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Meet Judi Oyama

Meet Judi Oyama

How old are you?
64 years old 

Tell us a little about Judi Oyama

I am a professional skateboarder, graphic designer, and entrepreneur, known for her contributions to the skateboarding world and her advocacy for women in the sport.

How old were you when you started skateboarding?
I was 13 years old when I started skateboarding.

What’s your most recent skateboarding achievements and how old were you when you achieved it?

The newest achievement was qualifying for the USA National Slalom Skateboard Team for the second time to represent the USA in Italy at the World Skate Games in September. The first time I was 63 and got third place and a bronze medal in Argentina on the first day of racing and placed 4th overall. I thought going in I would place lower but was happily surprised.

How did you discover your passion for skateboarding, and what inspired you to keep pursue it at the age of 60?

Honestly, I had no idea I would continue to keep skateboard racing into my 60’s. My main push has been to encourage a younger generation of slalom skaters to take over so the older skaters can coach and grow the sport.

What does it feel like to compete against people half your age?

It’s actually a bigger gap in age. I raced 17 and 20 year old’s at the World Skate Games in 2022. I’m 45 years older than a few. I try and mentor but still stay competitive. 

Moto: Be badass everyday - how did you come up with it?

It’s just something I live by. I don’t take any day for granted and just try to live each day to the fullest. I came up with the phrase just by living that lifestyle.

How do you keep in shape to staying in shape for competition?

I stay in shape by working out and going to CrossFit 4-5 days a week. I run trails and do stairs off and on. I have a PT trainer Aaron Quinn, DPT, PT who works with professional football, baseball athletes rehabbing them from injuries or helping them work on a weakness they might have. He helps improve and change body position habits. He gives me little tips that help me fine tune my body movements and strengthen my weaknesses to improve my range of motion.

Can anyone skateboard?

Anyone can skateboard it just takes determination and practice. People make it look easy but it’s not that easy. I think practicing one leg balancing moves would be very helpful.

What have you learned about yourself through skateboarding?

That I am more independent because of my skateboarding lifestyle. I’ve been told no so many times in life that it just spurs me on to try. Being a female graphic designer in the action sports industry since the late 80’s. I was fortunate for many men and women that took a chance in hiring me. 

Does the skateboarding community treat you differently because of your age?

Some people ignore me and don’t think I’m a skater which is fine by me. It use to bug me and I had to tell everyone I’m a skateboarder when I was younger. Now I just do my thing and if they find out they find out.

In Argentina at the airport a few of us met 2 women traveling on another team. They shook hands and introduced themselves with the two women I was traveling with. I put my hand out and they both turned around. My friend I was traveling with said OMG you should say something. I can’t believe they just did that to you. I was like no worries they will remember who I am at the race. They probably don’t remember they did that to me and were very nice to me at the World Skate Games. I never mentioned it until now. I made sure to beat them both. I’m sure they will get even this year but I’ll try my best.

What’s the most memorable reaction have you received from skateboarding? 

Having by-stander at a race come back the day of racing just to see me race and was pleasantly surprised how well I skated. He made a point to tell me he only came back to see me skate and root me on and it made my day.

What’s your next adventure?

Competing this September in the World Skate Games in Italy is my next and final big race event. I will continue to skate and coach. I have been mentoring a young skater Leiola Kahaku she is only 15 years old. She is a great park vert skater and she has picked up slalom racing super fast. She reminds me of me when I was young. lol

What advice do you have for other midlife and beyond women?

Don’t listen to the neigh sayers. There are a lot out there. Do what you love and don’t be afraid to fail. Failing is part of the process. If you don’t try you don’t get has been a big motto in my life.

 Here's more on the amazing Judi Oyama:

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