On the eve of the UK Girls Skate Jam's 10th birthday, the UK pro, who has been to every event talks skateboarding in the 90s, the joys of airing out and how skating is still an Old Boys Club
Photography by Jenna Selby, interview by Sam Haddad
What were you like as a kid?
I really enjoyed sport as a kid. I swam for a club, and played as much as possible at school, things like rounders and netball and any football I could. I was quite shy but very active.
What got you into skateboarding?
When I used to swim, I could see a brand new skatepark being built behind the pool. I was fascinated by the ramps and once I started watching people skate, I became fascinated by the tricks and the radness that took place! After that I knew I needed to get a board and be involved!!
Who were your heroes back then?
Local guy Trevor Wedd! He did a blunt fakie one day and I was so hyped on it, I couldn't believe anything like that was possible. In skate celebrity terms I guess I love Shorty's Fulfil the Dream, so I liked watching Muska and Smolik skate.
Do you remember the first UK Skate Jam, what was it like?
Yeah at Playstation! It was amazing! Really new and exciting to just skate with other girls. There was a real buzz there and people didn't have Facebook or whatever so it was genuinely RAD to see all these girls skate that you just didn't know existed! I also remember being Stoked to wear my new Steps t shirt hahaha
What was it like being a skater in the 90s?
For me it was great. I felt part of this cool little community that other people didn't know much about. It was kind of like belonging to this club that had a code, like its own language and rules! I didn't feel any negative vibes being a girl, and I guess that was because the park was new and the skate community was mostly new. We all learned together and progressed as a group and it was a fun little scene!
How has it changed since then?
I guess those people have either quit or moved away and that old group dispersed. For the most part things haven't changed much for me, I still feel part of something special and get the same feelings when I skate, I suppose it’s just with new peeps and in different places.
What have been your best moments at the Skate Jam over the years?
Just chilling with old friends and making new ones! Skating Pioneer is always good too as it’s a nice layout and smooth surface. This year I hear it's changed a bit so I’m looking forward to seeing what there is. The BBQ is always great and it’s a good vibe, skating to music with other girls.
We enjoyed watching these hangtime clips of you, do they feel as good to pull as they look? ((WATCH THE CLIP AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE))
The Hangtime thing was something I’ve wanted to do for a while! I kept mentioning to Lovenskate Stu about it and we thought it would be a rad idea to do like a fun 10 tricks sort of thing. I love to do fun stuff like that and have always liked to skate Jump Box or try airouts somewhere! I guess i like the feeling of being in the air and trying to do something different with my body or board.
What are your favourite tricks?
I like to do tailslides, and I like doing flip tricks. I'm into 5.0's on miniramp or in bowls right now! To watch, I like back tails, and Alex Barton’s halfcab nosegrind revert!
And what are your favourite spots in the world to skate and why?
I love Marseilles bowl, just carving the lines and airing out! I also love Barcelona, fondo spot and parallel. There was an amazing skatepark on the Gold Coast in Australia called Nerang. It was so sick for flowing park lines and had big stuff and small stuff and these perfect hips. I also love the new Clissold Bowls in London. They set you up so well when you're carving. Every corner throws you into the next. You really feel like you can be an amazing bowl skater when you're there.
Vert has been taken out of the X Games, how do you think that will affect the sport?
I don’t know if it will necessarily make much of an impact at grass roots level. There aren't that many parks over here still with vert ramps and the majority of people when they start skating stay slow and low!!! I feel like the X Games is pretty much in that American bubble anyway, it’s pretty elitist and removed from actual entry level skating.
What can be done to get more young girls into skating?
Positive portrayal of real girls that skate in the UK. Brands being aware that there is an emerging scene for female skaters and therefore a gap in the market. More events and stuff like the Ladies Monthly's that Lois and Dani started up last year. So that girls don't feel pressured to skate amongst males, but feel comfortable with other like-minded females.
You're going to be skating at Paddle Round The Pier, tell us about that?
Yeah Paddle Round The Pier is a huge event in Brighton that takes place around Hove Lawns. It’s on Friday 1st – Sunday 3rd July. There is so much going on this year and amongst that there are some minramps for skate comps, demos and workshops. The guys there have asked me to support by offering girls workshops and if enough girls come down, we’ll have a girls jam. There are 5ft minis and 3ft minis, so something for everyone! I also have prizes from Volcom, DC, Lovenskate and Nikita, so come down and give it a go on Saturday 2nd July from 1pm!!
Why is it so hard for girls to make a living from skating when they really can now in snowboarding and surfing?
I can't even begin to answer! It just is! “Old Boys Club", “Jobs for the Boys" that sort of stuff comes to mind.
Do you think girl skaters get judged for their looks as much as their talent and what do you make of that?
Yeah that is the negative aspect of the industry and game we play. I have definitely felt judged before for what I look like. I think male skaters think that all girl skaters should wear short shorts and tight vest tops! I just wanna skate, I love skateboarding as much as the next skater. I love watching videos and have styles that I like and wish I could have. All of those styles are from male skaters, so naturally I wanna look like them and skate like them! I'm not afraid to say that at all. When I do back tails I wish I looked like Josh Kalis! Ha-ha.
How often do you skate?
Pretty much everyday! I go out every lunch if it’s dry with my friend Tim. Get a good hour while the kids are at school! And then some evenings I'll go back down the park after tea. I skate every Saturday too, as well as coaching in the morning.
Lucy Adams will be taking part at the UK Girls Skate Jam which celebrates its 10th birthday at the Pioneer Skate Park, St.Albans on Saturday June 25th, that’s tomorrow so get your asses down there!
And to get in the right mood, watch Lucy's Hangtime: