I was working painting a closet with Kilz oil base primer and losing some brain cells thinking to myself, Kilz Kills Brain Cells when it occurred to me, What would skateboarding be without Skate Betties?
What is a Skate Betty? UrbanDictionary.com defines Skate Betty as a hot chick. One that is attractive, stylish and self confident...." but I'll add, one that is friends with skaters or skates. In my memory, Skate Betties were the Hot Chicks that were always at the Hot Skate Spot, Skate Contest, Skate Party, Skate House. They were part of the Skate Scene.
Some dudes skate better in front of Skate Betties. My memory remembers me eating shit.
One time I was in SF visiting a girl and I was getting into bombing hills. I found a steep hill. I started thinking about skating down it. She said do it. So I did.
It was night time and the steep hill was well lit and then it flattened out onto a bridge of total darkness.
I should of known there was a gonna be a fat gap between the street and the bridge. I was used to skating New York City streets which are smooth and where there are hardly any cracks or gaps. But San Francisco is different, there is asphalt to concrete to metal trolly tracks, back to concrete then back to asphalt... All these make for not so smooth transitions.
So to make a long story short, my wheel stopped short in the gap between the street and bridge and I went flying forward miraculously getting away without a face plant only a bloody hand.
I was scared out of my mind with my wind blow hair and teary eyes and got into the car
and the girl told me to stop whining.
I was in pain and so un-stoked and so pissed at her because she showed me no sympathy. This was about ten years ago so I'm sure I cured it with a beer.
I'm not gonna drop names because the Skate Betties I knew back in the the late 80's New York Skate Scene are now married to skaters and have been married with kids now for a handful of years.
All I can think now is how they balanced out what would of been just a bunch of sweaty dudes trying to show each other up. Just being there, they gave us a reason to be cool and have style.
Oh and what is style? I have been asking myself this question and trying to hone in on what it means to have style, and what one must do to have style, and I'm getting closer to an answer after studying my all time favorite skater Christian Hosoi and surfer Gerry Lopez (both "THE" Style Kings of their sport).
Style is looking good and making whatever it is you are doing look easy or natural no matter how difficult the task at hand.
In Christians case doing the biggest airs in the world at the time and making it look so easy in fact so easy that it felt good. His face in his photos either look like he's nonchalant ten feet in the air or having an orgasm.
Gerry on other hand was master of the the wave that kills the most people in the world, the Banzai Pipeline. He would drop into fastest walling wave on the North Shore of Oahu which makes you go Mach ten in one second, and pull into the biggest tubes and do his classic "Wipe the water off his nose", as if he had time to do something like that (which he obviously did) while a huge lip was about to come crashing on his head which could send him into the sharp shallow reef below which has scalped some surfers or straight killed them by a bloody smack down.
Finally on a more beautiful note, in the case of the Skate Betty or I should say Skate Beauty above, look at her. She's barefoot with healthy curves, her yellow hair color along with the cyan and magenta in her clothing colors and the black in the background complete the CMYK color model and you hardly realize it- making it a fine example of the Art of Print. And she has a graceful skate posture... she even matches the pool color. Granted the photographer probably knew about all these elements, along with the graphic designer with his typographic color choice. Everything about the above photo has Style.
This Aloha Shout Out goes to Skate Betties and Style.