Interview: Australian Rollerblading Open 2014 women’s champion Tiffany Street

Street by name, street by nature. Meet Melbourne’s Tiffany Street, Australia’s new Australian Rolling Open female champion. Jesse Kuch caught up with Tiffany shortly after her big win at ARO to find out more about her life, rollerblading and what it’s like being to top female skater in Australia in 2014…

Hi Tiffany, how are you? First of all, let’s start basic. Tell us who are you, where you’re from and how you got into the world of rollerblading.

I’m Tiffany Street, originally from the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. I started skating when I was (I think) grade 4, which seems like a lifetime ago now. I stopped in grade 7 for some unknown reason. Many years went by and I started missing that feeling of rolling so much I started to get back into it when I was 19. So it was a solid amount of time before I picked it up again.

You’re based in Melbourne now, though… aren’t you?

Yeah, currently based in Melbourne. Wouldn’t have it any other way.

You’re hooked up with Ground Control frames, aren’t you? How did that relationship start?

Basic answer is that Jenny approached me one day and proposed the idea of me joining the team. I was completely stunned!

Well, it seems like you’ve done them proud in 2014… How does it feel being the Australian Rolling Open Women’s Street Champion for 2014? You blitzed it at the comp!

Absolutely incredible. I thought my days of competing were long over. I mean, I’m not even old I just never thought I’d come back to the sport and compete again.

You went pretty hard at ARO though… that disaster kind grind on the rail was one of the first tricks of the day when I was like damn… you must have known you were on a winner when you hit that!

Haha, I must say, kind grinds are my safety trick. I’d never tried a disaster KG before though, so landing that felt so nice. Pretty stoked with that trick.

Has the win given you a bit of motivation to push yourself to skate more and do bigger tricks? You’re the top female skater in the country for 2014!

I get so taken aback when anybody says that to me, it feels so surreal. Ah man, this weather has been getting me down. After the comp, there was so much rain so I haven’t been able to get out much which has been killing me. Ultimately, I blade for my undeniable love of the sport. I’m a perfectionist, so when learning new tricks I’ll probably be stuck on them for months until I have them absolutely perfected.

There probably aren’t as many girl rollers in Australia anymore… not compared to what you see in Europe and other places across the globe. Do you hope to inspire more women into the sport?

I’d love to be the person to inspire more women into the sport. When I tell somebody that I Rollerblade they always assume I mean Roller Derby or something, it’s pretty funny.

Where could one find you skating in Melbourne? Do you have a favourite park or spot you hit regularly?

Well, usually I’m just trying to get a quick skate in in between study and work so I’ll just ride to my local (which is 5 minutes away) and just have a solo roll. But I love to skate strange obstacles, I love being creative and just messing around and having fun.

What about your favourite skaters? Who do you admire and why?

Right now Alex Broskow and David Sizemore. They both have such controlled styles and are always so creative. That’s what I’m loving most about the current state of Rollerblading: creativity. When I was little, Chris Haffey used to be my absolute hero, I idolised him and wanted to be him.

What about Aussie skaters? Anyone here inspire you?

I really enjoy watching Gav Drumm for the same reasons as Broskow and Sizemore. Also, Robbie Pitts is somebody who I feel really comfortable expressing myself in front of (skating wise). But I’ve got to shout out to the boys who I mostly skate with who are always there pushing me: Lil Kev and Matt Caratelli. Always love watching them skate.

What do you get up to outside blading? Do you have any hobbies or interests outside the blade game?

Well I’m currently studying Graphic Design and I also do freelance work in that field. That takes up a lot of my time but outside of that I love going for long rides on my bike, reading lots of literature, DIY projects, taking photographs and hanging out.

Do you take many blading shots?

Yeah. Photography is my second default, I love being behind the lens. I’d much rather be there than in front of it. I just love capturing that perfect shot, feels almost as good as doing the trick itself for me.

Do you think those talents will come together a bit more around rollerblading in the future? Seems like they could go hand-in-hand…

I’m really interested in the idea of creating a little Rollerblading zine. I know that there used to be one around but I wasn’t in the scene that point and I’d love to bring one back at some point. I’d love to be a part of something like that for the community.

Is there anything else you’d like to mention before we wrap it up? Do you have anything major happening before now and the end of the year?

I’m really keen for daylight savings to kick in again and get back to all those night sessions. This summer I really want to push myself to the next level.

Can we maybe expect an edit or some photos then?

The rollerblading community is a community I am so proud to be apart of, everybody has such a great attitude. I’m conjuring up a couple of edit ideas at the moment, so we’ll have to see where that takes me. Probably one before the end of the year I’m hoping.

Awesome… anyone else you’d like to thank or shout out in particular?

Anybody and everybody who blades, they’re always inspiring me to skate harder and better myself especially the guys who I skate with regularly – Lil Kev, Matt Caratelli, Robbie Pitts, Tom Cameron, and also to rollerblading.com.au for having me here. Also Ground Control Australia for seeing something in me and giving me the opportunity to ride for a brand which I love.

Awesome Tiffany, thanks so much for taking the time out of your studies to chat to us. Congrats on the big win, you rocked it!

No, thank you for having me!

Peace!

Interview by Jesse Kuch. All photos (except slideshow) by Craig Richards.

Photos by Tiffany Street

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