WHAT: Promoting Female Skateboarding
Interview with Chica Rider founder Paloma Guerrero (November 2008)
What is Chica Rider and how did it come about?
Chica Rider basically started because we skate and we wanted to share the joy, the challenge and the personal growth that skateboarding brings. Chica Rider is a project that involves lots of aspects: teaching skateboarding, promoting, supporting, a great community of skater girls, contests, events… we promote and support the female skateboarding in Latin America and we’re based in Mexico City. It’s a lot of fun what we do, I love it.
The idea of the project was born 5 years ago when I was the administrator of Reskate.com. Many girls used to interact a lot in the skater’s community, so I created a just-for-girls section within Reskate.com which was called Hard Core Chix. Then it evolved to Chica Rider. We work a lot on the net and outside the net too, I think it’s important not to only be virtual.
Chica Rider as such has been around for three years, and since then we haven’t stopped. We give free of charge skate clinics for girls every Sunday, we do photos, we do videos, and have done many events and other activities related to female skateboarding.
Our project is all supported by our community online, Chicarider.com, where we publish our activities every day. The site’s bilingual, it’s in Spanish and in English. We want non-Spanish speaking people (who can read English) to know what’s going on with the female skate scene in Mexico and Latin America. In the same way, we are also interested in communicating with the Spanish-speaking girls what’s going on outside. That’s very important. We translate a lot for the girls that can’t read English.
Talking specifically about our website, we always have created our own content. That makes us unique and we enjoy doing so. We even have covered International events such as X Games Los Angeles 14 and Goofy vs Regular 2008, we generated our own content from those events. We also like to give our own point of view on everything and additional information that helps our visitors increase their general knowledge.
Who is involved with the business end and what are the roles?
We are two people, me, Paloma Guerrero and my associate Paco Manzanares. I am the director of Chica Rider and admin of Chicarider.com; I write all the articles that are published on the site, as well as photos and video. I am in charge of the Public Relationships too. Paco does all the technical aspects of the website, photos, video, and teaching. Paco and I lead also the Converse Mexico Skateboarding Project, so skateboarding is our full-time job… lots of fun!!
How is the female skate scene in Mexico and how has it changed in the last several years?
I think that the female skate scene in Mexico is growing, it’s developing. There are lots of girls who want to skate, and many that already skate. There’s still so much to do, it’s all about working and getting results. Girls have skated in México since the 70’s and 80’s. Then the 90’s came along and girls were still skateboarding. I think that these girls really started the female skate scene in our Country: Isadora Guerrero, Beatriz Martínez, Stephany Fernández, María Eugenia Suárez, Elisa from Monterrey… With the new century, the scene has been developing very fast because female skateboarding has become a little bit more popular. Chica Rider has played a major role promoting the sport these last three years, and we are very happy to reinforce that every day. Nowadays you hear names like Renata Ruiz, Estefanía Gómez, Andrea Sánchez, Mayra Gallegos (who lives in the USA), Joyce Casiano, Vanessa Rojas, Gabriela Maury… they have been skating for several years now, they are good.
There are girls that are continually improving and they are the next skaters that will represent the scene and determine the level in Mexico in a few years. Chica Rider is very focused on these girls and on laying the foundations of the sport on every girl that attends our clinics. They are the future of the Mexican female skateboarding.
What are some of the recent events and tours you have put on?
We have been in so many events throughout these years, either as sponsors or organizers, always focusing on promoting female skateboarding. Talking about 2008 we have done a lot. Skirtboarders toured Mexico last February (organized by Renata Ruiz). Chica Rider was one of the major Mexican sponsors of the tour. In July we did our annual skate female contest which is called Chica Rider Skate Jam.
In August of this year, we did the Menina Skate Tour, which brought Karen Jones and Leticia Bufoni, X Games skateboarding competitors, to Mexico for the first time ever. They did demos for the Mexican skater girls, and we also took them to Mexican spots to get some footage. As part of the Menina Skate Tour, we also put up the first photo exhibition about female skateboarding in Mexico, bringing Ana Paula Negrao’s photographies to our country. It was so much fun and enjoyable.
What are you currently up to?
Apart from all our everyday activities, we are building the Chica Rider Network. The network will have blogs and galleries from each girl under their own domain name. We absorb the costs of the hosting, tech support and administration.
So far the Chica Rider Networks supports the Brazilian skaters Leticia Bufoni, Karen Jones, Karina Paiva and Ruany Caroline and the Mexican skaters Estefanía Gómez, Mayra Gallegos, Renata Ruiz and Vanessa Rojas.
The Chica Rider Network aims at promoting the girls within the girls skate community, empowering them, and strengthening the sisterhood and the mutual respect between the skater girls. It is aspirational; we want to encourage all the girls to be part of the Network… everyone can!
What advice do you have for girls that want to get involved but don’t know where to begin?
I would invite every girl to attend our skate clinics, but if they happen to not live in Mexico City I would advise them to skate with either girls or guys that can show them how to skate. Don’t be shy, just go out and find skaters to skate with.
What do you have planned for the future?
We have interesting things to come. Stay tuned at Chicarider.com =)
I want to thank every person and company who have supported Chica Rider throughout the years. Special thanks go to Converse de México and to all my family and friends. Finally thank you, Lisa, for this interview.
Now that you have learned about them visit www.chicarider.com to see what they have been up to!