Our Time and Our Turn – Female skateboarders return to the ramps

Blackpool’s female skateboarders are set to return to Ramp City for the popular girls’ nights launched shortly before lockdown.

Chris ‘Woody’ Wood, a well-known fixture of Blackpool’s skate scene and owner of Big Woody’s skate shop was inspired to start running female-only skate nights after noticing a growing number of girls buying boards while the ramps in Blackpool’s renowned indoor skatepark remained largely dominated by men. When over 40 females of all ages turned up to the inaugural event in January, it was clear they had just been waiting for permission. Two successful nights were held before lockdown was imposed, but now they are set to return while following Covid regulations.

Chatting to The New Issue magazine – a sister publication to Big Issue North – on the first night in January, 23-year-old Lucy Nattrass said: “It can be intimidating to approach skateparks. I’d see these amazingly talented guys and think, I don’t stand a chance.” But that night she dropped in on the ramps for the first time.

Twenty-year-old Brooke Townson, a fashion student, said she was drawn as much to the aesthetic of skating as she was to riding and credited a “huge explosion” of girl skaters on Instagram with the incredible turn out that night.

Lucy Adams, the number one female skateboarder in the UK, agreed that social media was to credit for the now flourishing skate scene but she set up one of the first girl skate nights in the country in Brighton as far back as 2013.

“It was really important that women in particular felt like they had a time and a turn,” she told The New Issue. “Even the bravest of us still experience those feelings of shrinking on the sides.”

The third Girls’ Night at Ramp City, on Cropper Road in Marton, takes place next week (29th September) and returns again in October (26th), Covid rules allowing. Women and girls of all abilities and ages are welcome to the three-hour sessions between 6-9pm. Entry costs £5 and boards are available to borrow for those who don’t have their own. There will be friendly female and male coaches on hand to assist participants in everything from standing on a board correctly to advanced skills while maintaining social distancing rules.

Visit @woodysskateshop on Facebook for updates and more information. Read more from Blackpool’s female skaters in issue 3 of The New Issue, available at shop.bigissuenorth.com



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    Antonia Charlesworth Stack is a journalist and editor from Blackpool. She was deputy editor of Big Issue North magazine and is editor of Blackpool Social Club. Antonia is also the founder of Reclaim Blackpool, a women's safety campaign that began life as an article she wrote for Blackpool Social Club. She's a contributing author to the Lancashire Stories anthology with her story about a Blackpool performer, The Call of The Sea. The book is available for free in libraries across the county.

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