A SKATER’S VIEW: OLIVIA BOHACMarch 6, 2017
Olivia Bohac got into skating at the age of eight years old and hasn’t looked back. Her competitive nature pushed her to overcome the fear of falling off the board, she’s since mastered an array of tricks and has photographed Lucy Adams’ all-girl coaching sessions for kids. We catch up about favourite skate shoes, hit-list destinations to skate and tips for first-time skaters.
How did you first get into skating?
I was in year 3 at school so probably about 8 years old, and a boy in my class had walked in with a pair of chunky blue DC shoes on his feet. Naturally, the other boys followed, including myself (I wasn’t a girly girl) getting any skateboard. I got my fist proper set-up for my 9th birthday after persuading my mum to take me into a skate shop in Brighton and having to educate her that decks weren’t ‘all the same’. We spoke with the owner who ordered the one I had seen in a sidewalk magazine that I really wanted.
Shop: Sandqvist Alva Black Backpack and adidas Originals Gazelle Black Suede Trainers
What is your first memory of skating?
My first memories of skateboarding were playing out in the street with a dozen other kids on my road or that lived nearby. I had this bright orange Action Man fish board that we would fit 2 or 3 of us onto, and race from the top of our hill to the bottom. However, my favourite memory from that time was hill-bombing from the top of the steep hill because no one had managed to do the whole thing yet. I still don’t know why I thought I needed to prove I could. We lived at the cul-de-sac end of a crossroads that was the less steep side, the side we would sit and race down. It was the steep side that led into the crossroads that we were working our way up to completing. I guess I probably wanted to be the first one to do it as I am quite competitive. When I did it, I got speed wobble and went sliding across the tarmac, shredding all down my left side. My mum had to carry me back home and I had cuts on my joints that I couldn’t move for weeks as the wound would re-open.
Where is your favourite spot to skate?
My favourite spot to skate is probably Clissold Park. They have a really fun little bowl there and then a bigger one next to it you can work your way up to.
Which city would you love to skate in and why?
I’d really like to go to Barcelona. A bunch of my friends did a trip there last summer but I was unable to go. I also spent some time working in LA last year and I’d really love to go back just to have a go at Venice!
Do you prefer to skate on your own or with others?
I like doing both. I really enjoy skating with my friends as you encourage each other and give each little tips and stuff which I definitely appreciate. When I skate on my own I tend to focus more but get frustrated a lot easier.
What is your favourite pair of trainers to skate with?
This is probably the most unexpected answer, but I had a pair of Puma Suede’s that I got for free, so naturally didn’t care about them too much, and they were really comfortable and durable. Generally, anything suede is good. I’ve glued a few pairs of Converse and Vans on the outside when holes appear.
What skateboarding tricks can you do?
I finally got my kickflips down last year! That was really satisfying. Especially as it’s literally the thing every girl who has carried a skateboard ever gets asked if they can do! I can ollie, 180 ollie, rock fakie and 50-50. I really want to work on my speed so I can get into a big bowl as I think that looks really cool.
Who are your favourite skateboarders? Either people you know, or look up to.
I have a few favourite skaters. Lacey Baker is so stylish. Her Thrasher part just came out which is epic! Omar Salazar, he just bombs into everything with so much speed! I want to be able to do that too. And Lucy Adams. Lucy gave me a lot of time to photograph her all-girl coaching sessions for kids about 5 years ago and I eventually started going to her women’s sessions in Brighton when I wasn’t at uni. The only other female skater I knew before that was Elissa Steamer because I played Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, so she really inspired me to start skating again.
What do you love about skateboarding?
I find skating just a fun thing to do. It’s not until recently that I really thought about how rewarding it can be through all the mental energy you put into progressing. I played lots of team sports growing up where there’s going to be a winner and a loser. As I progressed in level at those sports, I found it got too serious and I didn’t really enjoy that. I really love that skating is something that can be done for fun and competitively if you want to do that. It has the opportunity for both.
Do you have any advice for someone looking to get into skating?
Just start. It’s probably going to hurt sometimes but it’s worth it. And don’t not do things just because they look scary.