AIR TIME: Nikki Miller, 16, shows off some of her tricks at the Blenheim Skate Park.
Beating the boys at tricks earns Blenheim skateboarding teen and regional women’s champion Nikki Miller kudos down at the skate park.
“Since the chick that skates can beat the guys at half of the tricks, they take me seriously,” says the 16-year-old, who won the open women’s title at the Cheapskates Nelson Regional Skateboarding competition on Saturday.
As well as a new pair of shoes and a T-shirt, Nikki’s competition success earned her a place at the nationals later in the year.
The Marlborough Girls’ College Year 11 student has been skating for only about a year, but labels her performance at the regionals “not bad”.
“I could’ve done better if my nerves hadn’t got to me,” she says.
It was her “skater guy mates” who got her into the sport, as she often hung out with them at the Blenheim Skate Park on Horton St.
“I just started trying it out on their boards and I got into it.”
So into it, she’s now down at the skate park almost every day.
It’s only when working her part-time job at Supercheap Auto that she doesn’t make it down.
“My job funds it all as skating isn’t cheap. I go through shoes every fortnight and they’re $200 a pair and I need a new board about every month and that’s about $160 a time and there are more costs than that.”
But it’s a passion and she’s hooked.
“It’s different, it’s more fun, it’s challenging, I just love it. I’ve done heaps of sports like athletics, soccer and basketball, but skating is something real different.”
As for Nikki’s worst injury so far, she says it was when she fractured her hand in two places last year.
“But you always have cuts, bruises and scars, it’s just part of it, they don’t really hurt.”
Looking to the future she says she has her eye on a personal training course in Nelson, but if the chance comes up, skating professionally and being sponsored would be the ultimate. “That’d be awesome; I’d just love to do it.”