Silvia Kambouridis (she/they) is from Oakland and an extremely talented skater. The 17-year-old started roller skating once the country went into lockdown in 2020. Her super-fast improvement caught our attention for our “Under the Radar” series. Silvia’s perseverance definitely comes from being a cross country and track runner. Check out where she’s skating and what big move Silvia is about to do.
Silvia, tell us a bit about the roller skate scene in your area.
I am blessed to live in the Bay Area with tons of amazing parks and many skaters. There are a lot of really talented skaters in my area and the community is very supportive and loving. I also am very influenced by skateboarders and rollerbladers and skate with them often.
On Instagram I read that you only started roller skating in May 2020. You shred pretty hard for such a short time. Where does this talent come from?
Thank you! Yes, I started in May which was kind of peak-lockdown for us. Because of this, I had a lot of extra time so I spent hours and hours every day skating. There’s a mini ramp that is a 30 minute bike ride from my house and I would put my skates in a backpack and make that trip nearly every day for months. I would also bike an hour to a slightly bigger skatepark in downtown Oakland, Town Park, or skate around Lake Merritt once I was confident enough to dodge the people walking and running around the lake. I met incredible skaters in all of these places who taught me many of the skating skills and park etiquette that I now try to pass on to new skaters I meet.
You are also a cross country and track runner. That’s a bit more of a challenging version than just running on smooth surface. Tell us about this sport and why you like it.
Yes, I run cross country and track for my high school team. Distance running is extremely difficult, and we have practice 6 days a week with optional Sunday runs as well, so it’s a big part of my life. Running has taught me to be resilient, both mentally and physically. And my team is an incredible community that is very supportive.
What does your skate-travel wish-list look like?
I have a long list in my note’s app on my phone of the places that I want to travel to skate! Colombia is up there for sure, after skating with Caro in LA she told me about how incredible the Columbia parks are, and I would endlessly love to skate with her again. Another big one is Barcelona. The street spots there are incredible and it seems like there’s a vibrant skate scene. Another one is Colorado, home of so many young shredders and beautiful bowls.
Do you have a favorite or preferred style?
I started with park (ramps, bowls, vert) and that will always be my go-to, I love the flow of a bowl and incorporating the whole skatepark into lines. I also love street skating though, and have gotten into it more recently. There is so much creativity in the street, especially when skating in the city or at diy parks where you can make up obstacles and skate them uniquely. I jam skate a little as well and always have a blast but my heart is really in the park or street.
What’s the best thing about having wheels under your shoes?
Freedom. Creativity. Expression.
Favorite tricks you go for everywhere you show up?
I love airs. The feeling of flying through the air is amazing, whether it’s an air to fakie in a mini ramp or an ally-oop over a hip or a barani flip out of a bowl, I love that airborn exhilaration. I also have been getting into combination grinds both in the transition and on ledges, where one foot is in the 50/50 stance with the trucks on the coping and the other is front side or backside, on my grind blocks. There are so many combinations and I’m just starting to try them out which is very exciting!
What do you do if you are not skating?
I have cross country or track practice (depending on the season) 6 days a week so that keeps me pretty busy. I also play saxophone! I’m in my school’s jazz band and have been playing for almost 9 years.
One thing everyone should know about you?
I’m a senior in high school right now and I recently got into my dream college, Barnard! So next school year I will be living in New York City. I’m very excited to explore the skate scene there.