Santa Cruz Slalom Skateboarding Mom, 64, Prepares for World Games

Judi has always been a part of the skate scene in Santa Cruz. She started her love for racing at 15 with a downhill race in Capitola in the 1970s and has been involved in competitions ever since. Her early job with NHS skateboard company helped kickstart her career in graphic design as she learned how to silkscreen skateboards, airbrush surfboards, and create window displays.

For about 20 years, there were few slalom skateboarding races to attend, but Judi continued to skateboard for fun and transportation around town. In 2001, she received a call from a friend informing her that official races had started up again. Despite having two young children at the time, Judi eagerly dove back into the world of racing. Her kids even accompanied her to the races when they were still in diapers and while she was breastfeeding in her early 40s.

Upon reentering the racing scene, Judi began winning and has continued to do so without slowing down. In 2018, she was honored with an induction into the Skateboarding Hall of Fame. She also played a role in curating the NHS Skate Museum when it opened in Santa Cruz, which features photos and videos of old competitions, colorful skateboards, and vintage skate art. Her original Santa Cruz skateboard team bag is displayed in the museum alongside other skateboarding gear from the 1970s.

One of Judi’s early skateboards, a Santa Cruz brand board made of deep red fiberglass with red wheels and yellow block lettering, is highlighted in the museum. Additionally, one of her helmets from her early skating days is housed in the Smithsonian Institution Archives. Judi jokingly remarks that having her items in a museum makes her realize she’s getting older but also proud of all that she has accomplished throughout her career as a competitive athlete and graphic designer.

By Sophia Gonzalez

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