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The Women of Skateboarding: Patti McGee

Patti McGee Life Magazine1965

This is the beginning of our mini-series on some of the most prominent women that skated their way into our hearts. Today, we take a peek at the first professional female skateboarder and co-founder of Silly Girl Skateboards, the fabulous Patti McGee. 

 

Do you remember when skateboarding was coined the "newest form of surfing?" You're not alone if you said no. Most people don't remember for the simple fact that it was decades before they were born.  However, it was at this time that Patti earned the 1964 World Record title of "Fastest Girl on a Skateboard" during Dick Clark's World Teen Fair. The following year, she won the 1965 Women's National Skateboard Championship held in Santa Monica, California. Simultaneously, she won her place in the books of history as the first female skateboarder to earn professional status.
Leading up to her fame, Ms. McGee was an avid surfer, and diver. Her first skateboard was a combination of her brother's woodworking project and clay wheels directly from her skate rink shoes. She describes herself as being delighted by his creativity.
Over the course of nearly a year, Patti was very busy. She began traveling to demonstrate skateboarding prowess and spread the word about her sponsor, HOBIE Skateboards, which were manufactured by Vita-Pak. She graced the May 14, 1965 cover of Life Magazine, demonstrating a handstand. Next, Skateboarder Magazine featured Patti on their cover in October of the same year.
After a long hiatus, 2010 saw Patti was the first woman inducted into the International Association of Skateboard Companies (IASC) Skateboarding Hall of Fame.
Although it's been nearly 55 years since her reign, Patti continues to give us up-to-date interviews that show the person and personality that she truly is. And it's refreshing.

Recently, the YouTube channel SKATE TV 253 interviewed Patti. The following clip is that interview. If you like the video, please give it a thumbs up. If you've got something to say, please comment. If you'd like to keep up-to-date on upcoming videos, click their subscribe button.

Notable Appearances:
1. Dick Clark's World Teen Fair (1964)
2. What's My Line? (1965)
3. The Johnny Carson Show (1965)
4. LIFE Magazine (1965)
5. Skateboarder Magazine (1965)
6. International Association of Skateboard Companies (IASC) Skateboarding Hall of Fame (2010)

Other references:
1. "LIFE Goes Skateboarding, 1965," LIFE Magazine, Author Bill Eppridge
2. "First Female Inducted into the Skateboarding Hall of Fame," BettyLife.com, Jana K. Hoffman
3. "Six Added to Skateboarding Hall of Fame'" ESPN Action Sports

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