Finding one, she explained, was like a mystical experience. is now created. Bigfoot was a woman of extraordinary skill who, despite the prevailing cultural perspectives of the time, took her sport as seriously as her male peers. And generally without the recognition they deserve.
“There weren’t many girls skating back then, so we were hearing about each other in a mythical way, like the Vanessa Torres legend of Modesto,” McGuire said. “Everyone has a Bigfoot story when they hear about Vanessa and how many flights of stairs she was able to slide.”
But what began as a term of endearment later became the creative driving force behind a local magazine that supports and celebrates a new subculture of skating and those who embody “non-traditional skateboarding.” Bigfoot Magazine defines skaters as women, people of marginalized ethnicities, people with disabilities, and those who identify with the nonbinary, trans, and queer community.
“Skateboarding is already considered quite untraditional, so it might sound a bit misleading,” said Bigfoot Editor-in-Chief McGuire. “But it’s really about building community.”
sometimes you have to do it yourself
When 43-year-old McGuire began actively participating in Oregon’s skating scene in the late ’90s, she saw firsthand how women were underrepresented in the sport. Men make up a disproportionately high percentage of the scene, but they go unrecognized, especially in mainstream skateboarding media like Thrasher and Big Brother, his two magazines like The Skateboarding Bible. I had talent. Publishing,” explained McGuire.
“It was a problem that I described as a big traffic jam for women’s skateboarding,” she said, especially in the Midwest, where “there was no image, no media, no such thing.
Professionally, there were few divisions in which women could compete, and contests were limited. Opportunities for sponsorship, a necessary milestone to achieve career success, were almost non-existent.
Non-mainstream skaters (white, cisgender men) have had to work hard to create safe spaces to learn, grow and showcase their talents. Growing up in her small town in Oregon, McGuire remembered how skateboarding culture was verbally, emotionally and sexually demanding of women.
“We’ve come a long way since then, but there are still inequalities,” she said.
In the mid-2010s, big changes began to occur in skateboard culture. World champion skater and Thrasher Skateboarder of the Year Bryan Anderson has come out as gay. A year later, Leo Baker became the first Nike SB skater to come out as gender non-binary, designing his shoes for the first-ever women’s Nike skate. And as a big win for women’s skateboarding, the International Olympic Committee has approved skateboarding for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics. This includes the women’s street skating competition and park skating competition.
“That was kind of the catalyst for[officially]starting Bigfoot,” McGuire says. “Being on the world stage like never before, with skating competing in the Olympics, was a huge opportunity for us to spread the word and tell our story.”
On New Year’s Day 2019, McGuire launched a Bigfoot Instagram account, eager to spotlight female skaters and coordinate local meetups. Three months later, she and Bigfoot co-founder Amy Caron, a professional skateboarder from Long Beach, named professional skateboarder Alex White as her NBC Universal official skateboarder for Tokyo 2020. We launched a campaign called “Alex for the Olympics” that aimed to place us as The duo amassed over 1,200 signatures for her at her Vans Pool Party skating competition that year.
“The whole community really supported it,” said McGuire, but ultimately White wasn’t picked for the role.
Birth of Bigfoot Magazine
Much of the momentum behind Bigfoot stalled when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. With in-person meetups temporarily unavailable, McGuire set his sights on expanding the Bigfoot brand into a print media company.
“My goal was to create a magazine that appealed to everyone,” McGuire said, but emphasized communities that have historically been left out of the scene.
She, Caron, and her team conducted a workshop that marked the company’s “non-traditional skateboarding.” It’s an industry term that reflects the contemporary cultural and social makeup of the skateboarding world.
McGuire has developed an online website and will move to the Willmore neighborhood of Long Beach in 2021. By August, the first issue of Bigfoot Magazine was published.
Flipping through the pages of the Bigfoot edition may feel nostalgic for veteran skaters, especially those who read Big Brother magazine.
“I read it from beginning to end every time it came in my mailbox,” McGuire said.
Aesthetically, the design exemplifies the signature gaudy fonts, bright color schemes, and photo collages that were popular in the late 90s and early 2000s. From profiles to questions and answers to cultural commentary, Bigfoot’s coverage features the playful, informal style of writing popularized by many writers of the time, such as David Carney, and is sexist-free. .
A picture of a skateboarder is pasted on each page. Most are not female or gender compliant.
The Bigfoot website has a monthly Skater of the Month highlight, spotlighting “non-traditional skaters” from around the world.
But perhaps Bigfoot’s foundation is its social networking aspect. Online, users can browse a calendar with details of various skating meetups and events across the United States. There is also an ‘ultimate skate map’ feature that includes the locations of skate parks and other popular skate spots around the world.
“What we’re doing with Bigfoot in messaging and gathering non-traditional communities under the values we’re talking about could have a huge impact, beyond skateboarding, on the world at large.
Since launching Bigfoot four years ago, McGuire said the company has seen promising growth. According to their website, demand for Bigfoot #1 has led the company to reprint the first 300 copies for his second time. The second issue will hit his 900th edition, and the third issue, released in January, is expected to grow to a circulation of up to 2,000. According to his website at Bigfoot, website traffic now averages around 20,000 hits per month.
“It’s been a lot of work since coming to Long Beach, but I’m very happy with it,” McGuire said.
But all Bigfoot’s efforts came at a price, McGuire said. McGuire’s non-skateboarding career (including a bachelor’s degree in photojournalism, her experience in local news, women’s surfing and her internship at SG Magazine, her lifestyle publication) gave her the initial skills. But nothing prepared me for the mayhem of running a media publishing company. She includes herself and her four other contributing staff members.
“I find myself in a place where I’ve just used up all my resources and need a little help from the community I’ve been building all this time,” she said.
McGuire launched a GoFundMe campaign earlier this year asking for $5,000 to keep the company solvent. To date, the campaign has raised his $3,855 target.
“The support from the community has been really encouraging,” McGuire said of the donors.
Those who want to help can also purchase an edition of the magazine online or purchase merchandise from Curb/Cut, McGuire’s sustainable skate apparel company.
A family emergency forced McGuire to move back to Oregon temporarily, but McGuire said she still actively hosts skating events. TRY.DIY West Coast Tour promoting the edition and “connecting the non-trad community with the world of DIY skateboarding.” The tour stops at her three world-class DIY (skater-built) skate parks, including San Pedro’s Channel Street Skate Park. There will be group skating and an afterparty at the Good Bar in Long Beach.
Readers (and skaters) can keep up with all things Bigfoot by following us on Instagram or visiting our website.