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Here at RWTG, we think it’s super important to showcase the girls right here on our doorstep! That’s why we’re introducing a new series of blog posts entitled ‘Spotlight’. Each Spotlight will interview a girl skater from Leeds to find out how they got into skateboarding, what tricks they’re learning at the minute and more about their skills beyond the realm of skating! We’re proud to present our first ever Spotlight with the lovely Kayleigh Smyth. Read on to hear about how she started skating and the rad things she’s up to in the world of VR!

When and how did you get into skateboarding?

“In 2014, in my first year of university, the first thing I bought when my loan came in was a complete set up from Welcome Skate Store. It was an impulsive buy with the intention to give it a go and use it as a fun way of getting to and from uni. I came to realise the route to uni wasn’t very skate-friendly, and quickly ditched the idea and devoted my time to competing in Karate (something I had already been committed to for years). When I changed universities, I decided to pick my board up again and went to LUU Skate Soc’s giag event – it was this society that shifted my commitment from Karate to skateboarding.”

What do you think of the Leeds/ northern skate scene?

I personally think it’s sick but I have nothing to compare it to yet! But I think the Leeds skate scene has a really candid, friendly vibe to the community. Generally skating in the North has been great especially with more and more girls are skating all the time. I recently skated the 4motion girls night in Darlington (more north than Leeds) and was greeted with the same welcoming and honest atmosphere. I’ve been quite lucky in that nothing has really discouraged me as of yet.

What do you love about skating?

At first I loved the challenge; constantly falling off and the adrenaline rushes as you get faster. But now I love it for the sheer fun of skating with my friends and the social side of learning something so active with your mates.   

Where are your favourite places to skate and why? 

My favourite place to skate is mostly Hyde Park in Leeds for the moment, just because of the social side of it being quite a central place for the skate scene in Leeds so it’s easy to get to and there’s room for everyone. In the summer I particularly liked skating Micklefield for the sick bowl but I’d like to visit Thornes soon!

Any tricks you’re learning right now? Or perhaps ones you want to try?

At the moment I’m trying to sort out my no complies and frontside 180s. I’ll be tackling my pop shuvs soon after.

Who are your favourite skaters to watch/ who gets you hyped to skate?

“My favourite skaters to watch are mostly my friends actually! Watching the people I skate with and seeing them progress gets me hyped to skate. I rarely have the time to watch skaters online but when I see Nora going for it on my feed that’s always inspiring!


You’re pretty creative, can you tell us a bit about what you do outside of skating?

“Outside of skating I’m a Fine Art student in my third year and Art Director for singer/songwriter Hattie Briggs. I’m predominantly a VR Artist currently making a Virtual Music video for Hattie. As a VR Artist I use motion tracked controllers and headset to draw/paint within a virtual 3d space. In the real world I’m an illustrator that usually works in ink!

How do you incorporate your art form into skateboarding?

I try to help out with RWTG’s social media presence by creating engaging promotional videos that I make in VR! I like the way in which VR can produce effective 2d material, especially if it encourages people to come to our events. I’ve also recently exhibited a VR rendition of Element skateboards Evan Smith Astral Plane graphic. I brought the graphic to life so it was fully explorable for visitors in VR- it was like stepping inside the deck!

Where can we find your work and have you got anything coming up?

I’ll be releasing my Virtual Music Video ‘‘Just Breathe’ – Hattie Briggs’’ on the 15th Feb at 7pm (GMT) on YouTube so stay tuned for the teaser trailers! I will also be performing a gig in my VR headset at a public show at my university within the upcoming months.

You can be updated with these events and find my work on instagram at @kayleigh_eliza_art, and Facebook ‘Kayleigh Eliza Art’

Lastly, any other words or shout outs?

Shout out to RWTG!! It’s like a family now and seeing everyone’s videos is so motivating and inspiring! Also my boyfriend and fellow skater Jake Mitchell who becomes my personal filmer whenever he skates with me!

Photo Credit: Lucki Kaur 


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