Lyde Begue: Moving On Up
Lyde Begue is a skater I’ve had my eye on for a while now. I first heard whispers of her downhill and freeride prowess from my travels throughout Europe in the summer 2014 and spring 2015. Since then, I’ve had the pleasure of watching her latest video projects, following her race journey, and celebrating her first IDF podiums! After ample internet lurking, I finally decided to reach out and learn more about her directly. Safe to say, she’s awesome! Take a read, check her out, and follow along the rest of her journey @lydebegue.
Hey Lyde! Thanks for taking the time for this interview. I don’t know much about you but I’ve heard great things from many people throughout the industry! For those who also don’t know much about you, tell us a little about yourself.
How did you get into skating?
I bought a longboard just to cruise in town and go to school. Then I would say that I just met the good people at the right moment, just by chance. One month after buying my first board, I went to California and met the Loaded Crew. They taught me some dancing tricks and how to have a good balance. Then I spent 3 months in South Africa and met the “Longboard Stellenbosch Crew” and they taught me how to slide. And finally I met Spoky Woky that taught me how do go downhill. All of this in 7 months!
Crazy! Sounds like an amazing whirlwind of an adventure so far. Where did your love for downhill come from?
First the kindness of all the people that I’ve met through longboarding. I just realized that we are a big family. And then downhill skateboarding is always challenging: you’re always trying to go faster, to do smaller and more precise slides, there are always new roads to skate with new lines… You never get bored :)
I agree completely. The people and community were a huge reason why I also stuck with the sport and ended up progressing. Do you dabble in other disciplines like freeriding or freestyle?
I LOVE freeriding. There is nothing better. And it’s even better when you can do it at high speed and with your friends around… we call it FreeDownhill haha ! This gives so much adrenaline.
What’s the downhill scene like in Europe and how do you play a role in that community?
We have a really good downhill scene in Europe and specially in France because we organize quite a lot of freeride. We can have 10 freerides organized from March to October and then 4 small winter events from December to February. And if we want more, we can go to Switzerland, Belgium or Germany! For my part, I try to organize girls initiations in Lyon (with a dancing and downhill part).
You and LGC France released this amazing 3-part series called ‘French Girls Down The Mountain’. How did the project come about and what was the purpose behind it?
This project was first the idea of a friend, Pierre Hardillier who opened his board shop in 2013. The idea was simply to gather the french girls that like to go downhill. And today, even if the shop has closed, we want to keep doing these episodes, for us, and to show that there are girls in France that can go fast on their board wearing leather and big tshirts, and not only shorts and bikinis.
You’ve also had a breakout race season with a win at Verdicchio and a 3rd place at Kozakov! A huge congratulations for that! How long have you been racing and do you have a favorite track?
Thank you! I started racing in France in 2013 and then in Europe since 2014. I haven’t done lots of race tracks, but I would say that for now, my favourite is Kozakov, because this first corner after the schuss always gives me chills. I’ve been air-braking a bit and gripping it until now, but one day i will stay in full tuck position and just do a small slide. (that’s a dream)
Would you say the freeride culture in Europe has really contributed to your downhill progression or did you just use races and your own local hills to progress?
Of course, races and open roads helped me to progress. It’s a good school because you have to stay focus all the time. But for me, the best school is the freeride. I push my limits when I skate very tight with my friends. I usually start a run being in front, and during the run they will most of the time push me so I can go faster and stay with them. Even if i’m scared and tell them to simply pass me, most of the time they won’t do it. They will stay behind me, like saying “we’re behind you, you can’t slow down too much, and no mistakes are allowed otherwise we are all going to crash”. This is the best way to learn how to go downhill for me (and so much fun and adrenaline!). This is something that can’t happen neither on open roads nor in races.
What would you say to any lady looking to get into downhill skateboarding?
Never give up even if you crash sometimes. Take things at your own pace and everything should be alright. It’s going to be fun for sure!! :)
Awesome advice! Hope to meet you in real life one day. Until then, let’s end things off with a quick lightning round.
Creole food from my Island
For Downhill: Nicolas Robert (Switzerland) and Yanis Markarian (France)
For freeriding: Jules Hornung (Switzerland)
Restless NKD Advanced, Riptide 90a barrel APS, Rey Trucks light 45°
Any thankyous or shoutouts?
I would like to say a HUGE thank you to CDK Shop for their amazing support. Travelling in Europe this year has been possible thanks to them. And also thank you to Restless Longboard, Riptide Bushings, Yeska Jewelry and Rey Trucks.
Thanks Lyde, it has been great getting to know you better!