Anna Reese kickflips her way to fame

Alma Pronove, editor in chief

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photos by Jake Freeman

  “You’d never know by seeing her in school that she’s an amazing skateboarder,” said 2011 Edina   graduate, Emma Reese, of her sister, Anna. “You’d have to find out by going up and  talking to her.” So that’s what I did.

Anna Reese, a senior at Edina High School, has been skateboarding for five years. She is completely self-taught and was just added to the 3rd Lair Demo Team. She is also an employee of the 3rd Lair Skate Park in Golden Valley. When I went down to visit the park, she was the only girl around.

Greg Ytterbo, a manager at 3rd Lair, described her as being “very dedicated. Anna is really easy to work with, and she gets things done right away. She’s very business-oriented, but she’s a really good skater.”

How good, you ask? When asked about speculations that Anna will make it to the X-Games, Ytterbo smiled. “She definitely will in a few years. She’s close to getting sponsored to some companies such as Volcom. She’s making her way. She’s one of the best girl skaters I’ve ever seen.”

Reese got her start when she was twelve, her dad gave her a skateboard for Christmas, and it was love at first ride. “At first, not many of the guys wanted to skate with a girl,” said Yasha Meyer, an 8th grade skater from Sanford Middle in Minneapolis. “But as the boys saw her progress they realized that she was cool and actually a really good skater.”

Reese comes down to 3rd Lair twice a week to give lessons and most every other day to work on her own skating. She offers hour-long lessons to anyone who can stand on a board. “I’ve taught people anywhere from a four-year-old kid to a sixty-nine-year-old guy and his forty-year-old daughter,” shrugged Reese. She went on, “I’ve had a few kids come in and request me because they feel more comfortable skating with a girl.”

As for her own skating, her eyes are on landing some major sponsors. Reese’s little brother, 10-year-old Jonathon, already has racked up five sponsors. According to Jonathon, being sponsored means that “you promote their product and they give you free stuff like shoes, clothes, and boards.” In fact, the shoes Jonathon and Anna were wearing when interviewed were given to them free of charge.

To follow in her brother’s footsteps and get sponsored by some big board companies, Reese will have to get noticed through street footage. “It means that I have to get somebody to film me skating outside on stairs and rails. It’s so much easier skating in a park where everything is perfect, but companies would rather see you skate outside,” said Reese. Take it from Jonathon though, “She’s probably one of the best girls in the Midwest for skaters,” and she can “definitely get it done.”

As of late, Reese has been skating well on the 3rd Lair Demo Team. The team “goes to local suburban skate parks to put on demos and run contests throughout the spring, summer, and fall. They also perform demos at the State Fair. They run the whole fair, putting on shows every hour,” said Ytterbo. Coming off of three ankle injuries, Reese is planning to get back into the competition scene.

However, juggling work, practice, senior year, and post-secondary planning is no simple task. “I want to go to college, I just don’t know where,” explained Reese. “I’m going to skate no matter what.”

But with her family and team behind her, there is no doubt that we’ll all be seeing her on TV someday and saying “I went to high school with that girl!”

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