Nike SB: First off, tell us about NYCSP? How did it start?
Lacey Baker: I wanted to create a space in NY where the community could come together and have something to call their own. Seeing so many womxn & queer skateboarders in NY inspired me to create a space for everyone to come together, make new friendships, and be authentically self-expressed. I didn’t know of anything like this in New York specifically, but I have seen the example through Skate Like a Girl (SLAG) on the west coast over the years. That inspired me to just make something happen.
I envisioned a space where skateboarding is the common thread to bring people from all walks of life to participate in an inclusive creative experience. It’s also part of the project to put NYCSP in everyone's hands, so we can develop it all together. The horizons are much broader when everyone is empowered to create.
The first NYCSP had skateboard workshops as well as an art show and we had two bands play. It went off! It took months of planning and all along the way people were just so willing to help out, the community-made this such a beautiful experience and watching it grow has been so humbling.
SB: Skating in NY is way different than where you grew up in California. What do you like about skating in NY?
LB: I love how condensed everything is in NY. Much different vibe than LA. I love the weather changes, adapting to new terrain, both skating and not. I prefer public transit over having a car. I love walking places, skating places, riding my bike.
I fell in love with skating all over again when I visited NY for the first time in August of 2016. I was finishing up “My World” and Tyler (Smolinski) and I had the best days skating and filming. Taking the train all over the place and skating spots all day long was such a different pace from the usual driving around from spot to spot in Socal. There’s a rhythm to skating here that is so familiar to my childhood. You get to be on your skateboard all day long exploring spots. It’s magic to me. Kudos to Tyler for being on the filming mission with all the camera gear!
SB: Where’s your favorite slice of pizza in New York?
LB: Scarr’s all the way.
SB: Representation is obviously a key part of NYCSP’s goals, what do you want to see come out of the event?
LB: The number one goal from the start was to create a space for the queer and womxn skateboarding community where people can come and know they’re safe in their full self-expression. We welcome all ages and abilities to the skateboard workshops to ensure the growth of our community. It’s a beautiful thing when people get to be in their truest form. The self-expression, compassion, support and respect in the NYCSP space creates an overflow of love, people are just stoked all day.
SB: Aside from events like NYCSP, have you seen any other ways that groups that traditionally haven’t had as much of a presence in skateboarding are getting involved and excited about skating?
LB: SLAG has been doing work to foster inclusivity within the skate community for 17 years. That is hugely inspiring for me, and I am lucky enough to have had their support in the creation of NYCSP. Kristin Ebeling played an enormous role in making the very first NYCSP possible and the turnout couldn't have been better. I couldn’t have done this kind of thing on my own and I am eternally grateful to be a part of such a rad community. Also grateful to Nike SB for helping create the second event! Shout out to all the people around the world fostering inclusive and safe spaces for queer skaters. There are so many people doing so much cool stuff.
@skatelikeagirl | @quellskate | @thealliance_wsa | @meowskateboards | @unityskateboarding | @xemskaters | @skateistan | @campskateboarding | @vancouverqueerskate | @skateism | @girlsskatenetwork | @brujas | @neighbour_skate | @girlsshred | @skategirlsberlin | @theskatewitches | @gnarhunters | @doyenneskateboards | @kcdcskateshop | @sk8babes | @brianaking | @theskatexchange
I’m sure there are more out there! So many to name. It’s really inspiring.
SB: Any gender-nonconforming/trans skaters you think more people should be watching?
SB: Other than getting prepped for the Olympics, what’s on the horizon for you?
LB: Trying to learn new manuals!
Learn more about the contributions women and the LGBTQ+ community have made to shape skateboarding’s history.
Leo Baker's "Post-Op" Spitfire Part