Sky Brown: The Biggest Little Thing To Hit the Deck
We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Sky Brown, the phenom of board sports and the youngest girl ever to become a pro skater, to our family of CLIF® athletes. Read all the big news about this teenage girl who is taking the world by storm.
When the conversation about Sky Brown starts, it’s hard to stop. She’s one of those people who seems to do everything well. Watching her skate, surf, snowboard, BMX, kick-box, dance, or sing is a good reminder to us all that barriers are made to be broken, standards are there to be challenged, and, above all, life is about having fun!
A few cool facts about Sky: The 13-year-old skateboarder lives in the United States and Japan but represents Great Britain competitively through her English dad. She turned pro at age 10, making her the youngest professional skateboarder in the world. In 2016 she was the youngest girl ever to compete in the Vans US Open Pro Series (that’s right, she was only eight—but she’d been skating for four years already by then). To her, training is more like playing. She says she just goes out and skates.
Other Sky Brown tidbits: Her preferred skatepark is Venice Beach, in Los Angeles, because it “has a lot of flow, and the vibe is one that I really love.” One of her favourite songs to listen to before skating is Drake’s “God’s Plan” (yes, the one where he gives away all the groceries in the store and scholarship money for university). Her top-rated snacks while skating are CLIF energy snack bars in Chocolate Chip and Chocolate Peanut Butter. For dinner, she loves eating Italian food, ramen, or sushi (her record for most sushi pieces eaten in one sitting is currently 16!).
Sky and Ocean
Imagine having a training partner and competitor who you spend most of your time laughing with. That’s Sky and her brother, Ocean Brown, who is three years younger and a super-talented skater and surfer too. The two live half the year in Miyazaki, Japan (their mum is Japanese and both kids speak Japanese), and half the year in Oceanside, California. When you see videos of the siblings, they’re always pushing each other to land tricks, cheering each other on, playing jokes, and cracking up.
Sky has a few signature tricks, including JAPAN AIR, Blunt Flip, Air Reverse Full Rotation, and the Frontside 540. She says the Front 540 was the one that took the longest to nail, because “you’re blind when you spin frontside for the landing, so you have to trust it. Learning a new trick can be a battle, but I love that feeling of winning the battle and getting a new trick. It’s really addicting!”
The Big Fall
Skateboarding is all about falling and getting back up. Any skater will tell you that. Before you master a new trick, you’ll get some serious bumps and bruises along the way. Sky says that is just part of the process! She tells friends who are just starting out to keep practising because it’s okay to fall and it’s worth it in the end.
In May 2020, Sky took the biggest fall of her career. She fell 15 feet onto a concrete floor and had to be flown to hospital to recover. It was a scary moment for everyone. “Falling and not being able to skate or surf (for a while) has made me more focused and determined,” Sky says. “Now, when I feel scared for a minute, I just tell myself to commit and believe in myself. I think about the little girls who are looking up to me, and I know I can inspire them to push themselves. That makes me feel so motivated.”
When she started skating, Sky didn’t even know about contests. She just loved skateboarding. Now she loves the contests because that’s where she gets to see other girls skating and pushing themselves. But she doesn’t think that gender matters in skating. “What matters more is individual skating style,” she says.
Her role models in the sport are Pedro Barros (“because he’s really fast and just goes for it”), Oski (“he’s one of the most creative skateboarders”), Dora (“she is amazing and has great style”), and Leticia Bufoni (“I especially love that Leticia shows that you can be a girly girl and still love to skate—plus she has the coolest pink hair!”)
It would be pretty easy to assume that nothing could possibly scare Sky Brown. But this little-known fact about her proves otherwise: “I am so scared of insects and bugs! I just hate them!”
Sky and Music
One of Sky’s most recent pursuits is music. She released a single called “GIRL” in 2020. It starts off with a bang. The video shows her on the beach and then at the skatepark. She sings: “They know I’m fast on my feet/Gravity got nothing on me.” The song is a testament to Sky’s philosophy about being a girl and proud, all while pushing herself to do everything she has ever dreamed. She wants the world to know that the traditional idea of being pretty doesn’t mean you can’t be gritty.
Later in the song, she sings:
“You can find me shredding half-pipes/Or riding waves at sunrise/Nails done but I keep it sporty/Y’all mind if I hit a 540?”
“GIRL” finishes with Sky’s view of her world. And we hope everyone who hears it will take it to heart:
“I can do anything, and you can too/There isn’t anything you can’t do/We can be gritty and shake up the world/We can do anything/We are GIRLS!