Who's Rad? Sari Simpson.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Photo Dean Tirkot
Photo Joanne Barratt

Photo Dean Tirkot

We'd seen photos of Sari on instagram for quite awhile and knew that she totally ripped, but when she made the trip over to the USA from her home in Australia,  to compete in Exposure Skate - we were blown away. The girl is fast - did you catch the live webcast recently from Bowl-a-Rama? She flew through corners like it was nothing. Sari's progression has been quick and fast, just like her skating, so make sure you keep an eye on this girl to see what she does next!

Who's Rad?       Sari Simpson

Age?      Sixteen

Home is?       Sydney, Australia.

Home park or skate spot?          Bondi Skatepark and the parks around Sydney.

How long have you been skateboarding?

I was about nine when I got a little K-Mart skateboard. I started taking it seriously about four years ago.

What do you enjoy most about skateboarding?

Sunset sessions at Bondi, the park I first learnt to skate. When I'm skating near the beach I feel completely free, not worrying about stopwatches or being judged. That is the time I enjoy it most.

There is also nothing that compares to the feeling of landing a trick when I've worked so hard to get it.

The people I've met- skaters are individual and often creative people, I feel like I can be myself. When my mum and I first moved to the city from the country I didn't know anyone, so I will always feel so grateful I found skateboarding and the supportive community that comes along with it.

Photo Tiffany Williams

Tell us about your board, what brand of deck, wheels, trucks?

I ride a 8.25 with 58 bones wheels and Independent trucks.

Favourite music to skate to?

Beyoncé - I'm sure all the hard core skaters will agree.

Photo Dean Tirkot

Favourite place you've ever skated?

Is too hard to pin it down to one place. Combi Bowl and Venice skatepark are my favourites in California. I love Bondi Bowl because I know it through and through.

I recently went to New Zealand for Bowzilla, Wellington and to meet my NZ family for the first time. I skated a bowl in the South Island at Lake Wanaka, behind the bowl is a view of snow capped mountains and a beautiful lake. That's got to be my favourite as far as scenery goes.

Tell us about some recent contests you have been in?

Most recently, I competed in the Vans Park series at Manly Beach. They built the park on the sand. Every skater approached it creatively in their own unique way. It was a really fun contest as it was in correlation with the Australian Open of surfing so It had a festival feel.

Bowlarama 2017- Bowlarama is a massive comp that happens in Bondi beach every year. A lot of the pros from over seas come to Bondi and it creates an exciting vibe. When I was in primary school my friend and I would try to sneak a day off school just to watch the pros skate in the week leading up to the comp. So it was a dream to actually compete in the first woman's pro division.

After years of being one of the only girls skating Bondi, watching rad visiting female pros draw creative lines and go for gnarly tricks in that bowl really inspired me and has pushed me to progress. I was happy to make the finals.

Photo Dean Tirkot

Favourite trick?

Backside ollies.

Photo Transition Photography

Which female skaters inspire you?

Lizzie Armanto! She has an amazing style, her stale fish airs are killer. She is breaking new ground with her 'Fire' part for Thrasher.

Amelia Brodka, it's admirable that she works hard to run events like Exposure to create opportunities for girls and women.

It's great that there are female skateboarders at a really high level to aspire to. You see them doing a trick and you think, I need to get that trick. Or they do a grind and you want to do a better grind. The female skate scene in Australia is strong but we all live pretty spread out. When the girls come together for contests they inspire and push me to progress.

I also teach a bunch of young girls at Monster Skatepark every week, it's cool to see their confidence growing, the way they go for it like fierce little skate babies is the best.

Photo: Tiffany Williams

We know you shoot often with photographer Tiffany Williams, who's work we love - what is like collaborating with another female on skate projects?

Tiffany first saw me skate when she was shooting some pics at a comp a few years ago. Tiff reached out to me and asked if we could shoot again. I was excited at the opportunity to work with a female photographer for the first time. Tiff is really talented and has a unique and beautiful photography style. I feel very fortunate to be able to collaborate With another girl in such a male dominated industry. Tiffany started collaborating with 'Girl is Not a 4 letter' word to cover the summer contests in Australia this year. It was a great feeling to have a friend like Tiffany around the bowl. It is a very male dominated world in and out of skateboarding but with more women working together and more women involved with the skate industry it can really elevate not just woman's skateboarding but skateboarding as a whole and create a comfortable inviroment for girls who want to try skateboarding. I really love the guys that I skate with, they have become good friends and have encouraged me in my skateboarding but theres nothing like having another girl to create, hang out and joke around with at the skatepark.


Skater Socks USA, Xs Unified, Dickies Australia, I Skate Australia/ Monster Skatepark.

Photo Eric Chen

How was your trip to the USA?

It was an amazing experience that I feel very grateful for. I went over with some other Australian skater girls through 'iskate Australia' We got to travel around Southern California, hit up all the iconic parks I've dreamt of skating and meet so many rad people. There is nothing like the beauty of Californian sunsets after a long day of skating.

Can you tell us what parks, events etc you hit up while you were here?

Every year I was busting to compete at Exposure, I'd watch all the videos- I finally got to go. Exposure is like a festival of woman's skateboarding... I've never seen so many female skaters in one place, it's so different to home. I learnt so much just by watching everyone. It was cool to be surrounded by so many girls who share the same passion. And... they had the best acai bowls! We hit up a few other parks too like Combi and Venice. I love Venice for its relaxed bowl and Combi because it really challenges you, if you don't stay sharp that bowl will throw you.

We also got the opportunity to skate Tony Hawks private vert ramp. We had no idea he would show up! So it was crazy to be skating vert in a doubles run with Mr Hawk himself.

Any plans to come back and visit us again soon?

It depends on how much money I can save! But I'm hoping to compete at Exposure this year and the Girls Combi next.

Photo Joanne Barratt

What is coming up next?

Skating, spending time with friends and my mum. And working towards the comps coming up.

What social media links should people follow you on?

Instagram- @sari.simpson

Facebook- https://m.facebook.com/SariSimpsonofficial/

Photo Dean Tirkott

Any last words for girls out there who want to start skateboarding?

If skating makes you happy then do it without question. I was really shy when I first started going to the skatepark, it can be intimidating at first but eventually, I made friends and the guys helped me out. I think girls have been taught to play it safe and that a sport like skateboarding is too tough. But girls are absolutely capable! It's overcoming your fear that makes skating so special. Don't be afraid to be a beginner or ask for advice, everyone has to start somewhere.

I promise, once you get that first trick you've worked hard for, you're hooked.

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