Motocross is a competitive individual sport in which motorcycle riders race over dirt, hills, or other courses. The competitions generally take place in dry areas with extremely hot temperatures. The heat from the motorcycles and the crowds near the racing courses can make the riders uncomfortable or fatigued in the already hot temperatures. Paddock girls, also referred to as grid girls or umbrella girls, are responsible for holding umbrellas over the racers at the starting lines to provide shade.
Before motocross races can actually begin, the drivers generally have to gather at the starting lines for equipment checks to ensure their motorcycles are functioning correctly. They may also have to wait for their motorcycles to get fueled properly and complete any other necessary checks before the race can begin. All of these processes can take hours and generally occur out in the open sun. Paddock girls stand by the racers with umbrellas during the pre-race examinations so the racers don’t become overheated while they are waiting for the race to begin.
Paddock girls may also have other responsibilities once the pre-race checks are completed. Before the race is about to begin, each girl may stand just behind the starting lines and line up with a specific racer. She will generally hold up a sign with the racer’s name, team, or country printed on it. This is typically done to ensure all the spectators can keep track of the different racers once the competition begins.
In addition to actually performing job duties at the motocross races, paddock girls typically serve as promotional models for the sport. Fans at the motocross races may often ask the girls to pose for photographs. The girls may also model for official motocross memorabilia, such as posters, calendars, or sports magazines.
The process for selecting women to act as paddock girls is typically treated the same way as a modeling job. The hiring agencies generally hire candidates with attractive faces and fit bodies since they will wear tight or revealing costumes. The job entails constant travel to go to all the different motocross race locations and the work conditions can be uncomfortable due to the often hot weather and long periods of standing. Many females use the job as a means to gain exposure as a model and earn fans since they generally will pose for promotional material. The job can often help lead the females into modeling work for mainstream national men’s magazines.