Lauren Mollica

Lauren Mollica of New Brunswick, New Jersey (born in 1980) initially was a snowboarder, although she started dabbling in skateboarding in the late 1980s with her brothers. Lauren received her first board when she was 8 years-old, which was a Sims Kevin Staab that she bought specifically because it featured pirates, combined with purple grip, green wheels, rails, etc. At that point, it was just skating in her driveway and on the street by her house.

When she bought her board, the skateshop owners shared how there was a roller rink in town called Kendall Park that would have a skateboarding night on Wednesdays. Lauren said, “they would set-up ramps, and it was kind of like a skate jam… there would be punk bands playing. It was sick!” (Ramirez). Footage from March 1989 was shared on the ABF Skateshop Youtube page featuring a demo with the likes of Mike Vallely, and the place was packed with skate rats! With punk music blaring, Lauren would scoot around the perimeter, just mesmerized by the scene, and everyone was cool, giving her space and letting her take a turn on the kicker.

Lauren shared a lot of her early skateboarding memories in the podcast “Beer, Fly Fishing & Food” (episode 12, May 2020), which sounds unusual but Lauren also happens to be an avid fisher, especially fly-fishing which her girlfriend Julia from Colorado introduced her to. Lauren shared how she progressed from skating her driveway and the roller rink to the local Rutgers University campus, making friends along the way. When she got older and more independent, Lauren was able to jump the train and head into NYC about 45 minutes away.

Lauren began to receive recognition after she entered a New Jersey contest in the category for kids 14 and under and won, up against the guys as the only girl. The local skateshop immediately put her on the team. Lauren explained in the podcast that once she had a shop sponsor things quickly evolved because they had connections to the reps and word got out.

The best story was how Lauren got sponsored for Rookie, a board company owned and operated by Catherine Lyons and Elska von Hatzfeldt (Sandor), as commemorated in an article for Jenkem magazine by Jessie Van Roechoudt in 2021. Union Square was a hot spot for the Zoo York team, a renowned East Coast crew. They were the ones asking around to get some girl skaters connected with Rookie. One day (possibly in 1995), Lauren emerged from the subway station, rolled up to Union Square and noticed the legendary Harold Hunter trying to kickflip over a launch ramp and garbage can. Lauren decided that she could stomp the trick and did it first try, and consequently shut down the park! “Slam dunking in someone’s face… it was one of the greatest days of my life” (Ramirez).

Lauren acknowledged that it was a cocky move, but it was Harold that alerted the Rookie owners of her presence, and how she shut him down, and that they had to find this chick from Jersey! Lauren stated that it was the “right place, right time” kind of situation, and remembered how Harold was always very supportive of her.

Lauren and Kyla Duffy were the first riders to be sponsored by Rookie, followed by Lisa Whitaker, Jaime Reyes, and Van Roechoudt, as well as various dudes. Many of their ads were featured in Slap magazine in the early 2000s, and subsequently cut-out and plastered onto the walls of isolated female skaters around the globe. Lauren remembered the Rookie owners as being super rad, and her first real company sponsor. She would crash on their couch for the whole summer once she got home from boarding school.

In 1997, Lauren competed in the first All Girl Skate Jam in San Diego, launched by Patty Segovia, as well as subsequent years, with her best result being 2nd place behind Amy Caron at the 1999 AGSJ pro street in Hawaii. When Lauren graduated highschool in 1999 and moved to New York, skateboarding became her main priority.

On Lauren’s Instagram account she shared some early VHS footage from back in 2000, kickflipping to bs 50-50 at Love park in Philadelphia, and kickflipping ledge gaps. And, in her interview with Lisa Whitaker for Girls Skate Network website (August 2004) Lauren shared that her experience was mostly positive as a female skater. Skateboarding allowed her to travel throughout North America, Europe and more broadly to places like Malaysia and Australia. Her preference was street skating around Brooklyn like Tompkins Square, whether alone or with good friends like Jaime Reyes.

In 1998, Lauren joined Reyes and Elissa Steamer as the lone female skaters at the Tampa Am contest against some 300 dudes in the mid-1990s as seen in the 411VM Issue 27. In her interview for Big Brother, Reyes gave props to Lauren (AKA “Baby Junior”) saying, “She’s definitely holding it down. You know she’ll flip me a damn garbage can, makes me want to beat her sometimes, but it’s okay” (Nieratko). Lauren was recognized for skating switch and nollie, having massive pop and flip tricks, and her favourite trick was tail slides.

Footage of Lauren skating at Brooklyn Banks around 2004-2005 by Steve Marino was shared on Transworld Skateboarding a few years back:

To Whitaker, Lauren shared that contests were not her thing. “Well, it’s fun to go to and skate the course, ‘cause they usually make some weird shit, but man, I’m like the most nervous person in the world, my legs don’t work when I have to skate a contest, and I don’t like skating with lots of people.” Her favourite course was in Dortmund, Germany but Melbourne, Australia was the most fun, and where she made lots of friends.

In 2001 and 2002, Lauren’s shoe sponsor Gallaz featured her in their ads within Slap (May 2001) and Check it Out (#13 2002). She also appeared in the production, AKA: Girl Skater (2002) which was a skateboarding tour of Australia including Amy Caron, Vanessa Torres, Jaime Reyes and Monica Shaw, featured in Big Brother magazine (June 2002), accompanied by the notorious Dave Carnie in a dress. AKA: Girl Skater also created a website in anticipation of the release of the film, which included a slams section and a trick-tip section hosted by Lauren:

Whitaker was motivated to make sure that footage of female skateboarders was celebrated through her websites TheSideProject and Girls Skate Network. She was crucial in making the Villa Villa Cola / 411VM production called Getting Nowhere Faster (2004) a success. Lauren had a full part in the film, trading off with Monica Shaw:

Lauren was listed in the World Cup Rankings for Street in 2000 to 2005 and broke the top ten in 2003 placing 4th and in 2004 placing 9th. Lauren was fortunate to be part of a European tour in 2004, which was documented by Jaya Bonderov (RIP) for Check it Out magazine (#17 2004) including a nice noseslide and flip trick by Lauren:

In 2005, Lisa Whitaker filmed a crew of skaters (Esther Godoy, Hilary Pearce, Leo Baker, Lyn-Z Adams Hawkins, Monica Shaw, Patiane Freitas, Sally Clark, Sophie Poppe, Vanessa Torres, and Mollica) who were funded to go film an Australian skateboarding tour, including a stop at the Globe World Cup. Lauren is interviewed here with lots of skating footage for a Fuel TV show called GKA that covered girl’s action sports:

Rookie and Gallaz shoes were Lauren’s core sponsors, as well as Rockstar bearings (with a quick clip in the 2010 video America Eats its Young), and Enjoi also sent her some skateboards to represent. Lauren had some serious fans, especially after performing a ground-breaking role on the film Itty Bitty Titty Committee (2007, dir. Jamie Babbit) as a transgender character named Aggie. Someone on YouTube known as “freakish15” even created a photo montage of Lauren in 2011 declaring, “She’s mad hotttttt, yo.”

Lauren took up DJing in NYC and is now a carpenter creating high-end wood cabinetry and furniture, as well as receiving more recognition for her fly-fishing adventures, such as this article in the LA Times on July 11, 2019 called “Fly fishing for ‘sewer salmon’ in the L.A. River” by Jesse Pearson.

Photos: Giovanni Reda, Lisa Whitaker, Jaya Bonderov, Luciana Ellington, Angela Liu, Yuri, Jerry Hsu


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