Ladies Skateworld zine from 1986, created by Lauri Kuulei Wong was especially important because it celebrated women like Rhonda and Ericka Watson who were learning to skateboard. It was a powerful reminder that not everyone is destined for sponsorship and glory, but that women and girls at every level have a right to occupy space as a skateboarder, and that it’s inspiring to see someone else make progress.
Rhonda and Ericka Watson were skateboarding sisters and locals to the Del Mar Skate Ranch in the mid-1980s where Lauri Wong worked, and where Ericka got her first job, which she loved. Lauri and Rhonda both entered the C.A.S.L. skate contest on April 12, 1986 within the 17 and over category, skating the keyhole and up against the guys. While neither of them placed, they were still there holding their own and representing women!
When asked why they wanted to skate Rhonda bluntly replied, “So I can get hurt,” while Ericka was a tad more positive, and said, “To have fun,” which Lauri shared in issue #1 along with a few photos. Ericka also took photos of her friend – the legendary Lori Rigsbee for issue #2.
Grateful for any more photos to include in the archive of Ericka and Rhonda.
*February 25, 2023 Update: We offer our condolences to Ericka’s family as it was noted on Del Mar Skate Ranch Facebook page that Ericka passed on March 21, 2022. Rest in Peace.
Her mother Diane Dematteis shared that she had a heart connection to Del Mar, knowing how much Ericka loved working there until it closed. “She spoke often of her friendship with Tony Hawk, and he was a comfort to her when her little brother Jesse Moon died riding his skateboard in January of 1986, he was 9 years old… I am hoping perhaps someone on this FB page might remember Ericka.” Please reach out to Diane on Facebook if you have a memory to share.