Alison Lee

Alison Lee was a skateboarder based out of San Jose in the mid-1990s, who was included in the two-page article called “Damsels” in the June 1996 issue of Thrasher (along with Cindy Gorset and Jamie Reyes). In a short interview, Alison mentions that she is 15 years-old and had been skateboarding for a year. She started skateboarding due to boredom, and was enjoying ramps and blocks, exploring San Francisco and San Jose. She bemoaned the nasty cops who had doled out two tickets for simply skating the sidewalk (which she had to pay, even though she was a teen without a job).

Alison noted that the guys around her were treating her different. “They’re a little sexist. I think they don’t understand that I’m just skating for fun, not for anything else. You couldn’t classify me as a pro-ho.* Most guys don’t even think a girl could ollie a curb.”

Alison was adamant that “there should be way more girls who skate, not girls that look like they skate, that way, I could have someone to skate with.” Her inspiration was Jamie Reyes, and she was looking forward to having more time to skate and improving her skills. Based on her photo sequence, Alison had a nice pop-shuvit and the motivation to improve.

If San Jose skaters from the 1990s or anyone from the “Go Skate” skateshop community have any more information about Alison (where she bought her first board), that would be wonderful to get in touch.

Update: Feedback from Instagram post (November 7, 2022)

  • Jessie Van Roechoudt (Rookie skater) met Alison “skating at Union Square in SF way back in the era it had the green benches. Took Caltrain to San Jose and explored the East Bay with her, she was also my intro to Visalia skate camp.”
  • Jennifer Valenzuela (photographer) said, “Alison rules! Met her back when I was learning how to skate tranny at the legendary SJ Ramp Club. One of my favorite memories is when from when I was like 15 years old, doing a weekend road trip on the central coast, helping her move cuz she had a busted knee at the time. It was my first time going on a trip w/o being chaperoned by my parents or big sister. I don’t think my parents even met her; they were just sold on the fact that it was another girl skater who, like me, was also Asian. Alison’s still around, and she’s also a great photographer and badass fisher.” 
  • Jilleen Liao (Onto Founder) remembered seeing the Thrasher feature, and then meeting up when she was 14 and Alison was around 19. They knew each other in San Francisco, and one time Jilleen had piled into Alison’s massive gray car with two other girls who skated, ending up in South Bay/San Jose, thinking they were going skating. Alison was pretty intimidating as she was wearing her recently deceased dog’s collar that was spiked around her wrist, along with baggy pants, “wife beaters,” and heavy eyeliner. “Somehow we ended up in front of a head shop where an ex girlfriend of a current or former boyfriend was at. Clearly they had some shit to settle that could only be solved through a full on scrap in a head shop parking lot.” Jilleen described the chaos – fists flying, hair pulled, shirts torn and people being dragged. “She came back to the car bleeding but had the biggest Alison Lee smile on her face. And we sped off. Anyway that’s my memory of Alison – wherever she is hope she’s doing good and thanks for taking us out skating and just doing u.”

*If unfamiliar, “pro-ho” was a derogatory term in the 1990s for girls who hung around skateboarders, but didn’t skate.


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