Words by Kelli Bean
Photos by Hailey Nelson
A: Bella Killgore
Q: Age and grade in school?
A: I’m 14 and I’m a freshman at Oak Ridge High School.
Q: Where are you from?
A: I’m from El Dorado Hills, California, just outside of Sacramento.
Q: Flatland, wave rider or both?
A: I ride both flatland and waves.
Q: How long have you been skimming?
A: I’ve been skimming for about 4 years, since I was 10.
Q: Which boards do you ride?
A: I ride a Zap Wedge medium or an Exile Recruit for wave riding and a DB Skimboards Streamline for flatland.
Q: Where do you normally skim?
A: I normally skim on the Folsom Lake, or occasionally I take a trip to Santa Cruz to practice wave riding.
Q: Describe the skim scene in El Dorado Hills for those of us who have never been.
A: In El Dorado Hills, skimboarding is on the rise. In the spots I skim, I usually see one other person skimming, if any, but if I take the trip up to Paradise Beach there is a lot more. (Paradise Beach is a skimboarding spot on the American River.)
Q: Where is your all-time favorite skim spot?
A: My all-time favorite skim spot is Oak Beach on Folsom Lake. It’s flat and doesn’t have many rocks, and you can drive right down to the water.
Q: If money and time were not an issue, where would you travel to skim?
A: If I could, I would want to travel to Kauai, a Hawaiian Island, to skim because I have heard it has some amazing beaches. For flatland, I want to travel to Texas to skim because it looks like a lot of fun with a lot more options than we have here in Nor-Cal.
Q: Nice! Tell us about your first time competing.
A: I had a really good experience competing at the TAC Skimblast in Santa Cruz, CA (September 14th). I didn’t place but it was really cool meeting new people of the community and watching some of the best from around the world as well as getting to know what it’s like to actually compete. I was in a really good heat with Jackie Gollbach and Lily de la Espriella who are both amazing skimmers. I learned a lot and now know exactly what I need to work on for my next competition!
Bella in the semi-finals at TAC Skimblast with competitors Lily de la Espriella and Jackie Gollbach. Photo by Fabiana Badie
Q: Excellent! What is your favorite trick and which tricks would you love to learn?
A: My favorite trick is the pop shuv-it 180 because it’s easy and fun to do. I want to learn how to do a trick off a rail and to ride different kinds of rails. In wave-riding, I want to learn how to wrap and to do an Ollie from a wave.
Q: Great choices, Bella. Is there any skimboarders in the sport you look up to?
A: I really look up to Brad Domke because he does some of the craziest tricks and rides the biggest waves I’ve ever seen. I saw him in Santa Cruz last year and he’s just amazing to watch. He brings the sport to a whole other level. I also look up to Lexi Hutchings because she is a really good flatland skimmer and is really successful.
Q: I agree with you! Tell us one of your skimboarding goals?
A: One of my skimboarding goals is to get sponsored because I love the sport and the more I can do to help push it, the better.
Q: Which companies would you love to be sponsored by?
A: I’m not looking for any company specifically to sponsor me. DB Skimboards, Zap Skimboards, or Exile Skimboards would be a dream-come-true, but XTOutfitters or any clothing company would be amazing as well.
Q: Where would you like to see skimboarding go in the future?
A: I would like to see skimboarding become a respected and world-wide known sport.
Q: Besides skimboarding, tell us another passion of yours.
A: Besides skimboarding, I’m really passionate about soccer. I play goalkeeper in a national league.
Q: You have some great soccer photos on your Instagram! Any shout outs you want to give before we end the interview?
A: Thanks to my mom and my dad for always supporting me no matter what. And Hailey Nelson, who always drives me out to spots and takes the best pictures!
You can follow Bella on Instagram at: @bella_killgore
It was great interviewing you Bella, I look forward to watching you progress in the sport!