Sheree Wall was the main founder of Brighton Longboard Ladies back in 2013. Initially set up for women to learn longboarding skills together, it recently celebrated its 4th year of regular meetings which now are totally inclusive due to the support from the whole longboard skate community.
Having moved to the West Country earlier this year, Sheree got straight on it and set up Newquay Longboarding Ladies, with the same hope for encouraging more women into longboarding. She writes:
“Board riding is a big passion and a way of life in Newquay. On any given day, people will be found jogging down to the beach in their wetsuit, surfboard under arm. It’s considered normal to go about one’s daily life in a wetsuit or a warm towel robe. Surf shops are dotted around the town in between the numerous cafes.
Because of the surf vibe here, cruise boards are often used to commute quickly around the town and, amidst the beautiful scenery, many a smooth spot around Newquay will catch the eye of a skateboarder much in the same way that certain waves will catch the eye of a surfer.
Although there are many similarities in skateboarding and surfing, there are also many different skills to be learnt which can seem daunting when moving from one discipline to the other. Facing concrete can be just as rewarding or just as tough as facing waves at their worst.
Newquay Longboard Ladies aim to offer an environment where women can feel comfortable, safe and supported and able to learn new skills. It is an amazing feeling to come away from a session knowing you have learnt something new. The first session brought a range of ages and everyone came away with a new skill.”
Before departing for Newquay, Sheree obtained a coaching qualification via Sk8Safe and, more recently, became an Ambassador for Longboard Girls Crew UK. After settling in Newquay, Sheree was quick to set up this new group which has already had its second meeting, with girls of all ages keen to learn and, with Sheree’s coaching, first steps and new tricks were achieved in no time!
Local mum, Justine Whitfield, shared her story…
“My daughter, Lexi (aged 10) has been skateboarding for the last 2 years, teaching herself as much as she can. We visit the local skate park for her to practice and pick up bits n bobs from watching the other skaters.
I then heard of a women’s longboard group at a local event. By this point, my youngest daughter, Niamh, then 7 years old, had also started to take an interest. As I have absolutely no skill or knowledge when it comes to skating, I mentioned it to the girls and they were very keen to go down and see what it was about!
We arrived at the meet point a bit late but just in time as the group was moving on. We met Sheree here and decided to walk with her and the others to the next place. Sheree was very friendly and easy to talk to; the girls were very happy to chat with her and I could tell they felt comfortable with her straight away. We had decided to go up to a path overlooking the sea. There were benches there so I was happy!
Sheree took it in turns to support the girls with their skating. Niamh had only just started so she took the time with her to go straight back to the basics; foot placements and helping her to work out her balance. With Lexi, she went straight in with teaching her how to do a cross-step. I had never even thought about tricks and skills.
Lexi lapped up this 1:1 tuition and managed to learn how to do it pretty quickly and it wasn’t long before Niamh was also looking much more natural on her board and trying the tricks! I was amazed that within just over an hour, Sheree had managed to teach them so much! We can’t wait for the next session and I have now also just ordered some pads so that I can give it a go with them!”
Next meeting is planned for 2nd December at 2pm along the coastal path near Atlantic Hotel.
Wishing you all continued success and well done, Sheree, for providing another facility for newcomers to longboarding!
Videos and photos can be seen on the Newquay Longboard Ladies Facebook page and don’t forget to check out their group page too:
Facebook Page: Newquay Longboard Ladies
Facebook Group: Newquay Longboard Ladies
Words: Sheree Wall, Justine Whitfield
Images: Sheree Wall, Justine Whitfield, Chris Drewery Photography
Additional content: Sabina Edwards