• Skate Girls: Kat Sy

    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! 

    Skater Kat Sy inspires girls everywhere she goes. She chats to us about the importance of being a role model, the complexities of skate relationships, and the overwhelming support present in the skate community.

    Hey, Kat. Can you introduce yourself? How long have you been skating?
    KS: Hi. My name is Kat and I've been skating for 11 years.

    How did you get started? How old were you?
    KS: I started skating when I was seven or eight years old. I got started because I had seen a skateboard in my friend's backyard and I just thought it was a really cool thing to do.

    Did you have other girls around you to skate with, or were your skating with the guys?
    KS: Yeah, when I was younger I skated with mostly guys, but a lot of those guys fell out of it. I was kind of the only one who stuck with it.

    Was there anyone you looked up to in the skate world when you were first getting started?
    KS: People I really looked up to when I first started skating were Vanessa Torres, Rodney Mullen. People like that. I’ve met so many people through skating, which is cool. When I started skating there weren't a lot of girl skaters but when Vanessa started skating there were even less. It’s amazing that she was able to get to where she is today without as many role models like I've got and have been lucky to have. 

    What does it feel like to know that now you are a role model to the young girls who are starting to skate?
    KS: It feels great. It feels amazing because I know I see a lot of girls at the skate park and I see they're kind of hesitant or they're a little shy. It makes me feel good that they can see me out there skating and I can have an impact on them the way Vanessa and all my role models did for me. I think that's great.

    You have a big impact on their lives—you are teaching them to skate, right?
    KS: Yeah, I've been a skateboarding instructor for five or six years now. I'm really proud of the work I've done with Skate Like a Girl. I've done a lot of work in teaching young women, young people how to skate. I think it's really important that young boys and girls have strong female role models to look up to so they know that women are out here skating and they have respect for women.

    What exactly is Skate Like a Girl?
    KS: Skate Like a Girl is a non-profit organization that helps bring a positive skateboarding community to young people. We have branches in Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco. You can look us up online, on Instagram. If you're interested at all, girl or boy, whoever you are, no matter who you are, you're welcome here.

    Why is it so important to you to be a part of an organization like this?
    KS: The thing is, the thing that really made me hyped to be a skate instructor is that when I was first starting to skate I was young, so I wasn't as intimidated by the park slides and stuff. People helped me—They saw me struggling with a trick or they saw me struggling to do something they could do—they helped me out and I think that's really amazing and I try to be that person every time I go to the skate park. Even if I'm not working or I'm not teaching anyone, I try to still go out and help if someone looks like they need help or if they want help.

    Have you formed other important relationships through skating?
    KS: The thing I think is really interesting about skating is that I was able to meet and befriend people that I wouldn't normally be friends with. People I wouldn't meet because they don't live near me or they don't go to the same school as me. They don't look like me. I'm able to befriend people who don't look like me and aren't from the same situation and background that I am. I've gained a very good and wholesome perspective of the world from that. You’ve definitely got to pay it forward. Think about the people who've helped you in your life and you try and go out of your way and try to help other people in that same way. Everybody needs someone like that in their life.

    It seems like in the skate community, people—and girls—are really supportive of each other.
    KS: Definitely! I feel like there's a very welcoming women's skate community and even just, in general, the skate community. I think we all understand what it feels like to be excluded and we try our best to never do that to anyone. You know what I mean?

    Totally. Do you feel like you were treated any differently in the skateboarding world because you’re a girl?
    KS: I've definitely been treated differently because I'm a girl in skateboarding. Every time I roll up to the park, I'm the only girl there and people notice and people will look at you. When I was younger I felt like I had something to prove. I would go to the skate park and I would try to do all my best tricks and try to impress these people I didn't know because I felt like I was the only girl here and I had to represent. But you know what? You don't have to care about what anyone else thinks. You don't have anything to prove to anyone.

    Read interviews with each cast member here!