My name is Vanessa D’Arpino. I’m 34 years old. I’m from Vaughan (just North of Toronto) in Ontario, Canada. I skateboard. I also groom dogs.
When did you start skateboarding, and how did that come about?
Jeeze, I think I was probably around 12 years old when I started to actually try and learn tricks. I’m sure I rode around a bunch before then. I think what got me interested was a mix of watching my older cousins do it on the street (I just thought it was really cool) and THPS1, lol.
It’s exciting to scroll through Vanessa’s catalog of videos on Youtube. Her first skateboarding video on the platform was uploaded in 2006 and contained footage from the year 2004. It’s an overwhelming time capsule that I highly recommend watching!
What inspired you to start a YouTube-Channel?
I’ve been editing videos since I started really getting into skateboarding. I was probably around 13. I’ve just always loved filming and putting videos together (of all sorts). I had stopped skating for quite a while, 8 years or so when I was 19 years old. I picked up my board back in 2015 and had maybe 10 sessions that year before stopping again. After dealing with some rough things in life, I picked up my board one last time in 2018 and swore to never put it down again. That day, I filmed a video in my garage and decided to document my journey back into it. I’ve been skating, filming, and uploading ever since. It’s just something I really enjoy doing, and I love having the memories to look back on.
It’s refreshing to go through her videos. They’re timeless, tell a story, and generally give off that vibe of the session, making you feel good. While other skateboarders on YouTube combine skating with talking to a camera to achieve a storytelling aspect, her videos mostly speak for themself.
How does the Canadian winter treat a skater?
Not very nice, lol. At least here in Ontario (I think it isn’t as bad out West…BC). But yeah, it has been challenging, especially with indoor skateparks being shut down this year due to the pandemic. At the moment, there is a fair amount of snow outside my door, and it’s -10 degrees Celsius. February is usually the worst, though. We’ve gotten down to -30 or colder in the past, which makes it impossible to do anything outside. But so far, this season has been decent (climate change in effect). Just have to pile on the layers! I can’t wait till spring, lol.
The weather does not just affect the number of times of the year that you can go out and skate, but it also takes its toll on the environment. The wear on the streets, parks, and spots can often drastically differ depending on where you live.
Skating feels different as the seasons go by. The wood of the board reacts to the surrounding temperature, and your clothing affects your movement. I can only imagine how you (subconsciously) adapt to everything in these more intense climates.
Any more significant projects you’re currently working on?
Nothing at the moment. Not since the last, Only One Skate video was released in October 2020. It’s challenging to get clips here in the winter, but I’m sure there will be another video in the works as soon as the weather changes.
Tell us about your favorites; Skater, Skate-Video, YouTuber, and music (to skate to)?
Rodney Mullen. Since day one, that man will forever be my favorite. What a legend.
The favorite video would have to be Rodney Mullen vs. Daewon Song – Round 2! All 3 are great, but 2 will always be my favorite. Rodneys part and song are so epic. Also, Girl – Yeah, Right! Such an iconic video for me; I was obsessed with the editing and filming. I watched that one over and over again.
YouTuber…I really enjoy watching John Hill. The guy is just so good and has such a clean style.
I actually prefer not to listen to music while I skate. Some of the bands playing in my car are A Perfect Circle, Black Sabbath, Arctic Monkeys, Gorillaz, Seeed, Twenty One Pilots, Godsmack, Incubus, The Used, System of a Down, Billy Talent. I mean, I could go on for a while. Mostly rock/metal, but I like a bit of everything.
Rodney Mullen is one of those skaters that if someone says that it’s their favorite skater, you simply accept it. Whereas with other skaters, you might ask why they’re their favorite. But Mullen is that kind of breed that doesn’t require questioning; you simply understand how they’re feeling about him.
Below is a video of Vanessa and her friend skating at a DIY-spot. This video is addicting, to say the least. Everything just feels right, the skating, the spot, the weather, the vibe, and the editing. If you aren’t already hooked by her content from the embedded posts above, this clip will get you.
Before we went on our extended break, I had reached out to Brian about possibly reviewing old skate shoes for the sake of skating shoes I wish I had bought previously. After skating them, I realized that it’d been seven years since my last Converse review, which all fit well.
In episode number two of the second season of the SkatePunk Podcast, we’re talking about everything but skateboarding for the first twenty minutes. Shortly after, the topics get more skating-related, as we’re discussing influences in our skateboarding and our aspirations to be influencers (NOT THAT SOCIAL-MEDIA-LOOK-AT-MY-FANCY-SPONSORS-INFLUENCER-THING) ourselves. If you want to be a guest on […]
I want to start by calling myself out and saying these may count as cheating. The Emerica Pillar comes with leather, and Emerica hasn’t put out many of these in leather.The Emerica Pillar has a vulcanized sole and is available as a mid or high-top shoe. As a fan of the Blazer from Nike, I […]