Girl power - female riders claim the BTFL longboards
For years the board-sport scene has been dominated by male riders. However, one of the BTFL longboards founders tells us that BTFL are ready to flip the table and show that there is a place for the female riders on the streets.
Take, for example, a brand like BTFL. The 'beautiful longboards and rollerskates' was established in 2015 with the sole purpose of creating boards perfectly suited for the female body size and weight.
The BTFL longboards are built based on years and years of practice with female riders. With their specific shapes, weight and beautiful feminine designs, the BTFL boards are purposed for the lighter and petite rider. Models like Mia II Junior embrace even the little women on their way to glory.
We also got the chance to talk with one of the founders of BTFL, Deborah Keser, to get some insights into what inspired the sole female brand.
So, Deborah, how did you come up with the idea for BTFL, and why women specific longboards?
Longboarding, in general, is more popular for girls than skateboarding. We as BTFL want to support and push this movement. Of course, we have not invented the ultimate girls' longboard, but we intend to compose longboards which are optically and technically more appropriate for girls.
Our boards are, especially for beginners, easy to ride, since we use really soft bushings and try to make the board as lightweight as possible. Most of our graphics are handpainted by girls, so we try to give them a feminine touch. Even if advanced riders would say that the optic doesn’t matter, for most of the beginners it does. Lots of girls feel attracted to our boards because of their optic.
But our boards are not only beautiful, they are technically thought out, developed by longboard riders, to offer a huge range of every girl's needs.
Are you saying then that longboarding is more feminine and skateboarding is reserved for the guys? Or are there any boundaries?
There should not be any boundaries. Skateboarding is not reserved for the guys, but it is a very guy-dominate sport. Girls in skateboarding are very unaccented, even if they are as good as the guys. I think that girls need inspiration from other girls, but in such a guy-dominated sport it is really hard to be seen.
Longboarding, in general, is easier than skateboarding. It makes it more easy for girls, who are not into boardsports at all, to feel comfortable with the board. So there are more girls now participating and also inspiring other girls. The scene is smaller and less rough than the skateboard scene, which minimizes the fear of contact.
What would be your initial reaction if you see a guy riding a BTFL longboard?
What inspires you to longboard?
The scene and the familiar atmosphere. I am deep into longboard dancing. What makes every event so amazing is all the people, sharing the same passion and supporting each other, whether you are a guy or a girl. It’s not about competition and being better than others. From my experience, these qualities count for all longboard-scenes, whether you’re into downhill / freeride or just cruising around.
How would you inspire other women to get on the boards?
I already inspired girls by just cruising through the city. They were impressed how safe I was riding, ignoring stupid comments, just being confident in myself and my board. Furthermore, I think that especially social media makes it easier to inspire and to get inspired. You can inspire people living on the other side of the Earth by photos and videos. But however you handle your public appearance, if you do what you love, inspiration can already start in front of your door.
Last one - Who got the power? You can go nuts on this one ;)
All the girls out there, reducing prejudices against women by just doing what they love, inspiring and supporting other girls, whether they do longboarding, skateboarding or any other guy-dominated sports.