When we arrived at Rockaway Beach to meet The Skate Kitchen for a video shoot, leader of the pack Rachelle was scrolling through Instagram. “Do you guys know @ugly_delilah?” she asked, before showing us a few favorite shots of the, let’s say, unconventionally beautiful pup. “I love her so much. She follows me now,” she said, proudly. It takes a moment like this to remind you that the founders of this NYC-based all-female skate collective are mostly young, just-out-of-school ladies—because they’ve been skating for almost half their lives and have established a seriously impressive track record. They’re starring in a self-titled movie this summer, they’ve shot campaigns with major brands, plus their Instagram is blowing up—over 60k followers! It’s safe to say that this growing squad (featured are Rachelle, Brenn, Dede, Jules, Nina and Moonbear, aka Kabrina) has a lot to look forward to.
Moonbear aka Kabrina
As is the case in many Gen Z success stories, the whole thing started online. Originally from Long Island, Rachelle got an in with the city’s skate scene on YouTube. Her first connection was Nina, “Because we were the only girls from New York who posted skate videos.” In fact, it was a casual conversation between the two on the subway that caught director Crystal Moselle’s attention. According to Rachelle, “Nina was talking pretty loud, and if you know Nina she’s very, uh, outgoing. Zero filter. Crystal thought that was super-entertaining, came up to us and was like, are there more of you girls?”
Jules and Brenn
Turns out, there were. Nina brought Rachelle to meet a few friends, those friends had friends, and Skate Kitchen was formed. “I was introduced to different people, a whole new language. Even just the idea of having friends was something that I wasn’t used to. Not those kinds of friends at least,” Rachelle told us.
That same tight-knit vibe is accessible to anyone else out there who hasn’t yet found their tribe—the crew’s day-to-day is well documented via Instagram, and they’ve been taking part in more and more IRL events like a girls-only skate clinic with Vans. They’re excited about how their growing influence and future movie could help make the idea of girl skaters, well, the norm.
Dede and Rachelle
Florida transplant Jules (she says the only things she misses since moving to New York are the beaches, and maybe Disney) firmly believes that “This kind of story is a really good thing for women today, to show them not to be afraid to go into male-dominated fields. They don’t need to be intimidated because they look a certain way.” Her twin sister, Brenn, agrees, happily noting that skateboarding will be part of the 2020 Olympics and that girls are already getting sponsored to participate.
At the real heart of The Skate Kitchen, aside from the excitement about the film and the followers, is a genuine love for the sport, culture and community. Nina said it simply, as we chatted while she got ready for the shoot, “Skateboarding is magic.”