‘I think skateboarding is honestly all about pushing yourself to the limit physically and mentally.’
Jaqueline Testa, Babylon
“I grew up with an older brother that skated, and I thought he was the coolest. I wanted to be like him in any way possible, but I really didn’t start skating until after high school, when all my friends left for school and I didn’t really know what to do with myself.
“I think skateboarding is honestly all about pushing yourself to the limit physically and mentally. When you’re with people that do that all the time, you are forced to build deeper connections. If you’re willing to go out there every day, slam on concrete 50 times a day just in hopes to land a trick, you kind of have to be a different type of person. It’s easier to connect with those type of people for me.
If I saw myself now as a kid, I would be so happy and so proud and just so excited that I stuck with it, and it all came full circle.
“Everyone in the skate realm magically has another talent, so we had had this group of friends that were not only talented skaters, but talented just people in general. We began making all our art under the name ‘Sixth Cents,’ and it’s become an outlet to do all the things we love. We’ve been able to pursue passion through this name. That’s kind of just been the craziest and magical thing, seeing all your friends do what they love and be proud of it.
“We spent about two years filming ‘While I’m Here,’ which was a skate film. It was just filled with like almost every weekend going on trips with each other to go filming. Then the night of the premiere, it was so crazy to see the final product of something that we’d worked on for so long. The skateboarding community really showed up for us, and everyone had such kind words to share.
“It’s so easy to think now and say, ‘I wish I just would’ve gone to the skate park sooner’ because I wanted to, but I was so terrified. I think back then when I was younger, it was a little bit different, but the community on Long Island has changed so much and is extremely welcoming.
“I don’t know if the art we put out is special to other people, but it’s special to me because I’m recording the memories of my friends, and I always want to remember this. If I saw myself now as a kid, I would be so happy and so proud and just so excited that I stuck with it, and it all came full circle. I just am so grateful to know all these people, and I don’t take it for granted.”
Interviewed by Maggie Rose Melito