Professional skateboarder Beatrice Domond, a member of the top-notch SKF skate team, is breaking new ground in the skateboarding world. The media calls it “the future of skateboarding”, but for Domond, skating is about doing what she loves most.
Beatrice Domond would probably have excelled at any sport. Born in South Florida and 27 years old, she has always been athletic. She played a lot of sports growing up, but what stuck was skateboarding.
“I started skating when I was 5 years old”, he recalls. “I saw other kids doing it at school and it looked like fun. I also played tennis, basketball and football. I liked all sports. But when I turned 14, the world kind of told me I had to pick one.”
Always looking for a challenge, Domond chose skateboarding. “I wanted to do whatever was the hardest,” she says with a laugh.
Back then, says Domond, she didn’t know she could make a career out of skateboarding. She was just having fun honing her skills on neighborhood sidewalks and neighborhood skate parks. “As I grew up, I started to meet companies and people through skateboarding,” she says. “I read skate magazines and watched a lot of skate videos on DVD and YouTube.”
Life changing video
That’s how she met filmmaker and videographer William Strobeck, a well-known name in the skate community for his influential skate videos and his association with global streetwear brand Supreme.
“Bill Strobeck was one of the people I really looked up to,” says Domond. “I still admire him. I sent him one of my videotapes and he was really encouraging. He replied, ‘That’s insane…keep skating!’” Domond was 17 at the time, and it was the beginning of a great friendship. It was also the beginning of Domond’s rise to fame. She kept sending him videos, which led to Strobeck including her in his acclaimed videos Supreme Cherry (2014), Blessed (2018) and Candyland (2019). He also shared videos of her with professional skateboarder Jason Dill, co-founder of a relevant skateboarding company, who decided to sponsor her.
In 2017, Domond moved to New York, which she calls the world’s greatest skate park, to earn a living as a professional skateboarder.
Domond is a street skater, which means she uses urban obstacles such as stairs, rails and ledges to perform tricks. Her skills have not only earned her great respect in the skateboarding community, but sponsorships from several leading brands including SKF. Domond has been using SKF bearings since the launch of the company’s new range of skateboard products in March 2022, and she is a member of the SKF high-level skate team.
She is also the first and, so far, only woman to earn a spot on Supreme’s influential skate team.
Domond is part of a generation of women who are breaking the taboo of a traditionally male-dominated sport. With the rise of social media, women and non-binary skaters are now able to showcase their skills and sell themselves, attracting a following and commanding the attention of event organizers and potential sponsors.
“Things are looking up,” says Domond. “When you give people more resources, they will do well. Once you have the support you will see the result of it. There is still some work that needs to be done, but it is happening.”
Domond also sees the internet as a boost to skateboarding, making it more popular and accessible to everyone. “When I came out, the internet was just starting to boom,” she says. “I was in the middle of it all. I went from DVDs and magazines to social media and became an influencer.”
Today, for many professional skaters, being seen on Instagram is more important than competing or attending events. Domond makes a living by posting pictures and videos of herself skating on social media, where she tags her sponsors and can be seen wearing her products. “For me, I enjoy being a video skater,” she says. “I wake up and go skateboarding. I don’t compete. This is not for me.”
Creating videos has always been an important part of Domond’s skating and something she enjoys doing. “If I wasn’t skateboarding, I would probably be a video editor,” she says. “I love the editing side of filmmaking. That’s part of why I skate.”
Domond became known for her distinctive, effortless riding style, inspired by the legends of the sport from the mid-1990s. “I’m very focused when I skate,” she says. “From what other people say, I have style, cadence and I make it look easy.”
While skating for Domond was never about seeking fame, it inevitably opened doors for her that would otherwise likely have remained closed. In 2019, she was approached by shoe company Vans and asked if she wanted to design her own version of colorful shoes for the brand. The collaboration marked the first time a black woman had her name on a pair of Vans. She currently has two sneakers at Vans, and new colorways are coming out next year.
For the 200th anniversary of designer Louis Vuitton in 2021, Domond was one of 200 “visionaries” selected to design a wardrobe trunk for a Louis Vuitton exhibition in France.
“I’m a very creative person,” says Domond, “and I’m happy to have these opportunities. I’m really hands-on. If you give me a chance, I’ll take it.”
But in the end, skateboarding for Domond is all about doing what she loves. It’s her identity, her way of going inward, centering and finding peace. “When I’m on my skateboard, I’m 100% focused on the moment,” she says. “When you walk, you are present. In a world of chaos, it’s meditative. When I’m on my board, there’s nothing else.”
Hometown: West Palm Beach, Florida
Lives: in New York
Person she looks up to: “My mother. She has always supported me and inspired me to follow my dreams.”
Places she would like to visit: Japan, Paris and Rome
Special talent or skill, plus skateboarding: “My ability to not react to situations but process them and realize my attitude towards things helps with the outcome of situations . Trust me, that’s a skill.”
Beatrice Domond walks with SKF
Without fanfare, SKF has been manufacturing skate bearings since the early 1980s, but in March 2022 the company launched a new range of high-quality, low-friction skate bearings.
“We realized a few years ago that skateboarding was on the rise and we already had existing products that we could develop further,” says Daniel Werme, SKF Skateboard Business Unit Sales Manager.
In addition to releasing its new skate bearings, SKF has assembled a world-class skate team consisting of Beatrice Domond, Oskar “Oski” Rozenberg, Ishod Wair, Louie Lopez, Alexis Sablone and Kader Sylla.
“It all started with the Swedish skater Oski,” says Werme. “As a Swedish company, we wanted to support him as he prepared to compete in the 2020 Summer Olympics. Our goal was to assemble a small team of skaters with a lot of street reputation. Once Oski was on board, he helped us pick some of the coolest and most talented skaters out there.”
For the skaters, SKF’s durable high end bearings and expertise made the decision to join the team a breeze. “When it comes to the company, they make bearings for trains, airplanes and everything in between,” says Domond. “This is really cool. SKF bearings are the best.”
SKF sponsors Domond and his teammates with the gear, while the skaters – acting as SKF ambassadors – tag the company on their Instagram accounts. “Instagram is the dominant medium in the skateboarding world,” says Werme.
Since the launch of the SKF standard skate bearings, the company has also released an Oski signature professional bearing kit and a set of ceramic skate bearings. Additional pro kits will be available in fall 2022.
Keep up with the latest skateboarding news by following @skf_skateboarding on Instagram.