Begoña Cortés (AKA Bego) from Alcorcón (Madrid), Spain is recognized today as one of the earliest female skateboarders who held her own at iconic skatespots like Sants Station and MACBA in Barcelona during the 1990s and 2000s. In an interview with Redbull.com, Begoña shared that she was curious about skateboarding at a young age and took it up in her early teens. In a loose translation from Uno (No. 43, 2009) Bego said that she would follow her brother Esteban on her bike as he skated the streets, and in 1994 she acquired a California Pro board from a friend. There’s rumour that an old video by Esteban exists, featuring Bego’s early days in Alcorcón.
[Does anyone have these sequences in print? Clipped from video!]
In 1998, Begoña was working in distribution for Chocolate skateboards and was part of the team at Stance Skateshop out of Madrid where she worked until 2002 before moving to Barcelona. Begoña contributed to the Spanish skateboarding magazine, Dogway as an editor for over six years until 2009, and I’m certain that her infiltration contributed to the appearance of female skaters in their pages!
In 2003, Dogway (No. 31) published a photo of Begoña by Patxi Pardiñas, with a backside 5-0. And in 2008, Dogway’s video called “Titanes de Domingo” there’s some footage of Begoña included in the mix:
When I skated in Europe in 2000, I remember hearing about Begoña and then seeing a sequence of her grinding a ledge at Sants in a magazine, which I am determined to find. There’s a YouTube video interview from 2006, when Begoña is 26 years-old, which scans these photos and includes some skate footage (unfortunately has a fair bit of jack-hammering in the background!).
Begoña was the first girl that European Champion, Ianire Elorriaga ever witnessed skateboarding in Spain, which resulted in a deep friendship and adventures. Begoña and Ianire started traveling together to contests, with fun memories of getting lost in Croatia, sharing a room in Prague with forty odd people, getting busted by the cops in Switzerland for crashing in a hotel without paying! The two skaters were heavily featured on Asiplanchaba website, going on tour back in 2009 throughout Spain with Andrea Benitez and the sisters Julia and Andrea Wilshusen, which became a highly anticipated event each year that expanded to new places.
Verónica Trillo of Asiplanchaba released this video in 2009 of Bego skating at Sants:
In 2009, Uno magazine (No. 43) featured interviews about Spanish female skaters like Bego, as well as Andrea Benitez and the Wilshusen sisters, most likely during their Asiplanchaba skate tour, with text by Juan La Torre and photos by Alex Braza. That year, Begoña followed it up with a sequence of a backside pivot to tailslide in Kingpin magazine [anyone have a copy?], which also featured Belgian skater Evelien Bouillart, before flying over to New York with her sponsor Rockstar bearings with Dutch legend Louisa Menke.
In 2010, Begoña was sponsored as the only female member of the DC shoes “Lace ‘Em Up” tour to Malaga, Madrid, and Vitoria, which appeared in Dogway magazine (No. 80). There’s a tiny clip of Bego here on YouTube from the tour.
The Asiplanchaba II tour in 2010 was documented in Dogway magazine (No. 85) with the original crew, and Bego had a clip within Dogway’s video that year called “Chaos: Stayling Alive” (2010). As sponsors began to take notice, Roxy really stepped up and in 2011 hosted a week-long skatecamp in Bilbao with Bego, Ianire, Menke, Sarah Meurle and Lois Pendelbury, and somewhere there’s video footage in collaboration with Dogway. That year, Javier Menéndez filmed and interviewed Begoña for the Go! Skateboarding website:
Begoña and Ianire were in high demand in 2011, attending a creative women’s festival in Mallorca that celebrated graffiti, capoeira and skateboarding! Support for female skaters in Spain began to skyrocket due to the efforts of Asiplanchaba and the female-focused magazine Dolores, with pioneers Begoña and Ianire popping up in their video clips such as the feature: “We Hate Mondays.” Dogway magazine also continued to include Bego, such as this video by Griptape Store in 2017.
Over the years, Begoña worked in a variety of skateshops with a special role as Communications Manager for DC shoes Embassy, as her sponsors included DC shoes, Nomad Skateboards, Rockstar bearings, Stance Skateshop, Element, Ragwear, Circa, Roxy and Enjoi. She is still ripping into her forties (which I know is not easy!) and now goes by Begoña Cortés Rodriguez.
Bego is often featured on the webpage / Instagram account by Alex Braza called “Macba Life,” which celebrates all the skateboard action that has occurred over the decades outside of this iconic Museum. There are several videos including “Girls of Macba” (also filmed by Javier Menéndez) in which Begoña appears:
Photos: Alex Braza, Patxi Pardiñas, Roberto Alegria
- Fontrodona, Marc. “Chicas Engoriladas: Begoña Cortés.” Redbull.com. May 5, 2017.
- La Torre, Juan. “Rompiendo Esquemas: Chicas con talent en territorio Nacional.” Uno magazine (no. 43), 2009.