A skateboarding study revealed 40% of new skateboarders are female – groups like Girls Skate Denver welcome more girls into a mostly, male-dominated sport.
SHERIDAN, Colo. — A recent study reveals that 40% of new skateboarders are women – the results are from skateboarding company GoSkate which is keeping tabs on a shift taking place in the mostly, male-dominated sport.
Groups like “Girls Skate Denver” are one of the reasons why the sport may be seeing a demographic change – we found plenty of young women stepping into Curbside Skatepark
The girls see familiar faces in the crowd, other girls whom they’ve seen in skating circles.
In a space tailored to a male-dominated sport, Mary Sullivan serves up an invitation to inclusivity.
“Oh, I’m so excited,” said Sullivan as she greeted girl skateboarders walking through the doors. “Do you guys want to pay together or separately?! It’s just $10 dollars each.”
Once a month, ten bucks will buy these young women access to something Mary never had the chance to try as a young girl.
“I got a skateboard probably when I was in 5th grade,” recalled Sullivan. “But my Dad wouldn’t actually let me go to the skatepark.”
Sullivan remembered why her Dad wouldn’t allow her to take her new deck to the skatepark and his answer made a lasting impact on her.
He said, “It’s for boys,” Sullivan recalled.
With these girl-powered sessions under her board, Sullivan’s making sure history doesn’t repeat itself with this new crew of female skateboarders who love to ride.
The crowd is full of women – some older, some younger – moms and daughters and girlfriends encouraging one another.
Tonight, ‘girl’ means more than a skate brand founded by a couple of dudes.
Girls Skate is a safe space for women, girls trans and non-binary individuals of all ages.
“I felt like it was really important to try and build a place where girls felt safe to come skate and felt confident to find that empowerment,” said Sullivan.
These skateboarding sessions were made for young women like Cambrie Gevert – a nine-year-old looking for a safe place to drop in, unleash and take some risks. “I feel more comfortable here,” she said.
Sullivan sees talent and tenacity in these girls.
“You see that with little girls skateboarding, they’re so good, and they’re so fearless and nobody’s telling them no,” said Sullivan.
The girls at this skate park are surrounded by support from friends and family. “My sister encourages me to try new tricks and stuff so I tried it and now it’s just what I do,” said Gevert.
Right on cue, Gevert’s Dad chimed in with his support.
“There we go!” yelled Gevert’s Dad.
For every “ollie,” “kickflip,” “heel flip,” and “pop shove it,” the words of encouragement are big around here. And the riders are hearing that encouragement from women like Felicia Gibbs who love to give words of praise.
“Yep! Don’t get in your head girl look at all these girls here,” Gibbs yelled out. “They look up to you! I look up to you!”
“Yeah like this is the greatest thing ever to happen in skateboarding,” Felicia laughed. “All the girls get to come together and
“I think it’s just really cool that it’s just not me,” said Gevert. Her friend agreed. “And sometimes guys aren’t the friendliest,” added Felicia.
“My Dad tells me to tell them to shut up,” said Cambrie. “Alright, I guess I’ll do it too.”
When someone tells them no, these girls are all about yes. While the tricks may not always land, that will never keep these girls from trying.
The crowd takes in the tips, tricks and tries.
“I’ve had a lot of people tell me I can’t in life,” said Sullivan. “I think skateboarding is just that way that I get to keep proving people wrong.”
The ladies’ night skate session is open on the last Monday of every month, hosted by Curbside Skatepark in Sheridan for $10 per person.
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