World Cup Skateboarding announced this week that the Vans girls combi competition will now offer an equal prize pool to the men’s equivalent competition. The prize money has been upped to $65,000 with first place winning $28,000 and second place winning $14,000. Competitors who place up to 10th place win a cash prize.
HISTORIC DAY for Women’s Skateboarding!! ❤ . It was just announced by @wcs_worldcupskateboarding that the @vans Girls Combi will have equal prize money to the Men’s event this year! $65,000!!! 👯♀️ . Huge thanks to @stevevandoren & @vansgirl1 for making this happen!! 💪🏼 . All prize purse details and contest info on our site. LINK IN BIO ✔ . Photos @joannebarratt_photo & @ianloganphoto | skaters @yndiaraasp & @huntahlong ⚡ . #vans #vansgirlscombi #equality #skateboarding #girlisnota4letterword #WCS
Originally, the prize pool for female competitors was $22,000 — over $40,000 less to win than their male counterparts.
This competition has been taking place annually for the last seven years. In a statement from Vans & World Cup Skateboarding on Wednesday, they finally addressed the prize pay gap:
It is my honor to share with you that the Vans Girl Combi Classic will offer a prize purse equal to the purse offered at the Vans Pool Party. All professional skateboarders should have the equal opportunity to compete for prizes that support and uplift their passion, talent and hard work.
The competition will take place March 9th in California.
It’ll feature the top female bowl skaters in the world. Aside from competition, there will also be panels, workshops, skate lessons and music. It’s a way to bring together the most talented female skaters of our generation to meet and teach fans and other female skateboarders about professional skating. While this highlight of female talent is crucial on its own, equal pay is an important next step.
Equality for women in skateboarding is more of an issue than you’d think.
Like any sport, the women have to work just as hard if not harder than the men to prove themselves. They have to try very hard to get the same opportunities and recognition, as seen by this equal pay problem. Many sports realms are boys clubs that make it hard for women to break through. Organizations like Cindy Whitehead’s Girl is NOT a 4 Letter Word are working to break stigmas and fight patriarchy within skateboarding.
Despite gender gaps, the number of female skateboarders continues to grow.
The number of brands, competitions and fans dedicated to female skateboarding are way up. Even just looking in your local skate park, you will certainly see more women there than you would have a decade ago. But there is still work to be done to support and respect these hardworking athletes.
Cover Image (via Thrasher) features skateboarder Jordyn Barratt at last year’s competition.