At just eighteen years old, Jordyn Barratt is making heads turn as she continues to make her presence felt in competition and on the podium in two sports: skateboarding and surfing.
In 2016, Barratt made history at the VANS US Open of Surfing, where she became the first female to ever compete in both skating and surfing. A feat in its own right that is impressive but Barratt and ended finished on the podium in third for skateboarding.
Tyler Tate of T Squared Action Sports sat down with Barratt to discuss how she continues to keep a balanced life as a multi sport athlete all while finishing school and preparing for the summer olympics in 2020.
BNQT: You are a 3.8 student, a former captain of the surf team in high school and you compete in both surf and skateboarding full time. How do you find balance to maintain the success you have had in all three disciplines?
Barratt: It’s hard. But each is very important to me. To find success in multiple arenas you have to learn to be disciplined and prioritize what is most important to you. For me, my number one priority is to skate. Then school and surfing. I train every day to skate and I do my school work through online programs to make it easier to skate every day but even in taking school online requires discipline to accomplish the assigned work. There is not teacher there to push you to complete it, you have to be self motivated.
BNQT: What are your goals from you continued education?
Barratt: Getting a degree is important to me. In my home I watched my mother as an entrepreneur and how important education was to her. She was a great example to me and she instilled the value of education in me and I want to one day start a business of my own. Aside from future career goals, education now helps me in my career as an athlete from how I prepare to all of the business aspects that come with being an athlete. It makes you a stronger athlete in that you are more well rounded.
BNQT: Do you find that you prepare for competition the same way that you prepare for school?
Barratt: You know what I never really thought of it that way but yes. Both have a mental component to each that require the same level of discipline and preparation. When you take a test, you study the material to know the answers. When you compete you study the same way except the materials you are studying are what lines to take and what tricks will be best. Practice for skating or surfing is like reading. The only way to know the material is to practice or read. You can’t understand it at all if you never do either.
BNQT: What is you main goal that you are working towards right now?
Barratt: X Games gold. After winning the bronze in 2016 and the silver in skate park in 2017, I want that gold. It is also that drive for gold that has me preparing to compete in skateboarding for the summer olympics in 2020. It would be a huge honor to represent my country and to push skateboarding to a new level.
BNQT: What does the inclusion of skateboarding in the olympics do for the sport?
Barratt: It is huge. and that may be an understatement. Skateboarding for women has grown so much with more disciplines being added in the X Games and other big competitions. It brings up the level of riding, but at the same time, the bigger the event, like X Games for example, brings about a standard for skateboarding the is even for everyone but it pushes the riders to be at their best which helps to grow the sport. That is exactly what the Olympics will do. Everyone is going to have to prepare to compete and showcase the sport to the world and so the level of trick difficulty will be pushed which in turn will advance the sport.
BNQT: You’re still young and have riders that you still look up to, but now you are an example to a new generation of kids skating and surfing. What is the one lesson that you like to share with kids getting into the sport?
Barratt: There is a quote that I like that says”If you fall down nine times, get up ten.” It doesn’t matter whether you’ve fallen trying to land a trick or just that life has got you down. Get up, brush yourself off and get back on the board and try again because eventually you’re going to stomp that landing literally and figuratively. So get up and get after it because it is the best feeling in the world when you finally stomp it.