Lexi Hutchings. I recently got the opportunity to interview Pro skimboarder Lexi Hutchings. Living in the outdoorsmen’s paradise of Utah, I’ve had the chance to experience a plethora of sports both conventional and extreme. I have rode a category 5 rapid at Thor’s Anvil on the Colorado River, trekked the majestic rose hued mountains of Arches National Park, snowboarded the snow capped peaks of the Wasatch mountains in the former 2002 Winter Olympic venue of Park City, and ascended the towering sandstone cliffs of Angel’s Landing at Zion’s National Park. Having the Virgin River in my back yard I was pleasantly surprised to find out that my town, St. George, had one of the better places in the United States to skimboard. Having only tried a hand full of times, I was privileged enough to be able to ask home grown local pro, Lexi Hutchings, a few in-depth questions.
1. How does a small town girl, from the desert in Southern Utah, find herself traveling all over the country and competing in a water sport?
I grew up so close to the Virgin and my neighbor Dustin Baird, starting making boards for a local company, Beachworks. He introduced me to the sport and living so close it was about a ten minute walk to the river. It’s crazy that St. George has one of the best flatland skim spots in the world! I was so lucky to find a passion so close, and inexpensive!
2. When you were younger did you ever, in your wildest dreams, picture yourself skimming professionally and if not what did you see yourself doing?
Well I have always been a sporty active kid. I grew up playing sports and trying to measure up to my older brother Jace who was literally good at everything he did. I looked up to him so much. I was pretty much one of the boys and just wasn’t into girly stuff. I didn’t actually start skimming until I was about 14. But honestly from day one I fell in love. Pretty much from that first year I started making goals. Number one was get sponsored by Victoria (which at that time was the board I was riding) And I did that next year. From there on I really knew that this was what I wanted to do, and spend all my free time doing. I dreamed of going pro and to one day have my own pro model. So when I look back at age 25 it really was what I always dreamed of and although I can’t make a living off of it my dreams really did come true!
3. In all the places you have been to compete and skim, have you ever been awestruck or found yourself saying “I can’t believe someone’s paying me to do this”?
This is a misconception about the sport. And I would like to clarify. No one in flatland skimming gets paid, even when you are pro. The sport is too small and lacks a lot of sponsors. It’s sad. It really does not have the attention that it should! We are basically doing the same stuff skaters, and snowboarders do when they ride park, yet it’s just not mainstream enough. Although I will say I have been skimming about a decade now and have noticed the sport to rapidly grow over the years. So to clarify I have sponsors who help me out. I get all the free boards, free watches, swag, and help getting to comps but that’s about it. There was one lady’s division that was a cash prize for winner, but it’s usually just swag. But at the end of the day a passion should be something we do because we love it not for the money!
4. How long do you plan on competing professionally and have you thought of what you’re going to do after you retire (I have an image of your grandkids wheeling you to the Virgin and handing you your board)?
Haha I love this question/ statement because it is so true because I really have thought “am I ever going to stop”? I have always put skimming first before anything. It’s been my life. But I can say at 25 and moving to California about a year ago. I have found other passions I have as well that can make me some money. I am really into natural health so I have been thinking about studying holistic nutrition. Also I am a people person and love to help people out with their lives. I’m also considering working in the action sport industry, I think that’d be so rad! As much as I just wanna stick to skimming, I don’t wanna be that broke ass beach bum that kills it on a board but can’t pay their bills. But that will never be me, I like to work and make money and be independent. So to answer your questions in the last few months I have decided to do it all. Work, school in the fall, and skim whenever I can. Try to do about 3 comps a year and film for my part in dashboard skimboards. As far as stopping? Why ever really stop you can maybe slow down when ya hit 40 but you don’t ever need to fully stop, so ya my grandkids might be pushing me to the river someday!
5. Do you ever feel intimidated competing against the “boys” and how does it feel being a strong, positive role model to young aspiring woman all over the world?
This is what the sport has given back to me. More than money can give you. It means much more to me receiving emails from girls and boys saying “you’re my inspiration”. Also receiving fan mail and seeing people riding my pro models. It’s such an awesome thing to be a role model. That’s one of my favorite parts! And as far as the boys go, I wouldn’t say I was ever really intimidated. I looked at myself as lucky to be able to skim with boys and progress way faster. I liked being in competitions against them it made me ride harder. I never wanted to be looked at as an amazing skimmer for a girl, I wanted to be looked at as an amazing skimmer!
6. Thank you for your time. In parting where can your fans get updates on your competitions and are there any groups, organizations, or foundations you are currently working with that you’d like to mention?
Well my Facebook is my most personal way to find out what I am doing. Also you should like my Facebook fan page. It’s Lexi Hutchings beyond the limits! You can find me in my sponsors website and blogs at dbskimboards.com, extremeoutdoorsupply.com, freestyles.com. Also if you want to YouTube me I have a video.
My goal when I moved out here was to get more sponsors and expose flatland skimming. I am actually meeting in a week with the CEO of Spy about a sponsorship/ and possibly a job working in the action sport industry. I also have a few other people I am talking with that are extremely connected in the action sport industry, that I am hoping in the near future can bring me on even more sponsors.
Thanks Lexi for your time, I know its valuable. Here is a video of her below displaying some of that world class skill; click, save, share: http://youtu.be/hrjmIa6Vetw