Rachel Bruskoff: AeroSpace Bagels

SkateBagels is back in the interview chair, telling us about her 2014 adventures including racing Hot Heels, following the stoke to Australia and breaking her foot racing skateboards in the Philippines. 

Smiles at the top of one of my favorite mountains by Michael Melone

Smiles at the top of one of my favorite mountains by Michael Melone

Hello bagels!
Howdy G! 

How are you this sunny Friday?
Sunny? It’s cloudy and dreary over here! I’m all warm and snuggled in my comfy clothes and ready for a day of snugly painting. 

What are you painting today?
I’m working on a helmet for a cool cat customer and a custom graphic on a 2015 Wolfshark for an online contest! 

Does painting always intersect with skating?
Nowadays! It’s a good combination, I think. 

What are your favourite stoke related projects, so far?
Well… all my paintings get me stoked! My style has morphed towards a space theme and I am rolling with it! I have painted almost everything space. My helmet, my boards, even my leathers. I’m creating a new theme and I love that I have something on my leathers that no-one else has!

My recently aquired and hand painted helmet photo by Jacob Lambert

My recently aquired and hand painted helmet photo by Jacob Lambert

Have you done any collaborations with artists who skate?
I have not… yet! I always chat with my fellow skate artists and we will get the colabs going someday! It’s just difficult because we don’t all live too close. Through travels though, it will happen someday! 

Who would you love to work with?
I would love to work with Alicia Fillback and Yvonne Byers. Their artwork is amazing and I love seeing it all the time. You can tell that they really love to make art and they do it all the time. We have very different styles so it would be so cool to see what we can create by coming together! 

When did you start getting traction with the AeroSpace?
I found this lil double kick at a thrift store one day and decided to make it a canvas. I had no idea what to paint and was inspired by a song. I painted a cat surfing on a rocket in outer space.  And I have been lost in space ever since!

My handpainted -Bagelshark- amongst some beautiful green Australian water

My handpainted -Bagelshark- amongst some beautiful green Australian water

How does individuality drive what you do?
I like to bring my own flair to everything I do. I like to stand out. (especially since I’m so small;))  I have always been someone who takes a different approach from the norm, and within the skating scene it is no different.

What’s bagel style?
Giggly, smiley, spacey, hyperactive, fun style! With a little bit of fun sized shenanigans thrown in. 

Where are you skating these days?
Well, I’m unfortunately broken off at the moment, so I’m just skating mountains in my dreams haha but I will be back on my board soon and cannot wait to get back at the local roads here in SoCal! 

How badly broken?
Not too bad, luckily. Tis the season! So many people joined team broken off recently, I tried to escape it but I wasn’t that lucky.. I fractured my fibula in the Philippines.. ha! Say that 10 times fast.. It happened about a month and a half ago. I’m almost done healing up though! Give me another week! : D

Oooooooops by Calvin Skinner

Oooooooops by Calvin Skinner

Are you in a cast?
Nope! Never was! I was so happy about that.  When it first happened in Philo, the docs looked at it and just said that it was bruised. I had to force them to take me to another hospital- the next town over- just to get an xray.  After all the was done, I was left at my hammock in the middle of the town without crutches or a cast. I couldn’t walk! Luckily, my fellow broken love, Gemma Holland had some crutches from her current injury. She and I shared them until the event headed to the next city where I had an amazing local, Gary, run to the pharmacy and get me my own crutches. Unfortunately, like most things, they were made for a taller person, but I made due for the time being. Once I got back to Cebu City, I went to a few proper hospitals and one finally put me in a wrap with a splint.  Once I got home, I headed to my doctor where I was put in a walking boot with proper sized crutches.

Who’s the captain of team broke-off?
Ha! I wouldn’t say there is a captain, only a team. All I know is that it is broken season right meow.. So many skaters have been getting injured recently.. Skate safe everyone <3

rallying hard to secure a top spot in an open heat in The Philippines  by Grupo nopo Media

rallying hard to secure a top spot in an open heat in The Philippines by Grupo nopo Media

When last did you skate?
I last skated at the Super Mango Clinic in Oslob in The Philippines at the beginning of April. It’s so weird to think that the last time I was on a board going fast was halfway around the world in another country. 

Dude. How’d you get from SoCal to the Philippines?
Now that’s a long story!

I hadn’t ever planned on venturing over to The Philippines… It was hinted to me while I was traveling in Australia and being the curious and adventurous bagel I am, I made it happen.  It was the final step on a long trip I took exploring around the world.

We like long stories. Where does this one start?
Well it actually started last year in Canada. I was there for the summer exploring and going for the race season.  I was living in Vancouver and I met this one lovely lady from South Africa while at Jakes Rash. Her name is Gabi Murray- Roberts. She is one of the main organizers of SAGRA (South Africa Gravity Race Association). We hit it off and became very close. We had some amazing runs down Britannia and then she came and visited me while traveling through California. She kept hinting at me to go to Cape Town in December for a race: Hot Heels. After a few weeks of thought, I knew that I wanted to spend my winter away from the states (due to my love for traveling to other countries) so I purchased a plane ticket to Cape Town. I flew there, met up with my Aussie friend Skittles and explored around thanks to the wonderful Andrea Katzeff and then headed to Hot Heels. It was an amazing race- I ended up taking 2nd in ladies!  After touring around South Africa for a bit, it was time to move on to the next step.  Being with my bud from Australia, that was where I was off to next. I went to Australia and explored there for a few months. I went to Brisbane, the sunshine coast, Tasmania, Sydney and many places in between. I also headed down and explored New Zealand for a race and tour. And then, from a wonderful suggestion from the lovely Gemma Holland, I went to The Philippines for VLT (Visayan Longboard Trilogy) on my way home to California.

Sliding close in the rain with Gabi Murray Roberts at Britannia 2014 by Haste Longboards

Sliding close in the rain with Gabi Murray Roberts at Britannia 2014 by Haste Longboards

Trust you to be friends with a real life GMR!
Haha! 

What was SA like?
South Africa was absolutely beautiful. The environment there is amazing and all the skating had the most amazing views. The ocean was always this crystal teal color and the mountains were green and covered in pure nature. It was a very different place from anywhere I have been. The social economy isn’t something that I could ignore and unfortunately, there are a lot of people in difficult situations all over. The disconnect between the specific populations was gnarly and some places you just could not go through because of fear. Everywhere I went and everyone I met was amazing, but it was difficult to see the separation of people everywhere.

What impact did seeing how the other side live have on you?
It made me sad. I saw things and realized what is going on and how people are treated differently in this other part of the world. It made me want to help, but I knew not how I could in my short time there.
I enjoyed all my time skating and with my friends.  They made the trip amazing <3

Repping Xtreme Boardshop in Australia by Jacob Friend

Repping Xtreme Boardshop in Australia by Jacob Friend

How can you help?
That I do now know! It is an economic situation that is difficult. It is between the people, their government, and their prime minister.

Can you change the world?
I’m trying! One skateboard and country at a time!

How did the race compare to other IDF races you’d attended?
Well, the timing system actually worked! ha! I had only been to one other IDF race previously, at Pikes Peak in Colorado. Hot Heels was a super fun race. Everyone kept warning me about it because the previous year it was super hectic due to having a tail wind. This year though, there was a head wind, making the track mellow and slower. It was a blast to be able to skate with all the homies there and enjoy runs but I think the course would have been way more fun if it was faster.

What’s the track like?
It’s a pretty mellow course. It has a few straights, a couple sharp corners, and a couple uphill battles. The corners are not difficult once you figure out the proper line, but with a tail wind, I was told, there may have been drifting to make it. I, personally, being a tiny person, was struggling with the head wind. The uphills and straight were not my friends, but I could still be my sneaky self through the corners.

Hot Heels 2014 Womens podium by Pierre Van Der Spuy

Hot Heels 2014 Womens podium by Pierre Van Der Spuy

How much skating did you get to do off the race track?
A lot actually! Andrea took us to some amazing places. One of the most famous roads to skate there, which is literally cliff side the whole way, we went to a few times. It was the most beautiful ocean view I have experienced while riding down a mountain. I also clocked a lot of time on a ramp as one of the houses I stayed at had this amazing one in their backyard! I got all giddy on my Landyachtz Loco and loved it!

SA > LA?
Naaahh. South Africa was great, but LA has some of the gnarliest roads on the planet. I wouldn’t give that up for most places. 

Are you still vegetarian?
Yes I am! It made it a bit difficult with traveling, but pretty much everywhere had stuff that I could eat. 

So… No biltong?
Haha I had to look that up! Nope, I didn’t get to experience that.
Sabertooth skull drawing in colored pencil

What was the community like out there?
Super strong! They are so supportive and fun to skate with! There are a good amount of ladies around and they shred! I was so excited to get to spend time ripping down the mountains with the girls.  Everyone is just super nice and fun and amazing to skate with. 

Best memory?
I really really loved skating the ramp at the Baboon Boards house. I spent a good amount of time there just learning how to roll around on my loco. I fell in love all over again with my double-kick and skating a ramp. 

Why did you decide to go all the way to Oz?
Haha well… I was seeing some Australian bloke. We met while he was out in the states racing Pikes and Angies and we hit it off. He headed back to Australia after a bit of time here and then we decided to meet back up in South Africa and then head to Australia together.

Tucking in NZ by Lawrence Thompson

Tucking in NZ by Lawrence Thompson

Oooooh Skate babies!
haha nope! We are no longer together.

What did you expect Australia to be like?
I expected it to be very hot and humid with some epic skating. I had seem some videos and knew of a few skaters there to get a small idea of the scene. At first, Australia was chill and mellow, but once I got moving around, I got to skate some amazing places and meet some amazing people. I had a great time. 

Did you get to skate with Maga?
Yes! I love Maga. She is such an amazing person and we spent a ton of time together. We hung out while in Sydney and skated there a little. She and I went to New Zealand and raced at the Mt. Ruapehu Gravity Festival together. She also went out to The Philippines with Rob for VLT as well where we got to skate together a lot. I miss her! <3 

Was your winter escape as great as you expected?
Oh, it was even better than I could have ever dreamed.

Group of misfits in The Philippines with Tamara Prader and Maga McWhinni by Brendan Goco

Group of misfits in The Philippines with Tamara Prader and Maga McWhinni by Brendan Goco

How was NZ?
Amazing! New Zealand is such a wonderfully beautiful place! I got to skate pretty much every day while I was there and I met the most amazing people! Their skating scene is super strong and all the locals showed me a great time.  I was also there while the RAD crew was touring and filming so I got to share my time with those boys too. It was full of such epic adventures!
I really really really want to go back. 

What would your trips be without rad people?
Well, most of my trips I go alone. I really enjoy traveling alone. It’s always nice to have others, but I know that through my travels I’ll meet heaps of amazing people and do things how they do it. That is what I love. I love to experience a place as if I am living there. I do not like the tourist thing at all. But it is always great to cross paths with some of the people I have come to know and love through this scene. I absolutely love being somewhere random in the world and happening upon some of the people I have met from back home or another country. The skating scene is amazing that way. 

So. VLT. How did that happen?
Gemma Holland. She put the idea in my head. Once an idea is there, I like to make it happen.  She hinted that I had to go after Australia and I thought about it a bit. Since I work for and help with the Longboard Girls Crew, I contacted them through Facebook and got into contact with some local ladies from the Philippines. Cristine Garnace helped me a ton getting into contact with ladies and getting me out. She, Jescel Regner, Jacquie Oliva, and Maya Fernandez – all local ladies from Philo, picked me up at the airport and showed me around local style.

4am Bus ride to the first leg of VLT2015 with the local Filo ladies

4am Bus ride to the first leg of VLT2015 with the local Filo ladies

I love skating with the local ladies wherever I go in the world! It is such an inviting community within downhill skateboarding… We aren’t as many as guys, but that makes it all the more tight. Us girls have to stick together!

Do you seek out lady skaters on all your stops?
Absolutely! I love skating with the local ladies wherever I go in the world! It is such an inviting community within downhill skateboarding and with the girls even more so! I have made the best, closest friends from my travels and meeting all the girls and I love it! We aren’t as many as guys, but that makes it all the more tight. Us girls have to stick together!

When I am on the start line in an open heat, all I want to do is rage and skate hard and beat as many boys down the hill as I can. When I am on the line and I see my fellow girl friends next to me, I don’t want to beat them down the hill, I just want to enjoy my ride with them.

Because?
We are such a small community. It is absolutely amazing to skate with fellow female shredders. The vibes are very different. It is much more about having fun and enjoying the ride, over being super competitive and having to go balls out every run – which I do love too haha. As much as I love skating as fast and gnarly as I can, I also love taking chill runs and just enjoying myself. That does happen a lot with boys and not just girls, but I haven’t noticed that too much at races. When I am on the start line in an open heat all I want to do is rage and skate hard and beat as many boys down the hill as I can. When I am on the line and I see my fellow girl friends next to me, I don’t want to beat them down the hill, I just want to enjoy my ride with them.

Playing at Vernon DH in Canada by Maria Procter

Playing at Vernon DH in Canada by Maria Procter

It is so rare that I come upon ladies that rip and rage that all I really want to do is enjoy their company while skating.  I don’t like skating away from them or trying to be the first down- it’s not as fun for me.  And it is also very rare that I will run into these awesome ladies for a long time. I see them when I visit their home country and that may be it until I get back out there so I want to enjoy as much time with them as I can.

It is so rare that I come upon ladies that rip and rage that all I really want to do is enjoy their company while skating.

Did you experience any culture shock at any point on this adventure?
A lot yes. It wasn’t so much shock as I am very adaptive to wherever I am, but there were definitely some places that made me think or look twice. The economic/social situation in South Africa made me turn my head a bunch and think about a lot of things. The Aussie culture gave me a couple double takes, but they are very similar to America so being there wasn’t too much of a shock. New Zealand just felt so homely and inviting. The Philippines was a big shock though, probably the most of all the countries I visited. It is the only 3rd world country I have been to and it was literally a whole new experience being there. From what I saw being in the cities to the life I experienced traveling through the small islands and towns it was such an eye opening experience. It was so different, but I loved it so much.

What else did you love about the Philippines?First time eating mangoes?
Nope! We have mangoes here in Cali! They are from Mexico, which I actually dislike. My ex boyfriend is Filipino though, so he opened up my world to Filipino mangoes long before I went to the islands. I love Filipino mangoes. They are sooooo delicious!

Squats on some thane covered pavement by Calvin Skinner

Squats on some thane covered pavement by Calvin Skinner

I loved so much! One of the most amazing things about skating there were the community vibes. We traveled to these small towns on small islands where the locals rarely ever get to experience anything as exciting as downhill skateboarding.  Everyone was involved and excited. I have never had so many random locals come out to watch and enjoy the skating. People were cheering on the sidelines and had big smiles across their faces. It was amazing! It is invigorating being within a community that is so encouraging like the Philippines! All the locals always had huge smiles on their face and just enjoyed life. They were the nicest and most inviting people too! I would walk everywhere and people would just smile and offer help or a hello. I was never afraid through my travels. I felt so welcomed and a sense of love from everyone. It was something I haven’t experienced anywhere else and it was absolutely incredible.

If you could bring things from overseas to your local community, what would you like to see?
The accents tehehe I would love to bring all my friends! I love everyone I meet and having to leave them behind makes me so sad! I would love for everyone to come over here and stay here and enjoy California and skate the local hills. I love having friends all around the world but I really miss each and every one that I cannot see every day, week, month.

How did the skating compare to the rest of your tour?
It was epic! I only got to skate 3 roads in The Philippines and each of them were absolutely amazing. One of them is definitely one of my favorite roads in the whole world! (from what I have experienced so far). Their roads were so much fun and skating with the locals was amazing. We also got to use motorbikes as shuttles! That was such a blast! I am definitely a fiend for riding a motorbike now. I had a blast ripping and raging on them!

Sunset down Mt Ruapehu, New Zealand

Sunset down Mt Ruapehu, New Zealand

Why did you decide to get hurt?
haha I just saw so many of my friends joining team broke off, I wanted to be part of the crowd, so I jumped on board! HA! No, it was an accident. I was skating at the Mango clinic- one of the best roads ever- when it happened. It was the final day of the clinic and I was just messing around. The first day I was raging the road playing around with standies and drifts on my tiny Boss Hawgs and the second day, to save my wheels since the pavement was so chundery, I switched to Biggie Hawgs. I was still able to do some standies, but with the Biggies I was mostly just raging and sliding the corners. It was so amazing to go so so fast! The third day rolled around and I switched back to my tiny wheels to have some mellow fun with Maga. We were at this beautiful left with an amazing view trying to capture a photo. Patrick Switzer, the organizer and Tamara Prader joined us to play around. Soon after, I went for a slide and hit the gravel edge of the pavement where it was more slippery. My board slipped out from underneath me as my front foot slipped back under my body. I fell and crushed my leg under me and instantly heard the SNAP. It was shocking and I knew right then that I wasn’t going to walk away. Pat, Tamara, and Maga aided me and soothed me until the ambulance showed up.

My board slipped out from underneath me as my front foot slipped back under my body. I fell and crushed my leg under me and instantly heard the SNAP. It was shocking and I knew right then that I wasn’t going to walk away.

Lol. Must have hurt like a hug.
haha I actually remember no pain at all. It was all pure shock.  Once I heard the snap I knew that I wouldn’t be able to walk. I honestly was mostly upset because I knew I wouldn’t be able to participate in the IDF race that was being held the next couple days and I was also worried I wouldn’t be healed before the Catalina Island Classic the following month. The mindset of a skater haha.

Railing the last left at Mt Ruapehu by Matt Greene

Railing the last left at Mt Ruapehu by Matt Greene

What have you been up to since that SNAP?
I have just been keeping life mellow. I’ve gone camping a bit. My birthday was last week and I spent it in a few different mountains camping. I love camping. I love the mountains. Otherwise, I have just been focusing on the next step for skating and this year as well as painting and drawing a bunch.

Happy birthday!
Daww thank you! It was great. 

What’s the next step for skating?
Oooooh! I have big steps! I hope to keep up with traveling. I want to head to a few more events and countries! I hope to make it to Canada and Europe over this summer! It’s so soon too, gotta train! I’m back at skating meow! Getting out to the mountain tomorrow! Yeee

Kozakov?
I am trying! Registration is full as of now, I’m trying to work my way to get a spot! I’m also going to do a tour with a few friends I’ve met on my travels!

Raging an Okanagan gem at beautiful twilight by Drew Desharnais

Raging an Okanagan gem at beautiful twilight by Drew Desharnais

You’ve got a couple IDF podiums under your spacey belt, will you be challenging for more?
I will be trying my best! I don’t have the money to go to every single IDF event but I want to travel and having IDF events in certain countries is just the icing on the cake! 

Where will your next adventure take you?
Ooooh hopefully to the great white north! 

What are you riding right now?
I’m currently on my personalized chopped 2014 Wolfshark, which I call my “Bagelshark”. I have it on some Tall bushing proto PNL Joeys as well. My normal go-to wheels are Biggie Hawgs, KMFSU Hawgs, and Boss Hawgs! That may all change this coming season though! Hehehe

Any last words?
I fucking love skateboarding! <3

Smiling through the rain and fog at Ruapehu by Antony Leggett

Smiling through the rain and fog at Ruapehu by Antony Leggett

Bagellina, thank you so much for all your time, always nice to catch up with mew. See you around!
Oh yes yes yes G! Always a fun time. Thank you! 

Shout outs?
OMG! SO MANY! Thank you so so sooooo much to absolutely everyone who has helped me out during my travels and adventures! My parents first, as they are supremely supportive and help me 100% whenever I need it. My amazing sponsors: Xtreme Boardshop & Joe Lawrence, Landyachtz Longboards, Pat Schep, Nick Breton, & Wolfgang Coleman, PNL Trucks, Doug Owens, & Denny Akiyama, Hawgs Wheels, Ojoom Pucks, John Baelly, Longboard Girls Crew, Valeria Kechichian, and Daisy Distro.

The absolute biggest thank you to The Stoop skatehouse, the ladies from the Hen House, Andrea Katzeff, Gabi Murray- Roberts, Maga and Rob McWhinnie, Tim Skittles, Gemma Holland, Ashley Dyason, The NBS Boys, Michael English, Anna Selina, Lee Ling, Lawrence Thompson, Daniel Hawes, Christine Garnace, Jescel Regner, Jacque Oliva, Maya Fernandez, Joseph Klif Cepeda, Patrick Switzer, Tamara Prader, Epos Santilmo, Mary Jane Rosal Alburo, Matthew Peckson, the IDF and absolutely everyone else that has helped me all over the world! I miss you all!

And a big shout out to Mari Arndt! Yay!

BACK AT IT AFTER MY INJURY! Photo by Johnny Ruiz at GMR

BACK AT IT AFTER MY INJURY! Photo by Johnny Ruiz at GMR

Links.
Malibu raw run: https://vimeo.com/111692633
VLT Philippines First Leg video recap: https://youtu.be/z9gzt-a_ic8 

Skate FB:https://www.facebook.com/skatebagels

Art FB: https://www.facebook.com/rachelisartsy

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