Q&A with the coolest skater girl.
At 13, Poppy Starr was voted into the Top 12 Most Influential Girl Skaters in the World, 14 spoke at a TED conference and now 16 just took out first place in the Women’s Pro Division at World Cup Skating Vans Girls Combi Classic, first place in open womens Australian Bowl – Riding Championships and 5th place in the open girls division at Vert Attack in Malmo, Sweden. If that doesn’t make you feel like the unaccomplished adult that you are, she also opened the Faith Connexion show, carving up the stairs of Made Sydney’s Hubba Hideout. We chatted to the coolest 16 year old you never met about what it’s like to be a young woman in a male dominated sport and how she’s smashing it in the skating world.
Have you ever had any negative experiences being a girl in a male dominated sport, and if so how did you deal with it?
Not really, all the guys have been great to me. I do get a little annoyed when the girls aren’t given the same amount of warm time etc in a comp and the men always win so much more money, literally 5 times more than the girls. Things are changing though, especially with the announcement of skating being in the Olympics. I guess the way I deal with the inequality is to encourage more girls to skate and we all need improve, so big companies will start to take notice of us.
What would be your advice to other young female skaters either starting out or wanting to go pro?
Go for it! Have fun and push yourself!
Who are some of your favorite female skaters that inspire you?
Pretty much all girls skaters trying new things! But I love Nora Vasconcellas, Nicole Hause, Mimi Knoop from the States – they are awesome skaters but pretty kooky and always so much fun.
Apart from skating you also make jewelry and art, do you paint your own deck?
I’ve designed a couple of decks to sell. I love drawing and my art has paid for my travels around the world.
You’ve travelled quite a lot for comps. Where’s your favorite place that you’ve visited so far?
I think the States has the most amazing parks, but I really love Italy. The people are so much fun, I love everything about it.
Where is your ultimate skate destination?
Probably California. so many awesome spots! I would really love to skate some places in Brazil, the girls skate scene there is crazy. I grew up skating at Bondi Beach so that will always be a special place for me.
You also surf, could you ever see yourself moving into that professionally?
I would love to be that good! I’ve only ever surfed in local comps, I love it though!
You’re opening the Faith Connexion fashion show at MADE Sydney. A lot of skaters are also involved in fashion, is that something that would interest you?
For sure! I love how high fashion is really crossing over now. I’ve always wanted to design my own range of skater clothes.
How do you juggle school, skating and making your artwork?
Life’s pretty hectic! I go to a great school called the Big Picture School. The curriculum is mapped around your interests and I get every Tuesday off to work on my business and train. I do a lot of public speaking and I get credited for that which is cool.
What’s your favorite thing about Sydney?
Everything! There is no place like it anywhere! The beaches are awesome, people are rad, great art scene and you can drink the water out of the tap. My favorite thing is that you can jump off big rocks into a clean harbor. That’s Sydney for me.