As all sports gradually move toward gender equality, there is no reason skateboarding should follow a different path. In an age where women are continuously conquering all areas of society, it is not uncommon to witness many breakthroughs in activities traditionally restricted to men. Skateboarding is a sport that has noticed increased popularity across both genders in the last 10 years and doesn’t show signs of slowing down.
One reason skateboarding may seem limited for girls and young women is that it lacks the prominence of superstar female athletes. It’s easy to invest time and other resources in something which promises rewards. Every skater is familiar with Tony Hawk, but is there a woman equally noted to inspire more people to join this activity? You probably need to dig a bit deeper in order to uncover a female role-model for skateboarding. Leticia Bufoni is currently the most recognized and leading female skater, proving female skaters are on the verge of becoming the next sports breakout stars. Bufoni recently made history by becoming the first female skater signed by Nike.
Still, debate remains over the sexulization of female action sports stars. Recently, Bufoni has been featured scantily clad in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition and Men’s Health. Surfers Sylvi Bodi and Janni Hönscheid have graced the cover of Playboy, and a search for Olympic gold-medalist Hannah Teter revels more of her than her accomplished snowboarding career. Does this advance women’s identity in the mainstream, or detract from their athletic accomplishments? Some say this is a logical career move and opportunity for these women, while others argue this is only another setback for gender equality.
Skateboarding has always been considered as a form of rebellion from the strict rules of society. This undoubtedly appealed to a large male audience, one which typically embraced this radical image. This allowed an entire generation of boys to set their own rules and try to go beyond those already established. However, skateboarding has continuously evolved from its rebellious roots. Skateboarding has traveled a long way from being a form of protest and it is currently a sport which has gone mainstream.
A mixed response from the media, fans, and sponsors will dictate how popular skateboarding will be among girls in the years to come. Nevertheless, the signal is clearly positive and the public wants to see girl skateboarders performing the same staggering stunts. More shops are building their stock of boards and accessories designed to appeal to women. The change in landscape is surely felt all around the market. Companies wanting to enter the market or engage consumers have no alternative than to be open minded for inclusion of women of all ages.
Skateboarding is an important social glue for today’s youth. An increased number of girls skateboarding is an encouraging sign that skateboarding continues to be on the leading edge of social change, this time by providing equal access to sports for women and men.
(Leticia photocred: 20minutes.fr)
About The Author:
Yogin Patel is a serial entrepreneur who currently attends Arizona State University. At the age of 16, Yogin became an independent marketing consultant, along with an avid blogger and online marketer. In the past year, Yogin has worked with several small businesses, including local restaurants, hotels, and personal brands. He builds clean websites, ranks businesses on the first page of Google, and manages social media for brands. In his free time, Yogin likes to read thought-provoking books and play basketball with friends. To learn more about Yogin, or to get in touch with him, go to YoginPatel.com, or add him on his LinkedIn. Yogin blogs at Doolid.com.