Meet PAIGE TOBIN: 8-year-old skateboarding prodigy from Australia
It’s been a while since the most sparkling and anticipated season of the year came to its full force when a nagging bug of adventure started to bite the most restless of us. What are we up to in a vacation time with more time on our hands? How about dropping into a 3,6 meter-high skateboard ramp? Paige Tobin, a 6-yearold skateboarding whizz, suggests finding a cure for boredom in the bowl, where she playfully defies the laws of gravity in party dresses. Showing her athletic prowess, the mind-blowing video of Paige dropping into a skate ramp in a blush tulle dress and a cheetahprint helmet in a flash became viral on Instagram, gathering 1,5 million views and winning hearts all over the world. People immediately get enchanted by the courage, genuine enthusiasm, and sunny disposition of this little girl, whose uplifting videos give so much cheer. Praise from Jennifer Garner and an interview with Drew Barrymore launched Paige’s account to the stardom. And soon, it attracted collaborations and sponsorship deals with brands like Vans, Hurley, S1 Helmets, Pride Socks, Fringe Skateboards, Gritt - to name a few.
Despite the growing popularity and commercial offers, Paige’s mom Emma, who runs her Instagram account, in her interview to WHATever magazine, said that her daughter’s comfort is foremost: so she protects Paige’s privacy and keeps it humble. Apart from Paige’s biggest passion - skateboarding, their family account also features buoyant photos of a happy childhood unaffected by popularity: surfing, diving, and family time with her siblings: a sister Bonnie and two brothers Kieren and Otis.
«Kieren and Bonnie will have a bit of fun on the skateboard but definitely don’t have the same passion. They are very supportive of Paige, and a lot of their friends are at the skate park, so it is always lots of fun when we are there. They do, however, surf together, which is nice. I love seeing Kieren and Paige on party waves and in the water together,» Emma told us.
Tobin’s family always seems to have some outdoor activity on rotation that catches their fancy. So when we asked Emma how to spark interest, she answered, «Just get outside. We spend 4-6 hours a day outside doing some sport or physical activity.» Then she adds, «But when we get home, and everyone is tired, I have no issues with some downtime in front of some screens.»
The ease and playfulness with which Paige commands the bowl have their roots in great dedication and lots of practice. Despite her young age, Paige has good skateboarding experience.
«Paige first got on a board around two, but she became obsessed just after she turned three. I would watch her spending hours trying to figure out how to ride in a straight line and try and stay on while rolling downstairs,» Emma recalls. Since that time, Paige has been developing her sporting talent under the supervision of her parents and a coach. Not to dampen Paige’s enthusiasm, her parents adjust sport discipline to her needs and desires, avoiding any pressure and satisfying curiosity.
«It goes up and down, and I kind of let her lead. Sometimes she is super dedicated and wants to spend 2-3 hours mastering one trick, and other days she just wants to muck around and have fun with mates. When she is in the zone, I get in it with her and help as much as I can, and if she is not feeling it, I try and step back. It’s such a long road, and she is so young, making sure Paige is having fun is paramount. At the moment, she is doing a program with a coach where she spends four days a month working on progression,» Emma shared with us.
Emma calls herself the biggest fan of her daughter, and when it comes to the traits that she is the proudest of, Emma names determination and perseverance. «They have me in awe- from age three seeing how focused she can be when she wants to master something... It is incredible to watch.»
Paige won the King of Concrete Skateboard Contest in Melbourne on the eve of her 6th birthday. Now, she’s busy mastering a new skateboarding trick called Blunt to Fakie, which requires a lot of board control and a good feeling in tricks transition - many adults die to possess. Shortly Paige and her mom plan to visit Bowl a Nana in Coffs Harbour, and Emma adds that if other convenient calls pop up, they will gladly attend them.
The message that fearless girls like Paige put across is powerful and vital. Making their input under the hashtag #girlswhocanskate on Instagram ladies shift people’s perception towards inclusive adventure sports. Through her beaming videos - brave, prodigious, and upbeat skater Paige Tobin promotes the sport and inspires people to do what they love with all their hearts. She proves that skateboarding is beyond age and gender if only you dare to try.