This Is Me: Valeria Kechichian

The co-founder of the Longboard Girls Crew talks loosing bad habits and finding love in boardsports

Interview by Anna Langer, photo by Juan Rayos

I started longboarding 4 years ago. I was quitting some bad habits and was desperately looking for new hobbies. Four years later, longboarding is a huge part of my life. I found great friends, I found my boy, and we built a world-wide community that supports and spreads female longboarding. I couldn’t ask for more.

The first time on a board was not the best though actually (just like in real life, ha), because you’re basically trying to figure out your balance. But I do remember the feeling after the first sessions, when you start to have control over your board, going down a slope, carving. It’s one of the best feelings ever. Only compared to the first time you surf a wave or go down a hill with your snowboard. Absolute freedom.

Tired of being the only girls in mostly boy’s crews, two years ago Jacky Madenfrost, me and a group of friends from Madrid decided to get together and create a group on Facebook, to meet, hang and skate with other girls, since the energy is very different when there are only girl riders around. The main mission was to get together and place female longboarding on the map. We knew there were more girls; we just needed to find them, or make them want to start. That’s how we came up with the idea of an all-female video (Girls Can Ride, by Juan Rayos). After that, everything got big, but our mission is still the same. We achieved a lot of things, but we are still working for real equality.

Besides longboarding, I also snowboard and try to surf. I say “try” because it’s been four years since I started, and I don’t get to practice very often. It’s the most difficult sport I’m into, but also the one I like the most. Waiting in the water for a wave is sacred; the connection with nature is mind-blowing… I love snowboarding too, people say they are similar sports, and in some ways they are – the moves, the flow, and the fact that I’m regular in all of them – but what I love the most is all the differences between them.

I was born and grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I was a very shy girl… No one believes me when I say that, as I’m extremely outgoing now. I didn’t have an easy childhood, so I just tried to make my way in life.

The world could be a better place if we would all be living in a more respectful way, towards each other and the planet. It all starts with one’s self, not with what I do for NGOs in India or South America (which is important too), but the way I behave with everyone around me. I have a very strong personality and I struggle with my mood a lot, but being kind and respectful with everyone is so big; you feel the feedback instantly. People react to love with more love, and it works the same the other way round too. I also think we need to find a balance between our lifestyle and the place we live in. I’m constantly struggling to find new environmental-friendly ways to live in a city: ride bicycles, support trade-fair shops, always carry your own bag to avoid using plastic bags, be conscious of what you’re consuming and your ecological footprint, adopt in animal shelters… The change starts in us.

My favourite moments from longboarding so far were the Spanish festivity ‘La Noche en Blanco’ in 2010 (a whole night full of celebrating with tons of closed roads) and the day shooting in A Coruña for our documentary Endless Roads. We cruised with the local crew for hours and ended the day with an awesome barbeque in the street. It was such a fun day! Can’t wait to see it in the last episode of Endless Roads.

In 20 years I will be 51, so I guess I’ll still be able to stand on a board of some kind! I’m happy with the way I managed my life so far. With 31 years old I’m doing most of the sports I want, almost as much as I want to. I’m not an extreme rider, and I’m definitely not one of the best, but I like what I do very much. I hope in 20 years I’ll still be doing the same thing… My rhythm, enjoying the ride.

We just returned from a national ‘Girls Meet’ in Zaragoza, Spain, where we gathered almost 80 girls from all around Spain plus some from Europe, to meet and freeride in La Muela, Zaragoza’s gnarliest road. It was a perfect weekend full of love, longboard and friendship. Hopefully things like this will be done in many countries.

We skate because we love it, but making friends in the way makes it just the perfect sport.

Find out more about Val’s weekend in Zaragoza here and follow her future adventures on


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