MEET: Pro Skater Aimee Massie

Aimee Massie, Newtown, Olympics, Skateboarding -

MEET: Pro Skater Aimee Massie

Having recently moved to Newtown from Queensland’s Gold Coast, Aimee Massie is our new favourite local. Making her way down to our Newtown Tasting Bar on probably the coldest day of the year, sporting her signature beanie and a Motorcycle Oil hoodie, we can’t help but think the feeling is mutual.

At just 26 years old, the Newcastle-born pro skater has been all over the world, competing at an elite level in skate competitions, challenging gender norms and inequality in sport and becoming a role model for young girls everywhere. Not bad for someone who was quite literally laughed out of the skatepark when she was 12, the boys refusing to accept that a girl could (or would) pick up a skateboard.



“In the beginning, people told me I wasn’t meant to skateboard. BMXing was fine, girls BMXed all the time, but girls didn’t skate, and the boys refused to teach me!”

Determined to break the cycle and prove girls were just as capable in a skatepark, Aimee observed on the sidelines, studying the way the boys skated, their body movements and how they manoeuvred tricks on the ramps. After a few weeks of practise, Aimee was pulling off the same tricks as the boys and it wasn’t long before she was landing tricks of her own. She was a natural. 

Quietly confident, Aimee returned to the park to showcase her new found talents, not only nailing the fundamentals, but bringing her own skate-style to the table. 

“I’d wait for them to leave and practice everything they were doing. In a few months, I started getting pretty good and inventing things on my own. So I decided to show them off, and they [the boys] were like, ‘woah, you did this by yourself?’”

Finally accepted as a skater by her mates, Aimee was hooked and by 14, started skating competitively where she finally met other female skaters, two years after her inception into the skating world. 



From the US to France, Indonesia to Spain, and Australia countless times over, Aimee has competed all around the world. And while, yes, she's living her bloody dream, Aimee has struggled to shake the consistent barriers of being a female skater. With hardly any female mentors, this all-too-common side of sport has proven to be her biggest challenge and frustration, but never a deterrent. 
 
“It’s only been in the last four years girls have been fully accepted, and only the last two years our prize money has become equal to mens. Before, we literally got 1000 bucks and the guys would get $10,000.”

“Guys started to lose their prize money because it was becoming equal to ours and they’d get super shitty, but at the end of the day, we’re all trying to do the same thing.”



With female skaters finally tarting to get the recognition they deserve, Aimee is one of many female pros carving the way for young girls. Her plethora of success and ability to overcome the odds has played a significant role in shaping the next generation of female skating. Girls as young as 11 are skating at the same level as girls twice their age, who've been skating for over 10 years, and they're smashing them! Unexpected? Maybe. Empowering? Definitely.

“They’re beating them because they have someone to look up to and they know their limits because of their mentors. I wish I had that, I can only imagine what the future of women’s skateboarding is going to be.”

Male or female, the future of skateboarding is already looking bright with the 2020 Olympic Games recognising skateboarding as an official Olympic sport for the first time. Since being invited to an Olympic meeting three years ago with 20 of the country’s best skaters, Aimee Massie has had one thing on her mind. 

 

“It was way before they announced anything and at the time, we had no idea what was going on. We used to joke about going to the Olympics, like, oh, this should be an Olympic Sport, we had no idea it would actually get approved!”

But even as 2020 welcomes skateboarding to the party, alongside snowboarding and surfing, expect there to be some teething issues with the scoring methods. Will clean cut skating be the way to a perfect 10 or is attempting the hardest tricks more important?

“There’s never going to be a true science of skating. They’ll always be the gnarly, pesh OG sides of skateboarding, and then they’ll be the people that take it as an Olympic athlete would. I think it’s the same in every extreme sport. I’m just happy because it’s bringing money to our industry.”


Once Aimee's swollen ankle is back in one piece, she'll hit the road for an Australian-wide tour with the US Santa Cruz skate team, before jetting off to Brazil for the 2020 Olympics trials.
Not too shabby.
 
You can follow all her escapades via Instagram

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