On Point with Annie Guglia
Interview by Will Jivcoff
Photo by Alexander Olivera
How did you end up on a trip to Sweden with the likes of Vanessa Torres and Alexis Sablone? They’re legends.
I went to LA last winter and met all the girls when I was out there. I started skating with them and filmed my part for ‘Don’t Quit Your Day Job’ while I was out there. I was staying with Vanessa and we got an email from Gustav Eden at Skate Malmö out of Sweden, inviting us to go out there and skate, we were like, ‘Uh, yes!’ Soon after Lisa from Meow Skateboards asked me to ride for them too. When you hang with good people, you only meet more good people. It’s great.
What’s your favourite city to skate?
Well, Malmo was really something, mainly because of the support that the skate scene gets from the city. You don’t get kicked out of anywhere. We skated street for three days and got kicked out of one spot. But then, LA and Montreal are right behind it. The only problem with LA is that you really need a car and you can’t hit more than two or three spots a day. But like, in Montreal, I went skating over Thanksgiving and we hit 8 spots and got kicked out of 7 of them within like, 10 minutes each. I’d rather drive for 30 minutes and hit fewer spots than hit 8 spots and not be able to skate any of them.
Being a woman, what’s your perspective on the skate industry and skate media?
I’m doing my thesis on the skate industry and the statistics I got are that female skateboarding is growing three times faster than guys. It’s not at the same level and not as many girls skating currently, but the growth is faster. We see more girls skating now; when I started skating 15 years ago and I would never see another girl skating. Before Lizzie (Armanto) getting the cover of Transworld, I think the last woman on a cover of a skate magazine was Cara Beth Burnside in the 80s. I think for young girls, the more they see girls skating, the more they’re going to get into it, and that’s why it’s growing so fast.
I’ve seen it first hand where girls will show up to the park to skate and the guys’ social skills just evaporate. Give the guys some suggestions so they can stop kooking it.
(laughs) It’s so true. Most of the time if a guy comes to me and is like, ‘Wow, you’re really good for a girl!’ I’m not going to get mad. In a certain way, it’s true. If I was a guy, I’d be your average guy skater, but I wouldn’t go up to a guy and be like, ‘Hey, you’re not that good for a guy.’ See how weird that sounds? If you say, ‘I can’t even do that and I’m a guy.’ That’s pretty offensive, do you mean you should be able to do it because you’re a guy and you should be better than me? Like, is that your benchmark? I’ve been in the industry long enough to hear it all.
Is entering Street League or the Olympics a prospect for you? With the Olympics, Canada will have to have a women’s team.
I don’t see why I wouldn’t but it depends on a lot of things. Pretty much no girl in skateboarding makes a salary right now. For guys, even the ams, most of the time they can make some money to skate. Even pro girls don’t get a salary. Lacey Baker works 40 hours a week and barely skates because she can’t make a living off skating. So if I could make a living by skating in Street League, then yeah, why not? I understand the controversy with the Olympics but I think it’s going to be good for female skateboarding, it’s going to force the industry to include girls more. Guys aren’t mean about it, it’s just a male dominated sport by nature.
It’s 2016, why are female skateboarders only getting the attention they are now?
I think Leticia (Bufoni) played a big part. Not necessarily herself, but people taking her seriously. She really has talent, she’s not just your hot chick that can skate but is kind of mediocre, she’s actually really good, and hot, so good for her(laughs). It sucks because I’ve heard so many negative comments about Lacey (Baker) because she’s not feminine, so that sucks. On the other hand, if people can acknowledge that girl skaters are a real thing because they see someone like Leticia, then that’s good enough for me. Social media also played a big part but we definitely don’t see enough girls in magazines or videos, for sure.