My first big blog post on Tactics support of skatergirls was back in October 2015.
I’ve continued to work with them and was grateful when they answered my request to help with EXPOSURE Skate 2015 with a super generous donation for the athlete bags.
Now I’m super excited to help them announce the addition of Alana & Nora to the family.
To me as a blogger it’s a huge honor when someone gives me a “scoop” – yes keeping a secret is hard, but knowing someone trusts you and wants you to help them share a story- huge!
Below are the questions I asked Jeremy Conant, Tactics Marketing Director. I’ve known Jeremy since 2014 when we talked about trends & I told him I don’t read graphs I follow my passion & create trends. I know and he continues to help me – he’s a good guy.
SF: How long has Tactics had a skate team – how did it start and has it increased in size over the years?
Jeremy: Tactics has had a skate team for many years. Until recently, we’ve helped some local skaters with gear and shoes, maybe some travel money or entry fees for competitions.
In 2015 we added Dalton Dern after he impressed us by winning our first Northwest Jam event. Dalton was from Florida and had just moved to SoCal. He is a fast-rising am and was our first expansion beyond local skaters. From there the team has evolved quickly.
We added Cody Lockwood from Portland as an am and he turned pro for Lifeblood just last month. We connected with Silas Baxter-Neal and Josh Matthews, two established pros with Eugene roots. And today we welcomed our first female pro skaters in Nora Vasconcellos and Alana Smith.
Tactics Press Release on addition of Alana & Nora
Tactics Welcome to Alana & Nora
It’s all happened really fast. Less than two years ago we were local-focused. Now we’re working with men and women, pro and am, from Portland, Seattle, Oceanside and Laguna Niguel, CA, and Mesa, AZ.
One thing I’m proud of is that through all that expansion, we continue to back our local skaters. Our pros and regional ams are excellent high-profile ambassadors for Tactics, but our local team skaters also remain very important to our business.
SF: What type of skaters -just those who compete, street, bowl, longboard – etc. ???
Jeremy: We have all types, which is exactly what we’re aiming for. Everyone has their own thing and we celebrate that diversity.
Alana and Nora compete regularly. I don’t think Silas or Josh ever compete. We have a lot of bowl skaters, but many on the team excel in the streets.
As a sponsor, our expectations are only for each person to do what works for them and have a good time doing it.
We have a downhill team, and that includes Ross Druckrey who is on the Sector 9 national downhill team and is part of our marketing staff. We also have a snowboard team.
Speaking of diversity, Jake Selover and Beau Cummins are actually on both our skate and snow teams.
SF: What does it mean to be on the team? What’s your expectations/responsibilities for them?
Jeremy: Go skate. Go out and do what you like to do.
I told Silas when we first met, it wasn’t my place to tell someone like him what he could do for Tactics. Instead I wanted to know what he wanted to do for skateboarding and how we could help him achieve that. That holds true for every person on our team. It’s a diverse crew, with many different goals and many different paths in skateboarding.
SF: Why add girls now? ***
Jeremy: When I met Mimi Knoop earlier this year, I was impressed by the women’s participation numbers she shared. Many more young ladies are discovering skateboarding.
We were moving that direction and I think Mimi and WSA helped us get there a little quicker.
I see the foolish comments online, on Instagram or YouTube, about a low bar for women or how they aren’t that impressive. That’s obviously short-sighted. There are highly skilled women out there doing rad stuff on skateboards.
With more support and increased exposure, pros like Nora and Alana will continue to raise the bar and encourage new skaters to give the sport a try.
Skateboarding is for everyone. We wanted our team to reflect that.
Thank you so much Jeremy. And thank you WSA for all you do.
For me skateboarding is sport/art/transportation/exercise/rolling yoga & confidence building and that’s why I love sharing stories about girls already skateboarding and the organizations/people supporting them – more girls do skate as they see girls skating & get encouragement!
Till next time keep it stylish on & off the board – I’ll be trying to catch up with Alana & Nora so they can share what Tactics Family Life is really like.
*** It’s never my intention to make anyone feel bad or less than by calling them a girl. I don’t give meaning to age it’s just a number. I don’t believe there’s some magical age when you quit being a girl. And Girl is not a 4 Letter Word – Cindy told me so!
@alanasmithskate’s pro decks and completes from @hooplaskate now available.