Dodie Hackemack (Johnson)

In an early issue of the National Skateboard Review (April 1976), a small blurry photo of Dodie Hackemack appears racing slalom at the 2nd annual Skateboard Championship hosted by the Recreation Department of Ventura, California. The course was created using traffic cones for approximately 80 yards. Hackemack placed first for Junior Women ahead of Kim Cespedes and Desiree Crisp.

Dodie was an avid racer and joined the G&S (Gordon & Smith) skateboard team. In May 1976, Dodie placed third in the Pro Women Slalom behind Laura Thornhill and Susan DeLora at the Northern California Pro-Am championships held in San Francisco. Her name also appears several times in the May 1976 issue of National Skateboard Review for her participation against the guys in the weekly Sunday slalom runs.

The following month, in June 1976 Dodie is back for another round of competitions, this time hosted by the YMCA at the legendary La Costa skateboarding mecca in North San Diego County. She takes the win for Pro Women in Giant Slalom, ahead of Thornhill and DeLora, as well as a third-place finish in Slalom, behind Crisp and Thornhill.

A skateboarder named Pete Tholl was interviewed in the June/July 1976 issue of National Skateboard Review and explained that it was Dodie who convinced him to take up skateboarding. “I met Dodie (Hackenmack) skating around little beer cans and I tried it. She said I’d do well and I should go out and race at LaCosta.” Tholl ended up becoming a regular at the contests racing against the likes of Lance Smith and Henry Hester.

In Cindy Berryman’s critical essay, “Let’s Hear it for the Ladies,” for Skateboarder magazine’s August 1976 issue, there’s a photo by Lance Smith of Dodie where the caption reads, “Breathless, deep-end plunge by Dodie Hackemack.”

Dodie took a 3rd place finish at the August 1st 1976 Giant Slalom race at La Costa, behind Robin Logan and Kim Cespedes. And, she is mentioned in the results at the 2nd Annual Hang Ten Contest in Carlsbad in September 1976 where she placed 7th in Slalom. Dodie is also listed as one of the background skateboarders in the film Freewheelin’ (1976).

From there the trail goes cold in terms of magazine coverage and contest results… maybe Dodie moved on to other pursuits? Anyone have a connection or story to share regarding Dodie?

May 29, 2022 Update: Di Dootson wrote me that, “In the 70’s [Dodie] was at La Costa and was going to take a run on the slalom course. She asked me to hold her ring. I still have it. I would love to contact her and let her know I have been holding it for her all these years.” **If anyone knows how to get in touch with Dodie please reach out!**

May 30, 2022 Update: Good news and sad news. Through the wonders of the internet I was able to determine that Dodie had moved to Hawaii and married, becoming Dodie Johnson. She had a son named Trevor and pursued her passion of surfing, competing in world class events. Sadly, on May 7th, 2011 she passed away from pulmonary fibrosis in the lungs and is deeply mourned by her family. I was able to get in touch with her son via Facebook, and we’ll find a way to forward Dodie’s ring as a memento.

Dodie competed in surfing with the best of her time including Margo Oberg, Lynne Boyer, Jericho Poppler, Frieda Zamba, and Nancy Emerson. In 1977, Dodie placed 5th at the Primo Women’s Masters surf contest at Haleiwa, Hawaii and 6th at the Sunset Beach, Hawaii Smirnoff Pro. And, in 1978 she competed in the Hang Ten surf contest in California (missing the finals), and went to Bells Beach, Australia for the Velcro Women’s Easter Classic, placing 6th! It looks like she was competing at this top tier level into the early 1980s.

Rest in Peace Dodie!

Dodie’s Memorial Facebook page can be found here.

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