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Skateboarding News

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Lizzie Armanto, Poppy Starr Olsen will compete at Monster skate Jam in Sydney

Again, skater girls are what’s hot in skateboarding now. After Lizzie Armanto’s prowess at ABC Australian Championships, Bowl-A-Arama Wellington and Bondi, she has been invited together with Poppy Starr Olsen and a bunch of other girls (all of them, actually) by Hagan McCreath and Darren Hughes for this week-end’s vert jam simply called "Lizzie Armanto Girls Skate Jam".

Hagan and Darren run iSkate Australia and the Monster Skatepark in Sydney. They probably run a lot of other things in skateboarding but we are limited by space (even if space is cheap in web-design..).

So, this interview will focus on Girl Skateboarding, iSkate Australia and Monster, for the rest, we’ll see next time (there will be another opportunity).

isTia.Tv: What is iSkate Australia?
iSkate Australia is a statewide, national and global professional skateboard company. We are dedicated to the progression of skateboarding and the people that skateboard. The iSkate Australia Skateboard Program provides skateboarders with a clear path to achieve their goals. The iSkate Australia School Skateboard Program introduces skateboarding as an acceptable school ‘activity’ or ‘sport’ within a traditional sports curriculum. Our competition circuit allows skateboarders to understand competition formats and promotes skateboarding in councils and communities around Australia. The iSkate Australia Global Tour Program with the iSkate Australia ‘Black List’ exposes iSkate Australia skateboarders to the global movement of skateboarding and provides them with a benchmark for skill achievement. Finally, the iSkate Australia Skateboarder Support Network educates skateboarders on how to be ‘professional’ on and off the skateboard. iSkate provides skateboarders with the appropriate connections in the skateboard
Lizzie Armanto at Bondi. Photo Dean Tirkot.
and action sports industry and assists with managing those relationships.

isTia.Tv: What is Monster Skatepark?
Monster Skatepark has evolved in to an Institute of Action Sports. When we first took over Monster Skatepark it was a very static skate park. We immediately went on the offensive and challenged traditional concepts and ideas about non traditional sports. (Get it?)
We implemented the first indoor foam pit in Australia, we implemented the first residential action sports camp
Poppy Starr Olsen at Newcastle. Photo Dean Tirkot

in Australia, we implemented the first action sport development nights at a skatepark in Australia, we implemented the first trampoline at a skatepark in Australia, we brought the ‘BagJump’ to Australia and we created the first overseas action sports tour in the world. All this was to ensure that we had a dynamic environment for everyone. No matter what action sport. Summer or winter.

isTia.Tv How far is Monster from the Bondi Bowl?
On a good day it’s about 35 min all depends on Sydney traffic...blah

isTia.Tv: What’s growing more, ramp riding or bowl riding?
Bowl skating is getting a lot of media attention at the moment. Bondi ‘Bowl A Rama’ just happened and it was a great event. The ‘Bowl A Rama’ tour is growing which demonstrates that people want more of it and sponsors are willing to back it. Pool or bowl skating is an original element of skateboarding and it’s a great for spectators to watch. The ‘Bowl A Rama’ concept is great because all the locations are near the ocean which gives the nod to surfing (skateboarding’s evolutionary sport) . I know that VERT skating is still alive and well. There is a new generation of ‘vert groms’ on the come up and they are doing some insane tricks all over the world. The next gen are definitely setting the bar at a new level. Bowl and Vert skating cross over well and a lot of the skaters are doing both in competition. Mega Ramp is also attracting a lot of attention. It really helps in the progression of tricks and spins for vert skaters. They go do big that they have more time in the air on the gigantic Mega Ramp is just nuts, straight up hectic! Good luck to all the skaters who roll in down one of those and god speed!

isTia.Tv When was the Monster skate park created?
2006 or 2007

isTia.Tv What do you offer at Monster skatepark?
General Entry: Skating/Riding, Monster Action Sports Academy, Action Sport Development Nights, 1hr Lessons, 1/2 Day and Full Day School Holiday Camps, Residential Holiday Camps, Anti Gravity Sessions, Competitions & Events, Birthday Parties.

isTia.Tv What are the elements of the skatepark (ramps, mini ramp??)?
Spine Ramp, Vert Ramp, Indoor Park, BMX Racing Track, Foam Pit, Trampoline, Resi is coming in May:)

isTia.Tv Who are your regular riders?
Wow! We could name few... Our action sports development nights attract the best up and coming action sports athletes in Sydney and surrounding areas. The skaters and riders enjoy that we support them and provide them with opportunities in their chosen sport. Our residential camp programs attracts leading names in both coaches and skaters/riders, as well as kids from all over Australasia. Our ‘Elite Performance Camps’ have support from the biggest companies in action sports. Companies send their skaters and riders to stay with us for the same week as residential camp and are introduced to our cutting edge action sports coaching theories and concepts. It’s a rewarding opportunity to work with some of the biggest names in action sports through training and encouraging elite action sports athletes. You name it...they have been here.

isTia.Tv When did you meet Poppy Starr and on what occasion?
Hagan McCreath
I met Poppy when iSkate Australia was running the mini skate park section of Bowl A Rama. Poppy had just started skateboarding. I was teaching her to launch of a small wedge ramp and she must have done it for about two hours... She was so committed. I don’t even remember if she landed it or not. I admired her determination and how much she loved to skate.

isTia.Tv When did you start to coach her?
Hagan McCreath
Not long after we met at Bowl A Rama I started coaching her on Friday’s afternoons after school at Bondi Skatepark... We have been hanging out ever since.

isTia.Tv: When did you start to realize that she was really gifted for skateboarding?
Hagan McCreath
I think everybody has the opportunity to be a gifted skateboarder. It all depends on how hungry your are and how much you want it. Poppy works hard at her tricks and takes risks in practice and competition. Poppy constantly pushes her limits of ability and that, allows her to progress to the next level.

isTia.Tv: Are skater girls an important part of Australian skateboarding?
Hagan McCreath
Supporting all skateboarders is an important part of Australian skateboarding. Girls roll in the same skate shoes as guys so they should always have the same opportunities.

isTia.Tv Is the skater girl movement growing and how is it growing?
Hagan McCreath
More and more girls are popping up at skate parks. It’s great! I can imagine what it was like 20 years ago when girls started showing up in the line ups at surf beaches. Look where they are now. Women’s surfing has a full world competition circuit. Female skateboarders must keep pushing themselves in the sport and continue to pressure competition organizers to recognize a female skateboard division. Their acceptance and number in the sport will continue to grow.

isTia.Tv When did you have the idea to do a girl skate jam?
Hagan McCreath
We have a number of talented female skaters that visit the park. When Lizzie’s schedule had an opening we jumped at the opportunity to work with her. We sat down and came up with the girls skate jam concept and Lizzie was stoked. We can’t wait for Saturday, it’s going to be so much fun!

isTia.Tv Who have you invited to participate?
Hagan McCreath:

All Female skaters!!! Beginner to advanced...

isTia.Tv Who’s gonna participate to the Vert Jam?
Hagan McCreath:
All the girls that are skating vert and hopefully some newcomers as well!

isTia.Tv Tell me about the workshops during the vert-jam…
Hagan McCreath:
We are going to work on pumping, kickturns, dropping in, coping scrapes and for the more experienced, front side and backside airs!

isTia.Tv When did you invite Lizzie Armanto? How did she react to your invitation?
Hagan McCreath:
I met Lizzie a couple of years ago at Woodward. We always seem to run in to each other in the US and last year we were on tour and heading down to SD to skate Tony Hawks Vert ramp. We invited Lizzie to meet up and hang out and skate Tony’s ramp with all the iSkate vert groms. We have just stayed friends and when we knew she was coming to Australia we just said let’s do something fun and cool’? She is a great person and an awesome ambassador for skateboarding!

isTia.Tv Something else you want to add?
Hagan McCreath:
‘Be true to yourself and you will never fall...’ Beastie Boys
Thank you Xavier!!
Thanks a lot Hagan!!

More reading:
- Interview with Poppy Starr Olsen

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I skate therefore I am: skateboard pools, pipes, parks, bowls and vert, daily skateboarding news...
posted by Xavier Lannes @ Thursday, February 28, 2013 


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