Hailing from San Francisco, California, Vanessa Torres has become the unchallenged world number one skateboarding queen. Vanessa has displayed unprecedented talent since her professional debut at the age of 14, in 2000, and is helping to advance female skateboarding on practically a daily basis. Of the 3.3 million Americans who skateboard more than once a week, about 11 per cent are female. Women who skateboard basically dress like men who skateboard: cargo pants with worn out pockets, big, baggy tee shirts, baseball caps and sneakers. They use the same ramps, and attempt the same difficult tricks. They listen to the same music, and can’t imagine wanting to do anything else but skateboard. Unfortunately, like most other professional sports, they don’t get the same financial support as the guys do. At the Canadian Open World Cup last year, where Vanessa claimed the women’s street title, she only banked about a thousand bucks compared to the men’s first place win that was worth $7,000. If there is any female skateboarder who can lay it down equal to, or better than, a male skateboarder it’s definitely Vanessa. I have been skating for 10 years and I can honestly say, “I fear Vanessa Torres.” Faze got a chance to hook up with Vanessa to see what she had to say about her career, her sport, her passion, and her position as a female skateboarder. Faze: Are you a female skateboarder or just a skateboarder? Vanessa: I consider myself a female skateboarder, but at the same time I consider myself a female skateboarder making a difference in women’s skateboarding and in men’s skateboarding. I think men are afraid that women are going to dominate this sport some day, so I think they’re afraid and they’re worried. I love that. They’re worried, and they should be. I’m all about making changes and trying to overcome what they do. But at the same time I’m trying to progress in what I do. Faze: You don’t seem to care about what anyone says? Vanessa: I think that’s why I am where I am today. I just want to skate. I grew up strong and I grew up knowing that some things don’t matter. You do what you do, and if people who are close to you appreciate what you’re doing, and they respect and support what you’re doing, that’s all you need.

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