Lyndsay McLaren – LGC Ambassador
Our sister Lyndsay comes from Scotland, found skating in Miami and has had some great adventures from New York to Munich and now back to the UK. Find out about the red haired princess’ travels!
Bern in NYC. Photo: Khaleeq Alfred
Hello Lyndsay, how are you?
Hi! I am very well thank you. How are you buddy
Pretty stoked. How was your weekend?
It was great! I skated a local spot on Saturday and spent Sunday packing up all my belongings for my next move.
Where are you from?
I’m from a small village on the east coast of Scotland called Inverbervie, deep in the heart of Aberdeenshire.
Are you ginger?
A natural red head!
You’re from Scotland, you have red hair. Are you a Disney princess?
Yes I spend my days riding horses around the shire and perfecting my bow and arrow game!
You chop your skateboards into arrows?
Yes, yes I do.
Local Hill – Scotland
When did you start skating?
I started skating about two and a half years ago.
What led you down the gnarly path?
I was living in Miami at the time studying acting at the New World School of the Arts. I didn’t have a car and started skating initially just as a means of getting around the city! Some guys in my class had skateboards and I’d borrow them between classes and practice pushing around.
Why did you leave blighty?
I had always wanted to spend more time in America and after working at a summer camp in upstate NY for a few summers, I was offered the opportunity to go to drama school in Miami and of course I accepted.
Had you ever stepped on a board before that?
Yes! I came from somewhat of a snowboarding background and had many friends who also skated. I had tried it but never considered taking it up.
Which is your bigger love?
I love snowboarding but skating is definitely my bigger love. Both have taken me to amazing places and given me the opportunity to meet amazing folks from all over the world but I love that I can take my skateboard anywhere and have fun – whether its a park, a hill, a parking garage…or even just the street outside my flat!
Skating some local Scottish hills near Dunnotar Castle, Scotland. Photo : Iain Wood
What did you like about America?
Scotland is beautiful but it took me to leave the country for a little while to truly appreciate it. I wanted to see the world and America seemed like the land of opportunities. At the time I wanted to pursue acting as a career and there ain’t nowhere better to do that than the good ol’ USA. Miami was also significantly warmer than rainy Scotland so that was quite appealing.
Did you find opportunities there?
Yes, the 6 years I spent in America were full of all sorts of opportunities – opportunities that would have been unlikely had I stayed in the UK. From my acting career in college to all of the opportunities that came my way through skating. Moving to America was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Have you been in any movies?
I mostly did theater, other than a few student films.
What was it like growing up in the land Scots?
I was very lucky to have the upbringing I had. As a child my parents took me to different hills or mountains every weekend to hike, ski or go camping. I was always outdoors and loved exploring and adventuring!
What did you miss most from home?
My family, friends and nature. I missed the mountains and snow. There was obviously little opportunity to snowboard in Miami but when I started skating that void was filled to a certain extent.
Did you ever find the Miami Longboard Crew?
I didn’t meet the MLC until I returned to Miami to visit a few times after I had been living in NYC. We got together and hosted a skate clinic and held a push race in Wynwood across from Little Wayne’s warehouse. Pretty hilarious.
Miami Longboard Crew
What board were you commuting on the beginning?
A Sector 9 pintail called the Mama Say. I loved it. For a year, all I did was push around, I had no idea of the possibilities. I would skate every day back and forth from class and spend hours just cruising around the beach or the downtown area. It gave me freedom! I wasn’t stuck on trains or buses anymore, I had my own ride and nothing made me happier than skating around in the sunshine.
When did you find the community?
I moved to New York when I graduated and after about a month of living there I heard of a little event called Broadway Bomb 2012.
Was it scary in the deep end of the stoke pool?
No I was so excited but I didnt know anyone else going so I was a tad nervous. Once I got there and started skating the stoke was so high that I couldn’t stop smiling. That day changed things for me. I had no idea that the community was out there and I was in awe of everything and everyone around me. I met Maribeth Mchugh and she introduced me to the group of skaters that I would then spend the next year skating with. Solomon Lang also took me under his wing and even gave me a new board!
Who is Maribeth?
Maribeth McHugh is one of the raddest chicks I know. She used to live in NYC with Jeff Vyain who were both heavily involved with Bustin at the time, however have recently branched out with their own company – Pantheon Longboards! When I first met her, she had just fallen pregnant with her little one so we didn’t get a chance to skate together but she has been a solid friend since the beginning.
Broadway Bomb 2013 – Jenica, Keyla, Lyndsay, Cindy, Valeria, Colleen
Why did you move to NY?
I moved to NY to pursue acting. I worked as a performer at The Harry Potter Exhibtion and on the tv show ‘The Americans.’ Every other waking moment I spent skating. It was all I could think about. I would be at work watching the clock the entire time hoping I could make it to Central Park before it got dark to practise whatever it was I working on at the time.
How was the broadway bomb?
I have skated in two Broadway Bomb’s now – 2013 and 2014. It is one of the most exciting and fun events that I have been to. Everyone comes together to skate down one of the busiest streets in the world, with people cheering all around you and taxi cabs going mental. Both years have been unforgettable!
What’s the hairiest thing you’ve seen there?
A few kids got arrested this past year but I didn’t see that go down or get involved, we were all too busy trying to find unblocked streets to skate down!
Did you win?
Haha no, not even close. I was just there to skate with my friends and have fun!
In what ways was Lyndsay different after seeing that much fun?
I was so stoked on skating. I wanted to learn everything.
Tom Goldwasser – 5 Pointz NYC
What board did Solomon give you?
He gave me a Bustin Sportster. I loved that board. It was such a relief to be closer to the ground for pushing around the streets of NYC and I never left home without it. Soon after that I went to Colorado with the Lightbohrd crew and started riding their decks after that.
How is skating through NY different from Miami?
Skating through NYC is electric, whereas Miami is pretty chill. It takes a little while to get used to skating in traffic and being ballsy enough to skate amongst aggressive drivers, crazy cabbies, bikers… and not to mention the walkers who are looking everywhere but in front of them.
What new experiences did the Sportster open you to?
So many. It was a much more comfortable board to skate on and I felt a lot more secure going fast. I learned how to dance and slide on that board. Thanks Sol!
Who were your buddies there?
I spent most of my time with Sanchez who taught me pretty much everything skate related that I know. I was close friends with most of the Bustin family especially Paulie, Monica, Sol, Coolhands, Wendy and of course the Davenports.
“Picking yourself up and not being discouraged after a fall is important.”
What were the hardest lessons to learn?
I picked up cross stepping and Peter Pan relatively quickly but making them fluid and stylish was the next step. Freeriding was harder for me to get to grips with but once I learned hand down slides and stand up 180’s, I then worked on holding my slides out for longer and getting comfortable going fast. Picking yourself up and not being discouraged after a fall is important. I fall a lot but whatever, I have a great time doing it…and that’s what counts hey?
Who’s your favourite of the 4 Davenports?
Who is the 4th?
Ah yes, how could I forget Joe. That is the most impossible question to answer…but girl power all the way so I’ll go for Jenica.
Jenica and I – Central Park race – khaleeq photo
What are your favourite things to do on your board?
I love skating hills but like I said, freeriding was something I really had to work at; I wasn’t a natural. I love the feeling of skating down a sweet hill and the freedom and adrenaline that comes with it. It is a constant course of learning and developing more and more control at faster speeds and although I’m still working on that, the more I get out there and skate, the more trust I have in myself and the more fun I have. I also love dancing and fancy footwork or even just getting out and pushing around for as long as my heart desires. This year I’m looking forward to learning more freestyle tricks and pushing myself to go faster as I progress with DH.
Can you freeride in NY?
There are a few good slide hills in NY. I mostly showed up to 72nd St in Central Park, which is the same hill I learned most of my slides on. I love it there not just because its a good hill to practise on but also because you are almost always guaranteed someone else to skate with. Dark Tower is where I would go if I wanted to push myself on a steeper and faster hill. I also explored a lot of Queens, which was really fun! Lots of good memories skating in Queens.
Where’s your favourite piece of skate terrain?
Smoooooooooooth hills and city streets.
What were you riding while you were over there?
I was riding the Light Bohrd Urban Commuter and the Kinetics DH both set up with Surf-Rodz trucks and my favourite wheels, Abec 11.
Cape Cod, Boston. Photo: Brian Landrigan
Were any of those your sponsors?
Yes Light Bohrd have supported me for the past year and a half, however I am moving on this year to start new adventures. Surf-Rodz and Abec 11 support me with trucks and wheels, which I couldn’t be more stoked about. I also ride for Bern Unlimited, SMD Hardware, Thrill Magazine, Misguided Fools and Holesom throw me pucks whenever I need them. Big love to all those guys. I also work with you guys spreading the stoke through LGC UK.
How did you get involved with them?
Different situations for each but generally from skating as hard as I could and having a positive attitude. I don’t like to sit on the sidelines and watch, I try to get as involved as I can and people seem to appreciate that. I may not be the best or the fastest on the hill but I’m riding with a smile and always pushing myself to learn new things!
Longboard Girls Crew – Tom Goldwasser photo
Was landing sponsors ever an agenda?
No, not at all. I had no idea it was even an option when I first started skating.
How long after you landed in NYC did you get sponsors looking for you?
Light Bohrd approached me after Broadway Bomb 2012 and I met the Bern guys soon after that in Colorado at the SIA Snow Show and we started working together right away. I met Surf-Rodz through NYC friends and they have taken care of me ever since and the same kind of deal with Abec. I think it’s important not to go looking too hard for things like sponsorship – what is meant to be, is meant to be. Skate because you love to skate.
“I think it’s important not to go looking too hard for things like sponsorship. Skate because you love to skate.”
What is Bern?
Bern make helmets for non-motorized action sports like skate, snow, bike and wake.
What were you doing for them last year?
I was lucky enough to travel a lot last year starting with Puerto Rico and ending with Texas and California with a lot of Florida and local events squeezed in between. I did a lot of promo work for Light Bohrd which was fun and also got involved with the marketing and PR side of things. I worked really closely with Bern in developing the new women’s range of helmets and skate product. I had a blast. Skating has opened so many doors for me, on and off my board.
NYC Traffic Push – Khaleeq
What events did you hit on that tour?
Guajataka 2013 was my first event other than B-way Bomb. It was insane. I met so many people and skating there was unbelievable. Amazing hills, amazing scenery, amazing people! I skated in a few Florida events including a 5k and 10k in Clermont and in Cali I went to the San Fernando Valley slide jam and then later in the year the Adrenalina Skate Marathon. Not to forget all the local New York and New Jersey slide jams and races too!
How hectic was the PR partying?
Crazy. It was so much fun. I had busted my knee but regardless of that I don’t think I ever laughed so much. It was great.
How do surf-rodz work for the fun you like to have on your board?
They are great! The TKP’s are super turny which make dancing and sliding a lot of fun. I switch up to RKP’s when going faster.
“. . .sponsorship is not about getting free stuff or being cool, it’s about loving what you do, doing your best and representing yourself and the companies that support you.”
Why do you have so many sponsors?
Haha, I am very lucky. I love to skate and enjoy the whole process of learning something new. There is nothing more rewarding and fulfilling than when you eventually master something you have spent ages working on. I’m a people person and enjoy making new friends. I’m not scared to talk to people. Companies recognize that and have always been keen to support me. Having the right attitude is so important! I also produce a lot of media and love that side of the industry. For me, sponsorship is not about getting free stuff or being cool, it’s about loving what you do, doing your best and representing yourself and the companies that support you.
NYPD – khaleeq alfred photo.
Have you had to deal with any negativity regarding this?
Yes but it only pushed me to get better and keep doing my thing. What’s disappointing is that some of the slack was from girls. I’m of the opinion that if you are talking more shit than you are skating then you should just zip it. I love slide jams but to start with I was always quite intimidated, however I wanted to skate and I wanted to get better so throwing myself in at the deep end and taking part helped me to progress and most folk were stoked to have girls out there joining in on the fun and as I mentioned before…isn’t fun what it’s all about?!
Why would this happen, especially in a community with little female participation?
Hey, who knows? Haters gonna hate. Most of the girls I have come across in the skate community who are actively out there skating and doing their thing are some of the nicest people I have ever met and are an inspiration to me to keep doing what I do and pushing myself every time I skate – those are the ones that matter! Spread stoke and encouragement! In the words of Marcus Bandy, “Positive reinforcement and leading by example are way better policies to employ when trying to impress ideas on your fellow skateboarders.
Do you get to skate with other women?
Yes, I love skating with other chicks. There is such a good vibe in the air and it’s great to learn from one and other. Girls can often get through to other girls more effectively – I couldn’t get the hang of even a simple coleman slide way back in the beginning despite a couple of guys showing me how it’s done. It wasn’t until Monica Meija talked me through it, during one of our skate sessions, then I had it down in no time. Believing in yourself is important.
Tom Goldwasser photo. 5 Pointz NYC
Would you be in love with skating if you were the only female skater in the western hemisphere?
Yes of course. I am thankful for all the awesome people who have come into my life thanks to skating, both male and female, and they are a massive part of why I love skating so much but they are not the sole reason why I skate. I was fortunate enough to be around rad skater chicks in NYC like Cami Best, Monica Meija, Colleen Pelech and Jenica Davenport but I also spent a great deal of time skating with guys and learning from them too. It doesn’t matter what sex a skater is….until you go to a slide jam and stick out like a sore thumb…but even then, it doesn’t REALLY matter, I just feel more eyes on me and more performance pressure for the first couple of runs down the hill.
Is it important to get more women into skating?
Yes, I think so. Here in Scotland there are very few female skaters yet so many of my girl friends tell me that they wish they could skate. It’s important to open doors for other girls who are intrigued or inspired and let them see that it is not as hard as it may look. Like anything, it takes practise but passion is just as important. Skating is empowering and I hope more and more women will discover that and enjoy the ride.
“Skating is empowering and I hope more and more women will discover that and enjoy the ride.”
How can you get more girls into it?
Longboard Girls Crew do an awesome job spreading the stoke and inspiring more girls (and even guys) to get out there and try it. Valeria has become one of my good friends and works very hard with the rest of LGC to keep everything running. We are hoping to host some LGC events in the UK this coming spring and summer inviting girls, whatever level their skating is at to come and join in the fun.
What is your involvement with them?
I met Valeria at Broadway Bomb 2013 after a few months of being social media buddies. We clicked right away and she introduced me to a bunch of other girls who loved to skate. When I moved back to the UK she and Jacky put me in touch with Helena and a couple of the other UK girls to help spread the stoke here in the UK.
Who is the queen of social media?
Definitely my gurrrrrrl Pam Diaz! She is always posting up new pics, videos and spreading the love. Also, queen of steez!
About to go on a skate adventure with Pam in NYC.
Are there many girls skating in the UK?
Not a great deal…but we are trying to change that and encourage more girls to get out and skate. Summer is coming so watch this space!
What’s the plan for making it happen?
As I mentioned, we have some events and skate clinics in the works so hopefully we can get a ton of girls to come out and join us. Other than that, just spreading good vibes and encouraging chicks to get out there and try it!
What did you get up to after returning from PR last year?
After PR I went straight to Colorado and spent two weeks there taking in a trade show with Light Bohrd, snowboarding and then visiting friends. When I got back to NYC it was back to work and skating as often as I could. I was living in Brooklyn and pretty much just loving life. Although PR last year was a great time, I was OK with not returning this year. I was stoked to be back in Europe and had the raddest time at ISPO in Germany, immersed in the action sports industry, hanging out with the skate fam, making lots of lovely new friends and drinking beer (thanks Sector 9!).
Khaleeq Alfred – Williamsburg Bridge, NYC
Why did you decide to come back home?
My student visa ran out so I was due to come home anyway. I had the time of my life in America but after almost 6 years, coming home was a welcome relief. I always knew I would come back to the UK although everyone believed I would stay in America forever. I missed the culture and humour and the convenience of travel around Europe. I especially missed my family. I’m stoked to be home – I just landed a dream job and I’m moving to Nottingham (later today actually) which is a fun city with a really active skate community…yeah, things are pretty good right now.
What’s your dream job?
My goal for a while now was to work in marketing and PR within the action sports industry and I’m pretty stoked to be doing that with Ultra Sport Europe as the new Marketing Co-ordiantor working with some amazing people, brands, companies and stores around the UK. I officially start on Monday.
Skate related brands?
A few – Bern, Gold Coast Skateboards, Neff, Contour and a few others. Mainly snow…Nitro Snowboards, Drake, Amplid, Northwave, Smith, Pow gloves and more.
Aside from Josh Monk, who else skates in Notts?
Can’t wait to meet Josh and skate with him and the rest of the Notts crew. There is Timmy Peters, Michael Knight, Will Moss and quite a few others. Jack Pattinson of Thrill Magazine lives pretty close by too so will definitely be skating with him and the rest of the Thrill team. London is only a couple of hours away too so not too far to travel if I want to skate the big smoke with Will, Joe and the other London based skaters.
How was ISPO?
ISPO was rad. It was so great to put faces to names (like you), make new friends and catch up with old ones. Being a part of the Longboard Embassy was awesome, surrounded by people who share a love for the same thing we do! It was really great to meet the European skaters who I hadn’t crossed paths with yet, especially all the girls from LGC. We watched the OPEN premiere, went to the Women in Board Sports Lunch and ate delicious, overpriced crepes. We got a lot of work done too… promise! Can’t wait for next year.
What does Lyndsay hold in store for 2014?
MY NEW JOB! Pretty excited about that! Hoping to make it to Germany and Austria within the next couple of months to skate with some friends I made at ISPO. I want to hit up as many of the Euro events as I can too! Hopefully some snowboarding trips squeezed in as well!
I hope so! Definitely don’t want to miss it.
Where else can we catch you this year?
Hog Hill here and the other UK events. Hoping to make it to Greenskate in Cologne in May and hopefully a couple of the Euro DH events too.
What do you do when you’re not skating?
I’m def an outdoorsy type – snowboarding, hiking, biking and adventuring. Other than that my job is a huge part of my life, watching skate and snow vids and spending some quality time with my friends and familia.
Is there anyone skating in Scotland?
Yeah there are a couple of lads keeping the Scottish scene alive but there is definitely room for growth!
Pic – Khaleeq Alfred – Williamsburg Bridge, NYC
Pick 3 numbers between 1 – 19.
8, 14, 19
8 – What did Lincoln keep under his hat?
He was a huge fan of thanksgiving dinner… so maybe a turkey. Yeah definitely a turkey.
14 – What is Victoria’s secret?
I hope it’s that she is a bank and is just saving all the money I spend there for me to reclaim one day.
19 – Who would be in your dream race heat?
Elena Corrigal, Marissa Nunez, Amanda Powell, Katie Neilson…I’d get thrashed in the race but those girls kill it, would be stoked to skate with them!
L-boogie! It has been super awesome having this chat with you. Thanks for being rad. Hope to skate soon!
Thanks for the chat Gbemi, see you this season I hope!
Any last words?
Do what you love, love what you do!
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