You may have heard the first Skate Like a Girl/YMCA Skate Camp was a banger: the community, the hijinks… the skating. But did you hear about Ashley Masters’ bomb MC skills? Cause I sure did.
In addition to killing it on the mic all weekend, Ashley kills it every day as Director of the Skate Like a Girl SF Bay Chapter. What led her to this role was similar to how she started skating in earnest around 12. At a young age, she learned from the world around her that she was seen as different because she dressed non-traditionally for her perceived gender.
As soon as she found skateboarding she was hooked. She’d get up and skate to school, stopping at stair sets or ledge spots on the way.
“Skating definitely got me through some of the hardest times in my life. As a young person, I was navigating divorced parents, dealing with a verbally abusive stepparent and an incarcerated parent, plus the threat of deportation. Without knowing it, my deep love and affinity for skateboarding has shown me my own resilience and strength. It has also proved to be an incredible tool for my own therapy, self-expression, and pure joy!”
Later in life, as a first-generation college kid at UC Santa Cruz, Ashley first discovered Skate Like a Girl by accident.
“I didn’t have anyone to skate with, I was just skating to maintain my bag of tricks and decompress from a fully loaded schedule and taking on a double major. One time I was skating San Lorenzo skatepark and an extremely pleasant human came up to me and asked if I was there for the event.”
That excellent human ended up being Patty Fung, and that event ended up being a meet-up for Skate Like a Girl. Once Ashley graduated and moved to Oakland she remembered that meet-up, and feeling a dire need for community, she turned to social media where the women’s skate scene was starting to blossom.
“I was teaching skate lessons, working at two non profits and bartending at night, wanting so badly to contribute to this ever-growing non-traditional skate scene because I knew how much privilege I had growing up feeling welcome to skate where I wanted, for the most part.”
After seeing a post about a panel discussion in Berkeley hosted by the College Skateboarding Educational Foundation (shout out Keegan Guizard) she went and met panelist Kim Woozy who it turned out was also craving a similar skate community in the Bay. The two realized with their complementary backgrounds and the support and mentorship of Executive Director Kristin Ebeling and the other chapter directors, they could really build up a local chapter of Skate Like a Girl in the Bay.
“That was back in 2016 and now look at us! I’m grateful every single day for this role and the work that we do. I’ve never felt so much buy-in, ownership, and creation over a workplace. Not only do we see to it that Skate Like A Girl continues to work towards ending our own jobs, creating inclusion in all parts of skateboarding, but I’m also proud that Skate Like a Girl continues to radicalize the workplace/ work culture along the way.”
Name: Ashley Masters
Hometown: Camarillo, CA
Current Location: Richmond, CA
Day job? Director of Skate Like a Girl’s San Francisco Bay Area Chapter by day and fitness trainer by early morning or night.
Signature Trick: My friends would probably say heelflip.
Catch Phrase: Ooooooh! You know what you should try!!!???
What is the last thing you saw that made you laugh really hard?
I went to skate at the local park here in the Bay and this old dude was skating shirtless, slip-ons, basketball shorts, helmet and wireless headphones. No one else at the park. For about 15 minutes, I tried to figure out what he was trying to say to me but he would avoid making eye contact and he would just say random aggressive things then skate away to try some nollie nose stall on the quarter pipe over and over. Turns out he was just RECITING lyrics; not singing just reciting. It was really bizarre so I just kept my distance. Then, after skating up a sweat storm he headed to his car: an SUV Tesla. He popped open his hood, which apparently is the trunk on a Tesla, wiped himself down with his t-shirt and threw a bath towel around his head like he just got done washing his hair. He continued to disrobe in front of his car. He put on slippers as a final touch, and got in his car and left. All in a span of about 45 minutes. I guess I didn’t laugh super hard but just thought it was such a funny turn of events.
Favorite tattoo or something else cool about you?
I have a tattoo that says “al dente” which symbolizes the connection between me and my siblings. We all share the same mom, which is our Italian side. “Al dente” translates as “to the tooth”; it means not too soft, not too firm. So my siblings agree that’s a shared characteristic between us: we’re pretty tough, but not too tough.
Three Things you can’t live without? Condiments, my friends, turning everything into a game.
Bonus Advice from Ashley
Don’t forget to play, whether it’s skating, art, dancing, or getting weird, make up a game while standing in line or eating some food. I believe play is a natural flow state for us as humans. There is still a lot of work to be done in this world and to continue the work we gotta show up for ourselves. One way to show up for you is to play! So go discover what your form of play is! The cool thing is you can choose at any moment to play. It’s an act of who you are “being” not what you are “doing.”
EXPERT MC, MASTERFUL “SKOCHING” AND SLAYING DURING DOWNTIME: IF ASHLEY HADN’T ACHIEVED LEGENDARY STATUS BEFORE, SHE CERTAINLY HAS NOW. CHECK OUT THE FOOT BRAKE! FILMER: Jai Ledesma
THAT FAMOUS HEELFLIP! FILMER: KIM WOOZY
IMPOSSIBLE AT ROCKRIDGE. FILMER: KIM WOOZY