As featured in our top girl skate parts of all time, Vanessa Torres is a skate favourite of ours. The Californian cruiser was the first to win an X Games medal when they introduced girls skate into the contest back in 2003. We’ve watched her part in Getting Nowhere Faster over and over and over.. and over. The X Games are back next month in Austin and Vanessa’s name is down, so we catch up with the inspirational skater to see what’s up…
Where are you right now and what did you have for breakfast?
I’m in silver lake (LA) and just had leftover pizza for breaky.
How did you first get into skating and what kept you going with it?
There was this older kid, I can’t remember his name, but he seriously ripped at everything. Be it, bmx or video games, he was truly an inspiration to all of us (childhood friends) growing up. He picked up skating and we all wanted to be just like him. You could say this kid sparked my love for skating. What kept me going was the pure hype of progressing and it just genuinely makes me happy.
Whats your opinion on competitive skating? You have a big title to your name but is it about the competition to you?
In all honesty, the way I look at competitions is, I just get super hyped on skating with a good solid crew of ladies that rip. It just so happens we’re competing against each other that day, but I try to treat it as just another day out getting a heavy session in. Unfortunately, some contests are how a lot of us make our annual income.
Do you skate full time or do you have a boring job of any sorts too?
I try to skate as often as possible, but I also have a job nannying a 16 month old baby named Finn who is the child of two good, longtime friends!
How pleased were you back in the day when women’s street got added to the X Games? And then you won it?
I think all the ladies were stoked! I feel like we all had been fighting for that day and it finally came. Winning gold was just the icing on the cake for me. Not a bad way to start the year, ya know? Haha.
You say that Australia is ‘skate heaven’ but you live in Cali.. is the grass greener (a.k.a the cement smoother)?
Skating just feels so different, in a great way, when you’re in another part of the world. Comradery in the skate world is universal, which is badass and I’m proud to be a part of that. The grass in oz is definitely greener, haha. I had the pleasure of spending quite a lot of time out in Australia so, of course, the place, skate spots, parks, food, rad people, grew on me.
Personally for us Cali looks like skate heaven (lots of parks, and less rain than London!). Can you give us some insider knowledge of the state of skate?
It seriously takes forever to get anywhere in LA, but I guess you could say its worth it once you get to your destination. I actually spend a lot of time in Long Beach, Ca, because Amy lives there, as well as, Taylor (Beatty) and Nika (Washington) and other good friends, which I always have the most fun skating with. Definitely don’t have to worry about any rain out here, that’s for sure!
We spot you shredding it up with Nora (Vasconcellos) these days? Is she part of your skate crew since moving to Cali?
Nora rips so hard as a human and her skating speaks for itself. She’s definately a part of the crew, for sure! She’s just got rad energy and it’s infectious. Doesn’t hurt that she absolutely kills it on a board, either! Super fun to watch skate, awesome style and a solid bag of tricks.
Who else do you skate with?
Amy, Taylor, Lacey, Nika, whoever is down to shred!
Who inspires you in the skate world right now?
Nora’s tranny skills and Nika’s street skills. Just inspiring to see ladies ripping and progressing women’s skating.
What’s your favourite snack to take to the skatepark?
A 12pk of pabst, haha 😉
Have you ever skated in the UK? Or if not, Europe?
I haven’t skated in the UK, yet! I’ve skated in Munich, Bilbao, Barcelona, Brussels to name a few.
The number of girls skating in Europe is growing by the day, is it the same in the US?
It’s growing all over the world! Can’t stop, won’t stop!
Meow Skateboards, looks like a rad girl skate brand. Can you tell us about them?
Technically, I wouldn’t call it a “girl” specific skate brand, it just so happens that the team is all girls. Meow definitely reaches out to the female and male skate public, but it’s kind of become a foundation for up and coming girls that deserve exposure and recognition.
The skate scene is in fashion right now, London had the Selfridges skatepark (which we did a rad night at) and boards are being swung down the catwalk. What’s your take on it all?
I actually got asked the same question in an interview I did with Kenzo. I believe there should be some sort of benefit to both parts. Most skateboarders are pretty good looking, why not use an actual skateboarder? I don’t know, at some point it just becomes so cheesy. I’ve kind of lost any interest I had in all that controversy.
What do you do apart from skate?
Amy recently took me out surfing. So much fun! I actually taught myself years ago when I was living in Mexico, but it got away from me. I’d love to get back into that, for sure.
What’s summer got planned for you?
Hopefully, lots of skating and traveling! I really want to put together a full, all new part, as well!
And the X Games in Austin of course?
I couldn’t be more excited about being invited back this year. I’ve been skating and filming more than ever so I’m definately looking forward to coming out and giving it my best. Especially, with all that’s at stake! Haha.
You can catch Vanessa and a list of other female skaters competing for X Games Gold out in Austin on Sunday 8th June.