Skateboarding With Bara Podzimkova
Bara Podzimkova took part in the Elite Model Look World Final in 2014, representing the Czech Republic, where she won top place. Now a favourite of Chanel and the likes, she sat down with us to talk her new love for skateboarding. Read about her rookie tips, her favourite cities in the world to ride, and attitudes to girls who skate.
Why did you start skateboarding?
I chose it because I always really liked the look of penny boards and when I went for a walk after a shoot in La Coruna in Spain, I saw one in a window of a local skate shop. I could totally see myself skateboarding from one casting to another. The penny board was super small and I could easily bring it everywhere i'd go with me, so I thought, why not give it a shot!
Is skateboarding a hard sport to practise?
Yes, I was sure it's super easy, so I really went for it the first time I tried and fell down on my hip, it was hurting for a week after that. I am very determined if I decide to do something, so I watched a couple of Youtube tutorials and learned slowly. I really don't think it's a hard sport to practise, but it takes time and patience to get comfortable on the board. It really helps if you can already snowboard or surf, then it's easier, because you already have your balance and you're not so afraid.
What are the most difficult things you have to learn?
Balance is the most important thing. Don't make the same mistake as me and don't start on the street, practice somewhere where you can hold on to something. Check if you're goofy, like me, (right foot forward, left foot back) or regular (the other way around). Start out slow, get comfortable and secure, don't rush into it. It can be scary in the beginning but you'll get the confidence with time.
Your boyfriend has been skateboarding for ages – has he taught you skateboarding?
Actually I learned myself, there's nothing complicated about it, I just watched a Youtube tutorial and figured out the rest. But he was really surprised when he saw I bought one and he was afraid that I'm gonna hurt myself (which I did). But now we skateboard together and we enjoy it so much!! We always say that buying skateboard was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
What skills does skateboarding give you? What skills does it build on?
It really improves your balance, which is great if you want to learn any other "board" sport. For me it was a great help to learn to surf and snowboard, it was much easier and I learned really quickly.
Where is the best places in which you ever skated?
I think it has to be Moscow. The city is so beautiful, very flat and all the roads are new and smooth. I was having the time of my life there! In Spain, I've only been to La Coruna, it's great for skateboarding, especially along the beach promenade. My hometown is not the best because it's quite hilly and most of the roads are broken or uneven. But I found few places I like, for example a parking lot behind a local Tesco. We also have a brand new skate park, but I can't do any tricks, so I just watch my boyfriend doing his thing.
You told us also that you had one longboard – for you, how have you found the difference between skateboarding and longboarding?
Well I never really imagined myself doing tricks in a skate park, i just like skateboarding for fun and using for getting around cities. Longboard is perfect for that, it's big so you feel more comfortable on it and riding it kinda feels like surfing. You don't do tricks on a longboard. The penny board is very small, harder to find balance, but perfect for traveling, because longboard is very heavy and big.
Have you met anyone interesting through skateboarding, or has it started any interesting conversations?
Yes, so many people! I love watching people skateboard in a skatepark, everyone has such a unique style. But the thing I appreciate the most is that I can do this together with my boyfriend, we take it everywhere with us and have so many great experiences together! We were even skateboarding in a music video for his band's song Paris.
Is skating useful to get around at fashion week?
Yes! It's faster than walking, very convenient and so much fun! I even took my penny board to a Chanel show, took streetstyle pictures with it and skateboarded home! I also love bringing it to the airport with my carry on. You save so much time, instead of walking through those endless corridors, you just skate!
Do you think girls who skate are seen as more unusual than boys? What do you think about it?
No I don't think so! I follow many cool girls who skate on Instagram, who inspire me a lot. Skateboarding is for everyone and that's an amazing thing! Personally, I really want to keep exploring the world on my penny board, because that way I enjoy the cities even more. I'm going to Sri Lanka for a vacation, so maybe I'll bring it there with me. Stay tuned!!