Interview by Kristin Ebeling
Photo by Norma Ibarra
Kristen Landry, or “Eastside Krispy” to the homies, is a humble and kind Vancouver ripper. She’s been skating for 30 years, and her bright-blue helmet and stacked bag of quarterpipe combos make her a standout to this day. A few years back, she launched Chickflip, a meet-up group centered on bringing together women skaters from around the city. Read on to learn what life and skateboarding are all about to this low-key legend.
Hey, how are you doing today?
I’m super, thanks!
What’s a typical day like for you? What's your day job? Any other hobbies outside of skating?
I’m a tradesperson, so I wake up at the crack of dawn and make my way to enormous houses under construction around town. Besides skateboarding, I love building things out of wood and I love going to thrift stores. I usually don’t even buy anything. I’m just fascinated with what people used to have on display in their houses.
Where are you from originally?
I grew up on a farm in southern Manitoba.
Where and when did you start skating?
I started skating probably in 1989 and I shoveled shit out of a barn to do it!
What inspired you to start skating?
My cousin and his friends in Rosenort, Manitoba, were all skating and I went to see a contest they put on. I was enthralled and hooked after that. Those guys were so supportive and I am grateful that they encouraged me.
Who were your favourite skaters when you were younger?
I saw a demo in the 90’s in Winnipeg with Ed Templeton. He’s definitely one of my favourites. When I got the Thrasher issue with Cara-Beth Burnside on the cover, that was a game changer.
What was your first skateboard?
Department store special—all plastic!
How did Chickflip start?
I was going to skateboarding events here in Vancouver and I would run into young women who were skating and then I would never run into them again. I wanted to create something that would connect us and bring us together.
Any plans for Chickflip in the future?
Chickflip is going to evolve with the help of all the other neat skate groups popping up in the city. We’ll continue to participate in meet-ups and events and do our part!
What’s your favourite obstacle to skate?
Ooh, I love a good mini ramp! Anything with pool coping is rad, too. I’d love to get better at skating barriers.
What are your favorite spots or parks to skate?
Kensington in Vancouver is my “go-to” park. I love Coal Pad in Washington and the New West park as well.
I heard you have a mean Heelflip and can pop one over a deck sideways—confirm or deny!
Confirm, but in the past tense. It’s been a long time since I could do that. I also had a wicked 360 pressure flip back in the day! [laughs]
So what's your current setup now that you aren’t a flatground phenom?
I prefer shaped decks, Indy trucks, and Spitfire 58’s.
Did you go to Slam City Jam back in the day?
I didn’t! I got injured and missed that part of the Vancouver scene.
Speaking of injuries, I noticed you wear a knee brace under your knee pads. Did you have a previous injury?
Oh yeah, I have no ACL ligaments in either knee. One knee is worse than the other. Good times—surgeries!
If you could change one thing about skateboarding, what would it be?
I would like folks to be more happy about the successes of others—not jealous.
What makes the Vancouver skate scene special?
Diversity! Folks from all walks of life bonding over skateboarding.