CIB is history, in both senses of the phrase. These words don’t come easy as imagining the (aggressive) roller skating scene without them and Lady Trample seems hard. Like no other, Trample and her team spread the stoke of transition skating with a little punk rock attitude into almost each and every corner of the world. Since 2012, and therefore years before the pandemic, they started to pave the way for what we see now in every skatepark. It all began in Aotearoa (New Zealand), a faraway country where a seed was planted, not because of hopes of profit but out of pure love and a bit of obsession for roller skating. The following years CIB chapters sprung up like mushrooms across the world unto the point where the movement outgrew itself. They changed the name from Chicks in Bowls to Community in Bowls as the scene became more diverse. And from the beginning Trample and her team developed the first hardware specifically for roller skating in skateparks as at that time literally nothing like sliders, wide trucks and skatepark wheels existed (unless it was diy). I believe that their products inspired each and every brand to work on new and innovative skate gear. After our interview with Trample about her taking a break from CIB in our current issue we took the chance to catch up one last time as CIB is saying goodbye for good. To me and many others they will remain unforgotten.
DogDays: So is this the end of CIB?
Trample: I guess it is. It’s been a really hard one to come to terms with because I’ve been so removed from it for the last six months and not engaging with it like I did every day for the past 10 years. I feel like I’ve almost ended that relationship. But I just haven’t admitted it. I needed to step away from it, to create the space and clarity to make the decisions for myself. I spent a lot of time thinking about what I wanted to get out of this and what I had left to give to it. To really make the sure I was making the right decision for myself, and then talking with the CIB crew to make sure it was right for them as well.
How does it feel now?
It feels like the right time. It’s impossible to find all the words to express how this really feels for me, and I go in circles trying to articulate my feelings and gratitude towards all those who helped us along the way. But despite being at a loss for words, I still feel really grounded and happy with this decision. I look at the community now and the reasons that we started CIB. This journey sort of unfolded quite naturally. I know that sounds silly and weird, but it wasn’t. I’ve told you the story before. It didn’t fall into my lap, but I also didn’t really have much of a game plan. When we made the decision to expand from a social media page we spent a lot of time figuring out where the opportunities were, where the sort of ‘gaps’ were. It was around community. And the chapter idea was brought to us by the CIB Argentina girls getting in touch with me all those years ago (the first CIB chapter, edit. note). Then we saw an opportunity with hardware. We looked at what we wanted to skate on and what wasn’t out there. And you know, that sort of conversation around accessible hardware and creating things that worked across gear (universal), those were our two focuses and our missions.
Look at the space now, while many chapters are still really active, the community as a whole has broadened so much. When we started, the scene was underground and hard to find. It existed, but you had no way of connecting with people from different areas and you didn’t even know there were people in areas doing it. Running into another skater at the skatepark was rare, unless you knew them. The chapters were necessary for so long but with the expansion of this community I don’t think that they are needed in the same format anymore. There are so many new groups and communities popping up, it’s gone beyond CIB. So, in that sense, it feels like that part of the mission has completed itself and there’s not much more that we can give to that. To me, that’s really exciting.
As for skating hardware, looking at the market, there are so many options now. Accessibility is out there, there’s creatives out there innovating and making all the goods that skaters need. We made awesome products for many years and played a part in shaping the space but it feels like the right time to pass the torch along and let those who have the drive, desire and inspiration take the wheel. So yeah, kind of sitting with those two concepts in mind of what the brand was and what the brand can do. It again feels like it’s gone full circle. Our mission has been accomplished and it’s time to go on and let the space continue to thrive and go and find a new mission.
Have you considered any options to continue with CIB?
Yeah, we absolutely did. We definitely looked at other opportunities and had conversations with people from different areas of skating and outside skating about what options there were to continue this brand and what parts of it had value like our products. But with a brand like CIB its quite unique. There is the hardware and more traditional side to the company but there’s also the community aspect. We talked with some people that were really excited about driving that forward and whose ideas for collaboration were in line with what we thought the community needed, but, for whatever reason, those didn’t take off. But I think it’s for the best, because at the end of the day, the Chapters are ready to go off on their own and shape their own futures. Something also didn’t sit right about selling that portion of the brand off because it’s not really a sellable item, its people and community. And I don’t know how to say it without it coming across the wrong way but they’re not for sale. The Chapters are more than a concept or a marketing tool, they are people with passion for connection. And that doesn’t have a price tag, nor should it.
It’s funny but for some reason a few weeks ago I was wondering what happened to all the first-generation CIB team skaters. Most of them aren’t really active anymore on social media.
Yeah, I think social media is an interesting space and it can give you so much, but it also takes a lot. Not always in a negative way, but there is a cost to it. You know, you’re kind of out there putting yourself forward and engaging with it and it can take away from your real connections. Whether you are skating or out with people, if all you’re doing is saving captures to then share to connect with people online it takes away from how you engage in those moments and for me personally, I came to find there was an imbalance to it. I think the most things I found for myself when I stepped out of being in that ‘I’m sponsored, I’m a brand manager, I’m this and that mindset’ with my social media, it enabled me to pull back into reality and actually engage a bit more in my life. I feel a lot more grounded and connected to the people that I’m present with. And it’s tricky because there’s a lot of people that I like to stay in contact with around the world, but it is hard to do that through social media, and especially when we’re used to these sort of weird, distanced engagements that you have on a very public forum because so many of your interactions are through comments and likes, it’s a form of connection but for me, it never feels as authentic.
I think a lot of people just got kind of burnt out by being in that space and now are finding ways to reconnect with skating in their own ways. There are lots of skaters that I know who seem to find that balance and really work it towards their best interests. But I know for a lot of people, myself included, it just kind of got a bit much. I’m re-learning how to engage in that space authentically and how to keep in touch with people, especially those I don’t share a continent with anymore, when your only connection is through a platform like that.
Do you still follow what is happening in the scene or is that not so much in your interest space anymore?
I do. I’ve definitely taken a big step back from social media. I just don’t like to go in as much because it very quickly ends up being the kind of doom scroll where you’re not even really paying attention. You might have a show on in the background that you’re like, I’m going to watch this. And then you pull your phone out and you don’t do either. It’s really easy to slip into that. And I don’t enjoy it and I don’t retain or gain anything from that.
If I do go on it I try to be more intentional about it. But I would say I’m definitely out of the loop. But that being said, Rose (@cowboy_crooks) is one of my nearest and dearest and I catch up with them often enough, but often will kind of find out about what’s the shape of the scene and what’s going on. So I have my finger on the pulse through them in a way. That’s nice. And a lot of the people that I’m still close with, those are the ones that I want to see thriving whether it’s on skates or off. But from what I do know of what’s happening in the space is that it is continuing to grow. There are so many tangents and directions it’s hard to keep up, because even with a deep dive, you really only know what’s happening in this one pocket, which again is so cool.
Yeah, it is. I spend quite some time on social media and I discover new people every day. Because of DogDays I feel like I have to stay up to date, but it’s impossible.
It just continues to solidify how big that space has grown and how far skating’s gone. And it’s almost like you can’t keep up. It’s moving too fast. It’s like trying to run on the treadmill, but someone’s turned it up all the way. You just trying to keep up and not fall on your face.
You have to be careful so you don’t miss out on your precious free time where you actually should go out and interact with real people and real life. Did you skate since your break?
I haven’t. I stopped skating when I was trying out for the firefighters because I was wanting to focus all of my energy on that and I didn’t want to risk getting hurt. I did the filming for Sojo and My Skate Pro which was super fun. I think that’s the last time I skated. I do miss it though and I really miss coaching and the connections I had through that, sharing those skills has always brought me such joy, which is why working with My Skate Pro was so fun. But lately I have been feeling weird and guilty about not skating. I have all the valid and made up excuses as to why or why not, I think part of me is waiting for this chapter to close, I’ve been so caught up with all that’s going on behind the scenes with CIB and I’ve now convinced myself that I’m not allowed to skate until it’s done.
What’s your personal resume of this chapter of your life and message to the skaters and the community out there?
The thing that I got the most out of from the years of CIB was the people. I made a lot of really, truly amazing friendships and connections of all sorts of people who helped shape and grow CIB. I will never forget the people that I met along this way, whether it was just a moment where we held hands at a skate park and helped them to drop in or try a new trick or a photographer/videographer who pumped me up to try something new or someone that just said something nice and endearing. The people that shared guidance and insight, who believed in different aspects of CIB when we were doing new things and to those who encouraged and believed in me along the way as well. The people would be what I remember the most out of this experience and the things that I get to cherish the most is those relationships. My message to the community would be cherish the people around you and take good care of each other, because those will be the things that you remember and hold on to more than any trick so sick line that you did. More than any epic photo that got captured and the post that you shared, or number of likes it got. You remember the people.
Interview by Marta Popowska
Top image: Lady Trample 2016 by TonyMcKay