Kim Peterson By Sasha La Rochelle
photos by Nicole La Rochelle

Sneaking up on the skate scene for the past couple of years is this awesome pool and vert skater who is dominating it all these days. I say sneaking cause that's just what happened. Little by little I kept hearing the name Kim Peterson in the vert and pool contest world. Then more and more and more until now she is very much a real presence giving all the vert girls a run for their money. Kim says it's a dream come true for her. She remembers seeing photos of Jen O' Brien and CB in magazines and after telling herself "I can do that too" here she is 7 years later skating with them and having the time of her life.

An athlete from the very beginning with a lengthy competitive gymnastics and free ride snowboarding background, these days she likes to chill surfing. Whether it's dropping into the 16 foot DC ramp or skating the West Seattle Bowls, she is at home in the gnarliest of vert terrain. She says she also just loves to watch pool skating. Those pool style slash grinds which send sparks off the coping are her favorite. B/S smith grinds and footplants are two other tricks she thinks are way cool.

Kim said she began skating in college when she needed an easy mode of transportation around campus. She had already been snowboarding for several years, so skating came naturally for her. But she thinks it's because of her gymnastics background that she can skate so well at her age. She practiced on a ramp with her then boyfriend and as he got hurt and she got better, he tried to discourage her from skating saying she was never going to get anywhere in the industry at her age. That comment put her in four wheel drive mode to prove him wrong. And prove him wrong she has. Her first contest was in Missoula Montana where she was living at the time. The contest was at a park that her boyfriend helped build. She was the only girl so she skated with the guys and had a great time. That was in the summer of 1999 (as she says, "...the last summer of the 20th century.")

Her first skate sponsor was a board shop in Missoula called appropriately, Board of Missoula. They gave her product and encouragement. She's now getting flow from Adrenaline skateboards and would like to find a clothing company interested in putting her in their ranks. But she says she skates purely for fun as teaching is her professional calling, so if a sponsorship happens, it would be a nice thing, but she's not out looking hard.

Kim's favorite skate spot is Orcas Island where she camped for a month and helped to get the park ready for opening day. She says she really felt like a part of the community there and that she would love to stay on that beautiful island, but when her grandmother died, she had to leave. After that she took a job in California and has been here ever since and currently calls San Diego home. Her number two favorite skate spot is Burnside. Hard to believe that a girl from a little town in Iowa who didn't even know skateboarding existed growing up ended up in the girls vert world in So Cal.

It wasn't until she lived in Seattle for 3 years that really making skateboarding a serious part of her life became a reality. Kim still snowboards which she did very seriously for 10 years in the past. She loves to ride chutes, drop off cliffs, and ride all back country terrain. Even though she had a snow sponsor, she has never liked competing, thus avoiding it completely in the snow world, but competes in the skate world because she says she likes being with the other girls and the energy that the contests generate. In her spare time Kim loves to listen to music and sing. She is trying seriously to put together a rock and roll band. So maybe that's what we'll here about her next—she's started a band called Kim and the Destroyers or something like that.

Kim says that being a skater has an impact on her students. They think she's cool cause she skates. She's been a gym coach and a skate coach, but keeps coming back to the classroom. When she's finally over skating (does anyone really get over skating?) then she says she'll be teaching full time as she feels this is her life's calling. It's cool to think that a person who participates in the sport that the establishment feels is the scourge of society is actually making a difference in the lives of young people. When will society wake up?

Skate on Kim!



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