Pro Chat: Andrea & Julia Wilshusen

Photo: Jenna Selby

After the mountain bike twins from Switzerland, we sat down with another pair of siblings throwing down in the same sport: smaller wheels this time, but no less gnarlier…

Interview by Jenna Selby

You are the infamous skating twins from Barcelona – what is it like there at the moment?
Barcelona is changing so fast to a big, bliiiing area of shopping and people spending money, the tourism is fast and you can make a lot of easy money, but little by little the life here is getting polarized as faster than ever, the opportunities are for the rich. People are too much dependent of the “city routine” and the life is passing by before their eyes really fast.

People are too much dependent of the “city routine” and the life is passing by before their eyes really fast.

There used to be a lot of girls who skated there – is that still the same?
The real scene of female skateboarding in Barcelona is going down, longboarding and the “cool fashion posers” are taking over the way of the street simple life of skateboarders. 
But we still have Flipa Girls – always!

Photo: Jenna Selby


Have you been filming much?
We have never been filming in a serious way, maybe some clips with friends and having fun with some pictures from our travels with always the board in the bag. But this year we started with the team called 8nuts, and we are really motivated to produce some footage with these good people.

Sponsors are disappearing, has it affected you?
Yes, we both and other friends at the European level noticed the loss of brand support. For instance the crash of Sole Technology a Spanish team. But on the other hand, despite the crisis, there has appeared strong support from local shops.

Why do you think things are changing with companies and less sponsorship?
In Spain by the impact of the “financial crisis” and rising unemployment, it stops consumers buying and therefore multinational companies stop investing large amounts of money on sponsors – such as advertising strategy, they stop the support to the female skaters, much more are they are forced to reduce the number of sponsored riders.

Despite the crisis, there has appeared strong support from local shops.

How will you fund your skate trips now?
The skate trips now are a trip with skate, not the way of stressing, filming and making photo session for a company. Now we decide with more friends what kind of travel we want. Maybe it is to the nearest city or village, but if we need another kind of transport we have to search what we basically need and find it ourselves. If we need money, we have to find the way to travel with a lot of girls with zero money with all the facilities, so we make some photo expos, parties, concerts, selling food, drinks and selling some t-shirts to fund it.

What is the best advice you could give someone to do a skate trip very cheaply?
The best way to travel without money is that you are in a real adventure. Study first the area you are going to go, the way of life and the economy and think what are you are going to need and how you can get it. Try to not need too much because the greatest thing is to not consume with money. If it is possible to leave out from your head all the hotel facilities you can camp and meet people and make some friends. All is in your imagination, let’s try it and enjoy!

Try to not need too much because the greatest thing is to not consume with money.

You will be coaching at The Girls Camp with Rubicon this year – have you done anything like this before if so where and when?
We have always taught young girls skate both paid and to strengthen the new generation of skater girls. Andrea was the teacher of a skate classes in high school.

How did you get involved with the camp?
Greg from Rubicon asked if we wanted to go to Camp in Birmingham and did not even think of it, such an opportunity is not rejected. Let’s go! We are very grateful for having us!

Can you tell us a bit more about what will go on there?
The camp starts on July 29 and ends on August 2nd so we expect 4 days of skateboarding and living with girls I share good moments. It will be an adventure, that’s for sure. We are so excited to meet all girls and start skating with all!

What are you looking forward most about the camp?
A: What I personally want is to contribute all I can to the girls sport, at level of friendship and skate. I hope to bring all my motivation and fellowship to all girls, to feel the skate as part of their life. 
J: Have a good skate time with good people; I don’t want to think too much to have a surprise.

Although you are twins, I’ve heard that your lives have gone in very different directions, tell me more..
A: I’m studying in the Barcelona Law University, I’m going to start the 3rd year and it’s quite hard to skate and study, but I try it to do it possible and squeeze the time. Possibly the next year I’ll study one semester in Costa Rica (and improving my surfing too). Afterwards I hope to pass the advocacy exam, but I don’t know yet what I’m going to specialize, maybe in environment law or to be a public prosecutor. I want to put my little point of justice in this untrue world.
J: I enjoy and learn about life and share experiences with people.

The X Games are disgusting. It’s horrible for all us to see the government spending a lot of our money to create this show or circus  when they are imposing tickets (1.500€) on us just for when we cruise the street.

The X Games recently took place in Barcelona. Although it helps support athletes do what they want to do there was some controversy about it being held in Spain?
X games are disgusting for all skaters of Barcelona, because we don’t have skateparks. Although we don’t need many skateparks, the city has all we want. We just think that it’s horrible for all us to see the government spending a lot our money to create this show or circus – building the biggest skatepark in the country just to destroy it a few weeks later when they are imposing tickets (1.500€) on us just for when we cruise the street.

What are your thoughts about the X-Games in general – are they good for skateboarding or not?
A: I hate this kind of entertainment shows. It’s not the essence of skateboarding. The skateboarding is on the streets, in your real life, in the local skatepark sharing with friends, not looking a guy winning hundreds of dollars and skating like a robot. And of course the big multinationals take advantage of the biggest elitism circus.
J: I’m really sad with these. I didn’t see the girls skating like a way of protest to my self. I was really in love with some pros when I was young, I remember seeing videos of Vanessa Torres, or Elissa Steamer, and Marisa Dal Santo… But they are only characters of a fake film that I can’t accept. At the end is only money and circus. I have a lot of police tickets for riding BCN streets, we don’t have skateparks and the elitism is cutting the wings of the girls or boys that are starting to skate and these shit impose they limits.

Do you think things will now change in Spain now that the X-Games has taken place?
We said that the X-Games are like a nomad circus: they arrive, get all our money to do the show, then disappears and nothing changes. But they eat the kid’s brain with elitism, money and competitively values.

We said that the X-Games are like a nomad circus: they arrive, get all our money to do the show, then disappears and nothing changes.

What are your skate plans and general plans for the rest of the year?
We just start in a European Team called 8Nuts, and we have planed a lot of trips and contests. The next skate trip is Birmingham, later a big skate girl tour in Galicia in the north of Spain with Asiplanchaba and O’Marisquiño contest. Copenhagen Camp and some improvise skate friends trip during the year.

A: Adventure are my plans! Meanwhile I’ll study as much as I can to pass the course, skating and surfing wherever. I specially want to come back and spend all September in Morocco. Of course, hopefully go to Argentina, Buenos Aires to skate the Girls Assault this November! 

J: I don’t have plans, life is my plan.

Quick fire Questions

Name: Andrea Wilshusen Julia Wilshusen
Age: 22
Years Skating: 7 years
Sponsors: Slider Shop, 8Nuts, Crème
Hometown: Barcelona
Favourite Trick and why: 
A: I love all kind of no complies and ramp tricks (blunt pivot fakie is my favourite) and the happiest nollie 360flip. The best trick is the best feel sensation. 
J: No complies, and freak tricks. Of course ramp and new sensations with the board trying to not be obsess with anything.
Worst Injury, when and how:A: I was fourteen year old; in the mar bella miniramp (agro ramp) doing a fakie smith grind, I felt down and broke my humerus. After a surgery and one year of physical and physique rehabilitation, I start skating again.

 J: My worst injury is to be scared to get injured with stairs or something big. But I’m working to be a real insane.
A fact people don’t know about you: A: Be careful, I’m a Zombie! (Especially after final law exams) – J: I want to be a serial killer.


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