“I remember seeing GRO stickers when I was little. I would say to myself, wow, it’d be so cool to have a group of girls to skate with. GRO’s 10 year anniversary was an amazing moment, realizing now I have that opportunity. There’s so many amazing ladies out there, and such a positive and supportive community that GRO fosters. I used to be scared of competing. GRO gave me the courage to really go for it. It was cool to encourage others to go for it at the GRO HOV competition, and it was pretty awesome to be encouraged by others. At the end of the day it was about shredding and having fun, that’s what its all about.”
– Jessie Frietze
Saturday was pure magic. I’m still smiling and recollecting the day. From 12-6pm, the incredible House of Vans and Frank treated us like royalty, giving the ladies free reign. We skated, we chilled, we held contests for all skill levels, including a timed relay with a beginner, intermediate and advanced rider, game of S.K.A.T.E. and a contest for best trick that showed off incredible skills. We decorated griptape and Vans provided pizza for all. Vans also had event t-shirts made for us that we were able to give to everyone who came.
Girls commented all day about how much fun it was and how lucky we were to skate HOV for the day. I taught 6 girls their first step onto a board and how to push. Two of the girls were just walking down the street, stuck their head in to see what was going on and lucky for them, Courtney was sitting at the entrance. She invited them in and charmed them with the excitement of skateboarding and a warm welcome. They went home, changed their shoes, came back and had a blast. To me, that’s what GRO is all about. It was really cool to sit on top of the stairs and watch the advanced girls rip the street course in the final contest.
Vee and I got to hose Courtney with two bottles of champagne and we passed around a card for everyone to sign. I loved having Brian Saul, Anna May Dutton and Johnny Roughneck MC the event and keep everyone hyped. I also appreciated Luis Tolentino who came out to judge the contests as well as Mike Becker from the Frontside Agency.
A big highlight of the weekend for me, was having Christiana Smith here. I admire her so much, as a skateboarder and as a positive force. I loved watching her skate HOV, winning the street course contest. She ripped all weekend and also took time to teach lots of girls. She has run GRO sessions for years in Michigan and now most recently in LA. It was really special to celebrate GRO with her.
– Katie Andrews
“There were literally females just walking by the venue that came in and tried skateboarding for the first time ever and by the end of their session they couldn’t wait for the next time they could skate again and wanted to know when the next GRO session was. This is what the evolution of skateboarding is all about, investing in the future. GRO has and is doing just that, inspiring and empowering girls from all over the world for 10 years now and I can say that I wouldn’t be the skateboarder I am today if I would’ve never found out about it. I have to shout out to Courtney Payne-Taylor, the founder of GRO for putting her heart,soul, time, and energy into this organization and inspiring so many of us. I encourage all girls, if you ever have a chance to attend a GRO session, guarantee you will have a time to remember!”
– Christiana Smith
I’m super stoked on the level of skating! NYC gals are killing it!
These events fully support all abilities and is especially great, if it’s your first time on a board.
That’s the best for me… to share the pure delight, giggles and smiles.
The expression of conquering the challenges of skateboarding.
Having a huge gathering of female skaters is such a unique and satisfying experience, thanks to Courtney/GRO and HOV, we gals are so grateful for all you do. The fun factor was off the charts!
One highlight for me was convincing a 5 yr old girl to park her scooter and try a skateboard.
Minutes later, she was hooked!
Skate for Life,
I loved the free photo booth! also loved filming such talent in one room without feeling like a lurker. wish i could have been there the whole time!
– Jenny Irving