Laurie Turner Demott - 2014 Skateboarding Hall of Fame Inductee

Laurie Turner Demott

During skateboarding’s first big boom in the 1960s, the majority of the coverage making its way into the mainstream media depicted a fad heavily slanted toward young men. A major exception to this occurred in May ’65 when ABC’s Wide World Of Sports decided to not only televise the 1965 American National Skateboard Championships in Anaheim, California, but also included the Girls’ Division events in their telecast. Laurie Turner, who was riding for Hobie’s Northern California team at the time, would ultimately take first place overall and become the ’65 National Girls’ Champion— along with first place in trick, first place in figure 8, and second place in flatland slalom—proving to audiences nationwide that not only could girls ride skateboards, but that some of them could actually ride them better than a large cross section of their male peers. Along with fellow competitors Wendy Bearer (2013 Skateboarding Hall Of Fame Inductee), Donna Cash, Colleen Boyd, and, of course, ’64 National Champion, Patti McGee (2010 SHoF Inductee), who would be featured doing a handstand on the cover of Life magazine, Laurie Turner helped pave the way for a more inclusive sport and ensured that skateboarding could be enjoyed by any and all, regardless of their gender.