In the early 1990s, when asked about other female skaters in the scene, Rhonda Doyle was given props by Cara-beth Burnside in her October 1991 interview for Thrasher. Burnside stated that, “My friend Ronda Doyle skates vert and pools really well. She’s an aggro grinder girl” (47).
Photos: Ethan Fox
Rhonda was part of the Women’s Skateboard Network launched in the late 1980s by Lynn Kramer, which was a collective of skateboarders who rallied for women’s inclusion in skateboard contests and offered each other support. The key part of this movement was the DIY ‘zine Equal Time, and Rhonda had a photo in Volume 1 #2 skating the Venture Brand X bowl, as well as props in Volume 2 #1 as the lone female skater in a contest called “Shup Up and Skate” at the Houston Skatepark, November 1988. “She travelled by herself from San Jose, California to compete in the sponsored amateur division. This took a lot of courage, and she was welcomed and respected by the other competitors.”
In Sue Hazel’s November 1989 interview for a UK magazine called Skateboard! she shared that Rhonda and Julie Sack were on Brand-X (x-x-x-x) skateboard team, which Hazel also rode for.
Photo: Brian Bailey
While not much else was written about Rhonda in skateboarding magazines, the Los Angeles Times interviewed her in an article called “Board with the rules of style” in April 1990. The focus of the article was on skateboarding fashion and reported, “Rhonda Doyle, 22, a college student from San Jose, wears the closest thing to the typical skater look: Guatemalan shorts, knee pads and a T-shirt bearing the logo of her favorite skateboard manufacturer. ‘You pick clothes that are comfortable, that you don’t mind if they get shredded,’ she says. ‘Everybody goes down.’”
Photos: Ethan Fox
Rhonda was connected to a small, yet dynamic group of female skaters, as seen in a group photo by Ethan Fox at Powell Skate Zone park in Santa Barbara, showcased in Thrasher October 1992.
Ethan Fox filmed and directed the ground-breaking Sk8Hers (1992) documentary with Burnside playing a key role as Producer. Rhonda and JoAnn Gillespie were named associate producers and footage of Rhonda skating ramp and at the Nude bowl was included in a feature part.
Rhonda appeared to be pro-active with submitting photos to Thrasher. She was included in the “Photograffiti” section skating ramp in their March 1993 issue, and as a hardcore snowboarder, she’s acknowledged again within the “Photograffiti” section catching air in issues May 1994 and August 1994. Eventually, there’s a full photo sequence of her snowboarding in July 1995 doing a 50-50 on a rail.
Rhonda was a successful snowboarder competing in half pipe and snowboard-cross throughout the 1990s until the early 2000s, even traveling to Chile. She also appeared in the 1994 snowboarding video Blindside, along with Tracey Fong and Kate Hertel, as well as mystery female snowboarders named “Sabrina,” “Elke,” “Caroline,” and “Lea.”
By 2010, Rhonda was supervising the Snowboard School at Telluride Ski Resort in Colorado and was a commercial pilot. If anyone knows how to get in touch with Rhonda or more about her story, please reach out!
- Fo, M. “Cara-Beth Burnside.” Thrasher. October 1991.
- Scardapane, Dario. “Board with the rules of style.” Los Angeles Times. April 6, 1990.