|Photo: Warren Bolster|
|Photo: Warren Bolster|
I used to see her back in the day in Skateboarder Magazine. She was stylish & graceful doing freestyle tricks like nose wheelies, daffy's, and spinning 360's with her long blonde hair flying out around her. Ellen's name and image were synonymous with the Southern California skateboard scene in the early 70's - she was that girl you saw smiling & skating and you thought to yourself "I want to BE her". Ellen is also one of the girls who paved the way for girls today to skateboard, and I am happy to say that next month, she is being inducted into the Skateboarding Hall of Fame. Congrats Ellen!
Who's Rad? Ellen O'Neal Deason
Age: 50+ (going on 17)
Home is? San Diego, California
How Long Have You Been Skating? Since I was 15
Girls Who Skate that inspire YOU? Laura Thornhill, Robin Logan, Kim Cespedes, Ellen Berryman, Patti McGee, Patti Oki, and Desire VonEssen.
Favorite place you've ever skated?
Before there were skate parks in San Diego we had a drainage ditch off 40th street that we would blaze. Escondido Reservoir, and then Carlsbad Skate Park after it was built for a “formal” skate expedition with my guy friends!!. For free styling my home stopping ground around my neighborhood in the mid 70’s. Also bombing the hill in front of my parent’s house was a favorite pastime. In 1978 Steve Cathey and I were hired as the onsite Pro’s at Moving on Skate Park in San Diego in and that ultimately became my favorite place to skate.
Favorite Trick? Freestyle in the 70’s is a toss-up between my signature two board daffy maneuver and a down -hill high speed nose wheelie.
Tell us about the style of skating you did back in the day?
I first started skating a transportation thing in 1975. I had a paper route and would use my skateboard as transportation to do my bill collections. My first “real board” that I saved my hard earned paper route $$ for was Bahane with Cadillac wheels and Chicago trucks. I entered a freestyle skateboard contest that the San Diego Tribune put on at the San Diego Stadium and I was girls out of 60 guys. I managed to take 2nd place and catch the eye of Chris Yandall who was a judge. He was instrumental on getting me on the G&S team. Freestyle skating was very technical and our routines were painstakingly choreographed. A lot of contests had required tricks that needed to be built into the routines. Towards the end everyone skated to music, much like an ice skating routine.
Which girls did you skate with back then? At La Costa, Laura Thornhill, Robin Logan, Ellen Berryman. Kim Cespedes at Carlsbad skate park. At contests we all saw each other!
What contests were the most memorable for you? The Long Beach Freeformer Invitational! Also, Laura and I competed against one another at the CBS Youth Invitational at Bush Gardens in Tampa Florida. That trip was a blast!!!
Sponsors back in the day? Gordon and Smith, ACS trucks, Kryptonic Wheels, Hang Ten Clothing, Vans Tennis Shoes and Rector Safety Gear
Three Things You Don't Know About Me...
1. I have a 23 year old son who is awesome and up for grabs! (and hot!) LOL
2. I’ve been a recruiter since 1988 (now recruiting nurses in the Healthcare industry)
3. Love riding my Harley Davidson every chance I can get!
Any advice for girls out there skating today? Don’t let anyone say “you can’t do that” and always have fun. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
What's Next? I am being inducted to the Skateboard Hall of Fame this May!