Our final destination, and the inspiration for our West Coastin’ Longboard Girls Crew trip: the first-ever She-Ride at the famed Maryhill Loops Road in Washington State, USA.
I’m new to the scene, but I’ve seen enough to know that it was a historic weekend in women’s downhill skateboarding. I’m going to start right off the bat with a thank you to the girls that helped make this possible, by hands-on work for this particular event, or for starting and/or spinning the whole damn thing. Forgive me if your name is not here and it should be, but Katie Nielson, Brianne Davis, Dasha Kornienko, Dominique Vukorep, Carly Richardson, Christin Gregerson, Anna O’Neill, Marisa Nunez, Ishtar Backlund, Jenica Davenport, Lynn Kramer, Jacky Madenfrost, and Valeria Kechichian, thank you for doing work for this event and/or long before most us ever stood on a board. We wouldn’t be here without you, and it won’t soon be forgotten by many of us. The tribe is small but growing in strength and size, thanks to our elders.
My crew first arrived to the loops late at night, from Portland, after picking up Ysabel Mireles and Molly Lewis from the airport. We had contacted the girls’ sponsors to get those shiny skate faces to the hill from the east coast, and had a sneaking suspicion they were stranded at the airport. In our travel-induced delirium, our crew of 7 almost camped in the U-haul at the bottom of Maryhill Loops Road, but taking Dean O’s thoughts into consideration, we managed to drag ourselves to a hotel, grateful to arrive the next day showered, shaved, coffee in hand, and ready to ride.
Let’s take a look at some photos snapped by attendees and volunteers. Steph Rush, Brad T. Miller, S.I.N. Cycles, Caitlin Yong, Metal Bee Artifacts, Thayne Tuason: Thank you for clicking all weekend.
After a two week road trip, two extra girls, and a buttload of goodies from generous sponsors, the contents overflowed just a bit.
Special thanks to Levi Green & Co for lifting our heavy shit onto the roof somewhere around Sacramento.
The turn out was about 50-60 chicks. All of the girls I talked to were hoping for around 100, but all in all, we were happy to meet 50. For the record, the event was NOT a complete shit show. There were some falls, but no more than a normal day of downhill with a bunch of dudes. These chicks are out there, skating hills, on the regular. We don’t see each other much, but it’s very comforting to have them all in one place.
So here it is, folks. A U-Haul full of downhill skater chicks. We only required one, which allowed us to take between 15-20 runs each day, at a fairly relaxed pace. We loaded in and out without stepping on each other’s toes, and took off in small groups from the top, not a constant stream of pack riding.
(Dean O assured us we smelled less-bad at the end of the day than a U-Haul full of schwetty balls, but he didn’t exactly say that it smelled good in there.)
Well, except for this chick Janelle. Charged all day. She’s 9! The first into the UHaul each run, and the first onto the road, while everyone was deciding who was going to go first. Joined by her 15-year-old sister Ashlin, and her mom, Becky Anderson, it’s a family of gnar that I’m not sure how Washington State can handle.
Janelle is the only girl at Maryhill that fit into the leathers I borrowed for Catalina from Carly. Girl rocked them like a gangster for a slow-but-sure run down some of the loops stand-up on a proper DH board.
In case you missed it: Janelle Anderson is 9 years old.
Marisa introduced me to Monica Mejia of Colombia early on during the first day.
I’m not sure how long or far they’ve traveled, but this is Monica staying low on the course, wearing Marisa Nunez’s first-ever leathers.
I don’t know how that feels, to find skate related things from your past at events, mulling around the scene, but Marisa was stoked to see them being utilized by a new wave of rad.
East Coast homies Ysabel Mireles and Molly Lewis take Mary shortly after saying they don’t downhill.
This snap of Rachel Bruskoff, Paige Mariscano, and Nancy Luu by Caitlin Yong makes me happy.
I started a ploy months ago to convince Rachel, my local flavorite, to go to Maryhill with a carload full of chicks she didn’t know, including Paige, an east coaster, and Caitlin, a Purdue student, that both made the mistake of befriending me on Tumblr.
It was a rough case I had at first, as she didn’t do downhill when I started to ask, but a few months in LA is plenty of time to prep for a weekend at Maryhill, and Rachel put in work fast. We downhilled together 3, 4, 5 times per week for a while there.
Caitlin Yong was a monster behind the lens, check her out being rad on asphalt!
Here’s Rachel, G Formed up, riding her 3rd and favorite board, the mini Vug by Arbor, giving new life to Amanda Powell’s first full face, looking comfy and calm.
Basically no part of Ari Chamasmany’s personality is this dark looming creature depicted here, crushing souls on Maryhill.
When I totally ditched these girls to do the West Coastin’ trip with LGC, I hooked Ari up with my spot in the car.
They picked up Nancy Luu in San Francisco in a true making-shit-happen fashion, and I was utterly pleased to see their car on the hill. They dubbed their road trip “West Roastin’”. Hilarious. <3
Here’s some other shit that happened:
These two switched setups for a run and crashed. A broken collar bone for Chris Anderson, and some gnarly thigh rash for Meghan Peterson. The two remained in high spirits throughout the day.
Anna O’Neill skates like a girl.
This apparently happened while I was getting coffee, which I’m kinda sad about missing. I like all excuses to yoga, including when it’s led by Jon Huey, our gracious host in Portland.
We got rad:
Amanda Powell put in work at speed. Go Pro’d every run she took, and she only missed one.
Cordelia Welch is happy with her raw run. The chick kills it hard for only having parking garages to train in locally.
Alicia’s probably a better freerider than you are, and Cindy’s probably a better freestyler than you are. They do pretty damn good on their second and third choice disciplines as well.
We got glad:
I’ll leave you with this:
Marisa Nunez, Amanda Powell, and Alicia Fillback, tearing up Maryhill straight though the final turn.
Maryhill She-Ride, 2012. Grab your board, chicas. There’s not much of an excuse not to see you next year.
Stay tuned for Longboard Girls Crew’s West Coastin’ for more Mary in video form, and tons of stoke from our journey to the first ever (and hopefully one of many) She-Rides at Maryhill.