Let’s start with the obvious: the action sports scene is male-dominated. Yet, out there in the wilderness, you’ll find a goddess zipping through the rough and tumble of dirt, roots and rocks at top speed. 

Leaving everyone in the dust with the skill and finesse of a seasoned pro is Naomi “Nammi” Gardoce. At 29, she is an accomplished rider who continuously challenges herself to be better at her passion. As  a downhill athlete competing in enduro and four-cross, Nammi finds endless enjoyment in rushing through rough terrains. Driven and determined, her aim is to encourage more women to become full-fledged downhill riders.

Below, we talk with the racer as she shares about her passion as well as the future of women in action sports. 

GRIND:  What’s the most epic thing about being a woman in action sports?

NAMMI: Being a female athlete in a male dominated sport gives me a sense of enjoyment. I love the sport itself and being able to compete and prove that women can also ride like the boys will always be fulfilling because I can be an inspiration to everyone and prove my capabilities.

GRIND: Do you have any advocacy or passion projects?

NAMMI: I've been thinking and planning an event that lets women of all ages enjoy the thrills of downhill riding and encourage them to race. I also want to share some pointers on technical trails and we could ride together and share experiences in riding. Ultimately, I would love to see a lot of female athletes compete in downhill races because I am proof that women can do it.

GRIND: What advice would you give to a young girl who is just starting off in action sports?

NAMMI: Keep doing what you love and never give up. Everyday is a process and let your passion lead you to success.

GRIND: Where do you see women in action sports 10 years from now?

NAMMI: I see women in action sports being successful in their passions. They are more involved in advocating for improving equality in every sport.

At Grind, defying expectations is the norm. That’s why this Women’s Month, we are highlighting the stories of fearless women who challenge and reshape the terrain of action sports. Watch out for more features on how women are conquering their chosen action sports.

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