All Photos By Brielle Tumbarello
By Chelsea Booth
It’s a feeling that female skateboarders are often denied:
The ease of walking into a skatepark with an inherent sense of belonging— the confidence of knowing it doesn’t matter if you shred, suck, or are just starting out because a family of strangers will still embrace you.
But on Friday May 18, that same feeling of an inclusive camaraderie was felt in abundance throughout Brooklyn’s House of Vans’ free event “Get On Board: A Celebration of Women’s Skateboarding”. The event was 2-fold: first a girls skate jam, which featured members of The Skate Kitchen, an all girls skateboarding collective whose mission is to inspire other girls to skate, and then a stellar special performance from the band The Kills. It was a night full of female empowerment, and a celebration of the future– a future that’s female.
In her TedTalk, Nina Moran (who founded The Skate Kitchen with Rachelle Vinberg) said it best: “When a girl starts skating, something magical happens. A board is like your flying broom. When you get on a board you can feel like you can fly and go wherever you want.”
We got the chance to talk about that magic:
Nina Moran with Ursula Jitta
Nina, this has been a really big two or three years for you. Have you felt the impact you’ve been making on younger girls that want to be future skaters?
N: Yeah! I mean you can just see it in the streets. Like you’ll just see more girls around. It’ll just be so cool. It’s just awesome.
That’s awesome. Ursula, how long have you been skating for?
U: I’ve been around Nina and everything for a couple of years, but I’ve started skating like a year ago…?
Sweet. With The Skate Kitchen, I think you’ve made a big difference in younger girls’ lives. How’s The Skate Kitchen changed your life?
N: It’s made me more open to just skating in general. I have like a group of people that I love to skate with now. It feels like a second family.
I love that. If you had one piece of advice for a young girl that’s never picked up a skateboard before and really wants to, what would you say?
N: I would say: Just do it. ‘Cause at the end of the day, it’s scary, but the reward is so much greater than any other thing could be. You know?
I remember when I first wanted to start skating; I asked a kid in my class what board I should get. He said, “It doesn’t matter. Girls can’t skate ‘cause they have boobs and their bodies are different— it’s just physics.” How do you respond when guys say stuff like that?
N: [Laughter.] I say: Fuckkk Youuu!
Trinity, how long have you been skating now?
Like a year…?
Nice. What’s was the first moment that inspired you to start skating where you were like: “I wanna do that?”
Well, we were at a park and I saw a bunch of people skating.
Were they mostly boys or girls?
Were you scared to get into it and just start skating?
So you were just like: “I wanna do it. I’m a girl and I’m gonna skate ‘cause I can skate?”
When did you start skating?
I started skating when I was in second grade or seven. Then I stopped for awhile and continued in 4th grade when I was about 10.
What made you wanna first start skating?
I went to a summer camp next to a skatepark and I saw all these boys skating and everyone skating. I found out about it and I just wanted to skate. My mom got me a scooter for Christmas that year and I said, “No, I want a skateboard.”
When you first started skating did you know a lot of other girls that were skating?
Well, no. When I first started skating, my mom said I had to wait until I met someone – like a girl — who knew how to skateboard and it turned out that my camp counselor in training knew how to skateboard, just like the basics. So, I convinced my really good friend to skateboard and she ended up skating with me.
Do you have a female skater that you really look up to?
Awesome. What does it mean to you to go to a skatepark and see all females? That’s probably a different experience than usually going to the skatepark, right?
It’s amazing. It’s really rare to just see females there— I don’t even skate with all girls. Like it means something’s changed; something has happened to this world that now we can– females can– do anything.