Tuesday, September 1, 2009

ditching the book$ for her board -- this chick is now in talk$ with MTV

Right now, she says her life is pretty dope. At 23, Nathalie Herring (pronounced like the fish), is one the few professional female long boarders in New York and was recently signed with Bustin Boards custom longboards to promote their gear.

After graduating from high school, Herring left her home in Laurelton, Queens and moved to Miami, Florida to attend Barry University. But it only took a year away from the New York bustle before this eclectic rocker chick (she is currently jamming on her iPod to Silversun Pickups along with Santogold) felt bored and stifled from the slower Miami lifestyle.

"I was studying biology. Shit closed down around campus at ten at night. Every minute I was in class, I felt like I should be doing something else. Anything else. You can only go to the beach so many times before it gets old. I knew I had to come back to the city," she says.

But the campus life wasn't a complete waste. It was at Barry University where she saw her first longboard. Once she saw a guy glide pass her so groovy on his way to class, she says, she knew she was buying one as soon as she got home.

Wait, wait, wait....

According to the most trusted site on the web, wikipedia.... a longboard is a longer version of a skateboard commonly used for cruising, downhill racing, or skateboard tricks. Compared to a traditional skateboard, it's harder to do tricks on a longboard, like an ollie or kickflip, but because they are wider, heavier, and lower to the ground, longboards are easier to maneuver and provide more momentum.

thanks afrospunky for the info, now back to how Ms. Herring is rocking her board...

Herring bought her first board for $150 in 2005 while she was interning with The Source magazine. Her first board was a Sector 9, the most commonly bought longboards for first time longboarders because of their affordability.
Like many parents, Herring's mom and dad thought she was trying to kill herself by dashing away on the little piece of equipment strapped with wheels and no brakes, but she didn't care. Every single day Herring went out, often times taking the train to Central Park, to practice her moves.

Eventually, Herring says she started to get good. Really good. But after three years of training herself, she still didn't see any female longboarders around the city. Especially not black female long boarders.
"For a while, I thought I was the only one in New York," she says. "People used to just stare at me when I would skate by them."

Herrings solitude skate days came to an end this past May, when she ran into a fellow city longboarder, Solomon, who happened to be team captain of Bustin Boards longboarding crew. Solomon introduced Herring to a crew of other longboarders in the city, including three other girls. Their skill level blew Herring away, and from then on, she knew that she could pursue longboarding as a sport.

"These guys were going 20 to 30 mph in the city streets as a mode of transportation," she says. "I had to practice for months to keep up with them."
The momentum to keep skating pushed forward, when Herring was asked by crew members of overboard.com to work on a potential MTV series about a group of longboarders going across country promoting the sport while doing community service. Traveling in a veggie-fueled school bus across the U.S., the show will follow several longboarders skating through different cities while teaching how energy efficient longboarding is compared to driving. The series is now in talks with Converse and Diesel to sponsor the project.

Herring will soon be featured in TRACE Magazine and Concrete Wave magazine for her envolvement in the longboarding NYC community and constantly encourages other females not to shy away from getting into longboarding. She is currently training for the Broadway Bomb, a 10 mile city wide longboarding race in October that runs from Broadway and ends at the Bowl on Wall Street.
Her favorite part of skating, aside from cruising down 42nd street at night as the bright lights zip past her, is talking to little black girls that stop her while she's skating and ask her questions.
"The people who stop me the most are 7-year-old black girls," Herring says. "I want to be the role model for them to say, you don't have to be that girl with the attitude. You don't have to live that structured life if it doesn't suit what you feel is natural to you."


  1. who is this girl? she sounds so fuckin cool.

  2. she really does. makes me want a longboard, right now, and i have two left feet

  3. So, yeah... im about to cop one. I've always wanted to get involved with long boarding because it just seemed like my pace: slow/fast/offroad/chill. I didn't realize they raced like that. a longboard and a bmx strapped to the top of the whip would be an insane look :) good luck Mrs. Herring. i'mma need to find some wheels. Wheres the best place to get a good one?

  4. This is sooooooooooo hott. I want one. Now.

  5. Hey guys, and thanks for the comments. The chick is Nathalie Herring, and you can e-mail me at afrospunky@yahoo.com for her contact information.

    I linked several sites to purchase custom made longboards in the story. Sector 9's are the most common boards for first timers because they're pretty cheap, but Bustin boards has an awesome website and a great choice of graphics for the board itself.

    Hope that helps! Peace and thanks again.

  6. i copped a regular skateboard...
    busted my ass in the park in front of little children ...
    and never picked up that foul thing AGAIN!!!
    i think i would be good with the long board tho.. i have bigass feets..
    and the longboard with its wide and broad persona would help me with my struggles..
    thanks for this post.. it changed my world

  7. I'm a chick, I skateboard, the stares I get... but some appreciation cuz some people are happy for their little girls to see a good kid, nice, dresses un-sluttishly(that's rare), do something generally set aside for men. Hell, I've gone skating in a dress. Also I'm great with kids and I'm nice to them. This girl above is the kind of girl we want our children looking up to, not the helpless anorexic girl on the TV who doesn't care about anything but not messing up her hair.

  8. thank you for your feedback. i am glad that Nathalie's story is able to inspire other young women to try a sport that is so heavily dominated by males. keep skating and getting stares, ladies. maybe one day female skaters will appear in the olympics. :-)

  9. Hey guys! thanks for the awesome comments!! the article in Concrete Wave Magazine(Spring 2010) is On Sale Now!!! Check it Out & follow me on facebook