The best women skateboarders of all-time played an integral role in the rise and continued growth of skateboarding over the past 60+ years. They took their passion for the sport to new heights and were proud to showcase their talent as the rest of the world watched in awe.
Skateboarding was invented sometime in the late-1940s and early-1950s and while women have been skating ever since, the sport was largely dominated by men for the first decade. It wasn’t until the 1960s that we saw the first major women’s skateboarding competition.
Over the next 30 years, women continued fighting for equality in the sport. By the 1990s, women skateboarders started to flourish and were getting noticed globally. Women are still breaking barriers to this day and receive just as much, if not more, attention than their male counterparts.
Who Are the Best Women Skateboarders of All-Time?
The best women skateboarders of all-time are regarded as pioneers in the sport. They turned what used to be a hobby into what could be a prosperous career. They helped set the bar for incoming generations of female skateboarders and acted as role models to those before them.
Through the years, we’ve witnessed a number of women exemplify greatness when they stand tall on their board. We all understand how difficult it is to control a skateboard, but the best women skateboarders of all-time make it look easy. Best of all, they had fun while they did it.
As we make our way through the best women skateboarders of all-time, we’re going to highlight a healthy mixture of old and new. Since women are still breaking barriers, some of the pioneers of the sport are still competing today. Without further hesitation, let’s see who made our list!
25. Sakura Yosozumi – Japan
Sakura Yosozumi was born in Iwade, Wakayama, Japan. Influenced by her older brother, Yosozumi started skateboarding at the age of 11 in 2013. When she started to take the sport seriously, she would train up to five hours every day after school. She was destined to be great.
Since finishing 29th in the 2016 World Cup Skateboarding park event, Yosozumi has claimed three Gold Medals — the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, the 2018 World Championship in Nanjing, and the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. She also has a bronze at the X Games.
24. Pamela Rosa – Brazil
Born in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil, Pamela Rosa began skating at an early age. She was lucky enough to have an indoor skate park open up near her home, which gave her the space she needed to fine-tune her skills. Since then, it has translated well as a professional.
Rosa has dominated the X Games over the past seven years, winning two gold medals (both in 2016), three silver medals (2014, 2015, 2019), and one bronze medal (2018). She also won two gold medals at the World Skateboarding Championship, once in 2019 and once in 2021.
23. Margielyn Didal – Philippines
Margielyn Didal was born in Cebu City, Philippines and began skateboarding with her friends at an early age. By 2012, she was being coached by Daniel Bautista and competing in local tournaments in Cebu City. Injuries in 2014 slowed her progress, but she quickly recovered.
She was dominant in 2018 and 2019. She competed in the Street League Skateboarding twice and X Games once during that span, but also captured a gold medal in the 2018 Asian Games (street) and two gold medals in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games (street, game of skate).
22. Mariah Duran – United States
Mariah Duran was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico and began skateboarding at an early age. By the age of 13, Duran started competing in local skateboarding competitions. Nearly seven years later in 2016, Duran turned pro and has been sponsored by Meow Skateboards since.
In 2016, she brought home a silver medal in the street event at the Summer X Games in Austin. Two years later, she brought home two gold medals in the street event in 2018. She also competed in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, but failed to make it past the preliminary round.
21. Samarria Brevard – United States
Samarria Brevard contributes her love for skateboarding to her family, who introduced her to the sport at the age of 13. Nearly five years later, she was competing in local tournaments. Over the years, she has become a pioneer for incoming African American female skateboarders.
She was the first African American female to have a pro model board, the first African American female to win a medal at the X Games (she won silver in 2017) and the first African American female to have a full part in a skate film (the all-female skate video, Don’t Quit Your Day Job).
20. Jaime Reyes – Hawaii
Born in Oahu, Hawaii, Jaime Reyes grew up surfing in the 1990s. She went to go surfing one day, but there weren’t any waves to surf. Instead, she bumped into a group of skateboarders and that’s how she was introduced to the sport. Ever since that moment, her career took off.
Her first competition was held at the legendary A’Ala Park in Hawaii. After winning that event, she started to compete in more prestigious events and was one of a few skateboarders that could run with Elissa Steamer and Lauren Mollica. She was on the cover of Thrasher in 1994.
19. Vanessa Torres – United States
Vanessa Torres was born in Anaheim, CA, but comes from Mexican descent. She started skating at an early age and eventually dropped out of high school to pursue a career in the sport. It didn’t take her long to make a name for herself and find success as a female skateboarder.
In 2003, Torres became the first female to win a gold medal in skateboarding at the X Games. It was the inaugural year for female skateboarding and she would go on to win a silver and two bronzes over the next 13 years. She was also the third female to appear in a video game.
18. Jen O’Brien – United States
The 2003 Summer X Games were extremely important to the rise of women in the sport and while Vanessa Torres won the gold medal, Jen O’Brien was one of the leading voices that made the competition possible. Oh yeah, O’Brien went home with a silver medal to top it all off.
Born and raised in DeLand, Florida, O’Brien is a true pioneer for women in skateboarding. Even when she helped women get invited to the X Games, she didn’t stop there and continued to fight for equal prize money, equal television coverage, and equal opportunity when on the skateboard.
17. Amy Caron – United States
Amy Caron grew up in Castro Valley, California and enjoyed skating, surfing, and going to the beach growing up. At just 12 years old, Caron began skateboarding and eventually rose to be one of the best women skateboarders of all-time. It didn’t take long for her to mark her territory.
She has won three bronze medals at the X Games, one in the park event in 2003 and two in the street event in 2007 and 2008. She’s currently sponsored by Meow Skateboards, was heavily featured on AKA: Girl Skate film, and is also the co-founder of Bigfoot Skateboard Magazine.
16. Rayssa Leal – Brazil
Born Jhulia Rayssa Mendes Leal in Brazil, Rayssa Leal started to make a name for herself at just seven years old. She would make videos of herself skateboarding in a tutu, which led to her being dubbed ‘A Fadinha do Skate,’ which translates to ‘The Little Fairy of Skateboarding.’
After placing third at the 2019 Street League Skateboarding Championship in London, Leal placed first at the SLS Championship in LA a few months later. She also won a silver medal in the 2020 Olympic Games and two silver medals at the World Championship in 2019 and 2021.
22. Leo Baker – United States
Leo Baker was born in Covina, California in 1991 and began skateboarding at the age of five. They started to take the sport seriously by 11 years old and started competing by 14 years old in 2006 — which is when they placed first at the Slam City Jam and West 49 Canadian Open.
Their best win came at the 2014 Summer X Games in Austin when they won a Gold Medal in the street event. Baker also has four other first place finishes over the past 13 years — including the Maloof Money Cup, the Mystic Skate Cup, and the Street League Super Crown twice.
14. Lucy Adams – Great Britain
Perhaps no other female skateboarder is more revered in the United Kingdom than Lucy Adams. She’s the pride of Great Britain and played an important role in the rise of women in the sport, especially in her country — where women skateboarding was basically non-existent.
Adams has been skating for over two decades after falling in love with the sport in 1997. She was the founding chair of Skateboard GB, the National Governing Body for skateboarding in Great Britain, England, and Whales. She eventually stepped down from the position in 2020.
13. Lyn-Z Adams Hawkins – United States
Lyn-Z Adams Hawkins was a true athlete growing up in San Diego and Mexico. Although she played soccer, baseball, basketball, and gymnastics throughout her childhood, it was surfing and skateboarding that always came first. She started skateboarding at the age of six.
Hawkins became the first female to skate the DC Mega Ramp and enjoyed an illustrious career at the Summer X Games. From 2003-2010, she won three gold medals in the vert event, three silver medals in the vert event, one silver in the park event, and one bronze in the vert event.
12. Sabre Norris – Australia
Sabre Norris was born just 16 years ago in 2005, but she has emerged as one of the future stars of women skateboarding and is one of the most talked about female skateboarders today. She started to gain national attention on YouTube, which helped her showcase her talent early.
In addition to being the third female and first Australian female to complete a 540 (at just 9 years old), Norris became the second-youngest female to ever compete in the World Surf League. Much of her impact has yet to be witnessed, so keep an eye on her in the coming years.
11. Sky Brown – Great Britain
Though Sky Brown was born in Japan, she represents Great Britain as a skateboarder and spends a lot of time in the United States. She started skateboarding at an early age and started competing as early as 8 years old. She’s the youngest skateboarder to compete in an event.
After winning Dancing With the Stars: Juniors in 2018, she earned her first medal in 2019 — a bronze medal at the World Championship. In 2020, she became the youngest person to earn an Olympic medal (bronze) for Great Britain and then won a Gold Medal at the 2021 X Games.
10. Alana Smith – United States
Alana Smith was born in Mesa, Arizona in 2000 and formed an early interest in skateboarding. Once they started to compete, it didn’t take long for them to earn their first medal — winning a silver medal at the 2013 X Games in Barcelona. They were the youngest to ever win a medal.
Two years later, Alana Smith won the Girls Combi Pool Classic and eventually joined Tactics as a brand ambassador. While they ended up finishing in last place of 20 competitors, Alana Smith became the first nonbinary athlete to compete at the Olympics during the 2021 Olympic Games.
9. Nora Vasconcellos – United States
Nora Vasconcellos was born in Pembroke, Massachusetts, but didn’t pursue a career in skateboarding until 2012 — she was 19 years old at the time. She quit her day job and moved to California in hopes of making it big someday. And that’s exactly what she did with herself.
She joined Adidas as an amateur in 2016 and appeared on Thrasher’s King of the Road Season 2 that same year. The following year, she won the 2017 Vans Park Series World Championships and turned pro with Adidas and Welcome Skateboards that same year. She’s also an artist.
8. Lizzie Armanto – Finland/United States
Lizzie Armanto is one of the best women skateboarders ever and she’s still doing her thing to this day. Her love of skating began in Santa Monica, California in 2007 and has continued to grow ever since. In fact, she became the first female to complete Tony Hawk’s famous loop.
With over 30 awards to her name, Armanto is one of the most decorated female skateboarders. She was the No. 1 points-getter in the World Cup of Skateboarding three years in a row, she won gold medals at the X Games and Nitro World Games, and competed in the 2020 Olympics.
7. Aori Nishimura – Japan
Aori Nishimura was born just 20 years ago, but has already accomplished more than most in the sport. She started skating at the age of 7 and eventually made her pro debut as a fifth grader. In 2017, Nishimura won the Gold Medal at the Japan National Skateboarding Championship.
That same year, Nishimura won another Gold Medal at the 2017 X Games in Minneapolis. She would win two more gold medals in 2019, as well as a silver and bronze in 2018. At the World Championship, she won a Gold Medal in 2018 and 2021, as well as a bronze medal in 2019.
6. Alexis Sablone – United States
Alexis Sablone grew up in Connecticut and started teaching herself how to skate in her garage at just nine years old. By the age of 12, Sablone was competing in local events. Unfortunately, she had a hard time finding an agent after she graduated from high school and stopped skating.
After receiving a degree in architecture, Sablone eventually made a return to skateboarding at the age of 23. She entered her first X Games that year and appeared in every X Games since — winning three golds (2010, 2012, 2015), two silvers (2009, 2011), and one bronze (2018).
5. Leticia Bufoni – Brazil
Born in São Paulo, Brazil, Leticia Bufoni formed an interest in skateboarding at the age of nine. She received her first board at 11 years old, but her father eventually broke it to prevent her from skating. At the age of 14, she moved to the United States to pursue her skateboarding career.
Bufoni entered her first X Games in 2007 and while she didn’t earn her first medal until 2010, she holds the record for most gold medals by a female with six — including three in 2013. She also has three silvers, three bronzes, and a Gold Medal at the World Skateboarding Championship.
4. Elissa Steamer – United States
Elissa Steamer grew up in Fort Meyers, Florida and began skating at the age of 14. By 1995, the 20-year old skater was a sponsored athlete and appeared in her first film in 2016. She would appear in several other films over the next few years, but her real break came in 2004.
That year, Steamer won her first Gold Medal in the street event at the 2004 Summer X Games in Los Angeles. Steamer won the Gold Medal four times in the next five years and she would’ve won it six years in a row if it weren’t for her silver medal in 2007 and bronze medal in 2009.
3. Cara-Beth Burnside – United States
Cara-Beth Burnside started skating at a time when female skaters were rare. She was born in Orange, California and grew an interest in skating at the age of 10. She would practice her tricks for up to seven hours each day. By the 1990s, she was competing against professional men.
Burnside was a playable character in two video games, won over 16 competitions as a professional (including two X Games Gold Medals), is the first female to have a skate shoe, and has been featured in a variety of big films. She’s also one of the best snowboarders of all-time.
2. Peggy Oki – United States
Speaking of female skateboarders who started skating before it was a thing, Peggy Oki broke barriers for women in the sport in the 1970s. Born in Los Angeles, California, she received her first skateboard at the age of 10 and fell in love with the sport from that moment forward.
In the 1970s, she was the only female member of the Zephyr Competition Team, which originally consisted of Peggy and 11 boy skaters. By 1975, she won the Del Mar Nationals freestyle event and established herself as a pioneer in the sport. She’s also an art teacher and environmentalist.
1. Patti McGee – United States
Before the skateboarding world had Peggy Oki, it had Patti McGee. Born in Southern California, McGee was one of the few females to start skating during its first wave of prominence in the early-1960s. Her and her friends would attach a 2×4 piece of wood to the bottom of roller skates.
As a senior in high school, McGee used skateboarding as something to do when she couldn’t surf. She turned pro at the age of 19 and was eventually featured on the covers of LIFE magazine and The Quarterly Skateboarder. She was the first female inducted into the Skateboarding Hall of Fame.
Who Are the Best Women Skateboarders Right Now?
The skateboarding community continues to grow and evolve as more people tune in to witness the intense amount of skill and talent that’s displayed. It’s one of the few sports that’s dominated by youth and just recently debuted as an Olympic event during the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
While many of the best women skateboarders of all-time are still competing, especially considering how new the sport is, there are still plenty of talented female skateboarders we didn’t get to mention above. They might not be on the list now, but they could be in the future!
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Some of the best women skateboarders in the world right now — not including the ones mentioned above — include Misugu Okamoto, Poppy Star Olsen, Kokona Hiraki, Kisa Nakamura, Bryce Wettstein, Dora Varella, Mami Tezuka, and Brighton Zeuner.
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