The birth of my introduction to Heidi all started with a question to a long-time, stellar skater friend of mine called Fudge.
It was almost like asking Fudge the “Magic Mirror” from Snow White….”Who is the baddest of them all? The baddest skater girl you know?”.
The first he mentioned was Heidi Kreis out of California (this was actually quite a while back before this website even existed and I was just extracting ideas). And when Fudge said her name, I knew she had to be the sh*t only ’cause Fudge is very critical when it comes to skating and liking ones personality along with it. The man has discriminating tastes.
So now we’re months down the line and I’ve interviewed this immaculate skate girl and we’re winding down to the creation of the article. But ….but I’ve got a touch of writer’s block.
Not to take anything away from the convenience of electronic interviews but there is a huge difference when someone is in front of you and you’re able to connect with them face-to-face or even over the phone; you pick up on nuances when they speak, you pick up their mannerisms which help bring their personality even more to life.
So it was during this time, that I enlisted Fudge again, who now happens to be Heidi Kreis’s boyfriend. I maydayed Fudge, “FUDGE! Help! Tell me more about your girl…I need details for my intro write-up”. And this sweet, sweet story of how a bad-ass girl CAN be partnered up with a guy man enough to not be intimidated by her, even if she can outskate him – was what he formulated to share with us and how I introduce Heidi to you……..
FUDGE: “This is a story about a girl who is AMAZING: A.K.A Heidi Kreis.
The first time I saw her was at the Channel St. Skatepark in San Pedro in 2006. There was a concrete pour that day and like most of the people there, I was acting like I was helping out with it, but I wasn’t. Then I noticed this attractive girl doing the concrete finishing inside the doorway into the park. I asked a friend, “Who the hell is this?” He told me, “It’s a girl named Heidi and she’ll out skate you. ” Then I started to laugh. Not that I thought in her dreams she could, but because I was nervous that she could. I hoped my friend didn’t pick up on my fears.
One day, I decide to go skate this built-to-skate pool in Orange County with my friend. It was way chill, just the two of us and some guy I never met. We skated for a long time, then all these people started showing up. One of them was Heidi ..who came with her boyfriend, a guy that I worked construction with (which is a whole different story on its own that you can find on an all-male skate website somewhere else). So…..my buddy and I are done skating and from what I saw, it was a good thing that we were. Others didn’t get out as lucky as we did. The one that took it the hardest was her boyfriend. Heidi didn’t just skate that pool, nor can I even put what I saw in words. It’s something you have to see for yourself. Heidi was skating that pool with such elegance, it was like was a bald eagle flying inside a windy canyon; like you’re looking at it, and thinking, ‘I want to be you.’. She was going frontside and backside over those stairs with her arms out and hair flowing like she didn’t have a care in the world, and for all we know, she probably didn’t.
I sat back and watched the frustrations of her boyfriend build up and up.
Needless to say, the next day at work I told him that his Heidi was ripping him up at the pool. He looked at me with bewilderment on his face. He didn’t know if he should be proud of her or be pissed at her for being good. It was an awesome moment; then I took it a little further and told him he should bring her to work with him and we’ll see if she can out work you, as she did skating. But then he wasn’t confused anymore; it lead him right into being pissed. I then smiled and laughed. I told him to take it easy, I’m just trying to get through a day of work. Deep down inside, we both new, Heidi could out skate us both, and knew that fighting over it wouldn’t help us out skate her. Heidi will kick your ass at skating !!!!!!!”
RRRG: Where were you raised?
Heidi: I was born, raised and currently live in San Pedro, California. I plan on moving to Portland, Oregon this summer… YAY, time for a change!
RRRG: How long have you been skating?
Heidi: I started skating when i was 12, but quickly got preoccupied with surfing and started skating only to get to the beach and back. When I was 18, I picked up skating again and started going to skateparks for the first time. I would say this is when i really became a skater….and I’ve been skating ever since.
RRRG: What inspired you to start skating and what year was it that you started?
Heidi: I was first inspired to start skating in the early 90’s at a birthday party for a friend on my soccer team. She had an expensive top-of-the-line skateboard (not the type you buy at Target of big 5), and she knew how to ollie on it. I had never seen anything like it before and knew that I had to get a skateboard and learn how to ride it. So, I begged my mom to buy my twin brother and I a “together” birthday present and a few weeks later and she did: our first “real” skateboard.
RRRG: That is an adorable story ….who were some of the people that inspired you – heroes or mentors?
Heidi: My twin brother has always inspired to skateboard. Carrie, the girl on my soccer team, inspired me to start skating. And all skaters with great style, grace, strength and power (both boys and girls), inspire me to skate… and make me want to skate better.
RRRG: What was your first board? What do you ride now
Heidi: My first board was a $40 California classic skateboard; it was a 7 1/2-inch deck, generic trucks, generic barring and generic wheels … it was amazing! Now, I ride an 8-inch deck (what ever brand looks good at the time), independent trucks, ceramic bearings, big OJ wheels (or something similar) and risers. :)
RRRG: What are your other hobbies?
Heidi: My other hobbies include: soccer, surfing, snowboarding, running short distances, hiking… and anything outdoors
RRRG: What were you like as a child?
Heidi: Ever since I was a child I have been very energetic and outgoing. I was generally a “tomboy” in elementary school until 6th grade, then I transformed into a much more girly “tomboy,” to impress the boys.
RRRG: Were your parents supportive of you involved in it?
Heidi: My mom was not initially supportive of skateboarding and often took our skateboards away to punish us, but she’s proud of the opportunities and experiences we have gained from skating, and even has pictures of us skateboarding in the house.
RRRG: Do you skate vert or freestyle?
Heidi: I have skated both street and transition. I initially started as a street skater, but as soon as I found transition I was hooked. Now, I try to skate both because I think they compliment each other.
RRRG: Did you ever compete?
Heidi: I have competed in surfing, snowboarding and skateboarding. I was the most serious about competing in skateboarding. I never turned pro, but i had a great time competing and enjoyed every contest experience.
RRRG: Do you think girls are recognized as much as the guys in the world of skating? If not, why not and do you think this is going to change?
Heidi: I do not think that girls are recognized as much as the guys in the world of skating because there are over 100 times more guy skaters in the world than there are girl skaters. Guys have a huge following in the skate world and therefore there is much more attention, money and energy spent on promoting them. From a business standpoint it makes sense. But, girls are getting better everyday, so I’m excited to see what will happen in the future.
RRRG: Did you feel scared the first time you dropped in a bowl or did a new trick? If yes, how did you combat the nervousness/fear.
Heidi: I haven’t ever been scared to try a new trick because it takes confidence (the opposite of nerves) to land tricks. I like to work my way up to tricks, starting with the basics and adding to them to make them harder.
RRRG: Have the boys always given you respect when you’re at a skatepark?
Heidi: Boys at the skatepark are who you skate with, there are occasional girl sightings, but it’s usually about a 30:1 ratio. Given the poor ratio, girls at a skate park are going to stick out and get attention. As far as respect, that is something you earn through your skating. It doesn’t matter if you’re a boy or a girl, beginner or a professional, as long as you are trying hard, not getting in the way of other skaters, not talking more than you’re skating and respecting the place you are skating – you will get respect from everyone at the skatepark both boys and girls.
RRRG: What do you do for work?
Heidi: I currently work as a bartender and waitress, so that i can support my hobbies. :)
RRRG: What are your future plans (skating-wise and personal).
Heidi: My plans for the future are to move to Portland, enroll in grad school, become a teacher, travel the world, enjoy my hobbies and have fun doing it all!
RRRG: Sounds like a plan! :) What do you have playing in your mp3player/stereo at this time that gets you amped up for skating – or anything?
Heidi: I don’t listen to music while I skate, but I do when I run. Right now i get pumped to run to the new Usher song “OMG.”
RRRG: Do you have any shout outs?
Heidi: Fudge is hot… and my bro is awesome!
Interview by Christine Cauble
Introduction by Aaron Feeley