Culture

Navajo woman becomes viral sensation with skateboarding videos

April 6th, 2021

24-year old Naiomi Glasses loves to skateboard, though her locale for skateboarding isn’t anything like what the rest of us get.

The Najavo woman has been an enthusiastic skateboarder since she was a little girl, and 2 decades later hasn’t changed anything.

The Navajo people reside in the Navajo Reservation, a vast area of land with gorgeous cliffs and mountains as far as the eye can see.

Naiomi learned how to skate from her brothers when she was 5, so she’s got quite some experience racked under her belt. There’s one catch though – the Navajo Nation has very few skating parks or pavement in general. This gorgeous stretch of badlands made up of Northeast Arizona, Northwest New Mexico, and southeast portions of Utah stretch for 71,000 square kilometers.

Though despite that vastness, very little of it is skate-worthy. Unless you fancy skating on that clay-filled sediment. I don’t think many people would even try.

It’s a good thing Naiomi isn’t like most people.

Starting with the mindset of “Will this even work?”, Naiomi went from thinking to doing. She gave skating on the rocks and earth a shot, and I can only guess it took a while for her to make it work.

But it did work, and she managed to start skating on the earth-red, clay-rich rocks of the Navajo Nation. A love for skateboarding will make things work, pavement or no pavement.

Naiomi’s TikToks have gone viral, probably in part thanks to her fabulous hair-flipping and slow-mo takes on that skateboard.

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YouTube screenshot - KRQE Source: YouTube screenshot - KRQE

The 24-year old’s skating-with-style through the sandstone stretches of the Navajo Nation proved too cool for TikTok. She amassed tens of thousands of followers on her social media after not long.

Sandstone is a lot less forgiving than concrete and asphalt, and that definitely goes without saying. The Navajo Reserve simply doesn’t have that many skateparks – a less than ideal situation if you’re a passionate skater within the Navajo.

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YouTube screenshot - KRQE Source: YouTube screenshot - KRQE

Skateboarding is surprisingly popular among the Navajo nation, despite the lack of skate-worthy locale.

As vast as the Navajo Nation is, there are only a total of 5 skateparks there. They’re not exactly close to each other either. Naiomi thinks it’s time the lack of skateparks was addressed, and I’m sure a lot of us agree with her on this one.

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YouTube screenshot - KRQE Source: YouTube screenshot - KRQE

One of the most accessible skateparks in the Navajo Nation is Farmington, and it’s at least one whole hour away from anyone who wants to go skateboarding. Yeah, not exactly practical.

Thankfully, her concerns are being taken seriously.

Orenda Tribe, a clothing brand with heavy Navajo influence, has helped to solve the skatepark shortage. Two Grey Hills is the desired location.

Things are definitely skating into motion now, as the idea is starting to pick up some publicity. Orenda Tribe’s project is getting a lot of big help, and one of the people helping is none other than Tony Hawk. Talk about getting assistance!

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YouTube screenshot - KRQE Source: YouTube screenshot - KRQE

Now if all goes according to plan, those skateboarding-obsessed youth in the Navajo nation don’t have to drive an hour to the nearest skatepark anymore.

To see more of Naiomi in action, head down below and play the video. Don’t forget to share this article as well!

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Source: [KRQE on YouTube, KRQE News, Naiomi Glasses on Instagram, Naiomi Glasses on TikTok]

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