News | 17 March 2021
Share on social

Capital goes goofy over BOWLZILLA

Wellington will be the capital of skateboarding once again when it hosts BOWLZILLA for the 6th year in a row on Saturday 27 March at Waitangi Park.

Krysta Ashwell skateboarding in bowl
Krysta Ashwell

Skateboarding is making its Olympic debut this year in Tokyo, and BOWLZILLA is Aotearoa’s only points-awarding park competition giving local riders a chance to appear on the Olympic stage  

Although international competitors will not be competing this year, it will be the biggest gathering of skate boarders and their fans in New Zealand since last year’s event, says Mayor Andy Foster.

“We’re proud to be supporting this exciting event again, and while the international legends will be missed, it’ll give our local stars a chance to really shine at these National Championships.”

One of New Zealand’s top skate boarders, 26-year-old Krysta Ashwell, is looking forward to competing after a year affected by COVID-19.

“I feel as if the vibe will be much different as New Zealand skaters give off a more inclusive and family vibe, rather than a competition vibe.

“I love performing in front of an audience too because of the crowd hype to land something different, gnarly or new. I love it when the crowd goes crazy when I land the Can Opener trick, as it’s not a very common trick to see people do and they are always amped when I nail it.”

Krysta’s brother had a skateboard, but her parents thought it was a boy’s sport so wouldn’t get her one for a few years – now her advice to young women is to give it a go.

“Don't worry about people watching you at the park. If you get to a park where there’s another girl skater there, go skate together. It's the best feeling seeing more and more girls emerging at the park.”

Image of Bowman Hansen skateboarding credit David Read Manual Magazine
Bowman Hansen image credit David Read Manual Magazine

Bowman Hansen, ranked 294 in the world, says the most important part of the event is the crowd.

“I always love skating with international skaters as it brings a different approach to the bowl and we usually witness something no-one’s seen done in the bowl at Chaffers. But I don’t think it’ll be much different, the level of skaters in NZ has improved tremendously.

“A competition is a competition to me, get out there, skate how I skate, and accumulate as many points as I can. I’m always aiming for first place.

“When skating in front of a good audience that’s loud and enjoying their time watching, they give off so much energy, makes yourself as the skater go harder than you usually would, love a good crowd.

“Give it a go, it takes time to pick it up but if you keep at it and practice every day you won’t regret it, it becomes life changing.”

Wellington City Council has partnered with Miryoku Agency, Wellington Skateboarding Association, Skateboarding New Zealand, and Redhead or Dead Events to bring this festival to the capital.