Meet the badass girls who are shredding the streets, hurtling downhill and carving the mountain roads on their longboards. We recently spoke to Lennat Mak, ambassador and co-founder of Longboard Girls Crew Singapore, to find out more about the sport and its tight-knit community.
Originated in 2010, the Longboard Girls Crew (LGC) is an international longboard community and support network for female riders. It all begun when a group of female Madrid riders started a local crew for women to come together and skate. Longboard as a sport had just picked up momentum and they wanted to encourage more women to join the sport. As the popularity of longboarding grew with time, the Longboard Girls Crew becomes a global phenomenon as it expands around the world and works with female skaters to start local chapters for LGC.
One of their popular outreach methods was through video. To inspire other women to skate, LGC started creating videos to show the world how accessible the sport is and how much fun they are having. But there was something very different and immensely appealing about the way these longboarding videos were shot as well. Instead of just showing them doing tricks at skate parks and on concrete slabs, these girls are cruising and rocking around Madrid, carving up the winding mountains roads or wheeling their way around the world in epic road trips. In fact, you want to be part of their awesome crew and skate the adventure of the lifetime.
The Singapore chapter was started in 2011 when Lennat Mak got in touch with Valeria Kechichian, one of the co-founders of LGC. Valeria and Jacky Madenfrost (another co-founder) hooked her up with Wana Zainal and the Longboard Girls Crew Singapore was born.
The Longboard Girls Crew Singapore aims to be a community for girls skaters in Singapore to band together and spread the stoke of longboarding. Besides cruising the streets of Singapore. the girls have gone on skate trips in Malaysia and Bali and connected with other girls from both LGC Malaysia and Indonesia.
TT: When did you start skating? Why?
The first time I got introduced to longboarding was this Pintail Longboards video by Original Skateboards. The vibes are so good – carefree, super chill and ever since then, I’ve always wanted to chase a duck while skating on the longboard.
But it wasn’t until this Longboard Girls Crew video that I really took the big step of investing in a longboard and starting skating. In the beginning, it’s all about picking up something new and get active in a sport just for fun. But as I learn more about skating, you begin to realize skating teaches you so much more about life – the whole idea of learning how to get up when you fall, not being afraid to fall and learn, having grit, and the importance of building a community and friends in whatever you do. The best thing that has happened to me, to be honest.
TT: What is the appeal of the longboard?
I suppose you can skate on any board you want. But longboarding to me is always about spending a good time with your friends cruising around the city, and being young and carefree. Nothing quite like breezing through the city with the wind in your hair!
Longboard Girls Crew Spain’s road trip movie is the definitive video of what longboarding is all about to me.
TT: What is your first longboard?
My first longboard is the 2010 Landyachtz Drop Carve that I bought from the old LSP at Bukit Timah. The deck is flexy, which is great for cruising and carving. But the reckless me back then took it for a ride down the hills near LSP and I crashed so badly that I had this road burn wound on my face and had to see a plastic surgeon for it. Thankfully, I healed really well and you can’t even tell it on my face anymore. Phew! I thank the powers that were that I was wearing my protective gear. Could have been a lot worse.
TT: What are you riding now?
I went through a lot of boards, trying to find the one that suits me best. Over the years I’ve tried so many – Loaded Pintail, Loaded Bhangra, Landyachtz Dinghy, Penny boards – I always tell my friends who are picking up longboarding for the first time that your first time will never be the perfect board that you stick around with. Now I ride a Rayne Amazon, a model by pro-rider Douglas Dalua. It’s low and stiff and cradles my feet well. Still remains my fave board so far.
TT: Favorite place to spots to ride in Singapore?
I love cityscapes. So I really like cruising around Marina Bay Sands/Gardens/Barrage in the evenings.
TT; When did the first longboards arrive in Singapore?
Very good question! To be honest, I am not very sure. I would say longboard was really popular a few years ago and most skate shops stock them. Gary who used to own Longboard Love was a great champion of longboards and the thing I love about him is that he would rather keep prices for helmets low so more skaters can afford to buy helmets and skate safely. Ariff and his lovely family at Spitfire Skate are great helpful folks as well.
TT: How do you get involved in Longboard Girls Crew Singapore? Who had the idea of a girl crew?
After chancing upon their video, I managed to get in touch with Valeria Kechichian, one of the co-founders of Longboard Girls Crew in Madrid, Spain. LGC was already expanding around the world and working with female skaters to start the local chapters for LGC. For Singapore, Valeria and Jacky Madenfrost (another co-founder) hooked me up with Wana Zainal and the both of us started Longboard Girls Crew Singapore in October 2011. Through the years, we also roped in Juliana Zainal and Kellie Teo to be part of the ambassadors for LGC Singapore. The idea of an all-girl crew is to be a community for girls skaters in Singapore to band together and spread the stoke of longboarding. And we all all-inclusive – there isn’t any “membership” to join or any criteria and we also skate with boys sometimes. As long as you have a great passion for skating and are supportive of skaters of any level of stoke and steez, you are part of the Longboard Girls Crew family.
TT: What is the scene like in Singapore? Do you organize any activities for riders?
Longboard Girls Crew Singapore was a lot more active prior to 2016. We used to organize cruises, skate trips, workshops etc. The goal is always to round up all the riders both new and old to get together and skate, with longboarding being our common language. Some of us have gotten to be really close friends from skating so that’s really a cool bonus! But recently, Wana gave birth to a baby boy, Kellie got married, Juli was focusing on work and I was working on my music (I play drums in two bands – Obedient Wives Club and NO PANTZ, and manages another band called TOMGIRL so skating as a pack took a backseat. But individually, we do skate from time to time and we always encourage the rest of the girls to organize their own skate meet-ups.
TT: Does Longboard Girls Crew Singapore connect and ride with other international longboard girl crews overseas?
Of course! We do skate trips in Malaysia and Bali and have connected with the girls from both LGC Malaysia and Indonesia. Carlota Torrent from LGC Spain came down to Asia for a 3-week long trip a couple of years back and it was so fun road tripping with her. I’ve also been to Madrid to visit the girls from LGC Spain and stayed with Valeria so that’s pretty neat. Jacky Madenfrost is heading to Singapore early June too and I can’t wait to see her!
Here’s a video when the bunch of us went to Malaysia to skate.
TT: If I come to Singapore with a longboard, where can I find other skaters to ride with?
TT: Upcoming skating plans?
We do have plans to organize more skate sessions as LGC and if time allows, to take another skating road trips. But we’ll see!
The Longboard Girls Crew Singapore welcomes all female skaters of any level of stoke and steez as long as you are passionate about longboarding. If you want to join them, like their Facebook page and drop them a message.
Looking for a handcrafted longboard? Check out our interview with Marie Gaffory, owner of the State of Grace Workshop.