Amy and I met at Ashland skatepark in 2001. She was with Van Nguyen and Jaime Lopez that somehow dissolved into a “punching each other in the face” type scenario. It was the “Black Eye, Please” tour. Yesssss.
At one point, Amy, who is super chill, got worked up telling me about a girl from Modesto that was really doing some shit. I remember how stoked she was to have discovered this enigmatic shredder. It was as if she had spotted the rare Crested Caracara. Or a Sasquatch. See what I’m putting down here?
Hearing about “Loch Nessy” aka Vanessa Torres for the first time through the girl skater grapevine like that wasn’t an anomaly, it worked like that. The female skate world was so small that many of us caught wind of each other before we were introduced. And yes, there is generally a great deal of aggrandizing in skateboarding- which could possibly be the understatement of the decade – but this was different. Lots of us were just forging ahead solo, in different cities and towns, grappling with varying levels of tolerance for girls on skateboards. Meeting someone sharing that experience was validating, exciting and kinda mystic. Plus, you were always super hyped to have another chick to skate with, a nice change from the sausage party you were used to.
Now, almost 20 years post “Black Eye, Please,” women’s skateboarding is generating more interest, making some money and getting more acknowledgment by the industry and mainstream than ever before. Companies have created more sponsorships for girls and contests have increased prize money. And YO! We’re going to be in the goddamn Olympics y’all! The shit is off the chain!
Despite the awkward, in some cases traumatizing, rootin’ tootin’ wild west of girls skateboarding something very special got born’t. The culture that those White-Walking OG female skaters built, while forced to lurk beyond The Wall, became very special. But when people & companies on the perimeter have attempted to show the world the guts of girls skateboarding, they often haven’t been able to hit the mark. Sometimes things were reflected sorta cheesy. But hey, good on them for trying! Frankly, we had to take what we could get. But we think it’s time we need a platform of our own. Made by women skaters, for women skaters. FUBU & DIY. That is why Amy and I teamed up to create BIGFOOT. It’s time for us to have a voice in the conversation and make sure it reflects how tight our scene is.
Our name is also an homage to Big Brother Magazine. Back in the day, Big Brother was an original voice in skateboarding, one that we both really enjoyed. It separated itself with smart comedy, originality and the masterful writing & insights of another one of our OG homegirls Dave Carnie. Most importantly, it didn’t take this shit too seriously. The point is to have fun. And if the fun ends, well, then it’s off to the motorcycle dealership.