5 female skateboarders to watch this year

There is no doubt that the future is female. While gender equality continues to be a worldwide issue across myriad fronts, many feel that sports can be a significant arena in which to progress women’s rights.

Skateboarding in particular — while hardly invisible to popular culture — still retains a fringe quality that presents a rare opportunity to showcase the prowess of women athletes, who, in mainstream sports, have traditionally been segmented and less visible than their male counterparts.

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In 2017, women’s skateboarding is continuing to emerge from the shadows and take its rightful place alongside the boys. There have been a number of mile markers in the progression of women’s skateboarding recently, including Lizzie Armanto claiming the first-ever female cover of TRANSWORLD SKATEBOARDING, Lacey Baker’s epic “My World” video part, amazing organizations such as Skate Like a Girl fostering the growth and inclusion of women in skateboarding, the release of “Quit Your Day Job” — the first major all-female skate video in 10 years — and a number of prominent female skateboarders finding sponsorship with major shoe brands.

RELATED: ‘Quit Your Day Job’ is the all-female skateboarding movie the world needs

We have selected five female skateboarders to watch this year, as these women are at the forefront of progression within the sport. This list is by no means a complete roster — many more also are helping the sport to grow in a positive direction — but this handful of names ought to be front of mind for the foreseeable future.

Nora Vasconcellos

Vasconcellos is a well-rounded ripper who hails from the East Coast and is killing the game. She has found a home at two of today’s most sought-after brands: Welcome Skateboards and Adidas Skateboarding. Vasconcellos is an ATV who can skate both street and transition, and her casual style and technical prowess are awesome to behold.

An advocate of growing women’s skateboarding, Vasconcellos has been vocal about both the struggles of women in the sport and how the industry can be more inclusive.

Lacey Baker

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When it comes to style, Baker transcends. She released her “My World” part on Thrasher’s website recently, and while it threw some male viewers’ own sense of masculinity into question, anyone who appreciates amazing skateboarding was stoked on the edit.

Baker is challenging what it means to be a woman in the world of skateboarding, unapologetic about both her gender and her sexuality.

Lizzie Armanto

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Armanto rips: She skates big, gnarly transition and takes no prisoners in the process. Opening doors for women skateboarders everywhere, Armanto’s fearlessness shows when she is boosting head-high airs and inverts in the deep end of every bowl she encounters.

Armanto became a part of skateboarding history by being the first female to claim the cover of TRANSWORLD SKATEBOARDING — an honor that was long overdue.

RELATED: Lizzie Armanto is the first woman to make the cover of TW Skateboarding

Alexis Sablone

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Sablone is a veteran of the streets, having made her skateboarding-world debut in 2002 in one of the most important skate videos of the modern era, “PJ Ladd’s Wonderful, Horrible Life.” Sablone was on the front lines of the women’s street movement that included legendary skateboarders like Marisa Dal Santo and Elissa Steamer; now in her 30s, she continues to be a major influence.

She is one of the most decorated skateboarders in X Games history and, as a recent MIT graduate, has shown the world that she is not only street smart, but also wicked book smart.

Samarria Brevard

Brevard is the Ripper from Riverside. One of today’s gnarliest female skaters, she doesn’t hold back when it comes to big rails and gaps and was recently featured as a mystery guest during Thrasher’s King of the Road contest.

Though she has yet to claim a medal at the X Games, ESPN has dubbed Brevard the Serena Williams of skateboarding.

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