We met Lea Schairer at DC Shoes’ European HQ in the south of France. She was ripping the mini ramp alongside the guys… in fact putting them to shame. Part of the Cheers skateboard crew, she has temporarily put her deck to one side to spend the summer working behind the scenes of the skate industry. Originally from Munich, how is the German skater coping with life in the surf orientated Basque country? And more importantly how did she get to be such a sick skater? We had to disturb her shred session to enquire…
Interview by Hannah Bailey
How did you get in to skating?
I’ve got two older brothers and they both started skating when I was about nine and I wanted to start as well. So they gave me a board for Christmas. I think I was about 10 when I started…
What’s your favourite environment to skate?
It depends but in my opinion street is always better. If you stick a trick it’s such a good feeling because you don’t have the perfect conditions around you. It’s so much harder to learn a trick. Park is cool if you’re just going out with your friends for an hour or something, to hang out there for the day.
What’s your favourite city to skate?
In terms of cities, it has to be Berlin. Munich is cool for me too as I have my friends there, that’s where I’m from, but there are not many street spots. I’ve not been to Barcelona that much, that’s the usual answer…
What?! So you’ve not been to The DC Embassy in Barcelona?
No I haven’t yet, I’ve asked DC already. A trip soon…
Do you think being a girl has pushed you further or set you back in skating?
I guess it pushed me further as I have always skated with guys. At first I didn’t realise it was different, that there were so few girls. It took me until I was 15 to think, hmm maybe it’s kinda cool to be a girl cause I don’t see any other girls skating. I never thought I was that good, as all the boys were better. I was always trying to be like them, so it pushed me a little bit. But now it’s cool to know some girls. There are more skating. Like Cheers skateboards, a little tiny company for girls which is run by Sabrina Goggel from Hamburg. She supports girls and there are only girls on the team. It’s really cool to have an output for girls. Now that’s pushing me to do better!
There are lots of girls out there that are keen to skate; do you have any advice for girls who want to take it up?
It just takes a lot of practice… don’t let yourself get down if you get hurt, just get back up! If you start skateboarding you’ve got to know that it’s going to hurt a lot. But when you get your first few tricks it’s so cool. Just keep doing it, go out with other people. Don’t be afraid of going to the skatepark. If you don’t go there, you won’t ever learn how to skate it.
So right now you live in Biarritz working at the DC Shoes HQ, how did you end up here?
I studied sports and had just finished. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I’m starting a masters in winter, so half a year of not doing anything and then I thought it be great to get some work experience with DC. And so I applied and here I am for six months.
Do you have any good scars that tell a story?
I’m really lucky not to have any really! So, no, sorry!
Do you have any other hobbies or less rad than skating hobbies?
I don’t have any other hobbies, which is kind of lame I guess.
That’s because you skate all the time!
Well, I like to do all kinds of sports. Going out with friends, hanging out. Oh and actually I love to cook!
Leah skates for Cheers Skateboards, Unitedskateboardartists, Good Stuff Skateshop (Munich) and flow for DC Shoes