“My skateboarding is very emotional,” explained South Florida skater Katrina Berkhousen. “I feel like there’s a taboo around being angry when you skate. When you’re around a lot of people you want to make sure everyone else feels comfortable in a space, that’s [just good] skatepark etiquette. [But at the same time] it’s one of those things where it’s very releasing. For me, it’s like therapy, you know what I mean? I get angry, and I have [challenging] things going on in my life outside of the park, so skateboarding is that escape for me. People will say, scream into a pillow if you’re really angry. My pillow is skateboarding.”

Playing volleyball in highschool, Katrina learned the importance of consistency and dedication to a sport. When she wasn’t on the court she could be found on the streets longboarding. “I did longboard dancing, so different twirly tricks and stuff like that,” she smiled.


Those twirls built a solid foundation when Katrina transitioned to park skating post graduation. “My best friend in Montana, she had started skating. I just got really into it with her. She kind of fell out of it but I kept going. And I just didn’t stop.”

Missoula, Montana is not well known for its skate scene. But for Katrina, learning to skate in Big Sky Country was an overall positive, if not sometimes chilly, experience. “In the wintertime, we had to shovel out the park in certain spots. The bowl gets completely covered in snow and ice,” she laughed. “It was a lot of fun. The scene there was really welcoming.”

For Katrina, a big part of her community was the local non-profit, Girls on Shred. The organization seeks to empower women, non-binary, and trans folks in and around Montana through free skateboarding, roller skating, snowboarding, and ski clinics. “I initially heard about it because they are associated with the local shop,” explained Katrina. “I wanted to be a part of that. I wanted to help other people feel comfortable in skating and know that there is a safe space to start out. Especially with girls, it’s hard to find a space that is beginner friendly. I feel like it’s so common in skateboarding, not just for girls, but for guys too, to hate on the new kid. But [the program] is focused on teaching young girls, creating a space, and having gear and equipment so they could learn how to skate safely.”

As both a participant and volunteer, Katrina formed lifelong friendships. While the group focuses primarily on park events, some of Katrina’s favorite memories were formed when they put the boards aside for a moment. “We did a camp out skate trip,” recalled Katrina. “We started in North Montana, went down to Missoula and then through the Bitter Route, [stopping at] different parks throughout. That was a really fun one. Being able to go from skating [to camping, where] everybody winds down and sets up their tents. Making a bonfire and connecting in different ways outside of skateboarding.”

Katrina Berkhausen in the bowl.

Credit: Trevor Jones

Progression came fast for Katrina. While her years longboarding certainly came in handy, she attributes this rapid growth to one thing: time. “When I started skating, I kind of got into my own zone,” she explained. “I would go to the park. It didn’t matter if it was just guys there, if there was a Girls on Shred event, or if it was just literally me by myself and nobody else was there because it was too cold or too hot. I just tried to be out there as much as I could.”

“I think my favorite trick that I learned initially was a Nollie 3 Shuv,” she continued. “Ollie’s  are obviously the basis of skateboarding if you want to do flip tricks, but you can learn a lot of other things before you learn how to ollie. So you don’t have to pop your board as much. It just was a lot more comfortable [for me]. Nollie and Nollie 3 Shuv were my favorite big tricks. They’re something that I can land every time.”

When she moved from Missoula to Miami, Florida, Katrina encountered many differences. Warm weather, the beautiful ocean, and a large, vibrant skate scene. “I was like, okay, there’s going to be a lot of people, there’s going to be professional skaters out here, there’s going to be people who are a lot better than I am,” she said. “But I don’t know, I’ve just never really been intimidated by that. So, I would still go [to the park] by myself.”

This tenacity combined with marked skill made it easy for Katrina to quickly connect with the community. “People would approach me on their terms or if I saw someone cool we’d start chatting and I’d make friends that way,” she explained. Comparing the Florida scene to Montana she said, “I feel like in Montana, [it’s more] clique-y in a way. if you aren’t associated with anybody, you just skate by yourself, Then moving [to Florida], people just vibe out and everyone’s checking in [to see] who’s going to what skate park today, what’s a way we can link up. I was surprised by it because the whole [stereotype] of Miami is that people are stuck up or keep to themselves. But I experienced a really friendly approach when I first met people here. That was really nice.”

Katrina Berkhausen in the bowl

Credit: Trevor Jones

Through meeting folks at the park, it didn’t take long for Katrina to connect with the femme and queer friendly skate group, Skate Nymphs. Founded by skater Arays Domech, Skate Nymphs focuses on creating a safe space for those who may otherwise feel uncomfortable at the park. “Sometimes we go to the beach and that’s like potluck vibes. Everybody brings food [and Skate Nymphs] makes sure that everyone has water and is good for the day. There’s also events where we do competitions or raffles,” explained Katrina. “It’s like all the queer folks take over the skate park and it’s a little fun gay party.”

By moving to a city with a larger skate scene, not only did Katrina meet many new friends, she has also had the chance to participate in projects revolving around skating and the Miami music scene.


One such project is the music video for artist Abi Difabio’s song Tuyo y Mío. “She had the creative concept for the video and reached out to her team,” explained Katrina. “They didn’t reach out to me directly. [My friend] was reached out to and then they said, oh, we need girl skaters. He immediately was like, ‘hey, this is my friend Kat. She would be perfect.’ That shoot was a lot of fun.”

She continued, “We shot it all in one day. They pulled us around for the day, which was super cool. Made sure we had lunch and all that. We started in one location, moved up to the North Miami-ish area and did some street spots and clips there and then moved our way back down because by the end of the day, we wanted to circle back to the first location.”

Given that it was a music video, the skating revolved around getting an aesthetically pleasing shot, not necessarily nailing a clean landing. Katrina laughed as she recalled, “We were trying to ollie a certain gap. I have the clip where I bail, because you can see them setting up the camera and getting really low for the angle. But once I’m past the camera, I slip out and totally eat shit. It’s definitely different from shooting for my own edits because I want things to be to my standard at that point, and I’ll redo a trick if I need to land it better. But at the end of the day, I knew this was going to be just a fun project and I didn’t need to be that hard on myself about it.”

Along with working with Difabio on her music video, Katrina has also recently collaborated with Spotify to create content that celebrates the relationship between Miami’s vibrant music and skateboard communities. The project provides equal part structure and creative freedom. As she explained, “[Spotify will ask], what’s the trend, what’s the location? I think about where I want to go next, how do I want the video to look and then what kind of music would I associate with that energy? Do I want other people in the video and how can I source that music as well? I’ve learned a lot about the music scene here. My next one is going to be a highlight on Caribbean/Afrobeat music since that’s such a popular thing here.”

With these opportunities, from the video shoots to her exposure to the diversity of Miami’s skate scene, Katrina’s style evolved. Inspired by both the creativity of Mariah Duran’s street skating and the big bowl skating of Lizzie Armanto, Katrina’s style meshes the intensity of her skate idols with a fluidity that perhaps stems from her days of longboarding. Reflecting on how her style has changed over time, Katrina said, “I would say I’m an aggressive skater, but also artistic. I had a friend on Instagram use the term movement art, and I think that’s a really good way to describe it. Recently, I’ve been wanting to do more street, more drops. That’s why I use the term aggressive. Artistic and aggressive, which is kind of contradictory, but I like it so it works.”

However, the biggest catalyst for Katrina’s explosive style are her friends and fellow skaters. “My friend Tiara, she is so good,” she grinned. “She’s a year younger than me, and she hits ledges and drops like crazy. That’s been one of my bigger inspirations. I want to catch up in a way. I don’t know if she knows this, but I have this internalized rivalry with her. In a healthy way, of course. We’re really good friends. But when I see her do something, I’m like, oh, I got to do that. She’ll see some of my things too, and say, I can’t believe you landed that. That’s awesome. It’s very encouraging to have [a relationship where we can push and support one another].”

The duality of artistry and aggression in Katrina’s skating reflects the emotions she carries to and releases at the skatepark. When the hurricane of life tosses her around, Katrina knows she’ll find solace on her skateboard. “It’s the one thing I’ll have 100% control over,” she explained. “[With] outside factors in life, you can’t always control what’s going on. There is that process of like, oh, I’m so angry, but I can’t do anything about it. Versus if I’m skateboarding and I’m angry that I’m not landing a trick, [I can ask] what can I do about it? How can I change my approach to this trick to make it better or to land it?”

Over the last four years, skateboarding hasn’t just been a place of emotional catharsis for Katrina, it has also served as the vehicle for some of life’s more trying lessons. “Definitely patience,” laughed Katrina reflecting on what she’s learned. “A lot of patience in skateboarding. There are moments where I can let myself slip and get angry. I might throw my board down. [It’s then that] I have to pause, tell myself to be patient, and remind myself that things don’t just come naturally. You do have to work for them.”

And work for it she has. While it could be attributed to inherent talent, a majority of Katrina’s rapid progression is because of her dedication. “People don’t realize the skate term, skate every damn day [is true],” she said. “You are not going to progress if you don’t skate every single day. And obviously take the time to rest your body and to recover, but pick and choose those days.  I’ve had a lot of friends who will skate one day, and then they stop skating for a month. When they get back, they’re like, damn, I can’t do anything. I don’t know how you’re getting so good. And it’s like, I do this every day.”

Katrina Berkhausen dropping in.

Credit: Trevor Jones

While a majority of this motivation stems from Katrina’s personal desire for progression, there is another underlying reason that fuels her passion. “I have a long way to go, but  I would like to be able to go pro at some point in my life,” she smiled. “I’m not as young as a lot of these girls who are [doing] crazy [tricks], but I’m not them, they’re not me. But I do have to back up [my potential] with my skating and the consistency of it.”

As she works toward this overall goal, Katrina has many other creative projects she’d like to tackle along the way, including the creation of a skate edit. “One of the ideas I’ve had for a while now is a collaboration between Skate Nymphs and Girls on Shred,” she explained. “I want to get some of my friends here from Miami to travel with me to Montana. It would show [the transition of landscapes between states] and then the differences between the parks here and the parks there. Because the terrain is really different, building parks out there is way different.”

It’s another mission to slot into her calendar, which is rapidly running out of space. But having a packed schedule is just the way Katrina likes it. “I get ready for work, I have interviews, I have shoots, I have all these different things going on and then events to go to after work, it’s exhausting. It’s been very encouraging to remember that not only can I take my skateboarding and be dedicated to that, but I can apply that [dedication] to other life scenarios as well. I’m 100% capable of doing that. I pick my struggles. Do I want to struggle because I’m not doing anything? [Because] I feel unmotivated in life, versus do I want to struggle because life is busy?” She grinned as she said, “[For me,] I would rather be exhausted than bored.”

ALEX FIG is the founder of Butter Mag, an online magazine that strives to highlight women and queer folks that you're reading right now. A casual outdoorist, she enjoys climbing, surfing, skiing, and skateboarding during her reading breaks.

ALEX FIG is the founder of Butter Mag, an online magazine that strives to highlight women and queer folks that you're reading right now. A casual outdoorist, she enjoys climbing, surfing, skiing, and skateboarding during her reading breaks.


Cover Image and Other Images by Trevor Jones @tjones_photo


Instagram @kickasskatrina
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