Overcoming Stereotypes: Women Longboarding in Dominican Republic

March 24, 2016

Written by: Joanna Brashear, Ambassador

Most of us don't think too much about grabbing our skateboard and hitting the streets, it's something we do, something we are allowed to do and for some of us we are encouraged to do. But for some girls this isn't the case. SheShreds ambassador Marcel Sanchez tells us her story and what it is like growing up in the Dominican Republic and not having the easiest situation for longboarding. She also gives us the 411 on the basics and tells us a little bit about the things you need to get started in this sport. 

Getting Her First Skate Deck

​Growing up, Marcel always liked board sports and the lifestyle that went with them, but her parents would never get her a skateboard, stating, "Girls don't play with skates". Marcel complied with her parents wish until she was fourteen and was able to save her own money to purchase her first skateboard, a Mini Logo 7.0 with Independent trucks. She fell in love right away and knew this was her calling. For about four years she practiced skateboarding until she was introduced to her real love: longboarding. ​

A friend in college had a long board and Marcel had asked to borrow it, that same night she sat online and ordered her very own long board, a Landyachtz Switch 36 with Bear Trucks and Mini Monter Hawgs wheels. 

She started out by practicing free ride, learning slides and having fun with the crew. Every day she would go to the local spot and learn something new or different. Everyone there was willing to teach those who were just starting. In a short time she was sliding smooth and fast across the pavement.

Following Her Dream Downhill

After a few months of free riding, she became interested in downhill riding and starting traveling to different parts of the country looking for hills to bomb. It was at this point that she knew longboarding was what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.

She has been downhill riding for about a year now but still feels there's a lot to learn. In the beginning it was hard for her because there was a negative atmosphere that she was "just a girl". Her parents were not supportive and neither were the rest of her family. She continued to pursue skateboarding even with people doubting her and eventually her family came around to support her.

When her family saw that this wasn't something she was going to give up on, and she was successfully winning competitions, they started to support her. Now they support her 100% and even come out to watch her longboard events. 

What Marcel Is Up To Right Now

​She is currently a brand ambassador for SheShreds, a brand focused on promoting and supporting girls in action sports. This is exactly what she wants to do in a country where women are expected to be housewives and stay indoors. Marcel and her friends recently formed a small group of eight girls who are interested in learning to skateboard. They meet at the park twice a month to learn.

What You Need To Get Started with Longboarding

Marcel hopes to see her project grow strong and for more girls to learn to skateboard. If your looking to start long boarding Marcel suggests that you always wear a helmet, gloves, knee and elbow pads since you will fall a lot and scars are not so pretty, but they ARE badges of honor!

                      

                      Longboard Slider Gloves                    Bern Visor Helmet

​Pictured below is what they call "bacons" or road rash. If you get bacons while riding you'd better slather them with Savila (Aloe Vera) it helps alleviate scarring.

Stay tuned for an up and coming blog geared toward helping you choose the proper skateboard, along with a video on setting up your skateboard.



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