Liz Bevington (RIP) was renowned and beloved as an eccentric Venice Beach local nicknamed “Skateboard Mama,” with a passion for skateboarding and kite skating. Liz was born in Germany and began skateboarding the boardwalk at age 52 in 1976. According to an article called “Widow rides the Boardwalk” (Associated Press) from August 1995, she loved being part of the Venice carnival.
Liz would often be seen rocking pink high tops, wearing a tasseled “Skateboard Mama” beach t-shirt while riding her custom skateboard with a windsurfer sail for extra speed.
Liz received significant limelight as a unique, vibrant, and unforgettable individual. She noted that, “I did a Coors Lite commercial in 1984, then Pepsi in 1990 and the California Lottery in 1993. I also advertise for B.U.M. Equipment.” Liz was even interviewed by Huell Howser on CBS-2 in 1982 for L.A.’s “People Watcher.”
There’s some glorious footage of Liz here in the 70s/80s really grooving from the Kinolibrary Archive as well as performing slalom for the people!
Her youngest son was 8-years old when he started skateboarding and Liz took up the sport with him instead of sitting around watching. “I used to take him to the skateboard parks, we had skateboard parks then, and I got into it.” When asked what her sons thought of her behavior Liz said, “They are used to it now. They know that that’s what I do.” So awesome!! She did have a few bails but wasn’t phased and would just “get up and go again!” Liz didn’t see the point in babying her aches and pains – everybody has them. “Just go out and do something… I’m getting high on it.”
It also sounded like skateboarding was a really positive social outlet for Liz after her husband died in 1987, as she would often delight the tourists on the boardwalk, posing for photos. “People come from all over the world, and they take pictures like crazy. They can’t believe it, that somebody would do this at my age. I have a ball out here.”
An interview of Liz on Vimeo called “The 90s, episode 402: Getting Older” is especially inspiring.
In 1989, at age 65, Liz featured in a photo by Mindy Schauer for the Los Angeles Times (May 31, 1989) in a story about the city’s attempt to impose a roller-skating and skateboarding ban in Venice, which would have been ignored anyways. A month later (June 22, 1989), Douglas R. Burrows snapped a few photos of Liz for the LA Times, on her skateboard / windsurf set-up, ripping around a parking-lot near the Santa Monica pier!
Here’s some footage of Liz at age 84! What a legend:
And, a small photo of Liz appeared in the September 1984 issue of Thrasher magazine as a spectator during the NSA #4 Summer Series of Skateboarding that July.
She was known to be a regular at Big Dean’s Ocean Front Café often enjoying a beer in the sunshine and an inspiration of positivity for many! Liz lived to be 96 years old. Rest in Peace.
Photos: Douglas Burrows, Fabian Lewkowicz, Michael Caulfield, Mindy Schauer