The quad skating world is coming back more fierce and more fashionable than ever. Although the sport’s popularity is continuing to rise, Yazim Burnett (aka Yaz) is pioneering quad park style in an under-progressive midwest town. For Yaz, quad skating isn’t just a hobby, it’s a lifestyle.
“There’s nothing better than enjoying what you love with people you love! I really don’t have anything to complain about other than wishing there were more ladies out here skating with us!” – Yazim Burnett
Laken: How did you get into skating?
Yazim: My first job was working at a Sonic in Arizona. They were a strictly skating store, so to be a Carhop I had to learn how to roller skate. It was so much fun learning, and I honestly have Sonic to thank for teaching me the basics and introducing me to skating. 3 years later, this summer I bought a pair of Moxi Jungles off a friend and took them to the park. Seeing ladies shredding on their skates and having fun is really what got me started. I looked into quad park skating and found a beautiful worldwide online community, CIBCREW. It was formerly known as Chicks in Bowls, but has recently changed for inclusivity purposes. It had me hooked.
L: Which skaters influenced and inspired you?
Y: The Moxi skate team originally inspired me. They put out a video a couple years back and it looked like they were living the dream on roller skates! Alexis Cohen was the first person I met that day in Owasso, she was so welcoming and is all around BADASS! My favorite skaters as far as pros go are Barbie Patin with Chaya skates & Caroline Millicent on the Moxi skate team. Barbie Patin has so much street style, it’s insane!
L: What advice would you give to someone who is interested in learning to skate?
Y: Have fun! It’s always fun trying new things, and skating is a great hobby to have. Be patient with yourself and remember we all have different learning paces and our own set of mental blocks! Protective gear can give you a little more confidence too! It’s your body and your choice if you want to wear a helmet and pads, don’t let others make that decision for you. Get a friend to go with you and make some new friends along the way! Find a nice spot to skate around at. May it be an empty parking lot, a tennis court, your driveway or grandma’s wooden floors. Just go skate. I would advise against going to the skatepark at peak hours if it’s your first time on wheels. That can be extremely overwhelming. Get some basics down and then start hitting up the skatepark! Don’t give up or start beating yourself up if you’re not getting it right away. Just remember, have fun!!!
L: What are some of the struggles you had to overcome as a female skater?
Y: I think the pressure for female roller skaters isn’t as high as it is for female skateboarders. Roller skating is sort of an unknown territory for men out here, they have much less room to do their mansplaining. Roller skating has roller derby which was once an exclusively female sport and I think that’s why there are so many more females on quads than males. All of that aside, we still have to deal with similar struggles as female skaters.
I think roller skating equivilant to “Do a kickflip!” is “Do a backflip!” Man, don’t tell me to do a fucking backflip. Lots of men underestimate what females can do at the park, and how tough we are. There have been a couple of occasions where my friends and my skating has impressed men but they couldn’t get enough of it. They’d continue to herd around us at the park, butting in conversations and trying to mansplain how to do a trick. There’s a line between friendliness and harassment, stay on the side of friendliness.
L: What are some of your goals for 2020?
Y: There’s so much to do!! AHH! This is going to be a great year! I definitely want to get more in tune with myself, and develop my own kind of ‘style’. You’ll be catching me getting more comfortable on the streets this year, rolling around and having fun. I’m excited to roll into more community events and I really want to go on a few weekend skate trips with friends. Oklahoma City and St. Louis are some big cities at the top of my list. Visiting some new parks like Eureka Springs and Tahlequah, and also going back to a few parks. Owasso is one of my favorites!
Laken is a Midwest gal consumed by wanderlust. As an experienced world traveler, she lives life with an open mind and an unquenchable appetite for adventure. She is a happy wife; one would often find her exploring the outdoors with her huntsman and beloved daughter. As a writer, she highlights badass women doing badass things and strives to enlighten and inspire readers through her shared experiences.