TRANS-AMERICA: Meet the woman who’s skating solo across America

Interview by Sowi Rodriguez.

It is with great pleasure we introduce you to Calleigh Alice Little, a long distance and downhill skateboarder who is currently crossing the United States of America and who is about to set/break the following World Records: First Transgender Woman to Cross the USA,  First Woman to Skateboard Across the Country Solo and Fastest Known Time Skateboarding Across the USA. We had the chance of having a short interview before she left, talking about life, skateboarding and inspiring others.

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Hello Calleigh! Please start by telling us where you are from, where you are and what you currently do apart from skating.

Hey! So I am from a suburb of Boston in Massachusetts. I grew up there and lived in the city for a few years before I decided to move to San Diego, California to get better at downhill skating. Outside of skating you can find me riding my motorcycle, building websites, or binge watching bad TV.

How long ago did you start skating?

I started skating maybe 8 or so years ago. I always skated to school, and that didn’t change when I went to college. I always only did long distance, but I learned that as I started taking longer trips that there was always going to be some serious downhill for me to skate along the way. I skated across 4 state lines bordering Massachusetts before I even knew that people actually raced!

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Shot by Khaleeq Alfred

And what about competitions? Was it as soon as you started skating?

I only started competing about 2 years ago. My first race was the Central Mass Skate Festival. When I went, I didn’t know anybody there, and was so scared of being judged for being transgender that I competed in the open division instead of women’s. I ended up missing my race heat anyways, but got to see how great the skate community really was. From there I started doing long distance races. My first was the Miami Ultraskate, and I placed 2nd with 172 miles over 24 hours.

I loved competing so much that I decided to dedicate my life to skateboarding ever since!

I bet it must have been a pretty tense moment for you before that I can imagine. How did it go with the judgement? Was it as you were picturing it?

Nope, actually I was so scared I didn’t even really talk to anyone. But when I competed in long distance, I knew it was going to be more of an issue especially with an international event like the Ultraskate. So I had my doctor make a copy of my hormone levels showing that I was no different from any other girl, and had a psychologist sign a document saying she believed I was experiencing “gender dysphoria” and that I am certifiably a woman.

Overall I have received little to no judgment, but I know that once I start breaking world records and winning these races I’ve done well in, the world will have something to say. I’m not concerned.

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Shot by Ultraskate

The skate scene in general can be a bit hostile for women, how did you feel that as a trans girl?

I think I have an “advantage” when it comes to that – I’ve experienced companies who want to share my media because being trans is “gimmicky” and sells in today’s society. Also not to mention I lived 22 years as a man before finally admitting to the world who I really was, so a lot of my “male tendencies” are hard habits to break. I think, in some cases, I get along with everybody and have the same respect as any other person.

What was your first long distance skatetrip?

Sort of a hard question to answer, it really depends on what you consider long distance. I know people who think 5 miles is more than enough. My failed trip to New York City I mentioned earlier was definitely my first “adventure skate.”

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Shot by Ken Napp

What about the trip you are starting on October 9? Where are you starting and were are you ending?

On October 9 I will be departing from Bend, Oregon and heading east to Massachusetts on my board.

Why those places as starter and as an end?

I chose Bend as my starting point for a few reasons. Jack Smith, an established long distance skater who has skated cross country multiple times, came through Bend towards the end of his trips. I think I stand to learn a lot from others who have made the trip possible before, so I am willing to take past experiences and make them work for me so I can achieve the “Fastest Known Time” world record.

I chose Massachusetts as the finish because that is where I grew up. I think it will be great to end in a familiar place, with family and friends. I’d really love to have a huge party to celebrate! But in my life now, I’m lost between jobs and questioning the meaning of everything, so it will be good to end up in a place I know I am loved.

Definitely the best option as a place to end! Friends and family sounds awesome. What do you think that this trip may change inside yourself?

Well I think I’m going to gain the appreciation for the world I truly need. It’s so easy to fall into a routine – go to bed early, wake up and drive to work, come home and make dinner, stare at the tv, count down the days to vacation….it all just seems unreal. I truly believe the world is a good place and I just need to see it with my own eyes.

I was recently let go from a job that stole my intellectual property and left me with nothing. It has been hard to bounce back. Instead of eating two meals a day, I can only have one, and I have to buy the 2 in 1 shampoo/conditioner instead of the good products…little changes that add up and make me question what the point of it all is. Instead of jumping back into the work force, I need to get myself mentally and physically able to do it. I think this trip will grant me the ability to take nothing for granted.

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Why do you think that there are not so many trans girls in the longboarding scene?

Well, when I first revealed myself to the world, I had never met another trans person before. I was convinced for most of my life that I was the only one who felt that way. I think that the world has begun to open its arms to the LGBT community, and I wouldn’t be surprised if trans people became a commonplace.

It’s definitely a goal of mine to show the world that there’s nothing to be afraid of, you can be yourself, and you can achieve your dreams no matter what your identity is!

What are the things that you consider important to do to encourage other trans girls to chase their dreams?

Well I think that just putting myself in the spotlight and going for a goal nobody else wants to try is a great start. I think that leading by example is how I want to pave the way towards a more accepting, welcoming world. It’s not enough for me to just compete. I need to be number 1, and I will continue to fight for it. I have this recurring dream where a young trans girl finds out that a transgender woman dominates the leaderboards – imagining that I could impact somebody to face their fears and be themselves for the first time is what keeps me motivated. 🙂

That was great to read. I hope you have a blast in the next adventure (and all the others that will come). It was great talking with you Calleigh! ♥

Calleigh posts daily updates of this adventure on her personal web Skate Cross Country and you can also follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

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Shot by Samuel Moret

Emily Pross – KNK’s No Paws Down run

LGC USA‘s Emily Pross AKA The Prossecutor not only is a boss when it comes to racing, she’s also a freeriding beast. Check out this run filmed for RedBull at KNK Longboard Camp during the legendary No Paws Down race in Slovenia last month. Beast mode on, as per usual.

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Photo by Andrei Gorokh

2017 IDF World Cup – Season Finale Recap

It’s a wrap! The 2017 IDF World Cup ended and Women’s class reached historical new levels.

For the first time ever Emily Pross finished on the TOP 10 in OPEN category and won the North America Championship, male & female.

Scroll down to see how each one of these women gave their best through the whole Eurotour, finishing with the last race of the season in Vermont, USA. We selected some of the best photos from each race and are stoked to see so much radness, determination and smiles through the whole course of the 2017 world championship. Enjoy!

King’s Gate

Hinterstoder, Austria was the first host of the IDF Eurotour between 13th – 16th July. This stunning and challenging road is located in the middle of the Austrian Alps.  A total of 21 ladies competed in Women’s Class, and 12 of them competed as well in Open Class. Stoked to see so many big smiles!

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Riders: Lyde Begue, Lisa Peters, Emily Pross and Anne Poursin. Photo: IDF International Downhill Federation

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Fun is fun. Sabrina Ambrosi and Rachel Bagels Bruskoff. Photo: Duck Vader

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Rider: Jasmijn Hanegraef. Photo: All Year Long

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Rider: Lisa Peters. Photo: All Year Long

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LGC Russian Ambassador Anastasya Akenteva under the rain. Photo Duck Vader

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Rider: Anna Pixner. Photo: All Year Long

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Rider: Dina Miß. Photo: All Year Long

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Rider: Paloma Dorado Acha. Photo: All Year Long

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Emily Pross doing what it takes to stay dry. Photo: All Year Long

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Photo: CK Photography

Results King’s Gate 2017:

1st – Emily Pross

2nd – Lyde Begue

3rd – Paloma Dorado Acha

4th – Anna Pixner

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Kozakov Challenge

The Czech Republic classic held in Kozakov had 24 women competing from all over the world setting the trackroad on fire. This was the IDF race that had more ladies racing than any other during this year’s Eurotour. 21 of the 24 female riders also competed in Open class.

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Squad Goals or what? Photo: Muirskate

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USA rider Candy Dungan. Photo CGSA Downhill

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Determination. Mel Brogni by Mikel Echegaray

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LGC Czech Ambassador Valérie Vitoušová. Photo: Arne Valen

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Rider: Mery Merien. Photo: CGSA Downhill

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Rider: Marjorie Romeo. Photo: CGSA Downhill

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Rider: Karen Koobecaf. Photo: Arne Valen

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Dutch rider Lisa peters and UK’s Jenny Schauerte by Swedish Chef Productions

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Rider: Anna Pixner. Photo: Arne Valen

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Rider: Sabrina Ambrosi. Photo: CGSA Downhill

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Swiss squirrel Tamara Prader by Arne Valen

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Riders: Lisa Peters, Lyde Begue, Tamara Prader and Sabine Schneider. Photo: CGSA Downhill

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Rider: Lyde Begue. Photo: CGSA Downhill

This video of the finals is fire!

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Photo: CGSA Downhill

Results Kozakov Challenge 2017:

1st – Emily Pross

2nd – Cassandra Duchesne

3rd – Anne Poursin

4th- Melissa Brogni

——————————

Verdicchio Race

This track is described as one of the most technical ones in Italy and it’s located in the beautiful Poggiocupro, Ancona. This second edition had 14 women competing.

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Anna Pixner’s smile is contagious. Photo: Pablo Quiles

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Rider: Giulia Bottazzin. Photo: Vincenzo Molaretti

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Rider: Nayma Graziani. Photo: Vincenzo Molaretti

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Caption this? Candy Dungan and Lisa Peters getting formal. Photo Daria Bondarenko

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LGC French Ambassador Lyde Begue going for the gold. Photo: Sven Von Schlachta

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Rider: Azzurra Felici. Photo: All Year Long

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Rider: Sabrina Ambrosi. Photo: Pablo Quiles

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Rider: Lyde Begue. Photo: Pablo Quiles

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Rider: Lisa Peters. Photo: Pablo Quiles

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Rider: Cassandra Duchesne. Photo: Pablo Quiles

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Yeah buddy! Lyde Begue got the gold. Photo: All Year Long

Results Verdicchio Race 2017:

1st – Lyde Begue

2nd – Melissa Brogni

3rd – Cassandra Duchesne

4th – Giulia Bottazzin

——————————

Teolo

The last IDF race of the Eurotour was Teolo in Padova, Italy. Had 18 riders competeing in Women’s Class and 12 in Open.

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Rider: Emily Pross. Photo: Vincenzo De Santis

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Our LGC Italian Ambassador Lí Lú. Photo: Maurizio Busato

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Rider: Sofia Galli

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UK rider Jenny Schauerte owning it. Photo Vincenzo de Santis

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Rider: Rachel Bagels Bruskoff

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Spanish rider Alejandra Cadenas. Photo: Vincenzo De Santis

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Rider: Lí Lú. Photo: Vincenzo De Santis

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Rider: Anna Pixner. Photo: Vincenzo De Santis

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Rider: Giulia Bottozzin. Photo: Luca Silvestrin

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Photo: Patricia Demeulder

Results Teolo 2017:

1st – Emily Pross

2nd – Melissa Brogni

3rd – Lyde Begue

4th – Jennifer Schauerte


Killington

The last race of the season was Killington, held on an access road to Kilington Ski Resort in the mountains of Central Vermont, USA. This track is one of the fastest with speeds reaching upwards of 68mph / 110kmh on skate and 81mph / 130kmh on luge. 8 women competed on this race.

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Sabrina, Emily & Sirley. Photo Khaleeq Alfred

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Colombia’s Sirley Tabares. J Casalino Photo

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That stretch. USA rider Candy Dungan very ready. Photo Khaleeq Alfred

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Beast mode on. Emily Pross by Khaleeq Alfred

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GIRL GANG. The Killington 2017 Women! Repost from Loryn Roberson

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Katie Racine by Khaleeq Alfred <3

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Focus. LGC Argentina’s Sabrina Ambrosi by Khaleeq Alfred

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LGC USA Ambassador Julia Barklow. Photo Alex Corriveau

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KIllington’s Podium. Photo Khaleeq Alfred

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The Queen. Photo Khaleeq Alfred

Results Killington 2017:

1st – Emily Pross

2nd – Cassandra Duchesne

3rd – Sabrina Ambrosi

4th – Candy Dungan

With these results Emily earns the 2017 Women World Champion tittle and makes history as the first woman to ever finish in the TOP 10 of OPEN category and becomes the 2017 North America OPEN champion.

Don’t miss Emily’s solo run reaching 104 Kmh / 65 Mph. Worth to watch at least a couple of times.

The 2017 Women’s World Ranking Results as follows:

IDF racing, longboard girls crew

Such an exciting season! 47 riders from 23 different countries competing for the gold, the rush and the fun. Each season new records are set and moldes are being broken. Thank you to all the amazing women who do what it takes to get to the races (not easy!) and give their best. Thank you to all the companies that support us and thank you to everyone who follows our adventures. Thank you IDF for another season and thanks Marie for the great job you do with the IDF Women account.

Until next season!

Toronto’s FUBU 6 – Event Recap & Best Photos!

Words by Fubu 6 organiser Miz Molly All photos by Johnathan Nuss from Skate Invaders

Toronto Girls Longboarding’s 6th annual FUBU was a huge success last weekend! The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and the stoke was high for newcomers and old friends alike.
On Saturday our ladies took a social cruise exploring downtown Toronto’s waterfront, followed by a classy dinner and an afterparty. Sunday was full of games and fun with a slalom, a time trial, a push race and a dance contest in one of Toronto’s downtown parks. Everybody who came out had a blast, including a slew of our favourite guys dressed up as their female alter egos! We were even lucky enough to meet one of our participants’ (Morrah) newborn Kamryn. We made a lot of new friends, and are so stoked to spend the rest of the season shredding with the other ladies we’ve met!
Nothing brings the TGL community together quite like FUBU. Thank you everyone!

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We love this event and what it stands for! You can check out previous FUBU events HERE and you can see more photos of this year’s event on Skate Invaders’ Facebook page. Thank you ladies, we keep killing it together with love, support for one another and mutual respect.

#bethechange