Girls in Skateboarding: Is It Still Rolling?

Rebeka Ewusie

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It may seem like a rare thing for a girl to pick up a skateboard, but in this day and age many girls and young women are tearing up skate parks. Girls have been breaking into Women’s Skateboarding competitions at the XGames, posing for pictures and taking on partnerships with skateboard companies like Vans, and so much more.

Women’s skateboarding is “set to make its debut at the Summer Olympics in 2020.” (UpRoxx), which gives women another huge boost of empowerment and legitimacy in a sport that has long been dominated by men. Even though “only 23.9% of skaters are female” according to Public Skatepark Guide, that number is expected to go up as more women and girls pick up boards, try skateparks, and enter professional skateboarding spots. Women’s skateboarding is “the fastest growing demographic in action sports.” (Forbes)

There have been many groups that have formed to support women skateboarders, such as The Skate Kitchen, which was created by Rachelle Vinburg, GN4LW which was formed by Cindy Whitehead, and GRLSWIRL, which was founded by nine local women in Venice, California, and is “quickly becoming a movement around the world.” (TheArgonaut)

Even though all this amazing, positive change is taking place, there is still some work to be done when it comes to equal footing with male skateboarders. Up until 2006, male skateboarders received more prize money (Vice Sports) and women’s skateboarding wasn’t televised until 2002.

Male voices and images still “dominate magazine covers, videos, and mainstream media…making brands less likely to give women a shot.” (Vice Sports)

“When people see girls skating, they don’t see us as skaters. They don’t think we take it seriously…. But we are right underneath them working super hard to be where they are.” (Alana Smith, Forbes)

Women’s skateboarding is still on the up and up, and it can only get better from here. With support groups, media representation, and encouragement, any girl will be able to try out a skateboard- and hopefully continue to roll.

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