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Sunday, December 30, 2012

The most important skater girls of 2012 (Part III)

The most important skater girls of 2012 (Part III)

This survey of 2012 girl skateboarding was supposed to fill out one small post. But the small post grew so big that I had to spread it among 2 huge posts. But the more I was talking with girls, the more I was convinced that 2012 would serve as a foundation from where 2013 would eventually be “the year of the skater girl.
AmeeJay Papelera, Lizzie Armanto, Nicole Noller, Colette Peterson, Justyce Tabor, Julie Westfall, Abby Zsarnay
This is the breakdown of the four parts:
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)

Allysha Bergado, best skater girl of 2012, Vans
“Skater girl” I mean and “skater girl” it is! Allysha Bergado at The Vans Combi Pool
Eventually, the small post grew to a 4 post series and even with that, I could not include all the girls I wanted. After the 2nd post, I received a lot of emails from girls that could be summed up as: “why are you talking only about 20 important skater girls? We are all important!!” Others challenged my choice of words: “We are not skater girls, we are women skaters”…. This fight on words has been brewing for a couple of years now and I should have known better. Skater girls don’t like to be called girls, they prefer “ladies”, “females” or “woman”, except that only ESPN use “Lady” or “female” to refer to the world of girls’ skateboarding and only WCS use “woman”. All the other media that I know use “girl”. What’s more, all the girls websites’ that I know use “girl” and not “woman” or “ladies” and even less “female”. Examples?,,,,,,

I can’t imagine a skater girl’s organization with the following names: “Skate Like A Lady”, “All Females Skate Jam”, or “Silly Women Skateboarding”…

So, I’ll go with the flow, “skater girl” I mean and “skater girl” it is!

In the first two posts, I included up and coming skater girls. This post will be more international, with a profile of Coco Cianciarulo, the whizz kid from Argentina, Poppy Starr Olsen, the Australian National Champion or Pauliana Laffabrier a French bowl and vert emulation in between Lizzie Armanto and Julz Lynn…
So, here is Part III of “The Most Important Skate Girls of 2012”.

Exposure 2012 by Amelia Brodka with Alana Smith, Julz Lynn, Lizzie Armanto, Allysha Bergado was referred as 'The Best Girls Contest Ever' by all the girls
in this suvey. Watch the video above...

Ameejay Papelera

Ameejay Papelera, Vans skatepark, Girls Combi Classic
Ameejay Papelera
When she was about 5, Ameejay Papelera saw her: “brother and his friend skating in the front yard and in my head I was thinking, ‘wow that looks so fun’. So one day I saw my brother’s board lying around the house, I took it outside to try it out and the rest was history.” Yep, that how she started skating: “Technically since I was 5 but competitively skating for 9 yrs.

Ameejay lives in Lakewood, CA but was born in Long Beach, CA about 20 years ago. The early influences she had on skateboarding were Jen O’brien, Cara-Beth Burnside, Vanessa Torres and Eric Koston… For her 10th birthday Ameejay’s dad and uncle built a mini ramp for her in the backyard. It lived for a good 3 years. After that,
Ameejay Papelera
Ameejay Papelera. Photo Chris Zsarnay
they decided : “on building a new and improved mini ramp, (…) about 5 ft. tall and I believe 16 ft. wide, I’ll be helping him with this one this time and we’ll be having a lot more help this time too. I’m pretty excited about it! I can’t wait!

Ameejay belong to those girls whose skate level went through the roof in 2012. But she recognizes that she is not the only one and that the competition is fierce: “Yes, the younger girls have progressed so much, especially this year. They have been pushing the limit. For example, 12 year old Alana Smith put it down at the Exposure Contest in November by landing the Mctwist in contest. That right there shows that the girls’ level of skateboarding has definitely soared this

Ameejay Papelera, Venice Skatepark, Best Skater Girls of 2012
Ameejay Papelera Venice Skatepark. Photo Julian Bleecker
year than previous years. I know when I was that age I was not skating at that level, I did not have the guts to pull off a huge ass maneuver like that, but for me it's not discouraging at all, if anything it's encouraging and inspirational! It's just so exciting to see how much the younger girls have been progressing over the years and being able to see the evolution of women's skateboarding is amazing. They're starting to catch up. I’m excited to see what's next and where we can bring women's skateboarding from here on. We just gotta keep pushing!

But even if she likes to push up to the limit, like other skater girls, she is quite
Ameejay Papelera
Ameejay Papelera Photo Chris Zsarnay
unsure what her status is Pro? Am? “I mean, I skate in Pro events but I am no pro...yet.” Notwithstanding, like a pro, Ameejay’s got sponsors: Syndicate Skateboards and Continuous Clothing. And she lists as her favorite skater girls of the moment: “Justyce Tabor, Allysha Bergado, Nora Vasconcellos, Julz Lynn, Lizzie Armanto, Alana Smith, Amelia Brodka, Hunter Long, Mikalya Sheppard, and Abby Zsarnay.

2012 was a tough year for Ameejay: “In 2012 many things have changed. I felt I had little time to do things because of an earlier injury, work and school. The little time I did have took a damper on my skating.

Ameejay Papelera
Ameejay Papelera Photo Chris Zsarnay
I wasn't skating as much as I wanted because of school and work. It was even tough to hang out with friends too because I was busy, but not only me, I mean everyone was busy. So I would say 2012 has been one hell of a year. In the beginning I had to deal with rehabilitating my broken foot which was tough because I just wanted to skate right away but I needed to take baby steps. Also this year my relationships with my friends, boyfriend, and family, I felt, had been unbalanced and I needed to find that balance again. In late May I was able to finally skate, so I felt whole and sane again and started to get my tricks back for competition then I ended up getting a job in July and I didn't get the skate time I wanted in time for competition so I sucked. I gave myself excuses, but toward the end of this year I told myself I'm going to make it a point to make time for skateboarding no matter what.

But, even with the broken foot, the job and the excuses she managed to learn a handful of new tricks: “I learned back smiths, front side (tuck knee) airs, fakie smith reverts, nose stall back reverts, tail stall front and back reverts, no comply tail slide front revert out, front rocks, and
Ameejay Papelera, Venice skatepark, Best Skater Girl of 2012
Ameejay Papelera at Venice Skatepark. Photo Julian Bleecker
front side tail slides.

It’s true that there were not a lot of contest for girls this year, however, she could to do the most important one: Oregon Trifecta, Rocky Mountain Rampage, Tim Brauch Memorial, and Exposure. Like other girls, she says that: “I definitely preferred Exposure this year because it was an all-girl skate contest put on by our very own Amelia Brodka and some others. It was the first annual Exposure contest, the turnout was amazing and the contest was lots of fun; full of energy and all. I really enjoyed skating with all the gals, it was a great experience and a big step in women's skateboarding.

Her favorite skatepark “would have to be Houghton in Long Beach. I love Houghton because it's pretty close to where I live and the bowl is amazing, it has great flow, good variety of tranny and even though it's in a ghetto area the vibes are positive.

Ameejay Papelera All Girls Skate Jam 2012
Ameejay Papelera during the All Girl Skate Jam in 2012
And her Home skatepark is Caruthers: “it has always been my go to skatepark because it is just down the street from where I live and also its very nostalgic for me, I grew up skating there, it was the very first skatepark I ever skated at. The bowl there is a snowman shape and super fun for me; it’s a fun sized bowl! I have had some of the best memories and skate sessions in that bowl and all the homies go there so it's always cool to skate with people you enjoy being around.” She prefers concrete over wood and pool coping over metal…

Ameejay’s plans for 2013 are: “to have a decent paying job so I can save up for a car, get good grades so I can transfer to CSULB hopefully by the end of the year, work on a 2013 art portfolio, and just skating every damn day and learning new tricks!

What’s the future for girl skateboarding in 2013? “Nobody knows what the future holds.

Finally she adds that: “I just want to thank everyone that supports the ladies in skateboarding and skateboarding in general. I want to also thank my sponsors Syndicate Skateboards and Continuous Clothing for hooking it up and supporting me in skateboarding I appreciate you guys a bunch and I want to thank you Xavier for having a genuine interest in women's skating and all the great support you give to us is awesome, much love, I wanna thank my friends and siblings for their love and support too, also I wanna thank my main guy Brandon for always being there for me and giving me his amazing support and unconditional love! I especially want to thank God for blessing me with some amazing parents who have always been there for me since the beginning, without you guys I don't know what would've happened but I am glad you guys stuck by me through it all I love you guys so very much and wouldn't trade you for the world, you guys are the best. To all the aspiring young skater girls out there keep on skating and never give up, follow your dreams and always believe in yourself. What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger.

Coco Cianciarulo

Coco Cianciuarulo
Coco Cianciarulo is the daughter of Flavio Cianciarulo from The Fabulosos Cadillacs, one of the best
Hispanic Rock Band that produced 18 rock albums since 1986
HOMETOWN: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Favorite Place to Skate: her private bowl behind the house
2012 Contest results: #1 National Argentina Champion Girl Assault 2012
Motto: If you fall, get up

At age 8, Cocó Cianciarulo is a true revelation of the local skateboard scene in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She usually competes with boys and girls twice her age, and generally wins the contests. Coco Cianciarulo was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina with a Mexican mom and those father is no less that the legendary and fabulous guitarist Mr. Flavio from Los Fabulosos Cadillacs.

Coco Cianciarulo, Girls Assaults 2012
Coco Cianciarulo
With nearly half of her life as a skater, the little blonde divides her time between school and skateboarding weekends and partakes of competitions or exhibitions. In 2012, as the first stop of the women's tour organized by Girls Assault held in Rosario, Coco finished first in the Novice category in the specialties in Miniramp and Street. She says that "I like having fun, winning, walking across the ramp. I love when I'm first but sometimes being third or fourth... No matter" she says. Daddy Flavio was the one who started all of this by showing Coco how to ride a skateboard 4 years ago. It seems so far away back the time for her now, but Cocó also adds that "My brother Jay and I are better than Dad now."

Coco Cianciarulo
Coco Cianciarulo 
Like daddy, Coco loves music and says that she loves listening to Boom Boom Kid "my favorite band", The Clash, Sublime and "Dad's music." When asked about her fledgling career, she says: "I wish more girls could skate, especially in Buenos Aires where there is space to build a large public ramp. For any fears you may have of injury there is a unique solution: "Put yourself protections: knee pads, elbow pads and a helmet. They are very important, are you safe." It seems strange that she talks about ramps when most of her videos on You-Tube are street related, not vert or bowl; but, when asked whether she prefers street or ramps she proudly says: “The ramp because I can do tricks. At home I have a bowl (closed track with a cylinder). It’s a mini but it’s the same.” She rides concrete and wood and prefers metal copings than most pool copings, but she also adds that: “I like everything, ramps, bowls, and street, I try to ride all options.

Coco Cianciarulo 2012
Coco Cianciarulo; 8 years old
Despite her young age, Coco already has a bunch of sponsors: Nike SB, Rockstar bearings and Don Juan Skateboards, an Argentinean skate company which Coco is proud to say that it is small, artisanal, but independent and needs national support!
She is part of the Ipucha skate Brigade, a team whose riders are Marplantenses. Marcela Aloe’s, Ipucha Local Skateshop says that her “little giant has the genetics for this sport but also has the support of his entire family."
For Coco, a career in skateboarding is something that is still in the works; for her parents have no interest in pressing it. "We want to have fun and enjoy being outdoors," says Jenny, her mother. So much of the verbal agreement they have with Coco’s sponsors allows her to compete anytime even if the desire of being a professional is not lacking, but: “I am too petite for being a pro, I am only 8 years old, ” she laments.

What is the next challenge for her? "I want to learn the Axle but I feel fucked," says a mischievous Cocó surprised at the look of the mother. When asked about the level of girls skating in Argentina, she says that the level: “grew much better this year, there are more girls (skating), but we are missing much more yet.

In 2012, she went to 4th grade of elementary school, she also: “met Mimi Knoop, Lorena Lima, Jessica Florencio .... and many more .....
2012 was a good year for Coco as she learned to land Backside disaster, front side five 0. front side fifty and she went to a bunch of contests, especially Girls Assault, which is the Argentine female skateboarding circuit, she also competed against other boys in the championships because there are not many women's championships in Argentina.... But she says her favorite contest for 2012 is Assault Girls maybe because she won the contest even though she was competing against other girls twice her age. When asked about her favorite skaters, she lists: Eugenia Ginepro (from Argentina), Leticia Bufoni, Lecy Baker, Jessica Florencio (from Brazil), Eliana Sosco, Mimi Knoop, Alysha Bergado, Lorraine Lima, Pamela Rosa and Leticia Goncalves.

For 2013, she says she wants to go far in skateboarding, surf a lot, and she has also snowboarding on her agenda…!
Coco’s last words: “For 2013, Let there be more girls skating! I want to go traveling and skating, meet more girls! And discover as many skateparks as possible.
"Los grandes valores son grandes valores, sin importar si es nena o nene".
Translated from Spanish

Coco Cianciarulo Video

Pauliana Laffabrier

Pauliana Laffabrier, Gujan Mestras
Pauliana Laffabrier at Gujan Mestras (France). Photo Fred Ferand
BIRTHDAY: April 24
HOMETOWN: Bordeaux, France
Favorite Place to Skate:
2012 Contest results: #1 National French Champion 2012

Yes, skateboarding is big in the US, then it’s big in Australia and Brazil, maybe UK or Germany come next but sometimes we tend to forget that other countries can yield good skater girls too. Take France… Although France still has to yield a bowl-vert rider to compete with Pedro Barros, Nolan Munroe or Austin Poynter; for a very long time, the country had plenty of ramp and vert riders (Read Jean Marc Lalondrelle Interview on isTia.Tv) but it was not until a couple of months ago that the bowl craze started
Pauliana Laffabrier
Pauliana Laffabrier Photo Fred Ferand
to pick up. Of course, there was, and still is, the bowl of Marseille, and now the bowl at Gujan Mestras, and the vert ramp at Bordeaux, but that's only a couple of bowls and ramps for a country that is bigger than California and that has almost twice its population...

You should expect the French level to rise in the next months or years. How about girl skateboarders? Well, there is only a handful of them and we already met with some of them: Marie Dabaddie (AKA Mary Sweet), Chloé Bernard (Guillaume Mocquin’s girlfriend) and Pauliana Laffabrier. They are all part of the new French vert revival. So far, only Mary Sweet and Pauliana Laffabrier have a profile on
Pauliana Laffabrier
Pauliana Laffabrier Gujan Mestras Photo Fred Ferand
isTia.Tv, I Skate, Therefore I Am. Expect more to come in the future...

Pauliana Laffabrier told us that she: “started skateboarding in 2007 with my half-brother, we self-helped each other! We had a SpiderMan board (and) we practiced in our garage, I was fascinated by skateboarding. I tried it and I found it cool. In our garden there was a mini flat concrete area, I landed there my first ollies, and my first sprained ankles trying to do flips. In my village, there was not much for skateboarding, no parks and no spots apart from a place with a sidewalk... But when I arrived in Bordeaux in 2010, I discovered the ramp, and I fell in love with vertical skating!”

Pauliana Laffabrier
Pauliana Laffabrier, FS Layback. Photo Mary Sweet

Paulie (short for Pauliana) lives in Bordeaux, in the wine county of France and is almost only into bowl and vert. Even if she says that in France: “our parks are fairly rudimentary” but she says new skateparks are popping up more now: “from a bowl or two a few years ago, we now have a couple of bowls or pools including Gujan Mestras.” Being a bowl rider in France is not easy: probably 99.99% only do street skating (some of them with a top level) “in France, there is not even 10 pools” but she says she went: “ to Spain and skateboarding (and it) is very different from France. They have almost a bowl in each city and hundreds of street spots plus the weather is nice!

Pauliana Laffabrier
Paulie at Gujan Mestras. Photo Fred Ferand
All along this girls’ series we are saying over and over that the girl level has soared in 2012, but maybe not for France: “I do not think the level has increased among girls in France,” she says “but according to what I have seen in the U.S. in general whether in street, bowl or ramp I think there is a real progression and girls are starting earlier and earlier!

Although it seems other French skater girls still have a lot of catch-up to do, Pauliana says a lot has changed for her in 2012: “I really had a click, some motivation to learn tricks and really have fun when I skate! I also spend training to be paid when I teach skateboarding, until that I was only volunteer.” She says the new tricks she can now do thanks to perspiration and dedication are: “F/S and B/S air but not the sketchy ones, the real drawbars, and Bodyjar and B/S D too. I am currently working on F/S crail and F/S smith.

In 2012, she participated in the Championnat de France in Bordeaux, and at the women's open skate in Langon!
Pauliana Laffabrier
Pauliana Laffabrier. Photo David Boisseleau
But she says she would have loved to go to Exposure 2012! She won the title of 2012 French Ramp champ but she humbly says that: “not many girls in France do the ramp. This is not really representative!

Pauliana is sponsored by: “Transfert Skateshop for the past few months! Julien thank you for everything!” but when I asked her if her status was AM or Pro, she just said: “No idea, there is not really something like that in France.

She lists the following girls as the best skater girls for 2012 "Lizzie Armanto First, she really impresses me, her style is fluid, easy to enchain all these tricks, elegance when she skate .. Then Julz Lynn, her style is completely different but I sometimes find myself in the way skater. Third I would say in Nora Vasconcellos, very clean especially mega! 4th Allysha Bergado then Alana Smith promising! 6th Long Hunter and Amelia Brodka, Mimi Knoop and Arianna Carmona and Jutyce Tabor!

Pauliana Laffabrier

If she says that for 2012, “I regret nothing!”, for 2013, her plans are: “To skate and make as much progress this year already, I would like to participate a little more in the championship of France can be in Rouen. With the Federation of Roller / Skate, we set up a kind of road trip between girls during the April holidays! I will continue to make videos and succeed my training and give a little more during skate! It is already quite a while.”

Paulie says that: “I love the park in Arcachon with the pool, but I also love skater our private pool in the vineyards.” But she also adds that she definitively prefers concrete over wood and “concrete coping, I love the noise!” Finally, she says that “I often go to skatepark of Bordeaux, the bowl is made of wood it's been less afraid to learn tricks then this is really easy, even if there are too many people and scooters!

Of course, France is well known for its street scene and international (street) champs. It is the home of Cliché, a small brand born in the mid 80’s in Lyon, the worldwide capital of “gastronomie” that managed to obtain worldwide status and fame thanks to its riders, team manager, writers, photographers and cineastes (French Fred) an epic videos. Cliché is now one of the biggest skateboarding companies worldwide. But like a lot of other countries, France still has to produce a full army of skater girls: “In France, we are far behind the United States either on skatepark construction, or the level of the skater girls. I think we could reach an international level in a few years ...” Says Pauliana…

Thank you, Julien from Transfer Skateshop!

Translated from French on 12/29/2012

Allysha Bergado

Allysha Bergado
"Got in a car accident 2 nights ago - looks like I'll be riding a different set of wheels for a while" Allysha Bergado
Photo Nate McDonald
BIRTHDAY: June 25th, 1996
HOMETOWN: Born and raised in El Segundo, California
Favorite Place to skate:
2012 WCS Bowl Ranking: #4
Motto: Hiya

On one of Allysha Bergado’s social media accounts you can read: “I grew up in El Segundo, CA and I am a Junior in high school. I'm 16 years young and I love skateboarding and playing the guitar. I also like to play basketball and the piano. Please check out my other social networks!”

Allysha Bergado, currently residing in LA County, California, was born on June 25th, 1996. She is Lizzie Armanto’s best friend but also biggest competitor. Together with Lizzie and Nora Vasconcellos, they started a blog called "something great purple" in January 2012. The about section of the blog reads that: "This is where stuff about Nora, Lizzie, and Allysha will go. It’s going to say a bunch of stuff thats going to make everyone
Allysha Bergado
Allysha Bergado at San Jose. Lien Air. Photo Dan Sparagna
that reads this think very highly of them, and want to check out their blog all 86,400 seconds of the day. Next you’ll wanna read their bio’s and realize they’re badasses."

Allysha has a real passion for skateboarding, the guitar, music, and photography. Alysha is gradually accomplishing her goals in school and skateboarding. She has been featured in several TV media projects such as a Nickelodeon "Get Healthy" commercial, EA Skate 3 commercial, and a 711 Slurpee Promo. She was also a star role in both an episode of Disney Channel's Get'cha Head in the Game Showcase and an AT&T Web Video Promotion. Allysha competed in her 1st X-Games Women's Vert contest at only twelve years young. She has participated in many other events and some of her latest achievements are: 1st Place 2011 Girl's Combi Classic, 2nd Place Tim Brauch Memorial and 2nd place
Allysha Bergado
Allysha Bergado Stalefish during the Tim Brauch Contest in San Jose. She landed #2 of the contest. Ph Julian Bleecker

Chili Bowl. Allysha wishes to continue her career and in the future wants to live and go to school in San Diego, California.

Allysha Bergado is known for being the youngest competitor in X Games history. She has competed in two X Games and is still holding out hope she might be able to compete this summer but on December 26th, a heart wrenching news landed on Tho Bergardo’s ears (Allysha’s mom) and she reported in Facebook that: “Last night I got a call that Allysha was in a car accident.. I can't tell u how horrible a feeling that is to hear that about you own child.. Good news is, it could have been worse.. Bad news is, she has one sprained ankle, and
"Don't give up.! Because our greatest victories are not in never falling, but always getting back up when you do. 
So if you want to learn something new just be confident and stay determined:). Don't let others put you down 
and strive for what you love. :)" Allysha Bergado. Photo from Facebook.
one fractured ankle.. My lil skater girl is unfortunately gonna be using a different set of wheels for awhile.. =(“

The accident happened just after she watched "The Hobbit" at the Orange 30 movie theater on Wednesday night; right after a skateboarding session at Vans Skate Park.
But the young X Games veteran is trying to remain upbeat. "Got in a car accident 2 nights ago - looks like I'll be riding a different set of wheels for a while," Allysha wrote on Facebook.

Bergado's mother, Tho, said on Friday that her daughter will be limited to a wheelchair for the immediate future and has casts on both legs. Tho said they are going to an orthopedist on Monday to determine if surgery is needed.

Not only Allysha will have to postpone her driving test she had planned to take Jan.9. but she is definitely out of the Jan.19 Vans Skate Combi that she won with great hoopla last year. Bergado also "She was pretty bummed out in the ER," Bergado said. "The fact
Allysha Bergado
Allysha Bergado at Exposure 2012. Photo Steve Willard
she can't skate is probably what made her the most upset."

Her mother said Bergado was a passenger in the car driven by a friend. Coming back around midnight, Tho Bergado said there was an unlit black abandoned car in the middle of the freeway and that "They didn't see the car until it was too late," Tho Bergado said. "By the time they saw it, they hit it."

"I'll still have fun watching Girl's Combi though," Bergado wrote on Facebook. I made a call to the WCS to see if they would take Allysha as a judge of the contest, but they answered that they would study the option. After all, it would made sense that the winner of the 2011 Girl Combi Classic judge her peers.

SPONSORS: Hoopla Skateboards, Bones Wheels and Bearings, S-One Helmets, 187 Pads, Independent Trucks, SoCAL Skate Shop, Etnies Shoes, Robot-Guts Hardware

Poppy Starr Olsen

Poppy Starr Olsen, Manly Beach, Australia
Poppy Starr Olsen at the Soul Bowl during the Australian Open of Surfing in February 2012. Photo Dean Tirkot
BIRTHDAY: June 1st 2000
HOMETOWN: Born and raised in Sydney Australia, Lives in Bondi Beach
Favorite Place to skate: Bondi Beach, Australia
2012 best Ranking: Australian National Champion
Motto: "There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there.
You must go beyond them " Bruce Lee

Poppy Starr Olsen started skating when she was 8 years old and has been skating ever since: “I was born in Sydney Australia and live at Bondi Beach.” She says.

Poppy Starr Olsen
Poppy carving up on a vert ramp, 60 foot wide by 14 ft vert, located in a back yard in Queensland in December 2012.
The ramp was formerly owned and used by Billabong for a nation wide promo tour and the new owner managed to pick
 it up when they were done. They literally cut the bush away to accommodate the ramp. Snakes and spiders abound
out in the scrub and we were getting eaten up by mossies (mosquitoes). Many a great skate party had been held
there since 2007 when it was set up including many famous skaters. Photo exclusive Thomas Olsen
In January 2012, at the very first Australian National Bowl Rider event in Newcastle, about two hours north of Sydney, Poppy Olsen made a lasting impression and beat out all her competitors whose average age was about 20. The crowd was roaring every time she had a run, and she skated like crazy, landing tricks that she had never done before.

Her win at Newcastle was not the first time Poppy Starr had outskated much older competitors: she was the highest-ranked female competitor at the mixed category on the Florida leg of an American tour; she actually competed in the mixed junior category and was the highest- ranked girl competitor in the Florida leg of the tour, finishing 16th overall.

At the Manly contest, one week after Newcastle, she was the only girl competing in the beach bowl contest as part of the Australian Open of Surfing and she landed 11th amid an all guys jam session. The bowl was so big that tiny Poppy had to use a huge ladder to jump from the bowl and onto the deck…

Poppy Starr Olsen
Poppy jumping the spine at Monster Skate Park where she trains every week. One of the best skate parks in
Australia with the highest vert ramp in the southern hemisphere. Photo Thomas Olsen

Even though she still doesn’t know whether she is pro or amateur “I’m AM… I guess…”;  Poppy has attracted the attention of the extreme sports brand Perfect Moment, which has begun sponsoring her as early as 2011. But in 2012, she was also sponsored by iSkate Australia, Monster Skatepark, TSG, Breo, Gallaz and Decent Hardware.

Her local spot is “definitely Bondi Beach Skatepark. Right on the beach where everyone is very friendly and supportive and where some of the best bowl skaters in the country skate.” She also trains at Monster skate park which has a good 14.5 foot vert ramp. She actually lives at walking distance from one of the best bowls in the world…
Poppy Starr Olsen, Bondi Beach
Poppy popping a perfect pose during Bowl-A-Rama Bondi Beach contest in 2012. Photo Dean Tirkot
She adds that: “We also have our own skate club called the Bondi Skateriders.” Curiously, she prefers wood over concrete and metal over pool coping, is that a sign that maybe she prefers vert over bowl riding?

She also has a great coach: Hagan McCreath, of iSkate Australia, who has helped Poppy get to where she is today. She loves her coach sand says that: “my coach, Hagan McCreath gave me a quote to get me motivated: ‘There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there. You must go beyond them- Bruce Lee’.” Poppy Starr is also the school captain at Bronte Public School and is very passionate about drawing and design. She designs her own gift cards
Poppy Starr Olsen
Poppy Starr Olsen, lil’ ripper from Australia will soon be in California for the Vans Girls Combi Classic
and sells them in local markets and online. She has also recently started to design her own skate decks.

When asked if she feels 2912 was a turning point for skater girls, she says that “In Australia I would say that there are certainly more girls skating. We are letting all the girls know about the Australian Bowl Competition in February 2013 and that is building up a lot of excitement. With more girls skating it will only lead to better shredding.

During the summer 2012, Poppy did a tour in the US: “I did my second skate tour to the US this year skating at Woodward West and East and competing in the Free Flow comps.
Poppy Olsen, Gold Coast Big Day out, ABC Hurley Australian Bowlriding championship, Wellington Bowl-A-Rama,  Hurley Billabong Manly Beach Bowl contest, Bondi Bowl-A-Rama
Poppy Starr Olsen on the big bowl at Manly. So big she needs a ladder to go on the deck...
Photo Unknown, from Poppy's blog.
With Poppy, we were actually supposed to meet at Venice for a photo sesh, but she was in-between Woodward and Vans and her busy schedule could not take her to Venice at the same time I was there. No problem, she will be here for the girl Combi Pool Classic at Vans in January 19th and she already told me that she had her coming: “confirmed and flights booked and soooo excited!!” Her summer (winter for us) will actually be very busy since only 3 weeks after the Vans contest; she will go to the Newcastle National Bowl contest on February 6th: “I’m definitely going.” she says, “Bar Beach is a massive bowl so I’m trying to keep fit so I don’t run out of puff!”. Then she has the Australian Open of Surfing at Manly and eventually the
Poppy Starr Olsen
Poppy Starr Olsen During the Bondi Contest
Bowl-A-Rama backyard Pool contest at Bondi on February 19 – 24, 2013!!

2012 was, in her words, “an amazing year” for Poppy: “I was voted in as Captain for my school. I have won a few art competitions and I also received a commission from the local council to paint traffic signal boxes. The money I raised from this has helped me compete in the US.” And technically she learnt: “Tail Stall, rock and roll, full cab rock, spine jump, getting much better at switch skating”.

Of course, Poppy’s major contests were: “Hurley Australian Bowl Championship, Australian Open of Surfing Soul Bowl, Bondi Beach Bowl A Rama - junior category, Woodward East Freeflow Tour Bowl and Vert, and a bunch of local comps." But she says the contests she preferred most in 2012 was the: “Hurley Australian Bowl Riding Championship,” that she actually won…

When it comes to the list of best skater girls around, she lists: “Lizzie Armanto, Alysha Bergado, Gracie Earl, Alana Smith and there are these two amazing sisters from Newcastle, Sabre and Socki who are fantastic in the bowl. Also my 6yr old little sister Kipling has just started skating in the last 2 months and is already dropping into the Bondi Bowl.

For 2013, Poppy Starr already has a lot of plans: “I would like to do well at the Vans Girls Combi. Tour again with the Aussies to the US in July/August, and be selected as one of the top junior skaters for the Bowl A Rama. I really want to win again at the Hurley Australian Bowl Championship but all the girls have been training really hard. It’s going to be a really hard comp but it’s going to be great fun skating with all the girls from around Australia again.

What’s the future for girl skateboarding in 2013? “I think it will grow but it will take some effort to reach out to all the girls and get them to the comps and especially the Hurley ABC. I tell every girl I meet at the skateparks to come to the ABC.

To finish this profile about Poppy Starr Olsen, this is a last personal message: “I’m really looking forward to the Combi Girls Classic and I can’t wait to meet everyone!!

Yep, isTia.Tv will be there too…

Exposure 2012 by Amelia Brodka with Alana Smith, Julz Lynn, Lizzie Armanto, Allysha Bergado was referred as 'The Best Girls Contest Ever' by all the girls
in this suvey. Watch the video above...


Hello Skater Girl, Julian Bleecker
Hello Skater Girl book by Julian Bleecker

Thanks to the following photographers for letting me use their pictures: Dean Tirkot, Fred Ferand, Chris Zsarnay, Ray Rae, Nate McDonald, Joanne Barratt, Julian Bleecker, Dan Sparagna, Jim Goodrich, Hoopla Skateboarding, Thomas Olsen, David Boisseleau.

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
- Dean Tirkot Photography

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
Interview with Poppy Starr Olsen
Interview with Pauliana Laffabrier

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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I skate therefore I am: skateboard pools, pipes, parks, bowls and vert, daily skateboarding news...
posted by Xavier Lannes @ Sunday, December 30, 2012 

Anonymous cindy whitehead said...

You know what? You can call us girls, women, ladies, females - who cares?? The fact is you are covering women/girls in skateboarding like no one else. Thank you, thank you , thank you - most of us really appreciate the coverage and positive words you give all us females out there!! Lets get all the women together to tackle the mags and sites that portray female skaters in sexual and degrading ways - that is the REAL issue.

January 1, 2013 at 6:57 PM  

Skate Quote of the Day