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Women’s skateboarding scene in Nova Scotia sees surge in growth during pandemic

Coronavirus: Pandemic leads to increased popularity in N.S. women’s skateboarding
WATCH: Women's skateboarding in Nova Scotia is gaining popularity during the pandemic.

A thriving skateboard scene may not be the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions Nova Scotia’s South Shore. However, there is a new surge in women and girls getting involved in the sport and it’s all being led by a self-proclaimed ‘girl skate crew’ out of LaHave, Nova Scotia.

“We do this for girls to encourage girls but we want to include everyone — that’s transgender, non-binary, all the guys. We love the guys; we love everyone,” said Katie Mott, one of the founders of Skate in the Slow Lane.

“We just want to see everyone get together and have a really good time and give girls the motivation to come out, and actually try this sport that they might be too intimidated to do otherwise.”

Chester Skatepark
Members of Skate in The Slow Lane pose for a socially distant photo at the Chester Skatepark in Nova Scotia. Instagram/@skateintheslowlane

Skate in the Slow Lane is a grassroots initiative originating out of LaHave where there has been a vibrant skateboard scene since the late 1990s, when a local entrepreneur opened a skateboard shop called Homegrown Skateboards.

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Recently, the scene has expanded to include women-specific skateboard sessions and that growth has sparked interest in skateboarding province-wide.

“It’s super motivating, constant progress — everyone just feeds off each other’s energy,” Mott said.

The movement has caught the eye of 10-year-old Poppy George, from Pictou County, Nova Scotia.

George was first introduced to skateboarding by her father. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, she says, she fostered a newfound love for the activity and Skate in the Slow Lane was a motivating factor in getting her out on her board.

“It’s super fun just to cruise around. You’re not getting told what to do and you can just forget everything, and just skateboard, and everything goes away,” George said.

Poppy George
10-year-old Poppy George says having role models helps encourage her to continue skateboarding no matter how challenging it is. Alexa MacLean/Global Halifax

Now that some of the pandemic restrictions have loosened, Skate in The Slow Lane is leading an all girl skate tour called, She Shreds.

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She Shreds
A Nova Scotia skateboard tour aims to encourage women and girls of all ages and skill levels to try the sport. Instagram/Skate in The Slow Lane

The goal is to have different sessions held in skate parks across Nova Scotia where girls and women of all ages can come out and experience the activity.

Mott says all skill levels are welcome and the aim is to empower girls and women to try something new.

“People are a lot more accepting than you think if you just go out there with a good attitude, and we are always, always, always into having new people show up and skate with us,” Mott said.