At age 27 with over 30 awards to her name, Lizzie Armanto leads the pack of females ensuring that skateboarding will no longer be a male dominated sport.
Case in point: she is the first female to finish the infamous Tony Hawk’s 360 loop. Here she joins less than 20 people rtp slot gacor http://www.foxtrot-marine.com/ in the world, male and female, to perfectly skate a ramp constructed into a circle.
In years 2010, 2011, and 2012, she placed first overall in the World Cup of Skateboarding point race. She also won https://www.pdzsoundtrack.com/ the first ever Women’s Skateboard Park event at X Games Barcelona. She did the same for the 2013 and 2014 Van Doren Invitational in Huntington Beach, California.
She has won numerous other skate competitions, has released a shoe collection with Vans where she is also the only female https://yohanwibisono.com/ rider. She is also first female featured in the cover of the TransWorld Skate Magazine and the first woman in more than 20 years to be featured on the cover of Thrasher Magazine. At present, she’s training to represent Finland in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
Having started skateboarding because http://www.callusdigital.org/ of wanting to beat her brother at it, she maintains the same cadence: Anything boys can do, she can do better. The best part is she’s just getting started.
Beginnings at the Cove
Poised with the question ‘skatepark http://www.livsmedlet.com/ or library,’ Lizzie’s afternoons became easy to work out.
At age 14, fresh off the boat and having just moved to Santa Monica after her parent’s divorce, all Lizzie wanted to prove was that she was better than her younger brother at skateboarding.
“My mom took us both to the park and I wasn’t gonna have my brother be better than me,“ she said in an interview with Thrasher.
Meanwhile, In a feature with lodown magazine, she states that it was more of a competition because he was younger. “Anything he could do, I could do too as his older sister,” she says. “We’re really close, even to this day. What kept me going was going to my home park in Santa Monica (The Cove) and seeing these guys skating. Watching them flow looked so effortless and I fully understood it. I knew at this point, If I keep on doing it, it will be that easy. I wanted to feel how they feel.”
This was how Lizzie started skating.
Speaking about The Cove skatepark in an interview with Vice, Lizzie now fondly remembers how the place honed her to become the skater she is today.
“My brother and I would spend so much time here,” she says. “At first [it] was just an obvious choice over being here or at the library. But then I found a sense of community here, more so than school. I fell in with this cool bunch of people that actually wanted to be there, pushing each other and having fun at the same time.”
According to her, The Cove was also where she realized that she wanted to make skateboarding her career.
“I was sitting here watching someone skate the bowl, and they were just flowing around and in my head I just got it, and realised that if I kept on trying it really wasn’t that hard. Seeing that person skate, and make it look so easy, is when I had the spark,” she adds.
Shortly thereafter, she was sponsored by SMA to join a local skate competition.
“It was the biggest bowl contest of the year, so I tried to learn as many tricks as I could,” she says. “Once I had a taste of contest skating, I realised that these are the people that I wanted to be around all the time, and I really liked the skateboarding industry.”
Happy as she was with the community however, she still wasn’t convinced that she wanted skateboarding to become her full time thing.
“I love skating [but it] was my hobby.. I guess I wasn’t really trying to pursue it. I just skated contests for fun,” Lizzie said.
In 2013, Lizzie tore her PCL (Posterior Cruciate Ligament) and was out of the game for a couple of months. She was about to enter community college at that stage, but the injury has opened her eyes to what she really wanted.
“[…] this is the time. I can go to school later but I can’t do skateboarding later,” says Lizzie. “I got better and I did therapy. Around then I got a manager and he helped solidify all my relationships with companies. After that. I don’t know. When you’re done being hurt you kind of have a fire under you to skate. I was, like, “This is what I gotta do.”
It was after this that Lizzie’s skate career finally bloomed.
Tony Hawk’s Protege
Despite skating with a lot of men at the Cove and winning contests one after the other, Lizzie laments still not being taken as seriously as a skater because of her gender.
“At the time there was never any woman skaters on any of the big companies, and there seemed to be this stigma that the level of skating wasn’t as high as with the guys,” she says. At the time without sponsors, Lizzie had her eye on the big leagues anyway.
“I told my friend that if I was going to be signed to any company, it would probably be Tony Hawk’s Birdhouse, because they had a team that skated similar to me,” she added.
Once the word was out that she was interested in skating for Birdhouse, Tony Hawk himself started sending her boards and extended an invitation to skate with the team at demos. Not long after, she presented Lizzie with a signature board and thus her professional career began.
It goes without saying that she has done well since she was signed.
In 2018, she proved naysayers of her pure technical skills wrong when she became the first woman to perfect Tony Hawk’s vertical 360 ramp– a feat not even many men have accomplished.
“I definitely knew how high the risk factor was. You make one mistake and it will chew you up. I knew that I’d either slam really hard or make it. Landing it was so surreal,” she tells Vice.
Alt: Lizzie Armanto became the first ever woman to complete Tony Hawk’s infamous 360 degree loop
“It was crazy,” she tells Popsugar in an interview. “I didn’t know I actually made it through until I was halfway across the parking lot [afterwards].” According to Lizzie, she estimates that it took five hours before she figured out how to land it.
Following the stunt, Lizzie hit the ground running in 2019 and found herself at the top of her game.
She finished 2nd in Women’s Skateboard Park at Dew Tour about the same time her signature colourway shoes and apparel collection with Vans was distributed around the world. She also garnered a bronze medal at the X Games and landed two podium wins on the Vans Park Series. In addition to this, she finished at number 5 on the World Skate rankings. This assures her spot in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics where she will be representing the country of her father, Finland.
When asked about how she feels about skateboarding finally being recognized in the Olympics, and the representation she carries as she joins she had this to say:
“Skateboarding being part of the Olympics has definitely allowed for a lot more opportunities for women and girls to pursue skateboarding. There are more skateparks everywhere, more contests, more international support, more financial backing for the top skaters, more women in videos, more opportunities all around. And skateboarding has just gotten more accessible, because of the Internet and Instagram and all that. Seeing women skate just isn’t as obscure as it once was. All of that is inspiring to the next generation of girls.”
“How come women aren’t held to the same standard as men in skateboarding?”
“No one would give a sh*t if they didn’t want to f*ck her.”
“Can she do that again, but this time naked?”
These are only a few of the comments narrated in the short film by Aaron and Lwany Smith. In the clip, three women, including Lizzie, are skating on the streets and in skateparks while real comments like the ones mentioned before were being voiced over them.
In an Instagram post, Lizzie writes that female skateboarders are on the rise.
“Their ascension comes with an abundance of sexism and comments left on social media daily to bring them down. Rather than feed into the negativity, they rise above the noise,” her caption reads.
Video: https://www.instagram.com/tv/B06Di_3lUnn/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_linkAlt: Above the Noise by Aaron and Lwany Smith
“These words represent the darkest side of skateboarding. As the saying goes, the darkest always comes before the light. We wanted to illuminate these grotesque comments with hopes of drawing attention to the issue. The skateboarding community is a vibrant collective of individuals with the capacity to eradicate such hate. Let us work together to rise up and support every skateboarder, no matter their gender, orientation, or race,” she continues on her post.
In an interview with Popsugar, Lizzie digs deeper and expresses her disgust at these remarks. When asked about how she retaliates however, she mentions that she does not care to give people the satisfaction. Instead, Lizzie wants to rise above it.
“The gap between the 20th-ranked woman and first has become much closer. […] Brands and competitions are stepping up on the financial side as well. The equality gap is shrinking. Men and women have equal opportunities to compete, and winners receive equal prize money regardless of gender,” she added.
Now a trailblazer in raising awareness about the realities of inequality for women in sports, Lizzie has developed thick skin and is ready to roll with the punches.
“I know what I want and what my goals are,” Lizzie said. “Skateboarding is in a really cool place right now, and I think the women’s side has the most room to grow.”