Argentina’s finest Barbara Luciana better known as “Barbie” just started with street and transition skating only in 2016 but through her passion and ambition she worked her way up to being able to do what she loves 24/7: She is the first female aggressive rollerskater that can call herself pro. She told us how she deals with pressure, why she spends the summers in Barcelona and what it takes to be a good skater.
How and when did you start with aggressive roller skating?
I started with aggressive quad skating more than two years ago. My boyfriend is a skateboarder and I began to accompany him. I thought I could do the same stuff as he did but on rollerskates. I used to be a figure skater from an early age on. One day I got invited to a birthday party at a skatepark where I saw girls rollerskate for the first time. I did not know this discipline, but I liked it a lot and I really wanted to try it. There I borrowed some skates. After that day I dusted off my old skates that I hadn’t used in four years. They were not in good shape anymore but with them I started my journey. I still keep those skates.
For which sponsors do you skate right now?
At this time my sponsorships are Powerslide Germany where I represent Chaya, Ennui, Octo Wheels and Wicked Bearings, Skatepro from Denmark, Tafari Wear from Argentina, Hippy Killer Company from Argentina and Brona Argentina.
You are the first woman to go pro. That is great! How did that come along?
Powerslide got in touch with me. The first year they gave me products and the second year they started to pay me for skating. As I needed financial help to travel, they decided to give me a monthly salary. A bit later I came to Skatepro who support me a lot when I‘m in Europe.
How does it feel to get paid to skate?
It feels great. Being paid to skate is a great achievement for me. I put a lot of work into getting a sponsoring and keeping it. I am very demanding with myself and I am always asking for more.
What is part of your job as a pro skater?
A good part of the job is to skate. I need to keep my body healthy and put on my skates every day even if it‘s only for a short time. Also, I have to stay up to date with social media, post new photos and videos for each brand. Each month I have to comply with a certain amount of stuff.
Do you also feel pressure to do new rad tricks all the time?
I feel it quite often. I put a lot of pressure on myself, I am actually very demanding with myself. I want to learn new tricks all the time and overcome my fears.
Are you scared of injuries? I still remember your 180 down the eleven stairs in Buneos Aires. You landed on your back. Anyone else would have broken their back. Are you a cat?
Before that fall, I jumped without looking and had all that adrenaline in my body. Since that fall I developed and made steady progress. Now, I visualize the movements before I go for that kind of jump. I try to channel my energy, breathe and then I act. When I rewatch that fall I also think that I am a cat, (laughs), I guess I had a lot of luck.
Did you ever got injured seriously?
Fortunately, I have never done much harm to myself. I try to have confidence that nothing will happen. Positive thinking is the most important thing, even if it’s hard sometimes. You have to try it on a daily basis.
You say daily, how often a week do you go out and skate?
I skate four or five times a week for around two to three hours. It depends on my daily motivation. But if I am very motivated I can skate for four hours with breaks in-between.
What are your favorite spots? Do you prefer street or rather transition?
My favorite place is everywhere there is a warm climate. When I‘m in Argentina I practice a lot at Get up Skatepark. I like street as much as bowl and transition skating. I want to be good in both and I do not like to limit myself.
Speaking of warm climate. You live in Buenos Aires. How is skating in the winter there?
Since I started skating two years ago I have not skated in the winter. I can’t stand the cold. The falls hurt more, you need a better warm up.
The past two years you have been spotted in Barcelona where there is summer while it is winter in Argentina. Why Barcelona and not Mexico for example which would be way closer?
Barcelona was a nice coincidence. My best friend went to live in Spain three years ago. She invited me to her house so I got my plane ticket and that was my first time to visit and skate around Europe. Barcelona was actually where I started street skating. The flats are perfect. Barcelona is beautiful, I had a lot of luck that everything happened that way. I would also love to go to Mexico. I hope I can skate with the girls from there very soon.
What does it take to become a good skater?
To be a good skater you need to have an unlimited mind in the first place. Do not put limits on yourself and believe that everything is possible if you want it with all your heart and you have the desire to improve. I also think that you need to be humble, attentive and listen to the advice of other skaters. Watch all kinds of styles and try to create your own. Just take a little bit of each person that inspires you.
What are your next plans?
I want to keep feeding my soul with my passion. I want to continue to travel and to grow as a skater. I also want to meet people with the same passion and to learn a little more fundamental English. I aim for perfect tricks and lines. But for that I must continue to practice until I get the best of me. I don’t think there is ever an end in roller skating. Every day you learn something new.
Interview by Marta Popowska
Photos by Kenneth Dedeu, Lucas Magnacco
This interview originally appeared in DogDays Magazine issue #1