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Friday, October 7, 2011

AmeeJay Papelera: isTia.Tv interview

AmeeJay at Venice. Photo Ray Rae
Interview AmeeJay Papelera –

isTia.Tv: Age or DOB? AmeeJay Papelera: 19
isTia.Tv: How were you introduced to skateboarding and what got you started?

AmeeJay Papelera: When I was about 5, I saw my brother and his friend skating in the front yard and in my head I was thinking, wow that looks so fun. So one day I saw my brother’s board lying around the house, I took it outside to try it out and the rest was history. It was like love at first ride. I didn’t want to stop after that.

isTia.Tv: Years skating: AmeeJay Papelera: Technically since I was 5 but competitively skating for 9 yrs.

isTia.Tv: Were there any early influences on your skating?
AmeeJay Papelera: Yes my oldest brother was one of my first influences I had on skateboarding, because when I first saw him skate I thought to myself, man I want to try that out it looks so fun, and I tried it out and it sure was a lot of fun! Other early influences I had on skateboarding were Jen O’brien, Cara-Beth Burnside, Vanessa Torres, Eric Koston and one of my brother’s really cute friends Shanan lol.

isTia.Tv: When was the first time you dropped ?
AmeeJay Papelera: The first time I ever dropped in I was 10 years old I was so scared the first time I did it. My dad and uncle built me a 3 ft. mini ramp in our backyard and my dad was there to guide me through the drop in and when I finally did it, it felt so great, it was such a great accomplishment. I was and still am so very thankful for my dad’s full support.

Photo Julian Bleecker from "Hello Skater Girls" forthecoming book.
isTia.Tv: So, you are like those other skaters that have their own backyard bowls; Pedro Barros, Keith Baldassare, Bucky Lasek, Sky Siljeg.
AmeeJay Papelera: For my 10th birthday my dad and uncle built a mini ramp for me in our backyard it lived for a good 3 years, but now my dad has been working on building a new and improved mini ramp, he’s making it about 5 ft. tall and I believe 16 ft. wide, I’ll be helping him with this one this time and we’ll be having a lot more help this time too. I’m pretty excited about it! I can’t wait!

isTia.Tv: You have to invite me when it's finished...How are your parents involved with skateboarding?
Photo Julian Bleecker from the forthcoming book: "Hello Skater Girls".
AmeeJay Papelera: My parents were actually the ones that introduced me to my very first skateboard competition. When I was 9 my parents found an All Girls Skate Jam Ad in a magazine; the All Girls Skate Jam is simply an all girl skate competition and they told me about it and asked me if I was interested, in the back of my head I was thinking, “woah there’s other skater girls out there, that’s awesome” I said yes I wanna do it, even though I was extremely shy when it came to meeting new people, I did it and had a good time. I think my parents realized how much I was into skateboarding and saw how much I loved it and how attached I was to it and they supported me 100%. They have always been there for me even though, in the beginning I was very shy and got intimidated when doing skate competitions, their full support was still there and I am just so thankful and so blessed to have awesome parents that give me their full support, without them I don’t know where I’d be.

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isTia.Tv: How good were you at school?
AmeeJay Papelera: I wouldn’t say I was the worst and wouldn’t say I was the best but I was ok in school, grades wise anyway, my highest gpa was a 3.1 that was just my senior year, other high school years gpa was like in the 2.7 range ha …I’m in college now and I think I’m doing much better than in high school, it’s challenging but I’m enjoying it.

isTia.Tv: Let’s talk about your involvement in competitive skateboarding. Are contests important for you?
AmeeJay Papelera: They are pretty important to me, because I get to meet people from all over the world,
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I get good exposure and I get to just skate and have a blast with everyone and feed off of everyone’s energy. I love the vibe of competitions… Its taken me a while to get used to the competition scene, but as I grew up I realized skateboarding is really something I love to do and while being at competitions I’m surrounded by so many people that have the same love for skateboarding as I do and it’s just an awesome feeling.

isTia.Tv:How many contests have been in?
AmeeJay Papelera: hmm ah man, I’ve been in a lot, too many to count lol.

isTia.Tv:Do you often go to contest?
AmeeJay Papelera: I try to go to as many contests as I can, my dad is one of my biggest supporters and he helps me find upcoming contests and he always finds a way to support me financially for the competitions I do. I’m always so appreciative and thankful for him.

Ameejay at Venice Skate Park. Photo unknown.
isTia.Tv:Do you like contests?
AmeeJay Papelera: For the most part yes, I enjoy contests very much! They’re fun to be at and to be apart of and I like seeing the different levels of skating I build inspiration and a drive to progress when I see high levels of skating, I get so stoked, its awesome.

isTia.Tv:Is it important to go to contests?
AmeeJay Papelera: Yeah it’s pretty important for me because I get exposure for both my sponsors and me and I just have a great time skating with everyone.

isTia.Tv: Your best contests ever?
Venice Skatepark. Photo Ray Rae
AmeeJay Papelera: Best contest ever, hmmm, probably would have to say the Girls Combi Pool Classic. Last year was the first annual Girls Combi Pool Classic and it was so much fun, there were so many skater girls it was amazing I was stoked to be apart of it for sure.

isTia.Tv: Your worst contests ever?
AmeeJay Papelera: Hmmm, probably any street contest Ive ever entered. I always felt out of place because it isn’t really my thing..

isTia.Tv: Best contest memory
AmeeJay Papelera: Probably my very first time doing the Oregon Trifecta back in 2006, I drove up with my friend Cara and my dad, that was such a fun trip and the contest was full of great energy and fun I had a blast and met lots of people it was a good time for sure.

isTia.Tv: Worst contest memory?
AmeeJay Papelera: Uhmm none that I can think of off the top of my head..

isTia.Tv: What are the more important contests of the circuit?
AmeeJay Papelera: X-Games, Dew Tour, Coastal Carnage, Pro-Tec, and recently for the gals The Girls Combi Pool Classic.

isTia.Tv: Do you go to every contest of the WCS?
AmeeJay Papelera: I try to as long as my parents/sponsors can back me financially, if I cant back myself.

isTia.Tv: Do you go to the Dew tour contests?
AmeeJay Papelera: No.

Abby Zsarnay and AmeeJay Papelera. Photo Chris Zsarnay.
 isTia.Tv: What are the 5 more important contests of the season?
AmeeJay Papelera: Florida Bowl Riders, Trifecta, X-Games, Tim Brauch Memorial, Girls Combi Pool Classic

isTia.Tv: Do you surf? Snowboard?
AmeeJay Papelera: I’ve tried surfing with my dad, like he’s tried to teach me but I just don’t stay consistent with it, its pretty challenging I don’t have much upper body strength so I gotta work on that lol and snowboarding man I haven’t gone snowboarding since I was like 12, hopefully this coming winter I can go snowboarding though, lets see as far as other sports nothing else I used to be in track & field in high school that was about it. Im all about skateboarding though for sure!

isTia.Tv: Favorite Music?
AmeeJay Papelera: Reggae, Ska, Rock, Punk, Indie, Hip-Hop, Old School Rap

isTia.Tv: Favorite band?
AmeeJay Papelera: Sublime, Steel Pulse, Bob & Ziggy Marley, Jack Johnson, Phoenix, The Cure, Rancid, Nicki Minaj, TuPac

isTia.Tv: What’s sick: AmeeJay Papelera: Skateboarding, music and the beach

isTia.Tv: What’s not sick: AmeeJay Papelera: fake people

isTia.Tv: Metal or Pool? AmeeJay Papelera: Pool fa sho!!

isTia.Tv: Loose or tight trucks?
AmeeJay Papelera: I like em right in between loose and tight, more toward loose though..

isTia.Tv: Wheels size? Durometer?
AmeeJay Papelera: Recently 58 mm I like em veddy much!

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isTia.Tv: Sponsors: Syndicate Skateboards, Continuous Clothing, Mother and Father ;]. My sponsors are all very supportive, they get my name out there and I get pretty good exposure by them and they supply me with product when I need it and sometimes pay for contest entry fees I’m very thankful for them! My board sponsor contacted me through the interweb and my clothing sponsor approached me at Volcom Skate Park in Costa Mesa.

isTia.Tv: Do you feel you have fewer sponsors because you are a girl? Do you feel that if you were a boy, you would have more sponsors?
Photo Julian Bleecker from the website Hello Skater Girl "From the Tim Brauch Memorial Contest, 2011 edition —
this is one of my favorite shots, even though I almost got my eyeball killed (not really..) and shows one of the hazards
(I suppose) of using a fisheye *and my little petty insistence on actually using the viewfinder on my DSLR."
Julian Bleecker. Read More on Hello Skater Girl Website
AmeeJay Papelera: No. I just think there’s different levels of skateboarding between the guys and gals, and I guess being a girl skater with potential to skate well, so to say is beneficial for us so that we can have sponsors, some companies look for a certain style in people, it all just depends, attitude is key I think.

isTia.Tv: Besides skateboarding, what do you like to do in your spare time?
AmeeJay Papelera: I enjoy chillin’ with friends, going to the beach, drawing and painting

isTia.Tv: Who are your favorite old school skaters?
AmeeJay Papelera: Hosoi, Cab, Lance Mountain, DP, Alva

Julz Lynn, AmeeJay Papelera, Julie Westfall, Abby Zsarnay, Allysha Bergado, Lizzie-Armanto.
Photo Chris Zsarnay
isTia.Tv: What’s your favorite trick?
AmeeJay Papelera: front smiths!!! <3

isTia.Tv: What trick are you trying to do?
AmeeJay Papelera: Front side tuck knee & back smiths

isTia.Tv: New trick you just learned?
AmeeJay Papelera: Front side sweeper

isTia.Tv: What’s the most difficult trick you have done?
AmeeJay Papelera: No comply tail slide

isTia.Tv: What is your favorite surface to skate?
AmeeJay Papelera: Concrete baby!

isTia.Tv: What’s your favorite skatepark?
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AmeeJay Papelera: Usually it would be my home park Caruthers it’s small but hella fun or Houghton in LB, recently I’ve been skating Volcom in Costa Mesa a lot I love that bowl, my favorite skatepark right now would have to be Costa Mesa!

isTia.Tv: Do you wear pads and helmets in a pool/skatepark/bowl?
AmeeJay Papelera: Yes because it saves me from brutal injuries!

isTia.Tv: Have you skated backyard empty pools?
AmeeJay Papelera: Yeah, Ive skated the Burger Bowl with some of the gals and Ive skated my neighbor’s empty pool he had it drained and asked if I wanted to skate it and I was like hell yah ha that was the first legit backyard pool I’ve skated it was pretty fun oh and I’ve skated Ben Butler’s pool too that thing is pretty gnar.

Cara-Beth Burnside Frontside Air on the cover of Thrasher August 89. Photo: Cavalheiro.
The issue was featuring the best 100 pools ever...
isTia.Tv: Do you skate backyard empty pools often?
AmeeJay Papelera: I don’t skate backyard pools too much but whenever I get a chance to I do!

isTia.Tv: What skate videos do you like?
AmeeJay Papelera: My favorite skate vid used to be Yeah Right, but my favorite one now is Cheese and Crackers, Daewon and Haslam can do some shit, its mind blasting!

isTia.Tv: Where do you like to skate?
AmeeJay Papelera: I enjoy skating my home park because it’s where I grew up skating and it’s always cool to skate with the homies!

isTia.Tv: Who do you like to skate with?
AmeeJay Papelera: I like skating with anyone that’s encouraging and anyone that can push my level of skating and also anyone that can just have fun and be stoked to skate!

isTia.Tv: Are there skaters that are so impressive that you just stop and watch them?
AmeeJay Papelera: Ohh yah, Cab, Hosoi, Steve Reeves, Kowalski, Brent Atchley, my team mate Josh Viles...

isTia.Tv: What magazines do you read?
AmeeJay Papelera: The Skateboard Mag, Thrasher, Transworld, Vice

isTia.Tv: How long do you spend skating every day?
AmeeJay Papelera: Probably 1 and a half to 2 hours

isTia.Tv: How long do you train in vert/bowl/park?
AmeeJay Papelera: Usually I just skate until I get extremely tired which is usually around 1 and a half to 2 hours lol.

isTia.Tv: How long do you train in street?
AmeeJay Papelera: Not too much...

isTia.Tv: Why do you like so much vert and less street?
AmeeJay Papelera: Well I just love transitions I have grown quite fond of tranny skating, whether it be vert or bowl. When I started skating it was all about street and then transition came into my life I liked it a lot better and fell in love with it, bowl to be specific, because I love the speed and love flowing and carving and grinding on coping, it just feels good!

isTia.Tv: What’s better riding bowls than vert?
AmeeJay Papelera: I love riding bowls a lot more because I enjoy flowing and carving and being one with the bowl lol and its fun throwing tricks in there while still being able to flow too it’s pretty rad, with vert your just going back and forth, I just like variety.

isTia.Tv: Do you prefer lines or tricks?
AmeeJay Papelera: I think both go hand in hand, wish I had more tricks up my sleeve though.

isTia.Tv: Do you prefer doing more tricks or having more style?
AmeeJay Papelera: I mean I love doing tricks and putting my own steeze to it, style always makes skating fun!

isTia.Tv: Have you suffered any injuries in skate? What was the worst injury?
AmeeJay Papelera: Yes, worst injury I tore my ACL back in ’08. Brief story I was skating carelessly, I was unbalanced had no pads on jumped off my board as my feet hit the transition my knees went left as my torso went right and I heard a snap in my right knee and I was like “what the hell did I just do.” I was so mad at myself, went to the doc, I got Xrays done then MRI’s and he told me I tore my ACL and wont be able to skate ever, which was devastating but there was a solution which was surgery, I was scared but glad I had my mom there to tell me it would be a good idea, anything to get me back on my board. The thing that sucked was I couldn’t get the surgery until the growth plate in my knee filled in so I went through PT and couldn’t skate for like 6 months finally it filled and I got the surgery done on 9/9/09. I had to go through hell but it was worth it because I just wanted to be able to skate again, I went through more PT for about 8 months then I finally got to skate! It was like a breathe of fresh air when I got to skate again.

isTia.Tv: List of your injuries?
AmeeJay Papelera: Sprained ankles and wrists, strained crotch, whip lash, heel bruises, nothing too major. The only major one I’ve had was the torn ACL.

isTia.Tv: So far, what have been some of the highlights of your skateboarding career?
AmeeJay Papelera: I’d have to say all the great opportunities that have come my way this past summer its been fun and such a great honor I love skateboarding!

isTia.Tv: Do you have a special diet?
AmeeJay Papelera: Eh not really haha I love me some meat and fruit though

isTia.Tv: What do you have planned for this year?
AmeeJay Papelera: Plans for this year, land front side tuck knees and back smiths, be more consistent in skateboarding and school, get a job, build a portfolio and make some more artwork.

isTia.Tv: Tell me about “Girls Just wanna Grind”.
AmeeJay Papelera: It is simply a documentary about the lives of girl skaters and what they are all about and just getting the word out there that we girl skaters do exist and shouldn’t be treated any less than the guy skaters.

isTia.Tv: Is there a difference about how skaters treat girls in skatepark?
AmeeJay Papelera: Yeah I think so. Guys are either thinking why is there a girl here and some are like oh cool a skater chick right on and usually the positive one is the case, it’s probably different for everyone but I remember this one time one of my buddies telling me that whenever the dudes at the park see me skate they make lewd comments about my ass and they’re all talking dirty about me, and I told him f*** them whatever like as long as they don’t mess with me I’ll be good and he was like I wont let anything happen to you. It’s cool to have guy friends that have your back.

isTia.Tv: Is there a difference about how girls are treated in the industry?
AmeeJay Papelera: I think there is a difference because the level of girls skating is different from the guys and when it comes to a prize purse its extremely different, and also we don’t get good coverage let alone any, the girls you see in the skate magazines, if any, are like girls flaunting their goodies when it should be girls flaunting their skate skillz son!

isTia.Tv: What’s the difference between boy’s style and girl’s style?
AmeeJay Papelera: Umm well it could be distinguished in many ways everyone has their own unique style..

isTia.Tv: Do you have to be a tomboy to be a girl skater?
AmeeJay Papelera: No you really don’t have to be, but I think being a girl that skates kinda makes a girl a tom boy internally…I remember when I started really getting into skaing I was such a big tom boy like big time I wore boys clothes all the time and for a long time I hated wearing dresses and skirts, but I finally grew out of that phase when I started crushing on guys lol.

isTia.Tv: How did you feel when ESPN cancelled the Women’s XGames?
AmeeJay Papelera: I was in shock and couldn’t believe it, I was like what’s happening, why is this happening.

isTia.Tv: ESPN Says they cancelled the Women’s XGame because of a lack of competitors… Do you think that’s true? When you remove the 15-20 best female bowl riders of Southern California, what’s the level of girls skateboarding? Have you heard about female bowl rider outside of California ?
AmeeJay Papelera: I think that’s false because there are sooo many girl skaters out there now that shred, like their level of skating is up there people are just to blind to see it I guess, people need to open their eyes and look at the talent us ladies have to offer on our boards.

isTia.Tv: Can you tell us about that high jump record that you once had?
AmeeJay Papelera: Ahh haha yeah, I got this back in 2007 SPAUSA (Skate Park Association of USA) was putting on an event, in Venice, of skate records and I attended it and I like doing hippy jumps there fun and challenging and so I went for that record and beat the women’s record for high jump in 2007. The height was 40 in. 101 cm. It was pretty rad!

isTia.Tv: Lizzie Armanto and Allysha Bergado are almost invicible… What do you plan to beat them in the next contest (Protec…)
AmeeJay papelera: Yahh they’re up there very consistent, they have many tricks up their sleeves it’d be tough to beat them sukkas haha.

isTia.Tv: Do you think Skateboarding can be at the Olympics? Would that be a good thing for skateboarding?
AmeeJay Papelera: Oh yah I think skateboarding does have potential to be in the Olympics for sure. It would be good for skateboarding because its shinning a different light and other people not of the skate world will be witnessing the amazingness of skateboarding and it could make skateboarding more acceptable in the world if people give it a chance.

isTia.Tv: Shout outs and thanks
AmeeJay Papelera: I wanna thank God for giving me strength, I wanna thank my amazing parents Phil and Ronda for all their great support and unconditional love and being there for me when I need them, I wanna thank my awesome sponsors Syndicate and Continuous for all their support and everything they have done for me and I wanna thank anyone that has encouraged me thank you sooooo much! Much love.Peace.

To see more pictures of AmeeJay, log on to Ray Rae Website...  
The pictures from Ray Rae and Julian Bleecker are used with permission only. Thanks guys!

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