Interview with Skateboarding Legend Robin Logan

featured in Issue #3 of Idlewood Zine


available through Antisocial Skateboard Shop in Vancouver, BC

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In March of this year, I went to Palm Springs and had the pleasure of meeting and skating with Robin Logan, National Woman's skateboard champ back in the late 70s.

We met her at the skatepark, skated, talked.. and I was pretty stoked! She's 51 now, said she hadn't skated in about a year, but got right out there and looked awesome. She has great style and confidence.

After skating we grabbed food and drinks. She had tons of stories to tell, but our convo turned to women in skateboarding and more importantly, the current state of it.

 She paved the way for future girls and women to come, making it easier and less daunting to jump on a skateboard.

 Robin wanted to write about our day together and how I impressed her but I wanted to talk about ROBIN! Here goes:

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You drive a semi-truck.. that's pretty badass! Any juicy stories from the road? I know on long drives, I LOVE stopping for skate breaks to stretch the ol' legs. Have you busted out your board much?


Yes, now-a-days I'm traveling with the boyfriend in a semi-truck and I see a lot of skateboard parks across the US. It might be ramps set up in a park or it could be cement bowls in an area in the middle of an empty lot. There are so many places to skate across the US.

Back in the late 60's- early 70's there were no parks.  I remember a couple of schools that my brothers Brian, Bruce and Brad and I would go to at a very young age - I remember this cause my brothers would have to take me with them or they couldn't go. Pacific Palisades and Balisieo School, Pier Ave school in Hermosa Beach is where my brothers and I went to junior high.

In my travels I have skated parks and parking lots. I remember in Utah, a town called “Logan” (you know I went to that park so I could say Logan skated in Logan!). I came across a group of skaters. At first they just kind of shunned me. They must of been 10-17 years old and 6 of them and yes all boys. I had my run I was doing and they let me be. The littlest guy came over to me and said he never seen a “mom” ride. Ok.. where did that come from! At least he didn't say ‘old lady’. So next thing I know we are playing follow the leader and guess who was the leader – Him! So I tried talking to the older kids and of course no one knew anything of Logan Earth Ski or 70's skaters so I just kept quite and rolled with the little guy. I was watching this one kid trying to jump on the rail and do a board slide and he just couldn't land it. He would get up on the rail... Slide.. But just couldn't make the landing. So after watching him I made a suggestion on his foot position and his landing. He took my advice and he started landing it.. every time! The smile on his face when he landed it the 2nd time was more than words could say.
As I was getting ready to leave he came over and said “thanks”. That was cool - I knew what he needed to do to make it.

 

When you and I met, we chatted over beers about how women still don't get equal coverage and financial support in skateboarding. Why do you think that is still the case, and does it bum you out?


Ok when it comes to challenge of the sexes -  In 1976 I beat a skater guy named Ernie Martin on a CBS show titled Challenge of the Sexes. We did half pipe riding and barrel jump. Not only did I win but I marketed myself to outside companies and made three times the money. It's all how you carry yourself.

It seems women in the eye of skateboarding are achieving much more when it comes to ability. The things I see on Facebook/YouTube blows my mind. More power to them.
Keep it clean. Keep it real. Keep it rollin.

 

I find there is camaraderie when I skate with women that is unspoken, and much different than what I feel when skating with guy friends. Back in your contest days, would you say there were equal parts competitiveness and support between you and all the other ladies? Are you all still buddies?


When it comes to the friendship of old girl skaters yes there is still a bond and most of us FB each other. I'm still very close to Kim Cespedes - we talk weekly.  When I go to San Diego I either stay with one of my brothers or Kim. Kind of funny but back in the beginning of competition, Kim and I didn't quite like each other and are now best of friends. Others like Ellen Berryman, I attended her Mighty Mama Skate O Rama that Barbara Odanaka did back on Mothers Day of 2011.

I also keep in personal contact with Laura Thornhill Caswell who rode for Logan Earth Ski for many years. Laura and I were one of the first women to have a signature model. Our boards did well in sales.

When all of us girls skated together I would say we united as a group because there were so many guys we were out numbered, so together we stand. We all had fun at contests and would even go out to eat after. Every team had a table: G&S, Sims, Hobie and Bahne of course - I can't remember all the teams, but it seemed the girls would end up at a table together. I remember talking about the day and about boys!

When it comes to skaters I looked up to, I can recall mostly guys. Of course my brothers, mostly Bruce - he would show me a trick and then have me do it. And I would work on it till I'd get it. I really liked doing tricks other girls didn't always try like space walk, kick flips, parrioute , high jump, jump off a table (one of the only girls to put these in a routine) I not only did freestyle, I also did slalom (giant and tight ) and cross-country.
As for other girls back then to look up to I feel we were to new to the sport. There wasn't one that stood out to me that was above the rest.  It did seem unfair that us girls/women didn't get the pay the men got as we worked just as hard as men to compete, and given our division had fewer competitors.



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I am currently playing drums in an experimental Oakland-based band called Brookhaven