|Photo Dontae Rockymore|
|Photo Jacob Bain|
We first heard about skater Christiana Smith when her video "Skating in a Dress" came out a few years back. We were intrigued by this girl who ripped and also had a point of view on the female gender that she was willing to share so publicly. We finally met up with her in person at contests here in Southern California and knew she needed to have a "Who's Rad" on the GN4LW site, so the rest of the world could learn about all she is doing in skateboarding and the positivity she spreads, not just in skating, but in life. Read on and prepare to be inspired by this awesome skateboarder! xx
Who's Rad? Christiana Smith
Home is? Detroit, MI, living in Los Angeles, CA
How long have you been Skating? 8 years
Type of skateboarding you do?
Street, but I like skating everything. Grew up skating a lot of mini ramp and halfpipes.
|Photo Savannah Miller|
What got you into skateboarding?
I think I was always interested in it but a couple of my friends from school started doing it and that’s when I got a board and did it with them, ever since then I was hooked.
What made you decide to keep skateboarding?
It just became something I fell in love with and became passionate about. My friends used to say I was “obsessed” with skateboarding haha. I just love everything about it, the culture, friends from all over, landing tricks, and overcoming battles.
Christaina's Video - "Skating in a Dress?"
You did a film a few years ago called “Skating in a Dress?” – can you tell us about what made you decide to do this film?
We had to do a mini documentary project for my college video class and this idea came to me one day, I knew I wanted to do it, I wrote down all my ideas and planned it out then got to filming. I felt that it was the perfect way to present a message that I wanted to be shared and could affect others. I felt like it would show who I really am cause not everyone in my class knew I skated and of course get some skate tricks in.
What was the response like after the video came out?
Unreal, it was honestly the best thing ever. I got responses from people all over the world about how inspiring it was and how that was what they went through as a girl skater and great to know they’re not alone. People would send me long messages, it meant and still does mean so much to me. It inspired me on many levels to continue to spread messages of positivity because you never know who you can affect.
We know you speak out on gender issues and you do so in a very calm & respectful way – have you always felt it was important to speak up for women & girls?
I’ve always believed that any type of discrimination should be brought to light and addressed so we can move forward. I was lucky enough to have found a good way to share that message in a video like “skating in a dress” where everyone, guys and girls, can enjoy and learn something .
Can you tell us a bit about your new organization, “A Positive Seed” and what your goals are with that project?
Honestly after the the responses from skating in a dress I was super inspired to continue spreading positive messages and inspiring others to do the same. It’s a company I wanted to start to represent planting seeds of positivity in every aspect of life. Whether it be helping out a kid who looks lost at a skatepark, sitting with someone who’s alone at lunch, or just complimenting a friend. Kind acts like that can go a long way and I call them seeds of positive change. For example some of the responses I got from skating in a dress where people said they were inspired. Plant positive seeds and watch them spread and inspire many to do the same.
How can people get involved if they would like to be on board?
Anything you do that is positive and moving the world forward in a positive direction is really being A Positive Seed. You can log onto Apositiveseedco.com and send a message or tell us about seeds you spread. We also have beanies and stickers to represent.
|Photo Hannah Smith|
You attended (or are attending?) Otis College of Art & Design – was it/is it hard, juggling school, work and skateboarding?
I actually took the year off and started working this year but will be attending Otis in the fall. But even work and skating can suck sometimes when all the homies are out skating and I can’t skate that day.
What are you studying and where would you like to go with your career?
Photography and Digital Media. I would just like to be doing things I love and am happy with. Taking photos, traveling, skateboarding, making videos, etc.
Do you see yourself merging your loves – skateboarding and art/design?
Totally, I already do, and skateboarding is the perfect thing to be able to do that with because it’s such an art itself.
Skateboarding is changing rapidly for girls - what positive changes have you seen for girls in the sport out there?
I see a good amount of changes out there. It’s sick that there are more amateur contest out there and cash prizes being awarded. It’s honestly the best just to see more girls out there doing it. I see more girl skaters then there ever was before and such a wide age range as well.
|Photo Hannah Smith|
What advice can you give to girls who may be starting out skateboarding and also those who are competing at the amateur level?
Just to have fun and make sure you’re always having fun. Don’t get frustrated and don’t give up.
You are an extremely positive role model for girls out there, and in addition to that you have been filming and competing more and more lately so we’d like to talk to you about all that.
It’s been sick getting to be out street skating in LA and take little skate trips like to SF and stuff. Such a fun and sick experience, some of the best times in my life, super grateful.
We saw you at Exposure and Poseiden’s Ladies Day at the Berrics this summer – do you enjoy the contest scene?
Yeah it was such a fun day! So hype to have all those girls out there even the pros.
|Photo Don Sheffler|
You are always on the go – traveling, skating, learning new tricks – how do you keep in shape & what is your healthy secret for food choices?
I just skate a lot and work out sometimes to stay up to beat and rehab my ankle I’ve injured in the past. I honestly have no healthy food choices, I wish I did I wanna start eating healthier.
You have traveled quite a bit now for skateboarding, can you tell us some of your favorite places you’ve gotten to skate?
Camp Woodward in Pennsylvania is pretty perfect probably the best place I’ve ever skated. But I love anywhere new I get to skate and experience like Seattle, San Fransisco, and even here in LA.
What are your plans for competing in the upcoming year – any contests or filming or photo shoots you are looking forward to?
Looking forward to finishing a street part and Wheels of Fortune in May!
Favorite place to skate? Modern Skate Park in Royal Oak Michigan
|Photo Dontae Rockymore|
Favorite Trick? Front Shuv, Nose Grind, Combo tricks ( sorry that was a couple haha)
Sponsors? Modern Skate and Surf
Can you tell us about the setup you ride and why it works for you?
I’m not the pickiest person about my setup but I ride a size 8 board I think that's a pretty good size. I just got these Tensor mag light trucks and I love them. It makes my setup super lightweight which is really good for me.
Any thoughts on the possibility of skateboarding being added to the 2020 Olympic Games?
I think that’s amazing. A super great opportunity for women’s skateboarding as well.
What are your favorite things to do when you are not skating?
Take photos, travel, explore, be with family and friends.
Favorite book? Night by Elie Wiesel.
I have a super wide range I can like anything from electronic music to 70s to hip hop to alternative to almost anything but country music really.
|Photo Dontae Rockymore|
Three Things You Don't Know About Me:
1. I used to play basketball on teams and in tournaments before I started skating. I stopped for skateboarding, I still like basketball.
2. I grew up with a full sized trampoline in my living room.
3. I was voted “Class clown” in middle school haha
Planning a couple of events in the future at Modern Skatepark in Royal Oak, Michigan. I wanna do a girls contest there. It’s a huge indoor park with something for everyone. It would be such a sick event and opportunity for girls on the East coast and Midwest to come out to.
Make sure you follow Christina on: Instagram/ Twitter/ Facebook: @ChristianaSmith @Apositiveseedco