Throughout history, women have crossed boundaries in more and more fields proving that they are a force to be reckoned with.
Longboarding may seem to be an intimidating sport for women but in this article, we have listed 4 women who have proven otherwise.
Here are 4 Badass Women Making a Name in Longboarding:
#1 Ishtar Bäcklund
Ishtar Bäcklund starred in a short film in collaboration with Swedish band Tussilago. It features her inspiring quest as an artist, a longboarder, and a person. The short motion picture is, however, just the tip of the iceberg depicting who she is.
At 17, Ishtar had fallen in love with the craft and found a family from the skaters in her new home when she moved from Malmö to Stockholm. She started out as a national Rugby player before she was a boarder proving that she can cross boundaries with passion and hard work. It is unsurprising that she has found her place in what many consider as a man’s world.
Ishtar is more than just your downhill longboard rider. She has led a life well-travelled sharing her talents, both in longboarding and mural art, spreading inspiration around the world.
Her journey was never easy. Ishtar has to juggle school, her art and work to fund her planned longboarding expedition.
She was just a fresh graduate when she had her ticket to the US, where she embarked on a new journey that transformed her life.
And the rest was history.
#2 Valeria Kechichian
Valeria is the living attestation that longboarding knows no gender, age, or reason.
Starting her ride at a later age was not even her biggest feat. She conquered her life’s most difficult challenge of changing herself and becoming a person she will be proud of.
She was deeply into drugs and alcohol. But, longboarding has been her anchor keeping her afloat. Now, Valeria continues to break walls and gather more women into active sports, motivating them to also push beyond stereotypical lines through Longboard Girls Crew (LGC).
This association of women was established in 2010 with their home in Madrid. At present, LGC is moving geographical borders making presence not just in Spain, but also in 180 countries. They aim to empower all, especially the female population, to showcase their skills and enjoy what they love doing without the prejudices of society. Valeria and her crew have helped more than a hundred women to enter into action sports and eventually motivate them to go to Pro.
What started as a simple and fun activity with the aim of forming a local female longboarders are making waves all over the world. Way to go Valeria!
If you want to know more about her story and her crew, here is her Tedx Talk in Madrid.
#3 Ko Hyojoo
The longboarding Instagram sensation that has been flooding feeds has been found!
Of Korean descent, Ko Hyojoo stirred the interest of many with her gracious board moves. In an interview with Vogue, Hyojoo has found longboarding as a way to keep her sane in an otherwise mundane 9-to-5 job.
While Hyojoo is not new to the limelight as she once starred in the music video Umbrella by Far East Movement, she did not expect her video to go viral. In the same interview with Vogue, she said that her video was only meant for her to see how she can improve her longboarding skills.
The Instagram sensation has been getting attention from the virtual community and even the big names as the Korean-American rapper, Kero One. After Kero One posted her longboarding video, which obviously shows her fluid longboarding skills, the online community went gaga. She has been eyed and invited to represent brands like Converse and GoPro.
She started her ride only three years ago. While Hyojoo hasn’t decided to go Pro yet, she has been gearing up to enhance her skills. Who knows, the universe may have other plans for her. She is definitely one to watch out for!
#4. Emily Pross
To say that she is born to be a champion may be an understatement.
Emily showed love for boarding sports at the tender age of 9 from her interest in skateboarding to street luge. When she was a teenager, she asked Google’s help to look for a road luge, which is hugely similar to longboarding, but a totally different sport at the same time, to show to her parents. But, by some brush of fate, her parents ended up buying her a longboard.
Ten years later, she is hailed as the champion for the 2016 International Downhill Federation’s Women’s Longboarding World Champion. Her winning streak does not end there. Emily is the only female longboarder to belong in the top 20 in the world wide open class skaters for men and women. Now that’s badass!
Emily is on her way in the Pro games, competing all over the world on top of studying as a marketing student in Berkeley. Whether it be on the road or in school, she continues to thrive. From her neighborhood to other exciting places as in the US as Texas, to the other end of the world like Australia and New Zealand, she is pushing to break barriers.
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