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Cindy Zhou Goes West: Loaded Boards And New Moves

Cindy Zhou is an all out stoke machine.  She has inspired many ladies and gents in the Toronto/Ontario scene and around the world.  Everyone loves Cindy and for good reasons.  I’ve had the privilege of watching her do everything from her first switch slide at Christie Pits, to flying to Israel to star in a longboard film called OPEN.  She was also one of the main organizers of Fubu, an all-girls event that would draw over 50 lady shredders from around the world.  Even more, she’s a huge ambassador for local home team the Skate Invaders.  There’s no dream the girl can’t make a reality and this girl dreams BIG!  She also eats BIG and if you put a pineapple and ham pizza in front of her face…  that pizza is doomed.

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Photo from first ambassador film “Cindy’s magic socks”

I first met her through a Skate Invader friend who met her off the internet. She’d make these wacky films skating around the city on her Loaded Dervish.  This girl has personality and that’s something unique you can’t fake.  She first met the Skate invaders at a late night garage session in the middle of the winter.  Who was this girl who wanted to skate with a bunch of boys late at night? We learn shortly it was brave and fearless Cindy Zhou. One year after we first met Cindy, she accomplished her goals and got sponsored by Loaded Boards and Orangatang Wheels. This was no easy task!!  She worked hard and still works hard. We knew eventually Cindy would be off to explore the world and this year she made the big move out west.

Cindy and Nuss first goofy effort “A girl and her longboard.”   We made this video in 4 hours and it was more of a joke between friends.  It took off and became a huge success and we were shocked.  Cindy worked hard to improve her skating and the world fell in love.  

So Cindy you just moved across the country?

That I did! All the way to Portland from Toronto. Moving out west has been a long time coming but it finally happened now that I graduated from university.

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Cindy laying out the steeze in Nyc.

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Cindy shredding Toronto’s City hall

You from Toronto originally?  What got you traveling around the world?

I like to call Toronto home. I had lived there since I was 3 or 4 so it’s the city I know best. As for my travel bug, I’d say it was a mixture of wanting to experience new cultures and also explore new skate spots. Having support from my sponsors helped endlessly too.

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Skate Invaders 2014 Nuss, David Jackson, Eric Mroz, Jon Norman, Chris Ng and Cindy Zhou

Whats up with these dudes/dudettes called the Skate Invaders?  Why is Jonathan Nuss so good looking?

The Skate Invaders are community builders to the core. They’re the heart and soul of the Toronto longboard scene and are composed of artists, skaters, musicians and simply good human beings. I like to consider them my second family and owe them so much for how much they’ve helped me grow as a skater and person throughout the years.

Also, Nuss is so good looking because he remembers to eat all his perogies. Remember to eat your perogies, kids.

Nuss didn’t let Cindy leave before one last effort of them skating with their friends. 

So before you left out west you made one last film with the old man Nuss.  How is it like making these videos?  What are some of faves?  Is Nuss a big meany?

Well…. first off, I can’t believe we’ve been making videos together since 2011. Making these videos is always a unique and awesome experience. I learn a ton about video production including location scouting, filming and editing techniques, and media distribution.  It’s also interesting how some videos take weeks or months to make like our ‘Flux & Flow’, and how some come together in a single day — like the ‘Hammer Pants’ one.

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Cindy’s friend Neena sent a pair of gold hammer pant in the mail. So we made the stupid video and it was the best. Nuss still can’t listen to Mc Hammer till this day.

Of all our videos though, I think ‘Magic Socks’ was my favorite to film. It was my coming out video as a Loaded Ambassador and I remember putting in a ton of blood and sweat for it. Other videos have been fun too but I think the early ones have a special place in my heart.

Something I’ve learned over the years is that there’s a difference between being mean and getting the shot. We’ve come to understand each other’s habits through these projects and as a result, have turned into a really good team. In fact, I think you’re one of the filmers who truly goes above and beyond to get the shot. Remember sweeping the pooper with a stick? Or me running over your fingers? Or getting all bloodied up climbing a thorn-covered hill to get the right angle? Yup, you do it all {Nuss}. :)

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Nuss almost fell down this hill but stick saved his life.  The bushes also had painful thorns.

Yeah that thorn covered hill sucked but we all work hard for each other right? By the way, that butt slide you did in the new video. How many takes did that take? What’s your butt slide secret?

That was a one-and-done, baby! The secret to the perfect butt slide has to be cocoa butter… gotta keep things smoooooth.

BOOM! Why Loaded boards and Orangatang wheels? What got you into these people?

There’s a motto that Loaded operates by that goes ‘Think Globally, Act Locally’. Essentially, these guys encourage the growth of longboarding by supporting local events around the world and sponsoring not only the most skilled global riders, but also the best community builders.I really love that they aren’t only trying to take a bigger slice of the pie, but making the pie bigger. I also love that they’ve always been about keeping skating fun. From their Adam & Adam series to their ridiculous trick tips and beyond, they just have the best vibes and are in the industry for all the right reasons.

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Cindy’s magic sock storyboard comic strip

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What’s next for you and what are your plans?  

I recently got this new bandana that says ‘Have fun, and get shit done’. Right now, that’s essentially the plan moving forward. Keep having fun on my skateboard, and try my best to kill it at my new job. So far, it’s been going pretty well. I’ve been able to skate with a bunch of the locals and have a couple of other skate friends rolling through town in the next couple of months.

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Cindy Zhou golfing Oncredible before she left

That’s rad as hell! We’ll miss the hell out of you and we’ll skate invade the plant real soon.  Any last shout outs to your homies?  

Shout out to the Skate Invaders, my family, anyone I’ve ever skated with, and to all my sponsors – Loaded, Orangatang, G-Form, Paris, and XS Helmets. Sending endless love your way.

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