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My first wakeboard experience was on an old O'Brien board that had these crazy rubbery bindings, which were nothing like they are today. And we used shoelaces and velcro to keep them on. There was no such thing as guys or girls boards at that time; it was a one size fits all type of thing. I can acknowledge that we’ve come a long way in male and female equipment. But is the gear for girls really female-tailored? Or is it just the male board made smaller… with pink graphics?
It seems to me that almost every ‘female’ board out there is really a guy’s board in disguise. You’ve seen them; painted pink or emblazoned with the pink skull. Why has that turned into the universal symbol for female rider anyway? Burton is at least using female pros to help them engineer their gear. I know I’m not the only one who feels that way. My question to brands and manufacturers is, “Why are you still treating female athletes like they don’t really count?” “Why aren’t there more dollars being put into R&D for women’s gear?” Come on! Wake up and take a look at these stone cold facts:
Women account for 80% of America's purchasing power. Source: By Kailee Bradstreet, Transworld Business 4/25/12
More than 65% of women in the U.S. say that exercise and fitness are important parts of their lifestyle. Fitness apparel and accessories is a $14 billion industry and is growing twice as fast as general fashion retail. Source: Brandchannel.com, Ad Age Daily, 6/4/13
Female moto rider Vicki Golden competed with all men in this year's X Games Best Tail Whip competition and brought home a bronze medal.
The debut of women's skateboard park saw Alana Smith (12) win her first medal and became the youngest medalist in X Games history.
Elena Hight landed a double backside Ally-oop on the last hit of her run, which helped earn her a silver medal in womens super pipe. The only other snowboarder who has this trick dialed is Shawn White and he's never landed it in competition.
Barriers are being broken, females are becoming real competitors and it's time to take notice. Make some real equipment designed by females for females.
Is that too much to ask? Who’s with me? Let’s make Shred on sisters. Shred on! our battle cry and win this fight!
Gina Duffy, Founder SheShreds.co