West Coastin’ 4th Report by Ishtar Bäcklund

Ever since that first time I saw the “Dogtown” documentary I have been in love with the whole skating scene. Not because of the fact that they looked rad shredding on those boards but because of the friendship and the brotherhood that they shared. They were a part of a group that shared the same energy, the same stoke, and they got to set an example for everybody else. By being stoked about what they were doing, good things came to them, people around them could feel the “stoking” energy. Opportunities were created for the boy’s dreams to grow and come true.

After a long drive We finally made it to Portlandia! With flowers in our hand we all pulled up for the first time to Daddies Board Shop; except for Marisa, she had beent here once before. Stepping in and physically meeting everyone was something we’ve all been looking forward doing since each and every one of us got on the team, (Pam even shed some tears when Mel stepped out from her office to greet us! Pretty epic!) 

We all hung around at the shop all day feeling like kids in a candy shop stashing up on all the necessary gear we’ve been missing out on or trashed along the way. Big thank’s to Triple8 for all the dope gear they sent over, Super thankful for the full face helmets, definitely bringing more swag into the game! We all had a pre-conceived notion of Mel behind her desk answering all of our personal emails when were in contact with her, but to actually see this wonderful lady work hard with her little bundle of stoke was rad! All of us got invited to one of the employes going away party that same night, we spent the night eating good food, hanging out with good friends and having a good time! 

Before midnight we managed to pick up miss Molly from the airport and cram her and her big ol’ bag into the van and off we were to our final destination, the very first Maryhill She-Ride! In the morning on the way to the hill we were blasting our gangster rap super loud. Thank God for full coverage! We totally destroyed those speakers by the end of this trip! On our left side the first black, smooth paved curves of Mary were visible and all of us started getting stoked out as we could finally see our goal… We had made it, the first ever She-Ride at one of the best play grounds there is for longboarders was about to start! This feeling was special, and we all could see how our hard work and the joy we share for this sport was finally getting it’s recognition. The whole hill had been closed down just for us, just for us girls, for the entire weekend!

We met up with all the girls that had made it over to the She-Ride and it didn’t take long before the U-hauls started shuffling runs up the hill. Everyone was so stoked! The U-hauls were fully packed for every run of every day. While some of the girls decided to start at different spots on the hill and work their way up, others were bombing it at full speed from the top. I was pleasantly surprised on the level of these girls out there shredding. They all had their own unique and individual styles as well. Tight pack runs and heaps of fun was the only thing on the menu for this weekend! Everyone improved at such a fast pace and every run got more and more fun as the days went by. Another cool thing that really surprised me was the lack of injuries, there might have been some minor falls, but the only time I saw someone leave bloody stains (rather than thane lines) on the ground was when some guys who were up there took a bail! There were a few guys up there, lovely ones, that came in big support for this weekend. They were helping out in the corners and fully supporting this event. Their deal to be able to ride the hill was maybe a bit to harsh but never the less funny as! In order for the guys to ride Maryhill during the She-Ride, they had to strip down naked and bomb the hill wearing nothing but their shoes. It was a sight! And a funny one for sure that resulted in some big laughs!

After one of my runs this weekend one of the girls came up to me and asked, “Excuse me, but I was wondering if you could help me out, Im trying to decide if I’m ready to do the hill all the way from the top” This question resulted in one of my personal favorite moments during this whole weekend. One of the girls had been working her way up by jumping out of the U- haul step bye step and now she was asking me for guidance. I felt so honored to help her with this decision and of course I was stoked for her. “Hell Yeah! You want me to go down with you and show you my lines?” I said back, “you would do that ?!” she responded, looking like a big question mark.

This lady had never really bombed a hill, she’s from NYC and just had only gotten into pushing around the city to make her way to work. Maryhill was the first hill she ever ridden down. I was so stoked and as we cruised down the whole hill, starting from the top, going into the dives and lines I took I could see the total concentration and focus in her eyes as she balanced so gracefully down the hill. She actually made it down surprisingly well! Pumped with adrenaline she stepped off of her board and hugged me filled with stoke! ” Hell Yeah! I did it, thank you so much,” she said while I could still notice her hand shaking by the rush of adrenaline from the run. “Yeah you liked that?! Lets do it again, and this time we’ll tuck!” And so we did. By the end of this weekend she was tucking down the whole hill, trying to keep up with the pack! This was one of my highlights for sure! Of all the skating I’ve done this past year, man, this really made it to the top of my list!

This is proof of how good company, facing your fears, and proving to yourself that you can do something that might seem intimating with great support from friends can make life wonderful and totally worth living to the fullest! It boosts our confidence in all levels of life and makes us stronger as humans. 

All five of us share the same burning desire to get better at skating. We cherish those bonding moments after a long and wonderful day of shredding with all our mates. We cherish all the gnarliness, happiness, and progression that we feel as a result from having so much fun. No matter how good you are, how far you’ve come in your skating abilities, as long as you’re having fun… that is going to shine, the stoke will spread, and inspiration will flow. Doing what we love only attracts more of what we love. What we burn for and what we wish for comes to us when and we let it out there into the world. This trip we got to do is a proof of how will power and passion can make dreams come true. Like the Dogtown boys, we share a sisterhood, we are all playing a role in the start of something great. Lets work together and make sure that it will grow into something even more rad and amazing. By doing what we love, we are inspiring other people all around the globe to do what makes them happy. It’s pure positive energy which is also known as stoke.

At the end of the day I just want people to remember to stay true to yourself, be humble, and have fun! 

Riders to Riders! This has been an amazing journey together with all the support form the longboard scene. We are so Lucky to be a part of this family. Thank you so much!

Ps. We love You Melanie Loveland!

2 thoughts on “West Coastin’ 4th Report by Ishtar Bäcklund

  1. Pingback: Catchup with Ishtar Backlund » All Around Skate - The European Longboard Site

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