New year, new ankle
If we had to describe Nora Vasconcellos in one word, it would be “disrupter”. After ten years of making a name for herself in the skate industry, Nora could have easily chosen an Olympic path when the sport was added to 2016. Instead, she turned her focus to street skating and filming video parts. And with that signature Nora style and creative approach, she’s quickly become one of the most recognizable faces in skateboarding. Taking on historic firsts like being the first female pro to join the elite Adidas squad (not to mention being the first female skate pro to have a signature shoe!), Nora has proven herself to be a role model for the next generation of skaters (female and otherwise).
She’s goofy, unapologetically herself, a ripping surfer, passionate about mental health, the absolute best crooner on karaoke night and a super talented artist. Norah’s art can be seen on her pro models with Welcome Skateboards and Krux Trucks as well as her own signature sock with Stance a few years back. Through these various artistic pursuits, it’s easy to see how her creative brain works: no boundaries with inspiration everywhere. And that’s why there is no ceiling for Nora. She simply can’t be contained.
She’s on the frontlines of making skateboarding (and the world) a more inclusive space and we couldn’t be prouder to have her on our team. Currently on the mend from an unfortunate injury, we recently checked in with Nora to see how she’s doing and get a few hot takes.
It’s been about four months since your ankle surgery… what happened? What all did you have worked on? So sorry to hear!
I was filming in London and sat on it pretty bad, ended up breaking my fibula. It was such an odd one because I was really not feeling skating that day and I kept having intrusive thoughts about hurting my ankles. In the actual clip you can even hear an ambulance go by haha. It was a relatively simple trick as well, just an ollie into a bank from this small overpass. I knew immediately something was wrong but I thought I had done worst than just the break. Then the ambulance wouldn’t come so Paul Shier (Adidas TM) hailed some cops who came down and they had to roll me up the embankment on my board. Within 48 hours I was on a flight back and had surgery that week.
Have you been able to skate at all? How’s your confidence holding up?
Yes actually. I had an amazing surgeon, Dr Thomas. He works with surfers and skaters so his priority was making sure I’d be back to 100 and even stronger. I had surgery Oct 5th and started surfing Christmas weekend. I’ve been surfing since to build mobility, strength and confidence on top of physical therapy. I’ve skated just a few times, not rushing into it because I really want to be in the right headspace. It’s felt great to cruise around some parks, even doing some small kick flips.
How has the post-surgery life been for you, in general? What all have you been up to?
Honestly I have really enjoyed the down time. I’ve gotten to hang out with my friends, watch movies and shows, eat good food, hang with my cat. I’ve been painting a lil bit as well and shaped my first surfboard with my boyfriend. Being hurt through the holidays is kinda ideal, you don’t feel like you’re missing too much and it’s always the time of year I really want to just cozy up.
Since it’s a new year, do you have any goals set for 2023?
Yea I guess, I started this little journaling course which is cool. I do a lot of art but I never write things down, hoping this will help. I’d also love to wake up a lil earlier, I love sleeping and can literally not get enough. I was also about 75% done with a part when I got hurt, I’m so excited about what I’ve filmed thus far and am looking forward to seeing it come together.
Who or what has had the biggest influence on your skating career as a whole?
That’s a big question… probably my friends and family. Anyone who encouraged me and saw that I had that fire deep down and didn’t get in my way or tell me that it was not possible. My parents for sure, their support even when they didn’t think it would work out. I also look up to them in how they live their lives and raised a family.
As an artist, where do you find a lot of inspiration?
Definitely from fellow artists and their unique processes. I like watching people get lost in their art. I try to do that, put on music and really disappear into a painting. I’ve been trying to experiment more and be less controlling while making stuff. Also I nerd out on trying new paints and pens, really loving the oil sticks right now.
What does Stitched Different mean to you?
Everyone has their own path they are on, to me Stitched Different means that you should follow your path. So many times that’s the path of most resistance but when you persevere it’s so rewarding. Find what works for you, respect yourself, have fun, and love everyone.
Hot takes for a hot drop
Fav song to scream in the car?
I don’t want to miss a thing - Aerosmith
Favorite new trend in skateboarding?
Not being an asshole
Least favorite TikTok trend?
Current snack obsession?
Cheese and pepperoni
Latest artistic inspiration?
Fav activity outside of skating?
Biggest pet peeve?
Instrument you wish you played?
Something you wish existed that doesn’t currently?
Women’s reproductive rights
Event you are most looking forward to in 2023?
The day my cat doesn’t scratch me