For a sport famously associated with quote-unquote counter-culture, skateboarding is hardly applauded for its inclusivity. For decades, cis white men have reigned as our uncontested poster children for the skate scene (think: Tony Hawk & Ryan Sheckler), and even now, female and transgender skaters attract far less flashy, widespread public recognition.
“Growing up, I never saw anyone [in the skate scene] who looked like me. There were no women, especially with my skin tone,” says Kiana Barnes, a leading member of Boos Cruise — a West Coast collective representing queer, BIPOC, non-binary, trans, and aspiring skaters. “So it’s pretty amazing to be a part of a community where everyone is not only safe, but accepted.”
Since forming in 2021, Boos Cruise has been hosting weekly Wednesday skate park meet-ups in Los Angeles’ Venice Beach, with the goal of cultivating a radically inclusive environment for marginalized people to come together and skate. And yes, beginners are more than welcome — no experience necessary.
“I fell in love with skating out in the sun when I was 14 or 15, and now, Boos Cruise is the place I go to skate, and feel loved, and accepted," Barnes says. "One of the main things [skating] taught me is to trust myself."
The second most important thing Barnes learned from long days of al fresco skating? Always wear sunscreen — no matter your skin tone. "My mom always expressed the importance of sunscreen to me," she says. "It's a big misconception that Black and brown people don't need sun protection."
To prevent sun damage while she indulges in her passion of boarding outdoors alongside likeminded folks, Barnes reaches for Coppertone's Every Tone SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion, a new sunscreen designed specifically with melanated skin in mind. Barnes loves it for its "very lightweight, smooth, and blendable" formula, but most importantly, it provides a (clear) layer of broad-spectrum protection on any skin tone.
That’s why Refinery29 teamed up with the iconic sunscreen brand for this episode of Reel Talk, No Shade. Catch the video above to learn more from Barnes about the Boos Cruise legacy, inclusivity, and the importance of outdoor sports.