Skateboarders find creative outlet in Skating: Lara Botto

Greer+Skate+Park

Melissa Ding

Greer Skate Park

Annika Bereny, Centerfold Editor

Many people can often be led to their passions through friends or family, and for skateboarder Lara Botto, it was no different. “In middle school, my best friend got super obsessed with skateboarding,” she said. “And everyday after school, he’d go to downtown Los Altos and skate around and hang out at Skate Works.” Botto found herself quickly assimilating into the skater culture and learning its ins and outs. “Soon enough, I got my own board and started skating with him.” Things have only gone up from there. “Over the summer, I got sponsored by Skate Works, which is my local skate shop,” said Botto. “I love them so much. Obviously, everyone on there are full-grown men that have been skating for really long. But, they added me to the team and it’s super awesome.”

Skating is a daily occurrence in her life at this point. “I skate every day,” Botto said. “And every couple of months, there’s another new skate jam or event that I go to, but every now and then there are little sessions, which are always fun.” She currently rides a Powell Peralta Flight Deck “It’s the Charlie Blair pro model, which Charlie Blair actually gave to me for free when I went to his skate camp in Fresno,” she said. “He sat down with me and we were talking. It was super sick because I was one of the only ones that got a board from him.”

Botto recently attended a skate jam hosted by the West Coast nonprofit, Skate Like a Girl. “I signed up for this showcase where it was non-competitive, so you can just skate,” she said. “I was too scared to sign up for the advanced jam, but then everyone there was super friendly and it sounded really fun.” Botto ended up signing up for the advanced jam, and says she doesn’t regret it a bit. “I basically competed against all these girls, who I’ve followed and idolized on Instagram,” she said. “The reason why that was super special is because I don’t really skate with any other girls.”

She advises those new to skateboarding, especially girls, to be confident. “It’s intimidating at first, especially as a girl when you show up to a giant skate park with all these really good skater boys,” Botto said. “But I promise, if you keep at it, you’ll get really good.”

Over time, skateboarding has become a vital aspect in Botto’s life. “I literally spend all my free time skating,” she said. “Because I love it. And I really hope that I can do something with it in the future. Because I know that it’s what I want to do. It makes me feel super happy so I definitely want to keep doing it and see how far I can get.”