Skateboard GB: interview with team rider Lilly Strachan
We caught up with self-taught rider, 2021 British Vert champion and bronze medalist at the 2022 Skateboard GB National Championships, Lilly Strachan to discover more about her love for the sport
Last updated: 28th Sep 2022
Continuing in our series of interviews with the 2022 Skateboard GB team, next up is self-taught rider, 2021 British Vert champion and third-place finisher in the women's skateboard park discipline at the 2022 Skateboard GB National Championships - Lilly Strachan.
The burgeoning teenage talent, who first step foot on a skateboard just five years ago, set the skateboarding community alight upon her arrival on the competitive scene. Part of the UK-based skate team, S.C.U.M., founded by Manchester skate legend, Ben Grove, she's become known for exhibiting skills far beyond her years and is a passionate advocate of the lifestyle and vocation.
Relentlessly pushing the limits to further progress her skill, she's unquestionably got an abundance of star quality and is a name we should all keep an eye on in years to come.
We recently grabbed the opportunity to speak with Lilly to learn more about how she became involved with the sport, whilst also discovering her favourite skate discipline and hearing her thoughts on what her future might hold. Continue reading the full interview below...
Tell us about how your journey in skateboarding began; when did you get your first skateboard, what was the first trick you ever landed and who influenced you to take up the sport?
"It all started from surfing. A surf teacher suggested I skateboard to practice balance when I wasn’t able to get to the waves. I bought my first skateboard with my 10th Birthday money and my dad took me up to a local wooden half pipe where I initially learnt to pump and do kick turns."
There are now reported to be more than 85 million skateboarders worldwide. What is it about this subculture that speaks to so many people? What makes it so different from other extreme sports?
"I really like that almost all skaters are really good at helping and encouraging each other and that must be really appealing to so many other people as well as me!"
Image credit: Garry Jones Photography
A tough question - who do you personally consider to be the GOAT of the skateboarding world and why? You can only choose one.
"Personally, I would say Lizzie Armanto. Every skater knows her and she is basically the coolest person ever with the best style."
With reference to the second-ever Skateboard GB Virtual championships, happening this month, how important are competitions like these to grassroots skating?
"The competitions have been really important to me. I find my progression really accelerates when I get to focus on competitions, and I get to skate with loads of really good skaters and push myself to do well."
Skateboarding is now also an Olympic discipline, having been introduced back in 2020. How do you think this will affect future generations of skaters? And who should we be looking out for from the British team at the 2024 games?
"Having it at the Olympics means loads more people will see how fun skateboarding is. It will encourage people to take up skateboarding, giving them more options than just the sports they may already know about. After the last Olympics, lots of my friends and family said they really enjoyed watching the Skateboarding. For 2024, watch out for the GB team!"
Skating transition or heading out into the streets - Which do you prefer and why?
"Transition. The best feeling is landing big tricks that you thought would be impossible a few months ago. I also really like the flow around the park and the feeling it gives me."
Image credit: CJ Photography
Looking ahead, where do you see yourself competing in the years to come? What are your ambitions? And what aspirations do you have for the sport going forward?
"I’m pushing myself to try and qualify for The Olympics. I have a lot of work to do and it will be hard but I want to try! After that, I’m only 14 so who knows? I’d like to continue skating and maybe get a job that involves skateboarding."
We know that watching skate videos is a popular pastime for skateboarders so, to that end, what is your favourite skate video soundtrack?
"That's difficult as I’m so bad at watching skate videos and remembering them as I’m mostly just staring at them in awe. Me and my dad watched North Hollywood on a flight recently. It had a 1960s surf music soundtrack which was weird/awesome!"
Last question - You’re about to head out on a skate trip and you need a sweet playlist to accompany you on your travels. Which five tracks always make the cut (please list them below):
Check out Lilly in action at Chelmsford Skatepark with the S.C.U.M team earlier this year, below...
The Skateboard GB Virtual Championships are now underway and open to anyone. The period for qualifying entries runs from Monday the 20th of September until Thursday the 29th of September. Finalists will be announced on Saturday the 1st of October with all winners announced on Sunday the 2nd of October.
To learn more about the championships and our sponsorship of this year's virtual event, click or tap - here.
Check out our What's On Guide to discover even more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs taking place over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head on over to our Things To Do page or be inspired by the event selections on our Inspire Me page.