Born in 1993, Lizzie Armanto is an internationally renowned skateboarder. In just a few years and despite her young age, Lizzie has managed to make a name for herself in the skateboarding world, winning numerous competitions and above all becoming the first woman to complete the famous The Loop designed by Tony Hawk.
Her story and her skill have led her to be one of the faces of the global campaign of Vans This Is Off The Wall that is closing with the last chapter entitled Vanguards.
The campaign aims to tell the skate through the stories of four female skaters: Brighton Zeuner, Yndiara Asp, Mami Tezuka, and, of course, Lizzie Armanto.
Vanguards, in fact, is not only an advertising campaign, but also a way to support the growth and development of skateboarding, which in recent years is enjoying great success, coming to be declared an Olympic discipline for the next Tokyo 2020 Games and to facilitate access to this discipline without distinction to women and men.
On the occasion of this campaign, we met Lizzie and had her tell us her story and her life on skateboarding.
When and how did you start to get involved in skateboarding and when did it become your profession?
I started skating when I was 14 because my younger brother wanted to try and my mum took us both to the park and, for me, skateboarding became just like a place to go. Go to the skate park was a way to get out of the house, just stay at the outside. At some point I started to skate, I try to skate in contests and I really like the scene and the people that were around. So, I just started to go in the contests and it was really fun cause I just can push my self, go to new places and meet new people.
Then when I got high school I go into a community college and then I got a hurt skating and I couldn’t skate for a couple of months and at that point, I realized that I wanna to pursue it as a career.
How is the female figure perceived in the skateboard scene, a sector that from the outside seems to be almost exclusively male?
It’s definitely intimidating to go to a skatepark like if you’ve never been, like going there and also being new, it takes a certain amount of courage. But I think you’ll be surprised when you really try, you try to figure it out stuff, you ask people for help. Most the time the people you ask are a skateboarder and they tell you how to do something, and maybe when you get it sometimes people give you a compliment like “Hey, what you did was handsome.” In general, it’s like a pretty open place. A lot of the time people are so afraid and warning to getting hurt, and they are afraid of what people think of them, but if you really want to try something, everyone has to start somewhere. The first couple of things you’re gonna fall, but you have to learn has to fall and it’s easier over time.
When did you discover Vans as a brand and what does it mean for you to be part of the Vanguards campaign?
I remember when I was in High School I got to go in the Vans store and pick out a pair of shoes and I got authentic and I wore the crap out of there, they had holes in the bottom and I draw on it. They were really special, I think it was the pair of shoes I over wore and it wasn’t until later when I was more familiar with the brand. When I was in the skating I got more familiar with Vans and with what they were about.
How does the choice of shoe affect performance and is there a Vans model with which you feel more comfortable and safe?
There’s a lot of personal preference, so, some people feel like a slip-on it’s just like what they want, it’s super easy, you can put it on easy and take them off. For skating I don’t use it, I usually skate high top cause I like my ankle more supported. But it’s all about personal preference, you know how you feel when you put on the shoe and take the first steps. And sometimes, if you look at the shoes and you feel good about just how you look that’s the most basic thing if you look down and you like what you see.
Is there something you always do before a race, like a superstitious gesture?
I mean, before a contest the choice I usually try to eat a hot meal for breakfast, just cause I know that meal makes me feel good. It’s super simple but that’s the thing that makes me happy. It makes me feel ready for the day. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
What was your reaction when skateboard was declared an Olympic discipline and how are you preparing for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics?
I fell like for a long time was up in the air, talk about it, I feel like I just trying to figure it out the logistic, and I’m excited to see how, what’s gonna be like in Tokyo and I’ve just been skating, taking care of myself the best that I can, to be ready for the contest.
How do you think you’re gonna live an experience like the Olympics?
I’m excited about the experience to go to Tokyo and compete but I know once it’s over I just come back and skateboarding as I always do. I guess I’ll look for the next thing, in skating for me.