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Born and raised in Santa Cruz, California, Judi Oyama started skating in her driveway at age 13 on a homemade board her brother made in wood shop. A few years later, she entered her first slalom competition and promptly crashed, but kept racing–bloody elbow pad, bandages and all. Within a few months, Judi was skating with world champion John Hutson. As the only female competitor at the inaugural Capitola Classic in 1977, she finished eighth. The next year, Judi finished mid-pack, even beating Duane Peters and Tony Alva. The night before that 1978 race, Alva was hanging out at NHS and asked where he could practice. “We went to a remote winding patch of clean Nor Cal roadway and shot the entire three-mile ride from the top,” Judi recalls. “Near the bottom, T.A. looked over his shoulder and was surprised that I was right on his tail. He flashed me a grinning nod of approval. That moment has kept me racing to this day.”
Judi didn’t realize then that she was pushing boundaries as one of the few women racing downhill or riding skateparks. There weren’t many female skaters in Nor Cal at the time, but fortunately the Santa Cruz team had plenty of male riders to keep her company on the hills and in the parks. Her best race was her most recent one: the N-Men hosted a super giant slalom downhill in Nevada City, drawing downhillers, vert riders and veteran slalom guns. Judi crossed the finish line at 35 miles per hour after a 44-second descent. Her response: “It feels pretty effing good to be charging at 58!” Judi is a designer at Cross-Fit headquarters and is married to cyclocross racer Greg Foy. They have two boys, Taylor and Ryan, and they live in Aptos, a small town near Santa Cruz.