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What's It Like For A Girl To Be In A Male-dominated Sport?

Let's hear it from Leticia Bufoni.
What's It Like For A Girl To Be In A Male-dominated Sport? Let's hear it from Leticia Bufoni.

Let's talk about girl power. Brazilian skateboarder and Nike Women brand ambassador, Leticia Bufoni, has taken the world of boardsports by storm. The twenty-one-year-old is the current Female Skater of the year and has been named the number one women’s street skateboarder by the World Cup Skate four years in a row. She started skating at the age of nine with the boys on the streets of São Paolo, and there she started to love the adrenaline those flips and slides would give her. However, her father initially was not convinced that she could make it in the industry. But this only encouraged Leticia to work even harder, training three or more hours every day, perfecting all her tricks and techniques. Her perseverance paid off and she was sent to Southern California in 2007, where skateboarders from all over the world come and compete.

Now one of the biggest names in the world of skateboarding, she has definitely proven that women can do anything men can if they just set their minds into it. We caught up with Leticia, and hear what she had to say off the ramp. Read on!

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In addition to all the skateboarding, how do you train to stay in shape?

I train three times a week when I'm home. Sometimes I'm traveling so I can’t work out. In those cases, I try to do a couple of exercises in my hotel room. But I try to skate everyday, so I’m always doing something active.

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What are areas you look to strengthen when you train?

When I skate, I rely on my core and leg muscles. So I really try to focus on leg and core exercises when working out.

What do you like about the N+TC App?

Everything. When I’m using it, I almost don’t even feel like I’m working out. It’s more like you’re playing with your phone and having fun, but getting a workout at the same time.

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How important is nutrition in your training?

Nutrition is very important, but I do like to eat everything, and I travel a lot, so it's hard to eat well. So when I'm traveling I try my best to eat healthy and not eat a lot of candy.

Would you say that you're living your dream right now?

I’m living my dream. I’m skating everyday. I’m traveling around the world and skating with friends I know from Brazil and the U.S. It’s just a dream.

Was there ever a point in your young life where you thought, "I'm not going to succeed or I'm not going to make it?" If so, how did you get past those doubts and those fears?

No, I never had that thought because I always skated and I wasn't thinking about being pro or thinking about making money or anything. I was just skating every day and having fun. 

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Skateboarding is obviously an individual sport, but it thrives on a sense of community. When you go skating, do you go with friends?

I have a lot of friends that I skate with. I don't like to skate by myself. It's like going surfing by yourself. It's no fun. So I always have friends skating with me.

Does skating with friends push you to be better?

Yeah, skating with my friends and skating with guys, it pushes me to get better everyday and learn more tricks.  So I like to skate with people that skate better than me so I can push myself. It motivates me.

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Do you see yourself as someone who is helping grow the sport of skateboarding for female athletes? If so, how much pride do you take in growing the sport?

I just feel blessed to be in this position to help grow the sport. We haven’t always had much support, but now we're getting more support and it's growing very fast. I feel blessed to be in that position. It's great to be in this position and I just want to keep skating and motivating little girls to be pro skaters like me one day.

How would you describe your personal style?

My style is tight pants, but not too tight because it's difficult to skate with pants that are too tight. I also wear a bandana because it's hard to skate with my hair flying everywhere. So bandanas, tight pants, tank tops or t-shirts.

You're obviously out practicing and skating a lot, but you still find time to keep your nails and hair beautiful. How do you do that?

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Whenever I have time, I go get my nails and hair done. My hair stylist is in Brazil, so every time that I go to Brazil, I get my hair done. I like to have my nails always pretty and I always have makeup on. I like to be feminine.

When you travel, what do you always need to include in your luggage?

In my luggage, I always have to have my bandana. I can't forget that. I also always have granola bars. And of course, I always bring my phone. 

What music do you like to listen to?

I like to listen to everything, but when I'm skating, I like to listen to MGMT, The Killers, The Ramones. I like everything.

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If you were to write a letter to your future self, what would that letter say?

I would write to tell myself to keep skating and keep doing what I’ve been doing. I want to skate for a long time, so I think that will be in my letter. Never quit.

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