New Rule Makers

Hayley Wilson
Last updated: July 22, 2021
New Rule Makers
New Rule Makers

Hayley Wilson: Fear is a constant

Hayley Wilson was 15 years old when she moved away from her family and friends and her hometown of Mansfield to pursue skating in Melbourne. “To do that at such a young age, it was pretty scary,” she says. But Hayley has never shied away from what scares her. Pushing through the doubt, the unknown, the fear—it’s just what she does, what she’s always done.

New Rule Makers
New Rule Makers

At 19, Hayley has already cemented her place on the international circuit, is ranked in the top ten female skateboarders in the world and is now headed for the pinnacle of sport. What drives her is an enduring love for skating and the chance that her story might encourage other young girls from other small towns to chase their dreams. “It’s so inspiring to see someone that’s doing something so big that’s coming from such a small town… I think it’s so important,” she says.

For all the accolades Hayley says skating is more than just a sport. “I feel like skating is like an art. You can express yourself through skating in so many different avenues… I just feel like it’s such a free sport,” she says.

What has skating taught you?

It teaches you that you can fall down however many times and still be able to get back up and then do it again the next day. That's a big thing for me. Obviously falling down is probably not the nicest thing to do, but it's what makes it so rewarding… You could try a trick for days or months and finally be able to land it. It's the most rewarding feeling and that's why it's so addictive.

Skateboarding has not always been a welcoming sport for girls and women, how is that changing?

Every day it changes, or every year at least. Definitely since I was younger it's changed dramatically… Maybe six or seven years ago, there would never be a girls' night at Riverslide (a Melbourne skate park). That wasn't a thing. And now you go to the skate park on girls night, and there'll be 20 or 30 girls, and that's just so amazing to see.

We're still fighting for equality in a way. As a female, there's a lot of things that still need to be changed. But it's definitely changing, we're on the right path for change.

New Rule Makers

“With most sports you probably don’t throw yourself down a 10-stair handrail.”

– Hayley Wilson

New Rule Makers
New Rule Makers

You’re at the front of that change, what kind of legacy do you want to leave?

The way that I present myself, I want it to be as positive as possible for the next generation. To be a positive role model, that's my main goal, to think I've made a change in the sport.

Skating is very physical and sometimes dangerous, how do you overcome the fear?

There are a lot of physical parts to it, but you'd have to say it’s at least 80, 85% mental. If you don't think in your brain, ‘I can jump down this rail’, then it's so hard to overcome that fear. I think the fear barrier and the mental barrier is such a massive thing that everyone goes through and is going through every single day. It's just learning to work with it.

How did moving to Melbourne shape you and your career?

Moving here was a big eye-opener, but it definitely shaped me into the person I am for sure... because I've got to grow so many friendships and skate networks. Obviously I could film, I could go to the gym, I could train more, and then I could just skate different skate parks.

It must have been challenging, being so young and having to build those friendships and networks?

I feel like skating teaches you that you can do something over and over, but it also teaches you social skills. That social aspect, if you go to a skate park and there'll be 20 or 30 people there, you're going to at least talk to one or two people. I had to just build up the courage each time I'd go to the skate park and then start slowly building those friendships, which took a little while.

How does skating make you feel?

I feel strong. I guess that's how I would probably word it. At the moment, I've probably never felt stronger on my board. It's probably my peak form, which is really cool to see, because going from lockdown, I lost a lot of fitness from my injury, and then now to being at my peak, it's so cool to see the progression

What advice would you give to your younger self?

When I was younger, there were definitely times when I tried to be a person who I wasn't. I figured out that's not who I was. So for me, I think just staying true to myself and being comfortable in myself.

Watch Hayley in action with Chloe Covell

Train Like Hayley

Being a world-class skateboarder requires the ability to push through doubt, and a strong core. Visit the Nike Training Club App to get a Member-exclusive core conditioning training workout.

Join Hayley and Nike to push through fear and Play New.

New Rule Makers
New Rule Makers

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