This 8-Year-Old Skater Girl Is About to Become a Household Name
There's no height requirement for being a skateboarding superstar.
Miyazaki, Japan native Sky Brown is just 8 years old, but she's already tearing up the pavement as the youngest-ever girl to participate in the Vans US Open Pro Series.
We got in touch with Sky to find out about what compels her to ride—here's what she had to say:
Sweety High: How did you get into skateboarding?
Sky Brown: I've been skating since I was like two. My dad skates so I always watched him, but he didn't want me to skate at first. I used to play with his board and it was the only toy I never got bored with, so he ended up buying me my own, and that was it.
I love the feeling of it all—going fast, getting massive air, grinding or sliding along coping or a rail. Landing a flip super clean is just so fun and exciting. Nothing else is as satisfying, except maybe surfing. I think you have to do it to understand.
SH: Do you do other sports?
SB: I love to surf. Also, I love to BMX, rock climb and jump off of high stuff into water. I love doing that, but I don't know if it counts as a sport!
SH: Who are some of your biggest skating inspirations?
SB: Alana Smith, Lizzie Armanto and Leticia Bufoni
SH: Do people ever treat you differently because you're a girl skater?
SB: When I was smaller boys would snake me (cut in line or take my turn) in the surf or on my skateboard. It's definitely something I think about a lot.
I live in Japan and sometimes it feels like girls are meant to be quiet and stay indoors, but that has definitely motivated me to skate and surf harder and show the boys (and men) that girls can do whatever dudes can do, and it's worked. Now no one hassles me and instead I get a lot of support.
SH: What's the toughest trick you've accomplished?
SB: Probably a flip to blunt and flip out again. It's hard to explain if you don't skate.
It didn't take me that long to get it, but it was sketchy at first. I just started to land them clean recently and it's been like a month since I did my first one.
Sometimes getting the trick is the easy bit. Making it feel and look good is the tricky part. I don't usually skate contests so it doesn't matter how difficult the trick is for me. It's more about wanting to make it look cool.
I think skating's a lot like dancing. For me it doesn't matter how hard the move is if you look like a kook doing it. But some things do look kooky but feel great, so I do it anyway, because you have to skate for you, and who cares?
SH: What's your favorite skateboard trick?
SB: Flip tricks for sure, when the board disconnects and flips and then I catch it. That feeling is magic. I feel like a simple kick flip off a ledge or set of stairs is just beautiful.
SH: How was your experience at the Vans US Open Pro Series?
SB: It was amazing. I got to meet and skate against my favorite pro skaters.
In the competition I did okay. I'd never skated a huge park like that before, so I had no Idea what I was gonna do and just made it up on the fly. I realized that some of the pro girls really didn't want to lose to an 8-year-old girl (that wouldn't be hardcore) and when I said hi, some of them ignored me. But that's okay. I've had that from insecure boys so many times before. It actually motivates me.
But the really good skater girls, like Lizzie Armanto, Alyssa Le and Alana Smith were so cool. They just took runs casually and let me go and gave me high fives and were lovely. They helped me getting out of the bowl when it was too deep and steep. I want to be like them—a good person before being a good skater. It was a great experience and gave me a lot of confidence that age doesn't matter that much, and neither does being a boy or girl.
SH: Tell us about your Skate 4 Change campaign
SB: Last year I went to a school for homeless children in San Diego and skated. These children aren't as lucky as me. Some don't have moms and dads.
Getting to skate with them was just awesome. They were so stoked, and a lot of the girls had never tried before but they wanted to after seeing me skate. I taught them how to push and do ollies. It was fun for me to see them forget about troubles and just enjoy skateboarding.
It's so fun and any kid can do it, and I want to share that with them. If we can get help by giving them skate decks, then there is endless healthy fun for them to have. I have a little brother, Ocean, and I think if he didn't skate he would be in so much trouble all the time. Skating helps him use up his energy while having fun. He can be excited and just let loose.
And since I'm so small and a girl, kids that see me think that if I can do it, they can do it too. I want to go to areas across the U.S. that don't have a lot of money and try to inspire and make a change.
Sky isn't the only kid out there dominating extreme sports. Click HERE to see our fave sports stars under 16.