Model, Athlete And… E-Scooter Racer?!
“It’s the most hilarious thing when I tell people I'm a professional electric scooter racer. They’re just like, ‘What? That’s so crazy.” Model and adrenaline junkie Jordan Rand enthuses about her next big sporting craze
By Tomi Otekunrin
From a young age, international model Jordan Rand has always craved excitement. Growing up in Colorado Springs, Colorado, she naturally had an affinity for winter sports such as ice skating and skiing. Jordan then fell deeply in love with figure skating, which she describes as her first true passion. “I really felt like I was flying. You know, I felt invincible. I still love it to this day, but I can’t compete anymore,” she says. Jordan couldn’t get a scholarship for figure skating in college so she traded in her skates for trainers and started competing in track and field. She later on became obsessed with motorcycles and even joined racing schools. Jordan never competitively raced but all wasn’t lost as she had found a new hobby – e-scooters. And she’s now starring in the eSkootr championships, set to be ‘the next big thing’ for this adrenaline junkie.
Never a stranger to starting something new, Jordan got into fitness modelling and then eventually transitioned into fashion modelling. She’s starred in campaigns for brands such as H&M, Coach, Moncler and Altuzarra. Modelling has taken her all over the globe from Dubai to London and she’s now based in Paris. She’s also made lots of friends through her job and through a friend she discovered her newfound love: electric scooter racing. “My friend was like, ‘It’s a really new sport called electric scooter racing. Like, do you want to try out for it?’ He knew that I had a passion for motorcycles, and I’ve been an athlete my whole life,” she says.
Jordan rushed to the eSkootr championship (eSC) website to fill out an application form and was invited to a tryout. “All of the applicants came to this incredible track called Adria raceway in Italy. Basically, they put us on the scooters and we just had a go. That’s pretty much how we tried out,” she says with a casual air. Although electric scooter racing is anything but casual. The eSkootr championship is a venture that started back in 2019 and is headed up by businessmen Hrag Sarkissian and Khalil Beschir, former Formula 1 driver Alex Wurz, and Formula E driver Lucas Di Grassi. The world’s first electric scooter series looked for crossover athletes with different sporting backgrounds for its first group of riders. Jordan is one of 30 professional riders – male and female – who competed in the inaugural eSkootr championship in London and a second race in Switzerland.
With electric scooter racing being a new sport, there’s no specific physical profile for a rider but they do all have one thing in common. “We all have balance. Crossover athletes come from skateboarding, freestyle scooter racing, speed skating, snowboarding and motorcycle racing – I used to be a figure skater. So I think we all have really good balance. I feel like that’s really necessary,” Jordan explains. Being an electric scooter racer also requires incredible leg strength because unlike other racing sports like cars and motorcycles where you’re sitting down, you’re standing the entire time. Jordan is statuesque with a height of 5″11, which can become a bit of hindrance when racing. “I have to squat really low to make myself more aerodynamic. The lower you are, the better. My legs are definitely tired at the end of it.”
Speaking of balancing acts, Jordan is managing to balance her modelling career and being a professional e-scooter racer with ease. It might feel strange to some to try and do both but Jordan wouldn’t have it any other way. “I mean, most athletes ultimately become models at some point, you know, they’re all ambassadors for big brands. They do campaigns for, you know, watch brands. And so they end up being a model on set for that day. So I feel like the two careers go hand in hand. I love that I get to do both,” she says. Her modelling agency also supports Jordan being a professional racer too. “They were a little bit nervous. But they also know me and I know I’m an adrenaline junkie. And I’m always going to be doing something that has them a little bit worried.”
Racing, as you would imagine, has helped the model stand out in her field. “I find that a lot of agencies and a lot of clients are looking for models that don’t just model anymore. They really want a model with a story. And they want to tell this story and they want to have me as the face of their brand. Not just a pretty face, but as a model that’s doing something interesting, new and sustainable,” Jordan says. The professional eSkootr racer wants to use both platforms to celebrate and inspire positive change with diversity, inclusivity and sustainability. Plus, advocate for women and people of colour and the LGBTQ+ community.
Sustainability is one of the many factors that made Jordan fall in love with the sport. The eSC is committed to producing less carbon emissions in comparison to its other racing counterparts like Formula One or MotoGP. The biggest driver for ESC is micromobility. They plan to work with local governments to encourage people, especially in city centres to consider going electric in any capacity. Another driving factor is the inclusivity, particularly the gender inclusivity.
“I think that’s something that makes the sport really different and really special compared to other racing sports or sports in general. There aren’t a lot of sports where men and women compete against one another,” she says. Competing against men can also be a bit of an ego boost. “Like I know I probably shouldn’t say this, but as a female when you win, and you beat the boys, it feels just a little bit better.”
The accessibility of electric scooter racing also makes it an enticing sport. Most people cannot imagine what it’s like to race a Formula 1 car but more people can imagine what it’s like to ride an electric scooter. Jordan believes that it’s the sports relatability that will help it become a global sensation in 10 years time. “I think little kids are going to grow up watching this sport and be able to envision themselves doing it. And yeah, no matter the socio economic background, it’s such an open sport. And I love that and I think that people are going to be very receptive to it,” she says. As for Jordan, she loves the idea of using a scooter in everyday life. She plans to start using it to get to model castings and for running errands. But her favourite place to ride still remains on the track.
For the eSkootr championship, riders compete on the fastest e-scooters in the world that go up to a max speed of 100km/h (60mph) and feature a lean angle of 55°. The race format consists of a series of heats, with the top 4 from each heat progressing to
the quarter-finals and the top 3 quarter-finalists progressing to the semi-finals. The top three from each semi-final make up the starting line-up for the final. Jordan prepared for the championship by doing conditioning and strength training, which is done mostly in the gym. She also did motorcycle training on pit bikes, to help with racing lines and looking into the turn, accelerating, braking and getting a pattern.
The professional eSkootr racer’s goal was to finish on a podium position like she did last year during the Paul Ricard Prototype Event, where she came in third. However, her races in London and Switzerland ended abruptly due to some unfortunate crashes, but Jordan believes that she has learnt from these experiences and will race better at the next event in November.
Above all else, Jordan says, “To see the eSkootr championship come to life was an incredible thing to witness, particularly in Switzerland when my teammate Sara Cabrini won the entire event. It was such an emotional moment for everyone, not just for our team but for the owners of the championship and for all women in the sport. Women can really do this and compete with men on an event playing field.” Jordan plans to continue modelling alongside racing for as long as possible. Her main purpose is to inspire people to go for it, whatever their dream might be. Especially if it’s completely out of the box. She says with a smile, “It’s the most hilarious thing when I tell people I’m a professional electric scooter racer. They’re just like, ‘What? That’s so crazy.’ But if you dream it and you want to make something crazy happen in your life, just go for it.”