(July 13, 1998)
Girls' Gospel Archive:
Check out previous sermons of the Girls' Gospel
Quote of the Month.
"So, is Red Bull really like Viagra?"-- A girl fan watching Ben Hinkley
win silver at the X Games.
And you thought it was over. The Gospel bond, girls, is far stronger than
any sort of silly acquisition by some silly magazine or on-line site
owned by some silly company called Times Mirror. Besides, it's summer.
Time to scatter to the winds--bike, surf, skate, climb, wakeboard, for
goddess-sake. I do thank you for all your emails this summer. It's nice
to know that many of you find surfing as difficult as I do.
Did I tell you I took up skateboarding? Got completely inspired after
watching Cara Beth Burnside at the Summer X Games women's exhibition June
26, and naively thought, "I can do this, too!" Words of warning: If it's
your first time on a skateboard, don't drop into a vert ramp, you'll go
whipping out the other side (as I did). Based on advice from Donna Vano,
in-line skating legend, snowboarding queen, and the organizer of the
women's skate exhibition at the X Games, "try stepping in from the
bottom, and practicing gliding back and forth until you get the feeling
of rolling up and down the walls."
OK, so the Summer X Games can be a little cheesy, what with all the
TV-tattooed torture, but, as Tara Dakides said, "Having girls skateboard
at the ESPN Games is cool because lots of girls are skating and getting a
chance to be recognized."
But, as some of you may know, women's skateboarding has yet to be
included as an official event at the Summer X Games. ESPN officials
claim there aren't enough good female skaters for a legit competition.
But they did allow an organized exhibition in-between men's BMX vert and
the barefoot waterski jumping (now that's a wacked sport). To the
surprise of many whom attended, (especially the ESPN-folk) the vert ramp
was packed with fans, as more than 10 women skaters popped in for some
Jodi MacDonald, Cara Beth Burnside, Juliann and Bethany Andreen (a mom
and daughter team), Tara Dakides (who also competed in the Snowboarding
Big Air), Heidi Fitzgerald, Rebecca Burnquist (sis to legendary Bob
Burnquist), and Jen O'Brien were among the line-up.
Cara Beth Burnside
Of course, Cara Beth and her handplants, 360's, and McTwists, ruled, but
Jen and Jodi also pulled some moves, like lofty 360's and various
tailgrabs to stoke the fans into a spasmodic frenzy. Sure, some of these
girls weren't as good as others, but the camaraderie was as thick as the
heat in San Diego. Photographer-turned-commentator, Patti Segovia, did a
fine job of pointing this out, as well as calling the women's
performances, and noting the temerity it takes to even get out there and
drop-in in front of such a large audience. Surf Diva, Izzy Tihanyi, took
off teaching surfing for the weekend, to host a live commentary from the
top of the ramp.
After the exhibition was officially over, it was tough to get Cara Beth
off the ramp. Said the Eveready Bunny, "I like where you can just keep
going and going. [With] skating, I can just jump back in on my board and,
you know, barely catch my breath. You just jump back up on the ramp real
fast, and hop back in...and then go for the tricks."
As for the Snowboarding Big Air event, check out Alison Berkley's
insightful reportage at 98Xgames, A, and then come on back here
for some more poop on the women's event.
At 110 feet high, 360 feet long, covered with 360 tons of shaved ice, the
monolith called "Mount X," was about as oxymoronish as a big air
snowboarding ramp can be on a sandy beach in San Diego. Yet the ladies,
including Tina Basich, Tina Dixon, Tara Dakides, Jennie Waara, Kelly
Kaye, and Janet Matthews, were undeterred. If there was any problem, it
was the heat, which Tina B. said was "swelteringly unbearable" at the
top. I can imagine. It's not often riders climb with boards a hundred
steps in snowboard boots, pants, long-sleeved shirts, and a helmet, in
90-degree heat. But it was obvious from practice that this was an
"invertation" to greatness in women's big air herstory.
Tina Basich took off first, pulling what she called a "mystie something
or other with an invert thing." Known for stomping backside 720s (with
which she won the gold medal at Winter X Games in Crested Butte), Tina
surprised everyone with the Mystie. Although Kelly Kaye pulled impressive
360's with a mutegrab, and Jennie Waara's height during her 540 spins was
so high that one wondered if she'd land in Mexico, their performances
weren't good enough compared with the inverts everyone else was doing.
Defending gold medal champ Tina Dixon started with a 360 tail grab until
she realized that Janet Matthews' and Tara Dakides' backflips were
probably going to take the medal spots. Next go 'round and Tina D. was
lifting off with back flips of her own. Tara Dakides' in the finals went
for a backflip with a grab and most likely would have medaled if she
hadn't biffed the landing.
So, there you have it. A little Gospel from a momentary gathering of the
summer snowboarding seedlings in San Diego.
Other news: Check out the summer book of the month: "Divine Secrets of
the Ya-Ya Sisterhood," by Rebecca Wells. It's about four women who became
best friends ever since they were kicked out of a 1984 Shirley Temple
Site of the month: http://www.bust.com--they get all sassy when it comes
to dissing fashion mags' "Fun in the Sun" themes.
Next up: News from the Hood, industry update (Does Hayley Martin from K2
have a boy or a girl?), backstage with the Lilith Ladies (which you'll
also be able to see on http://www.WigMag.com come August 15), and the
dope from downunder: New Zealand, Australia, South America.
Don't forget to send bits of news from your tip of the planet. I mean, I
can't be everywhere, nor do I get paid enough to call everywhere. Plus,
I'm out learning how to skateboard, so I really don't have time to fact
check, which means I'm probably going to take your word for it. (Let
karma deal with liars.) As you know, I'm always at Wigmag or
better yet, www.wigmag.com.
Girls' Gospel Archive: Check out previous sermons of the Girls' Gospel