Notable Pittsburgh skateboarder Maya Haptas talks tattoos and kicks | Fashion | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Notable Pittsburgh skateboarder Maya Haptas talks tattoos and kicks

Clothes Make ... Shred Your Fears founder and assistant editor of Bigfoot Skateboarding Magazine

click to enlarge Maya Haptas - CP PHOTO: TERENEH IDIA
CP Photo: Tereneh Idia
Maya Haptas
Name: Maya Haptas
Pronouns: she/her
Titles: Founder, Shred Your Fears (, events providing women “a safe and comfortable space to learn to skateboard”; Assistant editor, Bigfoot Skateboarding Magazine (
Interest/hobbies: Skateboarding, public space design, cooking, reading
Clothes Make featured guests get to select where they are photographed, what made you pick The Highline?
I wrote about the plans for The Highline for NEXTpittsburgh years ago. It's cool to see it come to fruition. I like that the space isn't over-designed, and you feel like you are sitting next to Downtown when you are hanging out here. There's also coffee [de Fer Coffee & Tea.] Sometimes I take my kids here for picnics, and they have me look up the heights of all the skyscrapers. I should have them memorized by now.

How would you describe your style? Who are your style icons?
I love vintage anything, mostly '60s and '70s. I'm generally a jeans and T-shirt person, but it's fun to dress up sometimes. Style icons are Florence Given, Tierra Whack, and Serena Williams.

Tell me about this wonderful jumpsuit you’re wearing.
The jumpsuit is Nooworks, purchased a few years ago from WorkshopPgh in Garfield. The rings are Horsethief Silver, local jeweler Elizabeth Sánchez. Sunglasses are from Pack Vintage. You can find them on Instagram [@packvintage], run by Shred Your Fears instructor Sarah Pack and her husband Egemen.
click to enlarge Maya Haptas - CP PHOTO: TERENEH IDIA
CP Photo: Tereneh Idia
Maya Haptas
And the skateboard? Those cool kicks?
The skateboard deck is Enjoi and designed by my friend Lori D., who I went to an arts program with back in 1995. It's pretty new and I got it set up at Switch & Signal Skatepark. The Milhouse Mussolini Van Houten grip tape is from Free Society. The kicks are pro skater Samarria Brevard's shoe for New Balance, with colors inspired by dragonflies.

Do you dress differently for your various roles?
Shred Your Fears events include yoga, so I generally wear something pretty comfortable. My everyday go-to is jeans and a black tank top or T-shirt and a hoodie if it's getting cold.

Do you have a gift that you gave to yourself that you're wearing now or often wear?
I would say my tattoos are gifts that I gave to myself. I have a star tattoo on my left wrist that matches one my brother had. He died in 2004, so it sort of feels like a gift from him I get to wear every day. The band on my right arm my friend Matt created from a design for an architectural frieze. I chose it because it includes strong masculine and feminine imagery.

Your hair is amazing, any tips?
I brush it sometimes! My hair got really wavy after I had kids, so this is just what happens after I wash it. But my fantastic bangs are entirely due to Katie Soulen, owner of Halcyon Salon in Garfield.
click to enlarge CP PHOTO: TERENEH IDIA
CP Photo: Tereneh Idia
Back to skateboarding. I love it and want to learn. I have taken one Shred Your Fears workshop, and I need to come back and get back in the saddle. What do you love about skateboarding and when did you start?
I have to be really focused when I skate so it quiets my mind. I learned to skate at 39 with my son. Starting at that age means I'm pretty much in it for the pure enjoyment of it. I also love the larger nontraditional skate community it has connected me to, and the community we have built through Shred Your Fears.

What are you excited about that is upcoming for the fall? This year?
Shred Your Fears was recently accepted into Skate Like a Girl's Skateboarding Inclusivity Cooperative, so that is incredibly exciting. It's virtual, so it feels dependable right now. Our next Shred Your Fears’ workshop is Sun., Sept. 26 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Switch & Signal Skatepark with yoga from All Bodies Welcome Yoga. Everything else feels so uncertain again, it's hard to look too far forward into the future.

Comments (0)