I am proud to publish this interview with Tracey Miller of RipTide Sports. Tracey has been working hard with her husband Brad to create a world-class company. We encourage all female skate entrepreneurs to get in touch with us. We’d love to interview you and find out what your vision is for your company. And we are very stoked to share your message with the skateworld. What are some of the work experiences that you’ve had that prepared you for the skate industry? None! Hahaha – When Brad had the idea for the product to improve longboarding with our son, I was asked to put together a website to launch the idea and see if there was any interest! That was my first attempt at a website too, so this was all new to me. Prior to RipTide I was in Interior Design and Sales for the Software Industry.What are some things about the skate industry that surprise you?How utterly wonderful it is for starters! Everyone is super chill to work with – it’s obvious they’re in the industry because they’re passionate about it. I love that on Facebook & Instagram etc., the pages of longboarders are all about longboarding! I mean seriously, it’s not the occasional post – it’s 90% of their posts! Also, the innovation that is going on is energizing & impressive. Whether it’s wheels, trucks, decks, bushings, pivots, spherical bushings – new designs are coming out often and they’re not just a variation on what’s come before, they’re truly bringing new ideas to the industry that will improve the ride & performance for everyone.There are now more female skaters (longboarding/vert etc) than at any time since the 1970’s. Do you feel there are more opportunities for growth?Oh continually…..mad respect to all the beautiful ladies out there! I think with all the Longboard Girls Crew type movements, associations & schools worldwide and with incredible spokespeople such as Valeria (Kechichian) spreading the word & stoke so well & strongly, that this is an area that will only continue to grow. Same with the youth market – getting families skating together, whether it’s the true littlies being able to turn in circles on a board in the garage while Dad works on his quiver, or families out for a long-distance push as a lifestyle sport – the market is growing and appreciating the new technology that is diverse enough to include the entire family! What do you think is needed to be done to encourage more females to own and operate skate companies?To let them know that anything is truly possible! Identify a need, or work for someone in the industry – whether it’s running a shop or putting your personal perspective to use by working for a manufacturer, the attention to detail and creativeness of the female personality is imperative to a healthy industry. Yes, there will always be some men out there that don’t like dealing with women…you’re going to find that anywhere, it’s just a pathetic fact of life that we as women need to deal with in a healthy & non-confrontational manner. I guess this used to bother me more when I was younger and then one day when I was in my early twenties, I just realized how dumb it was to get twisted over some stupid remark a guy made and it really hasn’t affected me since! I just laugh things off and move on to something more productive and positive in my day.Is your company actively recruiting more female riders?Absolutely! We believe in having a well-rounded Team – for us that includes youth, women & men. We’ve always had what I consider to be a very strong & representative group of women on our Team – Spoky Woky, Lyde Begue, Georginna Ivano, Nayhomi Cruz, Manu Stabile, Maga McWhinnie, Possala Wang – we do our best to represent & support female skaters worldwide and there’s a few young women riders that we’ve had our eye on for a while now who we hope to approach within the next year!Do you find the business of skate to be female friendly?Mostly! Not all of it, not by any means…..I think there’s a basic lack of respect for women in the industry, at the base level – whether it’s for those behind the counter, on top of a board or owning the whole company. That being said, I think you could translate this discussion to fit ANY sport (or business) today. As much as I don’t like to think this – it is still a man’s world out there…..for better or for worse. Women have made a dent in it – and improved it no end! But at the end of the day, macho still rules. Have I personally experienced this – yes! Has it affected me, no. Because the majority of my interactions have been, and are, truly wonderful and personal. I love this business, I love people, I love being a woman – if someone disrespects me, that’s cool, they can deal with Brad and I’ll take care of all my other incredible guy customers who treat me as if I’m a person no different than themselves.What are three to four things you think male skaters should know about female skate entrepreneurs?That we’re serious, smart, fun & funny, talented and have a drive to succeed that will dwarf that of most men.