When I got invited to go on this trip I can’t tell you how excited I was. It was a chance to go and meet some of skateboarding’s new faces. Not random new faces but people that are part of an important wave in our culture. These people have names, names like Savannah Stacey Keenan, Lacey Baker, Josie Millard, Charlotte Hym and Sarah Meurle, the latter I was less excited to meet because I knew her.
God! All of them are probably cringing while reading this, I know I am while writing it. But they are all worthy of praise because they are doing something important. I saw Josie struggle a bit when we were at the bar and some people came up and presented her with a fresh possibly alcohol infused dose of praise. Not because she wasn’t thankful but because it can be shocking to the person that is being praised to see the people they influence. Her voice was saying “Thank you, I really appreciate it” and her eyes were saying “Should we go back and meet up with the others?”.
I was hyped because the hype is real and all of these girls are really cool human beings.
Charlotte is working on her Ph.D., she is studying the effects of the mother’s voice on newly born babies. Savannah is into geography and fashion, Josie besides riding on the board owns a seriously beautiful motorbike and ever since this trip she is obsessed with doing long handstands. Sarah is studying fine art in Sweden, during this trip, she told me she used to be a Christmas tree salesperson in Canada “The best “real” job I’ve ever had”. Finally, Lacey Baker is always painting, drawing and trying to have Gaga moments, which basically means listening to Lady Gaga together and singing along. What more could you wish for?
I don’t know, do you? There is more and if you want to delve deeper grab a copy of our Holiday issue at your local shop. Right now we are pleased to show you what went down on this trip to Paris. Enjoy!
Two weeks ago I got two DM’s, one from Sarah Meurle and a little later one from Josie Millard “I am coming to Berlin with (insert the others name.), want to hang out?”. I did want to hang out, it would be cool seeing them again after our days in Paris at the end of the summer. So I texted the people from the Nike SB Shelter and asked them if I could join the “Girls Night” session, “Of course you can.” they told me. “Would you guys be down to feature it on the site?” “Why not, we want to know more about the girls’ side of the Berlin skate scene.”
Finally, last week I stepped into the skatepark and spent some time with my friends Sarah and Josie but I also found some time to talk to two of the skaters present at the event. They had a lot to say and thus this little feature turned into a full interview.
Pictures by Kyra Sophie. Text and Interview by Roland Hoogwater.
Let’s start off with both of your names:
Pernilla Stadler, like Adler (German for eagle) with the st in front (laughs) and I am Lea Isabell Uhle
Can you tell me why you came to this “Girls Night” tonight?
I have been actively skating for about 4 years now, Skating has been the most important thing in my life for a while now. Two months ago I moved out to Berlin and I wanted to find other Girls in Berlin that skate. So, when I saw the Facebook event I directly went to apply, I really appreciate that they are organizing an event like this.
I was planning to come here after I finished my day at the University and my boyfriend sent me the Place Mag Instagram story.
He told me, Josie and Sarah, we’re going to be there! He knows how much I like their skating, so I went.
How did you get into them?
I love their skating, I got into it via the Poetic Collective Instagram and it took me a while before I figured out that Sarah skates for them. After that, I liked the brand, even more, cool product, lifestyle, skating and on top of that a girl on the team! I think the fact that they support girl skateboarding is great. Sarah really inspired me.
As far as Josie goes, in England, there are so many girls ripping it is crazy! I fell in love with their style of skating and that is how I found out about Josie. Can I tell you a story? One time at night, my phone lit up on the nightstand and I looked at it and it said @josielorie liked your post! I couldn’t sleep after that, my heart was beating so hard! For me, they are role models.
What about you Pernilla, are they your role models too?
I know a lot of female pro skaters mostly from the USA though but I did not know these two.
Four years ago when you (Pernilla) started those role models were not a prevalent as they are today though.
A lot of girls saw footage of other girls skating through Instagram and I think it showed them that skating is not only for guys. They can get out there and do it the way they want to do it. I also believe that the attention that some brands put towards female skating inspires a lot of young girls.
It is really motivating to see other girls skating!
So is this event bringing girls together or are there already some crews out here? Are girls skating amongst themselves or are the crews mixed?
I am from Wuppertal in the Ruhrpott and there I used to skate with the heckmecks (an all-girl crew) and when you skate with girls only you start to see skating in a different way. When you are out with the guys and you see them jumping down 12 stairs it feels like you don’t know where to start. But when you are out with the girls you have more opportunity to learn and support one another.
Yes! There are some crews in Germany, Facebook and Whatsapp groups do exist. But I am still getting to know the Berlin scene, it does seem a bit underground.
What do you think about the fact that Nike SB put out a shoe especially for Women?
I think it is great! Even before that I really like the fact that they put out things in unisex sizes. I really like their shoes and I haven’t seen other brands put out shoes specifically for women yet.
How important is the fact that they did not use any typical “feminine colors”?
Me personally, I am not that into those type of stereotypical colors, a lot of girls that skate don’t wear girly clothes when skating. I don’t want to be boxed in like that.
I do really like wearing pink and lilac (laughs).
What about the media, are we as a whole covering what is going on in the female skate scene?
It is coming but in my opinion, it is still not enough. We see female skaters in magazines but it isn’t at the point it could be at.
Also at contests like the German COS Cup (*editors note other contests as well), you see the difference in prize money. Of course, you could argue that at the moment maybe the girls are not bringing in the amount of interest that the guys are but as that changes those things should change too.
I feel the same, you do notice a change though.
Stefani Nurding is featured in our current “Funbox” issue.
I really like her, she skates in some cool outfits! Of course, I like to wear some baggy dickies from time tot time but Stefani shows that you don’t have to give up your feminine side, you can skate in all different sorts of looks.
Do you agree with that Pernilla?
I do really like baggier clothes, I only buy unisex stuff.
Of course, you don’t have to lose your feminine side by wearing baggy clothes. Is there such a thing as your skate clothes?
I wear what I wear, I don’t really tend to change my style. This is how I look all the time.
My closet is split in half (laughs). Sometimes I like to wear my skate clothes but sometimes I like to put on something else…… But because I try to skate every day I end up wearing my skate clothes almost every day (laughs).
Both of you are not originally from Berlin Lea Isabell you are from the Ruhrpott area and Pernilla you are from?
I am from Sachsen.
Do you notice a difference between the girl scene there and here?
I come from a small city where I was the only girl skating. So I always skated with guys. In Sachsen, there wasn’t really a scene for girls like here in Berlin.
In the Rurhpott the scene was bigger, I had my squad of girls. The heckmecks where there, at the same time girls from all over the different Ruhrpott cities would meet up and skate together.
In Berlin it feels like the girls are more dispersed, they skate alone or with a group of guys, a real group of girls that skate together is not something I have seen here. But I haven’t been here for that long, so maybe it is not what it seems, I hope that events like these will change that.
Alright! Thank you so much for talking with us. Enjoy your session.
If you have been following our Instagram you know that are working on something with Lacey. If you were ever doubtful of her watch this video and see why she is not only a great person but also an amazing skater.
Girls picking up a skateboard can still be a “thing” for our male-dominated culture, lately, it seems that even the smallest shifts in our sub-culture are met a lot of negative responses but not this one. There have been a lot of girls skating over the years but it seems like there is a bigger influx of girls at the moment, you can see it at the local skatepark. The nice thing about this video is that not only are girl skaters the focal point of the piece but the thing was also directed by a woman, i-D magazine recognized the fact that girls should be telling their own stories away from the male gaze. We fully support the growing group of female skaters and females working in or with skateboarding because we feel that they all bring their own energy, style, tricks and ideas to the table. Girl Power!