Skateboarding Articles

STP Interview with Tracey - A Southern California extreme sports Mom

Some Moms bake cookies, some like to knit and others need to kick-start things with a little more fuel. I come from a baking/knitting clan, so I'm always stoked to encounter a parent who knows how to have fun. And don't folks in SoCal have more fun than the rest of us?

Check out our friend Tracey who balances a ton of things from skateboarding and motocross to raising a family and working. Either I need more energy or I'm doing something wrong. Read up on the active Cali lifestyle and how to go balls-out without upsetting the neighbors...

1- I know you primarily as a skater, but tell us all the other extreme stuff you're into.

I also ride dirt-bikes, wakeboard and wakeskate.

Tracey skating 2. Has the extreme sports "bug" infected your entire family?

Yes, we all ride dirt-bikes and spend our weekends on the lake in the summer. Also, my brother and other family members do the same. So at any given time, it can be 20 or 25 of us including friends and extended family camping out in the desert for a weekend of riding. My son loves to come out to the skatepark with me anytime too. Sometimes we skate with my brother and old friends too.

3. As a skater my decisions are pretty limited (by comparison). I just figure out where I want to skate and when. How do you guys decide if the day brings skateboarding, wakeboarding or tearing up the trails on a dirt bike?

It definitely depends on the time of year. I can skateboard just about anytime. But the temps in the Inland Empire get over 100 in the summer, so you might skate in Orange County all summer or Van's which is hot, but at least there is no sun beating down on you. And then get back to skating the IE for fall & winter more often.

In So Cal it gets so hot, you may only ride dirt-bikes in the fall & winter, maybe early spring. Then we can switch to water related stuff for the warmer months. But my husband will still waterski with his friends in the dead of winter, wearing wetsuits or drysuits, although you would never catch him on a dirt-bike in summer. Actually you could do everything all year round with the right gear at the right spots.

4. Who's the craziest member of your clan - the one who always has to go bigger and higher? Tracey wakeboarding

We are into different things, so I might try to out jump them on a wakeboard but he will definitely beat me on his dirtbike. My son loves to practice his ollies and manuals in the living room, along with different grabs, he might be standing on his skateboard, or on a deck with no trucks or stuff his feet into my wakeboard and jump around on the carpet trying different stuff. When he is outside on his BMX bike or his quad you can see him pretending to do freestyle moto-X tricks like Pastrana, Metzer or Twitch.

5. You live in the proverbial epicenter of skateboarding - What's it like having access to lots of skateparks and contests?

It's just awesome! The best skateparks that we have here in So Cal are all within an hour or two drive and the contest scene is one that cannot be beat! There is always something going on, to see or do. I can skate on the way home from work, or at lunch or meet up with friends on the weekends.

6. What was the latest contest you attended?

I went to GvR at Etnies. Mostly to watch the bowl contests.

7. Rumor has it you went to school with Lester Kasai. Was he "destined to go pro" back then?

Lester was always hot on the scene. He went to a different high school but we had some of the same friends, so I had been to his home when we were teenagers. He was already pro as a teen. He had a huge halfpipe in his backyard, his family really supported him being into skating which was so cool. And we all used to skate Sadlands and Del Mar, and local ditches with lots of other skaters too. My brother and I had a half pipe in our backyard, so many of the same guys, along with Lester used to come skate at our place too. He was definitely big on the scene back then and is really holding it down these days too. I am really excited to see him bringing back House of Kasai and he's got some lifetime members on his team, like Jon Jon Bryan & Adrian Demain. Those guys were pros along with him and his cousin Terence, back in the day. House of Kasai also has a new crew of kids now, that they are sponsoring, who are really killing it out here too.

8. Do you skate with any cliques? Is there a "girls" day out and then sessions with the guys?

I have both groups to skate with. But really I like to get them all together though, rather than skating with just one or the other. It really pushes your level of skating to see all different types and skills so you may try something different that someone else shows you, every time you skate. I love to skate with my friend Amy, she and I skate whenever we can get time together, we both have 'commitment issues' as we like to say, so we can't plan too far ahead or it never works it out...its like "Hi what are you doing in the next half hour...Ok I'll meet you at the skatepark!!!!" Haha.

9. Are you part of any of the Skateboard Mom clubs?

I have been known to skate with the Skateboard Moms, they also have an online group which is open to everyone. I also skate the Mighty Mama Skate day which falls on Mother's Day every year and there are other sessions that they skate together too. They post online for a session every Friday, that they will be at Van's or Costa Mesa or something. I might just jump in the car and be there without telling anyone beforehand. My life is very spontaneous, if things are too well planned then I get bored with it!

10. How do others view you when they see the family hitting a skatepark or kicking up the dirt on motorcycles?

Living where we do in So. Cal , its really no big deal. Maybe its cuz its always been part of my life, I don't see it as that different. I first tried skateboarding when I was 8 years old. And I always had some kind of BMX bike and we would make ramps out of concrete blocks and plywood from the garage or go ride a few hand dug BMX tracks at our local parks. One of the hottest things was when there was a 3 or 4 story parking structure built right around the corner from our house and we started bombing that place and grinding the parking blocks and stuff like that.

Quad

I think that its progressive enough out here in California that seeing women on dirt-bikes or driving offroad trucks and stuff like that is not really enough to cause much notice. The only thing I really notice is that not too many Moms in my neighborhood ride skateboards, but I know that my neighbors are involved in many different sports and stuff like that. They may be marathon runners, downhill mountain bike or offroad racers. I do get the occasional high five or shout out at the skateparks when kids see me skate by and realize that I am there to skate right along with them. I meet lots of kids and they are really cool and love to talk skate with me too.

11. Is your family the "terror" of the neighborhood?

Not really. We have friends into the same activities and know of lots of people in Canyon Lake who are into stuff like we are, there are families who race offroad, a few who skate, many who are into wakeboarding, and snow sports along with offroad sports. Some are packing up their toy haulers every weekend to go out and do their thing. Our community was created by people who loved the outdoors. They built a community around a private lake and it draws many similar people to live here. I guess it is quite a bit different than many other communities across the US because not everybody has access to the same activities that we do.

12. Some kids want to hang at a friend's house because the house is loaded with cookies. Do all your son's friends want to hang at your place - with all the cool toys? Do his friends egg you on to do tricks?

My son's friends love to come over because of the amount of toys and skateboards and stuff lying around here. One minute we might be playing video games and the next we might be racing down the hill in front on bikes and skateboards. They love to see me skate too and all want to come out to the skateparks with us. Its funny. My son goes to school with some of the Metal Mulisha offspring and Metzers kids and stuff, so its not like we are all that different. They are even more hardcore than our little family.

13. I have a 2-year old son and its so amazing to watch him knee-board up and down the driveway. Do you find extreme sports bind your family together in ways most families don't understand?

Yes, definitely, its always something fun to do. I am hoping my son sticks with this stuff and if he ever decides to go off and play some kind of team sport, we would only be watching instead of participating, so I hope he continues to do board related stuff and offroad too, so we can be right there doing it with him, till he's old enough to go out with his friends and do his own thing.

14. As a mother, do you have to restrain your urges to do crazy stuff on a skateboard when your family is around? You know... set an example of sports safety?

I wear my gear where its required. There's lots of pad nannies at all the parks and you can get yourself kicked out or find a nice ticket in your hand if you are in a park with no gear. That sucks but that's life. My 7 year old son is already rebelling against the helmet & pad requirements, just because he sees the older guys doing it, and I have to enforce it on him just for safety, since I would be responsible to pay the medical bill if he gets hurt!

15. Ever have any strange skate shop encounters where you load up on stuff for yourself and then the clerk discovers it's for YOU?

Yes, for sure. I have been ignored standing there, or get weird looks from clerks who think they know their shit. But I usually will just take my business somewhere else and now I know enough people, where I can buy stuff from people with online shops or at shops, from people that I know and who are stoked for me to be out there skating with them.

16. When I hear about a woman who skates, I'm stoked. When I hear the same woman also owns her own motorcycle... Well, I've never encountered that! Tell us about your bike. Traceys motorcycle

Yes, I've had more than one Honda in the yard....haha. I've had a 200, a 250, a 230 and a 100. I guess just about everything that I am tall enough to ride, I am vertically challenged, so that keeps me from getting a super hot dirt-bike. But if they ever make something really hot in a bike for short people, then look out! Ha ha. I'm kinda competitive I guess, so if you ride with me on a trail be ready to work harder to get ahead of me if you really feel the need. I won't just let you pass me without a fight.

17. Skateboarding, along with other sports, is fun with a tight group of friends, but it's also cool to just go off on your own. Do you ever jet off for a solo session?

Yes, I may go and skate at Etnies on my own during my lunch break, up to 2 or 3 times a week. I have no problem going off on my own to skate. Its always just you on your board anyway, so you can have some friends along or do it on your own. Either way its all good.

18. What sort of music are you into? Is music a family affair as well? Does Mom play Slayer when everyone else wants The Beatles?

I like all types of music. I might have an old punk mix CD that I put together myself, or one of your Skate Rock CD's in the player or some new stuff mixed with the old.....but I miss my Ipod for sure! It broke and I haven't had the money to replace it yet. We fight over music, my son and I want to hear something hardcore while Dad wants his classic rock....you know its always something! I might sneak a CD in the player with a mix of Linkin Park , some Killers, some Green Day, Serj Tankian and old school punk until he notices and switches it back to classic rock radio. Then my son will argue over it with his dad. Its funny. My son is gonna be a hardcore little dude when he grows up, I can already see it now!

19. We couldn't help noticing that snowboarding doesn't appear in your arsenal of family fun. what gives? Any shredders in your clan?

Snowboarding looks like it would be a blast...but its too expensive to do it as much as I would like to!

20. You have your own printing business - have you done any banners for skate companies or competitions? Do you try to tie it in with your extreme lifestyle?

We have done some graphics work for skate companies for tradeshow displays. We have done lots of decals for wake & water related companies also for their manufactured products, product display and customer giveaways and stuff like that. Of course being involved in these activities can be a good way to trade for new product, sometimes its the best way!




We'd like thank Tracey (her identity has been disguised so she isn't harassed by kids who want her to adopt them) for putting up with our ridiculous questions. We had a lot of fun digging into her family's accelerated lifestyle and are pleasantly pleased to report that it is very possible to be family-friendly, adrenaline filled and a complete bad-ass while still being an all around cool chick. check yourselves, Moms!

Dammit! My Mom can't ollie!


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