I sat down today with local rider Leila Alpural and had a few questions for her. You have seen her post up sessions on the Kansas City Longboard Community page on FaceBook, let me give you a few more details on her and some of her thoughts on the scene and what motivates her to skate.
We started the interview with the proper pronunciation of her last name, that I butchered for about 5 minutes then we got right to the questions.
JB: How long have you been skating?
LA: Since…. mid July 2012.
JB: Right on, so it’s coming up on a year then.
JB: Thats cool, so what got you started?
LA: I actually had these friends visiting me from England and they were both into long boarding. They brought their boards,and I road my one friends board for like a meter before I fell off. I wasn’t even going very fast, but that was pretty much it.
JB: Did you get hurt when you fell off?
JB: Where you hooked at that point in time do you think?
LA: Yeah, I couldn’t stop thinking about the board,as weird as that sounds, and like I admit I kinda wanted to get into it because I kinda wanted to impress him, but then I ended up liking it way more than either of them, and now I am like better than both of them. (Laughs)
JB: (Laughs) Now you mentioned something really really cool. That you are where hanging out with your friends from England and that your Turkish.
JB: Right on, so is that like cool? Do you ever get grief or anything like that, or does anyone even know?
LA: Wait, for being Turkish?
JB: Yeah, like people saying, “Oh, Merica!” and stuff
LA: A lot of people don’t even know where Istanbul is.
JB: That is just America, America doesn’t know where Istanbul is.
LA: I have had people just ignore it, like that I was from Istanbul, and later I find out they thought I was joking.
LA: I don’t know why anyone would think I would joke about that.
JB: Thats cool though. So what is in your quiver? What board are you skating right now?
LA: Right now I just have a Santa Cruz Cruiser.
JB: You have it set up with Paris trucks, or Gullwing?
LA: Its got Paris Trucks and ButterBalls. It’s a humble board, but I like it.
JB: It good, you’ve been shredding it to. It has the beer opener on the bottom. That’s my favorite feature.
LA: I use that thing.
LA: Not for beer.
JB: Really, are you sure?
LA: I drink RootBeer. (Laughs)
JB: (Laughs) I know that you messed around with my YoFace last First Friday, and you where thinking about getting like a double kick board, something more slidey. What where you thinking about getting?
LA: I don’t know yet, the Sugar was pretty cool. The YoFace was really awesome to ride, but I didn’t like how it felt. I just liked how slidey it was. I really don’t know what kind of board I want. I will say I recently purchased a new deck.
JB: Sweet. What did you get?
LA: I don’t know. It’s a 7×28 inch off of Ebay. It was $18 bucks.
JB: Hell yeah, see what happens right?
LA: I am just going to make something with it
JB: That will be cool.
LA: It does have a kick tail though.
JB: So kinda like a PeaceMaker, like what Javid skates?
LA: Its shaped kinda like that but it is really small. It’s like 7 inches wide.
JB: Like a penny board or something?
LA: The wheel base is 14 inches.
JB: Itty bitty little guy, that should be fun to kick around. I know there is a lot of people that kick around on those. So do you ride for any companies currently?
JB: Not sponsored yet, that cool though. Let say that your skating progresses and you start getting like really really good, and your like….Have you ever thought about what company you would like to skate for?
LA: No (Laughs)
JB: Never thought about that?
LA: Burning Spider (Laughs)
JB: Yeah! (Cheers) That will give you brownie points. I will give you a plus 10 on that score. If I was scoring these. What is your philosophy on longboarding, and why do you skate? What drives you to skate.
LA: That was actually the question I had a hard time with. What do you mean like philosophy?
JB: Well, I guess like philosophy was a bad word for it. What drives you to skate? What do you think? Why do you skate?
LA: I skate because, I like it. I like the endorphin rush, and someday I want to be good enough at skating that the board feels like and extension of me. I basically want to feel in control of the board. Be confident on how I move on it, and be able to tackle most urban terrain.
JB: So like the challenge part of it then?
LA: And it’s just really fun.
JB: So, what motivates you to keep going? I know here, especially the last couple weeks you have been coming out to the BSSC training stuff that we have been doing, the little sessions we have been doing, or whatever, and been tearing it up there, and you’ve been tearing it up in general. So……What was my question again? What motivates you, what keeps you going?
LA: What motivates me?
LA: The answer to the previous question, and… I don’t know
JB: Just fun. Do you ever get discouraged?
LA: Oh yeah.
JB: So when your discouraged and kinda bumming a little bit, what lifts you out of that?
LA: Just forcing myself to. Like the other day after school, after class I had my board in the back of my car. I take it with me incase an opportunity presents itself.
JB: Do you take it with you everywhere?
LA: Yeah, in the back of my car. It’s not in the back right now, but I have the helmet and stuff back there. But anyways after class I really didn’t want to skate, because I felt like I sucked and stuff, I didn’t want to do it alone because it’s embarrassing, but I force myself to skate in the parking garage, and then I liked it after that. I didn’t really answer that question.
JB: Yeah, it kinda did. You kinda answered it before hand, but you got out of the funk so it’s all good. You maybe gave the guys that are having some problems getting motivated, to motivate. Because some people think, like me, my motivation thing is complex series of this this and this, but yours is really simple on the converse. It was,” I just did it.”, there is no other.
LA: Also seeing other people skate, is very motivating.
JB: Yeah, gets you stoked. So what trick are you working on?
LA: I guess I am working on those Colemans.
JB: Those are coming right along. Would you say that is what you are having problems with as well.
LA: Just coming out of them.
JB: Is there any trick that you are wanting to learn? That you are kinda started on?
LA: The standees
JB: Your Toeside 180s were looking sick on the YoFace the other night.
LA: I want to do those.
JB: If you were to compare your riding style to an animal what animal would you be and why?
LA: That one totally baffled me when I tried to answer it, but probably a snake. Because I like carving, and I like snakes.
JB: You do own some snakes as well right?
LA: I have a corn snake and a ball python. I have been into reptiles since I was a baby.
JB: Have you ever wanted to be a herpetologist?
LA: I was way too obsessed with reptiles until I was 12.
JB: Where you like to see the scene like in Kansas City in general go? What would you like to see? What do you think would be really, really rad?
LA: Where ever it wants to go. I know for sure I like where it is right now, and I know I don’t want to see it fade out. I don’t want to see longboarding become dorky or anything. I also don’t want to see it become something like posers start to do.
JB: Like a fashion statement kinda thing.
LA: I don’t really know where its going to go. I guess let the people will decide.
JB: Where do you see your life in the next 1-5 years?
LA: Finishing up college hopefully.
JB: What are going to college for?
LA: Right now I am an arts major. Doing that. I think I will still be in Missouri by then, but hopefully I will kinda have an idea on where I am going next. Be getting started on a career or something, and be a better skater.
JB: Do you have any advice for people just getting started?
JB: Oooh! Ok. (It was a very solid yes, so I new the answer was going to be good.)
LA: Basically, Know that you are going to look really stupid. I mean like everyone sucks when they first start out, and it’s going to be embarrassing, and your not going to want to look like and idiot in front of strangers, but its going to happen. Just suck it up. It’s really important to make sure you go and skate by yourself, also make sure it important, really important that you go to seshes that are posted in the longboarding group.
JB: Why do you think it is important to skate with other people?
LA: Because they spread the stoke, and also a lot of the better skaters are really eager to teach you and they love volunteering tips, and they really enjoy offering advice and seeing you succeed. So it is a good environment to learn.
JB: Do you ever get too much advice, do you think? Is there ever a time where you are like, “Ok, I get it dude, shut up?”
LA: I actually haven’t had that problem.
JB: Sometimes I am a bit paranoid.
LA: I think guys are a bit more like…..you know. I think they done like being corrected. They mind being corrected a bit more.
JB: It’s got to be some kind of machismo, pride thing.
LA: But nobodies been enough of a dick to me yet to like over correct me.
JB: This is my favorite question.
LA: Is this the baby one?
JB: If you had to choose between punching a baby or stop skating, which one would you choose?
LA: Well really it depends on what the minimum force requirements is to constitute a punch. It also depends on if anyone is going to see me.
JB: (Laughs) Ok, lets say. No one saw you, and the baby didn’t cry.
LA: Oh I would totally punch the baby. Like even if people where watching. I don’t want to punch the baby….
JB: But if you had to choose. Someone was like, ” Hey, you are either going to punch this baby or you are going to stop skating forever.” Like they will make it someway to where you can’t skate.
LA: Yeah, the baby has it coming. (Laughs)
JB: (Laughs) The baby is going to get punched. I would probably punch the baby too.
LA: Well the punch only lasts a few seconds.
JB: Yeah, longboarding lasts as long as you skate. Right on well I think that is the end of the questions. I appreciate your time, and we will get this typed up and put on the website. Any last words of wisdom for anybody?
LA: Get out and skate, Now.
JB: Get out and skate foo!
JB: That was Leila, and she is the first person that BSSC interviewed. I am going to pick random people from the scene, new guys, old guys, guys you really don’t here a lot from, the quiet guys especially, I am coming for you.
LA: And girls
JB: And girls, and ladies too, because we’ve got like three maybe, three regular skaters, three regular lady skaters.
LA: Sam, Kaley, and I
JB: Yup, absolutely. We will be interviewing everybody eventually. Hopefully you are next. Maybe I will have some extra questions next time, and that be the end of that.