Our 2017 Readers’ Choice Award for the female gender may or may not have been a Montecito landslide. But whether eeked out or steady crushed, this award unquestionably goes to WKND skateboards’ self-described East Coast Power Mouse, Alexis Sablone.

Alexis Sablone, kickflip. Los Angeles, CA. Photo: Brent O’Donnell

The Powermouse had a busy year. She got on WKND and turned pro in September ’17. She also got a spot on the NB Numeric roster in May. But last time I checked in with Alexis in ’16 she had just wrapped up a Masters degree from MIT whilst writing a graphic novel set 10,000 years in the future. 2017 by comparison was just another trip around the mouse block. Still, Sablone gainfully racked up more votes than Amelia Brodka, Brighton Zeuner, Lacey Baker, Leticia Bufoni, Lizzie Armanto, Nora Vasconcellos and Samarria Brevard—even as Nora, Lizzie, Samarria and Leticia all also went pro this year with equal or greater fanfare. Thus, as is the custom, let’s spend the next few paragraphs dissecting/flagrantly postulating why.

First and foremost, as stated in her Nov. 2016 “Girl’s Issue” interview Alexis is a skate rat’s skate rat. Those of us old enough to remember will forver link her to her debut part in PJLWHL (PJ Ladd’s Wonderful Horrible Life, Coliseum, ’02). Right there, she’s coming in with more skatenerd street cred than a crate of NOS Duffs KCKs. And that cred goes all the way up to her face-melting Welcome to WKND part that she dropped in September. Seriously, revisit it right here if you haven’t lately. Meanwhile, she just looks the part—permanent beanie, mostly dressed in black, always looking tough. Alexis is 100% skateboarder—so much so that her gender at times seems all but irrelevant.**

Next, let’s just focus on proper flick. Evan rarer than the few female skateboarders who have braved our boys club through the years are ladies with Mike Carrollesque kickflips. Frankly, proper flick is as rare amongst the boys as amongst the girls (I speak mainly for myself here, God help my kickflips) except that girl skaters alone are already the exception so finding one with a switch flip like Sablone’s is like finding a mermaid unicorn on leap year. Look no further than Elissa Steamer herself to see exactly how much career capital there is for a lady with proper technique.

Finally, without taking anything away from the other girls nominated here, Alexis is also just a complete package. She is infinitely relatable whilst remaining infinitely interesting. She was offered scholarships for grad school by Harvard, Yale, MIT, and UCLA, but she still signs up to take hefty slams on the Hubba at Street League and X-Games. She’s a misfit and a genius. She’s a skateboarder and she’s the 2017 Readers’ Choice Female winner. Congrats to the East Coast Powermouse. Stay mousy.

**Irony of a “gender irrelevance” statement in a gender specific award noted. Life is a paradox bro.