This week we caught up with Women’s BMX warrior and founder of Yeah Zine, Angie Marino
Interview by Anna Langer, photos by Josh Harrington (unless stated otherwise)
You’re going to BMX Worlds – former BMX Masters – in Cologne again, are you looking forward to it?
The Worlds are always fun! A few years ago there was only about 10 girls there, who were going to compete (it got rained out) but this year there are already 23 girls signed up to ride, which is so rad!
Why aren’t there more event for girls out there?
I think there’s a decent amount events going on for the girls. The sport needs to grow and more girls need to get involved for there to be more events. Having girls at the main events, such as Toronto BMX Jam, Simple Session, FISE and BMX Worlds, is helping it grow. I feel that in a couple years, the level of riding will be higher and more respected.
Do you think girls in BMX are less competitive?
Girls are definitely competitive, but for the most part everyone is really supportive of each other. Our contests are usually ran in jam format and all the girls cheer for each other and get psyched when another rider lands something. It’s a really good vibe and I hope it stays like this, hah.
What changes would you wish for in the BMX scene in general?
I find myself searching “girls bmx” lately on twitter, I’ve seen a lot of girls say stuff like “I want to ride BMX but since I’m a girl I will get judged :(” That kind of stuff bums me out. I hope that girls don’t get discouraged so easily as worrying about being judged…
You should always do what you want if it makes you happy!
When did you start riding BMX yourself?
I started racing when I was younger and when I was 15 I started riding trails and skateparks.
Can you still remember your very first time?
The first time I ever rode at a skatepark, my brother gave me his bike and told me to try riding around. He told me to ride the quarter like a berm… So I tried and of course fell in front of a park full of people, hah. But since then I’ve been hooked! Ha.
What tips to you have for girls who want to start riding park?
Always wear a helmet and knee pads, save your legs! For the most part the boys are supportive of the girls, but if there is someone who isn’t, keep your head up and keep riding. Learning how to flow around and get used to your bike is a lot better in the long run than learning tricks from the start… You’ll get there!
You started a petition for girls to ride the X Games – what has come out of that so far?
I knew that X Games wouldn’t let us ride the first year or even the second year after I started this petition. It’s kind of a long process. Girls BMX is getting bigger and a lot of girls are progressing to higher levels then previous years, but I don’t think we’re ready yet. I started the petition because, I want them to know that girls are killing it and I hope that they will give us the time to ride in the future. We do clinics every year with GRO at X Games, teaching girls how to ride around on a little park. I think this year we are going to try to get a demo/riding time on the actual course when an event isn’t going on.
You also have your own magazine/online platform Yeah Zine – how did that come about and where will it be going in the future?
Nina Buitrago and Stacey Mulligan use to do a girls BMX zine back in the day, I only got to get my hands on one… But I got bummed that there wasn’t anything for the girls anymore after that. Not many websites posted stuff about the girls, I know I personally was resorting to searching girls BMX on youtube for about three years haha. Girls deserve to get online and print coverage and I was just hoping to help nudge that along. It is so awesome to see how much it has progressed and how many girls there are riding all over the world! As for the future, I want to involve more companies to support the website and advertise in the zine, so we can get it printed like an actual magazine and have it be free. If anyone is interested in advertising please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org! Our next issue is out June 16th too…
You recently called for experiences on sexism in BMX – what are your own experiences and how do you deal with it?
Check out the new issue of Yeah Zine out June 16th 😉
Angie is sponsored by Fit Bike Co, TSG Helmets, Savakas, and Magnolia.