Tokyo Olympic: Height-fearing Kiwi skateboarder Krysta Ashwell eyeing Paris 2024 dream

Skateboarding will make its long-awaited debut at the Tokyo Olympic Games in a few months.

Kiwi skaters are unlikely to compete, unable to earn international ranking points because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but New Zealand hopes to have a strong presence by Paris 2024, including young hopeful Krysta Ashwell.

"If I can get there, I'll get there," Ashwell tells Newshub. "I love skateboarding, and if you love something so much, you're going to get good at it."

The 26-year-old has won several national titles, but she's got one quirk you wouldn't expect from a skateboarder.

"I'm also scared of heights, so that makes it a bit harder for me.

"I just don't stand up at the top of the bowl for very long - I just go straight in."

And going straight in is what she hopes more girls will look to do in the future.

"The first time I did nationals, there were three girls - I did nationals a month ago and there were 16, so we were two shy of the men's field."

Now a fully-fledged Olympic sport, skateboarding could face a boom, according to Skateboarding New Zealand president Chris Curran.

"Similar to surfing and mountain biking - they're going through the same shift," Curran tells Newshub. "These action sports, where it's about expressing creativity, are growing in popularity."

A shortage of talent isn't expected to be an issue either.

World champion snowboarder Zoi Sadowski-Synnott has proven she's no slouch with a set of wheels underneath her, often showing off her skating skills on social media.

"You've got Zoi, who rips on a skateboard," says Curran. "It is quite transferable, but it's that similar lifestyle and cool culture, which they enjoy."

Ashwell hopes that culture propels her to Olympic success in 2024.