There is a promise of inclusivity that rollerbladers find endearing about the sport. No matter where you are, someone will want to skate with you. No matter who you are, someone will want to be your friend. The wheels strapped to feet connect us not only to plastic, metal, cloth, elastic, and urethane, but to each other as well. We are all in the same boot together. Kind of.
It’s not hard to see our strengths and weaknesses in blading. More so when sex and gender are taken into consideration. The women’s community in blading is the strongest it’s ever been in the 23 years I’ve been skating. It’s expanding by leaps and bounds every year, with an ever-growing cast of players internationally becoming visible. There isn’t parity though. Despite being a mushrooming demographic, the rollerblading industry is slow to accommodate, whether it be from personal biases, a lack of budget, diverting resources towards select skaters, geographic barriers, skate sizes and color schemes designed for men, or all of the above. In the Bladies X USD Be-Mag article, we touch upon some of these issues coming into play.
Despite the shortcomings of the blade industry and blade culture, it’s made undeniable progress with the steadily growing women’s community in rollerblading. It can be a bit chicken and egg though. It takes an industry to foster community and a community to exist so there can be industry. Social media did something our industry couldn’t. It has brought girls and women together to create the bladies movement within skating looking for their place in the culture (and rightfully so). Not that there haven’t been women in rollerblading – Fabiola Da Silva, Kaya Turksi, Jenna Downing, Donna Vano, Neda Gane, Katie “cornbread” Brown, Tasha Hodgson, Fallon Heffernan. It was just much harder to get noticed pre-social media. In all candor, this article could not have existed 15 years ago. It took much more work to find a representation of women in blading pre-always connected internet lives.
You could call that a success of the internet and the rise of social media. It gave women in our sport a means of connecting with each other and the global entity that is rollerblading. It also shows us there’s much improvement to be made when that support wasn’t offered from within.
Let their voices speak for them though. Be-Mag presents Women on wheels: 24 voices from inside rollerblading.
What do you feel is your part is within the blading community? My part is skating in my free time, going to events when I can, building friendships, having fun and looking up to some incredible bladies.
How would you describe the women’s community within rollerblading? It’s a growing community with a lot of support from each other. I think in the past few years it has become less about who skates the best and more about being friends and motivating one another. My best sessions are always with girls.
What do you think rollerblading has done well to promote women and what can it do better? An obvious one is the increasing amount of products that are designed for women such as the Bladies skate and Locaskates. Nevertheless, I feel like often guys prefer to skate on their own and don’t invite girls to sessions as much. I think women are often not seen as a “homie” or a “bro” by the men. This is something that can improve if everyone just does their bit to welcome women more.
What do you feel is your part is within the blading community? I’ve been just blading a lot and working hard to have that good balance between work and rollerblading. As a part of the community I just focus on keeping an active lifestyle, always adding blading to a more consistent level, traveling to any near events I can participate in or visit any new park or city around, supporting some cool brands, engaging and keeping a fun social media that hopefully motivates young/ future generations girls to continue skating, engaging and collaborating with multiple brands that right now are supporting women like Bladies (Megan Peterson) or Rollher United (Melissa Brown). Currently having multiple chats where we can set new sessions and get reunited with more bladers and of course giving rides and hospitality to anyone who needs it.
How would you describe the women’s community within rollerblading? I think it is an evolving community that’s constantly growing and pushing more girls to be out there, doing what they love. I see more young females around and some others that definitely are back on track after a long break due to work, career or being moms. 🙂 Always super happy when I see they are coming back and that energy is something that always transmits the passion for our sport. I would like to see it grow more. I love to skate with my bladers homie, but come on—a session of girls is also super fun.
What do you think rollerblading has done well to promote women and what can it do better? I do think it’s really hard for women to become pro or to have their own skates brand. I would love to see more of that. I know the capacity is not the same, but there are women who have been killing it for so many years. They truly deserved the recognition.
Who are some Bladies we should follow? Checking my IG following list. There are so many 🙂 I’m very inspired by Bladies who are hustlers, moms, workers, teachers. Don’t five up ladies, you have my biggest respect!
What do you feel is your part is within the blading community? I think I am doing well in our local blading community in Poland. I encouraged plenty of young girls and boys to skate during workshops and camps. It really matters to me to show good vibes, smile, fun and how wonderful it is to be here!
How would you describe the women’s community within rollerblading? I love it! I feel a big part of bladies community. There’s a lot of support around, they motivate me and it’s AWESOME! We’re scattered all around the world yet unified and together anyway. Thanks a lot girls!
What do you think rollerblading has done well to promote women and what can it do better? I always really appreciate all the support we get from boys during contests and sessions. We (as the bladies) are doing a really great job because we love it and want to do it till we can’t anymore. There are barriers to break through, Just keep it up!
What can you do better? I have no idea. I don’t know how it looks somewhere else, but here in Poland I can’t complain. A big shout-out to Hedonskate crew. <3
Who are some bladies we should follow? Definitely – Kamila Probierz ( @proobierz ), Zuzia Ormańska ( @_dzisiejsza_) and Agnieszka Abramik ( @agagabra ). Three awesome bladies from Poland that I’m a big fan of. They love to skate, enjoy life and progress their skating every session!
What do you feel is your part is within the blading community? I think everyone’s part in the community is to have fun skating. Other than that, we all motivate each other, whether it is your friend who just started skating or a pro who has been skating for 10 years and has had dozens of sponsors. We are all part in this community and we all motivate each other. I skate with friends who are not famous, but they push me skate better anyway. I hope this works the other way around as well. I hope I motivate others, guys girls, kids…Why I started skating after 12 years was to show other girls today, the new generation, that even girls can have fun skating street and not just park. I like skating parks but I LOVE skating street. I try to show girls that street is not that dangerous and scary, no matter how it may seem at first. There are very few girls who skate rails and can enjoy skating street. I hope more girls and women will as well in the future. I’ve seen some young girls skate big rails and its awesome, cuz I know one day they will be representing big time!
How would you describe the women’s community within rollerblading? I think its great to see more and more girls skating. Watching on IG, I can see how they improve themselves everyday. Especially the young ones. I think IG its a perfect tool to motivate and get motivated. I can see its working very well. Girls are holding it together and pushing each other. They are literally getting better every day. Bladies and Unlaballedgirls have done a good job showing how many girls there are skate and how passionate they all are.
What do you think rollerblading has done well to promote women and what can it do better? Rollerblading today its different than it used to be, but I see more coverage of girls than before. Back in the day, it was sooo hard to just get a picture in a magazine like Bemag or any other magazine. Even getting a real sponsor was difficult. I always had a sponsor and I’m thankful for that, but other girls who were skating X-games or World Championships with me were not all sponsored. I’m talking the top 7 girls in the world and many of them were not sponsored. Today I see more sponsorships for girls even though the industry is not that strong compared to 15 years ago. Magazines on IG are promoting girls more than before, all the awards have girl’s categories too, online and live contests like FISE and others have girls category as well. I think the girls are not forgotten.
What can the industry do better? There should be smaller sizes of skates available 🙂
Who are some bladies we should follow? I don’t follow too many bladies because I follow @Bladies and @Unlaballedgirls on IG 🙂 I’m still getting know who’s who today, but I follow Mery Munoz , Chihiro, and then my old school girls Becci Sotelo, Jenna Downing, and Katie Ketchum. 🙂
What do you feel is your part is within the blading community? I try to spread as much good vibes as I can! Of course it’s largely possible thanks to the people around me. Last Summer, for the first time I was helping with workshops where I saw a lot of young girls start rollerblading. Since then, I understood how important is support and keep supporting young girls to keep them going and having fun!
How would you describe the women’s community within rollerblading? It’s so incredible. The whole Bladies community is inspiring! After every session, I’m extremely impressed because of the atmosphere among bladies. I am really thankful to be part of it and that I get to spend those amazing and beautiful moments with the best crew!!
What do you think rollerblading has done well to promote women and what can it do better? First and foremost I noticed that all the support which is coming from most of bladers are encouraging girls to blade. Introducing the women category at contests encourages girls to take part in and feel that energy. I think all of this is going in a good direction. We should do everything we can do to push it forward!!
Who are some bladies we should follow? For sure, go and check Zuzanna Ormańska (@dzieiejsza), Patrycja Najda (@patrycja_najda) , Agnieszka Abramik (@agagabra), Julia Mączyńska (@__julkae). They are definitely rocking out on blades and sharing a lot of positive vibes!! ❤️
What do you feel is your part is within the blading community? The rollerblade community is really cool. I am happy to be a part of it! I always try to learn new tricks and have a lot of fun doing it. I give lessens to kids, which is something I really enjoy doing. It also feels like the number of girls and women are fewer than it aught to be. I am the only active female blader in my city and it would be nice to have more girls to skate with.
How would you describe the women’s community withing rollerblading? The women’s community within rollerblading is something amazing. It is a community inside a community. It is super positive and tries to connect to all the bladies out there. Every bladie in it is so supportive of everyone. The women’s community it is also getting stronger. It’s not only guys anymore. It is only growing bigger and I can’t wait to see more bladies as the sport continues to grow.
What do you think rollerblading has done well to promote women and what can it do better? What I think rollerblading has done well to promote women is it really highlights women nowadays. You can see a lot of female riders in the spotlight. I also like that USD had a female pro skater. There are skates in smaller sizes. A lot of girls just have smaller feet, so that was good for them.
What rollerblading can do better to promote women is to make the sport more accessible for outsiders. To let women know that it is not scary to go to a skatepark that’s packed with 95% guys. The distance between women and those women imagining themselves doing action sports should be smaller. It can help to create an active local community where everyone is welcome, no matter what level. That could be done by local shops, where everyone can see what is possible with rollerblades. That is also a way to let female outsiders know that it is not scary to rollerblade with guys.
Who are some bladies we should follow? You should follow @suzuca2017! She is very active and posts plenty of clips where you can see her progressing at a fast rate. Another very cool girl is @annie_nole. Her attitude is so positive and in her videos you can see all the happiness she has while skating! And @soviivos is for sure worth a follow. I really enjoy her Russian style skate videos, they make me smile!
What do you feel is your part is within the blading community? For me it is important to create value for our community, motivate other people, always try to support our industry, especially small and local brands. Sharing sessions with new people, making content, organizing activities to support other girls and being involved with entrepreneurship related to women and sports like @Xfembox. I started this project as an extreme sports women’s magazine and now is moving into a subscription box of CBD products to support women in sports .
I am from Chile, South America, and I live in Spain, Europe. I have had the opportunity to skate in different countries. This sport is like a family – everywhere you go, there is a blader who is happy to share a skate session with you. I am very grateful for that!
How would you describe the women’s community within rollerblading? I’d describe the rollerblading women’s community as a flower blossoming. If i look backwards 13 years ago when I started skating in Chile, there weren’t more girls in my country till I met @Débora_Cárdenas_. She had stopped skating until we met. We were motivated to skate together, so we created a South American female skating group, @rollfem. It all started with an Instagram where we shared content and more girls were motivated. We organized competitions, trips to other countries, we even received the visit of Fallon Heffernan @Felonyfoxtrot, from the USA. To welcome her, we organized a competition only for girls. We repeated this with @NathaliaKamura as a guest and @KaiaMalaghini from Brazil. Now we see many groups and collectives organizing videos, launching clothing lines, even skates pro models for girls. There are brands/groups like @bladiesladies, @ gsg.project, @ rollher.united, @latinbladies and many others. It is amazing to see the news generation of girls coming strong with each day, always getting better and better.
What do you think rollerblading has done well to promote women and what can it do better? I think that rollerblading industry is starting to launch products that represent the female community, such as skates, wheels, and other products. They are beginning to support more female athletes and this is something very positive.
Something that the industry could improve ? I think that if the sports industry bet more on female riders, it would allow new generations to dedicate themselves professionally to the sport and thus upping the level and making our sport grow.
Destructive comments on social networks could also be improved in the rollerblading community. We should be promoting more positive content and constructive criticism.
What do you feel is your part is within the blading community? I’ll be 25 this year and have been skating 20 years. I wanna brush myself up more and more and keep rolling. I’m hoping it helps to raise the whole level of women’s skating and makes the bladies community bigger.
How would you describe the women’s community within rollerblading? As you all know, the number of female skater is small in our industry. Having small numbers of female skaters is not necessarily negative. It’s easy to get to know each other and make deep and strong bounds. I want the community to get bigger, while keeping this good aspects we have now.
What do you think rollerblading has done well to promote women and what can it do better? In previous years, a bladies heat/class was not that common and it was not easy to take part in competitions overseas. In the last 5 years or so, competitions with bladies has increased in popularity, making it easy to take part in. It would be great if adult and under 18 heats for bladies would be held at events. More choices more competitors! I think it really helps the industry gets bigger.
Who are some bladies we should follow? It’s Martina [Svobodova]! She’s been my hero ever since I started rolling. I love her aggressive street skating style a lot! I’ve never skated with her before and I am so glad she made a huge comeback in 2020! I was so happy and now I’m so hyped as I may have a chance to skate with Martina! It was amazing that she won a competition despite the long years of absence from skating. I’m keeping my eyes on her and so should you!
What do you feel is your part is within the blading community? My role in the community is to show that a female rider is just as capable of riding as a male rider. It is also to represent and develop female roller skating. I also want to show young female riders that anything is possible!
How would you describe the women’s community in rollerblading? The women’s community in rollerblading is a big community and it is growing day by day which is wonderful to see! I have communicated with a lot of bladies lately and it has always been done with respect, joy and mutual love.
What do you think rollerblading has done well to promote women and what can it do better? The creation of inline skate models targeted towards women (the Aeon bladies x usd, the domestic punk from Roces or the Loca lilac from Razors) is one of the things that rollerblading has done well to promote women!
It could do better with sponsors picking up more women. That would be the right way to promote women in rollerblading.
Who are some bladies we should follow? Too many! As a French person, I think you should follow Armelle Tisler (@armelle_tisler), Carla Pasquinelli (@pasquinellicarla) and Anaëlle Nogueira (@anaellenogueira). These are the French bladies that inspire me the most!
What do you feel is your part within the blading community? I love being able to say that the South American blading scene is growing rapidly. I am proud to be be part of this generation of bladers. I mean, we all are creating communities and different lifestyles where the skates are the essential element.
How would you describe the women’s community within rollerblading? I really love seeing women’s networks being created within skating. Women supporting and empowering women never die (in all walks of life).
What do you think rollerblading has done well to promote women and what can it do better? I think that including sizes for small feet (like mine) has been a good thing. However, I think that if each store / brand supported more women and encouraged them to continue improving by rewarding their efforts, this could be a much more wonderful, stronger community.
Who are some bladies we should follow? My top 5 of bladies are: 1. Chynna Weierstall 2. Nicoly Machado 3. Mery Muñoz 4. Michelle Steilen (Estrogen) 5. Kay Luz
What do you feel is your part is within the blading community? With my skating, and especially since I’ve started working at the local skate shop, @carriersskateshop (Fritz Peitzner), I feel like my role in the community is to show people that rollerbladers can be professional and respectful and deserve to be respected in return. Also helping people find their “happy place” through skating is a good feeling.
How would you describe the women’s community within rollerblading? Recently, the women’s community within blading has become very strong and tight knit around the world. I see a lot of women supporting other women and working together to show the world what we’ve got to offer to the blading community.
What do you think rollerblading has done well to promote women and what can it do better? More companies are starting to realize that the ladies can make an impact and deserve respect and recognition. Some companies are starting to catch on and offer women pro wheels and and products (even heard rumors of pro model skates in the works).
I definitely feel like the Bladies/USD collab was a huge step in the right direction and has influenced more companies to want to promote the women in rollerblading.
I hope to see the industry continue in the direction that it is going right now and continue to create opportunities for the ladies who are pushing the limits.
What do you feel is your part is within the blading community? When I started the brand @houseofbladesuk, I debated hiding my identity for fear of the brand being unsuccessful due to being female run. I thought about it a little and realised I need to be visible in order for the female presence to grow and make the sport even more inclusive. I feel there needs to be more woman with a hand in the [rollerblading] industry. House of blades is about the love of skating and it is a brand inclusive to everyone. I am pleased to have fantastic male and female skaters on the team.
How would you describe the women’s community within rollerblading? The community as a whole is so lovely and warm. It really is like a huge worldwide family and the bladies are no different. The support for one another is wonderful to see. I have never seen a sport where there is so much love and passion to see people’s progress. I’m so pleased to be part of it and I welcome more bladie pals from all over the world.
What do you think rollerblading has done well to promote women and what can it do better? I think things moving the right way was seeing Jenna Downing get her boot all those years ago, Mery Munoz being part of the USD team, kaltik giving her her own frames, undercover giving her her own wheels, and Chynna Weierstall’s recent Chroma wheels. And a brilliant thing to see of course is the bladies boot! Well done to Megan and Mery doing such a great job with USD on that.
We have seen some bladies competition prizes rise but there is still also a huge disparity in the prizes (FISE was notorious for this). There is so much room for growth. There should be more females on pro teams, not just flow. But USD, where is Mery’s pro boot?
Who are some bladies we should follow? Danielle Mccloskey, Javi Garrido, Jackie Schrooten, Suzuka Hyoyoma, Chynna Weierstall, Gaby Vallasquez, Jemma Holmes, Sovi Kit, Nastya Kulaeva,mina Lee, Melissa Brown, Gigi Grant, Rosie O’donoghue, Carla Pasquinelli, Chihiro Azuma, Coco Sanchez, Armelle Tisler, Miyaki Katayama, Manon Darrien, Jenna Downing, Mery Munoz, Fabiola Da Silva, Megan Peterson.
What do you feel is your part is within the blading community? I feel like my part in the blading community is to make girls feel motivated.
How would you describe the women’s community within rollerblading? There are very few women who practice this sport. Even though they are minorities, they are women who want to continue to evolve in skating. Despite being a little more cautious when learning new things (whether it’s twists or tricks), they try and for me that’s to be admired!
What do you think rollerblading has done well to promote women and what can it do better? Blading can do better things like social promotion of women’s sport. In this case skating and equality, more events, better awards, support from sponsors. That would help promote women in the sport!
Who are some bladies we should follow? Chynna Weierstall Chihiro Azuma Mery Muñoz Nastya Kulaeva Soviivos Kit Nicoly Machado Darly Saavedra Annie Nole Diana White Suzuka Hyoyamak
What do you feel is your part is within the blading community? In the past, I felt like I was very fortunate to be apart of our sport. It offered all the the female bladers to have a platform to excel and improve the level of women’s skating in major events such as ASA’s, X-Games, RFCCs, Superhick, SuperGirl Jams, as well as within skate videos or magazines like Daily Bread. I turned pro with ASA in 2002 and from then till about 2007. I felt like the ladies in the ASA circuit pushed the level of rollerblading higher than it’s ever been. I landed the first 900 on launch box at the ASA Sacramento event in 2004, Jenna Downing landed a 900 shortly after, Fabiola da Silva was throwing double backs on vert, and Martina Svobodova and Kaya Turski were boosting the street game. It was amazing to watch and be apart of. It was an important part in the history of rollerblading because you started seeing all of us beginning to compete with the men and continue to raise the level higher, while gaining respect with our community. I think it set a precedent for where women are today in the sport.
Currently, my part in the blading community is to just keep doing what I love and skating every week. Setting a good example for the kiddos in the community and give rollerblading a good name. Bring a positive energy to the sport and let people know how amazing rollerblading is. It’s incredible to see all the female bladers out there from all over the world continuing to push the sport forward and raise the level. Keep rocking it out ladies!
How would you describe the women’s community within rollerblading? I think the women’s community within rollerblading is the biggest it’s ever been. The amount of women from South America, Japan, and Europe alone, doesn’t even compare to our numbers back in the early 2000’s. It’s amazing to see and I hope it continues to grow like it has. Currently, I think that we have a bigger social media network available to us. It gives the rollerblading community the chance to see more female bladers out there and its great exposure for everyone in the sport. I think we only had MySpace during our prime years. haha.
What do you think rollerblading has done well to promote women and what can it do better? I think it’s great to see the Bladies following and the respect the rollerblading community gives to everyone. It’s been great to see the sport grow and become a more overall supportive entity to all rollerbladers. I think it’s great to see women being promoted on platforms like Be-mag and having continued opportunities to compete at the major events like FISE or Winterclash, to name a couple. I think the rollerblading community should continue to offer support to all sides of rollerblading, including men, women, and the new kiddos that are on the rise.
Who are some bladies we should follow? I personally love to watch Chihiro Azuma. Her style and ability to skate everything is amazing. Martina Svobodova making a comeback is amazing to see and yet not surprising given how incredible an athlete she is. I still want her to take me golfing one of these days! Happy to always see Fabiola [da Silva] holding it down as well. Megan Peterson and Melissa Brown always giving opportunities to spotlight women with their networks/events. Honestly, I just love to see all the bladies these days. You ladies are so badass and its truly a pleasure watching you all be amazing.
What do you feel is your part is within the blading community? I just do what I love. It’s a moment to be thoughtless but doing something good. As a while I feel lucky to have such amazing women supporting me.
How would you describe the women’s community within rollerblading? It’s full of energy and every bladie is thoughtful.
What do you think rollerblading has done well to promote women and what can it do better? Rollerblading taught me “Everyone is different, everyone is special.”I think rollerblading can do much more to bridge the gender gap.
Who are some bladies we should follow? All bladies are so nice! I have plenty of favorites. If I have to choose, Kay Luz. I’m deeply interested her lifestyle, artwork, and blading.
What do you feel is your part is within the blading community? I feel that my part is to share with people my riding and ideas of skating; my style and approach; to motivate people to think creatively; to help kids and people learn in blading; love it and want to be good at it. I want people to develop to a place where they can think outside the box when skating.
How would you describe the women’s community within rollerblading? The women’s community in the past years has been growing stronger. There are more girls shredding, being stylish and creative. More girls come to compete and getting involved. It’s inspiring to see someone like Fabiola da Silva still shredding and being real professional sports women. There’s Mery Muñoz being professional in her approach and how she handles social media and her pro status. I’d also like to mention a relative new comer Patrycja Najda who is active, professional, and has a new school approach to skating. want to see more women in skating take that approach!
What do you think rollerblading has done well to promote women and what can it do better? I feel like me and the girls are being included as part of the scene. Having a girls devision in most competitions it is now possible for us. To get support from companies and to be featured on social media platforms, build followers and get recognition for our skating and skill/style that we present.
I think it can improve by being more fair whenever there are girls division in a competition. Prizes should be fair and respectful (equal). In my opinion I understand that men in blading have bigger demands and in most cases it is harder to compete with the tricks being thrown down being harder, but there is no room for a prize gap like ones women get. One gets thousands and the other gets close to nothing. We want to feel at the very least respect for our best efforts .
What do you feel is your part is within the blading community? I try to encourage other women by telling them they can blade too and do whatever they put their minds to. As I get older, I hope I can influence the next generation.
How would you describe the women’s community within rollerblading? Even though some are in different states and countries, we are all close and praise each others’ accomplishments regular. It’s something I love to see.
What do you think rollerblading has done well to promote women and what can it do better? It’s great to see more women-aimed products and companies. It would be awesome to see women on each brand’ss pro team and more pro women skates/products.
I believe women should be treated like men are marketed and promoted. It should be about their abilities on wheels, over being promoted for their marketable appearance.
What do you feel is your part is within the blading community? I feel like I’m the hype girl. I like to push myself and others to their limits and see what they can actually accomplish. I like to be an example of what a ‘skater’ looks like — we come in all shapes, sizes , colors, gender, and styles.
How would you describe the women’s community within rollerblading? Amazing! Everyone is so kind and supportive towards each other. I feel like it’s one big sisterhood and that’s a wonderful thing to experience in my life.
What do you think rollerblading has done well to promote women and what can it do better? The best move was putting woman on their teams. I don’t see enough brands supporting woman. I feel like every skate company should at least have 2 girls on their team, either it’s pro/am or support.
The big change that has promoted women in rollerblading is how social media changed everything. More females see other females skate and that makes them feel more welcome to the sport. It’s a welcomed change in this sport over previous generations.
What do you feel is your part is within the blading community? I just enjoy hosting and sponsoring events, sponsoring riders, and giving back to the community just to make someone excited to be part of the action sports industry. That could be something as simple as giving out free shirts. I do what I do for fun to help out ambitious riders and bring something different to the table. It’s been fun to collab with different female brands all over the world, offering love and support for each other.
How would you describe the women’s community within rollerblading? I think women’s rollerblading has grown so much since the earlier 2000’s. With the growth of social media platforms, it is easier to network and see women from all over the world. I think for being a woman in a male dominated sport, I would say females are becoming more prevalent and taking part in the industry more. We have more and more female-run or owned brands, which I think it will continue to grow because we are just as excited to bring our flare to the sport.
What do you think rollerblading has done well to promote women and what can it do better? I’d say most brands seem to be supportive of women in the sport, though I’m glad to see some brands taking real steps to pay up and make products for these incredible female athletes.
Who are some bladies we should follow? There are so many. I love to follow new bladies. I really like getting to see these individuals progress. I also like being approachable to new skaters if they have questions or want to learn things. I could help advocate and point them in the right direction if I don’t have an answer or opinion. Of course I will always enjoy the OGs who I would follow pre-Myspace times. I have some of my best friends from rollerblading around the world. I think because of social media, it’s hard to tell you who to really follow but what I can say is that, ladies, if you come across another bladie, don’t compare yourself as better or worse, don’t think you are more deserving or better than them; instead it is more rewarding to support them, respect them, compete with them, meet them (if possible) and you will see that skating, always, is something more.
Shout out to anyone who has been supporting Rollher United. Can’t wait to bring you the next projects in the works!
What do you feel is your part is within the blading community? My life was dark and sad before I found blading. I started rollerblading late in life at 26. I’ve found my part in the community is to help others feel inspired to try and to show that progress and joy is totally obtainable.
How would you describe the women’s community within rollerblading? I would describe the women’s community as amazing, empowering, supportive and consisting of the best, truest, funnest friends of my life.
What do you think rollerblading has done well to promote women and what can it do better? Rollerblading has done well Including women’s divisions in contests, sponsoring women, designing skates for women, and featuring women in videos and other projects. Rollerblading could do better by continuing the above better.
Who are some bladies we should follow? Kayla Dixon (@oikayla) , Amber R (@ambersmilezz), Nicoly Machado (@nicolymachaddo).
What do you feel is your part is within the blading community? I’m just a regular park rat. lol I feel like my part in the community is to get my friends together to skate and have fun. I take filming a little seriously because I want to showcase my best, but when I’m not filming it’s all about learning, helping friends learn, and having fun. ❤
How would you describe the women’s community within rollerblading? The women’s community is super supportive and friendly. @Bladeladies have really brought us all together, no matter where we are in the world.
What do you think rollerblading has done well to promote women and what can it do better? I’m proud to say these days we have the Locas, the Bladies’ Aeon and some smaller skate sizes. This has been a huge step in the right direction and I’ve seen so many new ladies out blading since there are now skates in their sizes. There are some companies that haven’t done this though. I’m in love with my USD shadows but they’re about 2 sizes too big. I feel that all companies should keep in mind that youngsters and ladies have smaller/slimmer foot sizes sizes. I don’t see many ladies in full length videos. I saw one this year with Kay Luz and I feel like it got a lot of great support. We should be doing more full length videos and skate teams… where’s y’all’s team videos???!!!
Who are some bladies we should follow? @chynna_weierstall @iam_ichi @nicolymachaddo these are 3 extremely talented ladies. Chynna has been my idol for a long time. Ichi and Nicoly both blow me away every time they post something. Also, @j_fergz and @alisk8s_ are two ladies I skate with that are progressing so fast it’s crazy!
What do you feel is your part within the community? Giving back to the community by creating a brand that hypes women up, pushes companies to support more women in skating, share and highlight super dope women’s skating and create opportunity and awareness.
How would you describe the women’s community within rollerblading? Badass and growing! I think there’s always been a really powerful presence of females in blading thanks to women like Fabiola DeSilva, Dawn Everette, Marthina Svobodova, Mery Munoz, Coco Sanchez… but in the last few years the women’s community of rollerblading has been more inviting, more appealing and more fun!
What do you think rollerblading has done well to promote women and what can it do better? In recent times, the Loca skate by Razors was a really rad product to add to our options, a women centric skate. USD has been really supportive, is the only team to have a pro female rider (shout out Mery!) and releasing the Bladies USD AEON collab skate! I really hope to do more collab skates and have more royalties go to women in skating!
Who are some bladies we should follow? Oh wow… where to start! Polly Morris Gaby Velasquez, Aarin Gate, Shelly Burla, Mery Munoz, Patrycia Najda, @rollerskatetwins, Javi Garrido, Chynns Weierstall, Nastya Kulaeva, Anaelle Nogueira, @soiviivos, @ambersmilezz… I can’t even list them all…
What do you feel is your part within the community? First off, thank you bunches for these questions, and the opportunity for being included in this feature.
I feel my part is to spread awareness, love and joy, and obviously share my skating and progression (which, at 37, there isn’t much progression anymore lol!). Uniquely, I’m quite open about my trans identity, and bringing awareness to the injustices society imposes on trans people. I feel that unapologetically existing in this space is inspiring to other skaters that share queer experiences, to know that they aren’t alone. It can get pretty lonely when you can’t resonate with who, or what’s influential in the community.
How would you describe the women’s community within rollerblading?
Our community is pretty rad. The ladies I’ve met through rollerblading are just all around dope people. We uplift and are supportive of each other. I feel like I’ve had some serious bonding moments with my circle of blader gals.
An example, if I may. I was asked to compete in PowWow, I was extremely reluctant to. I expressed the fear that I’d be met with adversity because of who I am. Whether that harm would come from men or women, or in verbal or physical form. You know how people will say “I’m not a [insert oppression related descriptive noun here], but [says or does the thing that encapsulates that description of an oppressor]…”
Yet, everyone in our camp was like “nahhh, we got your back. You’re skating, you belong here.” They really ensured that I knew I was safe in that space and it means the world to me. I still dealt with crippling anxiety the entire time, even with that reassurance. And sure enough, after a few months, I caught wind that there were quite a few transphobic conversations in reference to me competing. I expected it, I wasn’t too surprised, but it’s still heart wrenching to feel invalidation from an “accepting” community. It’s shameful. And yea, haters gonna hate. But in the end, “Camp Pow-Her” had my back, and that solidified space in my heart for these women. And that’s all that matters really. (I won’t mention names, you know who you are, I love and miss you all!)
What do you think rollerblading has done well to promote women and what can it do better?
I think the industry has done ok this past year, but I still feel rollerblading is too hyper-patriarchal. The fight for prize equity in gendered competitions is still being met with misogyny from the community (I bet Montre has some stories in reference to him declaring QCKC equal prize monies). USD is the only major aggressive boot brand with a woman pro (Mery, and her other pro products), we see Chynna’s pro product lines, and Kay Luz getting blessed with a Moonshine spot. Strides are being made, it’s great. It’s better than it was, but gender equity in inline skating is still far off. As diverse as the community is, gender, age, skills, ethnicities, you still don’t see it in our marketing. And the community is pretty silent about it. More of us should be actively taking a stand, too many of us only care about the new skate, the new frame, or the new wheel company. Like that stuff is awesome and all, but like, do we care about inequities in our community? Can we do better? Of course we can, there’s always room for improvement. It’s especially important now that the community is growing. We want more people skating. Kids are getting into skating, and they deserve to see themselves in this thing we love. The lack of response to the inequities in the industry’s marketing is very noticeable. People will argue “it’s just buisness,” using that as a strawman to justify exclusionary marketing decisions.
It’s really simple, you want to promote women? Include women in your marketing, include us in your decision making. Listen to us when we hold you to account. The men in power over the industry could learn about feminism and work on making changes that further gender equity. Same with racism – learn of your privileges, engage in anti-racism to further racial equity. There’s space for more women-owned brands too. Shouts to the few! Maybe I’ll start a queer-femme-centric brand and walk the walk, add another level of niche to something thats already generally obscure. Even so, it doesn’t change the fact that there’s really only a handful of brands that carry enough influence to make a difference in how people are promoted in the community.
Who are some bladies we should follow? All of them. Black, trans, newbies, og’s. All sizes, shapes, colors and skill levels. @brandigr2, @dcmccloskey, @wake2skate22, @big_h_rach, @anika_onesixty, @rachelkae, @tomi_shreds, @thepickleshreds. Shouts to the only black blader women i know of, @lisa_ride_bdx and @moroniethecreator. If there’s more active black women in the community, I need to know, because I haven’t come across any. To be honest, the lack of promoting black women in blading has me just as concerned as the lack of promoting LGBTQ+ people in blading. I’d like to add @shannonjoyrodgers to my list of bladies to follow. I cant forget her, and how influential her life+section was!
I’d again like to sincerely thank Jonathan Labez @Jmlabez for the opportunity to voice my thoughts on this platform!