When Gaba told me that I had to start a blog about women skate scene in Latvia, I thought it was a bunch of BS. I don’t associate myself with a skater, although I love this sport. I can’t do a kickflip, and if in your opinion that means this article is not worth reading, then, do what you got to do.
Those who don’t know my background, I started as a fixed gear rider. I participated in both local and international contests, broke bones and same as others had an asphalt fever. Also, I founded #SHEFIX, and SHE FIX developed extreme sports movement among Latvian women and was also a part of European movement, around some ten years ago. Now I just love to cruise on my board, film and take photos. I finally learned how to time photos on my film camera.
However, from time to time I end up in situation or discussions that take me 10 years back. Just last week we talked with Liene for hours, watched old photos and video and ask the question, “What happened to the movement?” So, one morning I thought about Gaba’s idea and understood that there are a few topics I could write about and include all girl skaters who wish to say something. In a way we could make these articles together. DM
Olympic games raised a question, why Latvian skater girls are so passive, why nothing happens in the women scene?
Arts says that young girls coming to skate school wish to become like Sky Brown, and probably in some 6 years they will if they don’t give up. I also went to skate school same as Emilia and Laura. It is a safe space that helps to get into the skatepark environment. You learn about the obstacles and get the grasp of how to use them.
However, why is it so passively quiet?
Girls skate chat used to have 30 people at one point, you couldn’t add more people even. Have 30 of us ever showed up for a session? No! Maybe just two or three.
This year during the rainy August days, we finally came together a few times and filmed a couple tricks. The shame has been overcome. Yes, we won’t do any flip tricks down stairs, the speed we are rolling in is symbolic and kickflip is “sketchy”, but we want to share what we got. Despite women skate boarding in Latvia has been underground for years, finally we want to get out in the sun and take our space under it with shuve-its, 180s, bonelesses, manuals and sketchy kickflips. We want to take the space. Learn to feel more comfortable in public events, in this testosterone high sport, pull your self together and get on that board even if the legs are shaking and you feel awkward. Of course not all of us feel like that. Shout out to Uma!
I believe this feeling of awkwardness in this environment is main reason for passivity. Bringing back all girls nights would be a solution? Maybe it is all in our heads?
Without any specific solutions in mind, I am looking forward to next summer because I know that we can go on our own trip, find our own spots, suitable to our skill level, film our own edits and most importantly, without thinking too much, do what we like to do.
P.s. Please share your best ideas for winter skate spots! We are not so many to threat spots’ accessibility. 🙂