Violet Alvarez Kimble was born in Oceanside, CA in 1988 and grew up in Vista near San Diego. She enjoyed surfing at an early age and began skateboarding in the late 1990s. She was active in skate contests since her teens and became sponsored by Gallaz, Hurley, Billabong, and Spy. By 2004, Violet was enrolled in an alternative high school that allowed her to travel and compete.
Some fun promo in 2003, featuring brands like Gallaz and Billabong, went down in the magazine Elle Girl (August 2003) for a fashion spread called “Skate or Die” with photos taken by the legendary Tobin Yelland! The byline said, “For some girls, boarding is just a poseur fashion statement. For Lyn-Z, Violet, Alex, Lauren and Jessie, it’s a way of life – and road rash is a must have accessory.” Haha! Fantastic. Violet was 15 at the time, joined by Lauren Perkins, Lyn-Z Adams Hawkins, Alex White and Jessie Van Roechoudt.
In 2004 / 2005, Violet had the opportunity with Gallaz to travel the world to compete in Street such as the World Championships in Dortmund, Germany, Gallaz Skate Jam in Melbourne, Australia, Slam City Jam in Vancouver, Canada, as well as more local contests like the Gallaz Skate Jam #7 in Torrance where she placed 5th. For the World Cup Rankings she was 14th overall in 2004 and 11th overall in 2005, although she did sustain some injuries including stitches after a boardslide gone wrong at the 2004 Gallaz Skate Jam #6.
The photo below was taken by Damian Shaw in Melbourne at the Flinders Street Station, showcased in Check it Out Girls skateboarding magazine in both issue #17 and #18 in 2004:
In issue #17 of Check it Out: skateboarding 4 girls (2004) Violet wrote an entertaining article about her experience during “The Gallaz Team European Tour,” which included the Dortmund contest. She wrote, “Well, we all knew that the trip was going to be fun when Vanessa [Torres] missed her flight to Germany right off the bat. But then after we arrived there I found out that she would be my roommate. Need I say more?… Maybe it was all of us being half way across the world at one time, but Europe had no idea what just hit it! The course was really good. It was all wood and was set up so you could pull a good run together. Vanessa smashed her run! Not even skating some of the rails she just rolled up and smithed them. Monica Shaw had possibly the cleanest run of the entire contest including the guys’ competition!”
Violet loved skating Berlin, even though she smashed herself skating a double set, which was captured by Jaya Bonderov and included in the spread. “I loved Spain and the people were so beautiful and welcoming to us. We skated a rad skatepark right outside of the city which was on the beach.” In France, more comedy and fun followed with surfing and attempts at stealing each other’s tops to be part of the “topless bathing” scene. Another contest, this time in an indoor skatepark went down (including another win for Torres). Violet concluded: “That trip would honestly have to be the best trip I have ever been on. All those girls are all rad and there was no drama. So thanks, Gallaz, for putting that tour together! It was awesome.”
Violet was pushing the boundaries of women in skateboarding at the time. She became connected with influential skaters like Alex White and Lisa Whitaker who produced Villa Villa Cola’s crucial video “Getting Nowhere Faster” (2004) funded by Element. Violet’s part in the jam section demonstrates her ability to take on some serious gaps, ledges, and rails.
In 2005, Violet was included in a DVD produced by Gallaz called “You Remind Me of Me” and there’s fun footage of her enjoying a mini-ramp session c/o Whitaker and the “Girls Skate Network” that same year with Vanessa Torres, Amy Caron, and Alison Matasi.
Alex White, a pro skater also featured in “Getting Nowhere Faster,” created a short documentary for her thesis at Loyola Marymount University called “Can You Kickflip?” (2005). The documentary included interviews with leading skaters and filmers of the early 2000s and footage care of White and Lisa Whitaker.
This documentary contained the only interview I could find with Violet. She shared that, “There are the advantages and disadvantages of being a girl skater. Like some of the disadvantages are when you roll up to a skatepark. All the guys automatically go woah – just stare straight at me. And so, it’s a little bit intimidating especially like when the guys just kill it because there’s that much more pressure on me to step it up. And, ‘I skate, you know, and I’m a girl, so what up?’”
Violet was an advocate for women and girls in skateboarding. She said, “I want girls to believe in themselves more, to you know, trust themselves and just not care what everyone thinks, just go out there and have fun because that’s what they want to do, you know?… Go out there and do it.”
The founder of Poseiden Foundation, Micaela Ramirez described Violet as a huge inspiration and motivator, like a younger sister, in her conversation with Ken Hada for Podcastaddict.com (December 9, 2018). Back in 2007, Ramirez had invited Violet, along with Vanessa Torres, Alison Matasi, Sophie Poppe, and Ana Paula Negrao, on a South American tour. They visited Chile, Argentina and Brazil, offering demos and workshops! A video tour trailer by Chris Bredesen featured their activities:
A local Argentinian skater named Daniela (Deeny) Suarez and her friend Daniela Quintabani, who organized the first website and crew of girl skaters in Argentina called “Girls Assault,” were part of the action and partnered on an event with Poseiden. In an interview with Rubicongirl.com, Deeny said that having recognizable, big name skaters helped the group get established and form a women’s championship with 30 girls entering in Argentina.
More recently, Violet has found some new notoriety in the media. She moved to New Zealand, and after attending the Royal NZ Police College she became a Constable in July 2019, following in her dad’s footsteps, who was a police officer in California. The local media got wind of her skateboarding background and featured her in their promo, as well as an April Fools Joke in 2021 of police patrolling on their skateboards. The best part was that some viewers assumed she was hired as a skateboarder specifically for the prank.
I wonder if her fellow Police officers know that back in 2005, in White’s documentary, she slyly stated that, “I skate to keep myself out of trouble”? All the best, Violet!
Photos: Tobin Yelland, Damian Shaw, Jaya Bonderov
- Kimble, Violet. “The Gallaz Team European Tour.” Check it Out Girls magazine. Issue 17, 2004: pp. 31-33.