Pro Chat: Amanda Powell

Photo: Sam Weaver

This week we’ve caught up with Amanda Powell from the Longboard Girls Crew, whose highly anticipated documentary Endless Roads is about to drop online

Interview by Emma Gaffney

How did you get in to longboarding? Is it really true you’ve been riding for less than 2 years?!
It’s true, I’ve been longboarding for less than two years – I started in April of 2010. I’ve played around on a traditional skateboard since I was ten, but was never too hooked on it. I used to watch and take photos of my hometown friends ripping up the local hills on longboards, and they very quickly inspired me to get a Loaded Dancer. I’ve been longboarding almost every day since then.

Tell us a bit about the LGC and how you got involved in the documentary?
Longboard Girls Crew started in Spain with a group of girls who wanted to bring girl longboarders together to skate and inspire each other. They made a LGC Facebook page which was instantly a success, as it connected girls from all over the world. Since then, they have put countless hours of hard work into the development of the group and the girl scene. They had an idea of an epic LGC tour around Spain and made it a reality. They emailed Marisa Nunez and I with the idea, inviting us to be the international riders for the tour, and we were both so honored to be given such an incredible opportunity. Of course we said yes!

What can we expect from it?
Lots of laughter, good vibes, gorgeous locations, and top notch lady skating. The seven of us girls spent every single minute together for two weeks, so we had no choice but to get along. That was easy with these girls, though, we were amigas the moment we met. Juan was shooting us the whole time, so the footage is sure to be raw and real.

Photo: Meg Haywood Sullivan

Juan’s videos of the LGC have put a huge spotlight on female longboarders. what was it like working with him and why do you think his videos have become so popular?
It was a real pleasure to work with Juan Rayos. He has beautiful visions, and a lot of determination to capture them exactly how he wants to. It was easy to film with him because we just acted and skated as we normally would, and of course, he was making magic happen behind the lens. There were times we needed to get shots done quickly, because he would want something a particular way, but it was never too stressful because the whole crew worked so well together. I think that the combination of his extraordinary filming/editing talent and his dedication to “getting the shot” and not settling for anything other than perfection is what makes has made his videos so popular. I’m so thankful that he was documenting the trip because I will forever be able to relive the memories of the journey by watching his stunning cinematography.

Do you often ride with girls or was shredding with the LGC a really different experience?
I don’t often have the opportunity to skate with girls, so the skating on this trip was a big deal for me. I call it “lady-stoke”, and it is magical. Riding with these girls is something different, and I can’t quite put my finger on what it is. We fed off of each others excitement and confidence in a way I had never experienced before. There were times I was just too exhausted to skate, but as soon as the girls started shredding, I felt this compelling urge to grab my board and join them. There was a small language barrier between me and some of the girls, but it never existed when we skated. We connected on a level that words weren’t necessary on.

How was it riding in different places on the tour? Was there a stand out place during the trip?
The whole trip was beautiful. I had never been to Spain before, and on this single trip, I was able to see a lot of diversity of the country. I watched the landscapes change drastically from the window of the VW van. Skating all the different terrain was an awesome and challenging experience. We would decide on a place to skate, and just have to roll with it! I had a blast because I really enjoy skating new places and learning how to handle all different types of roads. The downhill in Mallorca was some of the best skating I’ve ever experienced in my life. Marisa Nunez is a professional downhill skater, so she showed me her ways on some fast and intense runs there. There was one particular run that we stayed very tight together on, I put my complete trust in her by holding her hand and following her lines down the whole hill. It was a magical moment for me because I had never done any downhill like that before.

Photo: Dane Webber

You’re known for your longboarding style and longboard dancing especially after the ‘Eyes Wide Open’ video, do you work hard to develop your own riding style?
I wouldn’t say I work hard to develop the style, but I do dedicate a lot of time to skating. I don’t own a car, so my board is my ride and I skate everywhere. I get very comfortable on my board by skating all disciplines, all the time – I think the style just comes naturally from that.

Longboarding has gained a lot of popularity recently but how would you like to see the sport grow?
I would like to see longboarding grow just as it has, I’d really like for the community to stay super positive and inclusive. I’d like a bit more diversity though – especially more females and more older folk! I really hope more people continue to realize how accessible it is – anyone can enjoy longboarding.

Have you got any more plans with longboarding apart from the documentary?
I don’t have any set plans, but my goal is to just continue to inspire girls to shred. I want to continuously be progressing and making media so that ladies see that it is very much possible for us to skate just as hard as the guys! I just moved to Los Angeles, California, so now I can skate year-round and there are so many challenging hills for me here. We shall see how it goes…

Make sure to check back soon for the first chapter of Endless Roads to be released

The Longboard Girls Crew in Mallorca - Photo: Juan Rayos
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