Cover photo by Ian Logan
TomboyX is proud to sponsor skateboard powerhouse, Hunter Long. Hunter is one of roughly 12 female pro vert and bowl skaters on tour, and is a dominant force on the women's scene. She has competed at the X-Games, Vans Pro Park Series, and she was recently invited to go to China to the International Olympic Committee sanctioned event this September. We understand the difficulty of obtaining sponsorship as a female skateboarder, and are excited to sponsor Hunter this year for her IOC competition. She shreds the skate parks of her home in Honolulu, and travels all over the world to compete and show the world tricks that haven't been done before. Keep reading to learn how Hunter Long became a skateboard force and get her opinions on this male-dominated sport.
How many years have you been skating?
The first time I went to a skate park I was about eight years old. My uncle got me an Element Mini Board and it actually fit me because I was pretty tiny. I skated around at the bottom of the bowl for a little while but it was just too intimidating so I didn’t go back. About four years later, I was in sixth grade and my friends and I were playing basketball and it started to rain. So we skated down the hill to the skate park. Every single one of us learned to drop in that day after many bumps and bruises and face plants. From that point forward we would go to the skate park everyday after school and I never stopped skating since.
What was the first trick you learned?
First thing I learned was to drop in, which is basically just going down the ramps. It takes a lot of commitment because you have to lean all the way forward into a vertical wall. Dropping in doesn’t make sense at first because it just looks like you’re going to fall on your face. The only way to overcome that fear is to go for it full force. I ate it so many times before I figured it out. Slamming didn’t matter after I rode away for the first time. I still remember how excited I was over 10 years ago. It’s a feeling that really sticks with you.
What gets you fired up?
Skating with friends. Finding new spots. Watching cool videos. Learning new tricks.
Photo by Ian Logan
What’s your favorite Hawaiian word?
Aloha is definitely my favorite Hawaiian word. Technically it means hello, goodbye, and I love you. But, in reality aloha means so much more to me. There’s just such a positive energy behind the word and it captures the joy and love and passion behind what I do with my skateboard. I try to bring aloha with me wherever I go. It’s like bringing a little piece of home as I travel all over the world.
What is it like to be in a male-dominated sport?
I never really looked at it that way growing up. I was kind of just one of the boys hanging out and having fun at the park. But now that I do it competitively on an international level I realize how difficult it is to make a living or even just get to events as a female in the sport. Times are changing for sure but it would be amazing if they changed a little faster because I would totally love to have the opportunity to give skateboarding 100% of my attention, especially as we head to the Olympics.
Where is the direction of skateboarding going for women?
It’s going up for sure! Hopefully more women will have the opportunity to make skating a full time career.
Photo by Victoria Meireles
What’s your favorite trick?
Front Blunt (see Hunter doing a front blunt here). I don’t do it often because it is really hard to commit. Riding away on a front blunt is the coolest feeling ever.
What is your best scar story?
My best scar story is pretty nasty. One of my best friends saw me fall, took a look at my foot, and literally jumped over the fence and ran away. It was that bad. I was at a competition in San Francisco and in the middle of my run I slipped on some wet spray paint and spun around. My foot caught the ground as I was spinning and my ankle broke off and was twisted upside down. All of my muscles were twisted up and it just felt disgusting and it looked disgusting. My body rejects pain medicine so I was basically just screaming in the hospital for four days straight waiting to go to surgery. It was Labor Day weekend so the hospital was super busy and I couldn’t get into surgery fast enough.
Who do you look up to in the skate world?
Ah, so many people. There is honestly too many to list. Skating wise, Nicole Hause is my freaking hero. She gets so pumped up and does the gnarliest tricks.
What is a skateboarding trend that you think needs to blow up? What skateboarding trend do you think needs to GTFO?
Wearing a helmet needs to blow up! I’m guilty of not wearing it sometimes but I really think it’s important. No one wants to be “uncool.” Damaging the brain is pretty uncool if you ask me haha! It only took one serious concussion for me to realize that my brain will never heal from a traumatic injury.
Using models as “skater girls” needs to GTFO! There are so many talented and beautiful girls who actually skate and rip. It would be way more rad for companies to have girls doing extreme tricks in their ads rather than just posing with a board.
Photo by Ian Logan
If you could design your very own skateboard graphic, what would it be?
I’m in love with coconuts so it would definitely be something related to a coconut. I definitely want to do something nontraditional. Not too sure exactly what it would be.
What are 5 of your current short-term skateboarding goals?
1. I want to be able to land my runs in contests one hundred percent of the time. This is something I’ve struggled with for a while but have been making pretty good progress on.
2. Having fun is what brought me to skateboarding in the first place so I want to make an extra effort to just go on cool adventures and keep exploring the skate world.
3. Traveling to exotic places to skateboard is pretty high on my priority list. Next month I will be headed to China so this goal is going great so far!
4. My main goal is to learn a couple big tricks that no one else is doing. I really want to push myself to progress in the next couple months.
5. My last goal, and this is a really important one for me, is to be 100% supported by my skateboarding career. It’s a pretty rough road for the girls as far as financial support goes especially as we are traveling so much to compete. I’m really happy that the times are changing and I hope to be a full-time skateboarder in the next couple months.
What advice do you have for other female skaters?
Just skate and have fun. Having a good attitude is what keep you going in the long term.
What is a sport you want to see more women in? Comment below and get the conversation started. XX