Victoria is an ex figure skater turned skateboard addict. She tells us about the community in Calgary, riding for Rayne and being a party demon. Bitches Gonna Skate!Happy new year Mama Vikki!
Haha and to you as well! Did you have a solid celebration?
Watched fireworks on tv, you?
Not bad! Fireworks are always cool! I had a pretty mellow New Years, but it was nevertheless fun! I hung out with one of my best friends here in Calgary, drank a lot of wine and tried to light a campfire in the snow haha.
Did you have a fun Christmas?
Oh man, Christmas was amazing. I flew out to Kelowna for a couple of days to visit my family. It was really nice to have a break from working 2 jobs here in Calgary… I ate and slept a lot over the break! Always love hanging out with my family, they’re awesome!
Are you a regular worker in the day and a super-heroine at night?
How did you guess?! Haha I do work both in the day and at night right now… it’s challenging sometimes, but super worth it!
You’re a stoke vigilante?
Aww yeah, spreadin’ the stoke wherever I can! Haha, it’s a tough life I live.
“It’s always easier to make it through tough times when you can seek out the good in any situation and focus on that.”
What keeps you strong when life gets tough?
Good friends, music and the power of positive thinking! It’s always easier to make it through tough times when you can seek out the good in any situation and focus on that.
What’s your favourite band?
Oh man, that’s tough. There are so many epic musicians and bands out there! I’ll listen to almost anything, but at the moment I’ve currently been digging the Growlers and ‘The Black Lips’. They sort of represent the ‘surf rock’ genre, and really epic to skate along to! You should check ‘em out… so good! I still occasionally listen to some pretty crazy 90’s stuff for fun. Aqua and the Spice Girls come out when I’m feeling especially blue… no shame haha.
Haha. You sound like a Nickleback fan!
Oh god no.
Does the music affect the skating?
I don’t necessarily think it affects your skating, but it certainly enhances the whole experience. I often times will skate alone, and always prefer having a bit of music to keep me company. For freeriding, chilled-out beats will get me stoked… in downhill, louder, punk-rock jams always seem to convince me that going faster is better! Skating without music is always a good time, but a good song will always take it to the next level.
“Learning from them (SHM) and watching how they skated these incredible roads really was the defining factor for me. All I could think was, “I have to do this, I have to. I’m going to make it happen”.
How did you get into skateboarding?
I bought my first longboard (a Sector 9 pintail) in May 2011, back when I was still figure skating competitively. At the time I knew no one in the sport, and was just looking for another form of transportation besides walking or riding a bike! Out of curiosity, I wondered if people could actually take lessons for skating, so I googled it, haha! That’s where I found Paul (Kent), who agreed to meet with me and teach me some of the basics. Pushing, footbraking, taking corners… it was such a good time. He invited me out to one of Royal Board Shop’s weekly skate clinics, where I met the community. People were working on everything from footbraking to switch toe checks; I had no idea these things were even possible on a skateboard! Everyone was instantly accepting, and seemed like they genuinely wanted to help me learn something – it was really refreshing!
I also met Anna that night, who was really awesome and down to earth. After the session, she dragged me to one of our local ‘beginner’ hills and basically told me I was going to do it, no excuses. After that night, I’d basically fallen in love with the sport. A little later on, I took a trip down to California (non-skate related, but brought a board just in case), where I met the SkateHouse crew. Learning from them and watching how they skated these incredible roads really was the defining factor for me. All I could think was, “I have to do this.,I have to. I’m going to make it happen.” Also, skating with Elena and Anna really made it a good time, every time.
Wouldn’t roller skates or inlines have been the logical evolution for a figure skater?
Haha sure, that would have been more logical! Until I found longboarding, I never wanted to pursue anything but figure skating… roller skates never came to mind! Maybe because skateboarding was so different, I found it so intriguing.
Were you an Olympian?
Never made it that far! That was always my goal; I’d step onto the ice for practice everyday, thinking that I would one day be competing and representing Canada in the Games.
Did any of your skills cross over?
Figure skating is extremely technical and because of that you develop a lot of body awareness; I’d like to think that having that awareness has made it a little easier for me to learn new things on a board!
Can you do really fast standups like a piroutte?
Pirouettes… now you’re talkin’ about ballet! But I catch what you’re saying haha – I’ve been working on freeriding a ton in the past few months. Standups are amazing and so much fun, but I’m usually cruisin’ pretty slow when freeriding! That being said, it’s a goal of mine to eventually tackle the same hills we would normally do ‘hand’s down’, but stand-up.
Was it scary when Anna took your hillginity?
No! I wouldn’t have it any other way haha! Funny enough, on the very first attempt at going down the hill together I got major wobbles and completely took her out! She got the worst of it, with road rash covering both of her forearms… I felt so bad! But she just smiled and said, “lets try again”. I thought she was mental.
How long did it take for you to upgrade your pintal?
I believe it took a couple months. After the pintail, I bought a Rayne Demonseed (the ‘Long Treks edition), which for my short stature ended up being way too long a board for me! But nonetheless I was stoked on it and took it to my first ever race, Danger Bay 2011.
Were you ready for Danger Bay after a few months of skating?
Haha well, we all made it down the hill alive, if that counts for anything! Honestly the very first race was more about the overall experience and testing the waters. I crashed hard in carnage corner more times than not, but with so much support and love from everyone to ‘get up and keep going’, the experience remained fun!
Were you and Elena the only first timers?
No, there were 2 other girls (part of the original BGS crew) with us- Tia and Maia. It was also their first racing experience! Maia actually killed it, and ended up winning the title… she was stoked!
“I really learned that trusting in your own abilities and confidence is key. The first few runs were terrifying, until I said “fuck it” and let go of any worrying that went on in my head. After that, it was a blast!”
What lessons did you gain from the experience?
I was completely immersed in the whole experience, so really got a huge taste of what this sport was about… it was amazing to me! As for making it down the course, I really learned that trusting in your own abilities and confidence is key. The first couple runs were terrifying, until I pretty much just said “fuck it” and let go of any worrying that went on in my head. After that, it was a blast!
Letting go is a big lesson I learned from that experience (not just for skating, but for life as well) and still take it with me wherever I go.
Did Paul and Anna infect you with Long Trekking?
They’ve certainly inspired me to try out endurance racing, something I’m very keen on doing a lot of in the coming year.
What is the BGS crew?
Elena, Anna and I! We’re the original Calgary female downhill crew. Bitches Gonna Skate!
What else did you get up to in 2011?
Apart from getting to know the skate community, I continued to pursue figure skating; going to the rink for a couple hours a day was a regular thing! There was an important competition being held in the fall of 2011, so I was training really hard for that. Besides figureskating and longboarding, I was taking classes at a community college here in Calgary. It was a super busy but hella good year.
What’s the community in Calgary like?
It’s super tight! Almost everyone in the community knows each other and skates together regularly. I’ve always considered it more of a giant family than anything else! We have freeriders, downhillers, skateboarders… everyone is extremely accepting and willing to help you learn something new. It’s really unique; there’s so much love and connection in the Calgary community.
What typifies Calgarian skaters?
It’s hard to say one thing… we’re all pretty fuckin’ happy, all of the time haha! But honestly we’re all just skating and trying to experience the same level of stoke as any other skater wants to feel!
Is Calgary a safe city?
Super safe! As long as you’re somewhat street-smart, walkin’ through downtown at night ain’t no thang. The city as a whole is quite friendly too; people are all so kind, to the point that it’s strange not to smile at someone walking past you on the street, or not to wave “thank you” in a car if someone slows down to let you into their lane of traffic. It’s awesome… super proud to call it my home!
Is skating now your number 1 love?
There isn’t a day where the thought of racing, coasting down a hill or hitting a mini ramp doesn’t go through my mind. Its funny to say, but it really has consumed me; I’m ok with that. Definitely my #1 love.
What did you set out to do in 2012?
2012 was a year of transition for me. After training at the ice rink for hours on end every day, I was becoming super stressed and upset that my skill as a figure skater seemed to be plateauing. I decided to take a break from competing, and in March of 2011, set off to California for a month long trip. The goal was to merely be on my own, adventuring and wandering in a place I’ve always wanted to explore. I ended up hanging out at the SkateHouse for some time, which really gave me all the stoke to pursue longboarding fully.
After coming back home, I really felt I needed a change – longboarding brought me so much happiness and peace, while still having that competitive edge that I love. The remainder of 2012 was focused on making the decision to discontinue figure skating, and absorb myself into the skate community.
What is it about Cali that keeps you going back?
Ahh, California. It’s a skater’s dream! The hills are beyond incredible – long, technical and ever so flowy. You’re constantly challenged, and it teaches you to be comfortable with going a little too fast at times! Apart from it’s heavenly roads, the weather, ocean; interesting, ever-changing topography and the hippies keep me going back!
Have you ever regretted choosing us over the rink?
Never. I do miss figure skating sometimes, and occasionally hit the ice again when the urge is strong! But ever since being a part of this skate community, I’ve never looked back. Skateboarding just feels so “right”. It constantly gives me things to look forward to, and makes me feel like I’m on a path, working towards something great. It’s a crazy journey that I feel is just beginning.
Where does the path end?
It’s a mystery to me! Honestly I don’t think it will ever end. Every day the path seems more and more defined, and the reason for why I skate makes more and more sense. I’m trying to envision what the end of the path looks like, but it’s impossible!
What do you hope you find on this path?
This is getting deep! I hope to continue to develop amazing connections with people in the community, and to challenge how far (skillwise) I can go in this sport. Like anything in life though, I’ve learnt not to expect too much, and to just continue walking along whatever path makes you feel like you’re being the best version of yourself possible.
Are skaters your favourite thing about skating?
Community is really important to me, maybe because I felt it was always something that figure skating lacked. In figure skating, you’re out there, alone on the ice, competing against others and you really fend for yourself… there’s a lot of ‘catty-ness’ that happens at the rink too, and competitors often seemed so cold. Longboarding has such a strong and overwhelmingly accepting community behind it – it was really nice to feel so much support from everyone instantly. There are other things I love about skating; the speed, the freedom, the competition and technicality… but the skaters are rad.
What events did you attend in 2012?
That year I believe I attended Danger Bay, Jakes Rash, Whistler, Vernon, the Maryhill “She-Ride” and a couple other local events! It was such a crazy year, hard to remember everything that went down.
What is a she-ride?
A huge gathering of female riders, taking over a hill to shred together – no boys allowed! The She-Ride at Maryhill was such a cool experience; ladies came from all over the globe to connect, learn and to have a good time skating this epic road together.
Is it important for ladies to get time together on their boards?
It’s not entirely necessary to dedicate time to skating strictly with other girls, but it sure feels nice sometimes! I feel like it can help you connect on a deeper level with other female riders, and it’s really nice to talk about girly things sometimes haha! The vibe at an all-girls skate session is quite different too; its refreshing, sometimes.
Does an all girls event feel different?
I found the atmosphere was much more relaxed than your average freeride would be. There was no pressure to perform, ride harder than anyone else or feel wary about skating with the guys. It was all about having fun, learning, showing support and sharing stoke with one another!
What were you riding?
Last year I rode a Rayne Amazon that George (Mackenzie) gave to me, after mentioning to him that I was looking for a different (and smaller) deck. It was a fantastic board; I fell in love instantly! It was perfect at the time; the Amazon is a killer downhill deck, which also hosts a super comfy freeride shape as well.
How did you fare in those BC races?
In 2012, I remember doing alright, but never podiumed. After the season was done, I made some goals for the same races in 2013, which I worked hard at achieving slowly but surely. The 2013 season was super exciting; it was awesome to start seeing some of my hard work produce results!
What did you set out to achieve?
I thought about the technical aspects of racing, first and foremost; what’s required to be the fastest off the line, how to steer with ease, lines, aerodynamics… basically everything haha! After coming up with some ideas, goals I set were related to having a powerful push, being super still, etc; I really strived to achieve better results in the races this past year, and figured if I worked on the little things (mentioned above), those goals wouldn’t be as hard to achieve.
How did the year go?
2013 has been the best year of my life so far. A couple days after New Year’s, I set out again to California, this time for 4 months with the goal to improve in all aspects of skating; downhill, freeriding, dancing… I travelled up and down the coast, basically attending events and trying to skate everything possible! That was a crazy, crazy trip. Literally a couple days before Danger Bay, I arrived back in Canada, to a new house in Kelowna which my parents had purchased while I was away. I hit Danger Bay, and racing continued all throughout summer; I’d drive to an event and sleep in my little Toyota Matrix half the time, to save some money! In between racing, a lot of time was spent skating Giant’s Head, an incredible hill that I’m so blessed to live only 20 minutes away from. Some of the Rayne team (Patrick Switzer, Mischa Chandler, Aidan Lynds and Ian Russell) stopped by in town for a really epic weekend of skating Giants Head – over 45 runs were had in that weekend. That was definitely a highlight of summer for me. Apart from that, 2013’s just been a crazy blur of skate, travel and meeting rad people, with lots of unforgettable times.
What is your current favourite setup?
Rayne Fortune (sanded down so it’s a little smaller), Aera K4 trucks, Venom bushings and ‘These’ DH or freeride wheels, depending on what we’re skating! SUPER stoked on that setup.
Are any of those your sponsors?
I ride for Rayne Longboards, who help me out with boards and such! Additionally, I also ride for Royal Board Shop.
When did you join the Rayne family?
Les and I started talking in March, while I was still in California. When some of the team came down for the San Pedro Festival of Skate, we met up and it basically began from there! Love the Rayne family.
What’s your role in the gang?
My role? That’s hard to say!
Are you a party demon?
Haha, oh I like to party. Definitely won’t hold back when I’m having a good time!
What are your plans for this year?
This year will be incredibly busy… along with training, skating and racing as much as possible, I’ll most likely be working full time in order to afford attending a multimedia-based school program in the fall. The program I’ve picked teaches a mix between videography and photography, creating a business, marketing that business and so on. Looking forward to being able to create some awesome videos in the future!
Do you do any skate media?
I’ve been working on a couple edits, slowly but surely. Recently it’s been hard to find the time to learn all the fancy software editing programs, but hopefully I’ll get back to them soon! I’d really like to pursue producing skate media in the future.
What do you do when you’re not skating?
When I’m not skating, I’m either at work, working out or kickin’ it in my zone haha. That last one usually consists of reading, searching for new music, drawing or being a space cadet.
Haha. Victoria Spacey.
It really should be my middle name.
Pick 3 numbers.
3, 17, 9.
3 – What crime are you most likely to go to prison for?
Haha probably for doing something outwardly crazy deemed not acceptable in public, because I’ve been partying too hard. That’s most realistic.
17 – VICTORIA, WHAT IS YOUR SECRET?
Oooh, I won’t give it away that easily.
How about for a bacon bribe?
Make it maple bacon, and we’ve got a deal.
9 – if you could have any super power what would it be?
Teleportation, for sure! Just think… California tomorrow, Brazil next weekend… the possibilities would be endless! Hell, I’d even go to outerspace.
Tori! It’s been really really fun having this conversation with you. See you and your little feet around somewhere soon!
Thanks! It was super great chattin’ with you too! I’m sure we’ll see each other soon.
Any last words?
Just wanted to say an enormous thank you to SkateHouse for hosting me this past Spring – being around the skaters I’ve always looked up to was incredibly inspiring and beyond amazing. I’m so grateful for everything.
Big thanks to Rayne, Royal and everyone that’s been supporting me along my skate journey! Y’all are rad, and I definitely wouldn’t be where I am without you. Much love!
That is all.
What’s your party trick?
Haha I shall never tell. Gotta come to Canada to find that answer!