Wellington skater starts lessons for wāhine and takatāpui

By Jessica Tyson

Twenty-four-year-old skater Bailey Te Maipi has started running skateboarding lessons across Wellington to help wāhine and takatāpui learn to skate.

The lessons are part of her new organisation WAA HINE Skate to help participants build confidence and not be intimidated going to skate parks.

“Wahine and takatāpui are the minority in the world and at a skate park definitely. So it’s just important to see each other at the skate park.”

Bailey, of Tūhoe, Rongowhakaata and Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki, started skating when she was six years old but stopped when she got to high school and saw no other girls skating.

“I didn’t have Instagram or Youtube to see all of the other girls skating around the world and so when I picked skateboarding back up in my early 20s I wanted to encourage other girls to start skating," she says.

“I saw doing something like WAA HINE Skate as a way to introduce other girls into the scene and just to encourage other girls to keep going or get into it and have some fun.”

Bailey has taught people aged up to 70 years old how to skate across Pōneke (Wellington), Te Awa Kairangi (Hutt River) and Porirua.

“I start from super basics. If that person has never stood on a board before we’ll just learn what parts of the board are and then learn where to place your feet, how to push the board forward and how to start turning.”

If people have skated before, she teaches them how to do more advanced tricks like an ollie or kickflip.

“It gives people a whole lot of confidence no matter what age group. I just love seeing people’s faces light up when they learn a new skill that’s my favourite part, she says.

“Skateboarding is super exhilarating and gives you a bit of an adrenaline rush and so learning a new skill. even if you’ve never stood on a skateboard before, just standing on it and rolling forward is crazy.”

Bailey says she is working to gain funding for WAA HINE Skate to continue her lessons across Pōneke.