France 1960s

Skateboarding in the 1960s is primarily associated with the scene in California, as surfers found a new outlet for fun when the surf was flat and the activity took off with children dismantling their roller-skates and securing them to boards. Over in France, within surfing communities on the Atlantic coast like Biarritz and Hossegor, “sidewalk surfing” also took off and was called “roll’ surf” or “le skate-bord.”

In Hossegor, the French Skateboarding championships were hosted from 1965 – 1967. Within a newsprint reporting on the first championships from August 1965, the names Jackie Arquie and Isolde Gérard are listed competing neck and neck in the “Ondines” category. The two women are considered the female pioneers of skateboarding in France, with Jackie taking the win.

The following year in 1966, Marie-Pierre Bianco, who was a surfer who learned to skateboard with her brother, became the official champion and she still has her trophy!

A French board company called “Roll’ Surf” was advertising boards within the 1965 journal Pilote, including the Roller (22”), the Banzai (23”) and the Kamikaze (31”), and I believe Marie-Pierre was sponsored or at least performing demos for the company.

The Institut national de l’audiovisuel in France has featured two reels of footage on skateboarding from 1966 and 1968, which includes several girls and young women enjoying themselves and competing.

1966 – Le Skateboard

1968 – Le Roll Surf

I’m hoping to glean some more photos of Marie-Pierre, Jackie, and Isolde and grateful for any more information.

Thank you for the heads up! @puntadeferro @museo_del_monopatin

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