Storyteller — An Interview With Norma Ibarra

Intro & Interview by José Vadi
Photography by Norma Ibarra

Photographer Norma Ibarra left her hometown of Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico in 2009 and moved to Vancouver, British Columbia — a few blocks away from Antisocial Skateshop in 2015. She started skating and became obsessed. Norma transferred her lifelong photography passion into contributions to the burgeoning The Skate Witches collective-turned-zine and volunteering for nonprofits like Skate Like a Girl. Self-funded skate trips turned into official invites from brands to document the worldwide sessions. Few have captured so many unique skate scenes around the world in so little time as Norma, who has a keen eye for showcasing skateboarding as a conversation with the cities and communities that house every trick.

Norma’s energy and passion for her work was palpable during our recent phone call, where we talked about photographer etiquette, hoarding clothes, and why growing your own food can help your skating.

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Gucci Bucket Hat

The only constant is change or some shit like that ;)

So much nineties New York footage on the #repost circuit is us re-mining R.B. Umali’s amazing archive over and over that it’s a shock to see something from then that you haven’t seen before. Alex Corporan started going through all his old tapes, and put together a montage as a preview for a Revisted-esque project he’s working on.

Grand Collection has a short commercial with Connor Champion on the occasion of their Umbro collaboration — loosely inspired by the DC Kalis commercial that played on TV twenty years ago. (Filmed in New York! Not Philly!)

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What It Do Babbyyyy

Photo via the tumbleweeds. Tumblr in 2019 is like that one ledge spot that was popping five years ago. Everyone used to meet there, get clips there, get stuck there. Now it’s chunked up, the bevel got as round as Blubba, and it sorta just sits there. Maybe a group of guys in their 30s will skate it for 20 minutes before they go to the bar. Maybe a pair of kids in #curated thrift store finds visiting from out of town will film each other do two-trick lines for their trip edit on it. The solitary man who shows up after work once every two weeks to ensure that he hasn’t lost his back tails is always a fixture. But sometimes, all three of those end up there together, and it’s fun — not fun like the old days, but enough to remind you that they existed ;)

NBC visited Tompkins to speak with Zhu and Yaje about how much that square of asphalt means to the community. Please sign the petition to preserve Tompkins Square courts as an asphalt space, if you have yet to do so.

The Canal boys have a new video coming out this fall :)

Medium has an awesome feature with Justin Bohl, a guy who has been the go-to tour guide for skate teams visiting Detroit over the past eight years. He put together a twenty-minute video entitled Mint, which features a bunch of behind the scenes footage of all the traveling skaters who have come through the city as it became sought-after skate trip destination in the 2010s.

Ultra” from Chris Burt is up there with the Bos brothers’ “Wide Open” for 2019’s best videos outside of the Thrasher/Insta content spiral. It’s a Minnesota video with three parts, mostly filmed in the suburbs, yet somehow feels all the right ways different than a lot of the other stuff you’ve watched this past week. Ender part from Frog’s Pat Gallaher.

The New York Times has a quick profile of Alexis Sablone.

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#TRENDWATCH2019: The Road To A Post-ABD Society

On one of the days that we were in Vancouver earlier this month, we met up at that famous brick bank spot seen in countless Canadian videos. (It is one of the few recognizable downtown Van spots that is not knobbed.) Each straggler running from the fear of the night before would show up to the spot, and share the same observation:

“Wow, Leon’s trick was fucking crazy.”

At the top of the bank is a small fountain that separates it from a wall made out of a bagillion tiny rocks. In Vans’ Courtesy video from February, Leon Chapdelaine wallrid it in justifiable slow motion.

Eventually, one of latest arrivals to the sesh had to burst our bubble: “Riley Boland already did that years ago.” It was even on a Color magazine cover. He indy-grabbed while doing it, but yeah, that wall has been rid.

Nobody changed their opinion. Leon’s trick was fucking crazy.

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Slam City Jam One Foot Crook Let’s Go

Rodney by Reda, behind Pyramid Ledges from the June 1998 TWS via Ted Newsome’s “New York Minute” spreads. This spot would be extra contemporary today had it not been knobbed for ~two decades.

“Words are escaping me, you’re talking about people I have a strong emotional connection to.” Torey Goodall’s Bunt interview is reaffirming proof of the fact that if you just go on enough drunken trips to New York, things sometimes just kinda work out in the end ♥ Just don’t ask him how he feels about Charles Rivard…

Idk what you’re doing if you haven’t watched Justin Henry’s Quasi video “Rough Cut” yet. Good bit of New York clips obvs, etc.

“Don’t mansplain tricks. Get out of here, you’re taking the fun out of skating. If you just go away, I’ll be so much happier. Half the fun of learning is doing it yourself.” Imagine having the audacity of giving Lacey Baker unsolicited trick tips. Anthony “The Writer” Pappalardo wrote an extended profile of Lacey for Huck magazine.

Shout out to every “Summer Trip to New York” clip with no Blue Park footage :) Here’s a nine-minute one from the Sk8 Hop dudes out of Puerto Rico, featuring some Watermelon Alex cameos!

Always great to see new Juan and Karl footage (that nollie nosegrind revert!) — here they are in the Yoan Taillandier’s latest “Futur Timeline” clip, skating an undecipherable European city ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Would probably leave Milano Centrale off a “hidden plazas” listicle (this one in Turin, on the other hand…), but Theories has a feature about Europe’s best, non-Spanish/Southbank/Republique/obvious plazas. We out to Bulgaria?

Bontó” is the latest from the Rios boys, Europe’s most productive crew, and specialists in skating spots that I have absolutely zero interest in ever skating ;)

Boil the Ocean considers the enduring legacy of Haulin’ Ass To Hall & Oats.

Luis Tolentino and Leo Heinert skate the 181st Street park for an afternoon. That park is actually a street spot btw.

Antosh put together a quick street edit of our friends in Vancouver.

Skate Jawn flew out to Morocco to help build a skatepark. Here’s the video.

Quote of the Week: “Imagine how mean Torey would be if he had boobs.” — Julia Kidder

This album arrived and went with a whimper when it came out, but now it’s a few degrees cooler and this is the only song the office listens to.