Celebrating Skater Mums – words of wisdom and the joys of skateboarding

For Mothers day this year, we wanted to celebrate our Skate Mums who are dropping off their kids at the skatepark and picking up a board to skate with them.

Mothers are the backbone of society and the inspiration of future generations (of skaters) – so we asked these wonderful women what skateboarding means to them. Below are little interviews, stories and words of wisdom regarding skateboarding and its significance for them and their families.

Thank you to all who inspire us. Happy Mother’s Day to all the amazing mums, step-mums, soon-to-be mums, should-be mums and the mums no longer with us – but always in our hearts.

Lucy Adams @lucyadamsskate – pro skater by day and pro mum every day

“Its the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. You think that skateboarding is very rewarding when you progress and learn a trick and do something that day that you never though you could do – it’s such a good feeling…well motherhood is that times a million. When you are watching them grow and learn and witness them do something new – its really fun! There are a lot of similarities I suppose. But yeah – just the fact each day you look at them each day and think wow! That is someone I am responsible for and I can’t wait to watch every day, how he grows and what he learns, and what we are going to be up to when he’s bigger – it’s seriously cool!”

Florence @flrnchnrt – A Skate Mum currently shredding it up in Aberdeen with her two kids – Tim and Lillie.

“I actually started skateboarding on a bet! Tim was skateboarding since he was 5 and when Lillie turned 5, she wanted to try. I said that if she sticks to it, I was going to have to try… She stuck to it, I tried – this was 4 years ago and nowadays I’m probably the one who skates the most haha!

I do it because I enjoy it – I like the challenge, the thrill, the excitement, the control of your body, the fitness it gives you…But I also like doing it with my children because it’s something that we share – it’s exercising we do as a family, it’s our holiday “adventures” to check new skateparks. We also understand and encourage each other, we all know how much work it takes to get a trick even if it looks easy. I skate like a “reasonable adult” 😊 and I need coaching. I have shared many lessons with Tim and Lillie and we always have a good time. We are now building a mini ramp (micro ramp to be honest haha) so we can skate in the garden

I like that the skateboarding community is very supportive: in every skatepark in every country ive been, I always get a cheer for trying – and sometimes succeeding – a new trick, from best friends to strangers. That’s the kind of example I want my children to follow. Every skateboarder knows perseverance and that’s also the kind of value I want to teach Tim and Lillie.

There‘s the pure pleasure of riding a board that’s hard to describe. There’s adrenaline that kicks in when you try to surpass yourself and that amazing feeling of accomplishment you get when you land a new trick: the “I did it!” that is so fulfilling!

I had my first skateboarding lesson because of a dare but I thought it was probably not for me – I have never been so wrong in my life!!!!! It’s been four years and I skate 2-3 times a week and check out if there’s a skatepark on my holiday destination before anything! So try it! You need to “live it” to “know about it”. And whether it’s skateboarding or something else, let us and our children be curious and daring!.

Lauren @Laurenhourihanranhan – Mum of Alfie and Charlie skating in Liverpool

“I’m a skate mum, I started learning with my son and at first I was terrified what people would think. However, after joining a few girls skate groups I was welcomed with open arms by most other girls around my kind of age or some of the other mums. I skate for my son so he didn’t have to start on his own and I’ve now really started to love it! – More than I ever thought I would ! It makes me feel like more than just a mum and we’re so close ow after nursing each other’s falls and telling each other to get up and try again! I’m so glad I started !!

The one thing I am so happy about is I feel like we are bonding over something we are both becoming really passionate about…we hype each other up and console each other when it’s just not happening that day – we bounce off each other when we are learning new things. It’s also been great because he is exposed to and around such an amazing group of people that have changed his and my own mindset on so many things. Skateboarding has completely yanked me out of my comfort zone and that’s a completely new experience for me!”

Stacey Wallis @staceyjanewallis – Our very own GSUK community fundraiser, skater and mum of Bella and Olly

“I have been skating 16 years and I’m still not the best at it haha! Bella is 4 and Olly is 7 and they have been skating on and off for about 3 years. My favourite mum skater is Autumns mum (Tara Smale – featured below) and even though she hasn’t skated long – look at what she has taught her daughter. I also love that she is level headed in regard to sponsorship etc.

It’s hard to get time to skate as a mum or do anything haha. What I’ve learnt as a mum is that you should try take at least 3 hours a week for yourself. It’s tough to even sleep sometimes. I let my kids learn at their own pace – my son went off skateboarding then got back into it again recently, but unfortunately he broke his leg.

I also often let other people teach my kids at the skatepark as they hate it when I try help – a few months ago I went up to my son Olly (he was with some of the older boys) and said ‘mummy will help you down the ramp’ He came up to me after and said ‘mum you embarrassed me’ – and I was devastated I had become that mum hahaha!”

Agnieszka Aga Wood @everyone_on_boards – skater in London and Mum of Apolonia (9) and Olympia (7) and founder of EVERYONE on BOARDS

“We have all been skating for two years but I was snowboarding back home. What’s mean about skateboarding is the extension of freedom while shredding. We started with girls nights at the House of Vans and Bay 66 and we are so grateful for the Girl Skate UK community because it given us access to these events. When I skateboard by myself I am not a mum, it’s about moments for myself and focusing on ME (however this doesn’t last long – as someone will always need my attention haha!). My favourite thing about being a Skate Mum – it’s the skate community and helping the next generation of girls and young people get on boards.

As a mum – I want to give other mothers a helpful hand to make the right choices even in simple things like choosing the right first skateboard (as opposed to going on Amazon and buying something unsuitable).

Today the Covid-19 situation has put an extra pressure on motherhood. We are realising how lockdown has affected our kid’s mental and physical health, their addiction to iPhones and iPads making them even more agoraphobic – this is why we need community and action – of getting young girls (and boys) into action sports and activities.”

“About EVERYONE on BOARDS – Our mission is to inspire, engage and empower young people and families through skateboarding, snowboarding and surfing. To enable people to equip themselves with the necessary transferable skills to have the confidence to make healthy, informed choices and achieve their full potential. Our vision is to encourage young people to enjoy life through outdoor activity, learning through vocational training and projects. Our values – we promote equal opportunities, inclusion and respect whilst encouraging a culture of recycling and redistribution of equipment and resources. We aim to provide access to action sports to all young people from diverse backgrounds and gender identities.”

Stefani Nurding @stefaninurdingxx, tiktok – stefaninurding, owner of Salon Skateboards, skater, model, fitness-fashionista and mum of Felix! “I’ve been skating for over 10 years and now with Felix I’m looking forward to being able to go on lil holidays to places like Sweden and California and skate about and enjoy the city as a family!

Now is a scary and difficult time for all of us and it can feel like a good idea to shrink back from what we are doing, or to take up less space – I urge you to fight for other women of all backgrounds and orientation so that we can all move forward together.

Happy Mother Day to all women including those who have chosen not to and those who are not yet.”

Jane FW @skatejanefw – Skate freestyler and mum in Derbyshire.

Jane freestyling !

“I’ve been skating just over a year now. My son has been skating for 10 months. My favourite thing about being a Skate Mum is getting to spend time with my son, having fun together and cheering each other on. He is great at encouraging me when I’m nervous about trying something. I wish I had half his courage !

I started skateboarding when my boys were scooter kids as I was fed up of hanging around skate parks and I wanted to join in the fun. Skateboarding looked cooler than scooting though! I do park skating with my son but I also skate a lot on my own and am really into freestyle. Don’t worry about being too old but the pads and helmet are a must!”

Franny Buchanan @diving_mooti – mum of Scottish skaters Daisy @daiisy_sb and Lilly @lilzo_b

Daisy and Lilly at Arches DIY in Glasgow

“Our family skateboarding journey came about a bit randomly. None of us had ever skateboarded before (although I was pretty good at roller booting in the 80’s) and one day about 2 years ago, my two girls came up to me and simply asked ‘can we get skateboards?’.

I always like to encourage them to try new things, especially in things that were traditionally viewed as “belonging to the boys”, so I said why not, and that day we ordered their first boards. Straight away I could see it was going to be a great thing for them to do – not only does it keep them active but it teaches them things like courage, perseverance and competing against yourself. All good life lessons.

It also introduced them (and me!) to a whole new community of people who have become really good friends. I can honestly say that skateboarding is THE thing that got us through lockdown over the last year. We bought a mini ramp for the garden (something I never imagined doing) which meant they could keep on skating – and it’s been just the thing to lift their spirits (and get them out of bed?). Something I’ll be eternally grateful for – thank you skateboarding!

My only regret is that I haven’t had the courage to step on a board myself and join in the fun – I’m too scared of ending up in A&E and then who’ll drive them all over the country to skateparks?!? Maybe one day…”

Esther Sayers @esthersayers – skater and mother of Orla, Rafi, Connie Callaghan – in London

“I’ve been skating for 4 years now …haha please don’t call me a skate mum! That sounds like soccer mum and they don’t play soccer, they facilitate their kids playing it. I’m a skater and a mum. My favourite thing about skating is learning alongside my kids.

Skateboarding confuses the normal order, where children play and adults facilitate, because in skateboarding adults play too!

For my family, skateboarding is something we enjoy together – it is an enormous source of fun. The flip side is that it is sometimes a source of tension as I want to skate all the time, often when my kids don’t want to. My urgent desire to skate has to be balanced with the needs of my family.”

Mairi – mother of lil shredder @islask8s in Scotland

“Skating has brought Isla’s confidence, strength of character and a loyal gang of friends. I love watching the fun they have, how they push each other to try new things and the way they are a close group but always welcome others and encourage them. Skating allows Isla to become her own person, develop her own style and know that wherever she goes if she finds a skatepark she will find a friend.”

Vita @momwhoskateslondon – Mum of three skating in London.

“I have been skating for the past 10 months, my eldest started with me, the middle one has been skating 6 months and the little one for about 2 months. My favourite thing about being a Skate Mum is having all the fun that skateboarding brings! And experiencing that together with children is the best part of it!

If you are thinking of starting – stop thinking, get to your nearest skate shop, buy your own set up and start today! It’s never too late!”

Tara Smale – mum of the incredible Autumn @autumnskating and skater in Brighton.

“I’ve been skating for 1 month (Autumn has been skating 2 years and is now showing me the ropes !!). My favourite thing is watching Autumn’s face when she smashes a trick she’s been working hard on and spending time just the 2 of us outside at the skateparks! Skateboarding has enabled us to make friends all over the world!!”

Cat Horne @sweetasacurse – mother of two and Scotland skater

Mother Cat and daughter Aimee

“I started dabbling in skating when I was around 13. This was in the late 80’s and a good friend of mine had a proper old school chunky Santa Cruz board that his Dad brought him back from America. I remember thinking it was the coolest thing ever and my fascination with skateboarding started right there and then. There was a group of 4-5 of us that would go out and share the board and mess around and try to learn tricks – fun times!

Fast forward to leaving my home town and moving to Aberdeen at 17 to go to university – I became friends with a girl who also had an interest in skateboarding. We were both driven to learn and together we made a pact to do so. We skated through the 90s in Aberdeen in a completely male dominated scene. We were the only girls turning up at the local spots with a genuine desire to skate. At the beginning it was intimidating and I don’t think we were taken very seriously. However, over time we made it clear we weren’t going away and the boys became supportive and encouraging – but we first still had to figure it out on our own. The connections formed during that time and the experiences we shared are still some of the most valuable to me today. I am grateful to still count many of the people I met through skating at that time as friends who will always mean a great deal to me.

I drifted away from the scene in my 20s – life kind of took over – however skateboarding was always in the background and it was through mutual interest in skateboarding that I met my husband. We have 2 children and my daughter took interest in skating when she was 10. Watching her skate and seeing her determination and just going for it is hugely inspiring – but I’ll never stop being nervous seeing her drop in from the height of the 10 ft bowl. Skateboarding is ingrained in my family. My husband was a skater for many years – however he is now unable to due to a muscle wasting disease – this still doesn’t stop him from coaching and supporting us, giving us the benefit of his experience. This makes me even more determined to get on a board and have fun with my kids and push myself while I’m fit to do so.

I’m thankful for my daughter helping me find my way back to skateboarding. Being there to watch and encourage her to progress and see the smile on her face rather than obsessing over what I’m trying to do. Skateboarding is challenging – both mentally and physically – which is what I’ve always loved about it. I’ve come to realise though, that whether you are rolling around or busting out your best trick, if you are having fun and enjoying it – it is a love that will never leave you.”

Clemence – creator of @Gnarly_mums and mum of Bastien

Clemence talked to us on why she created Gnarly Mums:
“When I got pregnant with my son, I was really worried of my ability to continue skateboarding after giving birth. Questions such as – will my body recover? How long will it take to skate again? Will I have time? What if I hurt myself? Does this mean I am too old to skate? Why are all the big lifestyle brands I follow not featuring any mums on their feeds? So I tried googling those questions and didn’t find any adequate answers – I didn’t seem to see many other mums skating out there.

My baby is 26 months now and I have been back to skateboarding and it is a different experience for sure. The first months our baby used to nap in the pram at the skatepark, then at around 15 months he started to run around and show interest in skateboarding. I find it super tiring but also such a nice way to bond with him and teach him resilience, to respect others, have fun and conquer his fears. I have started to go on Sunday morning skates around London when the park is less crowded and meet up with mums with their kids or on their own who also skate – and so that is how I was inspired to start Gnarly Mums to have a platform for mums with a passion for action sports to share their stories and create a safe place where mothers and mums-to-be can exchange information and share their adventures.!”

Photo featuring: @coolmommyskateboarding

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