Skateboarding is an art that I have idolised for a long time. Since I was a kid I’ve always loved everything about the scene, from the actual sport itself, to the fashion, culture and lifestyle surrounding it. I found myself gravitating towards music, movies, brands and people associated with. Yet, I never seriously tried to pursue it, mostly because I was scared- I mean, I’m a GIRL.
So, I found myself attracted to boys in the sport instead. If I couldn’t do it, I could at least watch them do it. I could feel pumped every time they landed a trick, every time their efforts were recognised, right? I couldn’t do any of that stuff myself- I’m a GIRL.
At home I made friends with a couple of decent guys on the scene. They were rad and I was permanently mesmerised every single time I saw them effortlessly drop in on a vert ramp. I wish I could do that stuff, but I couldn’t… GIRL.
I always figured that everyone would look at me and say I was a poser. I was just doing it for attention, or for guys. That part sucks the most. The fact I formed a relationship with a guy who skated, and skated fucking brilliantly, didn’t help either. I wanted to do it for myself, but of course if I want to participate in a male dominated sport then of course; it must be for the male attention. It must be to wow the boys, for a boyfriend, for a partner. Why? Oh, yeah, because I’m a GIRL.
The burning desire to nail skating for myself just grew stronger though, and no amount of anxiety about what other people thought could put it out. Moving to Canada was the biggest step for me. I’d already done something super scary- the scariest thing I’ve ever done actually- and I’d succeeded. So here I am, in Canada, and who cares what people think? This GIRL is going to be herself.
Prior to my arrival in the country, my amazing pal Ben had taken me out a few times on a shitty £30 penny board that I bought, mostly because I was too scared of the judgement I would get for buying a real board. And he was super supportive. He saw how much I genuinely wanted it, and he continuously pushed me to practise, and eat shit, and get back up again. And he promised me that it didn’t matter if I was a girl or not- it just mattered that I was trying.
In Toronto I found an awesome group of girls who go by the name of the Babes Brigade. Formed in 2015 for the sole purpose of finding ladies with a shared interest in skating, they meet twice a week and welcome all abilities.
Arriving in the winter probably wasn’t the best time for me to practise, but luckily the girls meet once a week at an indoor park not too far from where I live called The Skate Loft. And Monday night is GIRLS ONLY night (5-7pm).
Going along and being welcomed by a mix of women who had been skating from 10 years right down to six weeks really motivated me. Everyone was super friendly and supportive and no matter how many times I fell on my ass- or anyone did for that matter- it was all about getting back up and doing it again.
So the next day I dashed between skate stores in the city, pricing up and subsequently buying my perfect first board. I picked a shop complete from So Hip It Hurts– Toronto’s first and oldest skate store. And I’m obsessed.
I’ve likened the feeling to falling in love. Wanting something so desperately that you just want to keep trying. It’s exciting and scary and exhilarating. Hitting the ground and getting back up with more determination. It leaves my legs shaking and my heart racing.
My desire to progress has truly been ignited, and now I don’t think the flame will go out for a very long time. And I don’t care what anyone says, I am a GIRL and I like skateboarding- and I’m fucking proud of that too.