Images - Nikki Hand
We just checked the weather for Phoenix, and it says 105°F all week long- how are you coping with this summer heat?!
I have lived in Phoenix all my life. You don’t get used to the heat… you just deal with it. The only time I can really skate, comfortably, is at night time. Even then its still hot out, but you begin to appreciate 98 degree weather!
When we first talked a few months ago, you told us that you go skating every single day. How do you make it happen?
Yes, I still try to skate everyday but it has become harder with the heat. I used to go everyday before work. I would wake up at 8:00am get ready for 30 minutes, leave the house by 8:30am, get to the park by 9:00am, skate for 30 minutes…sometimes fifteen, cool off in the car for 15 minutes then drive to work. I work a full time job Monday through Friday, ten to six. I love skating so much it’s my daily exercise and stress relief so I just make it work to where I can skate [every day], even if it’s just a little bit.
How old were you when you started skating? What’s changed about your motivations to ride since then? And also- what was your first board?
I first started riding when I was 17. I don’t think my motivation has changed at all. Ever since I got on a board I knew I was going to be skating for the rest of my life. My goals have remained the same; have fun, progress, and eventually be able to travel and skate more often. My first board was through Cowtown
, it was actually a Christmas gift from my cousin Peter Quang.
Who inspires you to learn new tricks? Do you follow professional skating- how does it relate to you?
All skaters are inspiring to me,- legends, locals, friends, and beginners. There are two younger girls in Arizona named Levy and Mia that I skate contests with. I’ve seen them progress very quickly and it’s very inspiring, definitely my two favorites. I do follow professional skateboarding, not very closely but just enough. One day I would love to be professional but either way I will be skating forever.
If you visualize yourself in 5 years, on or off a board, what do you want your life to look like?
In 5 years I would like to have a stable career- I’m swinging between Firefighting and Nursing. Both of those have flexibility for me to keep skating. Skating has never interfered with my goals, it’s like my gym, my sanity, and ultimately something I do just to keep my mind right.
If you could offer any advice to a new skater, what would it be?
My best advice to a female rider would be to stop being so afraid of getting out there. A lot of times girls ask me how I get confidence to go by myself. I would have to say it’s not confidence it’s just passion- you should never let anything or anyone get in between something you love doing. It seems scary but these skater boys are doing the same thing just learning skating and bailing just as much. Also- be okay with falling that’s half of the sport.
As a female rider, do you feel like you are viewed differently than guys at the skate park?
I feel like we are viewed in both positive and negative ways. I don’t pay too much mind to outside opinions. Sometimes people say, you’re really good for a girl. Other times some guys say I can skate better than them, it’s so mixed up. I honestly just skate and do my thing and take compliments or criticism with a grain of salt.
How does your riding style affect what you wear on a board?
My riding style is kind of funky. My favorite thing is speed and I’m kind of aggressive, but sometimes I’m real easy going. I like to incorporate style and comfort. It’s funny because I know my clothes will be drenched in sweat and dirt later but the girly girl deep inside of me has to be stylin’ at all times hahaha. I like light clothes with lots of ventilation.
What’s your favorite piece from the current Nikita SS17 collection?
My favorite piece is probably the Jetty shorts
, they are comfortable, breezy, and they have pockets! I don’t know why but the pockets are a real seller for me lol.
Any big plans for Summer 2017!? Tell our followers what to expect from Janthavy next!
Summer 2017 is a busy one for me. I’m working on going back to school. I am going on a skate trip in August to San Diego. I’m going on a Las Chicaz
skate trip in New Mexico in November. I am also planning a charity skate event sometime in the near future. I’ve got lots to do but it will be a great end to my year.
*EXTRA* - What’s your current fav trick to work on? Or dream spot to ride!
My favorite trick to work on right now is probably front smith grinds. They are so steezy, and it feels so good but I’m trying to a longer grind. My dream spot to ride is probably Mammoth, Burnside, or Kona.