Women often face challenges in the male-dominated world of skateboarding, but a local organization is encouraging girls to take up the sport and hop on board.
Girl is NOT a 4 Letter Word was founded by professional skateboarder Cindy Whitehead. Whitehead said that when she skated, there were very few women in the professional realm.
Whitehead's mission is to support girls in skateboarding and promote inclusion and accessibility.
"It's us together as a group," she said. "We become more empowered, and we can do better things."
U.S. & World
Jordyn Barratt, 17, is one of the local skateboarders Cindy advocates for. Barratt won a bronze medal at the X Games in June, and now she is setting her sights on the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, where skateboarding will be a new sport.
"I would love to be in that," she said.
Barratt is not the only one with that goal. Vianez Morales, 10, also dreams of being a professional skateboarder.
"My dream is to go to the Olympics, and I'll be a pro," Morales said.
Despite these growing numbers of female skateboarders, Whitehead said she does see more tension between competitors.
"I think what I see more of now than I saw back then … is a lot of friction," she said.
However, Barratt said that there are always people who can be mean, no matter what sport. She said she finds support in Whitehead's organization.
On top of running Girl is NOT a 4 Letter Word, Whitehead also designs her own skateboards. Through her partnership with Dwindle Distribution, a company in El Segundo, she has been able to sell her boards across the world and give the funds to nonprofit groups.
She said she wants to see even more girls pick up skateboarding.
"I think every time you see a girl skate, it encourages another girl to skate," Whitehead said.
Whitehead's encouragement means Barratt, Morales and other local skateboarders will keep chasing their dreams.
"And sometimes if you fall, you get back up and keep skating," Morales said.
Girl is NOT a 4 Letter Word features at least one female skateboarder every day online. To learn more, visit their website.