As the only female member of the Makaha Skateboard Club, launched in 1963 by Larry Stevenson in West Los Angeles, Wendy Bearer Bull represented and became an early skateboarding role model.
She started skateboarding alongside her brother Danny in the Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles and after riding for Makaha, she moved on to be part of the original Hobie Skateboards and Surf team with Vita Pakt, as seen third from the right in this photo from May 1966:
In May 1965, at age 13, Wendy entered the International Skateboard Championships at La Palma Stadium in Anaheim, CA, which was recorded for ABC’s “Wide World of Sports.” In the Girls’ Tricks contest she placed third with 23 points behind Laurie Turner Demott (25.5 pts) and Colleen Boyd Turner (24 pts).
In a report written by Patty Burns (Wendy and Danny’s mom) for Tim Keller’s skateboarding timeline, she notes that Wendy was the first competitor to receive three “10s” in a contest. “Her outstanding trick was to jump from her moving board over a three-foot-high jump and land back on her board.”
Wendy is interviewed on ABC about her competition strategy and says, “I think it’s better just to have a few hard tricks and do them, and then have more of a simple routine, and just do it perfectly.” Her most difficult tricks at the time were a nose wheelie and a hand stand. Click on the link or photo for her interview:
Her competition run starts here:
Wendy was then invited to be part of ABC’s Shindig!, which was a musical variety TV show. Wendy can be seen skateboarding as Piccola Pupa sings the “The Skateboard Song” which aired on June 9th, 1965. There are some Getty archival photos online of Wendy chatting up producer Jack Good and DJ Jimmy O’Neill.
Wendy appeared in several news features for the Los Angeles Times, including a photo of her and Colleen Boyd in the August 29th 1965, competing at a citywide championships. And then, in the LA Times August 26th 1966 issue at the Studio City Recreation Center with Wendy practising slalom (photo John Malmin).
Both Wendy and Dan were also on the Hobie Surf Team, and the siblings took first place in their respective categories for the first L.A. City Surf Championship at Sunset Beach in 1968.
Wendy acknowledged on Tim Keller’s website that, “‘Skating is fun… but surfing is the ultimate thrill sport – you are moving on moving water and there is no other sensation like it. Heaven will be endless waves and warm water.”
Wendy became a schoolteacher and has an active lifestyle with bicycling, backpacking, climbing, skiing, softball, camping, fishing and touring the countryside on her Harley Davidson. She was inducted into the Skateboard Hall of Fame in 2013.
- Keller, Tim. “Skateboarding’s First Wave: a Palisades Story.” Tim Keller Arts. 2013.
- Skateboarding Hall of Fame. “Wendy Bearer Bull.” 2013.
- Starr Films. “Surfstyley4” on YouTube.