No Pool Party, No Dew Tour, No X Games, No Maloof, No coverage by the skateboard media. Women’s vert and transition skateboarding seems to have been dismissed by the skateboarding industry.
Although I’m very grateful that we have been granted our very own combi contest, which turned out to be a great event last Fall, Vans and Protec seems to have made it clear that it is not worthy of being associated with the prestige of the Protec Pool Party as they unveiled the 2010 winners banner. Each preceeding banner lists the winners from the Men’s, Masters’ and Women’s divisions. However, this year’s banner has a blank space where the Women’s winner used to be listed. Ironically enough, the 2010 women’s combi contest has been the strongest showing in terms of numbers of competitors and the level of skating. And yet, it remains unacknowledged. Seeing as Vans has recently eliminated their girls’ skate team, this adds insult to injury.
Last week, ESPN made it clear that women’s vert and superpark will no longer be divisions in the X-Games. Seeing as Dew Tour has omitted women’s vert this year and Maloof has done little more than hint at the possibility of inclusion, there are virtually no women’s vert contests. We too want to feel the sense of accomplishment, joy and even purpose that comes with successfully finishing a polished run despite unnerving contest jitters.
I’m not blind to the difference in levels between the divisions, but what I have experienced firsthand is the recent spike in the level and numbers of women and girls who skate. And somehow this too remains unacknowledged.
Although I have constantly felt more than welcome into many fun, high-energy sessions with great guys and pros who I’ve looked up to for the past decade, this series of news connotes the concept that women skateboarders are not truly a part of the world of coping and concrete that we have come to love.
We, too, are immersed and committed to the skateboarding community. But the media continues to convey the idea that our place in skateboarding is limited to cheering the boys on as they have all of the fun or scantily clad and posing suggestively in advertisements for wheels.
It’s time to look outside of the current skateboarding industry and start composing our own events.