Pro Skateboarder Lauren Perkins Has a Thrill for Danger - page 2

By Jeff Ferrantino on January 31, 2006

Lauren Perkins, pictures, picture, photos, photo, pics, pic, images, image, pro, female, skateboarder, skateboarding"It was tough," she says. "I had to choose for a lot of contests, what I was going to do and what I wasn't going to do. But my mom, she's awesome. Her main thing is, get your school work done, get good grades, and just keep your school and skating balanced."

By the time she reached her sophomore year in high school, the travel demands had become too overwhelming, so Perkins had to move into an independent study program.

"It sounds a lot nicer than it really is," Perkins, now a 17-year-old junior, says with a laugh. "It's hard. I really have to stay on myself, because it's not like there's a teacher up there every day showing me what to do."

In recent years, Perkins has continued to hold onto the claim as one of the greatest female skateboarders in the world, notching several top finishes in the World Championships and the X Games to name just a few.

She maintains that she owes a great deal of that success to her early days of skating with the boys.

"I think that got me to where I am now, because if I didn't have that, it just wouldn't be the same," she says. "I wouldn't be at the level that I am at."

Even though she has always been attracted to the thrill of danger, Perkins admits that she's human just like everyone else.

"There are times when I'm like, 'Oh my God, I don't really want to try that, I'm going to get hurt,' " she says. "It's part of what you do, but there's definitely fear. If I'm at a contest and there's a gnarly rail or I'm street skating, I'll go, 'Oh, do I really want to get hurt doing this?'

"There's totally that fear, but I think it's part of the sport, you know what you're getting yourself into when you start it, and I think that's what really shows who's the best out there, because they go for it."

Knock on wood, Perkins has managed to escape relatively injury-free over her now more than eight years on the board. She has suffered two concussions and weakened her ankles to the point that they are injury prone, but she has yet to break a bone in her life. Her mother and manager, Trina, says that watching her daughter take danger into her own hands can be challenging at times.

"It is only difficult watching Lauren when she is attempting a trick that I see can be dangerous," says Perkins' mom, who travels around the world with her daughter. "Most of the time, I'm pretty calm watching her go down a handrail or flying over a gap. However, I do still get nervous before she starts her run in a contest."