It's no secret that the world of skateboarding isn't exactly overflowing with women. (Two tiny examples: Girl Skateboards is a skateboard brand run by a bunch of dudes, and Thrasher Magazine's much-hyped Skater Of The Year award has never ever gone to a woman.)
So what do you do if your daughter wants to skate?
First, you buy her a skateboard.
THEN, you fill her inspiration bucket with all the awesome, kick-ass women and girls that are skating, killing it, and carving out space in the industry for everyone.
Pro-skater Leticia Bufoni reminds parents everywhere to be supportive in this awesome interview:
"At first my dad didn’t like skateboarding at all. He used to say that it was for boys not girls. He even broke my board once. Like broke it in half. He didn’t want me to skate anymore. Then the next day I set up a new one. I got some new boards from my friends, and when my dad saw me setting up the new one he was like, 'Oh, man. There is nothing I can do. She’s not gonna stop.'"
A long and fascinating Huck Magazine article about the way the skate industry and skateboarding media tends to pigeonhole women (probably ideal for older teens):
"[T]he number of women skateboarding is roughly consistent with the number of women participating in both surfing and snowboarding. However, compared to its sister sports, female skateboarders are still a silent, invisible minority and skating in the wider public consciousness remains a ‘guy’s sport’."
"As If And What?" The first European skateboard film focusing entirely on female skaters:
"I firmly believe that there is enough “pie” to go around, so we need to stop acting like we are scrambling for crumbs and start backing each other up instead of tearing one another down. I see so many great groups of girls on Instagram doing just that; it’s all about being inclusive rather than exclusive."
Plus, a link to Cindy's book, "It's Not About Pretty: A Book About Radical Skater Girls"
Maybe the COOLEST LITTLE GIRLS in the whole world--Ruthie, age 10, started the Majestic Sk8 Crü because she didn't have anyone to skate with. Now, described as an "incredibly welcoming soul and an effortless leader," she and other small girls meet up and learn to shred together.
Photo courtesy of Got A Girl Crush
Even more resources:
Also, consider looking into a Girls Riders Organization chapter (GRO) near you for your skater girl--and in case you were wondering, the Majestic Sk8 Crü is an OFFICIAL GRO chapter!
"Everyone here knows her name. She's the youngest female athlete to be invited to the X Games. She'll be skating against women twice her age on Saturday in the Women's Skateboard Park competition." Talk about inspiration--move over for Brighton Zeuner. And congrats Brighton on winning the 2016 Vans Park Series World Championship!
Check out the Girls Skate Network for news, blog posts, interviews, and a welcoming and vibrant community.
These unstoppable young women are skateboarding in Cuba--even though it's technically illegal.
HOOPLA, an all-girls skateboard brand.
One of our older articles about 14 Skater Girls You Should Know--detailing legends like Patti McGee, Lucy Adams, and Cara Beth Burnside.
A NYLON article about the coolest all-girl skateboard squads in the United States.
An interview about skater-girl-positive "culture-pushing" magazine, GET BORN.
An iconic 2004 American documentary about female skateboarders, featuring the world's best female skaters. It's called "Getting Nowhere Fast," and boy is it worth a watch.
Meet Atita Verghese, India's first professional female skateboarder. But not JUST a professional skateboarder--she's also a ridiculously impressive person giving back to her community.
"In 2013, together with the HolyStoked Collective, Atita and her friends built a skate park in Bengaluru and they began teaching skateboarding to underprivileged children...Atita started Girl Skate India, which is an online community to encourage girls and women to start skateboarding and to help build a large community of female skateboarders in India."
Having trouble finding suitable skateboarding clothing for your skating daughter? Rokeo is a clothing line made by, and for, female skaters.
And finally, some words of encouragement from NYC-based skater Emily Tarnacki: "It's becoming more common for girls to skate everywhere...It's cool for a girl to be at a park actually trying to learn how to skate, nobody will be mean to you."
There's so much more, if you start digging. But if your daughter wants to skate, buy her a skateboard--and then show her this article. Let her click through all the links and see all the amazing things women are doing with the sport. Sit down and watch the videos together.
If your daughter wants to skate, we just want to give her everything in our power to help her do that.
Featured photo credit: Chris Goldberg on Flickr