Former skateboard pro aims to rebuild female skating community in Calgary
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Coasting down Calgary streets in skirts and Converse sneakers, female skaters still turn heads, and there’s a community ramping up to help them land friendship, support and advice.
Although it’s still in the beginning stages, the girls' skate club is a concept meant to put lady boarders in Calgary on the map.
Erica Jacobs, founder of the 100% Skate Club, said she’s seen the women’s community fizzle, so she thought, as an ex pro, it was high time to get rolling and bring girls back into the forefront.
“I’d like to see if there are other girls and women out there that want to come together as a community,” Jacobs said. “I can name on one hand the amount of girls I know that still skateboard regularly … that I know, so I’m assuming there’s more out there and they just don’t have an outlet to go to.”
Jacobs started skating in her 20s, competing at the national level, and sat on the board of the Calgary Association of Skateboarding Enthusiasts. Now 35, she's also served as a coach for male skate teams and, although she had fun, she said “I’m tired of skating with the boys.”
It’s part of the reason Jacobs wants to help bring women together.
Skateboarding in Calgary is largely a guys' sport, she said, and although her male counterparts are kind at the skate park, her heyday of skating with a crew of women was some of the best time she’s spent on her deck.
The club will meet two Wednesdays out of every month, once at Shaw Millenium Park and the the other time at Westside Ramps.
Jacobs said she also hopes, once the group gets going, that they can bring in guest boarders to help young women hone their skills.
“I think it would be a great atmosphere for growth and learning – that’s what I want to focus on,” she said.
She also hopes to show the public, especially parents of young women, skateboarding isn’t a sport full of ruffians and that it’s an activity fit for anyone.