Elissa Steamer, Lyn-z Adams Hawkins and Marisa Dal Santos all made ESPN’s 2010 list of most influential women in Actions Sports.
When it comes to skateboarding, there are a handful of women who really stand out. Peggy Oki and Cara-Beth Burnside deserve a mention for pioneering for their gender on board. But if you want to talk progression and straight-up respect from her pro peers, Elissa Steamer stands alone. “She was always one of the guys,” says Nike pro Brian Anderson. “I was amazed at the rate this small tough girl could skate just as hard as us. Elissa is one of my best friends. She is a legend, and humble.”
Lyn-z Adams Hawkins
Lyn-Z Adams Hawkins might only be 20 years old, but she’s already done some serious trailblazing for women in skateboarding. The first and only woman to tackle the gap on a MegaRamp and the first and only woman to pull a McTwist; for women skating transition, Lyn-Z stands alone. “In the short amount of time that she has been riding, Lyn-Z has become one of the most well-known ambassadors for women skateboarders,” says veteran vert pro Bucky Lasek. But she’s not just a skateboarder. Adams Hawkins also competes on a national level in snowboarding and surfs in her spare time. Clearly the Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Calif., native knows no boundaries.
Marisa Dal Santo
In the past couple of years, Marisa Dal Santo has emerged as the heir apparent to the women’s street skating throne. Not only did she win gold at X Games 15 in 2009, she put out a jaw-dropping, handrail and gap-crushing video part for Zero Skateboards. “Marisa’s skating and approach to skating is right on par with the toughest guys in the sport,” says two-time Thrasher Skater of the Year Chris Cole. “Her gung-ho attitude intimidates guys all over the place. When her video part in ‘Strange World’ played at the premiere you could feel the crowd sink in their seats, wishing they could do what she had just done.”