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Friday, December 28, 2012

The most important skater girls of 2012 (Part II)

The most important skater girls of 2012 (Part II)

This is the Part II of a series of four posts. The report was originally schedule to fit in one post but Girl’s skateboarding is now too big, there is too much information to fit in one, or even two posts… So, the breakdown of the four post is as follows:

Lizzie Armanto at Gonzales Pool (R.I.P) in 2012
The most important skater girls of 2012 (Part I):
- Lizzie Armanto
- Abby Zsarnay
- Nora Vasconcelos
- Arianna Carmona
- Mimi Knoop
- Evelien Bouillart

The most important skater girls of 2012 (Part II)
- Justyce tabor
- Amelia Brodka
- Julz Lynn
- Julie Westfall

The most important skater girls of 2012 (Part III)
- Allysha Bergado
- Coco Cianciarulo
- Ameejay Papelera
- Pauliana Laffabrier
- Poppy Starr Olsen

The most important skater girls of 2012 (Part IV - Upcoming)

Amelia Brodka, Patty Segovia, All Girls Skate Jam 2012, Skateboardiing, skater girl
Amelia Brodka and Patty Segovia during All Girl Skate Jam 2012
Yes, I know, the title of those four posts could have been better as: “The best skater girls of 2012”. It is not. Instead, I choose: “The most important skater girls of 2012”.

Although it will seem exactly the same to most, there is a slight difference. Talking about the best skater girls would have implied to bluntly take contests results, say from one to 10 and list the best skater girls. I could have taken the results from the All Girls Skate Jam Tour of 2012 together with the WCS results. That’s what I did last year when I ranked The Best Skater Girls of 2011. But now, I think that’s too mathematical and too plain and simple.

Julz Lynn, Julie Kindstrand, Venice
Julie Kindstrand at Venice Skate Park. Photo Ray Rae
And skateboarding is neither plain and simple nor mathematical: the state of girl skateboarding in 2012 is more complicated than some international contest rankings.

Granted, the girls that I’m talking about are, for the most part, all ranked in the worldwide contest system. But, wait a minute! What international contest system? How many international contests there where in 2012? What are those organizations that rank skater girls worldwide according to their level? Seriously, it seems to me that there is only one sole international organization: the World Cup Skateboarding. The X-Games is out of the equation, because they outsource their judging to the WCS, and as far as I’m concerned, that’s the same thing for the Dew Tour…

With regards to The Street League ™ and Maloof Money Cup, I am still looking out for anything special they did this year to help girl skateboarding. Especially in bowl and vert skateboarding! Don and Danielle Bostick, along with their crew of dedicated skaters (Dave Duncan, Sasha Steinhost, etc..) have constantly incorporated girls in their contest

Patti McGee, Girl Skateboarding
Pat McGee. If you want to point fingers: She started all that mess in the 60's
system since 1993 when their started this whole skateboarding madness out of the NSA.

That’s 20 years of committed service to skateboarding. That’s 20 years of uplifting skateboarding. Even when skateboarding was close to nothing, the World Cup Skateboarding never lost the spirit, and for that, World Cup Skateboarding not only should be warmly thanked but they should have a blank check to organizing the major contests for the next 20 years.

So, most of our “most important skater girls of 2012” are ranked within the WCS international point system. Plus we have added a couple of girls that are not ranked by the WCS (because they did not go to the contest –for a reason or another) but that are definitively part of the group, either because they are up and coming, big time, or because their contribution to girl skateboarding has been awesome this year: Peggi Oki got inducted to the Skateboarding Hall of Fame, Alana Smith was the 2nd girl ever to land a 540, Lizzie Armanto was christened the international Ambassador of women’s skateboarding thanks to trips to Australia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Peru; Lacey Baker skated Tampa, Julz Lynn skated 1568 miles to Oregon, Leticia Bufoni got a Brazilian award for the “best skater girl of 2012” by the magazine 100%Skate and it was the apotheosis for Amelia Brodka who organized “Exposure 2012” contest and realized the “Underexposed” documentary with great fanfare. Just for this, Amelia Brodka should get our award of “the most important skater girl of 2012”, but (see above) we don’t rank girls; we just love them all for just the way they are… Those most important skater girls of 2012 are rapidly forming a group of elite skateboarders who are seen in the eyes of others as champions and role models.

Abby Zsarnay
Abby Zsarnay: Kick Flip Indy. Photo Chris Zsarnay

In 2012, a lot of people were talking about skater girls, but talk is cheap. So, some of them took pictures or wrote about them… Some others published pictures in their magazines or websites. That’s better, but not enough. After the dust settled, the only major girl events for 2012 were Julian Bleeker’s bookHello Skater Girl”, the “Exposure 2012” by Amelia Brodka, the documentary “Underexposed” by Amelia Brodka and the Jono Schwan's Rocky Mountain Rampage contest in Colorado Springs which was the first women's vert contest since it was dropped from X Games.

And you, what have you done for the skater girls in 2012?

A couple of years ago, it was still relevant to ask if girls were accepted into the macho culture of skateboarding. Now, asking the same question would make you pass for a US Congressman (out of touch with the reality), even though there are still guys that just leave the parks when they see girls arriving of even if guys still throw their boards in the bowls when girls are riding them. No kiddin’.

Granted, this type of behavior has now became rare, and it has more to do with jealousy by guys that are completely pissed off the see that girls are now skating better than them… Guys are still extremely possessive about skateboarding and some of them are still not ready to share with what they consider as their private culture.

So, for all those reasons, if 2012 was still not the year of the girl, as forecast, it sure look like it’s the foundation upon what the feminine skateboarding will be built for the years to come.

Girl skateboarding, all girl skate jam
Some of the best skater girls of 2012: Amelia Brodka, Sarah Thompson, Arianna Carmona, Julz Lynn


Justyce Tabor

Justyce Tabor Photo Nate McDonald

Lives in: Portland, Oregon
Favorite Place to skate: Walla Walla
2012 WCS Bowl Ranking: 2nd

Justyce Tabor has been competing at tournaments in Oregon and around the world. She currently live in the Portland Oregon area, she was born in Walla Walla Washigton.
In 2010 she was ranked 3rd in the world in skateboard bowl competition. In 2011, she got the 15th position and in 2012, she finished 2nd, just below Lizzie Armanto, her best achievement so far and she is now riding as a professional skateboarder with a lot of different sponsors that support her to the max: “I used to ride for Santa Cruz skateboards, but I recently switched to Hoopla skateboards, I loved the Santa Cruz Boards but I must say that switching to Hoopla was one of the best decisions I've made! And I have stuck with my amazing clothing sponsor Auviq out of Portland Oregon!

Justyce's father, Mike, said the family is committed to supporting their daughter and her dream. "Unfortunately this industry, like everything else in America, is struggling because of the economy. So things like the female skating at the Games are being eliminated."

Her mom, Brandi Tabor called her daughter’s skating talent unique. "She is a really good skateboarder," said Brandi, "And the drive she has is just unbelievable." Justyce parents also believe that their daughter is learning life skills through her sport. "She is learning what it takes to achieve your dreams," said Brandi. "Never give up."

In retrospective, Justyce Tabor says about 2012 that: “This last past year it has been really difficult trying to squeeze in my school work and skateboarding at the same time, and to add on top of that I have to base my life around Oregon weather. So I haven't had any time to deal with a lot of my personal life. Hahaha…

Justyce Tabor, The Best Skater Girls of 2012
Hoopla announcement October 2012: "Meet our #homecoming #queen @justyce_tabor ! #girlscanskatetoo ;)"
Of course, all girls had a major progression this year, but Justyce says that: “I've learned a lot and progressed a lot in 2012, I honestly can't think of how many things I've learned. Haha

There were not too many contets for girls in 2012, but she says that: “I went to the Rocky Mountain Rampage in Colorado Springs, Tim Brauch Memorial in San Jose, Oregon UNO-fecta and sadly I wasn't able to make to the Exposed contest that Amelia (Brodka) put on.” Although she got her best result at the Pier Park there was not a single contest that she preferred she says: “I really enjoyed each and every one! I really enjoyed the Colorado Springs skatepark!! It was amazing but Lake Cunningham was also super amazing!!

Justice also has her list of favorite girl’s skaters: “For bowl and tranny my top ten girl skaters are Nora Vasconcelos, Alana Smith, Lizzie Armanto, Amelia Brodka, Julz Lynn, Allysha Bergado, Abby Zsarnay, Mimi Knoop, Carabeth Burnside, but I can't put them in order!! They are all so amazing!!

Justyce Tabor, Tim Brauch Memorial, Best skater girls of 2012
Justyce Tabor ripped and came in 4th place at the 14th annual Tim Brauch Memorial contest 2012
Her home park is Seaside Oregon: “I skate that park the most. It's kind of hard to progress considering that the whole park is 8ft and under.” But she adds that her favorite spot is “Walla Walla Washington's bowl!! It's so amazing!!” Like you would imagine, she prefers concrete over wood: “If it isn't concrete, I can't skate it. Oregon is based around concrete!!” Metal or pool coping? “It depends on the size of park, if it’s under 7ft I would prefer metal but anything above 7ft it should be poolcoping.

So, what will 2013 bring for her and girls skateboarding? “I hope that the girls can get more recognition in the year 2013.” she quickly adds: "For 2013 I wish for a great skate year with no injuries and lots of good weather!!"

Amelia Brodka

Amelia Brodka during the contest she organized at the Mission Valley YMCA. Photo Chris Zsarnay
Amelia Brodka best skater girl of 2012
Amelia Brodka Photo Dan Sparagna 

BIRTHDAY: August 18, 1989
Lives in: San Diego
WCS Bowl ranking: #7
RESIDE: Los Angeles, California
Motto: Underexposed!!

Amelia Brodka was born in Poland as a skateboarder even though never her or her parents knew anything about this at the time…

When she was 7 years old, she moved from Poland to the east coast (the States, baby). 2012 was a very good year for Amelia Brodka: she had her first pro model out, she successfully passedn her diploma, she organized the awesome Exposure 2012 girls’ only contest and she finished her 2 hour documentary “Underexposed”. Both Underexposed and Exposure have been praised not only by all the girls but also mainstream skateboarding media.
Amelia Brodka Photo JoAnne Barrat
Amelia is not a rookie in skateboarding especially when she says that: “The first time I was exposed to a skateboard, I was immediately drawn to it. My brother got one shortly after we moved to the US from Poland. I would steal it when he wasn't around and ride around on my knees. He didn't like me using it because I "wasn't doing it right." It wasn't long before it got run over by a car, and he never got a new one. Years later, I saw one of my friends rolling around and I said "That looks hard, can you teach me?"

As soon as she graduated from high school at Gould Academy in Maine, she moved to the west coast. The move was partly because she was attending the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and partly because California is a more friendly state for skaters.

Amelia Brodka Memorial Skatepark Photo Chris Zsarnay
After living several years in Los Angeles, she now calls San Diego, the mecca of vert skateboarding, her new home. Unlike other people who just complain that nothing is happening and are waiting for the others to stir the pot, she rapidly understood that if you don’t do things by yourself, nobody’s gonna do it for you. That DIY attitude is definitively part of what hard core skateboarders are. So, one day, she grabbed a camera and started a long 2 year journey in order to produce Underexposed a 120+ minute documentary about the state of girl’s skateboarding. The documentary has been praised by all skateboarding media, including Thrasher, Transworld and of course

But being a director wasn’t a feat big enough so she added another hat to her
Amelia Brodka Memorial Skatepark Photo Chris Zsarnay
already prestigious résumé: contest organizer. With Armando De La Libertad (aka "mondo"), the organizer of The Slam at Volcom Skatepark in 2011 (and my OG partner in crime), they set up a girls’ only contest at Clairemont skatepark on November 3rd, 2012. An end-of-the-year contest was greatly needed for girls, severed with very few venues in 2012.

God only knows what her next step will be: Amelia has understood that in skateboarding, the sky is the limit.


Julz Lynn

Julz Lynn, DP and Screech are the last warriors of skateboarding. Julz is the most hard core punk rock skate girl that I know. At the Pink Motel Pool Party she was thrashing the pool like there was no tomorrow. She is made of the same cloth as Duane Peters and Screech.. When she falls, the concrete complains...
Julz Lynn Best Skater girls of 2012
Julz Lynn Photo Julian Bleecker

LIVES IN: Near a good bowl
Favorite Place to skate: Kelly Belmars Pool
2012 WCS Bowl Ranking: #8
Motto: “Live the life you love. Love the life you live.” -Bob Marley

Julz Lynn never planned on being a professional skateboarder, although she already had the skateboard gene inside of her, she did not know or dare to care… She was actually born of a skateboarder father, Dave Kindstrand, who is a legend on the SoCal skate scene. But it took her 11 years before she stepped on a board for the first time. Despite her father’s long history with skateboarding, Julz was not pushed to skate by her father during her early childhood. But, after she started, her skateboarding gene enlightened all her soul and the God factor started to work and do marvels: she was dropping in on an eight-foot ramp almost immediately and within months she was doing frontside airs.

Julz Lynn Best skater girl of 2012
Julz Lynn Photo Chris Zsarnay
Julz Lynn was born at Big Bear (a ski area a couple of hours from Los Angeles) but she now lives in the Anaheim/Fullerton area even though she lived at Santa Ana in her younger years.

After being #1 at the Vans Girl Combi Classic and being the worldwide female bowl rider champ for three years in a row in 2007, 2008, 2009, she also achieved an honorary award from the city of Santa Ana for being an exemplary female role model and for her first place accomplishment of winning the Pro-Tec Pool Party in 2009. Then, she went through some kind of crisis for some time. Even if crisis are seen as mostly negatives, the one she went through turned out to be a positive event that made her rethink who she was or where she was going and make her gather power and steam for the years to come. Indeed, 2012 marks the rebirth and evolution period for her, probably more than any other girl even if she agrees that: “this year has shown a lot of great progression for female skateboarding and in more areas than one. Even the group of younger girls getting evolved has progressed and multiplied.

Technically, in 2012 she went through a huge leap forward, she used to have a gnarly style, now she has both a gnarly style and a bag full of tricks thanks to new tricks like: “Rock’n’roll slides, andrechts, 
Matt Gaudio, Julz Lynn, Jordan Abraham, Silly Skateboards
Julz Lynn with Silly Boards team manager Matt gaudio and team mate Jordan Abraham Photo Chros Zsarnay 
smith grinds, air disasters, body jar, lean to tail. Lipslides, frontside boneless, tail blocks, air to fakie, backside Ollie's, frontside airticknee tail smacks, frontside air truck bash, blunt to axel, front blunt pivot, pop shovits, flat ground half cab, frontside and backside flat ground 180, boneless 180, nollie, nose Manuels, allyooop airs, fakie smith, allyoop5050, allyoop5o. Front tail.

Julz has definitively her own skatin’ style that leave most guys jaw dropping. She says that all the girls in 2012: “are skatin’ more on a male competitive level now” but she looks more like the leader of the pack than the regular sheep of the flock. If Coco Chanel once said that “madness is genius and it's better to be
Madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely outrageous than absolutely boring.
absolutely outrageous than absolutely boring,
” you just need to go see her skating with the guys and see how her lines flow into tricks and inversely to understand what I mean when I say her skatin’ style is both outrageous and mad… She humbly says that “More girls are now getting tricks that the masters of skateboarding have perfected and newer tricks and lines that even the pro/am male skaters are doing,” but even if that’s a true axiom for the top girls of 2012, that’s more of a staunch lifestyle for her. Eventually, she also says that: “I feel like the group has changed to help the level change. There is progression in some areas but I feel like in years past other areas of skateboarding were more
But also, Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.
Julz Lynn Andrecht at Bucky Lasek's huge Backyard Pool. Photo Dan Sparagna
progressed. I feel there's a more technical level now advancing with the newer generations.”

But it’s Julz personal life that got a big turn this year: “In 2012 as far as my personal life is concerned in what has changed there has honestly been too much to go over all of it. The most influential changes though have been based on going from a permanent living situation to a more skateboarding lifestyle choice of couch surfing. I've been traveling much too much to stay in one place to long. That's just part of who I am as well. I also got to branch out with skateboarding and come back from injuries and get somewhat comfortable now with the responsibilities that come with adulthood. I got the opportunity to skateboard outside of California and make my own skateboarding adventures and that was truly inspiring for my skateboarding. I expanded my mind in a lot of ways this year and opened myself to the more natural way of trying to live more organical. I've been thinking more about my health and exercising to help keep my bodies endurance stronger after having so many set backs and coming back to skateboarding more intensely I was out of shape. I've also made the choice to wear my helmet as more of a mandatory thing to help protect my brain after many concussions.

Of course, Julz might be remembered by entering the major 2012 contests and events: “Exposure, Fontana contest, Tim 
Julz Lynn Photo Jim Goodrich
Brauch, Etnies Halloween.” But that’s especially her unbelievable trip to Oregon that made people said she’s more than a tough girl, she’s a full-fledged skateboarder, regardless of her gender. What she did with this trip, most guys that I know wouldn’t even have thought about it… On July 5th, 2012, at 5am in the morning, she embarked, alone, with a huge backpack, three skateboards, a cell phone and $200 on a State card on a 6 week journey from Huntington Beach California, to Lincoln City, Oregon. On July 2nd, we catch up with her, just before she was leaving and she told us that: "Altogether, with all the stops that I’m gonna have; I will ride 1568 miles with 24 skateparks… But I had a lot of people asking me to stop in their skateparks and I know there are a lot of skateparks along the way so I will probably hit more parks than I have listed and will probably end up skating more miles.” That’s what I will remember when people will ask me what Julz did this year!

Julz Lynn’s current sponsors are Pink Widow Distribution, Silly Girl Skateboards, Bones Wheels and earings, S-One Helmets, Black Flys Sunglasses, (flow) Sole Technology. (Emerica) and she list the following girls as favorite girl skaters for 2012: “Allysha Bergado, Ariana Carmona, Mikayla Shepherd, Justyce Tabor, Abby Zarnsay, Ameejay Papalara, LynZAdamnsPastrana, Alana Smith, Jen O'brien and Nora Vasconcelos.

Even if for 2012, she says that she has: “No regrets. Everything I've done for a reason. All a part of the plan;” she just laments that “I would have been at competitions even if I wasn't competing just to be support. Show there are more girls out there.” For 2013, she adds that: “I wish for the best in everything for 2013 with lots of expansion and travel and new endeavors.” One thing for certain is that in 2013, girl’s skateboarding will have a : “Huge progression and 1080s.

I asked Julz Lynn if she has a favorite skatepark and she said: “Favorite is hard but probably Kelly Belmars’ Pool. Also love skating backyards more than anything. Combi pool of course that's been my park since 2005. I love all of the parks up north in Oregon and Washington.” Even if she recognize that her home skatepark has alwasys been and still is: “Vans Skatepark at the Outlets of Orange.” Of course, she prefers the concrete over the wood and lists the: “ Chunky pool coping” as her favorite place to grind.

Julie Westfall

Julie Westfall at Fontana Skatepark
BIRTHDAY: November 15, 1991
HOMETOWN: Born and raised in Chatsworth, California
Favorite Place to skate: Ojai Skatepark!
2012 WCS Bowl Ranking: #10

On June 26, 2011 Julie Westfall participated in the World's Largest Skateboard Parade for the Guinness Book of World Records during the Centennial Celebration of Venice High School in Venice, California. Along with 500 other skateboarders of all ages and backgrounds, the parade route ran for 2 miles from the intersection of Pacific and Venice, east towards Venice High School.
Julie Westfall Photo Chris Zsarnay

The parad featured the Silly Girl Skateboards Posse along with clips of Patti McGee, Peggy Oki, Jenna Hannon and more.

But that’s not for that reason that Julie Westfall made the “most important skateboarder girls of 2012”. Julie has participated in the WCS contest since 2009 when she ranked 24th. 2010 was a big leap forward when she was classed 6th, the in 2011: 14th, and this year (2012) she finished at the 10th place.

Julie Westfall was born and raised Chatsworth, where she currently lives.
Julie Westfall Photo Chris Zsarnay
She says about 2012 that: “I have never seen such progression as I have in this past year! The girls are really stepping it up!” 2012 was not a good year for her since she: “lost her dad to cancer.

The tricks she learned in 2012 are: “back disaster, front and back smiths but mainly just trying to stay on my board this year since I broke my ankle and lost my dad!”
In 2012, Julie went to: “The Oregon for the Pier Park contest. Fontana contest and the Exposure event in Encinitas Ca!” and she adds that: “the best event/contest was by far the Exposure event run by Amelia Brodka!” In 2012, there was: “no sponsor changes but I'm still riding for the best girl team ever Silly Girl Skateboard!” She lists: “Abby Zsarnay, Nora Vascancellos, Lizzie Armanto, Allysha Bergado, Jordan Abraham, Mikayla Shepard, Sarah Thompson, Bryce Ava Wettstein, and Arianna Carmona” as the best skater girls for 2012.

For 2013, she says that she plans: “on getting back into skateboarding wholeheartedly and just have fun! Even if I never do one contest ever again I'll still love skateboarding and what it means to me!

Thanks to the following photographers for letting me use their pictures: Chris Zsarnay, Ray Rae, Nate McDonald, Joanne Barratt, Julian Bleecker, Dan Sparagna, Jim Goodrich, Hoopla Skateboarding.

You can see more pictures of those photographers on their respective websites:
- Ray Rae Pix
- Nate Mc Donald Photography
- Joanne Barrat Photography
- Julian Bleecker Hello Skater Girl

Additional reading:
- Exposure 2012, a contest by Amelia Brodka
- Abby Zsarnay interview
- Allysha Bergado Interview
- Interview with Ameejay Papelera
- Interview with Amelia Brodka
- Interview with Annika Vrklan
- Interview with Cindy Whitehead
- Interview with world cup skateboardings
- Interview with Jordan Abraham
- Interview with Julie Kindstrand
- Interview with Lyn-z-hawkins
- Interview with Patti Mcgee
- Interview with Patty Segovia

This post is part of a series of four different posts:

The most important skater girls of 2012 (Part I):
- Lizzie Armanto
- Abby Zsarnay
- Nora Vasconcelos
- Arianna Carmona
- Mimi Knoop
- Evelien Bouillart

The most important skater girls of 2012 (Part II)
- Justyce tabor
- Amelia Brodka
- Julz Lynn
- Julie Westfall

The most important skater girls of 2012 (Part III)
- Allysha Bergado
- Coco Cianciarulo
- Ameejay papelera
- Pauliana Laffabrier
- Poppy Starr Olsen

The most important skater girls of 2012 (Part IV - Upcoming)

Girls' resources
- All girls Skate Jam

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posted by Xavier Lannes @ Friday, December 28, 2012 


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