• Skate Girls: Jazzmen Chavez

    Join us as we go inside the lives of 13 young skateboarders on the West Coast and learn about their favorite spots, personal memories, and friendships formed through a love of skating. Watch the Skate Girls trailer here and read interviews with each of the girls here! 

    With her infectious smile, Jazzmen Chavez spreads positivity everywhere she goes. We chat to Jazzmen about the positives of teaching young girls to skate and what motivates her when she's skating.

    Hi Jazzmen, can you introduce yourself? And how long have you been skating?
    JC: Hi. My name is Jasmine Chavez, and I've been skating for four years.

    How old were you when you stared skating? What made you interested in trying it?
    JC: My cousin would skate, and I'd always see him come home with a board and stuff. I always wondered what it was like, and I wanted to try to get a board. My cousin and my brother and I went to the shop to look at boards. We were planning on getting a board, but my dad said not to because I was a girl. He said girls shouldn't be skating. For a few years, when I was younger, I didn't get to skate because of my dad. Once I turned 13 or 14, I was like, "You know what? Oh well, I'm just going to skate because I want to do it." So I got my first board and I’ve been skating ever since.

    What did that make you feel like, your dad saying girls shouldn't skate?
    JC: It made me feel down on myself because I didn't have any motivation. My parents were just saying, "Oh, you're just going to hurt yourself. You're not getting paid." I don't know. I just do it for the fun of it. It's my passion.

    What is it about skating that motivates you so much?
    JC: Well, I do girls skate sessions, so when I'm out there skating with new people or introducing someone to skate, it’s what motivates me. Just seeing someone else ride a board and being in the position where you were when you were a kid, you want to be the person that can help them and motivate them.

    So you’re working with young girls who want to skate?
    JC: Yeah, the younger ones.

    Tell us more about what that’s like, and why it’s important to you to be there for these younger girls.
    JC: I mean, they are just out there trying to learn the baby steps and just roll down. Sometimes at the park you'll see guys giving you looks like, "Get out of the way." They don't understand that these kids are progressing at such a young age. You gotta be there for them to help them out and not just push them to the side. My passion is to introduce girls who are afraid to go out there and skate because they're a girl. To give them that confidence. If you want to skate, go grab that board and go skate. Don't be afraid, because of whatever others might think, or you feel weird. Some girls feel weird being the only girl at the skate park—that was me before. 

    Did you feel like you were treated differently because you’re a girl skating?
    JC: Yeah. As first when I was just starting, I sat out and didn't want to skate when the guys were skating, because I felt really uncomfortable. But when you just keep going, they push you to want to skate. There are guys that are like, "Oh, you're going to skate? You're just going to get in the way." And they'll skate the spot you're trying to skate. But you also get the guys that are like, "All right, do this. You can do this." The vibe is really different, and it's way better. They respect me because I take really hard slams and get right back up and go for the trick again.

    Was there anyone was there for you when you were just learning, the way you are for the girls you teach?
    JC: I didn't really have anyone physically by my side helping me out and supporting me. I did watch all these girls skating videos. That really motivated me to not give up and to keep doing what I want to do. 

    What’s it like to have watched and been inspired by those girls when you were learning to skate, and now be skating with them and hanging out with them?
    JC: It's so crazy. I'm still, to this day, right now, shocked. This is literally the dream come true. I'm really blessed.

    What else motivates you when you’re skating?
    JC: Listening to music pumps me up a lot. It gets me in my zone. I completely don't listen to anybody else around me. I love going to the park, being the only one there, and just ripping it.

    What do you like to listen to?
    JC: I usually listen to more old school music, like R&B and stuff. I like Ashanti, Alicia Keys. 

    If you could go back now after all you’ve accomplished and give your younger self—that girl whose dad told her girls shouldn’t skate—some advice or words of wisdom, what would you say?
    JC: I would just tell my younger self not to pay too much attention to what others have to say about you. Everyone's going to have something to say. You just gotta do what you love, and don't stop.

    What do you want the girls you teach to take away from you?
    JC: I just want to tell them to follow their dreams and don't give up. If you got big dreams, you just gotta chase them and grab them.

    Read interviews with each cast member here!

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