Introduce Yourself: Meghana Iyer

Introduce yourself: 

I’m Meghana Iyer. I’m 19 years old and I’m from Calgary. I’m a student at AUArts, and I really like corndogs. I really like Nerds, too. Those are like my skate snacks. If they were healthy enough I’d totally chow on those all day, but you get dirty looks with that one, so I don’t. I like groovy music—that’s my favourite stuff to sesh to when skating bowls. Really fun, groovy stuff. 

Any specific musical recommendations?

Mata Hari by Mata Hari is the coolest stuff. Bad Bad Not Good is amazing. They're from Canada. Also, punk music is awesome too. I love skating with music. Obviously if you’re seshing with friends, headphones are not the thing to do though. I started skating by myself and just doing that, having music on, it’s kind of nice, it just zones you out. I have certain songs that I associate with things I’ve done. Dropping into the fullpipe at Millz has a specific song I like to listen to. Dropping in on this wall at The Compound has another song. 

I just went to Hastings in Vancouver though and they were blasting the music there. It was awesome. They let me take AUX for a minute. It was like punk and country music, so I put on this music that they never really listen to, and it changes your whole bowl skating session, you just groove out.

Rolling into the Clover Bowl in Calgary's Millennium Park.

Why skateboarding?

I picked it up literally out of nowhere. I started when I was 16. Before that, I was really afraid of falling. I hated pain. And then one day I was at a bus stop with my friend, he skates, and then my other friend, she was cruising and pushing on his board. My friend, the guy, made a comment wondering why not many girls skate, or pick it up for the long run, and I don’t know, it just made me think. But after those first few pushes, even though I didn’t have any balance, I just got hooked on it. 

My friend gave me her pristine Palace set-up, worth like $300, for $20. It had Daniel Johnston stickers on it, really cool grip, 7.75”, and I just practiced day in day out on the road out front of my house, just getting my balance. Then on my third or fourth day I went to the skatepark, CKE, which was actually right by my high school, which was very convenient. Seeing people skate there sparked my interest.

What really changed things for me was learning how to drop in. That was like my fourth day skating, I just did it. That feeling just clicked with me, it was like freedom. You know, anytime a girl is learning how to drop in, it just attracts a crowd. So it was just me eating shit and then when I got it, hearing people yell, “Yeah!”, I was just so, so happy. From then on, I would literally just skate Southwood park every morning. 

I didn’t talk to the boys there for a while actually, until they came up to me. I would just skate the park with my headphones in because I just wanted to skate. I didn’t want to feel scared because of the boys there—I just wanted to do it. Then they all started talking to me, giving me nicknames, pushing me to try new things, motivating me. I didn’t have my girl crew or whatever to motivate me. My close friends don’t skateboard, so they didn’t come with me. But those boys at the park, having them push me, and watching them, it just motivated me so much more. 

I love skating by myself. I love skating with friends, too, but I just feel like when you’re by yourself, you can just take it with you wherever. You can just chill in a parking lot, on a sidewalk, on the riverwalk, I like that. It helps a lot.

One more thing:

I’ve got to thank Ninetimes. They really changed my life here, skating-wise, making me feel like a part of the community. That was a huge thing. It’s the best shop ever. I love those dudes.

Interview and photos by Jeff Thorburn

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