Making a small but meaningful step toward inclusiveness, Street League Skateboarding (SLS) rang in the first-ever SLS Nike SB Super Crown World Championship Women’s Division competition in Chicago on Oct. 4.Leticia Bufoni, Alexis Sablone, Lacey Baker, Pamela Rosa, Vanessa Torres, Alana Smith, Marisa Dal Santo and Samarria Brevard were invited to compete in Sunday’s landmark tournament. In the end, Bufoni’s 360 boardflip over the wedge gap cemented a first-place finish, earning her a $30,000 prize and a custom Nixon watch valued at $11,000. Rounding out the podium were Torres and Smith, in second and third place respectively. The impact of being part of this elite eight-woman roster wasn’t lost on Torres. She shared with GrindTV via email about the accomplishment, “I always feel fortunate to be invited to ride and compete alongside these talented women, whom I also call friends. This opportunity is so much larger than I [am], so to be a part of it in any way is truly rewarding.” The creation of the SLS Women’s Division has been a long time coming if you ask Mimi Knoop, a mainstay on the women’s pro skating circuit. Knoop is the founder and president of the Women’s Skateboarding Alliance, an agency dedicated to increasing opportunities for women in action sports.
Writing via e-mail from Chicago, Knoop explained the significance of WSA’s newfound partnership with Street League:
“Adding women to the SLS program is historic in many ways. In terms of events, Street League has earned the reputation of being one of the most elite street skateboarding competitions in the world. To include women on that platform will help add value to the skaters themselves (and therefore also add value to their endorsers), and also usher in a new generation of girls that we have not yet seen.”Adding to that exposure, Sunday’s contest was live-streamed on StreetLeague.com (click the link to watch the full broadcast). When it comes down to it, Knoop says, more eyeballs on women’s skateboarding means more opportunities for women to shine. And, with that, increased sponsorship opportunities enabling more female athletes to pursue skating full time.
“We are dealing with a largely untapped, and hugely unique, market. This is just the tip of the iceberg. I can’t wait to see what happens next,” Knoop said.
Watch a full recap of the women’s contest on FS1 and FOX Sports GO on Oct. 18 beginning at 4 p.m. EST.
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