The Poser Skate Project
Hello, my name is Tiegan and I've been skateboarding for two years. Skateboarding has boosted my self confidence, helped me tackle mental barriers and is great for reliving stress. Although, the skate scene has been one of the most wholesome and supportive communities I have been apart of,I have still experienced extreme anxiety being a beginner in a male dominated sport.
Which is why I have created The Poser Skate Project. The word "poser" has been used in the skate scene to discriminate against people who dress like skateboards or skateboarders who are not as good as others. I have personally been called a "poser" when I wear skateboard related fashion brands but am not at the skate park/ without my skateboard. I believe women are more likely to be called "posers" due to the misconception that women do not skate.
This is why recently I have started taking skateboard donations (wheels, trucks, decks, bolts, etc) to create complete set ups for other women in my local area (kent, England). Being able to try out skateboarding without committing financially to the cost of a new skateboard (£160+) allows people to do something they may of initially thought was not accessible to them. Although the project was initally aimed at women, it is fully inclusive to anyone who feels intimated to start learning to skateboard. Anxiety and cost are what I believe to be the two main initial hurdles that stop people from learning to skate.
Although this project was originally only physical skateboard donations, and I am blown away at the amount donations I have received. I am receiving way more decks than trucks and I am unable to make as many complete set ups as I would like. Trucks are the most expensive part of a set up (ranging from £40-£70) and are usually skated until they break, which is why the donations are lacking. Crowdfunding allows me to fully use all of the physical donations I have received by buying the remaining parts. As well as buying second hand parts, this money allows me to pay for the postage of donations I am receiving.
As well as collecting donations I have gathered existing skater girls (mainly from Kent, by some from as far as London) and created a weekly meet up where we learn together. This has been a massive success and has led to there being way more women skating at the same time at my local skate parks. This is a massive achievement, as mainly days there are no women skateboarders at the skate park.
I have had a larger amount of interest in this project than the physical donations I have received allowed for, this has inspired me to create a buddy program. The buddy program pairs up non-skaters with women from the skate meet ups who own a skateboard. This has created a safe space for women to learn from one another.