She Was A Skater Girl
At GOSKATE, with several decades of skate heritage under our belts, we’re proud to say we’ve helped hundreds, maybe even thousands of young women learn how to skateboard.
Not to pat ourselves on the back too much, but skateboarding has historically been a male-dominated sport and while we’ve covered some of the biggest and brightest stars in women’s skateboarding and can say we’ve watched the sport constantly evolve.
Now, we have another reason to celebrate with a new GOSKATE study revealing 40% of our new skateboarders are women.
In addition, we’ll share the data from the USC’s Skateboard Project and the Wasserman’s Business Case For Women’s Sports (2021) which give their confirmation to this wonderful women’s movement in skating.
In this article we’ll go over:
- Top 6 Reasons for a Surge in Women Skateboarders
- Number One Reason Why More Women Are Skateboarding
- GOSKATE Study Reveals 40% of New Students are Women
- USC’s Skateboard Project
- Wasserman’s Business Case For Women’s Sports
Top 6 Reasons for a Surge in Women Skateboarders
First off, we’ve researched the reasons for a surge in women skateboarders because we want to know the positive ways skateboarding can continue to impact more women.
At GOSKATE our guiding principle has always been: the more people on a skateboard the better. So let’s get right to it shall we?
Women-Led Skate Meetups
Have you ever heard of GirlSwrl? Perhaps you’ve heard about Froskate? These are women-led organizations and brands who host women only skate meetups in their local areas.
This group allows women, who are often too intimidated to learn to skate alone at a skatepark, to learn how to skateboard in a safe, judgment free space.
For decades, the only initiation process to becoming a skateboarder was without an empathy towards those groups who may feel marginalized or disadvantaged at that process.
Thankfully, decades of women endured that process and now the current generation of women have taken it a step further, supplying these safe space skate meetups.
It should be noted, these skate meetups are generally for women 15-25+ years of age who experience specific challenges at skateparks.
COVID Pandemic Needed A Safe Outdoor Activity
From 2019 to just July of 2020, skateboarding brands saw a 118% increase in demand for product, sending skate shops and retailers into a frenzy.
Even if the average statistic suggests 20-25% of skateboarders are women, that suggests 30% – 60% of that 118% increase was women trying skateboarding for the first time.
Women’s Olympic Skateboarding
Skateboarding being inducted into the Olympics changed skateboarding in plenty of ways but arguably none more profoundly than the impact on young girls around the world.
For the first time in skateboarding’s history, parents and their loved ones witnessed women’s skateboarding on the highest stage in the world. And what we all saw was a beautifully supportive group of athletes celebrating each other’s accomplishments no matter who stood on the Olympic Podium.
As you can read in our article, the majority of these Olympic Skaters are only teenagers, resonating heavily with young girls across the world.
Parents Now Want Their Girls to Learn How To Skateboard
More young girls today are being exposed to incredible women skaters. This is happening via the Olympics, popular culture, and skate media leads to being inspired by them.
Perhaps, even more profoundly was how mothers and fathers stopped questioning if skateboarding was a positive activity for their daughter’s to try.
Parent’s now see a real future for their child when they show an initial interest in skateboarding. This is something that wasn’t usually the case in the 80-90’s.
We’ve also seen a surge of mother’s trying skateboarding alongside their daughters. But that’s another article for another time.
Increased Female Representation in Skate Media
We’re going to give you a statistic to put female participation into perspective: It took over 100 issues of Thrasher Magazine, the most iconic skateboarding magazine to exist to feature a woman skater on the cover, Cara-Beth Burnside in August 1989.
In skateboarding this is considered a great honor and in 1994, the first female street skater Jaime Reyes graced the cover of Thrasher Magazine. This was such a big deal, the magazine cover is featured on the Smithsonian Website.
While there still is a considerable lack of women on the cover of skate magazines, every skate magazine today has several profiles, ads, interviews, and photos of woman skaters. This was virtually unheard of in the 80s-90s-00s-etc.
This speaks to the reason why women skateboarding participation has increased by 800% in the last five years.
When you believe you can achieve but as the old saying goes – seeing is believing.
Increased Skateparks Being Built
As the number one skatepark directory in the world, GOSKATE understands the impact skateparks have on a community. This is true regardless of gender but women also need a safe space to skate and be one with their community.
However, skateboarding is also born in some of the most remote places. Many people skate alone at first and find solace in its self empowerment.
Then a skatepark comes along and catapults their experience to new heights. So it’s not just where but when and it’s not just how but why.
And now as we get into the number one reason why more women are skateboarding, you’ll see why skateparks are so important.
Number One Reason Why More Women Are Skateboarding
There are several reasons why 40% of new skateboarders are women but none summed up as great as this one.
Young Girls and Women are More Comfortable at Skateparks
The number one reason why young girls and women are skateboarding is because they feel more comfortable at a skatepark.
Now why are women more comfortable now at a skate park?
Well, we’ve written a large degree about skatepark culture, etiquette, and even tips and tools to build your skatepark family.
Skateparks are now more amicable and encouraging to young girls. It comes straight from our students who thank us for being a mentor and a steward to their skatepark experience, that having other girls (or a trusted skate instructor) make them much more comfortable being at the skatepark.
Men and young boys as well have been schooled as allies on how to treat women at the skatepark – but combining all the reasons above, women-led skate meetups, increased representation, parent encouragement,
Olympic skateboarding, and more skateparks being built has overall increased the incubation process for women to become skateboarders.
GOSKATE Study Reveals 40% of New Students Are Women
As the number one supplier of skateboarding lessons in the world, GOSKATE will offer our perspective in addition to the study and accompanying data, relaying some of the reasons our women students both want to learn how to skateboard and why they continue to love it.
We’ve seen an outpour of young girls wanting to learn how to skateboard from our instructors. While the number of our new skate students being women is 4/10 because simply more boys are pursuing skateboarding beyond the introductory stage, our instructors report nearly half of our new students are young girls.
In fact, 85% of kids who learn how to skateboard continue to enjoy the activity for the next several years.
Additionally, 38% of skateboard student’s moms mentioned that they wish their parents enrolled them in skateboarding classes when they were kids.
78% of GOSKATE students ages 4-7 stated that skateboard lessons were among the top 3 best things to happen to them in the last year.
85% of girl skateboarding students said skateboarding was their favorite activity outside of school with
65% of students ages 7-11 believe skateboarding is better for them than team sports.
One of the key takeaways from the Beyond the Board study conducted by USC, was how skate communities help youths feel safer and less judged.
The surveying body of skaters were asked the question: “How much do you feel your sex affects how you’re viewed by your fellow skater?” Only 16% said they felt like they were judged by their sex.
“To other people, skateboarding’s like a gender-based sport, but to me and everybody else here, it doesn’t really seem like it, because there’s other girl skaters around here and everybody’s really accepting of them.” – Native American female skateboarder (19) from New Mexico
Statistical data from the Duke of Edinbouraugh;s Award in 2017, showed only 37 young girls and women ages 14-24 registered skateboarding as their chosen activity, but in 2022, that stat rose to 353. That’s an 800% increase in 5 years.
Some Opinions of Young Women Skaters — Why the Boom in Skatepark Comfort?
Tilly Osborne, 15, and Josie Fairclough, 15 from south west London felt intimidated and disheartened when they first entered a skate park.
“I remember feeling really intimidated because I couldn’t see any female faces – it was quite scary at the time,” Tilly recounts.
“Skateparks are very male-dominated, even today, so as you can imagine when I first started I felt discouraged,” Josie echoes.
Tilly and Josie acknowledged the positive influence of skateboarders like Sky Brown – the youngest athlete selected to represent Team Great Britain at the 2020 Summer Olympics.
“You can always have a mindset in yourself like ‘I can do this’ and not care what anyone else thinks.
“But when you see that change, and you see the women like Sky on TV playing sport, doing their own thing it helps to back up that mindset,” says Tilly.
“Seeing Sky Brown compete, and even watching her TikToks outlining how she started out in skateboarding shows that we are taking steps in the right direction in encouraging skateboarding as a sport that can take you places”, she adds.
(2021) Statistical Data
According to the Wasserman’s Business Case For Women’s Sports (2021), women are the new power players via statistics.
Wasserman’s found, “Out of the 5.2 million skateboarding in the US and the 11 million international; 2.4 million were new skateboarders.”
The study also reveals women are amassing greater wealth than ever before. Women are now controlling up to 85% of household purchases.
According to the study, women are estimated to control about $40 trillion in Consumer spending.
This becomes an increasingly important stat when combined with the study’s revealing of how 75% of Gen Z and Millennial women say they would pay a premium for a product that supports the advancement of women.
Wasserman’s study states women fans are 50% more likely to buy a sponsor’s product than fans of men’s sport. They are also more likely to recommend that product to other sponsors.
This is why many of the young girls we teach are referral based from other parent’s celebrating the positive impact skateboarding has on their young girls.