Becky Jaques 'First Light' interview from Sidewalk 203

Ayumi Powell

From Sidewalk 203 – August 2013

 

I knew Becky for ages before I realised she was a girl.
She doesn’t conform to all the usual girly stereotypes of owning loads of pink stuff, packing loads to go on trips, telling boys off for being vulgar, she’s just one of the lads.
Actually that’s total bullshit, she’s a real girl and I mean that in the nicest possible way.
I like going skating with Becky, she smells nice and it’s not everyday that you get asked, ”Can you pick the splinters out of my knickers please?” She also keeps me entertained with tales of her regular life mishaps and weird happenings.
Please don’t make the mistake of thinking this one is just into skating for the sake of fashion or trying to get ‘hot skater boys’ though, I’ve seen her laugh off slams that would make grown men cry and she’s down for getting on any trips she can, (as long as there’s a plug so she can straighten her hair!) and skating whatever or whenever she can.
- Nic Powley

 

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 12.20.00
Hair tied back ready for the hurricane. Photo: Clarke.

Give us your vital stats to start with please
- Rebecca Louise Jaques, 25 years old , Live in Kent, Favourite colour is pink

So you just graduated from University and are currently enjoying post-degree freedom – what did you study and why?
- I studied Biology at the university of Kent in Canterbury. I chose it because I felt like it was one of the few things I could have picked to learn about that’s real to me. Life. It was great but really hard work. I am loving freedom of post graduation.

The media would have us believe that female science graduates are
as rare as Unicorn shit – is this actually true? Do you feel like the Man was stopping you questing for knowledge at any point?
- (Laughing), no not at all: my class had a pretty even boy to girl ratio, as well as some very inspirational female lecturers! I think the Biological Sciences attracts the most female attention of the three though! All hail Marie Curie!

So you’re a woman who rides a skateboard: where did that come from?
- I don’t have very much control over the female part! My younger brother Sam encouraged me to try skating and I loved it, I went straight to my local indoor park and purchased my very first pink set up that night and haven’t looked back since!

Weren’t you into gymnastics and whatnot beforehand? Do you think that helped you learn to begin with?
- Yep, I was a gymnast throughout primary school, but my club was strict and I left when I got to secondary school, as I was fed up with the rules. I think learning balance and control of my body at young age definitely helped me out when I started skating.

Give us the inside scoop – is it still considered a weird thing being a female skater these days, or does nobody give you shit any more?
- (Laughing), my opinion on this changes on a daily basis depending on what I experience. I can generate a huge range of reactions: some good, some bad. I can be ignored, generate jealousy, be laughed at or really respected – it seems to depend on the situation. It’s crazy! At the beginning I hated being stared at like I’m an Alien or something but other times people don’t treat me any differently and I will be accepted as a skateboarder regardless, which is nice.

Since graduating you’ve been on a bit of a couch surfing mission – where have you been skating and which places have you had the most fun at?
- I’ve been in Derby loads since my exams finished, hanging out
and skating at Rollersnakes and skating all the rad surrounding parks in Nottingham, Loughborough, Manchester, Derby, Burton-upon-Trent and Leicester. I had a rad week in Leeds and hit up Wakefield too. It’s been so good to catch up with some really rad people as being at Uni meant I hadn’t seen any of them for a while!

You travel a lot in general Becky, which has been the best skate trip you’ve ever been on and why?
- This is so tough! I’ve been on two rad trips to Europe so far this year to Holland and to Bilbao. I think the Lifeblood/Indy trip I got to go on last year was maybe the best yet, and aeroplanes weren’t involved!
We travelled down from Copenhagen to Germany where we visited various spots and the Flora bowl in Hamburg, which was sick, then down to one of my favourite places – area51 in Eindhoven, then on to Antwerp in Belgium which was eventful to say the least with several kegs of beer involved and small children standing and peeing on the windscreen of the van! Then last stop was Mechelen and then home through the channel tunnel! It was an amazing trip mainly because of the rad places and good crew! There were French, English, Scottish, Irish, Welsh, and Americans all present! Thanks for having me!

You might well be the only woman in history to have had a published skate photo from Livingston skatepark – does that mean anything to you?
- The photo itself means a lot to me, because it was my first proper skate trip and my first published photo! I was so stoked! It’s a really good memory for me.

Over the years you managed to mangle yourself pretty badly – what’s been your worst injury and what advice do you have for anybody on the injury bench right now?
- Unfortunately I managed to rupture my anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), which resulted in wheel chairs, crutches, leg braces, three operations and 9 months of physiotherapy!! It sucked! The injury bench is not the best place but it could be worse. My advice would be to eat well, stretch, and watch loads of Cardiel footage!

You’re only the third woman to get a First Light in Sidewalk – does that make us sexist pigs?
- Yes for sure! (Laughing), I’m only joking! Of course not! You’ve always been lovely to me. If you don’t have the photos, what can you do?

Who are your favourite inspirational skaters and why?
- Favourites? So many! Cardiel! My friends who get my hyped, Felix Parker! The Welsh (when they’re not snaking me), my zombie land friends, Jono and Blinky! Zorlac! I met Chris Haslam at an Indy demo in Essex and Wales a few years ago and he was pretty inspirational! Just people who are hyped and love it!

You’re a level headed human Becky – what advice do you have for any younger skaters out there, regardless of gender?
- Don’t take skateboarding too seriously! You’re either a skateboarder or you’re not, whatever gender you are!

Anything else you’d like to say?
- Thanks everyone at Rollersnakes, Felix, Daryl, Powley, Daz, Robert Parsonson, you Ben, Bilbao crew, Ellie Ford, Matt Clarke, and my family! Thanks for all the rad sessions and support!

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