Ruth Weinmann, aka “Ruthless Ruthie Rainbow,” is an athlete, an activist, a community organizer, a political gadfly and a staunch feminist, even though she is not entirely sure what some of these words mean, because she is also 11 years old.
Ask Ruth what she is, and she’ll tell you she’s a skateboarder, or skater in the parlance. The Plattekill Elementary School fifth-grader lives in Clintondale and started skating about three years ago. “She told me, ‘I’m a skateboarder in my heart,’” says her mother, Georgia Weinmann, who adds another descriptor to her daughter’s resume: “She’s a wackadoodle, but we love her.”
Ruth admits she was a bit scared at first. “I got hurt a few times, but it doesn’t stop me. I get up and go down the ramp again, unless I’m bleeding.”
Community organizer? Check: She talked her friends into skating, too, and made a Facebook group announcing skate gatherings at Majestic Park in Gardiner. Soon, the group formed and carved out a name for itself: the Majestic Sk8 Crü. Georgia found a coach for the group, 19-year-old Ashley O’Gorman of Wingdale, an aspiring pro skateboarder.
“The girls are all amazing, and definitely very determined when it comes to getting a trick,” the coach says.
Activist, and political gadfly? For certain: Ruthie also serves as “spokeskid” for Save the Poughkeepsie Skatepark at Waryas Park, and lobbied Mayor Rob Rolison. “I told the mayor that kids deserve a skate park and gave them a challenge to fix it in eight days,” she says. “It didn’t happen.”
Nevertheless, Ruthie is not deterred: bigger things are happening. The crew is now part of Girls Riders Organization, a nonprofit for females in skateboarding, snowboarding, and other action sports. “We’re used to seeing all guys, so to see girls skating is the best,” O’Gorman says. “Ruthie’s little brother even said, ‘This is a girl’s sport’ — to hear a boy say that is unbelievable.”
That leads to Ruthie’s last moniker: staunch feminist. She wants to see skateboarding in the Olympics, and hopes to compete in 2028. She may not quite understand feminism, but she’s learning: “That’s like girl power, right? I believe in that.”
Find Majestic Sk8 Crü on Facebook.