• Skate Girls: Mariah Duran

    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! 

    Mariah Duran has been skating for nine years and now is lucky enough to have her own pro board. (Talk about dream come true.) We talk to her about the importance of skating, how she overcame her parents' disapproval, and who inspires her to keep going. 

    Hi Mariah! Can you introduce yourself? How long have you been skating?
    MD: Hi I’m Mariah Duran and I've been skating for nine years.

    How did you get started?
    MD: I got started by my older brother giving me a skateboard.

    How important was that moment in your life? When he gave you the board did he realize it would have such a large impact?
    MD: I don't think anybody did. Honestly, I think it was just for fun at first and everything else was a bonus. The hardest person to convince was my mom. When she was finally convinced and on board, everything was smooth sailing. 

    So your mom wasn’t into the idea of your skating?
    MD: My parents were like "of course we're not gonna give our only daughter a skateboard. No way! Just Keep playing softball and basketball and everything." But I really wanted a skateboard. They finally gave in after like a year of asking.

    Now you have your own pro board! What’s that like?
    MD: It’s unreal. Having my Pro Model is insane. And it's still crazy when I see people with my board. Like, it's great. Honestly, it's the best feeling ever. Nine years of skating and all those trips to the ER. It feels like everything has paid off.

    When you first started skating and your parents were against it, who or what was inspiring you to keep going?
    MD: Definitely my older brother, he was all of my support. It was tough being the only girl at the skate park and my brother just believed in me, it was really nice. And then after that, inspiration came from Vanessa Torres, Lacey Baker, Marissa Del Sancho, like all those girls, Elissa Steamer. They really confirmed for me that you can do what guys are doing.

    Was it important for you to see other girls out there doing it?
    MD: Yeah, you see them breaking barriers. It doesn't matter what gender you are—you can do whatever you want, as long as you love doing it. I think that's the main thing I took away from it.

    And now you skate with Vanessa, after looking up to her as a kid!
    MD: It's honestly insane. When I first met her it was just crazy, I asked for her autograph and everything. Now a couple years later I'm shredding with her and going on trips with her! It's amazing, honestly. It's unreal. 

    Skateboarding has had such a huge impact on your life. How would it have been different without it?
    MD: I feel like I'd definitely be a different person without it. It's taught me confidence, resilience. You learn to get back up, trial and error. I wouldn't take anything back from it. I've done other sports and I guess they kind of teach you the same thing, but the independence of skateboarding is just a whole ‘nother level. I'm more intrigued by that.

    You always seem to happy, and so full of positive energy! How do you do that?
    MD: (laughs) I think when you just start embracing what makes you happy and just spreading good vibes, then everybody has good vibes. I don't know, I rarely have a bad day. Just maybe a bad moment but never a bad day because I just look at the positive things and once I can control that, I can take the world on. You know what I mean? I've just seen the impact I've had on people, like when I’m having a good time and people are feeding off Of my energy, then everybody's having a good time. My brother, Elijah, he taught me to turn something negative into a positive. Now I can encourage people to be positive and just look at the bigger picture. It's not worth being negative. I always count my blessings.

    What advice do you have for the young girls out there who are looking up to you as a female pro skateboarder?
    MD: If you're a girl skateboarder, and you love skateboarding, then that's all that matters. It doesn't matter what gender you are, or anything like that. As long as you step on a board and you feel like a skater, that’s it, there's no gender. Just do what you want, and just have fun with it. Everything else is bonus.

    What does it mean to feel like a skater?
    MD: You don't feel like you're a girl on a skateboard, you’re a skater. You don't feel like a boy on a skateboard, you're a skater.

    Read interviews with each cast member here!

    Watch the Skate Girls Trailer
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