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SUNDAY BRUNCH

The Stuff

Freewheelin' Wahines

January 04, 1998|D. JAMES ROMERO

Skateboarding has exploded in the '90s both as a sport and as a youth culture movement with its own mantra ("skateboarding is not a crime"). Skateboarding has evolved around urban streets, and hot spots today include New York, Philadelphia--even Tokyo and Paris. But California still sets the tone for this Golden State-bred sport, and the freshest influence in board sports here is women.

Just in time, Flexdex of San Diego has introduced the first female-oriented skateboard, what it calls the Wahine. It's a cruiser, rather than a trick board, with a classic elliptical shape, wide trucks and large, 62- to 65-millimeter wheels. But the topper is that it is made of clear plexiglass. And riders can decorate their boards with flower-shaped grip-tape.

The Wahine moves out of skate and surf shops fast, but customers can order direct from Flexdex: (619) 560-2640. Suggested retail: $150 for the full set-up.

Flexdex recently added a second board to its women's line, the Diva, which is a cruiser with a longer wheelbase, similarly large wheels and a colorful array of pre-affixed grip-tape. It will also retail for about $150.

Not to be outdone, New York's Rookie Skateboard Co. claims to be the only skateboard firm run by women for women. Rookie features hard-core street decks that are slightly wider than those ridden by men. The company also sells T-shirts. Ride on.

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