I am… Minna Stess. I’m 10-years-old and live in Petaluma, California which is near to San Francisco. I am a skateboarder and I’m in fifth grade at school.

I’ve been skating since… I started rolling when I was almost two-years-old, actually I was exactly 20-months-old, and I learned to drop in and do my first skate contest when I was four-years-old.

How I got into skating… My big brother Finnley started skating at 4-years-old and he’s almost three years older than me. I wanted to be like him and do whatever he was doing so when he started skating, I wanted to start skating too. My mom and dad got me my own helmet and gave me a board and that was it. 

What I love most about skating is… I love it when I learn new tricks and can add them to the tricks I’ve already learned. Trying and adding new things always makes it even more exciting for me. I also like to go super fast, and fly. 

Skating is special because… Skateboarding makes me happier than other sports. I’ve played baseball, soccer and basketball and they are all super fun and I like playing them with my friends at school but skateboarding is just more about me and my board and challenging myself. Travelling and meeting all kinds of new people of different ages and all loving to skate is just part of the whole skateboarding lifestyle and I just love it. Of course flying through the air is definitely something you don’t really get to do with those other things too though, so there’s that.

And you compete professionally? I compete as an amateur and I skate in co-ed contests with the boys (where I am usually the only girl) and I compete in female only contests too where I have competed in Women’s Open Division Pro/Ams, so I do compete with pros sometimes even though I am not one yet. Contests are really great. You get to skate with friends that you don’t get to see very often since we live all over the place, it’s super fun.

Minna, who has been skating since she was two

Why do you think skating is seen primarily as a boys thing? I really don’t know. My family had never pointed that out to me so I was kind of surprised to find that out. I think skateboarding can be for anyone if they want to skate it doesn’t matter who or what they are. They just have to be willing to fall and fly. 

The pro skaters I look up to are… Bob Burnquist has always been my number one favourite skateboarder and I’ve been lucky enough to spend time skating with him too. He invited me to skate his mega ramp when I was seven-years-old and it was the most incredible day of my life so far. My brother and I got to skate it together with Bob and it was awesome. He is awesome. Then three are a huge number of female skaters I look up to like Samarria Brevard, Alana Smith, Vanessa Torres, Lacey Baker, Arianna Carmona, Candy Jacobs, Alexis Sablone, Savannah Headden, Pamela Rosa and so many more because there are tons of girls skating now and there are so many that started before us too like Judi Oyama, Cindy Whitehead, Laura Thornhill, Jen O’Brien, Mimi Knoop and  Cara Beth Burnside.

Tell us about Girls Skate Network… I love Girls Skate Network. It’s the best place to go to see videos of girl skaters. I have watched the blog cam videos for hours. They post people’s own skate videos too and keep us informed on what’s going on in skateboarding with the girls. Lisa Whitaker is super supportive of girls skateboarding since she skates too.

Do you think you’ll continue to skate as you get older? I know I will. I’ve been skating for most of my life so far so I’m not planning to stop any time soon.

For more follow @minnask8

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