Her name is Sky, and she doesn’t seem to know any limit. At least when it comes to skateboarding, and changing the world, apparently. This 8 year-old girl, half-American half-Japanese, has been skateboarding in the Venice skate park for a few weeks, and every time, she gets the “wows” and “clap-claps” from the local yet international crowd.
Last time I saw her, I went to talk to her dad, who is always there supporting her and taking photos of her. It turns out, she’s on a mission to change the world with her skateboard. Despite her typical Californian style, she actually lives in Japan. She came to Los Angeles of course because this is the “sacred land”, the place at the genesis of skateboarding, not to mention surfing, her other passion. But L.A. is just a first step of a global trip called “Skating for Change” that will take her to places like Afghanistan, according to her parents, who created a page on a crowdfunding website.
“The goal is to inspire and empower children that are in especially low income areas, around the world. I hope to go with my family to as far as Australia, Africa, Afghanistan and Palestine. I know I can make a positive impact on the children’s lives by using my skateboard. But first things first, I plan on starting with the roughest areas of LA”, the page asking for contributions explains. Of course, one may wonder where the money goes when the parents are the ones “managing” their children like pros. But Sky doesn’t seem to fake her enthusiasm and endless energy.
In the park, you can hear her scream “Daddy! I’m going!” a hundred times, she never gets tired. Last night, she was the last one leaving the site. And she only left because the police came and asked everyone to go, as they were closing the premises after sunset for “safety”.
Sky has been skating for more than half of her life, said her dad Stu Brown, who is also a skateboarder. It’s a family business. Even her little brother Ocean, who is only 5 years old, seems to be a little skateboarding prodigy.
The first day I noticed her, she was wearing a check shirt that said “It’s not about pretty”. And the watching crowd seemed to get the message. I heard a couple of French and German people comment on her flips and other tricks; I saw everyone applaud after an impressive thing she managed to do in the air, that I don’t know the technical name of.
An older very talented skateboarder (they’re all good in this skate park, actually) came to her to shake her hand, and just said : “Killing it, as always”. She got the respect of the adults in the field, as she was the youngest girl at the Vans US Open Pro series, an important contest in that sport.
Even in the media, I realized I was not the first one to want to talk about her. She’s already gotten the attention of websites like Buzzfeed and Quartz. So if an 8 year-old can go inspire some Afghan girls and boys to skate as well, or French or American or anyone, really, well, maybe world leaders should watch.
If you want to check her latest videos, shot by her dad in the skate park of Venice Beach, here’s their Instagram account link.