In May 1965, the first International Skateboard Championships was hosted at La Palma Stadium in Anaheim, CA. The event was televised by ABC’s Wide World of Sports and an article was published in the August 1965 of Skateboarder Magazine. Skateboarding was a booming youth activity, although the equipment was quite primitive and notorious with its clay wheels. Even though the popularity of skateboarding was short-lived due to injury, young people regardless of gender found freedom and camaraderie especially on days when they could not surf or simply couldn’t afford to surf.
At the Anaheim event, the female skaters had their own category, competing in Tricks, Figure Eight, and Flatland Slalom. The battle for overall winner was between Laurie Turner (Team Hobie) and Colleen Boyd (Pacific Palisades), who have since found themselves honoured in the Skateboarding Hall of Fame (click their links to read full bios), but there were several other skaters in the mix who were also documented including Valerie Perez, Wendy Bearer, Colleen Jones, Donna Cash, and Laurie Allen.
Donna Cash (Harris) was part of the crew called “La Femme,” the first ever all-girl skateboard crew out of the Pacific Palisades, which was established by Boyd and Suzie Rowland, with Suzie’s mom designing and sewing 10-inch back patches to make it official. Donna at age 14 competed well taking 7th in Tricks performing moves like the “Dewey” and an acrobatic “Frog,” as well as nose-wheelies in her routine, and 10th in Slalom with an overall position of 11th place. Donna and Suzie would also be recruited for the official Pacific Palisades team along with the boys.
Footage of Donna’s tricks routine is shared here:
Laurie Allen appeared in the results for all three events, taking 4th in Tricks, with her 360 spin being acknowledged for its “beautiful form,” 10th in Figure Eight, and 8th in Slalom which landed her in a tie for 7th overall with Colleen Jones. Laurie would garner a sponsorship with Hobie as part of their “Northern California” team.
Jones had captured 8th in Tricks, 7th in Figure Eight, and another 7th in Slalom. Apparently, her kick-turns through the course helped her avoid a one-second penalty that came with extra pushs.
Everyone appeared to be having a great time competing and supporting each other, and its wonderful to know that while skateboarding has not always been inclusive and accepting of women’s participation, in particular during the 1980s and 1990s, at least the origins of skateboarding was equitable with winner Laurie Turner receiving a $500 scholarship just like the boy’s overall winner.
- Skateboarder editor. “International Skateboard Championships.” Skateboarder magazine (Volume 1, Issue 3). August 1965.