Thursday, March 1, 2007

Skater for Life!

I’ve been skateboarding for over 34 years. When I started I was 13 now I am 47. My girlfriends laughed at me and I got the look I knew all to well from strangers I’d never met. If you are a skater you know the look. Skateboarding is an individual pastime. You challenge you. It takes balance and patience to try a trick over and over to only bruise you body and your confidence. Whether it is trying a hill from the mid point and working your way up or somewhere in between. There have been many times when I get to a slalom race and I see the hill for the first time and wonder if it is due able. I always start mid hill and work my way up. Sometimes it’s not the hill or the speed I worry about, it ‘s the stopping. What is the run out if any and is there enough room to stop? There are three ways to stop. One is foot breaking where you take one foot off your board at speed, place the bottom of your foot down on the pavement ever so precisely and burn the soles of your shoe down, hope you don’t get any wobbles and no sand. There is also the slide which puts flat spots on your oh so favorite wheels and if worse comes to worse the knee slide which always takes a good chunk of skin from shins and ruins your laces.

The same goes for riding a new pool or pipe. You work your way up. I never thought I’d still be skating and still loving it. Most the time I skate with friends that I’ve skated with for many decades. John Hutson and Mike “Smiley” Goldman my old Santa Cruz Skateboard and Independent Truck teammates still ride vert and slalom race with me. We laugh at our age and how fun it is to still be riding. Back in the 70’s Goldman would drive a few of the Santa Cruz team riders to Modesto and Sacramento to skate the only two parks in Nor Cal, which was usually a 2 1/2 – 3 hour drive each way.

I skate to skate. It wasn't about the money, it wasn't for any media attention, it was for the love of the sport. I rarely got any press back in the day. Even though I skated 4-5 days a week and competed up and down the coast. I even skated in the Skateboardmania tour with Duane Peters and 18 other skaters making some good money as a teenager. Skateboardmania was the first big multi-million dollar skateboard show back in the late 70's that put us on Rock and roll buses, hotels and Hollywood for 6 weeks. I recently got a bit of coverage in two skateboard books and a few magazines “ Built to Grind” and “Scarred for Life”. Living in Santa Cruz has not always been a hot spot for getting any press. Being a woman skater makes it even more rare. Now decades later it is rather unique but fun. I hope to inspire the next generation of girls, sisters, mom’s and girlfriends of skaters that want to skateboard. I’ve never been one to stand on the sidelines. I’ve influenced a few women to slalom race and hope to continue the trend. Do it because you want to. Do it because it’s fun.

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