Welcome to Las Vegas and one kick ass skater who is taking her talents across the country and killing the competition. We recently got to sit down with Jackie Michel and find out what this straight A student has been doing other than playing in her school’s drumline band, learning piano, playing guitar, skating for Hurtlife, getting sponsored, and winning competitions. Oh and she’s only fifteen ! A little question and answer session was burning a hole in us to gain some insight into this amazingly talented young woman.
Joshua Deats: I grew up skating at around 7 years old, My first board was the original Tony Hawk, silly stick rails, OJ wheels, tracker trucks, clear grip tape, and a whole lot of grip tape. The boards took a beating and stood up to some harsh treatment. I still have it to this day, do you have a favorite board ? And if you are into the history of skating at all is there a board or deck you would rock today from the past ?
Jackie Michel: Yeah, i remember riding a Mark Gonzales with a pair of indies and spitfires when i first started; it was a pretty sick deck I’ve been interested in the Fred Smith III (Loud one) Alva. I hear it was a game changer for street skaters back in the 80’s because of the extremely high tail.
JD: Remember those old Nash Red Line skateboard? They were sold at K-mart I think and they were neon pink, and I swear everyone had one ! ( if you are too young to remember look one up it’s hilarious ) Boards have come along way, especially when Rodney Mullen came along, the design and shape of boards changed to the mainstream in such a positive way. Long gone were the days of Christian Hosoi catching big air, and the trend moved toward specialized trick decks. Where do you see the evolution of skating going?
M: Skateboarding has definitely come a long way; skaters are getting gnarlier, techier, and creative not only with tricks but with style. That’s what makes skateboarding skateboarding because of the diversity and dedication that’s put into it, and i doubt that’ll ever stop. As far as evolution goes, we’ll see more technical tricks on gnarlier obstacles that require a tow-in to reach and a steep hill to bomb after landing.
JD: Is there any trick or style that you work on hoping to land or perfect one day? JM: Bs 360s for sure. so stylish, I love it.
JD: Quick, Design me your own custom board in twenty words or less. JM: Landscape view, photo realistic, black background, 2 red roses on table, diagonally above ” Jackie Michel” in tiny white text.
. Transworld come up tour @ Craig Ranch, Las Vegas – 1st place, women’s division . Skate city – 1st place . Skate city ( Halloween bash)- 1st place . Flock Tour – 1st place @ bunker . Flock Tour. – 1st place @ MLK
JD: Obviously you are female and in a more male dominated sport, and I really wanted to avoid any gender specific questions because I feel we are all on equal footing, but are there some competitions that you have not been able to compete in due to it being a boys club, or has that pretty much changed ?
JM:. Its pretty much changed for the most part, Alana Smith competed in the Phoenix Am last year (she as the only girl), and Women are competing in the Street League, but you rarely see any girl divisions here in Vegas; but hey, out-shredding the big boys is fun too.
JD: Did you ever watch The Bones Brigade The Search For Animal Chin? Epic story about the skaters going to find this mythical half-pipe which they did out in the jungle of Hawaii or somewhere. That movie changed my life and all I wanted to do was skate. By the way you should look it up ! Then actually Bag Margera and Camp Kill Yourself had some great video’s back in the late 90’s with some original music that got a lot of underground circulation.
JM: Yeah it’s such a sick video. It captures the essence of what skating is really about. Searching out new spots and enjoying the journey along the way. Some of my personal favorites that i grew up watching were Girl- Yeah Right, Flip- Sorry , Baker3, Enjoi- Bag of suck , William Strobeck’s – Joyride, Blind- Video Days, eS- Menikmati, and Villa Villa Cola- Getting nowhere faster ( an all girls skate film ) JD: Is there a legendary park out there that you would travel the globe in order to skate on and where / which is it.
JM:. Black pearl skate park in the Cayman Islands; its a monster.
JD: Broken bones, fractures, bloody noses ? Do you keep a count on these things ! JM: I actually never broken anything (surprisingly), but the worst injury I have taken was folding my toes back when trying to land a front lip on transition. Ha, not really, i mean i have a few scars but I just ride it off
Favorite thing that gets you a rush. That little inner high five you give yourself when you do it.
JM: Just like a roller coaster, dropping into a 14ft bowl; you’re glad you’ve made it out alive when you roll away.
JD: What is on your music play-list right now ? JM: Besides anything by the Beatles, top 5 songs on repeat are: Bloc Party- This modern love, Fugazi-Arpeggiator , Cat Power- Be my boy, Souxxie and the Banshees- Christine & Arabian Nights and Sex Pistols- Pretty Vacant
JD: Anything you want to add, you are in the driver seat here, tell me an amazing or fun story :
JM: One day I met Tony Hawk and got him to skate a pool with me when I was about 10. So long story short, my family and I were at Freedom Park and we noticed camera crew coming in , and all of a sudden the Bird Man himself, comes out of nowhere, into the skate park (but with no board) and exchanged hellos with all the skaters. I came up and asked him if he wanted to skate the pool with me. He accepted my offer and proceeded to borrow a board from someone. From there, we were just skating together as if it were just a normal day. He blunt fakied the shallow end, It was pretty dope.
JD: I really hope I did not date myself too much with some of the skate references ! But it’s all part of the cycle of skate life that ended us up here : What is it going to take this generation to do to influence the next and keep the culture alive.
JM: It’s important that we recognize those who’ve made history and paved the way for us. Alva, Hawk, Gonz, Mullen, Way (too many to name) and Steamer, Baker, Torres, Del Santo (Women Pros) who’ve influenced skating to become what it is today. Skating is gnarlier, more technical, and more inclusive than it’s ever been. We as skaters push one another and push ourselves to progress every day. We encourage others to be true to themselves and their own style: not try to fit into some “trend”. Because at the end, its not a beauty contest, we’re just having fun.