An Ode To All Female Skateboarders

Catherine thought she was the only skateboarder in Edinburgh with boobs, until she discovered this crew of radical women...

After a certain point in a relationship,  bras, perfume bottles, your copy of Love Actually and Chalet Girl tend to sparkle in the clutter of your boyfriend’s man cave. Right?

Does anyone else get that smug sense of satisfaction when a male domain is sneakily given the feminine treatment? Last year the Edinburgh skate scene was given just that.

Before this summer, I considered myself the only skateboarder in Edinburgh with boobs.

Cruising between the cobbles of Bristol Square, I thought of myself as a one woman wolf pack. Until one scorching day at Saughton’s concrete wonderland, Kim Grant tripped into my life.

Kim was no sunbather. No accessory to a skater boyfriend, delicately placed on a grind bench like a mascot. She was covered in the type of searing flesh wounds that can only be explained by a hearty slam in the bowl’s unforgiving deep end.

Kim was as authentic as her Vans footwear and truly a skater in her own right. My woman pack had grown by one.

The next day Kim introduced me to a group of feisty, gnarly females who were also new to the game. I thought to myself, ‘Wait a second, could it be?’ I knew for sure, we had not only added to but defined our women pack.

That summer, many sessions ended in the most catastrophic hangovers I have ever endured. However, our crew’s tenacity to regroup the next morning and skate through the headaches showed our feminine strength and dedication to the cause.

Our male counterparts watched – jaws resting on their grip tape – as their natural habitat was invaded and conquered.

We began to form an alliance by the street section – where games of skate and countless determined do overs rapidly pushed progression. Boards began to be flipped, spun and caught with the type of steeze that only men as self-obsessed as Nyjah Huston could fail to miss.

As everyone’s confidence began to grow, so did our feeling of entitlement to use such a male dominated space.

No longer sessioning like timid morning mice, the girls had indefinitely established themselves as a naturally entity of daily skate park life.

We were proud to be grimy, sweaty, and bruised like the rest of the Edinburgh skate rats – screaming a massive ‘fuck you’ to gender stereotypes, like the sophisticated, articulate ladies we are.

As summer faded, our passion saw us through the Scottish winter. Girls Only Night at North Berwick’s The Space became the light of our lives. Shredding new jeans became as common as boltsing new tricks. 

Edinburgh’s ice queens, Lindsey Christie and Vaila Chappers, joined our ranks. Their snowboarding prowess caused boys to both drool and dream over the slickness of their rail tech and authority on big air kickers.

I watched mesmerised as they expertly transferred their talents from snow to skate park.

With our addiction to skateboarding officially clinical, we Scottish lasses were more than capable of handling the loss of blood, the shredding of our favourite clothing, shoes (and skin for that matter), as well as the evisceration of our beloved deck graphics – all of which attempt to deter the faint0hearted women from discovering the true beauty of the art.

Now we all knew, skateboarding destroys everything but ruins absolutely nothing.

Photos courtesy of Britta Burger and Catherine Penman


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