Show Me The Money

Skateboarding like many other sports has a harsh divide between male and female professionals.  I am talking about their possibilities to actually be professional skateboarders.  A professional skater makes their living off skateboarding, be it contest money, sponsorship money, and/or advertising money.  Sure, male and female talent levels are not the same.  Neither are NASCAR drivers and F1 drivers but both have their entertainment value.  The entertainment value is really why sports personalities are paid well or not.  Or that is how it should be.  Then marketing gets in the way of who is cool and who is not.  How many modern ugly singers do you listen too?  With the advent of video and television, marketing has pushed aside the currently unattractive personalities from all forms of mainstream entertainment.  So you would think that women in sport would make more money then the men since we find them more attractive?  But no.  Men (the suits in big business marketing) would not want to promote female athletes as being better than the majority male practitioners.  So if they want a female to advertise an item, they would call a modeling agency to get a non athlete to pose with the item.  Since sex sells, the model would be half naked and posing seductively.  Showing an action shot of a female athlete will make their main customer base (male) feel inadequate; that is the marketing thought.  What about other female athletes that need someone (of their gender)  to look up to?  Hey skateboard companies, if you want to sell more product, then increase your total amount of possible customers.  Promote female skateboarding (female skaters actually riding a board well) and with a little time the customer base will double in numbers.

Nora with a frontside nose bone at the Vandoren Invitational in Huntington Beach.  Photo taken from the Vans US Open Of Surfing website.


Over the last couple weeks different sources have published interviews with a few of the best female skateboarders.  The skaters point of view will most likely be one that you never really thought about.  I have known Nora Vasconcellos for many years.  She is great inspiration to many female skater and also me.  Nora has one of the best styles I have ever seen in skateboarding.  Just that is reason enough for any skater to look up to her.  After reading her interview you will see how intelligent and well spoken she is which makes her that much more inspiring.


Lacey has a great backside smith grind.  Photo taken from Meow Skateboards website.


Lacey Baker also was interview recently.  Her take on the female professional skateboarder is very similar to what you would have read in an interview of any of the top male professional skaters in the early 80’s.  They had the same struggles just in different decades.  Lacey has one of most solid styles in street skating.  Currently she has got a bad-ass hair cut too but I am not very impartial on that topic.  Click on either the hyperlinks or the images to go to the different interviews.


As a bonus you can read this article on the Brujas: Skate Witches.  While you are at it, check out Annie Guglia’s interview on Getborn from November.  As a graduate student, Annie’s skateboarding has found a second wind.  She seem more motivated then ever on her board.  I cannot wait to see what comes of her talent in 2016.

olympic1Skateboard advertising has not come very far form the ads of the 70’s.


It is time to support skateboarding all you skateboarders.  Support the youth, the ladies, and the guys.  Only that way skateboarding will have a bright future.