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Born and raised in San Diego, California, Kim Cespedes was a member of the legendary Hobie and Tracker teams and is regarded as one of the gnarliest girl skaters of the ’70s. While many female participants at the time focused on freestyle and its choreographed gymnastics routines, Kim instead put her energy toward parks, pools, ditches, and downhill slalom racing. In 1977, Kim became world champion of women’s giant slalom at the World Championships at Carlsbad, which was televised on ABC’s Wide World of Sports. Eventually traveling the world via Hobie, Tracker, Pepsi, and even Nike, Kim also appeared in the traveling Skateboard Mania show.
As if all of that weren’t enough, Kim was one of the first women to do airs on vert, with photos of her pulling backside airs in pools in ’79, only a year after the boys had officially unveiled them. Kim started skateboarding at the age of 14 when her younger brother came home with a Hobie board on clay wheels. By the time urethane arrived in the form of Cadillac Wheels, she had honed her skills on San Diego’s hills to the point of being asked to be the first girl on the Hobie team. As she recalls, “I was floored, I didn’t know what to say, and all I could think of saying was, ‘You mean the team that Gregg Weaver is on?’” She would also later serve as a resident pro at the famous Del Mar Skate Ranch. Today, Kim still surfs and skateboards occasionally and lives in Leucadia.