Kristen Theos, 20 years old
How long have you been skating?
How did you get into skateboarding?
I started snowboarding when I was 9. I got really into that. About 8th grade I started hanging out with these kids who skated too. I got a cork-top cruiser board and cruised barefoot around my sub divisions all summer. Eventually it turned into going to the skate park. I Snowboarded in season and skateboarded off-season.
What was your first setup?
My first set up was a blank deck I bought for $20 from a friend, I acquired some venture trucks and bones wheels from another friend (thanks guys!).
Who did you first skate with and do you still skate with them now?
First started skating with a couple of guys I went to school with. Also, there since the start, is a fellow Michigan GRO member Rachel Anderson. It was so often that we were the only girls at the park. I was really lucky to have her there to push me. I still skate with all these people to this day and always will. I am so grateful that they introduced skating to me and have been there to see me progress from the start.
Why do you skate?
Skateboarding is the perfect simile for life. It teaches you so much about yourself. I think that’s why I do it. It’s a healthy addiction. It’s so rewarding to land something that you’ve tried over a hundred times. I can be super impatient at times but skateboarding forces me to be patient. But I think the coolest part about it is all the amazing people I’ve met skateboarding, I mean real people, people who I might have never met if it wasn’t for skateboarding. For the most part, the community of skateboarding has so much love, it’s super refreshing. I really love to go fast too, skating is good for that.
How did you find GRO?
Skating at my local indoor park, Modern Skate and Surf. I caught wind of the girl sessions going down. I started showing up and met Christiana Smith. It was so great what she was doing for the girls, so I told her I wanted to get involved.
Where do you like to skate in Michigan?
I learned how to skate at Drake, a local park near me. Modern Skate and Surf is my go to indoor park. I also like Riley, Anna Arbor, and Ride It Sculpture park.
Have you skated anywhere else?
I’m fortunate enough to get to travel all over. Last summer I spent some time in Europe. In Spain I skated La Mar Bella with a local, she didn’t speak English really, but we sessioned, she ripped. And shout-out to the guys at Skatepark Biarittz in France for hooking it up.
Tell me about the Royal Oaks GRO Crew.
The crew started off small, and we lost a couple girls from moves, but we meet more and more girls every session that we’re trying to bring on. We’ve got 3 and another about to register. I hope the yougins keep it going. Watching how fast they progress is insane and super inspiring. This past year we kept the sessions steady, every first Sunday of the month. We also did a clinic/raffle in downtown Grand Rapids, MI. The turn out wasn’t what we had hoped, but it was sick to travel and skate with the crew. A few of the crewmembers and myself went to Chicago as well, to witness the first Women’s Street League (SLS) Competition. We skated a bunch of the parks out there. Such a rad experience. 2016 is going to be a great year, I can feel it. I hope to make it out to more parks around Michigan to give girls from all over the state a chance to get out and skate with us. I would really like to try and throw a big event, maybe have Christiana (Smith) and some west coast girls fly out. I think it would be an awesome and inspirational thing to do for the girls out here in the Midwest. We’re working to get something rolling.
I am also pretty confident that we will have something established for a snow event here at one of the mountains for the upcoming season. We have a session every first Sunday of the month. It’s from 2-5pm at Modern Skate and Surf in Royal Oak. GRO has turned into a big part of me, and has brought me close to a bunch of little girls that absolutely rip! I do it for them so anything I can do for them I’m down. Thanks for the support and everything GRO!