Red Bull has done something that has never been done before: bringing skaters into London’s Natural History Museum. Creating a once in a lifetime film, Red Bull brought along a roster of female skaters to rail flip in the museum and ollie over the skeleton of a dinosaur. Can you believe that more people have walked on the moon than gone skating in the Natural History Museum? That’s a fact that really puts it all into perspective.
The 21 year old Belgian skater Lore Bruggeman who participated in the 2020 Summer Olympics, the debut of skateboarding as an Olympic sport, was part of the group to take over the museum. While the title of Olympian is an impressive one, Lore barely identifies with it. The competitions are fun, sure, but for Lore, skating is so much more than that. We caught up with her to talk about her love of the culture, people and mindset within skateboarding, as well as her experience skating in places like the Natural History Museum and Dubai.
Let’s get started! Tell me about your experience filming here with Red Bull.
It’s been amazing. I’ve been finding spots where it’s like I haven’t seen this, but we could do something here. It’s crazy, being here. And everyone is amazing. There’s a big pool today. It was really small before but like, throughout the week, it was mostly people running around. That was a bit heavy sometimes because they have to get all organised. But at the end it worked out.
Have you ever skated in a museum before? Could you say that?
Nope! I don’t think I will ever again. So I’m grateful for this opportunity.
I know you’ve travelled around the world a lot. Was there one country that you were like “wow, this beautiful place to skate in”?
Yeah, I went to Brazil a couple of times for skating. You have the seaside, and then the mountains in the background, and big cities. It was so fun cruising around Rio.
It’s such a nice way of sight-seeing, skateboarding.
Yeah, there are so many places I would have never been seen without it. I’ve been to Dubai twice, and I don’t think I would have gone to Dubai if I wasn’t a skater, but actually, it’s nice that I have seen it.
In 2020, you attended the Summer Olympics, which was quite crazy for the world of skateboarding as well. What was it like skateboarding in such a high profile, competitive environment?
When it was first announced that it was going to be an Olympic sport, there was a lot of contradiction between skaters. There was one part that was like “why not? Let’s do it”. And then there was a core group of skateboarders like “nah, don’t touch our community”. I mean, I can understand that, but I was more neutral like “well, this is happening”. I was able to have the chance to dig it. Why not give it a try? I think [skateboarding] is getting more appreciated, because not much has changed. People have noticed that the skaters that were in the Olympics are still street skating in the core scenes.
So the skate scene is still very much similar to before it was an Olympic sport.
The youngsters are coming in though. So the little kids are making the scene a bit different, but the older generations have not changed.
As a skateboarding athlete, what does a typical day of training look like for me? Do you have a set routine and tasks you need to do or do you just kind of go and have fun with it?
I mostly have a typical week. I don’t like to use the word train, but I have skate sessions four times a week with the team Belgium in the Federation. Basically, obligated skate sessions. And then it depends on how my body feels. Most of the time I go to the gym twice a week, but that depends how I’m feeling, if I’m home. Then I just skate with my friends whenever I can.
You’ve mentioned before that you’re not really fussed or you don’t necessarily care too much for the competitive side of skateboarding. So what is it about skateboarding that you really love?
I always like to go back to why I started it. For me that was just because it was. fun It was something challenging. When I was a kid, I was always looking for something challenging, and that has stuck with me, looking for boundaries and pushing them. That’s what I like. Also because it’s more than the sport, it brought me friends, it brought me determination. Skaters really have this determination to keep progressing. It’s not like when you learn something that you’re like “that’s on my level”. Everyday you can progress. I think that’s the most important thing by having fun and doing this. And then you’re able to do some contests, yeah, why not?
Tell me what was the hardest trick that you’ve learned? The one that took you so long to get but when you did got it, it was like “yes, finally”.
For me, that would be the impossible upside. That’s the trick you have to kick first, and then get on the rail slide, and then get off.
Have you managed to do it?
Yeah. I did it like a couple of times, but I want to get it more consistent.
A big part of skateboarding, like you mentioned, is the culture that accompanies it. Have you noticed, since you’ve travelled the world, that the culture is similar in all these places? Or is there a difference?
Every place I’ve been to is the same. The people are the same, the sessions are the same. I mean, you always have some different people but for the main part, where you go and see skating, it’s the same. Everybody tries tricks, everybody hypes each other up. That’s the thing that connects us as skaters.
You started skateboarding around age 12, and you also entered the competitive scene at such a young age. Have people underestimated you, because you’re so young? They see you, and they’re like, “Oh, she can’t be that good”. And then you show up. And they’re like, speechless, because you’ve actually shown that you are that good.
It happened a lot when I was younger, when I went to skateparks in Belgium. When I showed up, especially when I was younger and looked, I guess, more vulnerable and as well being one of the only girls, I would see people looking. But I was like “fuck it, I will skate”. Once I started skating they were like, “oh, wait, she can skate”. That happened quite a few times. Now it’s more of a normal thing. All kinds of skaters are in the park. You don’t get, or at least I don’t get that many looks anymore like “what are you doing here”?
Now the skateboard scene is definitely opening up more to female skaters, but before it used to be very male dominated. Do you have any advice for young girls who want to get into skating, but maybe they’re scared, because there are only boys at the skatepark?
Well, that was me at the beginning. But I loved it so much that I couldn’t give a fuck about what other people would think. It was like “well I want to do this, so why don’t I just go to the skate park? My advice would be if you’re scared, just dare to take a step. You’ll make friends, people will help you out. You’ll never be alone in the skate park, for sure. Take your time, take it step by step and don’t let anyone tell you what you can or can’t do.
More on CULTED