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Widely known as the Skateboarding Mom, Gale Webb was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1944. At age 12 in 1956, she found a pair of old roller skates and hammered the steel wheels on a 2” x 4”. That was her first time skateboarding–falling, having fun and acquiring “plenty of scabs. It was COOL!” she recalls. The next time Gale picked up a skateboard was in the mid-1970s, when she bought her first Logan Earth Ski and fell in love with skating ditches, ramps and pools. She could also be seen riding skateparks with her son Mike, and cousins Lil’ Gale and Johnny. People nicknamed them the Skateboarding Family; in fact, Gale was even celebrated as the matriarch in an article called “Skateboarding Mom” in the August 1988 issue of TransWorld Skateboarding.
In the early ’60s, Gale almost lost her life in a skydiving accident, remaining in the hospital for two years. The doctors told her she would never walk or talk again. “I didn’t give up, and the doctors were wrong!” Reflecting on that and how she had experienced a hard time growing up, Gale decided she wanted to make a difference in the lives of disadvantaged kids to let them know they matter and that there is someone out there who cares about them. So, she set up a boom box and microphone under the Huntington Beach pier and started skateboarding with them, while shouting inspirational phrases like, “Be yourself!” “Never give up!” “Follow your dreams!” and “Get high on sports!”
Soon, crowds gathered. This was the beginning of the action-packed and motivational events that would become known as Gale’s Extreme Sports Shows. After 43 years, the shows–which include BMX and inline skating in addition to skateboarding on two large quarterpipes and a fun box–are still going strong. Gale would like to give a shout out to her son Mike and husband Jim, as well as Gale, Johnny, Eddie, Mindi, Alice and Janice, and to all of her friends and riders throughout the years for making the shows possible. “I will always love and support skateboarders 100%” says Gale.