When Meghan “Migzy” McGuire was a young skateboarder in her hometown of Ashland, Oregon 20 years ago, the likelihood of her finding fellow female skaters was rare.
Spotting one was something of a mystical experience, she explained, with sightings circulated by word of mouth and spoken of with reverence. It led McGuire and her growing circle of asphalt-shredding friends to create an honorific for female skaters, referring to them as Bigfoots—women with exceptional skills that, despite the dominant cultural perspective at the time, took the sport as seriously as their male peers and generally without the recognition they deserved.
“There were so few girls skating back then that you would hear about each other through the grapevine in a mythical type of way, like the legend of Vanessa Torres in Modesto,” McGuire said. “Everyone has a Bigfoot story of hearing about Vanessa and how many stairs she could skate.”