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- A Brief History of Women’s Skateboarding
- Tony Hawk Discusses the Rise of Girl Skaters
- 1964—Patti McGee Becomes Sets a World Skateboarding Record
- 1975—Peggy Oki Joins the Z-Boys
- 1988—Cara-Beth Burnside Becomes First Female Skater to Grace the Cover of Thrasher
- 1994—Cara-Beth Burnside Debuts Her Signature Skate Shoe
- 1996—Elissa Steamer Appears in Welcome to Hell
- 1999—Women’s Competitions Added to Slam City Jam
- 2003—Jen O’Brien and Cara-Beth Burnside Push ESPN for Change
- 2005—Women Skateboarders Stage X Games Boycott
- 2008—Burnside and Knoop Take Action for Representation
- 2015—Leticia Bufoni Signed to Nike SB
- 2016—A Big Win at the Summer Olympics
- 2017—Leo Baker Makes History With Nike
- 2018—African American Skater Samarria Brevard Makes History
- 2019—Nike Releases First All-Female Skate Video
- Want to Learn More About Skateboarding?
A Brief History of Women’s Skateboarding
Female skateboarders have been integral to the development of skateboarding as a sport. While women have been skateboarding since the sport was invented in the 1940s, it took nearly 20 years before the first major women’s skateboarding competition. Here is a timeline of the most iconic moments in women’s skateboarding:
1964—Patti McGee Becomes Sets a World Skateboarding Record
Patti McGee, the first female professional skateboarder, set the world record for the fastest girl on a skateboard—47 miles per hour—at Dick Clark’s World Teen Fair. She went on to win the first female national skateboard championship, and she appeared on the cover of Life magazine doing a handstand on her skateboard.
2003—Jen O’Brien and Cara-Beth Burnside Push ESPN for Change
The early 2000s saw major strides for female skateboarders. After being shut out of the first seven editions of the X Games, skaters Jen O’Brien and Cara-Beth Burnside pushed ESPN for inclusion, securing a women’s demo in 2002 and full-on women’s events in 2003 (where Vanessa Torres won the first women’s park gold medal).
2008—Burnside and Knoop Take Action for Representation
Burnside and Mimi Knoop continued to push for female representation in skateboarding. In 2008, the duo created the female-focused skate company Hoopla because other skate brands weren’t sponsoring women skaters. Their mission—to encourage girls to skate and provide a support system for female pros—led to sponsorships for women skaters from skate brands like Welcome, Plan B, and Enjoi and sneaker giants like Nike and Adidas.
2016—A Big Win at the Summer Olympics
In 2016, women’s skateboarding (and skateboarding in general) saw one of the biggest wins in the sport: the International Olympic Committee approved skateboarding for the Tokyo Summer Olympics, including women’s street and park skating competitions. During this same year, Lizzie Armanto became the first woman featured on the cover of TransWorld Skateboarding magazine. Nora Vasconcellos became the first woman to join the Adidas skateboarding team.
2019—Nike Releases First All-Female Skate Video
Think Like a Pro
Legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk teaches you how to take your skateboarding to the next level, whether you’re a beginner or a pro.View Class
Nike SB releases Gizmo, its first all-female skate video and a tribute to team member and women’s skate pioneer Elissa Steamer.
Now, children of all races, ethnicities, nationalities, gender identities, and orientations are watching, and the more they see themselves reflected and accepted in skating, the more they will embrace skating and push it to new and exciting places.
Want to Learn More About Skateboarding?
Whether you’re just learning how to ollie or ready to tackle a Madonna (the vert trick, not the singer), the MasterClass All-Access Pass can help you find confidence on your board with exclusive instructional videos from skateboarding legend Tony Hawk, Olympic hopeful Lizzie Armanto, and street skater Riley Hawk.