To Balance is Trust

Shining the light on the faces of female and non-binary skateboarders, this past summer was one the biggest ever for women’s skateboarding being in the spotlight. It has been an amazing and deserved month for it after years of hiding behind the scenes. Having photographed the women’s skate scene for over 10 years now, Hannah wanted to reach out to share her latest photo series, “To Balance is Trust” which is shining the light on the faces of female and non-binary skateboarders, empowering them to tell their stories and show us what skateboarding means to them. 

For many, skateboarding has been seen for the first time on TV this past year with its Olympic debut. Hannah hopes “To Balance is Trust” will intercept this competitive controlled vision to put it back in the hands of the people who skate through portraits and stories. From wheelchair motocross champion Lily, to founder of Melanin Skate Gals and Pals Maz, to eight-year-old skater Mac, long-time skate videographer Yuri, and anti-racist activist/co-founder of SkateBoobs, Amy. Hannah was lucky to meet and photograph over 20 skaters from different backgrounds on different missions but united through their boards.

Skateboarding to me is freedom. It is self-expression, it is pure joy and it is frustration. Skateboarding has given me so much confidence in such a short period of time and confidence in a way that has allowed me to discover and explore parts of myself I never had before. In freedom comes all of these things and more, and grabbing my board and beginning a journey with myself is the most freedom I have found. My love for skateboarding has truly just begun to be explored and I am excited to see where it takes me next. Thank you skateboarding for being the most incredible and challenging journey.

Amy Allard-Dunbar: skateboarder, co-founder of Skateboobs, and anti-racist activist

A bit more info on the series

Hannah Bailey has been photographing women’s skating around the world for over 10 years, inspired by the diverse faces and underground culture of the scene. It has been her mission to question society’s perception of gender in sport and challenge how women are represented in the media through her images of skateboarding and portraits of skaters. In March 2020 Hannah won the inaugural Getty Images #ShowUs photography grant with the project ‘To Balance is Trust’, which aims to look beyond stereotypes, to shine the light on the faces of women, non-binary and female-identifying skaters, and support them to tell their stories. 


Skateboarding is part of life. Even if you aren’t skateboarding, you’re always thinking about skateboarding, like walking around the city, looking at it like a skatepark, and going to buy clothes to look good on a skateboard.  And the biggest reason is the companions. I might have quit now if I had no friends. I think that I was able to continue by creating a skateboard network with my friends and connecting with everyone.

Yuri Murai, skateboarder, and creator of Joy and Sorrow all-female skate films

When I’m skating I feel happy and I learn something new every day. It doesn’t matter how good you are at skateboarding, just that you have fun.

Mac Morrice, eight-year-old Scottish skateboarder

The series travels to the home of the Olympics, Athens, Greece to meet with Denia Kopita, a talented skater and online manager of diversity skate magazine Skateism. It travels to Haverfordwest, Wales, to meet WCMX champion Lily Rice who is pushing to make skateparks more accessible. And it features skaters part of the Melanin Skate Gals and Pals crew who are working to empower the BIPOC community to skate and be seen. As well as young Scottish skaters, Rudi and Mac, and professional London-based skateboarder, Helena Long. All these skaters and riders are pushing the lesser-seen side of skateboarding in order to make it more accessible to all, to show it is something for everyone. 

Instagram: @NeonStash

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