096: Cara-Beth Burnside/CB Forever

Cara-Beth Burnside, Oceanside, Ca. Photo: Owen Tozer

“You look up to someone for skating, but you also look at how they do other things”.

I welcomed legitimate skateboarding royalty onto the show for episode 096 when I visited the legendary Cara-Beth Burnside at her Oceanside home for the final episode of my Looking Sideways California tour.

CB is surely one of the most influential women in the history of action sports. Just look at her list of unique achievements. First woman on the cover of Thrasher. The only woman to win X Games summer and winter golds. First woman to have a signature skate shoe. 4th place in the Nagano Olympics. And that’s before even delving into the full range of her actual skating accomplishments.

Photo: Tozer

It is, by any measure, an extraordinary career. And yet, as is becoming depressingly familiar, these achievements only tell part of the story. Because throughout her career Cara-Beth has also had to fight to gain recognition in the face of a disinterested and sometimes hostile industry.

Its particularly galling in CB’s case, because as you’ll hear, she’s done more than anybody to pave the way for the women who have come after her. And her story raises interesting questions about the differing levels of support the industry gives its legends depending on their gender.

Still, as I discovered during our conversation, for CB it’s just one part of a long, storied and truly remarkable skateboarding career. I was really honoured to spend some time with CB, and help bring her story the platform and attention it deserves.

Listen to the episode here:

Connect with Cara-Beth

Show Notes

  • Horse riding trails.
  • Meeting Nichole Hause.
  • Skating with Duane Peters.
  • Pushed to land tricks.
  • Skate sessions.
  • “I like to warm up”.
  • Being the only girl.
  • Her first female crew.
  • The big world of female snowboarding.
  • Trips to Mount Hood.
  • Coaching at summer camps.
  • Park closures.
  • Street skating.
  • “I just figured I had to start skating pro contests with the guys”.
  • The Combi contest.
  • Being told: “there’s no market for girls”.
  • “No one can tell you if you’re going to skate or not”.
  • The first female skate shoe.
  • Starting the Alliance.
  • Boycotting prize gaps.
  • “I want to help the girls so they can get better and move forward”.
  • Meeting John Skipper, ESPN President.
  • Disagreement with Vans.
  • The change in snowboarding.
  • The snow/ skateboard crossover.
  • Competing at the Olympics.
  • The opportunities available for the sport today.
  • Showing young people positive things to do.
  • Her advice to girls getting in to skating today.
  • Alexa’s article about WSL.
  • Sea Maven on the Mavericks cancellation.

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