Former professional ballerina, Lucy Osinski started the all-woman skate collective GrlSwirl to encourage women to get out on their boards and refuse to get messed with by the male-dominated scene. GrlSwirl holds regular open skate and new member events and is quickly expanding around the globe. Lucy tells us about being a woman in the skate scene, trying surfing for the first time, and expanding the GrlSwirl reach to inspire women everywhere.
What lead you to start GrlSwirl? How has it grown since you started?
I was skating alone and getting a ton of unwanted attention as a woman and wanted to have more women around me. I also was a fairly new skater and having other new skaters around is so encouraging and helpful.
What have you learned from the GrlSwirl community?
That you can be anything and get on a skateboard – a mom, a ballerina, an engineer, an actor, a clothing designer, ANYTHING – and still feel empowered by skateboarding!
What do you think is the biggest challenge of being a woman in the skate park or surf lineup?
The unspoken rules that exist are already a trip when entering a skate park, so being a woman and usually the ONLY girl there doesn't help. It’s mega intimidating but also a chance to be super humble and ask for help when you need it.
What’s your skate setup?
When did you start surfing? How does it compare to skating for you? The act of it, the way you feel, the way you are perceived, etc.?
To be honest I haven't surfed a crazy amount. I fall a lot when surfing and really feel out of place in the ocean. It takes time to understand the waves and water’s movement, and it’s been a heavy learning curve. Skating was a big learning curve, but it’s a lot easier to practice and progress. When you are learning skating you can be in a street by yourself and take the time without eyes on you. Surfing, it feels more intense and people are not only watch you, but get frustrated that you are in their way. So it's pretty intimidating!
How do you deal with your period when you’re skating?
If I’m in pain from cramps, I do not skate. Otherwise, it’s like any other day!
When you’re not skating or surfing where can we find you?
Hanging with my dog or my man or my GS crew!
Lucy, Monroe, and Danielle of GrlSwirl
Who are some women you look up to/inspire you?
What do you want for the future of GrlSwirl?
For every woman to feel inspired to TRY skating and feel empowered by the feeling of being a woman on a board.
What's it been like teaching young girls to skate?
Wonderful! I love love love teaching, especially younger girls. They are so excited and fearless.
What would you tell a girl who wants to start skating or surfing but feels intimidated?
YOU GOTTA JUST TRY IT!!