Interview with YuLin Olliver @ Street League Skateboarding
I recently had the privilege to interview YuLin Olliver from Street League Skateboarding for a piece I was working on at NJ.com. Since my daughter loves skateboarding, I thought I'd have her come up with some questions to ask. The interview was so cool, I thought I'd post it in its entirety here. Enjoy!
1. Do I
have to wear my pads all the time? How about my helmet?
YuLin: I find that you fall when you
least expect it, and when you are starting to get tired. I would recommend
wearing all your pads and especially your helmet whenever you are skateboarding.
Professional vert skaters always wear their pads and helmets. Vert is where you
skate on a huge half pipe. Vert skaters and street skaters often times are very
good at skating bowls and pools too. Here are some videos and photos of pro
skater 16 year old Allysha Bergado, at one point she was the youngest X Games
athlete in history. Street skating pros tend to not wear pads or helmets, yet
they have been skateboarding and falling for so long that they have learned how
to fall and roll away safely.
Chrissie: I recommend pads and a helmet
when you first begin skating ramps.
Clayton: I suggest maybe wearing pads until you reach a certain level of
comfortability and confidence. It's hard to say someone should stop wearing
helmets/pads. Just more a matter of preference.
2. What is
the best trick to try for my first one?
YuLin: The ollie is the beginning of
everything. I'd recommend ollie-ing off curbs and over cracks in the road. Then
getting kick turns in both directions and being able to skate fakie.
Chrissie: Ollie or shuv-it.
Clayton: I recommend trying to learn how
to ollie first. The ollie is the root for almost every other trick and it's what
you used to get into grinds. Then maybe learn 180's and kick flips/heel flips.
Once you get those kind of tricks down then things really start to take off and
you get a better understanding on how the board works and you can learn to
combine tricks and come up with variations. I.E. 180 + Kickflip = 180
3. How old
were you when you started skateboarding? Did you ever get hurt?
YuLin: This is not going make much
sense for you but, I started skateboarding when I was 25 years old. After I
became a snowboarder. I just really missed snowboarding during the summer so
with skateboarding, I can skate ANYWHERE. I love going fast and carving and
skating snake runs. And no need to pay for an expensive ticket to a ski resort.
Yes I broke my left ankle once (spiral fracture of the left fibula) when I was
learning to drop in on a mini ramp a snowboarding/skateboarding camp in Mount
Hood, Oregon. But I went to the doctors, they put a plate in there and it didn't
really even hurt. Now my ankle is even stronger than it ever was before. I had
them take the plate out after a year and I worked out in the gym and at home a
lot right after the injury, stretched and swam every day, so that I was
skateboarding and snowboarding again in just a few months. Then I went back and
learned how to drop in for real this time. I had great friends to help me learn,
so I haven't gotten injured since that time.
Chrissie: 8 years old. Bumps and bruises
come with the territory of the sport, but my only serious injury has been a
Clayton: I started skating when I was 14. I've broken a few bones over the
years and have had other numerous injuries. Just comes with the learning
4. When it
gets cold, can I still skate on the street if there’s ice on it?
YuLin: I wouldn't unless you wanted
skateboarding to be even unpredictable and even more difficult than it might
already be. Skateboard wheels are made to go forward and backwards. If you skate
on ice, the physics go out the window and now your board (and you) can go any
which way so that would be difficult and unpredictable. Plus keep it FUN! That's
the point right? Keep it as FUN as possible for as LONG as possible. And if you
get injured, you can not have fun skateboarding if you have to nurse a broken
something for 6 weeks.
Chrissie: I wouldn't. The wetness from the
ice can make your griptape not grip as well, rust your bearings, and over time
warp your deck.
Clayton: You can still skate when it gets cold. However, the ground always
seems a little harder and it just takes a little longer to warm up. I recommend
indoor skateparks if you have any near by. I don't recommend skating on ice,
thats actually one of the ways I have broken my
5. How do
I become a professional skateboarder?
YuLin: There is no secret formula but
like with any sport or endeavor, it takes being the best at what you do and not
being prone to injury. Some people are amazing athletes but are injured all the
time. Some people are talented but don't know how to work with their sponsors.
Not only must you love skateboarding and skate every chance you get while
keeping it fun, you need to film and skate contests to show your soon-to-be
sponsors what you would bring to them if they hired you/sponsored you. It always
helps if you are the type of person that other kids can relate to, that aspect
helps the sponsors. Be the best, be happy, be accessible to your sponsors and
commit to your dream no matter what gets in your way.
Chrissie: Skate every chance you get! Begin
entering competitions, even at a beginner level. Once you are good enough, film
yourself doing your best tricks and send it off to skate companies to get
Clayton: Please let me know if you figure
out the answer to this one as well. I'm still working on it! But the best way
I'm sure is to just keep pushing yourself and trying to progress on a daily
basis, stay motivated for the right reasons.