The Photographic Journal


Essay 328 • Aug 29th 2018

GRLSWIRL is a skateboarding sisterhood based in Venice, California. It’s a community focused on bringing femininity and an inclusive lifestyle to the male-dominated skate scene. Made up of different personalities and backgrounds, they’re bonded together by a love of skateboarding. They embrace the empowerment and freedom found in the sport, building upon the enduring legacy of Venice.

More than that, GRLSWIRL is inspiring women locally and globally, changing the future for female skateboarders. It’s so refreshing to see this energy in the community, the birthplace of skateboarding, fueled by a positive goal. Here’s a look at the core members of GRLSWIRL along with some of their thoughts about what makes it so unique and inspiring.

“Growing up sick, I honestly never expected to be able to get anywhere besides the city that I lived in. It seems like a dream, like the California dream. What inspires me the most is survival. A happy life. And I find happiness in this.” —Myriah

“We believe that it can be something that encourages people to get outside, to make connections, all those vital things that our world is sometimes lacking. We’re all creative, funny, intelligent, hardworking women, and when you get us in a room, we’re unstoppable.” —Shannon

“I think we’re all drawn together because of our common energies. We are all very grounded people with a common passion to bring power to women. I think GRLSWIRL is a great place for that.” —Monroe

“There’s something about California culture. Everything about Venice—the plants, the flowers, the atmosphere. It’s intoxicating. The number one thing for us is this community.” —Kelsey

“A lot of our work has social impact that gives money directly back into non-profit organizations and businesses in Venice. Skateboarding started here. It should be here.” —Lucy

“It’s really a tight-knit town. Everyone knows each other. It has a lot of grassroots in it and I feel GRLSWIRL could be one of things that helps Venice hold on to that.” —Tobi

“I love bringing the community together through our events, which also gives back to the community in so many important ways, and making women feel powerful everyday. It seeps into everything we do and keeps us going.” —Danielle

“We’re drawn to each other by much more than skateboarding. It goes deep—all the way down to our core values. It’s an exhilarating and rare feeling to find yourself in a group of people like that.” —Julia

“Home is wherever you are, and I get to share my home in Venice with all these other people. In an abstract way, it’s a language you’re speaking that links to a lifestyle. When you skate together, it creates this energy and you realize that it brings everyone down to being human.“ —Lindsey


Jason Travis is a photographer, designer, illustrator, and musician based in Los Angeles. His work has been featured by CNN, USA Today, Gizmodo, BuzzFeed, BOOOOOOOM, and many more. He’s allergic to cats, carrots, and will forever love the 90s.
Website | Instagram



Check out Jason’s previous TPJ photo essays:

Suburban Youth
Mind Glow