So this is your second video release after ‘As If, And What’. How has the making of this one differed from the first?
I guess I had more of an idea this time around of what would be involved. I was a bit more organised in downloading and cataloguing the clips straight away instead of leaving it to do all in one go like last time (most boring 3 months of my life!!). Otherwise it’s been pretty similar to the last one; just a few more broken people this time.
From the viewpoint of both a filmer and a skateboarder, how has the UK women’s scene changed in the intervening time?
It’s become much more prominent I think mainly due to social media – it offered a platform for us to do our own thing and not have to rely on others for exposure. Before you’d see snippets of footage here and there but now you can see clips daily of different riders. There are websites like Girl Skate UK that have grown in stature over the last few years, bringing together the community of UK female skateboarding as a whole.
There are also many more female only skate nights and comps being organised up and down the country.
Do you see female skateboarding as always existing outside of ‘skateboarding’ as a whole, as in with separate events and female-specific videos such as yours?
No, not at all. There are companies like Lovenskate, Animal and Nike who have all put out videos with parts of the men and women on their teams.
The reason I started the Girl Skate Jam was from personal experience of being thrown into comps like the Urban Games and Queen of Street and being scared shitless – most of us [the Gallaz Team] were entered into these huge events never having experienced even a small scale comp before. I wanted to create an event that offered a less pressured atmosphere. As it came about at a time before social media was even around, it was also a place where women could come and meet up and get to know other female riders (for the first 3 years of skating I only ever met one other girl.) Plenty of riders I know these days enter mixed comps as well – it’s just there to offer an alternative.
You don’t ‘need’ a gender specific video but it does tend to get more hype for the female riders overall and hopefully inspire others to do the same. I think the question that’s been creeping into my head recently is do you need full-length skate films anymore now that so many clips are put out online. Some of the younger riders I’ve worked with couldn’t understand why I asked them not to Instagram their clips and wait until the film was out – ha, it’s a fast changing world!