Our sister from the Philippines – Kimz, tells us all about how she got into skate, the LGC in her country, hammocks, bacon and the biggest family of longboarders ever.
Where did you go?
I went to Dumaguete City, it’s one of the best places I’ve been to! The locals were really nice and accommodating.
Where in the world is that?
Haha! It’s a city here in the Philippines! You should come visit us!
What’s it like over there?
It’s pretty amazing. Lots of beautiful places, the wonderful people, the huge skate scene and most of all… SCRUMPTIOUS FOOOOOD!
“BACON IS HEAVEN. BACON IS EVERYTHING.”
BACON IS HEAVEN. BACON IS EVERYTHING. If only there was a board made out of bacon…
How was your skate trip?
It was great! I joined the DH race and got the fourth place, I was able to roam around the city and skate with the locals. Everyone was just really nice and everyone was so stoked especially that a lot of people came to the event.
Who did you travel with?
On the way, I rode the bus all alone because I wanted to go ahead first but my friends followed the day after I arrived.
Why were you so eager?
I have tons of friends in Dumaguete and I really missed them. Last time I saw them was 5 or 6 months ago… I was just so eager to see them and check out their skate spots!
How did you get into skating?
Well, I saw the video “Carving The Mountains” by the Longboard Girls Crew a few years back and it motivated me to buy a board and so finally after talking to a friend we decided that I should actually get a pintail. I skated for a few months but then I was just really passive… I only skated with one friend and I wasn’t even part of a skating community. My brother’s friend, Dan, invited me to skate with them but back then I was extremely shy. When I moved to another city (Iloilo City) for a year to try and be independent… I met a few guys who actually taught me a lot about skating. I’m extremely grateful!
What was it about the video that you liked?
They looked like they were having tons of fun! It looked different from all the other usual stuff that girls did.
Is it hard for girls to get into stuff like this?
Well, a bit yeah. This is a male dominated sport and the girls I’m friends with are very protective about their bodies… Scared of all the scars and bruises and all that but I’m trying to help out all the girls who are interested.
You don’t care about your body?
To be honest, I do. I’m a girl so I wear dresses and shorts and all that and it makes me feel weird when people stare at my scars but most of the time I’m just like yeah whatever.
Who did Dan invite you to skate with?
Well, not sure… I never really went. I was shy back then but Dan and I still skate once in a while.
What were you moving away from?
I murdered someone… Just kidding haha. It was gonna be my first year in college and I wanted to try a Uni from a different city. I wanted to be independent but I came back this year anyway.
If you murdered someone, who would it be, and why?
Nooooooo! I wouldn’t even dare think about it!
Was your year away from home as good as you hoped?
Yes, it was a huge step for me. I became more mature and I discovered more about myself. I really improved a lot in a year, I also fell in love with freeriding since all of the guys there were mostly freeriders. I realized the importance of being part of a community… it was like having a family. It was all about sharing the stoke.
Where were you skating in that year?
I was just skating in a school’s parking lot, it was flat land. Zero slope. It was a constant struggle for the skaters there but we managed and remained thankful for the simple spot. We were a 30 minute boat ride away from this beautiful island, Guimaras (we like calling it “GuimaRAD”) and we would go there every time we are able to save up cash. Beautiful beach, beautiful hills… Paradise.
How did you evolve from casual skater to freeride addict?
Influence. I skate with boys most of time and they really freeride a lot. The previous city I was in had only two girls. My hometown has tons of girls but I only truly know one other girl who can be daring (Hi Karla!) and she can do a few high speed slides. AND SKATE VIDEOS!!! Very influential. I’m starting to love racing too, I was never competitive so I never really focused on it.
What do you like about freeriding?
I like how you can do it according to your personal style, it’s like art. Freeriding needs time, patience and dedication. I appreciate how people can go super fast down a hill but when a person can go sideways, you can never go wrong.
Why are videos important?
Motivates people and the videos send people the message you want them to receive. It can help us in a lot of ways.
Is it tough being the only girl skating in a group of guys?
Used to be! I’m tryna catch up! Grrrr
“…the WHOLE Philippine longboarding scene can be your family. Wherever city you may be from, people are ready to accommodate you and show you around town.”
What family did you find out there?
Honestly, the WHOLE Philippine longboarding scene can be your family. Wherever city you may be, people are ready to accommodate you and show you around town. The scene here is so huge that almost everyone knows everyone. All you need is your hammock and board! Your helmet too!
What’s your role in the family?
I am a stoke spreader. I try to encourage people to skate more and push themselves to progress in any way that they can. To be honest, I really wish a lot of girls would skate more… I was quite happy when this newbie joined her first race in Dumaguete. We were both soooo stoked she survived the track! It was a bit technical…
Will skating with girls feel different?
It will feel a bit different… mainly because we can fan-girl over cute skater guys (Eeeep!) haha!
Who makes the best hammocks?
DWLE, yo!!! Driftwood all the way!
Are there other women there?
Ohhhh yes! Longboard Girls Crew PH!
It’s a group of girls who share the same passion… skating! The group was originally from Spain!
What’s the importance of being part of a community?
I used to skate alone or with a friend or two but I finally understood that when you’re skating with a lot of people who understand what you’re doing and why you’re doing it… How everyone encourages and enjoys each other’s company… To me, that is the best thing about being a part of a community. That is the true essence, the most special thing… It amazes me how people can come together for the love of one thing.
How is your year going?
So far, so good! I’ve been to sooo many different places and all of them are amazing. I attended the Visayan Longboarding Trilogy (hosted by the Grupo Nopo) for the first time ever and I met so many people that influenced me in a lot of ways. I also got two new sponsors, Surf-Rodz from the USA and Sk8er from Australia. I transferred in a different University this year and honestly, adjusting has been hard for me… BUT!!! I always look forward to some weekend skating! I used to be scared of speed because I had a trauma from really hard bail but I’m happy that I’m slowly conquering it, I’m starting to enjoying speed and a bit of competition to be honest. I had to get leathers tho, road rash is a no-no for me!
How bad was your bail?
Pretty bad. I was hospitalized, couldn’t even sit down or stand up for a few days and had to take LOTS of meds.
Can you sit down now?
Hmmmm no… But I can dance! LOL just kidding.
Did skating change for you after that fall?
Yes! So so so much! I learned to respect the spot I skate on!
Was the VLT as good it sounds?
It is. You have to join to know.
“You can throw big ass standies or you can win millions of podiums but I still think sponsoring is more than just about how good people are are at skating. For me, it’s all about passion and when the sponsors see that, they will understand the things that you can do for yourself, your community and for them.”
What did it take to get sponsored?
You can throw big ass standies or you can win millions of podiums but I still think sponsoring is more than just about how good people are are at skating. For me, it’s all about passion and when the sponsors see that, they will understand the things that you can do for yourself, your community and for them. You HAVE TO keep on improving… In all aspects as a skater and as a person.
What setups are you having fun on right now?
Rayne Darkside, Surf-Rodz Hybridsz and S9 Butterballs/Zombie Hawgs!
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Skate and travel and try to get good grades in my Uni.
What do you do when you’re not skating?
I usually just chill and have some coffee or tea, read a book or play my instruments. I was really into music before I started skating.
Pick 3 numbers between 1-20.
9, 10 and 12.
9 – what would you choose as your last meal?
Hmmm. That’s a really really really hard question. Probably a meal that has every food I could think of LOL and yes, it will probably require a huge ass plate!
10 – who’s your favourite skater?
Skater? Singular? God I can’t choose! Probably Alicia Fillback… Cause she can do everything!
12 – Who would you like to be reborn as?
Hmm I don’t have anyone in my mind right now lol
Kimi Kim Kim! It’s been a lot of fun getting to hear your story. See you at VLT one day!
Thanks, man! Hoping to see you soon. Thank yooooooou! Really hope to see you soon as well!
Any last words?
Wishing everyone a good skate sesh! Thank you to my lovely sponsors! Shoutout to Philippine Longboarding, BCDR, Longboard Girls Crew-PH!!!
Follow me on Instagram! @kimamelo