Raveena Adams, the long distance, kawaii skateboarder
I've been friends with Raveena for a long time and watched her go on these amazing long distance longboarding trips. She doesn't just skate long distances though, she does it looking cute af. She cosplays, or picks a certain style to go with on her trips. She's also super versatile, dabbling in all forms of skating. She has been skating as early as 10 years old, but it was just an on and off phase during that time. She started taking trick skateboarding seriously during her teen years. In 2014 she started longboarding and hasn't quit since. She also roller skates, which she calls "her medicine."
She has a similar story when it comes to getting into skateboarding. "When I was a kid, I played alot of Tony Hawk games growing up on the PS1. She loved the tricks they did, and wanted to feel cool like that.
I was curious as to what would make someone want to do long distance skateboarding. She says it came from studying maps and combining her passion. "When I was a young child, I looked at the map and the weather based of the location (for example, Florida has hurricanes, Nebraska has tornadoes, and California has wildfires). I didn't know where Cleveland, Ohio was at the time." As she became a teenager, she started studying about cities, towns, states, suburbs, international boarders, and geographic landscapes such as mountains, oceans, lakes, and farmland. As an adult in college, she studied geography and politics of a culture based on it's location. This helped her decide where to go on her trips. When she was in college, she was also doing long distance biking until she switched to longboarding. She then became curious if she could skate far distances like she did on the bike. "I joined a distance skate group and was inspired how far they pushed so one day during the summer of 2016, I skated 30 miles form Akron to Cleveland," and the rest is history.
Trips She's Been On
#1 Earth Chan Skate Trip
April 20th-21st of 2018 (130 miles)
This was the trip that started it all, where she skated from Cleveland to the Michigan border. She also competed in 24 hour Miami Ultra Skate and skated 154 miles in 2019 and 160 miles In 2020. Although others probably wouldn't, she considers her other skate trips minor, but she skated from Cleveland to Youngstown/Sandusky and Canton.
#2 Pastel Doll Skate Trip (345 miles)
May of 14th-22nd of 2019
This trip was 300+ miles and she considers it toughest skate trip ever. It took her 6 days. "I pushed through cornfields, cities and towns, and realized I love the smell of the May flowers. I pushed through unstable weather, I got soaked in cold rainy night while camping. I skated on a creepy road and continued until I reached Chicago and it was a crazy experience." She says this trip helped her learn to endure various types of weather.
#3 Nessa, Ohio take over (282 miles)
September 22nd-25th 2020
Skated across the entire state of Ohio while as Nessa (Pokemon gym leader)
This trip went from from Cleveland to Cincinnati’s Kentucky border and it took 4 days. It took place during the Covid pandemic since the Anime conventions she usually attends were cancelled, and there was still some civil unrest. She brought the trip to everyone virtually, going live at various points throughout her days. This skate trip had a tough, hilly first half but the second half it got easier and flatter. It was filled with forests, cornfields, small towns, Dollar Generals, and big cities like the capital Columbus and Cincinnati. She says this gave her a true perspective of the state of Ohio. The weather was perfect for September with temps in 70s all week with crickets being heard during the early fall. "This trip helped me overcome the fear of skating in the dark."
#4 E-girl Skate Trip
May 18th-21st 2021 (213 miles)
This skate trip is the third largest skate trip she did. This trip was based off of the e-girl, alternative, goth aesthetics. She skated from Cleveland to Niagara Falls NY, taking 4 days. It took place on beautiful shorelines of Lake Erie along with small towns and medium size cities, with the (exception of Buffalo NY being a Major city in upstate NY). She says the landscapes appeared in her dreams before she even did the trip. This trip was the hilliest and 2nd toughest skate trip. She was also sick during days 3-4 of the trip. The weather was hot for May with temps of 80s. This skate trip helped her overcome obstacles that would make normally make someone want to give up, making it her favorite trip. “ This skate trip literally drained me and the only reason I didn't give up because of the beautiful scenery and of course listening to Rico Nasty songs. Her energy and vibes literally carried me to the entire journey. This skate trip helped not to give up and keep pushing, achieve your dreams, cry now, smile later, and this what my life is about.” She wanted to go to Canada, but couldn’t due to COVID restrictions.
Next she says she will be doing minor trips."I thought of skating from Toledo to Detroit, or Columbus to Dayton. My next major skate trip will take place next year and I'm willing to take on a trip that will challenge me beyond physical, mental and spiritual. I'm skating across the entire United States of America." That sounds like a great feat. She says this has been on her mind since she was a child. She always wanted to go far without a car. She wants to be the first black woman ever to skate across USA, and says it will happen in 2022. This is her life goal. She wants to go places she’s never been before.
I wanted to know more about the outfits she chose. I think her trips perfectly encapsulates Proper Gnar’s vision, how she is doing these big skate trips with these cute outfits on. Instead of sticking with one style, she likes to switch her aesthetic every day.
Raveena loves taking skate trips because you get a whole different perspective. On a skateboard, you can truly see what the land looks like.
Skating so far, I’m sure some interesting and odd things can happen out there on the road. “The most crazy experience was during Pastel Doll Skate Trip day 3 when I made it to Indiana boarder, I camped out in the woods and it start raining, the temperature start dropping, the rain seeped into my tent got me wet, the temp was 40°F and I was shivering and filled with regret and despair. I couldn't fall asleep and I had to stay warm with my survival blanket. It was a hot mess.” The next day she was super sleepy but had no choice but to push to South Bend with a damaged phone and soaked clothes and supplies.
When asked about her inspirations, there are many.
"Throughout my life I have so many folx who inspire me, ranging from athletes to singers/rappers. Some examples are Lady Gaga and Cardi B, they both inspire me in a spiritual way, they both give out different types of energy based of their music and lyrics. Lady Gaga made me open up and finally be who I am and not be afraid of society, while Cardi B unleashed my "bad chick" energy which makes me hype, makes me feel empowered and willing to take on anything that gets thrown at me. There is also NBA player LeBron James when he was playing for the Cavs. There were so many misfortunes and downfalls I have saw during the time when I was a Cavs fan until year 2016, when the Cavs finally won the NBA championship and that taught me that no matter what obstacles you face or how long it takes, as long as you accomplish that goal, that's all that matters."
Raveena has a lot of good advice for other skaters. She says to "Keep pushing no matter how far you go, push through time and space within this universe, you never know what or who you would encounter throughout you journey as you are moving forward. Life is a very mysterious existence and should not be taken for granted."
When it comes to being accepted, she doesn’t let people’s negativity bother her. “I will keep doing what I love doing and won't let anyone take my joy away.
if you would like to help Ravenna with her cross country skate goals, she would appreciate your hype, donations, and offering her a place to stay on her trips.