For the past few years, the number of women that skate has risen sharply and quickly, and we’re now witnessing an equal surge in girls that are ripping at the amateur and professional level.
This year, the Dew Tour Am Contest selected skaters through the Podium Skate app. In order to get the best new talent, and cast the proverbial digital net as wide as possible, participating skaters were able to upload footage that was then voted on by both a panel of judges, and the Podium community itself. One of the most significant “stories” for Dew Tour this year is the inclusion of Jordyn Barratt in the Am Contest. Barratt is an upcoming 18-year-old living in Encinitas, California, and she was the only female to qualify.
Barratt isn’t your average 18-year-old. Nor is she your average skater. “Steve [Caballero] is my biggest mentor,” she says. “I skate with him almost every day.” Skating with Cab has its perks, aside from the skating itself—Barratt is skating for Vans, Powell Peralta, and Bones, and most recently, Black & Decker.
California RampWorks’ Jeff Jewett, who co-founded the Podium app, explains: “We created it to basically level the playing field in qualifying the top talent in contests like the Dew Tour. We want to be people’s first stop, their entry point to wherever they want to go in competitive skateboarding.” The Transworld Skateboarding staff selected 6 ams for the street contest and 6 for the bowl contest, but the rest, like Jordyn, got in through the app.
“I’m friends with all the guys I’m competing against,” says Jordyn, “and I’m always helping them film their videos. One day someone suggested to me ‘it’s [the Podium contest] not just for boys, you should enter.’ So I did, and got in. And now I’m stoked.”
“What’s even cooler, and more telling,” says Jewett, “is that Jordyn didn’t just sneak in at 49th place out of 50. She was right there, in the middle of the pack.”
2017 has been a great year for women’s skateboarding so far, but “women’s skateboarding” can still be a tricky thing to say. It’s important to recognize that it’s not a qualifier that insinuates something “lesser-than.” Throughout the years there have been pioneers like Cara-Beth Burnside and Elissa Steamer, and they helped pave over any lingering gender barriers or stereotypes. No, skateboarding’s not just for the guys. Yes, girls can rip.
Girls skating in “guy’s” contests isn’t really anything new, either—Leticia Bufoni skated in the Red Bull Hart Lines contest in May, and Hoopla’s Alana Smith has skated in am contests, as well.
With womens’ skateboarding on the rise, contests are clearly taking notice. Dew Tour VP and GM Adam Cozens is already looking into inclusive changes for future events. “I’m excited that Jordyn qualified,” Cozens says, “for so many reasons. Womens’ skateboarding is something that’s been on our radar, for sure. It’s been a constant conversation. With the rise of skaters like Lizzie [Armanto], Nora [Vasconcellos], and now Jordyn, I think every contest is working towards including womens’ skateboarding as part of their event.”
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