The Follow Up: Ruby Lilley

RubyLilley.1 Aguilar 2000
On the heels of her epic Monster part, Ruby dishes deep on home school, temper tantrums, '80s tricks and the time she kicked her mom’s car window out. RFL for Life!

Photos by Tim Aguilar and Taylor Ballard

Ruby embarks on a crusade for curved concrete across the country and returns in glory with her first part. Don't miss it

You’ve done interviews before, right?

Dude, so many.
So many.

Do you feel like you’re media trained?

Okay, good. Let’s do a little bit of background. Where are you from?
I’m from Ocean City, Maryland.

That’s the home of the Pabiches.
Yep. I grew up at Ocean Bowl skatepark. So the same skatepark that they grew up at.

RubyLily BSSmith TAguilar 2000Crab legs and football...and big-ass back Smiths, that's what Maryland does 

Were you tight with them back then or were you like ships in the night?
What does that mean?

It means you just passed each other, never saw each other—ships in the night.
I started skating when they were making their way to the West Coast when they were blowing up.

Holy cow. How old are you?
I’m 17.

And I understand you have a large family. How many brothers and sisters do you have?
I have four other sisters and three brothers. I grew up on a farm and we had goats, sheep, chickens and bunnies.

What are the chickens’ names? I mean, what are your brothers’ and sisters’ names? Can you name ‘em all?
Lee, Monica, Sophie, Summer, David, Jonathan, Liberty.

Is your family part of a religious group? Why are there so many kids?
I’ll stay out of that question, honestly.

What’s it like at Christmas when you all get together?
Christmas is hectic. There’s so many people and my grandparents and everyone comes and it’s a lot of presents.

So you gotta get at least seven Monster hats organized before Christmas comes.

RubyLily StalefishTailslide TAguilar 2000If skating doesn't work out, Ruby might find her calling at sea. Stale to tail 

Where do you fit in the lineup?
I’m lucky number seven.

You’re the youngest?

Who’s the youngest? How many are below you?
Just my younger sister Liberty.

And you and your mom moved to California right?
Well, we traveled across in an RV. We had the same RV as the Volcom team, the same exact one.

That crazy ‘60s/‘70s thing?
Yep, it’s the same one.

That thing’s always breaking for Volcom.
Us too. But we traveled from Ocean City, Maryland, went to Canada, Montreal, the Big O. I got to do some kickturns on the Big O when I was like ten. And then we went to Colorado for a few months and almost froze to death. Our pipes and everything broke; it was hectic. And then went to Arizona. We didn’t stay there too long. I don’t think we vibed as much. And then we went to California, ‘cause in Arizona I got invited to the Girls Combi Contest 2018. That was my first real, big contest.

Ruby Lilley LienDisaster Ballard 2000Lien disaster to hype up the pack. Ruby's used to a big crew

So you’re 11?
I was like 11 or 12, I think. And then after that, we just never left. I couldn’t leave. The bottom four of us all traveled across—me, my sister and my two brothers. And then the older four are still on the East Coast.

Who’s out here with you and your mom now?
Me, my sister, mom and dad and my two brothers.

Oh my gosh, I thought it was just you and your mom.
No. My brothers are like running around Prince park every day.

Does everybody skate?
My sister rollerskates and and my two brothers are really good at skating. I don’t wanna admit this, but they’re maybe better than me.

Ruby Lilley WallrideBSA 04 15 2023 Ballard 2000Yeah, she rides for Vans. How could you tell? Backside grab off the wall

Do they skate transition or are they street dogs?
They skate everything.

Dude, just like you!
Oh yeah, you know.

I saw that you’ve been working on your street. What are your streetstyle goals right now?
Streetstyle goals? Probably to ollie onto stuff without eating shit.

What’s your record so far?
The other night at San Clemente, I got to ollie onto a hubba and grind down. I think that’s the first time I’ve actually won in a little street battle, and it feels good. I got addicted to that feeling pretty quick.

Ruby Lilley Pullquote Follow Up Take All That Bitchiness 20000

Teenagers are notorious for breaking the rules; they’re rule breakers. Every time I see you, you’re somewhere else in the world ripping, having fun skating. As a teenager do you have any rules?
My mom is always really really worried and concerned. She wants me to be a good person. That’s her main strict rule—being a good person, being super nice and kind to everyone and not being a bitch. Sometimes she’s like, Take your bitchiness out on the coping! Just grind longer. That’s what she tells me. Take all that bitchiness and teenage brat shit out on the coping. Oh yeah, and do good in school. That’s another rule.

How are you doing in school? I didn’t think you went to school.
I’m homeschooled.

Some people might think that’s not real school. How hard is home school?
It’s pretty chill. I’ve been homeschooled my whole life.

No way. What’s 12 times four?
Uhm, I don’t know.

We’re fucked! You always seem real cheerful and pleasant when we’re out skating. Do you sometimes have to put your best face forward, then when you get home with your family that knows you well you can just be a complete turd? Is that what happens?
Not really. Most of the time I’m pretty hyped and stoked on life. It’s kind of rare, but it’s bad when I’m bitchy and I’ll have mood swings and I just get super upset over random stuff.

It happens to everyone. 
Mhmm. But I definitely like being hyped and in a good mood and smiling and stuff. It just makes me skate better. It makes life a lot better all around, for everyone and yourself.

Ruby Lilley Smith Light Death 750Smilin' and survivin', Smith grind light and death

Do you have any internal dialogues you go through when you’re feeling not smiley and pleasant? Things that you say to yourself? Or any sort of tactics to give yourself a hard reset so you can move on in a positive way?
I can’t talk to anyone. I gotta distance myself and just not say anything, not talk to anyone and kinda go do my own thing. Then I’ll come back 30 minutes later like, Hey, I’m sorry. I just had to reset. But I can’t reset during a 30-person session. I gotta go skate the street or something, or go skate a little curb outside the park, then I feel like a different person. But the goal is to just flip the switch during the crazy, hectic session.

Dude, hectic sessions, right?
That’s the goal. If you’re just having a bad session and you’re like, Nah I’m done doing this. I wanna have a good attitude. It’s easier said than done.

Well, this is the follow-up for your big video. Is this your first video part? Or have you made more video parts than this?
This is my first one.

No way, congrats!
Thank you.

What were some of the more fun things to film and which things were a total nightmare?
The tricks that I actually went to the spot for specifically, those were the worst ones—the ones that I went to a spot with the goal, the idea and the plan. Those were the most stressful. But the ones where you’re just in a crew or you’re with a bunch of people and you have no expectations—you’re just on for the ride—that’s probably where I did the best tricks. Yeah, it always just happens unexpectedly.

Yeah. What about that nosegrind at SOMA? Was that hard or easy?
That didn’t take that long. It took maybe a little over an hour, maybe two hours at the most. I don’t know what happened. That one was kinda planned. It was kinda bad. We went to Flower Shop in the morning and we were going there for another homie to get this trick, but then I was like, Oh, I think it would be kinda better if we went to SOMA, ‘cause then we’ll all be able to skate it. I don’t even know where I was going with that story honestly.

Ruby Lilley FSNG2 Ballard 2000Nosegrind over the doorway to hell, AKA Wheatberry's backyard

I think of you as a backside nosegrinder. Is frontside just as easy for you?
No, it’s harder.

Was Wheatberry there?
Who’s that?

He’s a guy who talks about Slayer a lot and has a spray paint can that he sets on fire. You know that guy?
No, I don’t.

He looks like a handsome version of Rocky Dennis from the movie, Mask. He’s kind of a local there. I’ll send you some videos.
Oh my god. No, he wasn’t there.

Jake, my old boss, when he was younger, Wheatberry was like the little kid that they kinda tortured and had fun with. He was their little buddy and mascot, but he’s still around.
That’s crazy.

I noticed you do a lot of tricks to tail and disaster. If you had to pick one, which would it be?

Dude. Have you ever hung that shit up?
No, I’ve hung up and rode away many times but I’ve never hung up and died. I just knocked on wood.

RubyLily Sweeper TAguilar 2000 1Sweeper, well inside on the ramp

It’s almost more dangerous to land with your wheels on the deck trying to go to tail than it is to do a disaster, right? Have you ever done that? Have you ever hung up a lien to tail?

That’s a killer. Sorry, I don’t mean to bring up negative stuff.
It’s okay.

So where do you get this bag of tricks? Honestly, you do the same tricks that the older guys did when I was a kid, with your own modern twists, of course. You do the stock tricks from Summer of ’84. Where did you get these tricks? Who were you around where you picked up crail disasters instead of hardflips or noseslide to crooked grinds?
That’s from skating mini vert ramps, I think. The first three years of me skating in California, I would always skate mini vert ramps and there was always a lot of forty-to-fifty-year-old guys who were super hyped on sweepers and things like that. So I’d just get super motivated to learn those tricks by seeing how hyped they were on them or how hyped they were to see me do them. But I learned crail disasters ‘cause of Sal. What’s his last name? He rides for Creature. No, no, no, Al.

RubyLily CrailDisaster TAguilar 2000Crail disaster at Burnside. No, no, no, Washington Street

Yes. He taught me crail disasters.

Yeah, he does those. That’s his trick.
Yeah, so I learned that at Lizzie’s mini vert ramp.

You and Lizzie have a lot in common ––you were both surrounded by old dudes when you were first learning to skate. Who’s your favorite old person to skate with and who’s your favorite person your age to skate with?
It’s hard. I mainly skate with an in-between age. So that’s so hard. Old guy skater? Umm, you?

Dude. That’s a pretty sad session.
No, no.

Terror below the lip.
Okay, I don’t skate with anybody my age.

You have been recently. I’ve seen you out with some teenage girls.

You know who. All the competitors are your age or even younger.
Yeah, Cocona’s really fun to skate with and she’s my age. Mami, Lady.

RubyLily BSD Aguilar 2000Looks like they're only lettin' two wheels on the deck. Backside disaster

I tripped out when I found out her name was really Lady.
I know. It’s so sick though. It’s a cool name.

Did you trip out too? I thought it was like Lady Gaga or something. It sounds like a rap name, like I’m “Lady Meek.” But that’s her actual name.
I thought she was joking at first when she told me. I’m like, Oh, ha, that’s funny. Then I heard them call her name in the contest and I’m like, Oh my god, that’s really her name. It’s so sick.

Before you went to Lower Bobs this year, you said if you don’t win, you’re not gonna have money for food. How’d it go?
It went good. I had food. I was hyped. Last place and still ate.

Last place and still got a burger. So you participate in a part of skating that’s pretty niche. Skating transition is not super popular, but then you’re on the world stage going to the Olympics because of what you do. If you had a choice would you still do all these contests or would you just try to be out there ripping for fun?
If it’s like life or death, if you had to pick one or the other?

If you didn’t need to do the contest stuff to have sponsors and money, would you just do what Grant Taylor does and not do contests unless they were the fun ones? Or do you like the contests?
I like skating contests. It’s really fun and I think it pushes me, being surrounded by girls that are at such a high level that you wouldn’t see at a backyard pool or something like that. So it’s super motivating for me, but it just depends on the contest. There’s definitely a few contests that I’m like, Okay, I could definitely not do that one again and I would still be hyped. I mean, there’s ones where it’s like, I wanna do that every year.

What’s been your favorite one so far?
The P-Stone Cup. That’s my favorite. That was so fun.

Ruby Lilley NosegrindTailGrab Ballard 2000Backside nosegrind tailgrab with the Big Dog watchin' over

Do you get nervous? I used to almost throw up or shit my pants before contests. Do you ever get nervous or are you cool?
It depends on the contest. But at my first big contest, I went to my mom and I’m like, I don’t wanna do it. And she’s like, No, you got this, RFL—Ruby Fucking Lilley. ‘Cause my middle name is Faith so she says Ruby Fucking Lilley. That’s what the initials really mean.

RFL! That’s so cool! The level is going through the roof on women’s skating lately. They’re doing McTwists and switch McTwists and 720s and 900s. Are you feeling any pressure to spin around?
I think it makes me wanna—not go the opposite way, but…

What’s the opposite of spinning?
Not spinning. It makes me want to focus more on having a more unique bag of tricks. That’s what kind of motivates me when I see all these girls going all out, 900, switch McTwist. It’s super insane and I’m like, Okay, I’ll try a Sal flip disaster or finger flip disaster. I feel like I can leave the 900s and switch McTwists to them.

Ruby LIlley Sal Flip Tail 750Checkers and finger flips, yeah, she's been to the Combi

But you’re still very young and you’re really ripping. Do you want to try a McTwist?
I do. I really want to.

Dude, you should do it.
I’ve tried a 5 before over a hip but I spun like flatspin. I’ve never tried a McTwist. I really want to though. I just don’t know how you flip. It looks like a front flip or like a summersault.

I think you just look under your armpit.
You always tell me that, but there’s definitely more to it than just looking under your armpit.

What’s your relationship with Mike Sinclair like?
He’s like the crazy funny uncle. I think I’m really good friends with Mike but I definitely know he’s talking shit about me 24/7.

What? No he’s not.
It’s okay.

What do you think he’s saying?
“Damn, Ruby, she’s going to do more Bronson commercials instead of coming out and filming for Foundation.”

I mean, Bronson commercials are pretty tight, too. When Yuto learned how to speak English, the first thing he said to Mike was? “Mike, you need eat vegetable.”
Oh my god. I tell him that, but I say it a little more fluently.

What’s his favorite snack?
Barbecue chips?

Mmm. Those are for old people.
He is an old person though. Wait, barbecue chips, Coke, or—no! The Nerds gummy clusters.

Yeah. What’s your favorite snack?

Just plain cups?
The big cups.

Ruby Lilley Crail Body Varial Reds Barn 750Quick stop at Red's before booking a flight abroad. Crail body varial disaster

Alright, so you’re gonna go; you’re gonna win the Olympics, come back a gold medalist. After that, are you gonna film another video part or are you gonna go full Bufoni?
No, I’m gonna film, hopefully, many more video parts and go on many more trips. I really wanna film in SF and Seattle. I’ve been to Europe, but I wanna do a skate trip to Europe. That’s what I really wanna do too.

You’re gonna love it over there.
Yeah. I’ve only been there for a contest.

Are there any stories we should talk about from this Ruby Lilley Monster part? Anything crazy or weird that happened? 
The back overcrook tailgrab at Lower Bobs is a funny story. Two days before we got to SF, I was at Woodward West for the mini ramp contest, the game of SKATE. And so when I went to Woodward. I love Woodward, but every time I’ve gotten sick. I don’t know whether it’s food from there or the food they delivered, but any time I’ve eaten anything at Woodward, it’s made me super sick. So I was just getting over that and I was okay, then they had these wings and they looked so good. I was eating these wings and crazy foods. And so that day, we went on a trip to SF and we spent the night. I wake up at six in the morning and I was like, I’ve never thrown up more in my entire life and shit so gnarly. Like I went through two pairs of pants in the van. I’d go into the bathroom, change into different pants, put that shit in a bag and just throw it in the back of the van. I mean, we eventually threw it out, but it smelled so bad.

So you shit your pants?
Yeah, and I threw up in the van. I threw up out of the van. I was laying in the van. We were at a spot and I was like, Taylor, watch out. He turns around and I’m like, Move! And I just threw up. I almost threw up all over Taylor. I opened the van door, and then marked my territory, throwing up on the van seat. It was pretty hesh.

That’s ok. You wouldn’t be the first person to shit your pants at Lower Bobs.
No, we didn’t even get to Lower Bobs. We were still in Sacramento or wherever the hell we were! Then we got to Lower Bobs and I was in a different world. I was so pale. I was having a temper tantrum. Oh my god, Ruby temper tantrums. I have another really good story.

What did you do?
I kept throwing my board and it kept going down the stairs at Lower Bobs. I’m just self-sabotaging by throwing my board into the mud down the stairs. Why did I need to do that? I’m just trying to make things worse. So the filmer’s like, Stop throwing your board. And I was like, No! So, I just keep throwing it down the stairs. Four hours later, I got the clip.

Ruby Lilley Pullquote Follow Up 3 I kicked the window 2000
Ruby Lilley SlobD 06 01 23Ballard 2000Not just anyone can wear that hyper-limited logo hat. Ruby earns it with an exceptional slob to disaster

Well, dude, you got it.
My mom is gonna kill me for this story, but I have to tell you this. When I was learning back nosegrinds, it was a crazy battle. And one day, I couldn’t get them. I had just learned them on a five-foot ramp. I was in the car. We were about to take off, and I’m having a meltdown, kind of crying about this trick. I really wanted to get it, and I’m like kicking the window. My mom’s like, You better stop fucking kicking that window. And I’m like, No! Then I kicked the window out of the car.

Dude! RFL!
And we didn’t even leave the skatepark. We were parked on the side of the street, so everyone just hears this glass shattering and my foot goes through the door. The window comes out, and the next two days it rained. So I got grounded for that one—no skatepark, no phone, in the dungeon.

That is RFL in action.
That was when I was like 13 so I was at my peak bitchiness. My rebellious phase. Oh my god.

That’s a great story. I love it. Is there anything else you wanna talk about?
You’re like, No more stories.

When do you graduate from fake school?
At the end of this year.

So you’re about to graduate?
Yeah. I’m gonna be 18.

Should we make you a diploma?
Yeah, why not?

We can print one off the Internet.
That’s perfect.

Ruby Lilley BSNosegrind 06 08 23 Ballard 2000Rumor has it there used to be a window in that doorway before she came to Channel Street for this back nosegrind. Congrats, Ruby. We can't wait to see the next part
  • Am Scramble 2022 Premiere Photos

    Am Scramble 2022 Premiere Photos
    The Scramble premiere brought the best ams and vibes together to watch that OD joint. Tomorrow's pros ... today! Peep the pics here.
  • 5 Greats: Louie Lopez

    5 Greats: Louie Lopez
    He's got a killer new Cons part to cap an epic year, but did you ever wonder what the five weirdest places Louie Lopez has taken a dump were? Read on! As seen in our December '22 mag. 
  • "What's a Guy Gotta Do?" The Clive Dixon Interview

    "What's a Guy Gotta Do?" The Clive Dixon Interview
    Clive tells the stomach-churning story of his broken ankle and talks through his journey from Birdhouse to Disorder. Few will tell it to you straight like our guy.  As seen in our November '22 issue.
  • Cons’ “As You Wish” Premiere Photos

    Cons’ “As You Wish” Premiere Photos
    A new Louie Lopez/ Erik Herrera Cons flick? You better believe LA rolled out. And before the night’s over … somebody’s going pro!
  • Burnout: Back From the Dead

    Burnout: Back From the Dead
    San Pedro’s Channel Street skatepark roared back to life with a full-day freakout —ripping, rocking and fun, fun, fun.