Libby, April’s etnies Girl of the Month, hit her first rail just three days after trying snowboarding for the first time, and she hasn’t looked back since. The 16-year-old Concord, Mass., native now attends a boarding school in Bethel, Maine, called Gould Academy, where she gets out of school at noon in the winter so she can go to the mountain. Her dedication has paid off; this is just Libby’s second season riding and her first season competing, and she’s already been named overall varsity champ of the MAISAD (Maine Association of Independent Schools Athletic Directors) series, and qualified for the USASA (United States of America Snowboarding Association) Nationals, where she placed fifth overall. She’s been skating for six months and, in the spring, will join Gould’s skate team. Something tells us she’ll do just as well. We spoke with Libby about how she got into snowboarding and skating, what she likes about competing and the best piece of advice she’s ever received.
etnies Girl: What are your interests, Libby?
Libby: Snowboarding is my main interest, but I skate, paint and play guitar as well.
etnies Girl: What are your talents?
Libby: I think my talent is learning things fast. I picked up snowboarding and skating relatively quickly.
etnies Girl: How did you get into snowboarding?
Libby: I skied for 11 years and one day I realized that I wasn’t having fun with it anymore, so I convinced my parents to get me a snowboard. We went to this shop in New Hampshire and I knew nothing about snowboarding, so I basically let the guy there pick a board for me. I spent a day and a half on the bunny hill and then hit up the big hill. After three days, some guys convinced me to hit this rail. I was pretty scared, but I did it anyway. I 50-50ed and came off early, but I didn’t fall or get hurt. After that day, I knew that snowboarding was what I wanted to do, and that I wanted to try my hardest to progress. Going to Gould Academy and joining its competition team has really helped my snowboarding out. We compete in two series: MAISAD (Maine Association of Independent Schools Athletic Directors), which is an interscholastic program where we compete against other schools’ teams in slopestyle and halfpipe, and USASA (United States of America Snowboard Association).
etnies Girl: When did you start skating?
Libby: I really started skating when they built a skate park in Concord. I really had nothing to do, so I decided to learn how to skate. I continued skating at Windells, where I went for snowboarding last summer. That rainbow rail was super-duper fun, but I definitely prefer to skate mini ramps. Gould also has a skate team that is sponsored by Redbull, which will give away half a scholarship to Woodward at the end of the season. I met my best friend, Amelia, at Gould. She’s an avid skateboarder and is sick at vert. I definitely look up to her and she inspires me to learn new tricks even if I am afraid.
etnies Girl: What do you like about etnies Girl?
Libby: etnies Girl expresses the independence of girls. Its style is like no other and goes more along with what girls really want, instead of a stereotype. I like how it is very supportive of girls and their place in sports such as surfing, skating and snowboarding. etnies Girl understands that we can do anything we set our minds to while still being awesomely stylish.
“If you really want something, all you have to do is believe in yourself and work hard for it.”
etnies Girl: Why are you an etnies Girl?
Libby: I’m an etnies Girl because I am creative, independent and intelligent. I like to have my own style and I’m not afraid to be me, nor am I ashamed of who I am. I always make an effort to be nice to people, even if they are mean to me. I have a good sense of humor and a great outlook on life.
etnies Girl: What do you do for fun?
Libby: Snowboard, skateboard, listen to music, play guitar, paint, draw, watch movies, tell jokes. I love to make people laugh. One of my favorite jokes is: Why does Snoop Dogg wear a raincoat? Fo’ drizzle!
etnies Girl: Where do you find inspiration?
Libby: Mostly from pros and my friends. I see them ride or skate and they motivate me to improve. I find a lot of inspiration from music and the feeling certain songs give me. If I find a really good song, it will pump me up to try new stuff.
etnies Girl: What’s your biggest accomplishment?
Libby: Going to the USASA Nationals and being the highest placing girl from the East Coast in my age group, not to mention fifth place overall.
etnies Girl: How did you get started competing?
Libby: I did my first competition in January. It was a rail jam and I went on my own, not with my school. I really wanted to prove myself to my coaches by trying my first competition on my own. I also wanted to get the feel of competing; however, I was the only girl who showed up, so I decided to compete against myself and try some new tricks. I really started competing with my school through the MAISAD and USASA series. Going to the USASA Nationals was a big step for me. To compete with girls my age from all around the country was awesome. I met so many cool people and overall it was a great experience. It snowed the day of our competition, so they stopped it after our first run. We had to make up our second run the next day, right before our team had to leave for the airport! I didn’t even find out what place I got until my parents called me in the terminal.
etnies Girl: What are your goals with competing?
Libby: My goals are to maintain a good pace of progression throughout my snowboarding career and always to have fun whenever I am snowboarding.
etnies Girl: What do you like most about competing?
Libby: I like how competitions push your comfort level to go further than you’re used to.
etnies Girl: Do you have any advice for girls who would like to compete, but who are scared?
Libby: If you really want something, all you have to do is believe in yourself and work hard for it. Some people take competing the wrong way. If they don’t place well, they feel discouraged and disappointed. If you do poorly, or even if you win, you should push yourself the next time to do better. Look at not placing well as a reason to practice that extra hour or to try that bigger spin. If you have a bad attitude and don’t have fun, you won’t do better the next time. I also find the biggest obstacle you have to overcome is yourself.
etnies Girl: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Libby: Probably what my mom told me about competing. She sent me an e-mail right before Nationals because I was nervous. In it, she said:
“You always love challenges; just remember it is about the experience. Do the best you can do and give it your all. Sit quietly and in your mind imagine the entire run: standing at the start going down the mountain, how you see your body moving on the board, etc. Keep doing this over and over. This way, when the day comes, you have already made the run at least 100 times.”
etnies Girl: What’s really important to you?
Libby: I believe it’s really important to find a place where you are happy, but not at other people’s expense. By taking advantage of people, you become undeserving of what you want—not to mention that it is super-duper unfair.
etnies Girl: Is there anything else you would like to tell us about yourself?
Libby: Last summer, I went to Tanzania with my family because we have a friend who owns a safari company. I had a ton of fun, saw about a bazillion zebras and climbed Kilimanjaro with my dad. I definitely suggest going there; everyone is so nice and you get to see some awesome wildlife.
Libby’s Favorite Things
Place: “Anywhere with snow!”
Animal: “Giraffes and my friend Justin.”
Color: Sapphire blue and neon green
Hangout: Sunday River and Rye Airfield Skatepark
Song: “‘Dynomite’ by Ima Robot. This song always gets me pumped for snowboarding. I hope that if I get a video part one day, this will be the song that is playing in my section.”
Album: “The Resignation” by RX Bandits
Band: “Dead Kennedys, Ima Robot, RX Bandits, The Smiths, Supermodel Suicide. I have a bunch more favorites. It’s hard to pick just one band ‘cause they are all different.”
Book: “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Movie: “Video Gangs”
TV show: “Pimp My Ride”
Game: Tony Hawk Underground
Food: Chicken fingers
Smell: Watermelon candy and gum
Guilty pleasure: “The OC”
Athlete: Lauri Heiskari
Hero: “My friends.”
etnies shoe: “The Floyd is sweet!”
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