How GRLSWIRL is Making Skateboarding More Inclusive for Women | Her Stories | NowThis

(ocean waves) – When women come together,
and support each other, I think anything is possible. Seriously, sisterhood, to feel that is something that will kind of hug you and make you feel safe. And I felt so not safe in the skate scene with men everywhere. You’ll see 50 girls coming
down the boardwalk together, people are literally
like, “What is happening?” When we all came together,
I remember thinking, “How did I get so lucky?” I can’t believe we all
have the same mission. Getting any woman on a
board is a huge deal, getting young girls on a board is bigger. I’m Lucy Osinski, I’m the
creator and co-founder of GRLSWIRL, an all-women
skate crew in Venice Beach. (city traffic) I started skateboarding when
I moved here to Los Angeles. I just thought you had
to be a really cool, badass Cali chick to get on a skateboard. Coming from being a ballerina where I was really fragile and meek and graceful, I never saw myself as anything but that, and then I got on a skateboard and I suddenly felt really
powerful and liberated, and like it’s nothing
I’ve ever experienced. I felt like a badass for
the first time in my life. Yeah, nothing exists when you skate. I think being in Venice Beach as a woman, you’re already gonna
get unwanted attention. And then you add in the skateboard, and it’s just absurd, people just think they can say anything to you and it definitely doesn’t feel good. So I definitely wanted to have other women to skate with, not just to kind of face the male-dominated skate scene, the craziness in Venice
Beach, but to get support. I started chasing girls
down, like, if I saw a girl on a skateboard in Venice I would just skate towards her and be like, “Join my text group, let’s
skate, I don’t know!” And I just made the text
chain and called it GRLSWIRL, and one night a group of girls, we just all met up, and
out of that big group there was eight other girls who felt just as passionately
about what I was doing, just wanted to get other women on boards and inspire the feeling that we had, which was freedom and liberation, to other women by getting them on boards, and we were like, “Let’s build this.” We have a shared sympathy towards the heavy male-dominated scene, enough to the point where we feel overly excited to open up our arms and be extremely inclusive. And we wanna make people feel
like they’re a part of this, because we’ve felt not a
part of it so many times. (ethereal music) We have group skates every two weeks where any girl can come skate, you could be any level, any age. Okay everyone, boards on the ground! Put your arms out, spread, get some space. Toes to the sky, touch your toes. We’re adding 190 girls into the mix, like, in our community, just locally. You can imagine the kind of actual grassroots community that
has evolved from that, that I’ve never, ever
experienced anything like it. Skateboarding started in Venice Beach, the fabric of skateboarding
is where we skate every single day, you know. And it’s not an intimidating place once you’re there with other women, but just to walk in there
and not know anybody and there’s 50 guys and one girl, it’s like putting girls through the ringer for something they love. We’re all working really, really hard to grow GRLSWIRL, and you guys, by coming out today, are a part of it. We’re all starting a revolution together, getting women on skateboards, and you guys are literally the center of it happening. (crowd chatters) We were doing a lot of photoshoots, and I started to feel
really like an influencer. It was scary, and I was like, “This is not what this is about.” What we came together for
was to change people’s lives and actually get people on boards, and teach people how
to get on skateboards, and so I was like, “We need to start “amping up philanthropy yesterday.” And the girls that had a
philanthropy went for it. In the course of eight months, we raised over $8000
for local non-profits. And we’re about to go to Mexico to teach young girls at
the border how to skate. In this case, we needed donations, so on Tuesday right after our group skate we asked for girls to
bring various donations, from feminine materials to batteries, and we were able to
collect a lot of stuff. – We’re stoked to be able
to bring them GRLSWIRL and show them what we’re
doing here in Venice, and uplift their spirits and
just have a good old time. – Woo, hey, all right! – Hey, arriba! Si, wow. – Abajo. Good! – We’re the next generation, we’re gonna inspire everybody else, so we wanna make it the norm for a girl to be on a skateboard. So the freedom and overall badassness and liberation I felt just getting on the skateboard the first time, I of course wanna share with every woman, especially, you know,
the girls at the border who probably don’t feel a
lot of freedom right now. Yeah, it’s definitely something that’s really inspiring for me. (crowd chattering) We wanted to give girls the opportunity of what we have, of
starting our own community, and philanthropy and all
these things that we’re doing, we wanted to give them the tools to do that in their own towns. So we’re starting GRLSWIRL memberships and chapters around the world, actually. In the one year goal, we really hope that our business moves forward in knocking down some gender boundaries and making that clear across the board that you can do what we’re doing, and empower each other
through whatever you choose if you come together as women. Five years down the road, I hope we’re touring the world, teaching skate, and building skate parks,
and helping people, and spreading the GRLSWIRL mission, man.

34 thoughts on “How GRLSWIRL is Making Skateboarding More Inclusive for Women | Her Stories | NowThis”

  1. Women have always been welcomed to skate. You guy s chose not do it But what do I know I literally grew up on Rose ave down the street been skating 30 years
    This video is nonsense you weren't being oppressed. And there were and still are some great Female skaters. I never seen a woman being hated on for wanting to skate by other skateboarders. Skateboarding transcends all that gender nonsense.

  2. What? At my local skatepark girls are welcomed more than men are and everybody wants to teach them how to skate. Almost half of the people there are women and I'm sure this is not exclusive to my local skatepark.

  3. Bruh the skate park might be intimidating to girls but I highly doubt there's a real problem with women feeling safe around male skaters. In fact all the dudes are more likely to just ignore girls at the skatepark.

  4. Guess this person found her way to make a paycheck in la. Totally no need to separate males and females on boards. There has NEVER been an issue in Cali with skateboarders. All through the video you saw we, us and i but its not till the end of the video that you understand she means her business. This is totally sad someone is trying to capitalize on a cultural all inclusive movement that already was; skateboarding.

  5. why is this even relevant women have been skateboarding for ages, don't try to make it look like they are opressed!

  6. Let’s find a woman a victimize her to push our feminist propagandas in a country where women have equal rights

  7. Really love the message! As a dude Longboarder I can safely say we need more ladies on boards. But wear helmets. Buckets save lives.

  8. Everyone hating in the chat just let them be they're raising charity and they aren't hurting anyone they're just calling more women to skate and stuff it's not a big deal so dont make it seem like that they aren't trying to say men can't skate just saying women should if they aren't hurting you than dont bring them down over such small thing

  9. Why are women always saying there oppressed in every single part of life… some strange people on this earth now… I'm sure there s no problem with men and women on skateboards at the same time… it's actually ridiculous… if you think bout it… then make a doco about it… jeez.

  10. I"m starting to see a pattern. There is no issue untill a small group makes it one and 5 years later that scene is destroyed

  11. Omg girls skateboarding that has never been the thing before!! And she tryna say ballet isn’t badass I can snap necks with my plié legs

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