014: Lucy Adams/About Balance

Lucy by Hannah Bailey

“Having my own pro model is the biggest accolade of all. It’s been an amazing way to mark twenty years of skating”.

It’s episode 014 of the Looking Sideways podcast and this week I’ve got a really honest and insightful conversation with skateboarder Lucy Adams. Lucy is a pro skater for Lovenskate, chair of Skateboard England and one of the most visible and positive forces in UK skateboarding, as you’ll find out in this episode.

Photo: Hannah Bailey

Lucy has been a tirelessly upbeat presence in UK skateboarding for years now, whether through the efforts she’s made to make skateboarding more accessible for girls through her She-Shredders coaching classes, or through her visibility as one of the most high profile female skateboarders out there.

Photo: Hannah Bailey

This year Lucy is celebrating 20 years of skateboarding with a brand spanking new video part and a pro model on Lovenskate, so it seemed the perfect time to head up to her Horsham home turf and find out more about her amazing career in skateboarding.

A lovely, moving chat this. Look out for these bits:

  • Lucy discussing her recent bout of depression with absolute candour and honesty
  • Some brilliant tales about growing up as the only girl in an all-male skate scene.
  • The importance of safe spaces for girls looking to take up skateboarding
  • How proud she is to mark two decades of skating with a pro model on Lovenskate.

This is a genuinely inspiring tale and, as Lucy says at the end, we cover a lot of ground. As I think you’ll be able to tell, I really enjoyed this one, and hats off to Lucy for being so open about her mental health struggles. Thanks for having me Lucy!


If you only have five minutes…

Listen to this section - Lucy on how she coped with a recent episode of depression.

Connect with Lucy

Show Notes

  • The same questions in every interview.
  • #pennythewhippet.
  • Balancing full time work with the things you actually want to do.
  • Lucy’s projects – skateboarding, coaching, Skateboard England.
  • Finding the headspace.
  • How Lucy coped with an episode of depression in her life.
  • How it affected her work/life balance.
  • How the cultural stigma of mental health can impede recovery.
  • The coping strategies that helped.
  • Breaking the cycle of negative thoughts.
  • The importance of making the changes that work for you.
  • How the public debate about mental health is changing, albeit slowly.
  • How physical health and mental health are still treated differently.
  • Turning pro for Lovenskate.
  • Filming a part with Andy Evans.
  • Seeing people skating her own board.
  • How Lucy started skateboarding.
  • Swimming as a kid.
  • Crawley skatepark new build.
  • The magic of a blunt fakie.
  • Sidestance.
  • Early skate routine at Crawley.
  • Transitions from the start.
  • Early influences.
  • The end of Lucy’s swimming career.
  • How it felt to be the only girl on the scene at that time.
  • ‘Boys wanted to talk about girls – and then they noticed I was one.’
  • Influence of Trevor Wedd – in skateboarding and in other ways.
  • Avoiding drink and drug culture.
  • How skateboarding began to expand Lucy’s horizons.
  • First skate contests.
  • Beginning to catch up with other girl skaters.
  • How Lucy started coaching, and how it began to develop.
  • The importance of safe spaces in enabling girls to start skateboarding.
  • ‘The number of girls skating is definitely increasing’.
  • How Lucy ended up on the Sunday Times Rich List.
  • Weirdest mainstream press appearance.
  • Being appointed the spokesperson for UK female skating.
  • Appearing in a video game.
  • First real sponsorship.
  • The Lovenskate family.
  • Lucy’s Skateboard England role.
  • The development of skateboarding associations in the UK.
  • The issue of marrying skate culture with wider sports culture.
  • How Lucy got involved – and was nominated as chair.
  • Negotiations with UK Sport – and setting up the structure with Home Nations and a GB entity.
  • The UK Sport criteria for Olympic qualification …
  • … and how it isn’t linked to participation.
  • The likelihood of there being a UK skate team at the 2020 Olympics.
  • How skating in the Olympics is likely to look in 2020.
  • Why vert isn’t in the 2020 Games.
  • The reaction in skateboarding.
  • The battle to persuade UK Sport that the talent pool exists in skateboarding.
  • How the evolution of the sports is constant.
  • The explosion and influence of skateparks.
  • What the future holds – and whether it will lead to a full time role with Skateboard England.
  • ‘Master of Camouflage’ – the anniversary film part.

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