"You will find people that will support in skating you no matter what and will help you along the way"
Nora Manger, 14, downhill longboarder
How old are you & what sports do you play?
I am 14 years old and I do downhill longboarding. I've tried softball, soccer, basketball, BMX, mountain biking, SCUBA, golf, tennis, swimming and flag football. But, the one I love the most and will always stay with is downhill longboarding.
What has longboarding taught you that you think you'll use later in life?
Perseverance. Patience. Staying calm. Longboarding has also taught me how to be safe on the road since we practice on roads that aren't closed to traffic. I'll use that once I get my driver license!
What are 3 words that describe the impact sports has had on you?
Confidence. Persistence. Friendship.
How do you feel when you accomplish something you never have before on a longboard?
Excited. Exhilarated. Accomplished. Wild. Free. I'm always really happy when I do something new because sometimes it is a lot of pain getting there. But, it is always another small step in making me a better skater.
Who is your role model? What do you want to be when you grow up?
Emily Pross. She's the boss. I sooooo want to skate as well as her. I would love to spend lots of time riding with her.
When I grow up I want to be a professional pilot so that I can fly myself to all of the skating events I want to attend! (There are a lot of downhill events I want to attend!)
What advice would you give to your 5-year-old self?
Don't put that tennis ball in the toilet. Nothing good will come of it! HaHa! No, really, I'd tell myself to not worry whether my toys are blue or pink. Just go for the toys and activities that speak to you. Have fun. And, don't try to grow up too quickly. You'll have the whole rest of your life to be an adult. Enjoy being a kid while you can. I'd also tell my 5 year old self to move to Goldendale, WA. There is no better hill to ride than Maryhill. I didn't find out about Maryhill until I was 13. Think about all of those wasted years!
What are the top 3 qualities you have to have to succeed in your sport?
Tough. Brave. Willing to get some scrapes.
Anything else you want to tell us about downhill longboarding that we might not know ?
Maryhill is often called the Mecca for downhill. It's a curvy 2.2 mile long closed road in Washington state. Riding there has changed my life. I've been skating for two years. But, I've only really been doing downhill longboarding for about a year. I used to kick around my neighborhood and do some small hills. But, I had never even considered bombing down a big hill until I got to Maryhill and met so many rad and supportive people. I'm now a member of the Maryhill Ratz Longboarding Team. The Maryhill Ratz is a family of fun loving downhill fanatics who are happy to practice a lot, teach others and share their love of the sport.
What is your greatest memory from downhill longboarding? Your favorite day?
Any day at Maryhill is a great memory for me. The most recent Maryhill G-Ride event has been my favorite. They offered lessons for downhillers and it has really improved my skating.
What's the latest thing you've accomplished?
There is a hill near my house that has always scared me. It's long and steep. It's been a big psychological barrier for me. I recently came back from the training & practice at the Maryhill G-Ride event and went straight to the top of this hill near my house. I bombed down it. Again and again and again. I now know how to slowly step through things that scare me. I am really proud of this accomplishment. There are still lots more scary hills I need to get down!
What are your goals for this summer?
This summer I just want to get in as much riding as I can. Since I'm only 14 it takes a lot of effort (and my parents' time) to do any skating more than a mile or two from my house. These are all open roads nearby. Some hills are safer than others. So, finding both the safest time of day and transportation to different hills can be challenging.