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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Changing Game in the skateboarding microcosm: 2013, The Year of The Skater Girl

Changing Game in the skateboarding microcosm: 2013, The Year of The Skater Girl

Lizzie Armanto Method Air at Newcastle ABC Contest in February 2013.
Watershed... From now on, things will be different. Photo David Pang
Things are changing in the skateboarding microcosm. In the past 2 weeks, thanks to Frontside Events who are organizing the best skate contests Down Under (read New Zealand and Australia), we have seen things change and new faces appearing on the top of the charts during the ABC and Bowl-A-Rama contests.

First of all, for all it’s worth, we need to congratulate Josh Rodriguez, a guy that’s been in my top ten list for the past couple of years and who just won his first “big” contest at Waitangi skate park in New Zealand. After the contest Josh Rodriguez said: "Thank you so much to everyone who has supported me and my skating over the past years. I REALLY wouldn't be the person and skater I am today without you guys. Thank you Osiris, lifeblood skateboards, type-s, ACE trucks, Socal Skateshop, 187 Pads. Thank you to everyone for the awesome words, compliments, and love. I REALLY appreciate all of it!! I am still overwhelmed, in shock, disbelief and all Maybe it is because I know that Pedro was more consistent....But anyways, I'm still Stoked!! Yeeeaaaa!!!!! haha "Enjoy the now"

I have followed Josh for several years now and I have amazing pictures from 2010-2011. What’s awesome with Josh is that he is smiling on all my pictures… I always wondered when that day would happen. So, congrats Josh!!

I would also like to congratulate Lizzie Armanto for her 8th place at the ABC contest and her 12th place at the Bowl-A-Rama Wellington contest. This is where the real game changer is.

Usually left apart in the contests, the skater girls have been crying foul for some years now. At isTia, we have forecast 2012 as the year the girls would break loose in skateboarding. Not only that did not happen, but it seems that 2012 was the year the girls were left to play second guns at contests, when the contests were not cancelled. Of course, I’m not talking about the few big shots that always supported girl skateboarding, mainly
Qualified in the Men's division at Bondi!!! Photo David Pang.
Vans and WCS and all the girls’ organization. But it took Amelia Brodka to organize Exposure 2012 who was described by all girls “The Best Girl Contest of 2012” and probably the best girl contest ever to awake the giants. So, at the turn of 2012, we dubbed 2013 “The Year Of The Skater Girl”. A bold declaration indeed…

In January 2013, we witnessed the girls at the Vans Combi Pool Classic rip as never before. Frankly, most of the girls I saw that day skate much better than I do and better than I ever will.

Then, Lizzie Armanto, together with Amelia Brodka, were both invited to participate alongside the guys to the ABC Australian Bowl Riding Contest. Two girls in an all boy contest (read Lizzie's interview about that day). Yes, it has been done a couple of times in the past, but it’s not really customary.

But the turning point is that Lizzie managed to get both into the top 10 at ABC Newcastle and 12th at Waitangi. Well, when you are competing against Jack Fardell (Australian Bowl Champion 2013), Pedro Barros (WCS World Champion), Josh Rodriquez (#1 at Bowl-A-Rama), Alex Sorgente (Ex#1 Am champ), Kevin Kowalski, Kalani David (surfer and skater emeritus), Sky Siljeg (you know the story :>)...), Ben Hatchell, and Brad McClain, you are competing against the 10 best bowl riders worldwide. Tough clan, no kiddin'...

Then, the last news I got from Don Bostick ia that Lizzie got a Wild Card and is therefore qualified to run (again - for the 3rd time in 3 weeks) against all the Pros at Bondi this coming week-end. The points that she has already got are "on the mens bowl rankings" per Don Bostick.

That means Lizzie is not only the best skater girl (she is #1 WCS World champion 2012, 2011, 2010), but she also is one of the top 10 bowl riders worldwide, regardless of gender.

So, the skater girls are not to be ashamed of anything now, for they have Lizzie Armanto, the perfect Ambassador of Girls Skateboarding…

And thanks to Lizzie Armanto, after all, our bold declaration “2013, The Year Of The Skater Girl” might happen, finally…

Thanks a lot to David Pang for the picture... Used with permission.

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posted by Xavier Lannes @ Saturday, February 16, 2013 


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