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Active Mail Order's Girl's Catalog - T&A is the new SK8

Active Mailorder bikini offer

My never ending quest to figure out where girls fit in with skateboard retail ventures forward. OK, "quest" is probably the wrong word. Harold and Kumar quested for White Castle burgers, but my quest is far less maniacal and is more like 30 second webisode of nothingness.

I'm going to use this paragraph to get back on topic. Amazement reels every time I get an e-mail from a skateboard company touting their "Girl's line". Women have definitely carved their niche into the skate industry, but retail still defines them as "customers who might buy a dress", not female skaters. Every chick should own a hot bikini, but are skate shops really the place to buy ‘em?

This woman (pictured at left) was part of a "free towel" promo from Active. Just a click away are decks, trucks, pads and a host of accessories you might need. A bikini - or free towel, for that matter? Don't think so. Not part of the essential or non-essential skate purchase.

Everyone wants to make a buck and they all have the right to do so, but I detest the integration of fashion and skateboarding. Lets not think that I'm against hot chicks in bikinis, cuz I'm not. I think it simply lessens a woman's chance at being taken seriously as a skater. Inherently, girls should not be skaters - that's the skewed mentality among many male skaters. Seeing a girls skate catalog that looks more like Macy's than skating doesn't help.

Active Mailorder bikini

Does she skate? are we supposed to think she does? Does this retail item usually sell well with a set of trucks? What's the message?

There is a large void in women's skateboard retail. It's the market segment that welcomes them as skaters and caters to their unique needs as women. Lighter decks and trucks make sense as does girl-cut shirts with the usual assortment of skate company logos. Shouldn't some of the guy-wear t-shirts also be available in a woman's cut/style? Women's skate apparel doesn't need to be pink, littered with glitter or any of the other ridiculous crap that passes as skate clothing.

Active Mailorder bikini

I like to sit on the beach as much as the next person (or girl). I'm more likely to have a beer and a copy of Thrasher than an Ice-tea and Cosmo. So why doesn't the male-oriented skate catalog give me the option to buy a bathing suit?

Active womens dress

I get the overall notion that demographics and perception play a large role, but maybe it's time for the girls to shake things up a bit. More girls are skating these days. I wish more of them were filming as well. There have been quite a few good girl-centric skate and snow vids put out. That trend needs to continue.

It won't continue unless someone makes a big splash. Women's skateboarding needs a "Toni Hawk" or a "Mikka Vallely"! Holly Lyons and Lyn-z Adams Hawkins have both done a lot to elevate women's skateboarding, but Elissa Steamer may have done the most by just sticking it out until opinions changed. In 2006 Jamie Thomas put her on the Zero team and gave her a part in the Zero vid. That's the sort of change that needs to happen.

Mainstream is where this issue needs to be fought. Public perception is probably the largest thing holding back female skaters from the recognition they deserve. Elissa Steamer was the first girl to appear in the Tony Hawk video games as a playable character. It sucks that this is the sort of attention they need, but if it helps, then all the better.

Active womens tank top

Get out there, ladies. Show the world you skate hard and purchase swimwear at the mall!

If skate retailers sell bikinis to the girls, how come I can't order up a banana-hammock for myself?


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