Lamb loving Lydia aka Cam aka Cam Lydia aka Dam Ceegan sits down with us in this conversation spanning his past 3 years of racing around Europe (and other places with sheep).
Hello Cam, how are you doing?
Hey Gbemi, I’m good, just a little busy with preparing for this summer’s skate trips etc.
Where are you going?
First, headed to Sweden/Norway for Lilyhammer. Then I’ll fly home, grab my car and drive to Germany to pick up Deen Mondt and make our way around Europe hitting; Kozakov (Czech Republic), KNK (Slovenia) and Verdichhio (Italy). Going to be a pretty hectic 6 weeks.
First time in Viking land?
No, actually, I was hanging out in Sweden last year. But I’ve never hit Norway, so I’m stoked for that.
Who are you going to Lily with?
I’m flying to Gothenburg and driving from there with a Swedish friend, Linn.
What’ll Deen be doing in Germany?
Deen is at a skate event I believe. So the usual, partying skating…
Cam loves kozakov, does he not?
Cam does love Kozakov haha. Always some crazy stuff going down.
Where are you from?
I’m from Her Majesty’s Great Britain! Slap bang in the middle of the South Coast.
How did you get into wheelie boarding?
I’ve had a skateboard since I was a nipper. But only really started to focus on skating three or fours years ago. Since, it has completely consumed me.
What changed 4 years ago?
I’d just quit BMXing at the time, and wanted to still be pushing myself I guess, just in a different direction. I was getting bored of everyday school life e.t.c, maybe I skated a little too much at some points.
Why’d you quit?
I’d got to a point where I felt I wasn’t moving forward anymore. Needed something fresh and new.
“The fact that skateboarding has so many different forms is what makes it challenging, there’s always something new to learn.”
Has skateboarding been the challenge you hoped?
Definitely, and more. It’s taken me to places I wouldn’t have seen myself four years ago. The fact that skateboarding has so many different forms is what makes it challenging, there’s always something new to learn.
When all of you in consumed, what is left?
Nothing but skateboarding, in every shape form and medium.
One cannot skateboard too much – Einstein.
Too much of anything is bad, although it takes a lot more of skateboarding than anything else to be bad, I feel.
What were you getting up to on your board 4 years ago?
I’d just started to learn to slide and begin to bomb hills at that point.
What setup were you on then?
I was on this pintail I’d been given by someone, can’t remember who. It was all cracked and beat up, but it worked. Soon after I bought a Landyachtz Time Machine.
Who were you riding with?
My dog. While I was being towed around by him and some school friends who had also picked it up at the same time.
There was no community around you?
Not immediately close, but luckily I discovered there was a pretty active scene not far away in Bournemouth. Outlaw races and sessions etc. That’s what really got me hooked. My parents used to take me to outlaw races every couple of weeks before I learnt to drive.
What were those races like?
Sketchy, fast and narrow. It was more about how much you were willing to push yourself than technique.
How supportive are they of your habit?
My parents are massively supportive, and are always helping me out. At the beginning whilst I was still studying they were a little apprehensive as I was concentrating on skating more than my school stuff.
How did meeting the larger community impact you?
It was cool to see other skaters that were much more advanced than me at the time, gave me something to aim for and look up to. And as a product of this, I met so many good friends through the skate community.
Who did you look up to as a young grom?
Louis Pilloni, James Kelly and Adam Colton were blowing up as I was starting to skate, I would always see media of them tearing it up. The Eh Team Landyachtz videos and SkateHouseMedia were watched religiously.
Were there any hard lessons to learn?
Just the usual hard slams and road-rash. Learning the hard way is sometimes the best. I remember getting really stoked after bombing with a pack of guys without getting super sketchy.
How much skating did it take to get there?
Just skating regularly and pushing myself at every session for a summer.
Who were the first UKDH friends you made?
Funnily enough, one of my first was actually a Kiwi. Patrick Howard was working in a school in Bournemouth for a year, we ended up becoming close friends and skating as much as we could together. We still keep in contact, I was staying with him in New Zealand for nearly two months last winter.
Where were your favourite hunts?
I used to skate a ton of residential spots with Patrick and the other Bournemouth dudes, I later discovered spots without any cars, much better.
When did you start to venture further for stoke times?l
I first went abroad to Belgium for the Wallonhill freeride in 2012. I remember it being super rainy all weekend, regardless, it was such a blast.
Did it live up to your dreams?
Totally, it was cool to finally meet some skaters from different countries that shared the same passion as I did. That was the first time I met Deen and Taco, some of my good Dutch friends. Little did I know I would be living in Holland and skating with those guys all time in the future.
What an odd future that must have been. #Emile.
Haha! Totally, just went with the flow that skating took me on.
Did you do Bo Peep the year before?
I didn’t, I think I was too scared haha!
What other events did you do in 2012?
That was it for overseas events in 2012. I went on my first Eurotour the following year.
No hog hill/Vandem/ride the dragon?
Ooopsie, yes actually. I hit the Vandem freeride later that Summer! So many runs, those guys know how to run an event.
What did you do to prepare for your first tour?
I was just skating as much as possible, trying to go as fast as I could to prepare for Almabtrieb/Kozakov and KNK.
What were you riding then?
Back then I was riding a Sector 9 Brandy, Gullwing Munkaes and Biggie Hawgs!
Where did your adventure start?
Myself, Pearse D’Arcy, Mark Moore and Alex Parfitt got talking about doing a full euro tour during the wet and cold winter. It gradually became a reality and suddenly we we’re all packed into Alex’s car ready to leave on a four week trip. We first stopped off at Bo Peep en route to the euro-tunnel to sneak a couple of fast runs in. Our first event stop was Almabtrieb in Germany.
How was Almatrieb?
Almabtrieb was a dream. Super smooth, fast and surfy corners. My first proper taste of speed.
Did you die?
I don’t think so, unless this is a dream… I was competing in opens as I was just outside the juniors age bracket, hard competition but I learnt so much about racing.
Where did you skate on the rest of that tour?
After Almabtrieb we made our way over to the Czech Republic for Kozakov. Bit of a step up in terms of intensity; a narrower track with a similar speed and much more technical corners. I felt I improved here more than anywhere because of that. Once we had skated and partied our way through the event; Slovenia was next on the list. It was nice to finish up on a freeride event, no pressure, warm weather and good people.
Did Kozakov live up to your expectation?
And beyond. I’d always seen footage from the hill, especially after the Greener Pastures series, that really got me pumped. The hill was much narrower and steeper in person. And the party, well…
Well indeed. Is that how you got your nickname?
It may have something to do with it, yes.
What were the biggest lessons from seeing Europe on the back of a board?
How high the standard in Europe was, tough competition everywhere. Take more dressings, you will get road rash and having it stick and leak in your clothes sucks. Also, don’t sit on your satnav, driving by maps for a month gets frustrating.
Did you do much UK skating after?
Yeah, I was really motivated to stay on my board and go back the following year, faster and more competitive. The amount I was skating increased, but I found my local spots to be slow and less challenging after the spots we’d skated.
Where are your favourite UK places to ride?
I’m in Wales as much as I can be now, that’s where the best drops in the UK reside. Between racing and hills, I’m always hitting up bowls and parks, the UK has so much variety in skate parks.
How do you make up for the boring spots?
Trying to think outside of the box, or ride set-ups that make them more challenging.
Based on your experience from your first tour, what did you set out to acheive the following year?
After my first Eurotour, I wanted to actually come back the following and be more of a competitor as opposed to just getting down the hill. Now that I was fine with the speed and the more technical side of things.
Did you do any special prep?
I just tried to travel around the UK a bit more. I realised, once I was home, that I didn’t really make use of all the hills I had in the UK. So as soon as I was back, I was at the Vandem freeride and skating down in Exeter with the Goodwin brothers.
There are skaters in Exeter?
Sure are! Dicky Ward, Olly & Toby Goodwin were the dudes I used to stay and skate with down there. They had some real fun technical hills and we all pushed each other.
What is Vandem?
The Vandem Freeride was one of, if not the first closed road freeride event in the UK. I remember taking so many runs that weekend, I could barely walk at the end.
What were you riding on your second tour?
By that point, I’d been picked up by Landyachtz, Bear and Hawgs. I was on a Canyon Arrow or a Wolfshark with gold precision Grizzlies and Biggies! The money.
Where did you skate that year?
That was the year I moved to Holland to work at Sickboards. It was a pretty busy year in terms of travelling as I was based in mainland Europe. I began the year with the Eat Concrete race in Belgium, then headed to Germany for the Fairytale race. Good warm up for the upcoming IDF events. A couple of weeks later, I made my way to Kozakov, KNK and Peyragudes. After the Eurotour, I was in Switzerland and Belgium again.
How did you get sponsored?
I guess I was just putting out a regular stream of media and trying to make a name for myself in the UK scene. Landyachtz were looking for a rider in the UK, I put my name forward and things went from there.
What pushed you to Holland?
I’d just finished my A-Levels and had nothing planned, Lisa and Martijn offered me a job around the same time. I took them up on the offer and moved out there shortly after. I thought it would be a good way to get around Europe more, being closer to Germany etc.
Did you enjoy working in the shop?
I was working in the warehouse/shop and doing a lot of the social media whilst I was at Sickboards. Everyday was pretty varied, with so much going in and out of the warehouse it was always busy!
What’s Belgium like?
Belgium is pretty cool, I’ve spent quite a lot of time there. I always have a good time skating there, otherwise I can’t imagine it being any fun haha! It seems pretty plain otherwise. The scene is tight there, a really good group of guys hold it down.
Kozakov better 2nd time round?
So much better. I could skate the track so much faster, and could focus on being competitive.
Did you win the party?
I tried, although topping my previous year wasn’t easy, ha.
Beginner’s luck only works once.
Did getting on teams like LY and Sick change skating?
Definitely, at first I felt like I was just skating for ‘the sponsors’. It got to a point where I wasn’t having as much as I should. Maybe because I felt pressured or something. Once I began skating more for the reason I started; just having fun, things were all good.
Have you done any team trips?
Not with the Landyachtz boys, with the Sick crew yes!
Spoky said to ask Deen about your Chlamydia… Is it that sort of team?
We’re pretty close.
What was the highlight of your 2014?
Just becoming closer with all the Sick team, and being able to travel as much as I did.
Why do you like your team mates?
Like minded people that are in it for the fun. The best kind to travel with.
Are you having a fun year?
This year has been a blast. I’ve been in so many countries and skated so much cool terrain.
What new places have you visited?
I was lucky enough to be in New Zealand for a month and a half at the start of year. Followed by Norway a couple of months later. Both were new for me.
Wow. Wales and New Zealand. You must really love… mutton.
Haha, what you sayin? Maybe I’m just subliminally attracted to sheep. For real though, I love lamb.
How was Norway?
Expensive!! I pretty much spent 0 money there, unless I absolutely had to. All of my food and supplies were bought in Sweden en route. The scenery was beautiful, mountains surrounded by huge lakes. It was good to catchup with all the international homies on the first stop of the European tour, Max Wippermann, Kyle Wester, Spoky.
More expensive than London?
Easily! I mean London ain’t cheap, but Norway was a couple of notches above.
How important are relationships to your enjoyment of skating?
I guess I essentially have two friend groups, one of skaters and the other friends back home. It’s hard to keep up sometimes, as I’m away a lot throughout the year.
Which is better?
I couldn’t say. Equally as good but different.
What was the skating in NZ like?
New Zealand was like nothing I’ve skated before, it has a pretty small population. So when you venture out of the town’s and cities you’re really on your own, which was cool. I spent a portion of my time in Wellington skating with the WLA crew. That was a blast, we’d be out till 2am some nights skating the busier runs that weren’t skate-able during the day. The rest of my time was spent road tripping around the north island, skating all manner of roads and parks. Mt Ruapehu was memorable for me.
Sounds like a busy year?
Definitely, busy but fun. I’ve just recently got home from the Eurotour so I’m adjusting back to normal life for the time being. Loads of UK events on the horizon to look forward to for the rest of the year!
Best tour yet?
Yes. This year was the bomb, no pressure and a good crew.
Who did you travel with?
In my car; myself, Deen Mondt and Henry Hayhurst who was filming with his drone. The Belgian boys, Robbie Larock and Jasper D’Haene were convoying with us for a large part of the tour as well.
Favourite heats of your summer?
Has to be in Norway, I had two heats with a Swedish skater, (can’t remember his name) we were battling it out the whole way. It was so tight on the line.
What’s normal life for Lydia?
Hanging out with supermodels and eating cereal is pretty much how everyday ends up when I’m at home.
What’s coming up in the UK?
In a couple of days the Tregaron free ride is going off, closed road with two hairpins. After that there’s a bunch of slide jams and races happening. The guys at Brianne Collective have been working hard to put on events in the UK this year, so big a big thanks goes to them. Check em out on Facebook!
What’s your plan for the future?
I have no solid plans for the near future, just going work a little over winter and continue to skate and surf as much as I can. Next year I’m hopefully going to be in Canada and the US for some skating. Maybe some studying on the horizon as well.
Anything else we didn’t mention which you wanna talk about?
Who is in the squad and how can people join?
Myself, Deen Mondt, Taco, Will Edwards, Remy Sneek, Sep Huls, Max Grosfeld and Emile. We’re full, sorry.
Who should we interview next?
Pick 3 numbers between 1-30.
21, 9 and 4.
21 – Would you pick the red or blue pill?
Red, Neo takes it and turns into a complete machine. I’d like to do the same.
9 – What song would you like played at your funeral?
Track 5 – Skepta or Wake me up before you go go – Wham, tough choice.
4 – Who is your favourite skater?
Lydia lamb lover. It’s great to finally have gotten this done. Congratulations on stuff. Catch you (not your nickname) somewhere!
Digging the name extension, I know right! It’s only taken, what two months? You never know…
Any last words?
Hi mum and dad!
Instagram me – @cam_deegan
And thanks again!