This is what I’ve always wanted… to share the energy and feeling you get … with a female crew who understands and who you’re included in completely.

Over the years, we’ve seen the countless benefits that surfing can bring to communities and the positive ways it has of breaking down barriers. In India, as in much of the world, there exists a big gender gap when it comes to board sports. Atita Verghese, India’s first female skateboarder, saw the potential for change that skateboarding offers. In October 2014 she formed Girl Skate India, India’s first and largest platform to feature, connect and increase the number of female skateboarders in India. In her early days as a skateboarder, being the only female in a male dominated sport had Atita questioning herself about whether she could ever succeed.

Kamali practices at her local spot in Mahabalipuram built thanks to Girl Skate India and Holystoked Collective.

When falling is a normal process, then so becomes getting back up

Atty learned that falling was an integral part of skating, and that in falling, she also needed to learn how to pick herself up over and over again. Since then, Atty has inspired countless girls in India to skate by making the idea of it more accessible and giving them the confidence to get started, regardless of what people think.

Skateboarding is a way of recognising your strengths and weaknesses, all while having loads of fun

skating todayAt the beginning of the year, Girl Skate India organised their first Tour with 12 girls from around the world skating through the country, teaching girls how to skate and building ramps for the future.

When we create a space for women to support other women, it enables them to make decisions and take action on their own terms.

In April, Atty spoke at TEDx about her experiences and how skating can lead to revolution through empowerment.
Watch it here.

Cover image: Ozzie Hoppe/Al Jazeera