September 9th // Interviewer: Shane Allen // Skate
Lizzie is a professional skateboarder who's career in recent years, has really taken off. So much so that Lizzie will be going to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and is featured in the latest Tony Hawk Pro Skater video game. Sponsored by Tony Hawk's board company. Birdhouse, Lizzie has been setting a precedent for a new standard in woman's skateboarding. There has been woman's pro skating for years, but it hasn't been until recent years that a much bigger spotlight has been placed on it. Lizzie and her peers have been able to really break through the industry and make names for themselves and a living as well.
A game known for getting millions of kids into skating, the Tony Hawk games were and still are a cultural phenomenon, one of the only few representations of skating to the general public. The playable characters that were in the games were always current popular pro skaters, Lizzie gets to join that legacy and be permanently embedded into the game. Just as much as people grew up idolizing skaters in the original games such as Andrew Reynolds, Careem Campbell, Chad Muska, Elissa Steamer, kids now and for generations to come will be looking at Lizzie Armanto, idolizing her in the same way.
So how have the last couple of months been for you?
All in all, I feel like I've been super fortunate. It’s not the easiest time, but thankfully I just still have my job and I'm still skateboarding, so I don't know. It's kinda just been like a big break for me.
I totally geared up for this year to be kinda gnarly with scheduling and it just turned out to be the exact opposite, but I can't complain.
Totally it's kind of discouraging.when your picking up steam and then coming to a dead stop.
It can be, but skateboarding is so disorganized and on the fly. For the world to have a moment, it doesn't feel like the craziest thing.
Have you ever wanted to take a break from skating?
I feel like for the most part, I try to balance out my schedule so that I'm not overdoing it. There has been a couple of summers where I didn't give myself a break. Once the summer ended, I got to that point that I knew I can't do what I just did to myself again.
I feel like I've learned to navigate the ebbs and flows of skateboarding. It's so different. Traveling can be exhausting and skating itself is super physical, so you have to find what works for you. There's some people that can go all the time and never stop. And there's other people who aren't as busy.
So how did you get into skating?
So I started skating when I was 14. My brother and I had skateboards, my dad had bought them for us when we were like younger and it wasn't until we moved to Santa Monica with my mom that my brother wanted to take them out. There's a heavy skate influence and a really long history of skateboarding there.
My mom ended up taking us both to the skate park and signing us up. And then from there on out, that was the place we would go to. It was either to the library or the skate park. The park was a better choice for us.
A little more exciting than the library. Were you into anything else besides skateboarding as a kid?
Yeah, growing up, I used to be into arts and crafts, I was athletic. I never really did any sports, but I loved being outside and being in the garden and I think drawing was like my thing.
What do you think is some of the most important things skating has taught you over the years?
Skating has taught me so much, it definitely goes beyond life lessons. I've seen the whole world. But honestly, its as simple as, if you fall, you get back up. Persevere.
That'll get you a long way with any thing you want to do. If you were to go out skating on any random day, what is the first spot you're going to?
Lately. I've kind of been all over the place. I've really been into just skating curbs. Pretty simple but it's been refreshing.
How did you start to get sponsored by Birdhouse? Was Birdhouse your first sponsor?
So my first sponsor was Santa Monica airlines and they are all like one of the oldest companies in skateboarding. Growing up in Santa Monica I was on their radar. I was just like a local kid and at some point they started giving me boards.
It wasn't until I was skating contests a lot. My friend Jeff Grosso, he was asking me, if I were to be on any board company, what company would I be on? I told him I have a board sponsor. I just felt so happy that I did have someone that was hooking me up.
"And at the time there wasn't other females on core skateboard companies, it definitely felt like a stretch to get on one of them."
I ended up thinking of all the brands that were around or like around at that time. I just felt like Birdhouse was the option that stood out to me.
Fit you the best
Yeah. And so I just reaching out to friends and I knew like I knew people that knew Tony, I'd met him too, but I didn't know him or anything. I guess through the grapevine word got to him and then I think he texted me or like messaged me on Instagram. I forget. Which was really crazy. He reached out and it's like, "Yeah, we would super down to give you some boards and maybe you can come on some demos with us." And we started the like relationship there.