Chanelle Rezko, Hope Christerson, and Liv Seidel are disrupting the status quo with their online skate mag Get Born, a platform that both integrates a female perspective into the world of skateboarding journalism and explores skate culture as a wide-ranging, multidisciplinary movement. The site is packed with meaty interviews, a blog feed full of skate-related art, videos, and photo journals, and a “Homies” page that documents scenes from the daily lives of their friends on the skate scene. And sure, there are haters, but these ladies don’t give a damn. NORA MALONEY
Tell me about your crew’s background.
Rezko: Being involved with our local skate community was really the base of our friendship. As we grew older, we realized that the skateboarding companies and publications we looked up to were all founded by men. Not only that, but women who tried to get involved in skateboarding were, and still are, often sexualized and viewed as groupies. We had way too much genuine love for the culture to buy into that stereotype, which is why we decided to work to change it and to create a voice for ourselves.
Where’d the title come from?
Rezko: When we were just starting out, I would play Bringing It All Back Home by Bob Dylan out loud while we worked. Once we were listening to the song “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” where Dylan says “get sick, get well,” then proceeds with “get born,” and we all looked at each other like, “Shit, that needs to be the name.” It just felt kind of perfect.
Have there been any big obstacles since the mag’s launch?
Rezko: There were times of major discouragement, for sure. One time we walked into this party in Chicago and some dude had our stickers up everywhere and wrote “real whores” on them. That was pretty gnarly. But hate is so little when you compare it to the big picture.
How does having an all-female team influence Get Born’s content?
Christerson: The fact that we’re women isn’t the main point of Get Born—it was created first and foremost as a platform for showcasing the creativity of core skateboarding. Nevertheless, I think we may be more attuned to the way skateboarding can be problematically exclusive—and not just to women—and we hope to change that in whatever way we can.
What have been some of your favorite topics to feature?
Seidel: We really like to cover skaters who fuel their creativity not only through skateboarding but also through art, music, or creating their own skate company.
Christerson: For example, recently, we’ve been featuring a lot of photo journals by skaters, filmmakers, and photographers such as Greg Hunt, Daniel Lutheran, Cole Slater, and Kate Green.
What other skate publications inspire you?
Rezko: Our main influences are Jenkem, Theories of Atlantis, and Big Brother.
What are your favorite defining moments in skate culture history?
Christerson: I’m very interested in the transitional period between the 1980s and 1990s, from Powell-Peralta to World Industries and the various projects that sprouted out of it, like Blind, Plan B, Girl, and Big Brother. This was a time when skateboarding graphics became extremely subversive and street skating was on the rise. Transgression and anti-capitalism were the norm, which is something I respect.
Tell us about the skate scene in your home city.
Christerson: Chicago and Montreal [where we also spend part of our time] both have insanely long and cold winters. The skaters are pent up for half of the year, so once the summer comes around, the skate scene just blows up—the creativity is palpable. This gives both cities a more underground, original style of skateboarding that you won’t necessarily get in a place like California.