Here's the entire raw interview from my Heather Christensen Stance piece a few years back!
How long have you been skating?
About three years or so.
How did you get started in that?
Actually, my ex-boyfriend. His friends all skated, and I used to go with them to the skatepark in Cleveland every now and then, and I thought, “Ya know, I'm pretty athletic and I am not really scared of things. I should try this; it would give me something to do in the wintertime, because it is so cold." So I went to the skatepark everyday by myself. Sometimes I would go with them—I just kept skating and then one day I learned to drop in on this little mini ramp at Changa World and I got so excited that I just kept going, learning other little things.
What do you feel makes skating different from everything else out there? I mean, you could have picked snowboarding, soccer, anything.
I think it was just that skating makes everyone feel that they have a place in it. It doesn't matter who you are or how you are or what you like, or what you look like. There are all those pressures when you are growing up, to be a certain way or whatever, and you just kind of want to be yourself. And skateboarding gives you the freedom to do whatever you want and skate however you want and be yourself and do what you like to do—it's really accepting to anyone.
I try to explain that people that don't understand, that I have never seen a sport or hobby or anything that is unbiased. It is so unbiased, and there's like, everybody.
Diverse…everyone's cool. You know if you see a skateboarder, they are cool, and you are like “Oh you skateboard” and you always have something to talk about.
So obviously you find yourself attracted to skateboard guys?
It's funny because, I didn't really look for one, it just happened I guess. I dated a whole bunch of other types of guys, like I don't have a certain type really; I just look for the right person. And Anthony and I met at the skatepark which is kind of funny, and neither one of us knew anything about each other. We just became friends after that, it really wasn't even that we both skated; we just got along really well all the time. If he would go to the park I would go with him. It is just something we have in common, but it skating isn't really our relationship at all.
Is there anything specific about skateboarder guys, that is, say more attractive than say, the average guy on the street?
I think so, I hate to say it, but I tried dating other guys that weren't skaters and they are just not the same. If you skate, you just have to at least find someone that understands—like you have to go skate and that's just it. Guys that skate: first at least you know they know how to fix something because they know how to use a wrench, then they have some smarts, because you have to be smart and creative to learn how to skate and think of lines and stuff. So usually they're smart and they are handy around the house, [laughter] they don't mind getting dirty and hanging out. They are just pretty calm and normal about things.
So now that you and Anthony are together, what's it like dating a pro skater?
It has been a lot of fun, it really has. I never really got to see him work, like because skating is his job, so I never really got to see him be in a contest until I went with him to the X Trials and I was like “Man this is such hard work!” I didn't realize how hard it was for him. Skating is tough anyway, but add that stress of a contest and…
Yeah you have a minute to skate your best.
In front of all those people, and you can die up there. It is really scary. I took it for granted at first and then when I got to go with him, I met all kinds of people, and I got to see him skate. It is really fun. I am so happy for him and I am happy that he wants me to go with him.
At Woodward, all these little kids would come up to me and freak out and be like “You're Anthony Furlong's girlfriend? Can we have your autograph?” I'm like “Why? Go ask him, he's nice, he'll give it to you” they're like “Wooah really?” And its funny, I don't see him that way, he's my friend, but kids like chase him and worship him, it's so funny. I don't know what to say sometimes. The kids were like “Can you meet us at 10:00 and steal us his underwear, and get us some socks, can you? We'll do anything can you get us some stuff” I'm like “I don't know about underwear, but ill see what I can do.”
Kids are so different nowadays.
They're freaks over all that stuff!
When I was younger I was embarrassed to ask someone for their autograph.
Me too, I wouldn't just go up to someone and be like “Can I have your board?” Maybe there's another little kid that really needs that board.
When I was in Tampa, I was just there reporting for a website, but I guess little kids saw me with my VIP bracelet or something…
It's just the hype man; kids think it's the hype.
And kids were asking me for my autograph and they didn't even know who I was. I was like “You don't even know me why do I want my autograph?”
Because they thought you were important.
I was so different when I was younger.
Skateboarding is accepting of everyone, so all these kids are loving it, and it's exciting and it's something different. And the media hypes it up so much, so when they see someone involved with skating or the industry they're like “Ohhh who was that?” It just like they get attached to a band or something, I suppose.
What's Anthony up to?
Right now he's on the Warped Tour, so this is our lengthy time apart. We've been getting to know each other on the phone; it has been kind of tough. But he's doing all kinds of stuff. He's supposed to go on a Woodward tour in November it's supposed to be a really good opportunity for him, they're gonna skate in Madison Square Garden I think. He's been doing really good in contests lately, I think he is getting his confidence back.
What kinda setup are you riding?
Old school, bigger, heavier, risers, and big wheels. I skate vert a lot, I like ramps. I don't skate street very well at all. I like skating pools, if we find a pool we'll go and clean it out, and skate it. They are fun because they are all different and you have to go look for them.
Wow! You have more balls then I do!
You have to skate a pool it's so fun.
I've been skating 13 years; I never even dropped in on a vert ramp.
Nuh uh! I have, like four times.
Like four years ago, after the Tampa Pro, my friends and I stayed to skate the park. I feel asleep on the deck of the Tampa pro. The park was empty except for a friend of mine, but I was so tired from the weekend and like partying. And when I woke up, I was hanging over the coping; I almost had a heart attack. That was the closest I ever got to dropping in on a vert ramp, and the last time I was up on the deck of one.
[Laughing] That's so funny!
What was your worst slam?
Oh God, I fell at Skatopia in Ohio. On this metal ramp I fell and broke my arm in half. My watch basically held my arm together. My friends had to drive me an hour and a half to the hospital; I was screaming the whole way. And I had to have surgery. It was like the Hellraiser guy (Pinhead), they took these giant pins, they drilled them into my bone and they were all sticking out from the bone, through the skin. It was like that for six weeks. Then I overdosed on morphine in the hospital. It was the worst thing ever, and then my boyfriend dumped me. I had to quit my job. Anyone that's been hurt skating knows that when you are sitting there hurt, and can't skate; you are just thinking and thinking. So skateboarding changes your life in many ways.
What's the newest stuff you learned?
The last trick I learned was axle stalls on mini. But I need someone to push me to step up my skating. Anthony doesn't skate with me, we go off and do out own separate things. I have nobody. He doesn't really help me. He gets frustrated because I don't listen to him; I'm too stubborn. But he tries to teach me. I kinda wish he cared more so he'd make me skate, so I don't really have anyone who pushes me that much.
Do you think he feels like hey, skating is my thing?
I don't think he gets jealous or anything…he likes pretty girls, like little prissy…
Like girly girls. You a tomboy?
Yeah so when I go to the skatepark and I am all scrubby and skating, and he wants me to meet his friends and they are like “Uggghh, that's your girlfriend?” They think it is cool that I skate, but he thinks that they think I look like a boy.
But that is so strange that people have that view of you but then the reality of it is that you are on the cover of the Playboy lingerie magazine.
It is weird, it's really strange. Not a lot of people recognize me though.
Not many tomboys that can pull that off.
Can you hold on a second?
Anthony's mom walks in:
Heather: Hi, how are you?
Mom: Good, and you?
Heather: I have food poisoning a little bit today. I am doing an interview right now with this guy from a magazine.
Ok sorry, that's Anthony's mamma, she came to visit to use the washing machine.
So what were you doing before Playboy?
I was in Cleveland, and when I turned 18, I didn't have any money for college, and my family didn't have any money. I needed money for college. I was determined to go to school. So me and a friend were in study hall one day and we saw an article in the newspaper for Dancers" $500 nightly. We were like $500! For what? So we rented all these stripper movies, watching them, and we were like “this is not so bad.” So I started working in a topless strip club when I was 18. It was a lot of fun; I was real lucky that I went to a nice, classy place. So one day a scout from Playboy came in there and found me one day. It was really random though. I didn't even want to be in there. I didn't care. I was just thinking “Money for school!” That's all I cared about. Eventually Playboy built it up into this big thing, and I can have a career out of it if I want to, but its like, do I finish school, do what I want to do? Or take advantage of opportunities while they last. You never know, it's a tough decision.
There was a time when I was working overnight in a bakery, and going to college. Other than that, skating was my life. Then I was starting to get a few sponsors. So I was like “Do I quit school and pursue this skating thing? Or do I go to school knowing that even if I am lucky enough to be a pro skater and get paid, how long will that last?”
Yeah, how rich are you really going to be?
Unless you are Eric Koston, how are you going to survive on skating the rest of your life?
Exactly, that's how it is for me. There are a million girls that are 1 step behind me, and if I don't take advantage of it…There's always going to be a pretty girl and there's always going to be someone that skates better than you. You have to think how bad you really want it.
So how did this Lingerie Model of the Year thing come about? Was it a voting type thing on the Playboy website?
There were a whole lot of girls that entered and then it was narrowed down to 20, which I got excited over that. I was so surprised. Then one day Anthony was on the site one day and he was like “Heather do you know you are on this for model of the year?” I was like “I am.” And we looked at it and I was in fifth place. So I was really flattered because some of the entrants were centerfolds, models, etc. Then I found out I won, which was a complete shock, because I was surprised I even made it on there in the first place. I think my friends helped me too, especially the skaters. They were telling their friends to vote for me.
So how did Playboy feel about you skating when they found out?
They like it; they don't want me to get hurt and stuff. I mean they think it's all cute—like something you do when you are 12-years-old “Oh how cute.” When you are older and you skate, people don't understand what it's all about. Like “Have you outgrown that yet? You look so cute in your skate clothes.”
“You'll grow up one day.”
Yeah. They think it's cute for photo shoots. Plus skating is cool right now so they are using it as a story. People are liking it.
Has skating helped your modeling and vice versa?
Modeling doesn't really help me in skating at all except a few times I got paid to skate for Playboy but I had to do topless skateboarding. I didn't really know what I was getting myself into, it was really embarrassing. I was like “this hurts really bad!” I can't really skate a week before a shoot because I get all bruised up and they get mad. I am always scared to get hurt and ruin my modeling career. So it kind of sucks in that aspect. Skating helps me with modeling because it brings me down to earth and deal with everything. So I find the strength to deal with those difficult people sometimes. It is something that I am happy with and it keeps me focused rather than getting stressed over all that other stuff.
Does Playboy have to airbrush out any of your scars?
Yeah they do. They airbrushed all my scars off my arm when I broke it. I have 2 real big scars on my arm. Then they do my knees. They airbrush my freckles. They airbrush quite a bit. Anyone who sees me in real life knows that I don't look like that, ya know?
It's weird that you were on the cover of Natural Beauties and then they do so much airbrushing. It isn't quite natural.
Yeah, they just mean surgery though. And guys complain about that stuff. They are like “If the girls are so natural why do they have tattoos and piercings?”
I know Playboy tries to stay away from a lot of that stuff.
Actually now the standards are a lot different, they are totally more accepting, they know that times are changing, and Hef knows it, so they let it slide.
Have you ever hung out with Hef?
No I haven't. Not yet.
I remember a distinct difference between you in the magazine and in real life. I think the view of a girl in Playboy is that they aren't the average girl. They either have overdone implants or plastic surgery, dyed hair, etc. You seem and look like such an average girl, who is really pretty. So it was interesting to me.
What do people who recognize you from Playboy and approach you usually say? Has anyone ever recognized you?
A couple people in Tampa come up to me like “I know who you are?” They get all freaked out and can't talk. But a lot of younger guys will just ask if I was in the mag and then just walk away. I think they younger guys don't really know what to say.
You looked pretty approachable to me, cuz I am a shy person, and if you looked standoffish I would have never approached you. I didn't feel intimidated.
Thank you, I am glad I didn't scare you.
So is it weird having people come up to you knowing they have seen you naked?
Not really, it doesn't really bother me. It's not a big deal or like I am doing anything I am ashamed of. I am happy and flattered that people would want me to do that. Not many girls get that opportunity. To look back when you are older on say “look what I did when you were young.”
Or “Look how good I looked when I was young.” When you are like 60 you can have those mags.
Haha. It's funny. But I don't think it is so much how you looked as much as it is a page in your history. The story of your life, all the things you did. I think it is important to live the most fulfilling life possible.
I think studying to be a vet is a caring thing. What got you interested in that?
I think a gift. You know when you are good at something; you kind of know what God created you for and what talents he gave you. I figure if you go with what you were made for—your purpose on this Earth. I feel that is the best thing you could do. And I feel that is what I am supposed to do. I love animals, and I am one of the few people that does care about the planet so I want to do something about it. I want to go into reptiles. Me and Anthony have a reptile house. We have turtles and snakes and lizards and frogs.
The other day actually, I was driving down the road and saw a turtle right in the middle heading into the woods. So I stopped on the side and ran out and grabbed him a put him into the woods in the direction he seemed to be going.
That's the nicest thing ever!
Dude, to see a turtle get crushed by a car would be horrible!
Yeah, they don't know, they can't do anything about it. They are just trying to get across the road. They are just trying to get some water.
And they are all slow; it's not like squirrel that has a chance to get away. A turtle never could. And that's my animal story.
See that's good. At least someone cares.
You mentioned wanting to do other modeling, did you have anything specific in mind?
I think I want to do some hair stuff because I have red hair and not many people have that.
Yeah, you should work with that. Go with it.
I am thinking that someone has to need redheads for something.
Do you think that is what got you all the votes for Playboy?
I think so because I was the only one. It is different I guess.
Definitely stands out.
The main editor, he loves redheads so I had an advantage I guess.
Do you want to stay in Florida?
Anthony and I were thinking about California, but we'll see where our careers take us. We are both young and trying to push each other to do things for ourselves. We don't hold each other back at all. Like if he has to go on tour I encourage him—he has to go to work. I don't tell him “oh stay home with me.” He doesn't get jealous at all when I leave and go on photo shoots. He is really cool about it. Depending on where our careers take us, we have no idea where we will end up, but we like to stay here because it is cheap and it is nice.
Aside from modeling and becoming a vet, do you have any other goals?
I think mostly we are just looking to pay off our bills and try to get a house.
So your thinking into the future definitely includes Anthony?
Any other hobbies or pastimes besides skating?
Besides animals, I have a '68 Mustang that I am restoring. I like cars. I have had it for 2 years and its value increases from just sitting there because it is an antique. I don't know why but ever since I saw old mustangs I just loved them. I have always wanted one. I saved up money and bought a real old rusty one, and I have been working on that slowly and putting money into it.
That's cool. I can't even change my own oil. My dad does it for me.
Its really not hard, cars are a lot of fun once you figure out what you are doing and how they work.
I am always happy when I can identify a problem in someone else's car, like “Oh that's the muffler 'cuz it happened to me.” I get all proud of myself.
I guess I just like building things, making things, projects. Just stuff to do. I like always having stuff to do.
Any specific things you look for in a man. I mean, I know you aren't single or anything. This is the part of the interview where we offer advice for 16-year-olds reading so they can get some chicks.
They have to be really down to earth, really calm and not getting all riled up about everyday life. Someone that can handle their stress, chill out and realize that there is more to life than getting stressed over traffic or money. Turn offs? The meatheads. I hate that. I can't stand a guy spending so much time in front of the mirror. I don't like guys that primp a lot. No primping!
Yeah I can't stand the muscle Guido guys. It is nauseating. What about guys with waxed eyebrows?
I can't stand that ‘cuz they are trying to be all macho and then they just go get their eyebrows waxed.
They are fruity! It is one thing if your girlfriend tells you have a big hair on your face can I pull it or something? But if you are a guy and you have that done?
It is always the big meathead muscle guys that are all tough that have a big earring in each ear and get their eyebrows perfectly waxed, and they go tanning.
I think they got something to hide on the inside so they doll up the outside. Something is going on there.
Those are the guys who all through my life called me "skate fag" and "skinny faggot," but they are tanning and waxing their eyebrows. I think it is so funny—ironic really. Say you were single and a guy wants to talk to you. How does a guy get your attention?
I hate to say it but if a guy does something really stupid in public—like funny stupid. Makes everyone laugh or makes an ass of himself, like a clown. I think it is funny, I don't know why. Just because they don't care what everyone thinks. That gets my attention.
Now that skating is getting bigger and more girls are getting involved (finally) do you have any advice for girl skaters?
Yeah it is nice. I would say don't get discouraged if you don't find other girls to skate with. Eventually you will find someone and they will probably be your best friend. I finally found two girls that skated and they are my best friends now. Just keep skating if it makes you happy. Don't get scared if the guys are whizzing by you at 100mph. Chances are they will let you go, let you skate, so just charge it
Yeah, we are looking out for you—whether you know it or not, we are. Little kids too, we look out for.
It is good now; there are more girl companies like pads and shoes. There is more stuff that fits us. So it is better. We have more opportunities now than ever.
Over the years, I have heard lots of girls complain about how they had a rough time dating a skater. Any advice for girls who are trying to cope with a skate-addicted boyfriend?
Yeah that is because they can't handle the fact that their boyfriend skates and pays attention to their skateboard and not them. Like I said earlier, you have to at least find someone who understands. I guess tell the girls to skate a little bit, at least try it. If not enjoy it for what it is, you'll always have a place to hang out, you'll always have a friend that skates. Even if you don't skate, the people are good people and you make a lot of friends. Don't get frustrated over it.