“Girls can skate, and they shouldn’t be scared to go to skateparks”, says Luke Burgess, a male skater based in the North West.
When someone says skaters you instantly think of men and well-known men such as Tony Hawk, what people fail to realise, is that women can do it too!
Female skaters have become a large phenomenon in the past few years. Sky Brown, a 12-year-old British-Japanese skateboarder, is breaking records as the youngest professional skateboarder and olympian in the world; inspiring women around the globe to engage in male fronted activities.
All-female skating group Rollin’ With The Girls, are trying to tackle the stigma girls and women may feel about starting to skateboard, aiming to make girls feel as comfortable as possible in skate areas and communities. All ages, marginalised genders and all ethnicities are welcome, as more women are currently picking up the board and joining the community.
According to their Instagram, they are: “Rollin’ With The Girls, a platform to represent identifying female skaters in Leeds, UK. We aim to inspire girls locally to take up skating by showing the basics of skateboarding, the fails, and of course, the makes!”
Though the group have no set meet up days, they have a WhatsApp group chat where times and dates are arranged. They encourage everyone in the Leeds area to come along, especially beginners, so they feel more comfortable at a skatepark.
“Female skate groups are so important. For young girls to see that other girls are doing whatever they want is so good and so powerful.” says Julie Misztela, a female skater based in the West Midlands.
Statistics show that male core skater are 83.4%, whilst female core skaters is only at 16.6%. Core skater means they skate regularly to build their skateboarding skill. Each year the number of skaters fluctuate, one year it could be up, and the next it’s down.
As the sport is incredibly male-centred, groups such as Rollin’ With The Girls help to tackle insecurities new female skateboarders may have around venturing to skateparks by creating a community of likeminded individuals, as well as helping competitive female skateboarders gain more sponsored recognition through social media.
You can join Rollin’ With The Girls at @rwtgleeds on Instagram!