Bladies

Melissa Brown

8 years ago I saw Melly’s skating video by coincidence while surfing Facebook, it captured my attention her capabilities performing 4 switch-ups on long curved ledge, while I was just able to perform 1 basic switch up on rail-box. Since that time, she has been appearing in almost all female skating contests all around the world.

Other than her rad skating skills, I admired in her the support, help & good intentions towards other female skaters. In addition to that, skaters who came across a serious injuries while skating, tend to realize how hard it is to get back on wheels once again, due to the fear in their head, that’s why I consider Melly as a good motivation model because whenever she get real severe injuries, she always get back in the game with full motivation, focus and a smile on her face wanting to achieve her goals & improve her skills.

As person among the many, I didn’t meet her yet, I decided to have an interview with her online to get to know her better.Olya Nikolenko

Hi Melissa! Please introduce yourself shortly  

Melissa Brown.
31 years of age.
Currently residing in Arizona, USA.
I have been skating for 12 years on and off.

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Photo by Sacha Huiskamp

Since what era of rollerblading are you skating (baggy pants and caps, tight jeans and checked shirts….)?

I originally started at the end of baggy pants but I always wore some kind of loose or baggy pants from 2002-2006 then from about 2007-2011 I had quit skating so when I started again in 2012 it was about skinny elastic pants lol. I still rock skinny or just anything comfy.

 

Style or hammer?

Style def.

 

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Bs Torque @ Sin City sessions. Photo by Megan Petersen.

 

Who is your style icon?

Hmmm….Martina Svobodova all time. I used to watch her Opinions section all the time! And I was of course a huge Brian Aragon fan haha classical baggy pants period’s tastes 😊

 

Have you changed your approach to skating since you were a beginner?

In general, no. I always liked skating for FUN. Because I started skating in my late teens, I knew I had to just work and keep skating as a «hobby.» I love getting passionate about skating especially when supporting the women, but really it’s all about being and keeping positive like how I try and live my life. Honestly, the chit chatter from the 2000s and how it is now…it’s all the same lol. It’s how we take action that really changes the perspective of the sport. For me, I like to see positive role models who want to teach the sport and a positive outlook on life especially to the youth.

 

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Full Torque. Photo by Kazu Mori.

Why have you stopped skating for 4 years?

Mainly I had moved to another state where there weren’t a lot of parks and it rained a lot. There weren’t any indoor parks near me. I had to drive 2-3 hours to skate a park and sometimes skate with other people. I had also obtained an injury from trying a big steep rail. I missed a rail and fell 20 stairs busting my knee open and dislocating my thumb. I did not have health insurance at that time, so I self nursed. It took my knee injury a year to fully heal up and go back to normal where I would be able to skate again. At that point I wasn’t motivated to skate. A lot was happening in my life and the inclement weather and lack of skaters did not help at all. So I stopped. It wasn’t until after doing roller derby did I feel comfortable to skate again. It was the best feeling ever to start rollerblading again; like a jump start to that «feel good» you get when you love to blade! Even though as soon as I started rollerblading again, I was going through all of my shoulder injuries, I knew I would never stop skating ever again.

 

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You used to represent Unlabelled project, what have changed and why are you now with Rollher United?

I was involved with Unlabelled to promote the female inline skate scene and to continue the growth to where there could be quality edits and projects for female skaters. However, due to certain events, I have departed with the Unlabelled projects. But Unlabelled still shares female posts/stories so that is a good thing!

RollHer United was created to offer women support, events, and opportunity in the action sports world.  It’s designed to unite inline, skateboard, roller skate, scooter, and bike and reach above the OLD world of hating on each other’s sports. Rollher United is the host of the Extreme Women’s Rollout which is an event to bring all of these sports together for clinics, demos, contests and an opportunity to try new sports. It’s also an event for women to feel safe, judgement free, and not feel discriminated, belittled, or face harassment. It’s all for fun but we want to make sure to keep the women happy! My goal with Rollher United is to continue hosting events, sponsoring events and riders, creating content, sharing other female’s content and presenting ourselves as a voice for other females in sports. It doesn’t matter how big or little we are, we will continue our work for the love of the sport and the appreciation of the women (and children) in those sports.

 

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Fish. Photo by Jess Gomez.

 

What are advantages and disadvantages in being a female shredder =)

Women tend to have a strong community support. For me personally, I always get a different hype when I get to skate with other women than I do with the guys. I think women of any sport especially male dominated sports should be proud of themselves. Regardless of their skill level, a woman doing things that makes them happy is a trophy attitude! If you love the sport you should never have to regret that you chose to do the sport, and having female communities can keep that love strong. (I mean look at the Chicks in bowls…amazing community!)
Disadvantages as a female shredder: Unfortunately females have been facing harassment from fellow skaters, brands, and other male dominated organizations in the action sports world. Things are changing a little bit now, but haters are going to hate, but don’t let that push you into quitting. (Goes for any gal or guy)  Also for many contests, women don’t get offered the same prize monies or sponsorship packages…..yet 😜

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Kink rail in Northern California. Photo by Sarah Fierros

Are badass shredding and femininity compatible?

Yes, It definitely does already. Women in blading (and other sports) are amazing because we can all be so different yet love the same hobby.  You can be really girly, tom boyish or whatever style you choose. I think women in blading do a good job in showing that femininity is beyond being «girly», it’s showing that we are beautiful strong humans. We are lucky to have many athletes in many different types of sports to show that as well!

 

 

 

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