Now Casting: Lucien Clarke


Lucien Clarke is quickly becoming a skateboard legend. As a leader in his industry, the recently-nominated Thrasher skater of the year has amassed legions of young fans hoping to follow in his footsteps. And what footsteps they are—everything Clarke does seems effortless, even as he works with his former icons, now friends, daily, shooting videos, and defining what’s cool. He starred in Palace’s recent film, Palasonic, about the team, and collaborated on a sneaker with Supra, but he has aspirations of breaking the mould and creating his own shoe line. CR caught up with London’s coolest skater to ask about how he got his start, injuries along the way, and his winter style staples.

How did you get your start?
A long time ago. When I was 14, I went for a stroll with my then-new stepdad. We went through Hyde Park in London, and I saw someone skateboarding—a few people, actually. I saw them, and was like “Wow, that’s amazing.” My stepdad was on best behavior at this point in general, so he was like, “Alright,” and he got me a skateboard the next day. I haven’t stopped since. I got spoiled from the very beginning.

Where is the best place to skate?
It depends. London is really good, but also, obviously, here, in New York. They’re quite similar. London is really crusty and the surfaces are very old. The architecture is a lot older, so it looks more interesting, but it’s a lot harder to skate on. In LA, everything is really smooth and flat.

Have you ever been injured?
But of course, definitely. A lot. I broke my wrist, and had to have two metal rods go through it to keep it together. I was trying to learn how to ride on a flat line, and I fell back and my wrist literally snapped in two.

What’s the best advice you’ve received on your own career, and what advice do you have for young skaters?
Just be humble, be safe. Simple as that. At the end of the day, it’s just skating. I’d probably tell them be yourself, to be honest, because with skating there are no rules. Everything that I’ve done—and that we’ve done with Palace—has just been from what we want, what we like. I don’t really care too much for other people. I’m just lucky that people kind of jumped on board and I get to do all this.

Do you have a style icon?
I’d say John Coltrane and 2 pac.

What’s your favorite thing to skate in? Has skater style changed since you started?

Probably track pants, easy, and flexy. I don’t like skating in jeans anymore. The style of skating has changed a lot since I started, but now it’s going back to its original form. Like fashion, it comes and it goes. Back then it was definitely its own thing, but now skateboarding and fashion definitely intertwine. More than ever.

Would you consider designing beyond Palace?

My good friend Nugget is the main designer for the clothes, but we all help out and sort of chip in a little bit. It’s nice to wear something that you like rather than what someone else chooses. Eventually, I’d like to start something. A good friend of mine—and triple OG gangster—Erik Ellington, Denis Martin, Rory Milanese, and myself are starting a footwear company that will launch in February. Be on the look out!


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