We caught up with the beer-loving 21 year old from Waterloo, Belgium who has been skating for 15 years already, to chat competing, World Cups, Smith Grinds and more…
Interview by Jenna Selby
Last year was the first time you entered the World Cup series?
Yes I think I went to Prague last year for the first time, but I had already participated in Paris before that.
You have been skating for several years – why did you decide it was time to compete now?
It’s true I skate in my corner for a long time, at home in my street, but I wanted to move, I wanted to travel and enjoy the skate!
It seems like you have only just appeared on the scene but in reality you have been around for a some years now – what else were you up to in that time?
I started on the smaller competitions in Belgium and then I followed the others in the international events, and I find it great, I met other girls that I find whenever I share in competition! Besides that, I shoot a lot of video in the streets, but I try to be mostly on the events.
In the two World Cup competitions that you skated last year – you placed well in both, which meant you ended up 6th in the World rankings overall. What is the plan for this year?
This past year it was a surprise to find myself in the world rankings! And it has inspired me to do better this year… It often makes the separation between pleasure skating and competition, I combined the two and I love skate like that!
How do you find it skating the big competitions?
I like to go to competitions, this is the time to show that it’s our (women’s) place on a skateboard. It’s time to party, meet some great people, or find other people. It is true that there is pressure, but it’s so good to get away from everything else with my board!
The standard of female riders has jumped massively over the last 10 years – can you see it getting to a point perhaps in another 10 years where competitions will be mixed?
That’s right, the level is now amazing and it’s been fun to see! But I do not think that one day the girls and boys are mixed. The prize money goes up for us, but also there is the augment the level in boys will also raise, so we will never catch up.
What are your plans for travelling this year, are you heading to any other competitions?
I go to the Mystic Cup in Prague in a few weeks after I will go to NASS (UK), but I do not know if I have the time and money for others. There is a contest in Berlin – Suck My Trucks – that I would go to.
Are you going on any tours or travelling to particular skate spots over the summer?
I just go to the contests or sessions with my Kaafs (Belgium skate crew), we may be going to Barca again this year to shoot!
Following on from that where is your favourite place to skate and why?
I do not know, I do not know a lot of spots and there are a lot I want to skate, I’ll try to shoot a street in Prague this month!
What was it that actually got you into skating the first place?
I started because my roller skates became too small and my parents didn’t want to buy me some bigger ones… I wanted to have something that rolled!
Belgium seems to have turned out some of the best female skaters in Europe – why do you think that is? Is it something in the water?
I don’t know – Belgium spots are sketchy!
Are there any new faces on the female scene over there that we should keep an look out for?
I just know Evelien Bouilliart, Sophie Poppe and Heloise in Belgium.
What else are you up to at the moment with skateboarding?
I teach skating in Brussels for young and old!
I ride with my Kaafs and that’s all that matters now.
You’ve recently filmed a banging 4 minute section for Belgium’s Kaaf Movie [Aura’s part starts at 30.28 ]– which also appeared on The Berrics “watch this” page.
The cameraman for the Kaaf movie has good contacts and he is good to spread his videos. He works to promote the rider of his video. He finds sponsors, organizes trips, it’s a real team manager!
Was it filmed around local spots?
Most spots are in Belgium, but there is also a part in Barcelona or in Luxembourg for example.
Are you filming for any other video parts?
We work on two Kaaf movie right now. Keep your eyes peeled!
And to finish off, what’s your favourite trick and why?
I like a lot the backside smith grind and backtail because to skate back is harder, it is more beautiful, and we have no time to be afraid!
Aura rides for Globe.