cause it rains A LOT.

Do you like riding in the wet?
I used to back in 2009 but that’s where that ended. I hate being wet and cold. And I always seem to hit my hips in the wet. Not worth it. I started skating for fun and hot sunny days are fun for me. Not cold wet rainy ones.

What is switchback?
Switchback is the raddest skate shop in Canada. They are one of my sponsors but they are more than that. They are like a family. Sadly they are on the island so I don’t get to see them much. But they are huge scene supporters. Last year they did a cross Canada tour and stopped in every province to meet and skate with the kids that buy from the store. It was really great.

Nick Breton photo

Nick Breton photo

Did you get to go on tour too?
Sure did. It was fun. Got to see parts of Canada I have never seen before. Like Winnipeg.

When did you first get a sponsor?
I got hooked up with Switchback in 2010. I was actually always weary about the sponsor thing. Because I started skating as an escape from my work, not as a job and Sponsorship seemed like a job.  I also got a Rayne sponsorship in 2010.

How is being sponsored by Switchback different from the norm?
Because they are like a family. They don’t care how you do, just as long as you go out there, have fun and do your best. They are the most fun group of people to travel with and the most bizarre. I can’t even begin to describe the switch back personalities you just have to experience it.

Justin said something about Ke$ha magic, are you a witch?
I prefer sorcerer. Witches have big warty noses. Ke$ha or die.

Putting the WITCH in sWITCHback! 

Why does being part of the Rayne family not feel like a job?
Rayne is so close to me, I walk by the shop everyday on my way to work. I know these guys outside of skateboarding. When its so local you just get to know people so they become more than a sponsor. Rayne understands that I work full time and I have car payments and rent and such, so my skateboarding sometimes takes a back seat due to work. They have been really good about that. I can’t get out there to every race and event but they still keep me around. I appreciate that a lot.

Scott Wipperman photography

Scott Wipperman photography

How was the 2010 season for you?
Good and bad. 2010 was the best and worst year of my life. I got to travel a lot which was great. Did races in Germany and France. Albamtrieb was one of my favourite courses, however I came down with food poisoning on race day and was puking way too much to even leave the medical tent.
Graveyard call was fun – I got third. Then I got to go to Teutonia. Brianne and I were the first women to ride that hill. And I got the speed record on the course. Which I think was only because I was trying not to puke in my helmet. (may have had way too much to drink the night before, resulting in puking for about 9 hours or so).
Next I went to Newtons where I was crashed into and broke my wrist and tore some ligaments in my knee and ankle, which I was gutted about because it would have been a great race; Bri, Katie and I all qualified in the same second.

I would say the worst thing about that year is Glenna dying which overshadowed most of the year. I had started my skate journey with Glenna and unfortunately the day before i left for Germany she had an accident while skating Mt Seymour. Was probably the worst day of my life. So hence the year being good but horrible at the same time.

How did Glenna’s death change you?
Well, it’s weird it did not seem real for a while. I don’t want to think about how her death affected me but rather how her life inspired me. She was one of the coolest most talented people I ever met.

What did Teutonia feel like?
It was like no road I’d ever been on. It’s not the speed that is scary – I have gone faster. It’s the pavement, your board feels like its going to fly out from under you.

Anna O'Neill photo

Anna O’Neill photo

Canadian girls were killing it that year!
Hell yeahs, I don’t think we had any Candian girls out last year really, well internationally. But this year watch out. haha.

What are the Canadian girls planning for 2013?
Well, I myself am planning on attending as many races as possible. However the girls to watch out for are the lovely Calgary ladies Anna O’neil, Elana Corrigall and Victoria Waddington. These girls have their hearts full in it. And of course Cindy Zhou and Lisa Li their free riding is sick.

Do you freeride?
I try. Problem is, I dont get out much to skate anymore, so racing is what I do most. I find I don’t touch my board in the winter at all so its about 5 months of not skating then I need to re-learn my free riding haha. Puerto Rico is going to be intresting cause I think O have not set foot on my board since end of October.

Where do you plan to race in 2013?
All of the BC circ. Hopefully Mexico. My main goal is South Africa, if I can get the time from work. And if I am really nice to my bosses maybe they will let me have some time for some of the races in South America.

What’s your real life job?
I work for a car insurance company. I deal with breached claims. It’s kind of a drag but it pays my bills and keeps me doing things like skating and snowboarding.

Alysha Frizzell  Photography

Alysha Frizzell Photography

Does anyone ever try to make claims because a skateboarder ruined their car?
Ha yup, all the time. I actually get mad when I see the reason is cause the skater ran a stop sign. They are blowing it for everyone when they do that.

Do you have a licence to catch and torture the offender?
I don’t need a license to do that. That’s just a day off for me. Everyone needs a hobby haha.

Are you a notorious kook killer?
I won’t ever tell.

What do you ride?
Rayne rival with Bear trucks and whatever wheels I am feeling that day. Which is great, I like variety.

What variety of bacon do you like?
When I eat bacon, I prefer maple bacon, thick slice. Sweet and savoury.

Andy Russell photo

Andy Russell photo

Choose 3 numbers between 1-40.
1 ,16 ,32

1 – What do you take with you when you go for a skate?
My skateboard and car cause I don’t walk up hills.

10 – What’s your favourite band?
I am gonna go and Say Less than Jake. I mainly listen to Dj nowadays, I’m a huge EDM fan. Steve Aioki, Martin Solveigh, Swedish House Mafia and the lot.I  love to dance.

32 – Laura Hatwell asks – what makes you a happy skater?
Sunny days and friends.

It’s been super fun talking to you buddy, thanks for being rad. Catch you in Europe this year?
I wish! Maybe in Africa, will pop by for a visit.

Any thank yous?
My sponsors Switchback and Rayne. Brianne Davies for getting me to travel with her and Justin Readings for always being there to skate with.

Who is Justin?
I ride on Rayne and Switchback with him, he also lived in the spare room of my house for the last two years, we became friends that way.

If you have skate babies, can you name one Gnar?
Haha thats a big if. I am more likely to be a crazy lady with a lot of mini donkeys. I will name one of those gnar.