Brenda Devine started out competing as an amateur in the spring of 1978, but soon became selected for the very first Powell skateboard team. She rode for Powell for a year-and-a-half, just in time for her first pro event. Brenda came third in Women’s Pipe behind Terry Lawrence and Leilani Kiyabu at the Lakewood Pro event and was described as “another rising female skater” by Di Dootson.
Her sponsors shifted and she became hooked up with Caster, Gyro and Tracker trucks by age seventeen.
Brenda was featured in a “Who’s Hot” article with Skateboarder magazine in their January 1980 issue, interviewed by Craig Fineman at the Endless Wave skatepark in Oxnard, CA. Brenda explains that a friend sold her a skateboard about six years prior, and “That was the best five bucks I have ever spent.”
Photos by: James Cassimus, SPOT, William Sharp.
Brenda shared her experience of going Pro, the meager contest winnings (for example, $150 at Endless Wave, $150 at Gyro Dowbowl, $125 at Lakewood) and how, as the only female at the Whittier contest the organizer gave her a token $100 for competing against the guys. Brenda understood the reality of the late 1970s and early 1980s and the fading appreciation for skateboarding in the mainstream. “We are coming up against the fact that very often there aren’t enough women entrants to warrant a women’s division.”
Fineman asked Brenda what would motivate girls to skate, and she joked about the plethora of good-looking guys, but admitted that she was barely surviving at making a living as a skateboarder. Stacy Peralta was her all-time skateboarding hero, Marina Del Ray was her favourite park, and she enjoyed doing layback inverts and was working on her foot plants.
Brenda was in the process of learning how to surf and admitted that if skateboarding died off, she would pursue being a pro surfer.
Instead, “Dee Dee” forged on with skateboarding and while many skateparks closed down by the end of the 1970s, she begins to re-appear in contests in the mid-1980s.
There’s footage of Brenda competing in July 1985 in Freestyle at Vancouver’s NSA “Border Wars” contest. Her routine is accompanied by “Love Cats” by The Cure. Unfortunately, because she was competing against the Amateur guys her placing is unknown, but her friend April Hoffman is noted as placing 5th.
Brenda’s passion for skateboarding continued throughout the decades, until she sadly passed away in a tragic boating accident in 2015. Memories and condolences were widely shared, as many pioneering skaters had just celebrated with her at the Skateboarding Hall of Fame annual event.
- 1978 April – 2nd place in Slalom for Junior Women (13-17) at the Hang-Ten Skateboard Olympics at Magic Mountain representing Aloha Skatetown skatepark.
- 1978 August – 2nd place in Women’s Open in Pool at the 1st Annual Endless Wave contest in Oxnard, CA.
- 1979 February – 3rd place in Women’s Pipe at the 1st Annual Lakewood Centre Pro.
- 1979 April – 2nd place in Women’s Bowl at the First Annual Gyro Dogbowl Pro contest at Marina Del Rey park.
- 1979 July – 2nd place in Pro Women’s at the Hester Bowl #3 contest at Del Mar skate ranch.
- 1979 Summer – 1st place in Women’s Bowl at the Winchester Open in San Jose, CA.
- 1979 September – 2nd place in Pro Women’s at Hester Bowl series finale at Upland Pipeline Skatepark.
- 1979 December – 1st place in Women’s Pro at the Van’s Pro-Am competition at Marina Del Rey.
- 1980 February – 4th place in Women’s Bowl at the Big O Pro-Am contest.