Kim Woozy and her crew of ladies saw a gap in the action sports market and instead of waiting for someone to do something about it… they started Mahfia and have been #killinitsoftly ever since! They represent an unparalleled generation of females whose physical skills and individual style are matched by a desire to push the limits and carve out a space for women. They did so by developing a media outlet for highlighting the badass women who are paving the way for other women in action sports.
It sometimes seems like an uphill battle, but in my short time on this earth I’ve seen a huge amount of change in the women’s market across all action sports, and every year it continues to evolve…. it’s exciting, and we can’t forget about that progress! We also can’t forget to keep up the progression… that means you, me, all of you marketers, CEOs, media gurus, and media consumers!
To give you an idea of scale, skiing and snowboarding saw approximately 19 million participants, 38% of them being female in the 13/14 season. That’s over 7 million women, SEVEN MILLION women who participate in snow sports alone! When you look at that staggering number of women already in action sports, and the ones coming up the ranks, first and foremost I see that we have an opportunity to find ways to create better experiences and keep those participants engaged and excited about the sports. So lets keep creating amazing gear and listening to what women have to say! There are a handful of established companies taking the issue to heart–K2 Snowboards has their K2 Alliance, Element has a dedicated line for women called Eden, Burton Snowboards has Burton Girls, Oakley Womens represents women in snow, surf, skate, and all of these companies are at least making an effort to give women within their organizations a platform to inspire and influence the product. Thats a good first step!
It’s really awesome to see the big guys getting behind women, but you can’t forget about the little guys. In this podcast, Kim talks about a small, rider-driven skateboard company called Meow Skateboards, a great example of women who aren’t just waiting around for the boys to get their acts in gear. It’s great to see small companies in the marketplace serving women exclusively, but we all know that it can be quite a challenge. From Nikita to Chorus Snowboards, we’ve already seen some womens-specific companies come and go, but perhaps now we are at a stable enough place with some of these sports to support a womens-specific hardgoods brand? I hope so. But that means that we need to create more access and awareness about these brands and these products. We need to ask our shops to carry these brands, and then actually purchase them!
When looking at the movement and activity in the marketplace, from the product and media, to programs available to get girls into these sports, it’s clear that there are passionate individuals getting shit don But those efforts continue to wax and wane with the economic climate and various other factors. The best thing that you can do as an individual (whether male or female) is to take stock of the influence that you have in your day to day life. Have a blog? Share your experiences. Work with kids? Tell them about the sports that you participate in and invite them to join you. Got a camera? Follow in Kim’s footsteps and film your girlfriends in the park or out on the water and get that to Youtube. I guess my point is that as with anything worthwhile in this life, you can’t just wait for it to come to you. Do what you can to play your part, and support others who are doing the same!
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