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Ever Heard of E-Scooter Racing? Yes, It's a Professional Sport

Model-turned-racer Jordan Rand talks about the new sport and why she pursues it.

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Ever Heard of E-Scooter Racing? Yes, It's a Professional Sport

Model-turned-racer Jordan Rand talks about the new sport and why she pursues it.

Electric scooters are no longer just micro-mobility devices that you’d find in cities like San Francisco and London. It’s a professional sport, thanks to the inaugural eSkootr Championship that’s kicking off this year.

Developed by a group of Formula 1 and Formula E drivers, the eSC race will use custom-built scooters that drive as fast as 100 kilometers per hour as athletes in Tron-like outfits compete to the finish line. In addition to sustainability and affordability, the motorsport celebrates accessibility, something that fashion model-turned-racer Jordan Rand cites as one of her favorite aspects about e-scooter racing. “I love that there is real diversity in the sport, not only for people of color, but also for different sporting backgrounds,” she tells us.

An Elite Model signee who has appeared in the campaigns of Altuzarra, Louis Vuitton and Coach, Rand is taking the unconventional route by making her debut as an e-scooter racer at the upcoming eSkootr Championship, slated to take place around the world starting in 2022. Once a professional ice skater and track athlete, the model decided to pursue the new sport to build on her love for recreational racing.

Ahead of her first official race on the electric scooter, Rand shares with HYPEBAE what she loves about e-scooter racing and the future of the sport. Read our interview with the rising athlete below.

eSkootr racing is a new sport. Can you briefly explain the race for those who are unfamiliar?

The eSkootr championship is a race series that will travel around the world much like Formula 1 or Formula E. But instead of being held at pre-existing tracks, the eSC championship will be building new ones on the streets, parks, stadiums, arenas and more. The tracks will take you around cities across the globe. There will be several races per event, bringing the best racers together [through heats] for the day’s final race. The racing series’ wider mission has sustainability and safety at heart. The eSC Championship plans to take lessons learned in the sport and apply them to real life, helping grow micro-mobility safely and sustainably in our cities.

When did you first learn about the eSkootr Championship, and what motivated you to become an e-scooter racer?

I found out about eSC through a friend at Soho House. I’ve always loved racing recreationally when it came to motorcycles for the rush, the adrenaline and the discipline, but the thought of quitting my job to rival Valentino Rossi was laughable. eSkootr racing, however, filled me with hope. It was an opportunity to become a professional racer, while actually having a fighting chance. It’s a new sport and it doesn’t exist yet. No one can be a pro at a sport that doesn’t exist. We are all learning and developing together. Plus, the mission of sustainability appealed to me. We are moving away from sports that have a negative environmental impact, to sports that bring sustainability to the forefront — hence the growing success of Formula E.

What are some things you love about the sport, and why?

Aside from the fact it’s sustainable and exhilarating, I love that there is real diversity in the sport, not only for people of color, but also for different sporting backgrounds. They aren’t just looking for professional racers, but they are opening up the sport to serious athletes in motorbikes, freestyle scooters, skiing, water skiing and so on. eSC is a new sport that can attract athletes from multiple disciplines.

I have also been really impressed by the professionalism of the eSC organization. We had a testing event in Italy at the end of July, where we got to ride the professional S1-X racing e-scooter. The test was really enjoyable and the eSkootr was amazing to ride. It is so quick and it leans in the corners.

What were some challenges in learning to ride the e-scooter as a competitive sport?

Unlike car and motorcycle racing where the racers are sitting the entire time, eSkootr racing is extremely taxing on the legs as it requires you to stand the entire time. It’s a real sport that requires athletes with a good level of fitness. Luckily, during my high school and college years, I had been a professional ice skater and track athlete. I thought competitive figure skating was hard on my legs, but this is a whole other animal.

There is a major challenge in developing your own racing technique. There are no set rules yet, there are no right or wrong ways of riding the e-scooter. At this point, everyone is still figuring out how to be the fastest. There is also a challenge in the fact that there are no purpose-built racetracks for e-scooters yet. As of now, we are training on karting tracks or something similar since e-scooters don’t have a proper place in the racing world yet.

 

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Have you found any similarities or differences between your careers as a fashion model and as an eSkootr athlete?

I think the differences are fairly obvious. I doubt I’ll ever be asked to swim in the ocean wearing a ball gown in the racing world, nor be asked to ride 100 kilometers per hour while balancing on a small platform during a modeling job. But I have to admit, squeezing myself into tight leather suits seems to be ubiquitous in both careers.

In all seriousness though, the most exciting thing for me is that racing and modeling seem to naturally coexist. Both on and off the track, there are cameras everywhere. Additionally, racers often become ambassadors for brands just like models. I’m thankful for the training and comfort I have in front of the camera — it’s already coming in handy as a racer.

There is a symbiosis between being a model and an athlete. Nowadays, models and athletes are expected to be multi-faceted people. An athlete that can be a model has a lot of opportunities to become a global brand, just like a model who is an athlete.

What do you think the world of e-scooter racing will look like in five to 10 years?

We are already seeing more and more personal and rentable electric scooters popping up around cities. I think micro-mobility is becoming more and more prevalent around the world, and in five to 10 years, little kids are going to be dreaming and practicing to become future eSkootr champions. I love that e-scooter racing is easily one of the most relatable racing sports in the world. Think about it — most of us will never know what it feels like to sit in an F1 car, but almost anyone can know what it feels like to stand on an electric scooter. That’s really exciting.

Hopefully, people will get to see the eSkootr Championship all around the world and who knows, maybe in the Olympics someday. It’s time for motorsports to be allowed into the Games, and e-scooter racing would be perfect for that.

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