Wings Chan Interview

Photo by Kevin Meredith

I follow Wings Chan on Instagram and there’s one thing I can tell you about her skateboarding: it’s fun, daft and chilled out. Skaters like Wings bring a lot of levity to what can often be a pretty over-serious and aggressive past time, and in all honesty levity is what skateboarding sometimes needs. She’s often seen shredding transitions, curbs and banks across the skateparks of the south east, and I’ve been pretty stoked on her “I’m landing this no matter what” attitude to tricks. Without further ado, here are some questions about No Complies, Pole Dancing and comical Photoshops.

For anyone who doesn’t know you: Who is Wings Chan?

King Wings! A woman that loves skateboarding and has a passion for exotic dancing. 

How did you first get into skateboarding? 

I was that weird emo kid that always lurked around the skatepark smoking and trying not to gag whilst doing so. Whilst chilling at the park thinking I was cool listening to My Chemical Romance, I watched my friends skate and decided to get involved!

Feeble Fakie / Photo by hapicult

You’re often seen skating around the various skateparks of Brighton and the South East – how is the scene down there? 

The scene has definitely changed over the years down here! Brighton and Sussex Uni always brings many new skaters to the scene, which constantly changes things up quite a lot. There’s so many parks down here. If you can drive, you can reach 8 different good skateparks within 30 mins radius from central Brighton. 

Who do you usually skate with?

Adam Futcher (aka @handjobpro), @blagathachristie_, Ben Swailes (@benswailes), Dicko Dickison, and Alasdair Convery (@alasdairconvery). Outside of Brighton I’m quite the social butterfly, and visit various skate friends I have accumulated over the years! I’m going to mention Rachael Sherlock as well: bitch better thank me for getting her sorted by Etnies! She’s a rad skate coach, and I never see enough of her. We both have busy lives, but she definitely deserves a mention. 

What’s your favourite local park?

I currently live next to the Level and I skate there on dry evenings, but I do enjoy a change of scenery and drive to other parks in and around Brighton. My favourite parks are Seaford (in Seaford) and Croxley Green (London)… Ironically not very local!

Do you currently have any sponsors? 

Currently I’m on flow for Etnies. 

How is it skating for Etnies?

I love skating for Etnies! Fun Fact: Etnies are the only skate shoe brand that do my shoe size (2.5 UK). I had plans for a skate trip with them last year, but unfortunately we had to put it on hold due to lockdown and Covid. 

Kickflip / Photo by Lewis Roydon

You’ve got an amazing sticker design out there in the wild featuring the slogan “Nip Slips and Heel Flips” – how did that come about?

Thank you! The story behind it comes from the summer: I was wearing a tiny crop top skating at Lancing skatepark. It was kinda beachwear because the skatepark is next to a beach. I was determined to land a Heelflip, and every time I tried it, a nip slip happened, haha!

Have you done any other sticker designs?

I have a folder of potential sticker designs that were just for fun! They’re all a little on the kinky side, though… 

Have you done graphics for any skateboard brands?

No, but that would be fun!

What’s harder: Skateboarding or Pole Dancing?

Skateboarding! I’ve never been natural with skateboarding, ever! I really have to work hard on tricks. I’m definitely not as good as I should be, but I love skateboarding because of the social element, and it’s one of those rare hobbies that you can enjoy whole days out in the sun with beers, friends and tunes. 

Pole dancing is more painful – I constantly look like someone trampled all over me! With pole, you have to rely on friction between your skin and the pole… so you get a lot of bruising and friction burns.

FS Slash / Photo by Kevin Meredith

How did you get into Pole Dancing?

I’ve always been interested in it, but with the stigma of it being slutty I never had the courage. Back when I first met my close friend Jess, she told me that she did pole dancing – I was intrigued, had a look, and saw there were different styles of pole dancing. I started with pole fitness before I discovered my real love for slut dropping, twerking and stripping! 

Are there any glaring similarities between skateboarding and pole dancing?

Commitment! They both hurt less if you 100% commit. I do wonder sometimes if I didn’t skateboard and just pole danced whether I would have been a slower learner at pole? Also: Style! Tricks are tricks, but look 100 times better with style. 

What pole dancing gear would prove the most useful when riding a skateboard?

Knee pads, haha! I can’t tell whether my knees are mostly damaged from exotic dancing or skateboard slams.

You’ve got some great no comply tricks in your arsenal: Who inspired you to learn them?

Big shout out to James who inspired me with no comply tricks!

No Comply Pole Jam / Photo by John Cyruss

What’s your favourite no comply variation?

The trick that James taught me: No Comply Shuv Underflip? Other people say it’s a No Comply Varial Underflip… who knows, but it looks hella cool!

Are there any no complies you wish you could do? 

Yes – so many! I wish i could do a No Comply Flip up a curb… watch this space. 

No Complies have kinda exploded in popularity over the last couple of years, what is it about them that you think is so appealing?

Some people may hate me for saying this… But I think it’s maybe because they’re easier? There’s kinda less commitment. I mean you have a good second or so to reconsider whether you want to land or bail. They are easier tricks, but they also look good, so it’s a win/win, right? 

How has skateboarding for marginalised genders changed since you started skating?

There’s loads more women skating, which is great! I think mainly the problem is there’s a lack of equality with prize money compared to how much the men are offered. 

Who are some of your favourite woman in skateboarding?

Nora Vasconcellos: The most humble, laid back femme skater! She’s inspirational, and doesn’t make a big deal about how sick she is. 

Carve Slash Grind / Photo by hapicult

What’s your advice for any marginalised gendered folks looking to get into skateboarding? 

Be confident and just do it! There are plenty of women skate groups on Facebook and Instagram to join. Also, there are indoor skateparks and youth clubs that provide lessons – for example, I used to work for Brighton Youth Centre teaching men and women! 

I’ve seen your work-related Insta stories and I am somewhat curious: what do you do for a living? Do you just do hilarious Photoshops all day?

Haha, yes, it does look like I don’t do very much at work other than messing around on Photoshop and making weird videos!

I’m a content graphic designer and trainer for a technology tax compliance company. My job is to bring life and fun to the world of tax. 

Could you sneak this blog’s logo into one of your work presentations? 

Yes, haha! I can, and I can even tell them about it too. I have that sort of character where I’m professional, but not professional, and I can get away with it. 

Anyone you want to thank? 

Cringey sub story: I want to thank the people that I regularly skate with. I’m a hyper person and I know people get embarrassed by me. I’m impulsive, and quite the vocal screamer at the skatepark, but I never have to suppress myself around them. They make me feel safe and they’re the best people to be around – Much love Wings’ gang gang! 

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