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Sky Brown Is Making a Name in Skateboarding at Only 9 Years Old

Sky Brown Is Making a Name in Skateboarding at Only 9 Years Old

Sky Brown has achieved more in her nine years than most skateboarders do in a lifetime. As the youngest to compete at the 2016 Vans US Open, the athlete from Miyazaki, Japan continues to render audiences and announcers speechless through her advanced techniques and positive attitude. With her sights set on the X Games and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, she shows no signs of slowing down. Having learned to skate before most learn to walk, she’s inspiring young girls across the world to stake their claim in male-dominated industries. In honor of her recent partnership with legendary skate brand Teck Deck, she shares with Teen Vogue her proudest moments, future goals, and why for her, the sky is the limit.

Teen Vogue: What inspired you to start skateboarding?

Sky Brown: I started skating at the age of two or three. I used to watch my dad skateboard and saw how much fun he had so I thought to myself, “I want to do this too!” Once I started skating I began to see other female skaters like Leticia Bufoni and Alana Smith and got fired up. I like to show other young girls that they can skateboard too and it’s not just for boys.

TV: What are some of your proudest moments?

SB: One of my proudest moments is when I attended the first ever Asian Vans Park Series Championship in Singapore. I hadn’t skated in a couple months, so I was a little out of practice, but I was determined to try my best. I ended up having so much fun and coming home in second place.

A recent accomplishment that I’m really proud of is joining the Tech Deck “Starting Lineup” team. I’ve played with [them] since I can remember so I’m excited that they asked me to be a part of the family with all these other great skateboarders to celebrate their 20th anniversary.

TV: What’s it like to be able to share this passion with your younger brother Ocean?

SB: It’s awesome. Just like me, Ocean saw people around him skateboarding from a young age and decided he was going to do it too. He just went for it. It’s good having someone by my side who supports and loves me and who understands this crazy world of skateboarding. We always tease each other and are a little competitive but always in a friendly way. He’s my best friend. He makes me a better skateboarder every day.

TV: How do you prepare for a competition?

SB: I don’t really have a set routine or anything, I just like listening to really catchy and upbeat music. Sia and Nicki Minaj are my favorite.

TV: What’s your favorite way to reward yourself or unwind after a grueling practice?

SB: I love just hanging out with my friends and my brother at home. That’s the most fun for me. We’ve been making a lot of slime lately.

TV: How many hours a day do you practice skateboarding?

SB: As much as I can but I actually surf more than I skateboard, just because there aren’t many skate parks here in Japan. But that’s why I love coming to America. There are so many parks there, so I end up skateboarding all day long. I want to be a pro surfer one day as well as being a pro skater, and compete on the world tour.

TV: How do you balance school and skateboarding?

SB: I do pretty well at school, and my teachers and friends are really supportive of my skateboarding. I get a lot of homework while I’m traveling for competitions, so I always have to make sure I’m getting it done on top of everything else.

TV: What’s the response been like from your friends and family? Do they support you unconditionally?

SB: Yes, they do. My friends like to watch me skate and cheer me on while I try new things. As for my parents, they’ve always believed in me and now that I’m nine years old, they are a little less scared of me doing crazy tricks.

TV: Do you wish young girls in sports were evaluated equally?

SB: In Japan, there are a lot of girls that don’t participate in sports and it is looked at more as something for boys to do. I want to change this so girls can see they can do the same activities as boys if not better. Girls can do anything and we shouldn’t care what people say. Just do it and have fun.

TV: Where will skateboarding take you next? What are your goals?

SB: I hope to keep traveling the world and meeting girls from all over, including South Africa and Afghanistan. Even though it’s a little scary, I don’t care because there are girls out there who are just like me. And just like me, they should be able to do what they love. I want to travel there and skate with them to show them a different way of living. My ultimate dream is to not just be a pro-skater, but a singer, surfer, climber and fighter. I want to do it all.

TV: What do advice do you have for Teen Vogue readers looking to dive into extreme sports?

SB: Don’t care about what other people say or think. Whether people say you’re too little or too young, you can do it. Even if they say you can’t.

Related: Watch These Really Cool Girls Skateboard Around in High Fashion Prom Dresses

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