Kym Milburn

Kym Milburn from San Diego was primarily a freestyle skateboarder during the mid-1970s riding for Grand Surf, Team Bahne, and eventually Tracker trucks. She practiced her skills at the Bay Park Elementary asphalt playground, which was a “long-time gathering spot for local skaters” according to Brian Gillogly. She had a background in gymnastics, which was helpful since these moves could be translated to skateboarding and provided points in freestyle contests.

At age 15, Kym was featured in a “Who’s Hot!” article by Gillogly for the September 1978 issue of Skateboarder. He wrote, “Kym is among the few female skaters who are emerging from freestyle’s present transitional period with an impressive synthesis of old and new­.” For example, she would perform a gymnastic move made popular by Ellen Berryman, Kym’s teammate, called the “spider headstand,” and then incorporate some “quick walk-the-dogs or a stacked board kick-flip.” Kym explained, “I think girls are trying to get away from too much gymnastics. That part of freestyle is good, but you have to have everything else, too.”

In the article’s accompanying photos you can see Kym also working-in transition by skating ramp but the challenge for her was getting access to skateparks without a driver’s license. Kym hoped this would change once she turned 16. Kym reported having a strong respect for bank riders like Jana Payne but seemed concerned that freestyle was getting less coverage in magazines.

Kym was a serious competitor starting out in 1975 with a first place at the Pacific Beach Open. The following year, on July 11, 1976 she took another first place in the Girls Open Class at the 2nd Annual Oceanside Amateur Freestyle Contest. At the Ocean Beach Contest at Robb Field Recreational Center that same month, she came 2nd behind Berryman in both the freestyle and slalom. In August 1977 a 3rd place in amateur women for the 3rd Annual Oceanside Championships. Kym’s dream was to become a professional skater, although this would mean that the California Interscholastic Federation would no longer allow her to compete in any high school sports, which upset her.

Kym still had a positive attitude. “I’m determined. If I do a trick I want to give it my best. In any competition, I want to have it wired before I do it. In anything I do, for that matter. And if I can’t do it right, then I’ll practice until I can… it’s a challenge!”

Photos of Kym appeared in several magazines including the June 1977 issue of Skateboard World performing “uphill ballet.” Her sponsor Bahne featured her in an ad for the January 1978 issue of the National Skateboard Review. Kym also appeared in a Tracker trucks ad for the November 1978 issue of the National Skateboard Review.

Kym was also documented in the May 1979 issue of Skateboarder magazine by James Cassimus, during a freestyle competition at Lakewood skatepark from February 1979. She won the 16-19 women’s 3A division.

Photos: Tim Bee, James Cassimus, Brian Gillogly


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