Leigh Parkin (Blake) was a Del Mar Skate Ranch local who began skateboarding in the 1970s and competed strongly in the early 1980s. Renowned photographer, J. Grant Brittain remembers documenting Leigh in 1980 and wrote, “I was still learning to shoot and was giving away slides to skaters as Thank yous for letting me practice my photography on them. I scanned this off of a print she loaned me recently. Leigh was one of the Del Mar Skate Ranch rippers and was on our park team in ASPO. This is her getting very edgy in Del Mar’s half-pipe” (March 28, 2021).
Leigh appears to blow away the scene, showing up in pro contest results with a first place at the July 1979, Hester Series #3 at Del Mar Skate Ranch, ahead of Brenda Devine and Terry Lawrence. In a report by D. David Morin for the November 1979 issue of Skateboarder, he states that, “Local female pro Leigh Parkin showed her lines in good form and was able to skate away with 1st place.”
A few months later on February 3, 1980, Leigh entered the Big O Pro-Am Gold Cup contest at Big O park, Orange, CA. She placed third in women’s pool behind Patti Hoffman and Cara-beth Burnside. The event was reported on in the May 1980 issue of Skateboarder, although sadly no photos were included or any commentary about the tricks performed. In 1980, the official overall Gold Cup standards lists Leigh Parkin as placing 5th in Pro Women behind Patti Hoffman, Denise Danielson, Cindy Whitehead, and Gale Webb.
The final contest results I could find that included Leigh was in the May 20, 1981 issue of Skat’nNews highlighting the Variflex/Colton Pro/Am contest in April 1981 in Colton, CA. It was noted that, “there were only five girls entered. Both Pros and Amateurs skated together. Pattie Hoffman took the pro honors with two incredible runs. Not far behind was Carabeth Burnside, Denise Danielson placed in 3rd (second Pro) edged out Joanna Field. Leigh Parkin placed fifth. Pattie received $100.00 for first Pro, while Carabeth received first place trophy in the Amateur class” (p. 7).
Leigh appears to have been sponsored by Mad Rats and Tracker Trucks. And based on social media, Leigh continued to skate, attending an adults clinic in 2015 and going for a session with a crew of skate moms at a local park.
Hoping to make a connection on Instagram and finding out more… stay tuned.
- Morin, D. David. “Rodeo at the Ranch: Hester #3.” Skateboarder. November 1979, p. 27.