Remember when Lupe Fiasco came out with Kick Push in 2006? How that changed the game for Black skateboarders who never got any recognition and made it cooler? That era is back. Black women have taken reigns and began their own renaissance. But when it comes to the actual skateboards themselves? Well that crown now belongs to Proper Gnar.
Ollie On The Industry
Featured in Beyonce’s Black Parade Route this past Juneteenth, the company was founded by Latosha Stone in 2013. Established as a skateboarding lifestyle brand, the artist wanted to use her platform as a staple for the future. Proper Gnar allows Stone to support and sponsor women skateboarders in a way most companies refuse to do.
“I believe that representation is the key to having more young girls interested in skating,” Stone says. “Genuinely loving skateboarding means you have to advocate and support it when you can.”
Skateboarding is no niche industry. To be in it is to love it, because it’s rare to meet a skateboarder who isn’t hardcore in their love for the craft. That’s why it is refreshing to know the first and only Black-woman owned skating company is helmed by someone who truly has skating in her heart.
“Skateboarding has traditionally been a man’s sport, which is why I am so passionate about my role as a black woman who challenges past assumptions and shows that skateboarding is for all of us. I take pride in creating authentic and beautiful art that stands out from other skate brands.” “I live and breathe skating and art, and I think that is reflected in the work I produce.”
Art & Blackflips
Keep in mind, she’s an artist. So she really means what she says. Her specialized boards are even featured on the highly touted HBO show Betty, based the underground skating scene for women. The mark has been made.
Head to Proper Gnar for a look at the custom skateboards, clothing, accessories, and art available. Also look into the women skateboarders featured on the site.