MEET: Pro Skater Aimee Massie
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.
“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.”
“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!”
“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.