Maga McWhinnie: Stoke Spreader

The first female director has stories from New Zealand to Spain and the Philippines from a year of skate adventures. She also has some good advice – DO EPIC SHIT. SHARE THE STOKE. SAVE THE ELEPHANTS.

East Coast Collective Australia photo

East Coast Collective Australia photo

Good evening my friend, how are you?
Waking up from my beauty nap haha. But good, otherwise.

No skating this weekend?
Not really , working a lot and about to leave the country, maybe a roll around the area.

How’s Rob?
He is good , working a lot but enjoying it.

Have you done much skating recently?
Mainly for transportation and a bit more free-riding lately, I am getting back  slowly after taking my pink cast off my left arm.

Mr McWhinnie photo

Mr McWhinnie photo

🙁 How did you get hurt?
Semi finals at the Car Car race in the Philippines. It was wet and slippery and another rider landed in my arm on her board by accident.

This was your 3rd VLT right?
2nd. The Aswang got me again.

How many events did you get to do before you hurt your arm?
All of them… The  3 events in the Siquijor part of the VLT, the mango clinic and we organized the no-hands down race and the car car race until my semis.

Did you have a workshop at the clinic?
Yes. We separate the crew into different groups by level of riding and we work with small groups teaching or practicing things they want to learn.

What’s the female community out there like?
It’s massive! Lots and lots of girls, in all the countries I’ve skated in, the Philippines has the biggest crew of girls. I love it every time I meet a new girl and they are all so keen to learn more and have lots of fun!

Hanging with Ashraf

Hanging with Ashraf

What was the feedback from the locals?
The riders were very stoked to meet so many top riders and the crew re-visitng for second time, I saw some guys that had improved a lot. The town and the locals still find it crazy but they enjoy watching it and spreading smiles to us.

How were you keeping the stoke up while your arm was out?
Spreading the stoke at Basement Skate, organizing local races here in Sydney and, this year, I got elected to become a director/Female rider representative at the IDF and the World Skateboarding Federation.

What is the World Skateboarding Federation?
World Skateboarding Federation is involved with skateboarding  globally and also on each different style, in my case I represent the downhill community and women in the sport.
I collaborate with the rest of the WSF board towards many projects for our community and for developing skateboarding in general. The aim for WSF is also to collaborate with all styles in skateboarding (and with each federation) to work together for a  future with more opportunities  for the riders and events.
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What’s going on at Basement Skate these days?
We moved the shop to a new location in a perfect area to skate everywhere and very close to Sydney Cbd: Redfern. The shop is looking awesome! I can’t wait to see what a skate shop can do to this side of Sydney…..big things are about to happen!

How will the new shop impact the community?
The area has a younger demographic, bit more of a community area , easier to skate (bigger, better footpaths smooth roads and traffic is not as hectic),  lots of unis/colleges, awesome skate-parks everywhere, cool skate parents and it’s more ALIVE than St Leonards. A lot of people are amazed by the shop and getting into or back into skateboarding which is awesome… finally I can skate to work and find heaps of skaters rolling on my route to work,

Congrats on the IDF appointment. What made you decide to run?
Still a mystery how I got nominated, but once I realized I was there I knew it was a great opportunity to represent the ladies in the sport and also collaborate and help promoting events in South America and Austral-Asia. And so after the election I got elected for the next 2 years.

Anna Selina photo

Anna Selina photo

Are there any other South Americans on the board?
At the moment, just me. But Marcos Vidales from Colombia is a good friend and race organizer so we are always in contact with him as well as the rest of the organizers there.

Girls can shred!

As the voice of the female racers, what will you be saying?
Girls can shred!!!
Haha. Oh man, there are so many things to say about why we should support and encourage women in our sport. I can probably take over the whole page, but the point is that, until now, we never had a women director in our world federation/associations and I didn’t think it was going to be me, but now that I have the opportunity, I see it as a great step and chance to contribute positively to the growth of the women’s scene in a male dominated sport like ours.

Do you feel any pressure now you’ve got in?
Not in a negative way. For example, as a director now I have to spend a lot of my free time guiding, talking to organizers about future events or improving current events, building a future for our racing scene which is awesome but there is always a bit of pressure on doing  it or guiding them to the right path which is a big responsibility, but I’m trying always to do my best and I really enjoy doing it.

Federico Prieto Samperio photo

Federico Prieto Samperio photo

I really want to work towards bigger projects involving the female scene… and also try to change and balance the image that our sport has…

How will greater female representation impact our sport?
The number of ladies in racing has grown so much lately, we need to support and encourage these ladies  as much as we can. I really want to work towards bigger projects involving the female scene primarily and also try to change and balance the image that our sport has, it wont be a male dominated sport forever… especially not after this year, so we need to work to promote female riders.

Isn’t LGC doing this already?
Yeah, Valeria for LGC and she is doing a great job with the ladies scene, wonderful things. In my case with the IDF, I am more focused on the girls in the racing scene.

Grupo Nopo photo

Grupo Nopo photo

Can we improve the IDF racing experience for female racers?
As a female racer myself, the only things that I would change from the races are just little things regarding the organization of each event, but as racing experience, what I’m trying to improve is the communication between the ladies and the federation/organizers to give the chance to discuss and bring ideas/projects concerning our female racing scene.

Also, I think it’s essential to promote the female riders as much as the guys, the more ladies we get the better. I want to inspire more girls that can skate downhill to experience a race it’s not just about winning but learning and experience the whole community event too. That’s how I started. I wanted to learn so I saw the opportunity to push myself more on a closed road filled with more people like me. Yes you can get over the competitive part of it but at least you get to experience it.

I think it’s essential to promote the female riders as much as the guys… I want to inspire more girls that can skate downhill to experience a race. It’s not just about winning but learning and enjoy the whole community event too. 

Richard Gibello photo

Richard Gibello photo

What changes (if any) would you like to see in DH skating/racing and the IDF?
I think the racing scene needs more media and more attention to enable the sport get more support from sponsors (for riders and for events), so I would love to see every world cup event live streamed or even filmed and then transmitted online or on any media, that would be a great step.

I also think that we have to keep on working to make events as safe as possible, not just for riders but for spectators too. We need to improve the safety technique or elements the organizers use for protection on roads. The racing tracks are getting more gnarly and technical, competition is getting tighter and in a sport like ours, safety should be the most important thing to demand from event organizers, especially now that riders travel around the globe and pay (some of them with sponsors some of them with their savings) a considerable amount of money for registration, tickets and gear to race.

I would also love to see a continental ranking which is on the works too…

What specific safety improvements would you like to see?
As much as the riders need. Organizers should provide enough hay (or any similar alternative) on every dangerous spot of the track, train the marshals, organize safe areas for spectators and media… and all the necessary elements to prevent serious accidents.

super random photo - Michael Eijansantos

super random photo – Michael Eijansantos

Last time we spoke, you were in Peru, getting ready for your first VLT, how did that go?
Last year it was awesome, it was an eye opening experience and I fell in love with the place and the people I met.

What made your visit special?
The community.

What did you learn from that first trip?
How much we take things for granted!

How did you do in the races?
Really good. I smashed my toe in pieces for the Philo IDF race but I managed to heal it for the Euro Tour and South America. My best results were 2nd place in Peyragudes and 4th in Festival de la Bajada in Colombia, a few first in local events.

Unai Bellamy photo

Unai Bellamy photo

Where did you skate after last year’s VLT?
Wow! Last year, after VLT, we had like an 8 month trip. We went back to Europe where we raced Kozakov, Almabtrieb, Peyragudes! We had the best time skating KNK and all the European and Swiss roads. Then I spent a month in Spain with Salsito crew (my Spanish family) who adopted me for a while. Later I met up with Rob in Colombia and spent 3 weeks there, skating and travelling with the crew.
We sorta invade Alejandro Puente’s room (Sebastian Hertler joined us) and we traveled to Medellin which is my favourite spot in Colombia so far. We went to the most outlaw race ever held by a 16 year old gang in a steep open road at midnight. And to finish the season, we invaded my parents house in Peru (rob , 5 more mates and I) and spent a month relaxing after the race.

Is that the longest time you’ve spent touring?
Skateboarding? Yes.

Salsito! How did you hook up with Quiles & Butti?
It happened one day with a “salsito” haha, that crew is awesome…

Butti Butti Butti Butti. everywhere

Butti Butti Butti Butti. everywhere

Did anyone visit while you were there?
Yes; Robby, Deen, Alex Dehmel, Uri, Axel, Yaguey, the girls!

What are your favourite memories from your 8 month tour of earth?
Good question. I think most of my tour was amazing but family, friends, adventures and amazing views will be part of my favourite memories.

When are you gonna skate in Africa?
Hopefully very soon my friend!

Are you having a fun 2015?
Yeah, I turned 30, skated the top of a volcano during a hail storm, became bionic woman, watched my first Jurassic Park, ever, been enjoying every day at my job, went to my favourite island where I had the best cocktails too and I’ve been working towards great projects in our sport.
Can’t say NO so far….

Goks photo

Goks photo

What are your plans for the rest of the year?
So far, I’m off to Europe in a few days. First KnK – No Paws Down, Verdicchio , The Alps  and Switzerland. Looking forward to it.

Still riding Fibretec?
Fibretec will always be a family.
This year I tried a few other shapes (and gear)…. My Maga flying pan  got smashed in Spain last year against a guardrail. When I got back home, I found some old boards in my attic and I decided to modify them and play with them. But now that I’m going back to Zurich, I’m looking forward to working with Reinke on a narrow petit shape.

Who else is sponsoring you these days?
This year was a bit different, as I say I decided to explore shapes, trucks and thane… No longer with my old sponsors from previous years, very thankful to them for their support and still great mates but this year is a big year and I want to explore new adventures and with new gear I’ve never tried before. Still repping Basement Skate, Rush Bearings, Redbull and my favourite shoe company Supra Footwear.

Rob McWhinnie photo

Rob McWhinnie photo

How have you evolved as a skateboarder?
The last few years have been amazing and I just love how much happiness and balance skating brings to my life. As a skateboarder, I’m heaps better thane when I started but still so much to evolve and learn… it never stops.

What is it you want to focus on more?
Having fun, being happy, enjoying my family and friends, enjoying nature. I want to do my bit to change the world and follow my dreams.

Did you host the Australian LGC Open premier?
Yeah! With Miss “Rachelle” Bagels.

It’s been a while since we saw an OPEN/Greener Pastures. Where do you think the next one should be shot?
ASIA.

When is the TEAM MAMMA C*NT reunion happening?
Hahahahahaha those counties…. Soon we will celebrate a reunion on top of a hill I hope so.

Together - Gibello  photo

Together – Gibello photo

Sister Maga! Stoked to have finally finished this epic. Welcome back to Europe! Take care and have mega fun!
Thank you! In the time we took to do this awesome interview, I’ve moved houses and shop locations! I’m glad we got it done!

Any last words?
Yes

DO EPIC SHIT

SKATE EVERY DAY

SHARE THE STOKE

SAVE THE ELEPHANTS

SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL

FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS

Like it says on the shirt

Like it says on the shirt

Links.

www.basementskate.com.au
https://www.facebook.com/mcwhinniemaga
https://www.facebook.com/womensdownhillfederation
http://www.internationaldownhillfederation.org/
http://worldskateboardingfederation.org/
https://www.facebook.com/standupRacing2015
https://www.facebook.com/pages/DO-EPIC-SHIT/407097639349512

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