Some people are destined to shine in a particular activity or occupation, and Lizzie Armanto is a prime example. A plastic skater excelling in both the bowl and half-pipe, her skills are truly remarkable.
Elizabeth Marika Armanto, born on January 26, 1993, in Ventura, California, comes from a diverse background with an American mother and a Finnish father.
At the age of 14, Lizzie began her skateboarding journey in a Santa Monica skatepark.
Driven by the local culture and a desire to outdo her younger brother, she started with a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles skateboard from Toys R Us before upgrading to a proper Element setup.
Her mother, an engineer and single parent, played a crucial role in supporting her children's passions.
Initially, Armanto skated at The Cove in Santa Monica, a safe haven that nurtured her talents.
Despite her shyness and being one of the few girls at the skatepark, she found encouragement and support from older male skaters, particularly Pat Ngoho.
Vert and Bowl: Two Sides of the Same Skate
Lizzie's early inclination towards skate bowls and vert riding, often taking risks beyond what was typically expected of a teenage girl, set her apart from her peers.
During high school, skateboarding became her primary focus, with her mother's support enabling her to travel for contests.
Displaying fearlessness from the outset, Armanto quickly ascended to compete at America's most prestigious skate competitions.
Her journey to sponsorship was a natural progression, starting with local support from SMA and growing as she participated in more contests.
Between 2010 and 2012, Lizzie dominated the World Cup of Skateboarding, clinching first place for three consecutive years.
Her first major victory in a vert contest came at the 2012 Rocky Mountain Rampage in Colorado Springs.
However, a turning point in her career was a posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) injury.
The recovery period tested her resilience and deepened her dedication to skateboarding, even during her college years.
In 2013, Armanto's perseverance paid off when she won the gold medal at the inaugural Women's Skateboard Park event at the X Games in Barcelona, Spain.
She continued her winning streak the following year at the Van Doren Invitational in Huntington Beach, California.
The Loop and the Olympics
But 2018 had something special for her.
After five hours of arduous attempts, Armanto made history as the first woman to complete the 360 loop, a feat first executed by the legendary Tony Hawk in 1998.
The structure she navigated was an imposing 14 feet (4.3 meters) tall.
Reflecting on this experience, Armanto told Thrasher Magazine, "All of the knowledge I had about skateboarding went out the window in one sense."
"You have to be confident and feel good on the board. Everyone was giving advice, but until you physically do it, it doesn't resonate."
January 2019 marked another milestone when she chose to represent Finland in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, finishing 14th.
Armanto's enthusiasm for learning new tricks, like the 540s, has been a hallmark of her career, though it sometimes came with risks, such as knocking out her teeth while attempting an air.
On a personal note, October 16, 2020, was a significant day for Lizzie as she married Belgian skateboarder Axel Cruysberghs.
Professionally, she has represented (and continues to represent) several companies, including Birdhouse, Vans, Independent, Bones, Triple 8, Santa Monica Airlines, Mahfia, Monster Energy, and Casio.
"The Lizzie" is her first pro-signature model shoe for Vans.
2017 was another noteworthy year for Armanto.
She became the third woman to grace the cover of Thrasher magazine, following in the footsteps of Cara-Beth Burnside and Jaime Reyes.
That same year, she also launched her own Birdhouse pro model deck.
Besides her accomplishments in the physical world of skateboarding, Lizzie has also made her mark in the virtual world as a playable rider in "Tony Hawk's Shred Session," "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5," and "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2."
Competitive and Influential
Armanto's competitive spirit is often matched by her best friend and rival, Allysha Bergado.
Over the years, Lizzie has triumphed in over 30 skate events, including the Exposure Pro, Ver Attack, Nitro World Games, and Women's Combi Pro.
She, along with Jenn Sotohe and Samarria Brevard, starred in "Above the Noise," a video highlighting the challenges women skaters face, including misogyny and discrimination online.
In an interesting crossover between sports and academics, Armanto featured in Macmillan Learning's first edition of the "Preparation for Calculus" book, performing a frontside invert.
She commented, "Applying math to skateboarding is a fun way to make learning new 'math things' relatable.
Hopefully, it makes the work seem less like work and more fun."
Beyond skateboarding, Lizzie's interests include photography, gardening, cooking, and baking.
Fans can witness her skillful mastery of bowls and ramps in videos like "Saturdays," "Fire," "Onward," "Lizzie," and "Please Don't Grab My Boob!"
Lizzie Armanto's journey and achievements can be followed on her social media platforms, including Instagram (@lizziearmanto), Facebook (@lizziearmanto), Twitter (@lizziearmanto), and TikTok (@lizzie.armanto).