Who's Rad? Nora Manger.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Photo Ian Logan
Photo Eric Hoang

We saw this really young girl at the Maryhill Sheride this past year, she was quiet and would tell the truck to let her off near cowzers (part way up the hill) so she could get the feel of the hill by "butt boarding" down. Well, that didn't last long, because next time we looked up she was standing and riding from the top of Maryhill, and all the other girls had taken her under their wing and were giving her pointers.

You could definitely say that 13 year old Nora Manger is addicted to downhill, but she also manages to find time to work on getting her pilots license (yes, you read that right) and to start a longboard club for girls at her school. She's even scored her very first skate sponsor - and it a major one (read more in her interview below).

We predict that we will be hearing more and more about this rad young girl in the upcoming year, and we can't wait to see what she does next!

Who's Rad?     Nora Manger

Age?      13

Home is?      Pleasanton, California

How long have you been skating?    Two years

What type of skateboarding do you do?     Downhill

What got you into skateboarding?
I had a Sector 9 double truck longboard that I would ride around on the flats. But, I saw a YouTube video by Devin Supertramp where they were bombing down hills on their boards. It looked like so much fun. I started on smaller hills and slowly got better and braver over time.

Photo Kevin Carlton

Who do you skate with each day?

I have a friend who is two years younger than me. No one else in my neighborhood likes doing hills. I don’t drive so I rely on my dad to take me to different skate sessions around the Bay Area. I’m able to join these other skate sessions once every week or two.

The U-Haul that takes the downhill skaters up to the top of the famous Maryhill

Tell us about your first Maryhill SheRide

Magic. Amazing. Transformational. Encouraging. Confidence Building.

I had gone to the SheRide mostly to meet some other female longboarders and get some tips on how to eliminate speed wobbles. I went home with dozens of new friends and the info I needed to GO FAST. And, I had so much fun. What a wonderful group of people. I think of Maryhill everyday. I can’t wait to go back!!!

Have you been to any events since then and how were they?

I have been to four “formal” events and almost weekly informal events since getting back from the SheRide. I’ve met tons of new longboarders in the Bay area. I love my new Maryhill friends! We have a bunch of skating events planned for 2016. Can’t wait!!

Both of my parents have promised to get me to as many events as possible next year. And, when I’m old enough to drive, we’re already talking about the best type of car/truck/van I should get for making lots of road trips with fellow road warriors. Woohoo!!

Nora's lunch box made into a Tool Box

Are you competing yet / or are you looking forward to that soon?

I had my first race in October with the Bonelli NorAm. I was beating my Junior Class friends in the practice runs. But, on race day it rained and I ate hay and came in second. I was the only girl there. This needs to change. More girl longboarders!! (BTW - I tried to have them rename the race to “Bonelli Nora M” but they didn’t bite!)

What advice would you give to another girl who wants to get started skateboarding?

Don’t be intimidated by the guys. They’re big, fast & skate aggressively. Find other groups of skaters on Facebook. Make it a social activity. Find other people to skate with. Keep looking if you don’t find any right away. Keep practicing to perfect your techniques and build your confidence. Don’t give up.

And, don’t be intimidated by the hills. Start low on the hill and work your way up. Ride buttboard style until you’re comfortable with the speed. Don’t feel like you have to take the hill top to bottom.

Photo Kevin Carlton

And, get protective gear. Getting hurt sucks! It cuts into your ride time. You’ll be more confident knowing that you’re well protected. Plus, you can’t get better if you’re at home nursing road rash.

Girls you look up to in skateboarding?

It’s a huge list. But, any girl who has been to Maryhill is on that list. And, the girls I see bombing hills on YouTube. They really inspire me. I love watching them cream the guys. All of the girl skaters I’ve met have been fun & friendly. And, they are really encouraging. I can’t thank them enough.

Favorite place you've ever skated? 

Maryhill. Maryhill. And, Maryhill. And, the parking garages near me. I don’t drive, so I don’t get to too many different places to ride. I’m really looking forward to bombing some of the longer hills in the Bay Area. I have friends who are suggesting hills based on my skill level and riding style. (I ride goofy.) I’ll start trying new hills in the months to come.

Favorite Trick or maneuver?
Push up slides. I have this one mastered. Overall, I’m not very good at sliding yet. And, I definitely can not do power slides. But, this is the slide that I enjoy the most. And, I’m working hard to learn other slides.

Photo Ali Johnson

Tell us about your downhill set up – board, wheels, helmet?

Deck – Never Summer Admiral
Trucks – Caliber II
Bearings – Bone Reds
Wheels – Biggie Hawgs

I’m REALLY big on wearing proper protective gear. I’m able to push myself harder knowing that I’m less likely to get hurt.

I don’t like seeing either professional or amateur riders (and especially groms!) riding at high speed without protective gear. So, I’m hoping you’ll list this gear as well.

Leathers – Hein Gericke ($80 on Craigslist!)
Street Helmet – half shell XS
Racing Helmet - full face Predator
Soft Pads – G-Form knee & elbow pads + compression shorts
Hard Pads – Sector 9 Riot Pads (knee & elbow)
Gloves – Loaded w/ carbon fiber knuckles

If other girls are going to look to me as an example, I want them to wear protective gear. I want everyone to ride safe. And, keeping your skin & your brains intact let’s you spend more time upright on your board!


Maryhill Racing Team. I am the first member of their new racing team. Woohoo!

Tell us about the skate club you are starting at school

It is going to be a longboarding club for girls. We haven’t even had our first meeting yet. But, I have a lot of interest already. We’ll meet at lunchtime once a week, learn from each other and plan skate sessions off campus.

What made you decide to start a skate club?

Since I started riding my longboard to school, I’ve noticed eight other boys have replaced their skateboards with longboards and have started doing the same thing. I want to see more girls riding longboards. And, I want to have more girls to ride with.

Any advice for other girls who want to start one at their school?

Just make it happen. Push aside any obstacles. Also, don’t plan on doing any riding on campus. Due to liability reasons, we have to do all of our riding off campus. I have a long list of discussion topics. So, we’ll have plenty to talk about.

You were just at Exposure Skate – did seeing all the girls do vert, bowl and street inspire you to try one or more of this type of skating?

YES! I was amazed at the board control that these girls had. They rocked. I’ll start out with a few tricks and work my way up from there. But, downhill is my first love!

Three Things You Don't Know About Me:

1. I’m actually quite shy. But, I come out of my cocoon when I’m at home, around my friends, or when I’m skating.

2. I love doing other outdoor sports like snowboarding, kayaking, bicycling, camping. I’m even trying to kiteboard using my mountainboard on land.

3. I’m only 13 but I’m taking once-a-month flight lessons so that I can get my pilot certificate when I turn 17. (Longboards are fast. Planes are even faster!)

What’s Next?

I didn’t even know about the larger longboarding community until the Maryhill Sheride in August. Since then, I’ve made lots of new friends and have attended lots of downhill events/sessions. I’m planning to attend all of these events in 2016:

-- Maryhill Spring Freeride
-- Maryhill G-Ride
-- Maryhill Festival of Speed
-- Maryhill SheRide
-- Maryhill Fall Freeride
-- Albatross Slide Jam
-- Shred The Lake (Tahoe)
-- Exposure Skate Contest
-- Muirskate Downhill Disco

I’ll attend more events if I’m able. There are a number of events further east that I would love to attend. But, going east is a bit of effort for me right now. (But, I make a great passenger. Hint! Hint!)

Make sure you follow Nora on:

I’m on Facebook & Instagram @noramanger.   I would love to connect with more skaters!


  1. we need more girls like you, send it!!!

  2. Nora, you're awesome!! I'm so excited for you.

  3. Hi Nora! I'm the kid you skate with. Keep on riding!

  4. hi nora! its me the 11 year old u skate with. i cant believe u have all this stuff about you! see you soon


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