SkateIDSA’s 2017 Women’s Overall Champion on the accessibility of distance skateboarding, her achievements, and women in the sport.

Hope Jackson blasted into the distance skateboarding scene in 2017 with a monstrous victory in the PNW Race Series, encompassing The BendBeatdown, Push in the Woods, and Centennial Sk8 Fest.

As a competitor in every race with multiple 1st place finishes, Hope solidified her name in women’s distance skateboarding as the perfect example of what perseverance, determination, and willpower can do for you. When describing competing in the women’s division, she says, “I’m a huge believer in supporting and pushing one another to accomplish what we’re capable of. We elevate the sport by supporting one another.”

She’s a 6th grade science teacher in Fall City, WA and so far, has not skipped a beat when it comes to being a part of the distance skateboarding family. Her first race was the Centennial Sk8 Fest 5k back in 2015, but but only started competing for the last 2 years. Back in high school, Hope threw javelin and played tennis. Given her background, when asked if she agreed that quite literally anyone can skateboard, she said, “If my 68 year old grandpa can skate, you can haha. But really, I’d say that it’s about opening yourself to those experiences that you automatically write yourself off of. ”

With women’s distance skateboarding being a niche selection of badass babes from around the world competing for their own goals and successes, it only made sense to find out what made Hope, SkateIDSA’s Women’s Overall Tour Champion 2017, a cut above the rest. Distance skateboarding as a whole is inarguably the ultimate endurance event: it encompasses low-impact running motions, the distance and time commitments of cycling, and the full body workout of rollerskating. There is, without a doubt, only room for the sport as a whole to grow, and it all begins with the women. Creating clear idols for future generations to look up to and eventually aim to succeed over is the name of the game. So, without further ado: Hope Jackson!

SkateIDSA: What do you look for when planning which events you will make it out to?
HJ: Proximity is a huge factor. But I have traveled out to San Diego twice for the Adrenalina marathon and to Miami once for Ultraskate. I am fairly new to the scene, but those races to me felt like ones I had to experience and push myself in.

SkateIDSA: Do you recommend any specific gear that others may not know about?
HJ: I gotta say I’m not on the cutting edge of any info quite yet haha. Still navigating, still learning.

SkateIDSA: What would you say was the defining moment that made you say, “I’m doing this,” in regards to skateboarding as a whole?
HJ: I can’t say there was a moment, but LDP has been the only sport that I’ve consistently gone back to.

SkateIDSA: Tell us about what it feels like to finish a race.
HJ: Pain, everything hurts. Am I going to puke? That passes though and I’m in that post-race high, all smiles and all of the racers are sharing those same feelings and their stories from the race, celebrating their successes. It’s such a unique and small sliver of time, there’s nothing like it.

SkateIDSA: What would you say was your most prideful moment in your skateboarding career?
HJ: I wanted to finish my second Adrenalina in 2 hours and 15 minutes and I came in 2nd at 2:14:48; that was pretty sweet.

SkateIDSA: Women have been increasingly putting up records consistent with men. Where do you see women in distance skateboarding in 5 years? 10?
HJ: Yeah it’s incredible the feats women are achieving. I do hope to see women in the top ten in future races and even the top 3.

SkateIDSA: Would you say anything limits women in distance skateboarding, or is it an equal opportunity sport?
HJ: So much about this sport is individual goal setting and seeing where you can push yourself so I don’t see women being limited in that aspect. Some races, definitely not all, don’t really recognize the level at which women are performing. They kind of lump all women together, have them stand up in front of everyone, and say, “Oh wow look at all these women racers, so great to see them out here” and that’s that. Like I said, it’s not all races and it’s never done with ill intent, but it erases the effort and skill displayed by these competitors.

Aside from Hope’s obvious humble nature, she went home after the 2018 Homestead-Miami Ultraskate with the title of SkateIDSA Women’s Overall Champion. Being a champion comes with it’s own set of rules, usually created by the person given the title or defined by those around them. On the subject of being a champion, defining the title as personally related to her, and whether or not she saw herself as one, she said, “[A champion is] someone who has competed and outperformed the rest of the competition I suppose. I see myself as one, but not with that definition attached to it. I pushed myself further than I’ve ever gone the season that I was deemed the IDSA champ, but I don’t believe I outperformed a lot of the incredible women I met in just that year alone. Women like [Calleigh], Neena, Alyssa, Danielle, Anne; they all could race circles around me. I felt like a fraud when I skated in the 2018 Ultra Skate and Andy announced the “2017 Women’s champ“. It’s taken time and grace, but I’ve focused on my personal growth in the sport and see myself as someone who represents a champion.”

SkateIDSA Women’s Spotlight is a short interview series intended to promote and show off women in distance skateboarding; their achievements, backgrounds, and futures within the sport. For more information about how to join SkateIDSA to participate in a future event, head over to the organization’s registration page.