Stephanie Fernández is a skateboarder from Mexico that I thought I would never find! It all began with Vicki Vickers, who was interviewed for Skateboarder magazine (December 1979) in a 6-page feature. At one point, Jim Goodrich had asked her, “Are most of the female skaters where you’ve been to in the U.S. seriously into skating?” And Vicki replied, “Some of them are. There’s a little girl in Mexico, her name’s Stephanie, I don’t know her last name… and she’s excellent. She’s really good, and she’s really into it.” Vicki had been on tour in Mexico with her sponsor Pepsi, and made an impression because she even graced the cover of Mexico’s first skateboard magazine called Roller for the very first issue, launched January 1979.
I thought for sure that there was no way of knowing this girl’s full name, let alone find photos of an elusive Mexican skateboarder from the late 1970s. And then, thanks to Instagram a fantastic follower (who remains anonymous) gave me a tip to take a dig into the name Stephanie Fernández and her sponsor equipo SERISA, and we had a match!
Stephanie was the Women’s Champion in Mexico and SERISA was the first Mexican skateboarding team back in the late 1970s. SERISA was based out of Mexico City and took their team of skaters on tours, performing demonstrations, and one news source showcases Stephanie competing in the U.S. at a contest. SERISA was also a motorcycle export company, selling accessories like boots, gloves, denim, and leather for motorbike riders.
While I’ve yet to find a feature interview on Stephanie, based on the photos shared, it’s safe to assume that she often skated the concrete park called Skatorama in a neighbourhood called Lomas Verdes just north of Mexico City, which had steep transitions, pool, and a snake run. It’s likely that Stephanie also skated with another girl named Beatriz Saens, who rode for team Pepsi.
(Below: Beatriz Saens and Vicki Vickers, both sponsored by Pepsi)
Stephanie is part of many team photos for SERISA, including a photo taken by the local press in 1978 when the crew arrived for a skateboard tour of Torreón Coahuila, twelve hours drive north of Mexico City. There’s evidence that Stephanie enjoyed competing and celebrating with her friends. One article called “Para Seguridad de los Patinadores” which features Stephanie skating a plexi-glass ramp implied that the seven men and one lady who were part of the SERISA team were “rescued from the streets” where they practised without security.
If anyone knows more detail about Stephanie or has an interview in their archive (maybe in Roller mag?), give me a shout!
Photos: Luis Reynoso Góngora, Vicente G. Alonso