Firstly my name is Amy Ram! Born and raised Londoner but currently made my nest in Barcelona. Most of my friends call me Soccer, I played club level football for 10 years (Fulham Ladies FC) but now I guess consider myself more a skateboarder.
2. When did you skate journey begin?
I began to skate when I was 10/11 years old. A boy from my street started skateboarding and I always peered out the window wondering what the hell he was doing. I was sporty at school and wanted to try everything so it looked interesting. We then started to hit the local skatepark together and the journey began. I kept it going for 3 years, hitting the skatepark religiously every weekend. But as adolescence kicked in, I moved onto other teenage stuff and stopped skating for a while. Being a girl and skating during the early 2000’s was unusual and being a teenager I just wanted to fit in so I stopped for 10 years and picked it back up when i was 23 and the rest is history ;)
3. You're originally from London, what prompted the move to Barcelona?
I needed a change in scene. I obviously love London, my friends and family are based their, but the city has changed a lot. The expense and the magnitude of everything is on such an incredible scale now and the hustle is too real. Barcelona is the my perfect city. 4 good seasons, everything in metro/walking distance, people from everywhere and year long skating. Couldn’t be happier.
4. You have travelled a lot with skateboarding, tell us about some of your absolute highlights?
I have travelled to loads of exciting places with my skateboard (and a lot without in fact). Everywhere I have been I have been luck enough to met some amazing people from across the globe (ya’ll know who you are ;), all differentiating in age, gender, background and that for me is the best thing about skateboarding.
I travel a lot with my best mate/team mate - Helena Long, who is the best female skater in the UK (my obvious bias opinion).
We travelled the west coast of America and Canada last year and it was really super sick. We met all the female shredders on that side of the world and it was great to skate with them. I think they digged our goofy style.
We are both always planning our next trip, and i think the next is to Nepal. Going to countries like Nepal to meet the female skate communities is truly inspiring for us and for them.
5. How did the opportunity to go to Palestine come about? What did you take away from that experience?
I can’t actually remember how I ended up going to Palestine. There was no one who I knew that been before. I saw online that they were really looking for female skate instructors and I have been teaching for many years and I thought what a better use of my skills then to go a teach kids who have way less than who I usually teach.
Palestine was one of the best experiences I have ever had. Truely. Regardless of it being skate related or not. I learnt a lot and it opened my eyes up to the middle east and the fucked up situation that it going on there. I was so naive and ignorant to have not known about the Israeli/Palestine conflict that when I was there, learning about what has/is happening blew my mind.
6. The Girl Skate programme in India sounds like an incredible initiative - what's the scene like over there?
Yes, this is something that makes extremely happy to see. Seeing the girls scene grow in underdeveloped countries is for me why being a female skateboarder is so empowering. I took my skateboard out to India when I was travelling there a couple of years ago. Skateboarding is such an alien concept out there and for people to see females skateboarding is almost as shocking as seeing a three legged unicorn flying over a rainbow. Atita Verghese is pioneering the girls scene out there as we speak, founder of @girlsskateindia. I have tremendous amounts of respect for her as she took on an impossible task and succeed amazingly. More info on the project here - https://www.vans.co.uk/girlsskate.html - well worth a read if you haven’t already.
7. How has the female skate community changed over the last ten years? Do you see social media as a help or a hinderance?
It has changed dramatically over the last 5 years. Although I see it progress positivelyweekly. Its taking big steps towards equality, similar to how I have seen women’s football progress in the last 10 years. I’m really happy to have been involved. I founded and run the monthly ‘Girls Night’ at BaySixty6 skatepark 4 years ago and the growth in that alone has been incredible. We now have over 50+ girls attending every month.
Social media has definitely helped the good female skaters get noticed and if you are legit and a good skater then the brands will no doubt pick up on you. Which is a definite positive. And social media is social media, there will be posers with millions of followers who skate just for the gram. But such is life, I personally choose to ignore them. The girls scene is still so extremely underground, and the brands still really don’t know anything about us properly, which is great. We are a tight global family and we internally know who is in for the right reasons and who isn’t.
8. What makes a great skater?
100% Style - no doubt about it, you can have an unlimited trick selection but if you have no style it means nothing.
Good Attitude - skateboarding can give you a lot, in every sense. Be sure to give back what skateboarding gives to you, whether it will be helping a kid drop in at the skatepark or giving your old boards away instead of selling it.
9. You’ve got to be pretty tough to take all cuts, breaks and bruises - what helps you get back up and on your board again? Do you see these qualities shine through in other parts of your life?
I definitely feel like my previous football experience has played a big part to help with pain skateboarding can inflict. Growing up being pushed and beaten on the pitch helped me be more resilient to pain and I suppose after 20 years, I got used to it! I take it my pain threshold is higher than most and getting older and wiser I have learnt certain mechanisms to deal with the injuries, all the scars and all the bruises.
For me nothing is more of a mental and physical challenge than skateboarding (apart from surfing, that’s next level). But it has for sure helped in all parts of my life. It has taught me patience firstly. Secondly, persistence. Thirdy and most importantly skateboarding has offered me a sense of community and friendship. This is something money cannot buy.
10. Finally, the cheesy question, you’re doing what you love for a living - what advice would you give to other women who haven’t taken that leap of faith yet to do what they’re passionate about?
Absolutely do it! But I understand it’s hard to break away from what society thinks is the ‘correct way to live’ - having a full time serious job, paying off a 25 year mortgage, and getting married to someone you don’t really even like. I started to do whatever the fuck I wanted when I stopped being a “parent pleaser”. I had a office job for a couple of years and even though I was working in the industry, I still felt awful sitting down all day and had to exert energy by doing headstands in the corridor and running up 5 flights of stairs couple times a day. It wasn’t for me and truly happy to have realised this is in my twenties rather than forties. So my advice is if you are not happy with what you are doing, sooner rather than later, change this. Cringy but it’s true - do what you love. I have chosen this path and I am the happiest I have been.