Cindy Gorset

Cindy Gorset was a punk skater mom from Seattle, known for her smooth style, big pop, nailing inward heelflips, and maintaining a mohawk. Cindy skated the streets and parks of Seattle and Portland. She especially enjoyed skating Burnside and was considered a local. Mike Estes took the photo of Gorset (with orange border below), during the Burnside 14th anniversary skate jam in 2014.

In the June 1996 edition of Thrasher a two-page highlight called “Damsels,” featuring three women skaters was reason enough for a buzz, even though it was such a small gesture. Cindy was interviewed and included in this layout, along with Jaime Reyes and Alison Lee. Cindy shared that she was open to skating with anyone who doesn’t call her a betty or ask ignorant questions. In regard to being a mom she said, “It’s fun. I like to ride with my son. He stands on the front and I stand on the back and push. He likes to go fast downhill.”

Cindy gave thanks to Crescent, her first sponsor, Janett’s Skate Shop, her family and friends, “and everyone I’ve skated with who showed me tricks.” The short spread was a godsend considering how pathetic the coverage of women skateboarders was in mainstream skate media during the 90s (as usual), and was likely cut-out and taped to bedroom walls across North America. 

Cindy competed successfully at events like the 1998 All Girl Skate Jam in San Diego, placing 3rd behind Elissa Steamer and Jamie Reyes in Advanced Street. Within the January 1999 issue of Thrasher another feature on female skaters finally appeared called “Chicks With Sticks” by Wez Lundry. Lundry reported on the 2nd annual All Girl Skate Jam in September of 1998. I’m not sure why they couldn’t have a woman report on the event, as it might have been a tad more insightful, but Lundry at least gave props to Cindy for placing third. Apparently, Cindy was stoked on her $250 prize and while she’s quoted as saying, “Now I can get that new tattoo I’ve been wanting!” I can’t be sure if that was just made up by Lundry.

Cindy also competed at Slam City Jam in Vancouver, placing 3rd in 1998 (the first year a female category was created), and 4th in 1999. In 2001, Cindy won “The Sound and the Fury” contest held in Seattle, although the report by Joe Hammeke in Thrasher failed to mention it.

In a scathing analysis of Thrasher, written by Olivia Bonner, she noted that out of 475 issues from 1981 to 2019 only three issues featured women on the cover, only one skate photographer wasn’t a dude, and to say that the articles and interviews featuring women was “sparse” was an understatement. And yet, we still celebrated when coverage in mainstream magazines happened, and forged on with ‘zines and websites of our own.

Photos: Mike Estes, Wez Lundry, Luciana Ellington


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