News Tagged ‘Momiji Nishiya’

Rayssa Leal and Sky Brown – Welcome to the future

Monday, August 2nd, 2021

With the second of the skateboarding events of the Tokyo Olympics just around the corner, we figured it was a good opportunity to shine some light on Rayssa Leal and Sky Brown. This pair, along with the likes of Momiji Nishiya (Japan’s 13 year old gold medalist in women’s street), are about to reset skateboarding completely.
You’d have to have absolute no interest in skateboarding to have not heard the names Rayssa Leal and Sky Brown before. They, along with a swelling group of mini rippers, represent probably the biggest paradigm-shift that skateboard culture has ever experienced.
Obviously, it is a clear and evident fact that skateboard’s embarrassing gender imbalance is finally over. Skateboard participation numbers are up full stop, with female skateboard participation exploding globally.
The boy’s club is finished…

The reasons for this explosion in female skaters in manifold: from the current visibility of pioneers like Alexis Sablone, Lizzie Armanto and Elissa Steamer, through to the obvious power of Social Media at connecting once disparate communities and inspiring people to get involved. Our own UK-based Girl Skate UK network is one such example. What began as a one-woman project to try and create spaces for the (then) tiny UK female/non-binary skate scene to connect, has since mushroomed in a massive network of skaters across the country running everything from skate schools to skate comps. You could do a lot worse than to check out their website at girlskateuk.com

Anyhow, we’ve wandered away from the specific topic of this blog post, namely Rayssa Leal and Sky Brown. These two (for us at least) represent the direction that the future of skateboarding is headed in.
Both are technically children at 13 years of age. Both are in the Olympics, (Rayssa has already won a silver medal and Sky is highly likely to win a medal too) and most importantly, they both absolutely fucking rip. Not ‘good for a girl’, or ‘good for a child’ – just good, full stop.
We’re kind of assuming that you all knew this already but, just in case, (and because it’s the Olympic Park skating event this week) it seemed timely. Unlike the footage of Rayssa at the top of this blog which is all super recent and was only uploaded this week, we’ve struggled to find much recent footage of Sky in YouTube format since most of her stuff ends up on her parent-run Instagram page.
With that said, it’s still worth posting the Almost x Skateistan clip of her from 2019 (see below) just because it’s dope and the project was a sick one. I’m not entirely sure she still rides for Almost skateboards though as there were a couple of vague ads for a sinister sounding board brand called the ‘Monarch Project’ claiming Sky Brown as a pro, (along with Leticia Bufoni) recently. Either way, she’s 13, she spins head high mute grabbed McTwists and if she’s not a millionaire already, she will be soon.

Also – this: Rayssa Leal was 11 here. Jesus wept.

(P.S. The Men’s Park Olympic contest is on Thursday August 5th from 1am – 4.30 am.
Women’s park in on Wednesday August 4th from 1am – 4.30am Uk time)

Rayssa Leal and Sky Brown

If you, or your kids have just started out skateboarding, then check out our extensive range of smaller-sized complete set ups here or by clicking the Almost complete below.

Rayssa Leal and Sky Brown


Yuto Horigome is skateboarding’s first ever Olympic gold medalist

Monday, July 26th, 2021

Finally, after 12 months of delay, the Tokyo Games are here and Yuto Horigome is skateboarding’s first ever Olympic gold medalist.
It was always going to happen. I’m surprised it took this long to be honest given how boring a lot of other Olympic sports are. I mean, do you want to watch a 13 year old girl gap out to front crook on a 12 stair handrail, or do you want to watch some Allegra dance around on a horse? Simple equation really.
The arguments for and against skating being in the Olympics are myriad. Depending on your side of the fence it either represents the ultimate coming-of-age of a culture, or it represents the neutering of what was once an anti-establishment sub culture. I kind of agree with both sides if I’m honest. Uniforms, IOC officials in blazers (not the Swoosh kind) pretending to give a shit and all the other sports bullshit is, very obviously, anathema to the traditions of skateboard culture. I agree with all I’ve just typed but that didn’t stop me sitting up till 4am two nights in a row to watch it and talk real-time shit on the UK Skate forum with other portly dads.

Honestly, it was entertaining to watch. I get that a lot of people feel as though it’s somehow soiled the spiritual pants of skateboarding but, in a world where people happily cover themselves in logos for Monster, knife companies and Christ knows what else – does it really matter?
As I write this we’ve only had the street section of Olympic skateboarding with Park to follow next week.
The format was basically Street League and, as with SLS, it devolved in a handrail fest pretty quickly.
Nonetheless, it was bloody exciting to watch despite the inherent tedium of the SLS format, well unless you’re the Mayor of Greater Manchester that is – Andy Burnham you made yourself look like a out of touch bellend mate.

If you missed it, you can peep highlights of Men’s street below in YouTube format, plus a link to the full BBC broadcast of the entire Men’s Street here (complete with Marc Churchill on the mic)

Along with the fact that Yuto Horigome is skateboarding’s first ever Olympic gold medalist, is another moment of glory for the host nation with a gold medal for Japan in Women’s street too. A double whammy for glorious Nippon made even crazier by the fact that the winner, Momiji Nishiya at 13 years old is one of the youngest Olympic gold medalists of all time. Pretty fucking cool eh?

Below there’s a video with a bit of back story on Momiji Nishiya and to watch the whole thing – hit up the BBC iPlayer here to peep the entire contest.

It’s highly likely that a lot of you won’t give a toss about the Olympics and that’s fine but believe me when I say this – a 13 year old girl just repeatedly back smithed a twelve stair handrail in front of millions of people. I’m struggling to think of many ways in which that is not a good thing.

Yuto Horigome is skateboarding’s first ever Olympic gold medalist