Beatrice Domond Is The Future Of Skateboarding (#GotBitcoin?)
The 24-year-old skater from Florida is the only woman sponsored by the ultra-popular streetwear brand Supreme right now. She’s poised to shake up the sport with her inimitable style. Beatrice Domond Is The Future Of Skateboarding (#GotBitcoin?)
Twenty-four-year-old Beatrice Domond is one of skateboarding’s most promising talents. She’s the first—and currently only—woman sponsored by Supreme and F—ing Awesome. The two brands collectively employ today’s most buzzed-about skaters, whose popularity pollinates across skateboarding, fashion and film. Domond says she feels a ceaseless self-imposed pressure to make constructive use of her time since dropping out of college in her native Florida late last summer and relocating to New York City in October. She is focusing full-time on a career in skateboarding and so far, her decision is paying off.
As a teenager growing up in small-town Delray Beach, Florida, she says she had no awareness of Supreme as a streetwear behemoth, but idolized the work of skate videographer William Strobeck and pro skater/FA co-founder Jason Dill. She continually sent them her self-crafted skate videos as a teen, the likes of which can be seen on Beatrice’s YouTube dating as far back as 2008. Eventually, she developed a correspondence with Strobeck and FA that blossomed into appearances in Supreme’s seminal skate videos Cherry and Blessed, and a sign-on to the FA team last spring. Beatrice is on track to go pro in the near future, which would make her the second black woman ever to do so.
In a sport that Instagram or the X-Games might have you believe is about showiness, Beatrice is of another mode. In her YouTube videos, you can see multiple takes of her botching a trick before she gets it right. Even if her tricks aren’t mind-blowing from a technical standpoint, she’s still more captivating to watch than most because the way she skates has an instructional quality to it.
While recently visiting Los Angeles for the grand opening of FA’s flagship in Hollywood, Beatrice made time to talk with WSJ. about her first trick, social media and staying motivated.
What was your experience like when you were starting out? Did you have a lot of other friends who skated?
I was always by myself. I would skate every day. I still played basketball, tennis, I would go to acting—my mom put us in a lot of stuff—but I would always skate after or before. It didn’t get really serious until I was like 14. I started high school, and you know, you’re trying to find yourself. I wanted to be a musician at the time…
Then I did a half cab in the hallway after school, and I was like, “This is what I want to do.” Not even a kickflip. A half cab, 180, backside. The shittiest one. And I was like, “This is what I want to do.”
And you were by yourself?
Yup… [Skateboarding] felt like it was something I didn’t have to wait for. I really didn’t like being told what to do. I don’t like rules…I don’t like being relied on. I like to be dependable, but I don’t want you to put your all in me, because if I mess up I’ll feel really bad, you know? Basketball was too much. Skateboarding’s like, I’m by myself, I can do it when I want it, for how long I want it; [I can] wake up at 2 a.m. and go outside and do it. I think that’s what I liked about it.
Not everyone understands how hard skating actually is; how much time and work it takes to be even 1% good at it.
To be honest, I didn’t even know until recently. It’s so hard! I told my friends. “Skateboarding is so hard, dude,” and they’re like “you’re just realizing that?” I’m like “Yeah!” It’s hard.
What advice would you give to young people, especially young women, who are getting their start in skateboarding and maybe feeling discouraged?
I feel like if you love something enough, you wouldn’t have to ask yourself [any] questions. There’s [been times] where I’m like, “it’s not gonna work out,” but I’ve always told myself this:
if it doesn’t work out, I still did it for myself and it was fun. And if it does work out, I did it for myself and it was fun, and there’s a little icing on top. If you’re not motivated, it’s probably not something you want to do. If you are motivated but you’re [of] a different mindset than I am, just keep at it! Don’t give up. I didn’t. Sometimes I felt bummed, but I’m addicted to this. It’s like I can’t stop doing it. I wish I could. One time I almost quit, and then I was [back] out there 10 minutes later. I quit every day. I’m like “I quit!” and throw my board in the trash, and then dig it out. You can ask any skater who skates for real:
you wake up thinking about it, you go to sleep thinking about it. I was just telling my friend that I wish I had kept some of my older hobbies. I miss painting, I miss drawing. Once I started [skating] I got addicted to it. It’s an obsession. I love it.
How did you know it was time to fully commit to your skateboarding career and make the move to New York?
Yeah, it was happening. I could go back to school when [I’m] older. I know a lot of people say that and don’t go back, but I would really like to go back. I just felt like “Ok, I can do this now.”
My younger brother [helped me], to be honest. I always ask him “What do you think?” and he’s like “Bea, you could do [school] later. You should do this now.” He’s really wise for his age. He’ll keep me in check. I was afraid to travel and go out of the country and he was like, “Florida…? Or Sweden?” [Laughs] Stuff like that.
Most skate footage is primarily shared via Instagram these days. Obviously so much more goes into filming a part [a solo segment in skating compilation videos], but it’s still important and seems conducive to discovery in a different way. What do you think?
I haven’t had a whole part yet, and I would love to make one for myself. This year, hopefully.
When I watch a cool part in a body of work, it’s like “Wow.” I don’t know what kind of person I’d be if I had to like, (mimics scrolling on an iPhone) “Ok, that clip she did two years ago…” It’s like music: like buying a single [as opposed to] the body of work. But I get it. I used to be like “YouTube and Instagram are horrible,” but now I [think] a perfect balance would be nice. And then you can show [a part] to your kids. I don’t think Instagram will be around by the time we get older. You can pop in the CD— “What is that?” —watch it, and be like “That was me, dude!” [Laughs]