Do your little ones want to learn how to cruise on a skateboard while making friends and conquering new skills? Roll on over to Skate Like a Girl. The recently opened Skate Like a Girl location is an oasis for skateboarders of all ages and abilities, housed in an unassuming warehouse just south of downtown Seattle. Drop into the space (and maybe even the half-pipe) to discover a place where fun starts on four wheels.
Disguised inside a large industrial building, the space is tricked out with small ramps lining walls adorned with brightly colored murals; rails are scattered throughout the open space, and a giant half-pipe towers in the corner. It towers over your average young skater, anyway. In short, this new space is a place where a kid’s imagination to flip, roll and drop-in becomes reality.
Skate Like a Girl offers camps and lessons, all in an atmosphere where learning to ride is only part of its philosophy of empowerment. Don’t let the name fool you, the nonprofit caters to all genders — not just girls. It aims to create an inclusive community by promoting confidence, leadership and social justice through skateboarding. When it started, its goal was to rewrite the historically male-dominated skating story, challenging who and how people skateboard.
Finn Bradberry, the director of the Seattle chapter, says Skate Like a Girl was created to break down barriers and make skating more accessible.
As a parent who has never skateboarded, I would be lying if I said I didn’t have hesitations. I didn’t know what equipment I would need or how to set my kids up for success. But Skate Like a Girl made it easy. All the equipment needed is provided, including a professional quality board, helmet, plus pads for wrists, elbows and knees. All we had to do was show up. Closed-toed shoes are recommended though, so pack your kid’s sneakers.
Bradberry said removing those barriers for families is one of the ways it can help get more kids into skateboarding.
“What we hear from families is, ‘I wish I had a program around like this when I was a child,’” Bradberry says. “A big focus of ours is to create a transformative space where people can show up and authentically be themselves. It’s a place for everyone. We have built a welcoming community for all.”
Skate Like a Girl's programs include camps and weekly sessions for kids ages 5 and older. Camps are located at 1605 S. Jackson St., Seattle, and upcoming camps include:
- Winter Break Camp: Dec. 18–22
- Three-day Camp: Dec. 25–27
- Mid-winter Break Camp: Feb.19–23
There also are two. 5-week Sk8 School courses, for kids ages 5–13, on Saturdays from 10–11:30 a.m. or noon–1:30 p.m. beginning on Jan. 27 and March 2.
During camps, kids are divided based on their skill level. Beginners, or “level 1’s” will learn basics on flat ground before tackling harder features like ramps and rails. Outside of skateboarding, kids will also play games, watch inspirational skating videos and have open skate time to explore the giant space. My little ones loved expressing their creativity by designing their very own skateboard and naming tricks after themselves.
Skate Like a Girl also offers queer, women and trans sessions on Sundays from 4–7 p.m., now through Dec. 17. It also hosts biweekly women and/or trans sessions for ages five and older at All Together Skatepark in Fremont. These sessions have an option for both lessons and open skate sessions.
Note: Skate Like a Girl will be moving locations in March 2024, but it will continue to have programs around Seattle offering places and spaces where kids can learn to skateboard.
If you go...
Where: 1605 S Jackson St, Seattle
Cost: Cost varies depending on the camp and program. Financial assistance is available for all programs, apply online.
Parking: There is plenty of street parking available near the building.
Snacks and more: You will need to pack your child a lunch and plenty of water for the camps.
Equipment: No equipment is needed, but you can bring your child’s skateboard, helmet, knee and elbow pads. They also have wrist guards. Closed-toed shoes are recommended.