What defines a legend? More importantly, what defines a legend in skateboarding. This is an activity often seen as a boy’s club by parents, the media, advertising and beyond.
However, at GOSKATE we know the truth of the matter is that women have been an integral part of skateboarding since the very beginning.
There have been pro women skateboarders since the 1960s going against the stereotypes. Recent studies note increased participation of women in skating. In this article, we’re homaging the 15 Most Legendary Women Skateboarders of All Time.
These women are truly the pioneers. They pushed the boundaries of what’s possible for women in skateboarding as the shoulders on which the new generation stands.
These women are truly legends in the history of skateboarding. It’s GOSKATE’s honor to share this list for you. This is who we believe are the 15 Most Legendary Women Skateboarders of All Time.
We’re highlighting their accomplishments both on and off the board for a complete picture of what makes someone a skateboarding legend.
Patti McGee is a key figure in women’s skateboarding as the first female pro skateboarder ever.
At just 19-years young, Patti McGee was the first Women’s National Skateboarding Champion, Santa Monica in 1964. Shewent Pro that year.
Patti is referred to as “the First Betty” and is often considered the first superstar or celebrity skateboarder after landing the cover of LIFE magazine.
Patti was a worldwide skateboarding ambassador. She has some of her skateboarding items in the Smithsonian Institute and also was inducted into the Skateboarding Hall of Fame.
Most importantly, Patti McGee proves that women were an essential part of skateboarding since the very, very beginning.
Peggy Oki in addition to being a skateboarder, is an surfer, artist, and environment activist, all noteworthy and worthy of admiration from young women and people alike.
However, Peggy Oki is known as an original member of the infamous Lord Of Dogtown Crew. This is the crew known as the founders of skateboarding.
A Santa Monica native, Peggy was also one of the first skaters on Vans, one of the most legendary skate companies of all time.
She was just a teenager at the time but as a Z-Boy (maybe it should be Z-Girl). Peggy was known for her incredible style and unprecedented grace on a skateboard.
She was truly decades ahead of her time and is still celebrated as one of the most legendary skateboarders of all time regardless of gender.
Nicknamed “CB”, Cara-Beth Burnside is an incredible legend in skateboarding history.
She has countless contributions as an X Games Medalist, a pro snowboarder, animal-lover and Olympic Team Leader, but Cara-Beth is most known for as the first woman to ever grace the cover of Thrasher Magazine. Thrasher Magazine is known as “the bible” in the skate community. For her to grab the first cover was a huge huge deal!
She was also the first president of the Action Sports Alliance, which helped secure better contracts for women skaters in the X Games.
Cara-Beth is also credited sometimes as being the first woman to have a full-length skate part in a full-length skate video.
There may be no name more synonymous with women’s skateboarding than Elissa Steamer.
Elissa is truly a figure in the history of skateboarding – and not just because she is a woman but because she has always been one of the most inspirational, authentic and kind skaters you will ever meet.
Her part in Toy Machine’s “Jump of a Building” was one of the few female video parts in a highly-watched film.
Known for being in some of the most iconic skate videos and skate brands like Toy Machine, Baker Skateboards, Nike Sb, and more, she has always had the respect of pro skaters and fans for her skill and style. Another thing about Elissa, is she always led by example, never having to say much because her skateboarding did all the talking.
Proving once again, skateboarding is made so much better with more women onboard.
It’s amazing to go down this list and continue to see these amazing women inevitably to arrive at Jaime Reyes. Jaime had long been the unsung hero of women’s skating.
In the last 8 years or so, the newest generation of women skaters began looking back to find more women, and Jaime Reyes was a massive mound of gold now being enjoyed by all. Skaters love her classic street style, and her refusal to be anything but herself both on and off the board.
She’s heralded as one of the best skaters to ever come out of NYC, and now splits her time between the mainland and Hawaii while continuing to support and inspire others.
If you’re someone who loved skateboarding any time after 2001, you probably know the name Vanessa Torres.
Vanessa was one of the first house-hold names in women’s skateboarding, riding for some of the biggest skate companies of all time like Element Skateboards.
She has an impressive catalog of amazing video parts, she’s won X-Games medals, competed in Street League and mentored countless women as they rise the ranks. There really is no possible person to compare Vanessa Torres to. There will only ever be one VT(Vanessa Torres) and the skateboarding world, girls and guys included, owe her so much.
Today, Vanessa helps lead an all women’s skate brand in Meow Skateboards, and mentor the next generation of female rippers.
Marisa Del Santos
Marisa Del Santos is arguably the gnarliest women skater on this list. She came out the gate blasting some seriously heavy maneuvers, kickflipping into handrails, and leaving it all out on the pavement.
She, much like her idol Elissa Steamer, let her skateboarding do all the talking. She is an enigma of sorts as everyone remembers her instant contribution and bar raising of what is possible for women on a skateboard.
She rode for some of the heaviest skate teams in Zero and Fallen skate shoes and has some of the best video parts with the brands. She also has a ton of skate photos in Thrasher Magazine, making her one of the most well-documented women skaters of all time.
The only thing bigger than Marisa Del Santos is the roofs, handrails, and gaps she enjoys jumping down in her illustrious skate career.
At GOSKATE, we celebrate women for what they do on and off the skateboard. And there may be no woman in skateboarding we should celebrate more than Kim Woozy and everything she has done both for women’s skateboarding and skating as a whole.
One of the few skateboarders who has conducted a TED Talk, Kim Woozy is also the Director of Development for Skate Like A Girl; an organization dedicated to women’s rights and representation in action sports. “If She Can Do It, We All Can,” that is the title of Kim Woozy’s TED Talk, and the audience is for young children.
She is always invited to the most renowned action sports panels but even so, in her day she was an incredible pro skateboarder equally worthy of recognition.
We celebrate and thank you Kim Woozy from everyone here at GOSKATE.
There are countless pro skateboarders who owe a debt of gratitude to Lisa Whitaker but really all women and guy skaters for that matter, owe her a debt of gratitude whether they know it or not.
Lisa was a pro skateboarder of immense magnitude but her greatest contribution to skateboarding is her company Meow Skateboards. She is now mostly behind the desk.
Lisa alongside Vannesa Torres, Lisa created the first-ever “All Girls” Skate company, featuring an only women skate team. Skateboarders like Myriah Duran, Lacey Baker [sic], and Adrienne Sloboh ride or have ridden for Meow Skateboards.
Most importantly, girls growing up see a company that represents them – a for us by us type of company that has grown out of Lisa’s garage and into the hearts of skateboarders worldwide.
Nora Vasconcellos is truly the people’s champ. Nora is celebrated for being one of the most down to earth and true to herself people in skateboarding.
Nora can always be seen with a smile on her face, acting quirky, and absolutely destroying transition and street obstacles in the process. Olympian and rider for adidas, Nora is one of those skaters every girl (and guy) looks up to. She is also an artist and has a hand in designing her signature clothes and shoes.
She’s put out plenty of parts and shows zero signs of slowing down her already incredible career.
Right now, she’s probably wearing face paint and a polo shirt doing a back disaster combo.
Leticia Bufoni is arguably the face of women’s skateboarding. She is incredibly talented, incredibly beautiful [sic] (she landed on our beautiful skater list) and reminds women and people all over the world to embrace what you believe is best for you.
She embraces who she is as a model and as an athlete, and doesn’t apologize to society or her contest mates who’ve seen her take home gold after gold. Riding for some of the most notable companies in skateboarding like Red Bull and Nike Sb.
Leticia is also a business owner, investor, and entrepreneur; truly inspiring so many young girls to not only achieve on the board but to keep reaching for new heights once you’re there.
There’s not a single skateboarder in the world who doesn’t know who Leticia Bufoni is, and thus, we all play a powerful witness to women’s skating.
Alexis Sablone is a savant and we don’t mean that in hyperbole. A graduate of MIT, a commissioned public art artist and professional skater, Alexis Sablone is a testament to the fact skateboarders can achieve anything they put their mind to.
As if these accolades weren’t enough to impress every mother in the country, Alexis is also a X Games medalist, Street League podium winner, and an Olympic Pro skater. She skates for some of the most notable skate companies in the industry, but thousands of skaters are hoping she starts her own company.
Check out one of her premiere video parts in, “PJ Ladd’s Wonderful Horrible Life.”
She is truly a beacon of possibility and inspiration for every skater out there, especially young girls who look to blaze their own path through skateboarding.
Victoria Ruesga is one of the most underrated skateboarders in the industry.
Handpicked by legend Andrew Reynolds for the infamous Death Wish skateboards’ team, this North Hollywood native is one of the most stylish and technical skaters in her era. Known for her incredibly positive and supportive mindset, Victoria is your favorite skater’s, favorite skater.
She also rides for Nike Sb and has even appeared in a few feature films. Even though she’s traveling hte world with Nike Sb, getting photographs in Thrasher Magazine and hanging out with the world’s top Pros, Victoria has never lost her sense of self and humbleness.
She is truly an amazing role model in her community and for skateboarding at large.
Every once and a while there is a pro skater who just embodies where they are from and Allysha Le is the embodiment of her hometown of San Diego. She’s always blasting on some backyard vert ramp or catching airs at some of San Diego’s most famous parks, but even so she’s enjoyed a long career of traveling and filming video parts for Creature Skateboards. Producing some gnarly aerial maneuvers while winning contests in the process. You can still catch Allysha skating in Southern California, airing out of bowls and dropping jaws.
There really only needs to be two words when it comes to why Lizzie Armanto needs to be on this list, and those are “the loop.”
That’s right, Lizzie Armanto is the only female skater to have ever done the notorious loop. This is considered to be one of the hardest feats in all of skateboarding. She joins the ranks of Tony Hawk, Bob Burnquist, and a very small handful of skaters who have done it.
Additionally, she’s a legend on Vans Shoes, and has had a pro board for nearly a decade now.
Did we mention that she is an Olympian as well? Truly Lizzie Armanto is one of the most legendary skateboarders of all time, and she’s still in her prime.
At GOSKATE, we’ve witnessed hundreds, maybe even thousands of young girls take their first step on a skateboard. We’ve helped them master the foundations of skateboarding and even taught them how to ollie and kickflip. That being said, every single one of our women students looks up to at least one lady on this list.
And for them to even think about skateboarding, it helps for them to be able to open a skate mag or google a YouTube video and see a woman absolutely shredding on a skateboard.
Now with all-women contests, all-women brands, and media outlets, there has never been a healthier supply of women in skateboarding to keep inspiring the next generation. A generation that is already on the rise and taking contests win in the process.