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Colleen Boyd was among the most prominent female skaters of the 1960s, forming the first-ever all-girls team—La Femme Skateboard Team of Pacific Palisades—with Suzie Rowland and Donna Cash. In her first contest at the 1965 International Skateboard Championships in Anaheim, Colleen won first place in the Flatland Slalom and second in the Figure Eight and Tricks events. In the process, she scored an appearance on ABC’s Wide World of Sports and in the pages of Skateboarder Magazine. Following this contest, she informally joined the Palisades Skateboard Team and later became a member of the Hobie Super Surfer Skateboard Team of Southern California.
Seventy years ago, Colleen was born in Los Angeles and raised in Pacific Palisades, California. She started skating as a 5-year-old when her older brother Greg plunked her down on a homemade 2×4 with detached, steel roller skate wheels and pushed her down their driveway. By 1963, Colleen had made her first skateboard, a rectangular wooden job with cool stringers and an old pair of screwed on indoor roller skate wheels.
Starting in 1964, Colleen was sponsored by La Femme (a local women’s clothing store) followed by the Hobie Team, remaining “pro” until 1967. She mainly skated on sidewalks, driveways, streets, city parks, drainage ditches and on any school or other embankments she could sneak into. Colleen mostly did 360s, handstands, drops off curbs and loading docks, plus various other tricks, like switch ends, nose wheelies and high jumps. She also considered her skateboard a useful means of transportation as she was too young to drive.
Her favorite skateboarding activities were hanging out with friends on Saturday mornings skating everywhere they could think of, including at Palisades High, racing the boys down the school’s epically long driveway and winning—sometimes. They would often take a bus or get a ride to Paul Revere Junior High or the Bellagio school in West LA to take on the challenge of their steeper embankments.
Some highlights were competing in the 1965 Anaheim contest, being on ABC’s Wide World of Sports, and getting free skateboards, jackets, and a surfboard. She found traveling around Southern California with the Hobie Team doing demonstrations at shopping centers with the likes of Cris Dawson, Suzie Rowland, Wendy Bearer, and Ray Flores a fascinating introduction to the business of skateboarding. In 2015, Colleen appeared in Skateboarding’s First Wave, a then and now reunion documentary directed by acclaimed cinematographer Don Burgess (who used to be 10-yr-old Little Donny) with Team Captain Tim Keller focusing on the Palisades Skateboard Team. The film included skateboarding’s early days (before Dogtown) in Southern California in the 1960s.
In her spare time, Colleen enjoys bodysurfing and boogie boarding, learning Spanish, writing articles, exploring synchronicities and spiritual experiences, communication best practices (noting that the term “face plant” is recognized as the same in any sport), swimming in the ocean or pool with her two grandkids, and family get-togethers. She gives skateboarding credit for giving her the courage to do many things, including joining the Air Force. In fact, she is a retired U.S. Air Force Reserve officer (Lieutenant Colonel), a retired Communications Analyst for the VA Office of Inspector General, a communications management consultant / sole proprietor for C. Turner PhD, earned her doctoral degree in Social Welfare, and is a volunteer in support of veterans’ mental health and deported veterans. She has also just been inducted into the CIF Los Angeles Hall of Fame for her accomplishments in volleyball – UCLA retired jersey.
After not skateboarding for nearly 40 years, Colleen climbed on a board again in 2014 for the Skateboarding’s First Wave reunion, and again on “Go Skateboarding Day” in 2021. Inspired by those experiences (to wear a helmet and padding), she is working on her senior citizen skateboarding comeback, complete with a new team name: the Over the Hillers (but not underground yet); hopefully sponsored by Band-Aid, Ben Gay, Centrum Silver, and of course, Depends.
2019 SHoF Induction CeremonyCris Dawson (Inductee), Colleen Boyd Turner (Nominee), Ray Flores (Nominee).