was doing a handstand on a skateboard on the cover
of LIFE magazine in
May 1965 long before bra burning and protests outside the Washington
was the first woman to become a pro skateboarder, after winning
the Women’s National Skateboard Championship. She was
sponsored by HOBIE skateboards and demonstrated her 360s on them
around the world.
the time Tony
Alva and Stacy
ripping around SoCal, Patti had quit skateboarding altogether to
become a turquoise miner in Nevada and later a leathersmith. But her
early exposure and talent paved the way for future generation of
female riders. Photo:
Skateboarder Magazine via Mpora
the Z-Boys crew
of the 1970s… They were all boys, right? Wrong. Peggy Oki was the
only female on the original Zephyr skateboard team – and she still
skates today, well into her fifties!
it wasn’t smooth riding, even among her own sex. “Some of the
girls didn’t like the fact that I skated like a guy, so they
protested me to the judges and one of the judges said I skated better
than some of the guys.” Photo
burst onto the skate scene in 1989, when she was featured on the
cover of Thrasher magazine, dressed in pink and rocking a ponytail,
while busting out of a vert ramp.
a career as a pro snowboarder (she was part of the first ever US
Olympic snowboard team back in 1998), Burnside went on to convince
ESPN to host a girls demo stand at the 2002 X-Games.
was a huge step forward for women’s skating, as the year after saw
the first X-Games women’s vert event. By 2005, the prize money for
men and women was equal.
top it all off, she was the first women to have a signature skate
shoe. How rad is that!Photo:
Transworld Business via Mpora
remember playing Tony Hawk Pro Skater and there only being one female
character to choose from. She was Elissa Steamer.
in the early 90s, Elissa smashed through a predominantly
male-dominated scene with her part in Toy Machine’s 1996
There were other female riders around, but Elissa was the first
female skater to be shown as equal to her male counterparts.
it wasn’t until 1998 when she won the Slam City Jam women’s
division – and finally went pro – that she began to make a name
for herself worldwide with her individual, dope style.
was never the best girl in grom skate comps, she explains in an
interview with Cooler, but
she worked hard and went on to become the first female to land a
McTwist 540 in a skate comp.
up San Diego meant she was skating alongside Tony Hawk from a young
age. Aged 15, she became the first female to skate the DC Mega
Ramp and the second youngest to ever win an X-Games gold medal.
rad is she doesn’t limit herself to one discipline. She skates
verts, bowl, street and mega ramp – and used to compete in
snowboard comps on the side. With eight X-Games medals under her
belt, she’s without a doubt one of the best female skaters of all
Jaesen Kanter via Mpora
21, [Torres] is known as the bad girl of skateboarding. The
table-flipping, golf-cart-stealing, cigarette-smoking, trash-talking,
school-quitting, home-leaving, contest-winning kind of outlaw who can
board-slide a knob-welded rail,” said her local newspaper The
Orange County Register in
was super talented from a young age. Balancing school and skating got
to be too much, so she quit when she was 17 and moved to Southern
long she had won the very first Skate Street event at the X-Games and
joined Lyn-Z and Elissa as skate video game characters! Photo:
ASA Entertainment via Mpora
British female skaters, it’s Lucy Adams that instantly comes to
mind when you think of influential women in skating.
been at the top of the British skate scene since 2009, winning the UK
Skateboard Champs and Girls UK Skate Jam numerous times.
she runs running skate coach sessions for girls as well as older
women to get involved and not be intimidated by skate parks! Photo:
Lex Kembery via Mpora
is one of the world’s most predominant transsexual skateboarders.
male at birth, at 19, Hillary began taking hormones as part of her
physical transition. Hilary was skating long before she began the
transition, and the increase of oestrogen in her hormones has meant a
decline in muscle mass. So Hillary said she had to relearn tricks,
such as kickflips and really high ollies, to adapt to that.
in a community as rad as skateboarding, transphobia still exists.
Which is why it’s great that Hillary is out there, unafraid to be
Jenkem via Mpora