Trying to coax Spring season from its theoretic to a proper start, we caught up with UK skater Stef Nurding to get the sun rolling!
Interview by Anna Langer, all photos by Robin Kitchin/Animal except above
Hey Stef, how was uni this week?
They may as well have beds here! It has been insane this week; I’m not even being dramatic. We have all of our deadlines Friday (today) and I’m going to Japan on Sunday so getting everything done has been a huge mission of coffee drinking and late nights and trying to squeeze in a skate as often as I can.
We heard you’re studying fashion design, how did you get into that?
I had just returned from doing a snowboard season and got offered a job at my local skateboard shop. I had always been into customization of my own clothing and doing tye dye workshops with the kids at the skatepark but when I worked at the shop I became even more interested in the clothing, the fabrics and the branding and so I started to think about studying. Fashion was the obvious choice for me and I haven’t looked back, I literally love it.
Have you always been into clothing and style?
I have always been into it, I haven’t always gotten it right though haha. I remember having a pink plastic skateboard, a t-shirt of the local shop and my mum had literally put a bowl on my head and cut around it! I wish I had a photo. I suppose there is no right or wrong really but I have always loved playing around with style and experimenting with different looks. I have always had an unhealthy obsession with nail varnish and am pretty good at nail art!
Is style an important factor in skateboarding for you?
I like to be comfortable when I’m skating and definitely consider comfort and functionality first but there is no reason it has to be boring! I am always dying my t-shirts and painting my nails bright colours but then when it comes to having a skate session I forget about all of that and everything else I think that’s the beauty of a sport like skateboarding.
Is there a certain style you prefer? Or someone whose personal style you admire?
OMG Kimberly Gordon she has such a crazy style, I love it. I like to change it up a lot and don’t mind wearing quite a lot of colour or print. I usually visit blogs to get inspiration, I like your ‘what we’re wear’ section and sites like style rookie and rainbowwildfox.tumblr.com. There are so many beautiful images on there.
What about tight pants vs baggies…?!
Tight except for when you are straight up chilling at home and then it’s the baggier the better.
How did you get into skateboarding in the first place?
It has always been a part of my life as there wasn’t really much else to do when I was a kid. My brother and me always dabbled and had plastic skateboards we would roll down the hill on and we could drop in but it was after returning from my first winter of snowboarding that I really go into it. I was working in a hotel in Newquay and there were loads of really good skateboarders there for boardmasters, after seeing them all skate so good I literally think I became addicted to it and spent my whole summer skateboarding every day. I went to Newquay last summer with Animal and did some filming with surfer Hannah Harding. It was so cool to be back where I started, it really made me see how much skateboarding had shaped my life.
Is there something girls can do to infuse more style into their riding? Any tips or advice?
I think if you are interested in style and like being creative then it’s just a case of getting inspired, look through other people’s blogs and see what people are doing. I always do designs on my griptpe and my clothing, cut things and sew things onto stuff and just have fun with it. There was a kid at our skatepark who had tye dyed his socks the other day, which made me laugh.
What plans do you have for this summer?
I usually go to Malmö to visit my friend Gilly Segrave, last summer Becky Jacques, Hannah Bailey, Lucy Adams and myself all went over for the Get Set Go contest, which was part of Ultra Bowl. It is so good to skate there and there are so many girls to skate with it is amazing! I think we may go to Copenhagen as well this year for the girls skate camp and hopefully I will go away with the Animal team again as we went to Portugal this summer and it was one of the best trips I have ever been on!! (hint hint)
And what about more into the future?
I’d really like to skate more of the UK and see some of the skate shops and visit friends, I think when I finish university I will spend my summer skateboarding and getting some footage. I love documenting things and have been doing some lomography and making some not very good videos but they are fun to watch… I think.
Do you plan on working in the skateboard industry too after your degree?
Maybe, if an opportunity came up. I want to keep my options open and keep experimenting whilst I have the chance. I am really interested in sustainability and have been doing a lot of work with recycled wetsuits at the moment for my collection so maybe that will lead somewhere who knows. I like not knowing what will happen…
Anything else you’d like to get off your chest?
I’d just like to say thank you to everyone who has supported me and allowed me to travel and do what I love. Thank you to Animal for giving me such a great year of travel and experiences and to Bandit for supporting me as well!