Some of you remember Tamara Jones (nee Drybrough). Maybe you’ve seen her recently skating at one of our local parks or seen her clips online. I definitely remember when she showed up at Millz one day and switch frontside flipped into Millz Mountain. Or backside flipped a decent-sized trash can at one of the mobile skateparks. She was this “random ripper” from somewhere in BC. Then it seemed like all of a sudden she vanished. No one saw her skating and a lot of people wondered, “What happened?”. Turns out she got married and became a mom, twice over. Tamara is back and ripping harder than ever. Her goal is to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics and skate for Team Canada in 2020. She’s on her way to Montreal for Am Getting Paid (an Olympic qualifying event) this weekend so cheer her on. Follow her progress through her Facebook page: Tamara’s Road to the Olympics. This is a quick conversation I had with her.
–Zev Klymochko, CASE Co-chair
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Port Coquitlam but moved around between BC and Alberta.
How did you get into skating?
Some kids on my street were skating and I decided to give it a shot. I found my first board at a garage sale– it was a plastic banana board.
How long have you been skating for? Eight years total. I skated from 13-20 then started again at 27.
I’m pretty sure you aren’t from Calgary, so what brought you here?
A change of scenery, the Vancouver rain got depressing. I also had family out here and met my husband so it was hard to leave.
Did you have any sponsors?
Yes, I did as a teenager. Etnies, Momentum wheels, Underworld Skateshop, and Red Bull.
Did you stop skating for a while? How long?
I stopped for about eight years. I got married to the love of my life and we have two awesome boys!
What brought you back into skating?
My homie, Rose. She made me realize how much i was missing out with skateboarding. My kids were getting a bit older so I felt it was time to focus on myself as well.
Do you have sponsors now?
i ride for Vans – Thanks Dan!!
When did you decide you wanted to go to the 2020 Olympics
After a few conversations with Rose and a few sessions back on my board, I fell in love with skateboarding again and I’ve always wanted to compete in the biggest and the best contests out there. Nothing’s changed– the drive is still in me.
Who do you skate with?
Local Calgary homies , my husband, my brother, and my kids.
Where are your favourite places to skate?
Memorial banks downtown Calgary, Southwood Skatepark, and Encinitas Skatepark in California.
What’s next for you?
I’m headed to Montreal on September 27th for a contest called Am Getting Paid. This is the first Olympic qualifier for womens street.
Any shout outs?
Shout out to all my supports. My mom for being the biggest help with my kids. My husband and the rest of my family for the continuous support. For people like Zev, for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to get my name out in the skate world again. My old skate homies who constantly check in on me and continue to support me. My mom’s friends, the Town of Strathmore, and Daniel Kneeshaw at Vans for having my back!
CLASS stands for Calgary Local Active Skatepark Stewardship. It’s our pilot project aimed at taking care of our skateparks.
We plan to install a locked steel box with basic skatepark care/cleaning supplies inside like brooms, shovels, a squeegee, gloves, and trash bags. Two volunteers have come forward to be key holders and our first official “skatepark stewards”. CLASS was made possible with grants from The Calgary Foundation and ActivateYYC.
Learn about the new skateparks planned for this year and beyond. It’s also our 10 year anniversary so we have some initiatives planned around that. We’re also looking for feedback to better understand what you want to see.
The Compound is located at 840 26 Ave SE. They’re offering a $10 session after the meeting so we hope you’ll stick around for that.
Where did you grow up? I was born and raised in Calgary. I grew up in the NW.
How long have you been skating?
I’ve been skating since about grade 8. Roughly 14 years.
Who do you skate with? I’ll skate with whoever is willing. Brian Heinrich, Ian Lemke, Jeff Raimondi, Sam Stuart, Kevin and Vlad Correa are my usual homies to go skate with.
Where are your favourite places to skate (spots/parks, etc)? If I’m not out filming, usually I skate parks. My go-tos are: CKE, Southwood, and Millz. Spots I’ve skated regularly are the Fonda slab, downtown planters, the manny pad by Millz, the bridge DIY, and wherever someone wants to go film.
What do you do for work? I’m currently a full-time student at ACAD studying graphic design, and I also work part time with The City of Calgary at a Recreation Centre.
How did you get into art? I’ve been creating art for as long as I can remember. I was fortunate enough to go to Sunnyside elementary school which focused on the arts and promoted creative environments. A lot of my friends at the time were doodling in sketchbooks and it was a great way to spend time. I just caught the bug, similar to skating, and can’t stop.
What’s your favourite medium? Throughout my childhood I would always play with clay and plastacine creating stop motion animation scenes. I was really influenced by Aardman animations (creators of Wallace and Gromit). Currently I enjoy pen and ink drawing, and in the past few years I’ve primarily used a tablet to create my art digitally.
How do you develop a concept? And is most of your work skate-related? My concept development depends on the project. With my personal work, I create things that I’m inspired by, and what I love. Skateboarding is something I value, and naturally much of my art revolves around that. The stuff I post on Instagram (@fartrock) is somewhat centered around the theme of the legendary Sony VX1000 video camera. Since I started skating, I always enjoyed documenting my friends and making videos. I eventually got my own VX and I love the way that camera looks, so I make art of it. With my posts, I just think of things that rhyme or relate to the camera and culture.
What do you do with your pieces? A lot of my work is done digitally so they just collect dust on a hard drive. Works I’ve done in physical form also collect dust in my closet.
Have you had any shows/any coming up? I’ve never really had a show before, but I’m open to the idea. It was really outside of my comfort zone to start posting my work online, and the whole process has inspired me to create more and to also continue pushing myself. I enjoy seeing how my work is received and connecting with the skate community through illustration. If a show comes up, I’ll spread the word.
What piece are you most proud of? It was a goal of mine to create a skateboard graphic at some point in my life. Through my VX related social media, I was approached by some people in the US to make some board graphics. I’d say, to date, that is probably what I’m most proud of. I’m hoping to do more.
What’s next for your life? Graduate. Get a creative job. Skate. Make art.
You may know that an outdoor concrete skatepark was built at a private youth facility in Calgary. The facility treats traumatized youth and has been in operation for over 50 years.
The skatepark was built about two years ago but all of its benefits were not known until now. They have found that using the skatepark is allowing these traumatized youths to heal more quickly. Watch the trailer below to learn more.
There is an online fundraising auction to raise money so the film can be completed in 2018. Please bid to support this groundbreaking project.