Skateboarding is alive and well, and while your teenage self couldn’t be bothered, now is sure as hell the time to get on a roll. “Skateboarding is really progressing,” says skater Kelly Murray, competitor and programs officer at Skateistan, an organisation that empowers kids through skating and education.
Women have always played a big role in skateboarding, but the South African scene is quiet and a largely male-dominated space. Kelly’s one of the few females still competing and growing a more inclusive space through her work at Skateistan, and with a skate crew she co-founded called Girls Can Skate. “I focus on getting more females to skate and building it on our own because that’s the only way I see us going forward,” she says. She’s a great skater in her own right, having competed both locally and internationally, winning the Kimberley Diamond Cup in both 2013 and 2015. But it doesn’t have to be a medal-stacking venture for you. Globally, adults are kicking it 90’s-style, beginners too. In some cases, most of the skaters are women. Some inspo to kick, push:
You’ll learn to trust yourself
Whether you’re landing tricks or simply making it down the street you live in, you’ll need to trust yourself, regardless of your proficiency. “My philosophy around skating – and everything – is to just do it,” says Kelly. You’ll be scared of falling, but that’s normal. “There’s no real way to encourage someone else to get over that mind-set, but it takes the first fall,” says Kelly. “Once you fall, once you know what it feels like, after that, you can just keep doing it.”
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Skateboarding is fun
Busting out push-ups and burpees are great, but there’s something special about having so much fun you forget you’re actually working out. In one Portland State University study, respondents listed the exercise as one of the top three reasons to ride. And that’s what it’s about to Kelly, too. “Skateboarding is just me having a whole lot of fun and being surrounded by positive females,” she says.
You’ll sculpt a slim silhouette…
“Skating is really good fitness. You can skate for, like, 10km in an hour and not know – you’ll probably do a lot more than that,” says Kelly. In fact, in that same Portland State study of skaters, respondents mentioned weight loss and long-term fitness as part of the reasons they skate, and even opted to skate as their commute.
And an enviable butt
Aside from needing your trunk to stabilise yourself on the board, your lower body is heavily recruited to balance. You’ll need your quads, knees and butt – and that means they’ll get toned in no time. “It’s such a crazy workout on your legs, because you use all your strength to pop over things,” says Kelly.