“Amanda Powell is the only lady I know in L.A. rushing to the Malibu hills as often as possible to skate what most guys are terrified to skate—firing-up her scooter and hitting the hills is Amanda’s daily routine.
When she isn’t job-hunting from her computer she is eating PB&J’s, mobbing a canyon run, or shredding the boardwalks of Venice Beach. Her effortless transitioning between a 55” dancer and an ever-shortening speed-board shows just how versatile of a skater she really is.
If you told her a year ago that there would be a press release about her switching board sponsors she would have called you crazy, and then skated away, surfboard under one arm, on her way to the beach.
Things are moving fast for Mander—I can’t wait to see what comes next.” (Dane Webber)
So, you’re a radical lady-ripper and from the east coast of ‘Merica. How long have you been rollin’ and what was your first board and set up?
I’ve been skating for over a decade now, and my first set up was a Flip deck with some Independent Trucks and Ricta Wheels. I never ripped too hard on that thing, but it got me hooked on skateboarding for sure.
One of the styles of skating you are known for is surf-inspired board walking. Tell us about how you got into that—who inspired you—and how do you see this discipline growing in the future?
Well, my skating is in fact surf-inspired; I love to surf just as much as I love to skate. My hometown friends in Massachusetts introduced me to board walking (on their skateboards and surfboards) two years ago, and their smooth steps and style floored me. After watching a video of Adam Colton and Adam Stokowski tearing it up on a Loaded Dancer, I knew I needed 55 inches of bamboo under my feet. Board walking is timeless, and I’m sure it will only continue to grow as more people, and more types of people, try it. Can you imagine an old lady cross stepping and doing whirly birds on her skateboard in your neighborhood? That’s my plan.
Longboarder, skateboarder, or middleboarder?
Skateboarder. Skate everything.
Long johns, under-roos, or pantaloons?
Skateboarding has torn all of mine to shreds.
What are the three best things about riding a long skateboard?
1. I can bigspin and go 50mph on the same board.
2. The haters are hilarious.
3. Longer boards are what I have the most fun on.
Your boyfriend is the ripping shredder, Mr. Dane Webber, of Loaded and Orangatang. What are the pros and cons of dating a fellow skater?
Aw, Daner. Call me lame, but we haven’t found many cons. The only one I can think of is how much it sucks to watch each other eat shit. Other than that, it’s a blast to be in a skater relationship. We motivate each other to get to the hills often, bandage each other’s hard-to-reach road rash, and work together to help support the community. Our apartment has become a crash pad for frequent skate visitors and we collectively know just about everything that’s happening in the skate world. It’s a really neat thing to be able to completely share your passion with your favorite human.
I’m not a girl—I want to make that very clear. I’m totally a burly man with a healthy hoarfrost beard. Now that we’ve cleared that up, I’m down for chicks, especially ones that shred as hard as you do. Since I’m a man and do not know the answer to this, what’s is it like being a lady in this skate community? Do you feel any sort of special responsibility, vibes, or pressures? Do you ever wish you could grow a sweet mustache or wear tighty whities?
I’ll leave the mustache growing to Daner; he usually sports one that’s dirty (I mean, sweet) enough for the both of us. It’s an interesting experience being a lady in this skate community, but I don’t feel any sort of pressures from it. I think the stares that I get from onlookers stem more from curiosity than expectation. I skate by the Venice skatepark often and I am more than pleased with how well my skating is received. O.G. rippers, skatepark rats, and tourists all approach me on the daily to give me props and ask endless questions about how they can get into it. I’m probably easier to approach than the typical skater. But, there should be more of us! There’s no reason that there shouldn’t be just as many girls ripping as guys, and I think everyone is starting to realize that. Except for the unfortunate YouTube trolls who are constantly giving female skateboarders grief with their kitchen jokes. Wake up and grow up kiddies— yes, those chicks are shredding harder than you!
You recently changed sponsors from Loaded and Orangatang and are now riding for Sector 9 Skateboards. Tell us about that. Why the change and what is your plan for total galactic dominance?
Well there was no juicy break-up between me and Loaded/Orangatang, I still have a dynamite friendship with all the guys and respect what they’re doing. They have a huge army of Ambassadors all over the world spreading the stoke in all sorts of cool ways, which I think is rad. However, I wanted to be a part of a smaller team so that I can get really involved and contribute plenty to the company, as well as be supported in growing the lady scene in every way possible. After being in California half a year, new opportunities arose and the route I chose to take was with Sector 9. I’m so stoked on their product, team, and vibes – it feels like a perfect fit to me.
Now that you are going to be doing a monthly column here at Wheelbase, and I know the idea was to help spread the word about the growing female scene, what are some things that the Wheelbase readers can expect to see form your new column? Do you have a name for it yet? “What about “Amanda Powell’s: Chicks With Sticks”?—of course you can spell the “Sticks” however you like, but “Stix” is pretty cool, or maybe, “Styx”. Your thoughts?
The name of the article is undecided as of now, but “Styx” is the only way I would’ve spelled that. I plan on using my article to keep Wheelbase readers up to date with all the happenings in the lady skateboard scene—rider news, event info, new products. . . anything that pertains to the lady skaters. I want to get the spotlight on the girls once a month so that everyone can see the increasing number of girls that are shredding and watch the gnar bar continue to be pushed by these girls. Hopefully the exposure will lead to even more girls shredding, even harder.
You’ve been riding a lot of downhill lately—that ladies session on GMR with you, Marisa, Sara and Daisy was pretty rad to see first-hand. How did you get into the downhill scene and what insight or advice do you have for the ladies who want to add bombing hills to their shredding repertoire?
I started skating downhill when I moved to California last fall. I live very close to Malibu and all of my homies here rally those crazy canyons, so I’ve been learning plenty from them. My advice for the ladies that want to start bombing? Be patient with yourself, and take all of the advice that your skaterbros give you – they’ll know what you’re capable of and can help coach you through a run. If you pace yourself and really dial in the skills you need to make it down a mountain road (footbreaking, staying low, taking good lines, and high speed colemans), you’ll be shreddy for all sorts of speedy fun.
I know you’ve been working on doing some traveling this year and are getting fitted for some fresh new race leathers. What races are you planning on hitting this season and how serious are you about winning?
Yes sir, my leathers are in the works and I’ll be racing in North America this year. I know that I’ll be attending the Catalina Island Classic, Vernon, Grand Prix of New York, Maryhill Festival of Speed, Winsport, and Bonelli. I’m sure I’ll hit a few other cool events too including the Maryhill She-ride (Lady’s Freeride). Racing is a good opportunity to travel and meet great people, but I wouldn’t be racing if I didn’t want to win. (;
Okay Lady Amanda, I have so much respect for what you are doing for the community—thanks also for taking the time to go shredding with us and for doing this here interview. Let’s wrap this big-dog up and go skate somethin’. Hit us with some closing goodness and shouts to the homies, sponsors, and whatever else you want.
Word up, my pleasure! Big love to Wheelbase, you are truly the champagne of skateboard media. Huge thanks to my sweet sponsors who make it a possibility for me to do my thing: Sector 9, Paris Trucks, Daddies Board Shop, Triple 8, and Holesom Scented Slide Pucks. And I gotta give it up to all my homies that push me to go bigger, faster, and gnarlier—I’m so happy to be where I’m at today and it’s thanks to all you cool cats!