Hi, we are Alana Smith and Nastassia (Stass) Ting and together we started Thrusher at the very beginning of 2016!
plunge and get into skating. We found it pretty intimidating to go on your own to a skate park especially if you are
just starting out and that’s why we started Thrusher, to build a community of like minded individuals who are out
to have a good time whilst learning something new in a comfortable space! We have had so many awesome
experiences and met so many great people through our weekly skates in parks around Melbourne,
and encourage anyone and everyone to come for a roll xx
WHAT MADE YOU TAKE THE LEAP AND START THRUSHER?
WAS THERE ANY SPECIFIC EVENT THAT MADE IT CLEAR OR HAS THIS BEEN IN THE WORKS FOR A LONG TIME?
NT: It was really just a drunken idea that grew into what this is today. For me though, I have a penchant for long
spells on the couch if I have down time, which isn’t the best for my physical or mental health.
I needed something that would get me active and engaged outside of work and I have
always wanted to skate so it seemed like the perfect combo.
AS: I used to think, oh man, how cool is it when you see a woman skateboarding? But I always thought I was too old
for getting grazed knees and broken wrists etc, then I came upon a video by ‘The Skateboard Mums and The Sisters of Shred’
which is a group of 50 something year old mums who took up skateboarding later in life and it was so awesome to see.
I realised that at 36 I had no real excuse! My partner then bought me a board for xmas in 2015 so it was on! I had just
met Stass previously and she invited us to her place for New Years and it was there we were discussing learning to
skateboard and that she was keen to learn too. We started joking around about what our skateboard ‘gang’
would be and basically trying to turn skateboard brands we knew of into vaginal puns and Thrusher was born!
My partner, Joel, had to draw it pretty much immediately and came up with the ‘skaterus’ re-design of the Thrasher logo.
We then started an instagram to let our mates know when we were going for a roll so if there was anyone else keen they
could come along. We have gone from having just us and maybe a couple of mates come skate to having up to 20 or
so people show up! It’s wild!
FAVOURITE SKATE SPOTS IN MELBOURNE?
NT: I love Fawkner, it’s close to home and I dropped in for the first time there, so it’s pretty special for that reason.
I would love to go back to St Kilda, but I am still a little sheepish in a packed skate park.
AS: I am quite fond of Fawkner, Elsternwick and Kensington. I like places that have lots of transition and space to
get a rolling flow on. I really like playing on mini ramps etc.
YOUR PLAYLIST FOR A PERFECT SKATE SESH?
NT: Divas. Always with the Divas. We had Coburg all to ourselves one afternoon, so I got to skate to
Whitney Houston and Cher and it was the freaking best. I’m partial to a little terrible 90’s R&B and hip hop too.
AS: Nails! (early) Raised Fist! Baptists! Anything hard, fast and heavy \M/
WHAT EMPOWERS YOU?
NT: The support of my family. Seeing the strength and general badassery exhibited by in the people we skate with
and if I’m being perfectly honest, a little bit of rage. I work in a skateboarding, and the inherent chauvinistic
conversations that occur on the reg lights a fire in me to really promote and support women and how
we should be treated.
AS: Finally finding things in my life that give me strength and joy and belief in myself basically! Being around the
amazing support network that is Thrusher, my fantastically hard working and creative partner Joel and in particular
being motivated by my badass Thrusher partner in crime Stass Ting has lifted me up in ways I never imagined.
Having their support has made me lift my own game and I am feeling stronger within myself every single day.
WHAT’S A SPECIAL TALENT YOU HAVE THAT PEOPLE MAY NOT BE AWARE OF?
NT: I worked in the funeral industry for a year, and I assisted with organising my grandfathers funeral last year.
I really can organise the shit out of a funeral and would love to somehow do that in a freelance kind of way
down the line. Being able to help and support people in one of the hardest times they face is so special,
and it’s such a privilege. I would love to shake it up a bit too, funerals should be exactly how the person’s
loved ones want them to be, but they’re so often wrapped up in tradition and rules made in an era so removed
from where we are now.
AS: I make jewellery! I have my own business ‘Cut Off Your Hands Jewellery’ that I am just getting off the ground,
I am studying Jewellery and Object design at Melbourne Polytechnic AND I work at Windfall Jewellery in Preston.
So I guess when I am not skating or being a mum my special talent is jewellery making!
FAVOURITE, MOTTO, PHRASE OR LYRIC?
NT: ‘What a wonderful world’. This song means the world to my family. Despite all the shit that’s happening,
there’s still so much awesomeness that happens on the smallest and largest scale. It’s always good to be
reminded that even if some people are being dicks, there’s still a bunch of wonderful stuff going down.
I have that tattooed on me too…but I also have “C’s get Degrees” on me, which isn’t so profound.
AS: I am going to get all arty and emo here but my favourite phrase is out of a poem called ‘Pursuit’ by Sylvia Plath.
‘Along red network of his veins, what fires run, what craving wakes?’
I have ‘what fires run’ tattooed on me even haha. The poem which is so visceral always seemed so passionate and
dark and that always resonated with me. Things dark, passionate and depressing still resonate with me. F#cking emo haha
DOES BEING A PARENT MAKE YOU LOOK AT THE WORLD AND THE FUTURE DIFFERENTLY?
AS: Absolutely, it definitely makes me want to DO THINGS to inspire my son. It also makes me worried about the state
of the world and what life will be like for him when he is an adult. But to be honest I am still just the same and plan on
just exposing him to all of the rad things and good people and as long as we are all happy then his future will always be bright.
WHO’S SOMEONE THAT DESERVES MORE RECOGNITION?
NT: My husband, Rob Ting. He’s a tattoo artist, musician and all round mad dog. He’s struggled to make a living through what
he loves but is constantly working at it and developing his skills to grow his business. I have so much respect for anybody
with artistic talent, and he is an artist to the core. He also is a full time weirdo and embraces that which is so admirable.
AS: Shanae Collins is such an amazing skater to watch! She has an intensity and power as she shreds around a bowl or ramp.
There are a bunch of amazing female skaters in Australia and I think that there should definitely be more support and
recognition of their passion and ability.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM THRUSHER IN THE FUTURE?
NT: We are getting involved with events, like this years Daughters of Doom Skate Comp in November, more merch,
more skating, and hopefully interstate and international skate trips.
AS: Getting more involved with helping highlight the female skate scene! We plan on helping put on some events
over the next year which will be fun. Basically we just want to continue being there for people who want to meet
a community of friendly people who just want to skate and have a good time. We are also about to launch our
winter range of Thrusher merch in June.
WHAT’S A MOMENT YOU’VE SHARED THAT’S TAKEN YOUR BREATH AWAY?
NT: Something that has really stuck with me happened on a facebook group chat we have on the go, which has about 80 people,
where they can call out for skate mates or ask questions about boards, and pretty much any old thing. One person mentioned they
experience severe anxiety, and as such find it hard coming to sessions sometimes. A pretty incredible and supportive conversation
followed where people shared their experiences, offered support and general good vibes. This conversation was a reminder of what
skating can mean for different people, and how a community is invaluable. The positive effects this weird little posse and pass time
has had on our mental and physical health is insurmountable and one of the many reasons we feel so lucky to be a part of this.
AS: It was a moment that literally took our breath away haha. Stass and her hubby Rob had just built a mini-ramp in their
backyard and we were all over there to help christen the ramp. It was the first time any of us Thrushees had skated
transition so after a few confidence building beers we all managed to go ‘INFINITE’ which is how we described
finally getting the pumping right in order to just go back and forth, higher and higher without stopping.
The moment I first went ‘infinite’ was such a joyous occasion I cannot even really describe it! Hard work
on the old legs and lungs, smiling from ear to ear. I felt amazing and that is what skateboarding is for me.
I don’t need to be able to do hardcore tricks but small victories mean sooooooo much and that’s why it’s
all about just having a good times with the occasional ollie attempt etc thrown in haha