Lazy Oaf meets Neighbourhood Skate Club
Us at Oaf love a good grassroots organisation, especially in our hometown of London. So we obviously jumped - or ollied (sorry) - for joy when skateboarder Lyndsay McLean messaged us about the amazing Neighbourhood Skate Club, a local group that is creating inclusive, accessible spaces and events for women, non binary and LGBTQ+ people to be empowered through skateboarding. We’re catching up so she can tell us all about it and let you know how to get involved.
Hiya Lyndsay! What’s new? What are you up to right now?
L: Hello, thanks for having me! It’s been a whirlwind summer with Neighbourhood Skate Club and I can’t quite believe how incredible this year has been in contrast to 2020, so I’m moving through it with a smile on my face and trying to be present and enjoy every minute.
Tell us a bit more about the Neighbourhood Skate Club - what’s the lowdown?
L: Neighbourhood Skate Club is a women’s focussed skate community offering 1-2-1 beginner skateboarding lessons and monthly workshops, events and more. My goal is to empower women not just through skateboarding but also through voice and movement - helping women to connect to their voice and recognise their own strength.
What was it that inspired you to start the club?
L: Coming out of lockdown I noticed a huge increase in the number of women I’d see skating around the park and they all had one thing in common - they were by themselves. I wanted to find a way to bring all these solo women skaters together to meet each other, make friends and have others to skate with and learn from. Skateboarding can be an intimidating world, so I wanted to build a community that nurtured confidence and made people feel stoked to get out there and skate - without ever feeling like skateboarding wasn’t for them.
How do we get involved? Do we have to be on Sky Brown’s level?
L: You don’t even have to have a board of your own to get involved. For all my 1-2-1 lessons I offer borrow boards so that people can come along and try out different styles of boards and wheels etc before they commit to buying. If you can’t join us IRL then you can follow along on social and stay tuned for some of the exciting projects we have coming up. There are a lot of creatives that make up our community so it’s been really exciting to work together on some fun projects and create some magic.
You must be a really good skater - what’s the sickest trick you can do, and can you teach us?
L:What makes my style of skating unique is that I do traditionally surf and longboard inspired tricks but on a skateboard, which is much smaller. I’ve never been about big, impressive tricks.
My favourite thing to do on a skateboard is go fast. I used to compete in downhill skateboarding competitions and reach speeds upwards of 35MPH. I don’t get many opportunities to chase big hills to bomb anymore but I’ll always enjoy the sense of freedom and confidence that brings.
If you could sum the club up in three emojis, what would they be?
We sent you some bits for your event on the August bank holiday, how did it go?
L: The Bank Holiday event was a huge success - thank you so much to the whole Lazy Oaf team for supporting! We had somewhere between 30 and 40 women come along to take part and skate together - some complete beginners and some more experienced skaters - so there was a lovely mix!
What were the best moments at the event? We hope nobody decked it!
L:The best moment of the event was when we did a lap of the whole East side of Victoria Park. To lead a pack of women skaters around the park was one of the most exhilarating feelings - I loved looking back and seeing how stoked all the girls were. The comradery was amazing - no one got left behind and everyone was helping and encouraging each other.
Who are your skateboarding heroes?
L:Queer Skate Collective in Edinburgh are an inclusive, intersectional skate community in Edinburgh making moves to create safe, sober spaces for queer people to skate.
Melanin Skate Gals and Pals are a London based, black led/ BIPOC and queer skate crew focused on empowerment, community and social action.
The Ben Raemers Foundation is a charity that aims to end the stigma that often clouds issues of mental health within the skateboarding community.
Boardwall Supply are a skater owned, community driven skateshop hosted by wonderful businesses in East London focussed on supporting UK and EU brands.
Please tell us you played Tony Hawk pro skater as a kid? It’s still one of our faves.
L:Haha I didn’t you know, I wish I did. My favourite game as a kid was The Lion King on Sega Mega Drive and then finally Mario Kart on N64. Now I have a Switch and spent the whole of lockdown building my island on Animal Crossing.
Which of our fits do you recommend for a day out at the skatepark?
L:Anything from the Happy Sad range is perfection.
What do you hope for the future of Neighbourhood Skate Club?
L:I would like to further develop our skate mentorship programme and work more with women and young girls who have experienced harassment or domestic violence.