On the walls of the country's oldest private indoor skate park, which is tucked away inside a Golden Valley warehouse, are the autographed skateboards of the professionals who journeyed through 3rd Lair.

One day, Anna Reese's board will end up there with the rest of them.

"She's the top girl skateboarder in the state, for sure, and arguably in the entire Midwest," said 3rd Lair president Mark Muller, who predicted Reese would be one of the top pro female skateboarders in the world in five years. "If she keeps progressing at the rate she has been, and judging by the way she skates right now, she will easily be able to become a professional."

Until her shot at X Games glory arrives -- and given the way Muller speaks about the only female on 3rd Lair's team, that's within the realm of possibility -- the 17-year-old Edina native is busy blazing a trail for her gender in a predominantly male sport.

When Reese was 13, she asked for a snowboard or a skateboard for Christmas. Her father delivered the latter, and a passion was born. After joining 3rd Lair in February, she's skating as an expert during the 3rd Lair Summer Series. Last year, Reese won the Bottineau Expert Division, beating out 10 other boys in the process.

Reese doesn't pay attention to skateboarding's gender disparities, such as the fact that only 26 percent of skaters are female. Nor does she hold herself up as a beacon of hope for burgeoning girl skaters. She just feels more comfortable riding alongside the boys and, occasionally, beating them.

Most of Reese's friends also skate at 3rd Lair, where she spends up to 10 hours each day during the summer, coaching and training. During the school year? She gets her work done and heads over to 3rd Lair to skate. Rinse and repeat.

"I just get along with guys better, I don't know what it is," said Reese, leaning against the rail and sipping a Monster energy drink during a youth camp at 3rd Lair. "I get sort of intimidated when I'm around girls. I went to one camp and I had to stay with the gymnasts, and they'd all give me weird looks. I just laugh it off."

No one's laughing at the mark Reese has made on Minnesota's female skate scene. At a recent camp, when counselors each took on a group to instruct, Reese got all of the girls. Her group was the largest.

Private lessons among young girls have spiked since she joined 3rd Lair, and the girls taught by Reese typically return with more friends to learn from the region's best. Muller used to joke that 99.9 percent of 3rd Lair's clientele was male.

Not anymore.

"Without Anna, there wouldn't be any girls aspiring to ride in this area," Muller said. "It would be as if we had a big sign in our front yard that says, 'Males Only.' But with Anna, it's the complete opposite. The girls keep coming back."

Sage Parrish is one of those wide-eyed skaters for whom Reese is an idol. When Sage's older brother began skating at 3rd Lair, the 7-year-old wanted to give it a try. Naturally, she latched on to Reese.

"Anna's become this girl icon here in the Twin Cities that even the boys look up to," said Kristin Parrish, Sage's mother. "As a mom of a young girl, I know that they look up to her.

"When they see Anna skate and succeed, they know that they can become that good, too."

See more photography of Anna Reese and other skateboarders at startribune.com/galleries