Skate Like A Girl

When I was a little girl I never saw any other girls skateboarding, therefore I never had the impression that it was a girl’s sport. Now that I have a teenager who skateboards, I’ve noticed that a lot has changed in 30 years. Earlier this year I had the pleasure of learning Longboarding from professional rider, Robin McGuirk, from Eastside Longboards and ever since then I’ve noticed many girls and women boarding now, and some females are absolutely CRUSHING IT!

So with this new-found inspiration, I decided to ask a friend of my teenage son to teach me; Graham not only rides well, but is the manager of the Redmond Zumiez store so I knew this would be a great opportunity to not only showcase the items you can get for skateboarding from REI (Bern helmet, knee pads and my Prana black jeans) but also let everybody know another PNW-based company like Zumiez that is doing much more in our world than you might know. Like I mentioned, I bought some items from REImy trucks, wheels and bearings came from Zumiez but my board is from another local skateboard shop on Capital Hill in Seattle called 35th North.  I like that many skating companies have local artists that make their board designs and my photographic board (I actually own a vintage camera on this board’s design) spoke to me immediately and the guys at 35th North were great to work with!

Before I get into the skateboarding, I’d like to expand on what Zumiez is doing in the world; founder Tom Campion has been a philanthropist for a long time and been giving to communities through the Zumiez Foundation for this purpose. I also learned that Tom is a huge environmental advocate and has been apart of multiple environmental nonprofits so I knew that Zumiez dedication to helping protect our environment was perfectly aligned with the same ecological values that REI holds and another reason that our #PNWCompaniesROCK!

I met Graham at one of the best Seattle skate parks, Jefferson Park, which is on Beacon Hill. Not only does my family love this park for the great skatepark but the entire place has so many wonderful attributes like gorgeous views of downtown Seattle and a fun water park in the summer, a children’s play area, tennis courts, a golf-driving range and multiple sporting fields that people are regularly playing on. Jefferson Park is literally like NYC’s Central Park for Seattle!

Learning skateboarding at Jefferson Park

Graham started me off easy learning the key beginning moves for skateboarding like Tic-Tac, Manual and what eventually leads into a common skateboard move… an Ollie.  I learned that the two main types of skateboarding are Street and Vert with Street making up a lot of the moves and the Vert part being the real skating in bowls and half pipes at skate parks.

Manual Skateboard Move

The other thing I learned immediately is that skateboarding has the same basic body attributes that most of the sports I’ve learned this year also have…. core body strength and a lot of balance!  I cannot begin to tell you how almost everything I’ve done is basically these two things, core and balance and that you just switch up the materials you use and the movements and you have almost any recreational sport you can think of!  Another reason I’ve started Yoga lately, developing these two aspects of physical conditioning will aid you in learning so many sports (and in general be a healthy way to keep your body maintained).

Getting my Zumiez helmet cred

I took my boys to Jefferson Park again this last Sunday to practice and we ran into the Skate Like A Girl group, all their awesome female members were carving up the park! I’m so glad that many things have changed since I was a little girl because girls that board are AMAZING now and whatever age you are, get on a board and start riding today. There are many places that will support your skills and that also provide environmental stewardship.

There is no better time than now to Skate Like A Girl!

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