Wellness: Sky Brown

This article is part of our Create & Cultivate 100 List created in collaboration with KEDS, you can view the full Wellness List Here.

Pint-sized skateboarding prodigy. 

At eight years old, Sky Brown is the youngest pro skateboarder in the world. In 2016 she competed in the Vans U.S. Open as the youngest skater at the event. 

Born in Miyazaki City, Japan, Sky picked up a skateboard at just three and has been calling skate parks her home for more than five years now. 

Sky started going to skate parks with her dad, Stu, a skater himself, saying that she’s always preferred ramps and bowls to swings and slides. Once she hops on a board it’s easy to see the natural talent, but where it’s easy to deem her a prodigy, Sky’s talent doesn’t come without hard work and commitment. Stu recently told Buzzfeed, “She used to get burnt constantly by older boys and grown men. But instead of backing down she just got fired up and is on a mission. You’ve never seen an 8-year-old girl so determined to do what she loves.” 

Please tell us a little about your backstory and how you became a skateboarding champion!

I was born in Japan, and girls here are brought up to be very safe and clean and polite.. well I was never into that. I love to do exciting things and I love getting mind getting muddy, wet, dirty and just playing rough.

My father is a surfer and I used to make him take me with him to the beach to surf or the skatepark. I loved it. It made me feel like I was free and could do anything. I realized that I could do anything if I tried and I could beat the boys. At first they didn't like it but they realized they couldn't stop me. Because I live in Japan I had never entered any contests.  My dad doesn't like contest surfing for kids and said it's not what surfing and skating is about… it should be for fun. But I got to a level where I was doing tricks that other girls haven't done and this is when I was invited to do some contest in SoCal, I have beaten Pro skaters in contests since I was 7, this year I was invited to the Vans US open and ended up beating my fav pro skater ever.. I'm not sure if I will continue to do contests. But for now they are fun. I like pushing myself and think that I don't need contests to do that. I find they sometimes hold me back since I skate safe to make the heat.

“I realized that I could do anything if I tried and I could beat the boys.

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I do know one thing and that is I want to get out in the world, and let every little girl know if they try their best at something they can do anything, it doesn't matter if your a girl or a boy old or young just go for it.

How much time do you devote to practicing?

I never practice, I just skate and surf. And don't think about it like practice .. I would skate and surf all day if my parents let me but they usually make me do homework and school and stuff hahaha

Who are the people you consider your mentors or influences and why?

Peggy OKi because she was one of the first Females Skaters in the world she opened the doors for females in Skateboarding at a time when the men were savage around Skating and women's rights were really bad.

Heidi Lemmon, she works in downtown LA, she never self-promotes but works silently behind the scenes. She gets Ramps and Skateparks made in project and areas where kids have it really bad with drugs and gangs. I helped her doing demos in really scary areas and she's not scared at all and she hugs even the scariest looking guys and they all respect her. She's Underground LAs mom and she's saved so many kids through skateboarding, and she helped to get Venice Skatepark built which is my favorite. 

Nikki Minaj she's just so strong she says bad words and has the coolest fashion she breathes confidence and I just love it.

How does it feel to be so young and successful?

I don't feel I'm that successful because my dreams are soo big hahaha. I want to go to Afghanistan and Africa while I'm still small.

What is the most important step you took to get here?

The most important step so far is when I entered my first ever skate contest in SoCal called exposure. It's was in a big Concrete bowl and I had just turned 7. I begged my parents to let me enter even though I had never Skated in a Bowl before and this was a big concrete one. Anyways my parents said yes and I was the youngest girl in the contest. I ended up getting 3rd and being in the podium. This step made me realize that not just gender but also size and age doesn't matter, it's all about heart.

"Size and age doesn't matter, it's all about heart."

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Other than skateboarding, do you have any extracurricular activities?

So many I love dancing, singing, I love UFC , BMX, diving in the ocean and watching fish and snowboarding.

What's the best piece of advice you've received from someone you look up to?

Go confidently in following your dreams, be you. And live the life you imagined!!