Skating Over Barriers: Girls in Skateboarding

This is my first podcast I have ever done. There was plenty of other subjects I could have picked, but I had always been curious about skateboarding… as a girl. Growing up, my mom never let me skateboard because it was a “boy thing.” My friends at the time all skateboarded, but I would watch them outside my house. When presented with this project for my class, I knew this is what I had to do it on.

There were many challenges that quickly arose, the first being that this wasn’t my first project idea. My proposal was to do it on a group of boys making their way in the skate industry, but my professor quickly shut it down. Instead, he proposed I find a group of girls and apply the same thing to them.

The next issue became, where do I find girl skaters? On a lucky Sunday night, at Ponderosa, I saw them. I saw the girl skaters I had to interview. I was afraid of rejection; I was afraid of them. After about 30 minutes of staring at them, and overhearing one of the girls say, “It’s too crowded, we should leave…” I worked up my courage as an anthropologist and went up to her.

“Hi, my name’s Esly and I was wondering if I could ask you some questions…” Little did I know that would trigger a 2 hour conversation with Eliane and Sam.

This project took me a total of approximately 3 months to finish due to my own version of writer’s block but with audio, having a lot of technical difficulties, and lacking the amount of interviews and meet ups I wanted with the girls. I finally finished, got 100% in the class, and will be showcased at the Anthropological showcase either this winter 2016 or next spring 2017. I have never been more excited to finally produce something. This really marks the beginning of my future projects and Adolescent Lounge has the honor of giving it the first listen.

Esly Tsai

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