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What We Can Learn From the Long Live Southbank Campaign

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LLSB’s campaign to save and revitalize Southbank is a shining example of what can be with regards to saving and preserving skateboarding’s historical spaces. While we’ve seen similar things happen at the West L.A. Courthouse with the help of funding from Nike, LLSB’s grassroots approach is nothing short of inspirational. SOLO just released its interview with LLSB’s Stuart Maclure and Louis Woodhead from Issue 36, which focuses on skateboarding and public spaces. You can read a couple of key points on what can be taken away for LLSB’s movement below.

What can others learn from the LLSB campaign?

L: I hope that it can inspire people to be proactive. Engaging with political and establishment systems as we did may not be a good vibe in every context, but being proactive to make the spaces around you more pleasant, or to open new spaces with creative potentials is always a good thing, I think – and London definitely needs more of this vibe.

S: That young people, and young skaters in particular, can actually have a major effect on our cities. Cities should not be seen as places that just make money, and campaigning to protect skating is an important part of rejecting that idea. Strong communities are a very powerful thing.

What does the Southbank campaign and its success stand for in times of gentrification and privatization of public spaces?

L: London is changing very rapidly, and in many senses, this seems quite uncontrollable. It’s getting more and more expensive and more and more controlled: privatizations of public space, ever-increasing use of CCTV and private security guards, increasingly homogeneous architecture, stricter licensing laws, lack of affordable rentals, etc. etc. All of this makes it a lot harder for cool things to occur. Southbank shows that you can stand up to this tide – and even if it’s just one success, it certainly means something.

S: The restoration campaign has shown that we cannot only protect existing creative spaces, but we can also create more spaces like Southbank. The campaign represents the value of these spaces and has been influential in the way that decision makers look at the public realm. It’s helped the skateboard community be better recognized as a legitimate and supported part of society and the identity of our city.

Read the full interview here.

Image Via SOLO

INTERVIEWS

‘Good Work’ Episode Features Lisa Whitaker and Meow Skateboards

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Skater Lisa Whitaker narrated how she started Meow Skateboards in this episode of “Good Work”.

She also related how she got introduced to skateboarding and how she founded Girls Skate Network in 2003.

Whitaker started her skateboard company in 2012. Now, Meow has more than a dozen talents including Vanessa Torres, Mariah Duran and Kristin Ebeling.

“Lisa has always been the catalyst for women skateboarding”, says Torres who was one of the first skaters to join Meow’s roster.

Produced by Red Bull, the Good Work series features skater-owned and operated businesses.

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INTERVIEWS

Monster Energy’s Aspire-Inspire Episode Features Mami Tezuka

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Get to know more about Mami Tezuka in this episode of Aspire-Inspire by Monster Energy.

Surrounded by skaters growing up, Mami showed interest in skateboarding at around the age of three.

She started participating in competitions abroad in 2017. In 2021, she won silver in the X Games Women’s Skateboarding part. She landed third place in X Games Chiba 2022.

Fellow Monster Energy rider and friend Lizzie Armanto describes Mami as easy-going, fun to be around, and inspiring. “When I’m around her, I want to push myself better,”

Tezuka admits that she enjoys filming video parts more enjoyable than participating in contests.

“Competition is kind of stressful for me”, Mami said. But added that she does enjoy seeing everyone at contests.

“Filming part is more fun for me…it doesn’t to be hard, tricky trick, but you can see the style and progress of the skating”, explained Mami.

I want to inspire girl skaters and young people. Do what you love and then don’t be afraid to be yourself.

Mami tezuka

Aspire-Inspire is a mini-documentary series by Monster Energy. Previous episodes featured Aurelien Giraud, Kelvin Hoeffler, Rune Glifberg, Ayumu Hirano, Nyjah Huston, and Matt Berger.

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INTERVIEWS

The Nine Club Features Elliot Sloan

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Elliot Sloan narrated how he injured his neck while doing a 900 and his other worst slams on the ramp in this episode of The Nine Club podcast.

He also talked about getting into vert and then mega ramp, building his own vert and mini mega ramp in his own backyard, and hosting the X Games in his backyard among other things in the two-hour podcast.

Sloan is a four-time X Games Big Air gold medalist. In the recent X Games held in his backyard, he landed second place in the debut of the Mega Ramp category and first in the Skateboard Vert Best Trick.

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