Speaking as a girl who participated in action sports for the last 25 years — I was a former X-Games and Gravity Games athlete — I couldn’t be more enthused about the takeoff of action sports. I love that I can now go to any skate park and see girls shredding it at the most-incredible levels.
The same happens when I hit the slopes snowboarding, and it happens when I go surfing, too. Used to be, I was the only girl out there. They used to see me and immediately ask who my brother or boyfriend was, looking out into the abyss of guys surrounding me. They almost never assumed I was out there riding for me and for my passion for the sports I love.
That’s why I’m so psyched about this current generation of girl rippers. It is phenomenal on so many levels.
Not only are they elite athletes, but they belong to a generation that has become accustomed to competing at equal levels with their male counterparts.
What makes them truly standout is they are approaching success with the heart of a girl.
Look at a few of our Olympic snowboarding champions, women like Kelly Clark and Hannah Teter. Clark and Teter both have nonprofit foundations and give back to the community. The Kelly Clark Foundation gives back within the snowboarding community, providing opportunity’s not readily available to youth.
And sales from Hannah Teter’s maple syrup company, Hannah’s Gold, provide water to a Kenyan village and help AIDS-afflicted mothers and children to acquire land. Teter also donates the prize money she wins from racing to the village.
Philanthropy is a trend you’re seeing a lot of within the women’s segment, and it’s one of the big-hearted things that sets the girls apart.
Another area that sets the girls apart? Tight community. You see a camaraderie not usually found in other arenas of competition. Girls go out together. They support each other and hang out. Tight friendships form.
The female demographics within the action sports is such an untapped resource. But check out the Alliance. It brings together professional opportunities for women in the action-sports industry.
To familiarize you with some of the female athlete top names, check out these two links: Top 50 women of action sports and, in Forbes, Winter X Games Spotlights Women Spreading the Shred. They’re both awesome pieces.
The possibilities of growth within the women’s segment are huger than ever. Want to get involved? I’d love to hear your ideas.
Check me out on the street luge below.
For aNewDomain Sports, I’m Pamela Zoolalian.
Cover art and shot of Kelly Clark on the slopes in line: John Lemieux , via Wikimedia Commons
Hannah Teter and Molly Aguirre shot: awnisALAN (Oct 1, 2005_122014) , via Wikimedia Commons