‘Freeing for me:’ Navajo woman becomes viral sensation with skateboarding videos

CATEGORIES: SkateboardingNavajo
PUBLISHED: March 30, 2021

ROCK POINT, Ariz. (KRQE) — An Arizona woman, born and raised in Navajo Nation, has become a viral sensation, showcasing her skateboarding skills on the reservation. Naiomi Glass hopes, with her growing platform, that a new skate park can be built and will inspire others to pursue their passions.

The 24-year-old, from Rock Point, Arizona, has gained tens of thousands of followers over the year on Instagram and TikTok who can’t get enough of her skateboarding.

“I would see these sandstones and I was like ‘I wonder if I could skate that,’” Glasses said. “So then one day I was just like ‘you know what, let me just try it, if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work.’”

She learned how to skate when she was 5 years old from her older brother and hasn’t gotten off the board since.

“I’m not a professional at all, by any means, I just like to ride around,” Glasses said. “It’s very freeing for me.”

Glasses says skateboarding is very popular within the Navajo nation, despite the lack of pavement and only five skate parks throughout the area. Because of this, she said she is teaming up with a Navajo-inspired clothing company that plans to build a new skate park in “Two Grey Hills,” which is just two hours away from Glasses’ community.

“I love skateboarding so much and I would just love to bring that joy and love of it to other communities,” said Glasses.

Glasses hopes, with her newly-discovered platform, that she can properly represent and share the Indigenous culture with the world and show young Navajo children that they can do anything while living on the reservation.

“’T’áá hwó’ ají t’éego t’eya.’ ‘Life is what you make it,’ go out there and be strong, be bold and be confident. Be true to who you are,” Glasse said.

The skate park project is expected to start construction this fall.