Forrest Bless, vice president of marketing for AlleyOOP trampolines, says his company is actively engaged with the flipping community on a daily basis. “We are always on the lookout to sponsor high-caliber female flippers,” he says.
The reality is that young women in the Gtramp space on Instagram haven’t yet amassed the large followings young men have (to be fair, the average 14-year-old Gtramp boy also has a modest following of less than a thousand). The kids who do the biggest tricks — some are doing as much as quintuple flips and twists — tend to get noticed the most, and thus far, it’s the boys who are doing the biggest tricks.
Lori Maher, whose daughter Elise Maher started flipping two years ago, says that the sport has been a great outlet where Elise can bond with peers, both male and female. She notes that Elise has always marched to the beat of her own drum, a personality trait that seems to apply to most flippers.
Indeed, girl flippers tend to cite the same things they love about parkour or Gtramp that boys do: the community, the fact that they can progress on their own, and the absolute freedom of movement.
“I love that I’m always competing against myself,” says Elise, who is 14 and lives in Arlington, Va., and has never done gymnastics (“I hate when people call me a gymnast!” she says). Elise finds that she needs the daily release of flipping on the trampoline or tumbling on the ground, especially after being cooped up at school all day.
“Flipping helps me get my energy out,” she says. She spends hours training every day, challenging herself and posting her progress to her Instagram account. Her flipping time is unstructured, but it’s no less intense — or less important to her — than a structured team practice would be. She says she is as safety conscious as any coach would be, and has learned how to control her movement and make smart decisions.
“Flipping is a perfect fit for Elise,” says her mother. “She has become an incredibly physically strong person. It’s really helped her to shine, as well as to feel comfortable and confident, which is so important for a teenage girl.”