Kiana Malzl, Elliott Roubicek and Morgan Farley are the faces of Hawt Wheels, the female skateboarding community first started in December 2021.
The three women had a chance meeting while living in Hawaii when Malzl, from Orem and Roubicek, from Calgary, Alberta, went to the same skatepark one day.
Malzl later met Farley at the skatepark and introduced her to Roubicek and eventually realized they would all be going to BYU in the fall.
After making the move to the mainland, the three friends continued to skate, but made sure to go during less-busy times, often at night, so there were less people and it was less intimidating.
Meanwhile, they had friends approach them who were interested, yet nervous about skating.
“Because of that, we were like, ‘You know what, let’s start a skate community for girls where they can be in a safe environment that’s not intimidating and that we can all just support each other and learn together,'” Malzl said.
Roubicek added that creating Hawt Wheels has been beneficial because it has provided a space where women can feel “supported, comfortable and confident to learn how to skateboard all together.”
Farley remembered putting on their first event and being worried about people showing up. Around 30 people attended, most of them strangers who had learned of the event on Instagram. She said they were shocked, but realized just how many women wanted to learn to skateboard.
Farley said she loves getting to see individuals come out of their shell and help others do the same.
“When we start, you kind of have to pull a girl onto the ramp,” Farley said. “They get so shy then they slowly get better and then next thing you know, you turn around and that girl’s also teaching another new girl.”
Roubicek said one girl came for the first time and did not know much about skateboarding skills. Now, Roubicek said she is comfortable performing several tricks, going consistently to Hawt Wheels meetings and always improving because of it.
The inclusivity has gone a long way, as Farley said one especially skilled RipStick rider had not felt welcomed by skateboarders in the past and received judgement.
The Hawt Wheels founders explained that apart from their weekly meetups on Saturdays at 11 a.m., they hold bonfires, giveaways and other events to provide a more inviting atmosphere for those interested.
Local skate shop Board of Provo even donated $300 worth of gear to Hawt Wheels to give to their community members. Springville city has reached out to Hawt Wheels about working together, as well.
The group has also begun selling T-shirts with their logo, designed by Malzl’s sister, to raise money to put toward Hawt Wheels efforts.
Malzl said that although Hawt Wheels is not something they have to do, it is worth it because of how fulfilling it is.
“Not only has it been more motivating for other girls, it’s been a lot more motivating for me to progress so that I could continue helping girls,” Malzl said.
Roubicek said Hawt Wheels has meant a great deal to her, as she grew up not knowing other girls that skateboarded. She said she viewed it as a lonely, scary activity.
She said she found this lack of a support system withholding her from improvement. Having others encourage her has helped Roubicek push herself.
Roubicek also said she has seen her and other girls’ love of skateboarding grow. Her favorite aspect is how supportive everyone is. She said no matter the skill level, all are excited when someone learns a new skateboarding skill.
“We’re excited and stoked for everyone,” Roubicek said. “That’s been so precious and awesome to see.”
Farley added that the pressures and judgment she has witnessed in the skateboarding world are different within the Hawt Wheels community, because people are there to have a good time, whether they learn something new that day or not.
Farley said it is okay to not be the best, but the mindset of being willing to try something new is helpful in all learning settings.
“It’s just such a good community where before I wouldn’t be able to find that anywhere else,” Farley said. “I feel like I’m definitely not pro or anything, but the fact that I can help other girls is just such a good feeling.“