Pantastic conversation, photos and videos from the talented longskater from Lyon. Wise words about capturing moments, finding balance and chasing dreams.
What’s the air like where you are?
A f…ing hot summer that I really don’t like, because you can’t do anything without getting your face red like a tomato. Oh, I’m wrong, you can swim if you have a swimming pool. But I just have a bath!
Where are you from?
I’m from Lyon, France. But my parents are Spanish and Portuguese. I have hot blood. And that’s why I prefer colder weather.
What was it like growing up in Lyon?
I’ve lived in Lyon since I was 20. Unfortunately, I’m a little bit older now. I grew up in a little town near Lyon. The kind of town where you have only one choice: dream. So I dreamt, a lot. And now, in this big city, I try to make my dreams come true.
How important are dreams to staying happy?
For me it’s essential. It’s even more important to keep dreaming than making it come true. Paradoxically, it keeps you awake. To dream bigger and bigger you need to work harder and harder. And sometimes you look back and realize that you succeeded. You realize your dreams make you meet really nice people. It makes you discover other countries.It makes you share a lot of good vibrations. And that, for me, is the definition of happiness.
What did you dream of?
To fly. To catch the stars. To surf the air. To compete with shooting stars through the clouds. Maybe skating is my way of flying now.
How close do you come to living your dream?
Telling the story of my dream. I have noticed it’s the best way for me. With pictures or videos. It seems that people like it. When i’m telling a story to my friends or my children and see their eyes light up I’m sure l’m close to reality.
What is it about Lyon that has helped you live this reality?
First, I met in Lyon people who like my stories. They pushed me to continue. Most of them are in the local Longskate scene. And I was already in love with this piece of wood. So, I worked hard in order to be a better storyteller. Longskaters are so passionate and longskate is an endless subject.
If you could only do 3 things for the rest of your life – what would they be?
Hug my children.
Hug my children while skating.
When did you start playing with cameras?
When I was a child, I loved filming everything with my parent’s old VCR camera. When I started to earn money, I bought my first camera and tried to exercise my eyes to catch the good situations.
Have you stayed with this hobby through the years?
Yes. Always. I love images. If I go blind, I’ll die.
“I love images. If I go blind, I’ll die.”
Do you prefer videography/photography?
It depends. For me it’s not the same intention. Not the same difficulty. Not the same challenge. I love both.
What is the challenge of photography?
Catching the instant before it disappears. And for video, correctly mixing these instants to create a language.
How did you get into skateboarding?
I skated when i was a child but the skate didn’t want me at this time…
When did the skate begin to want you?
It was a rainy day… A little bit sad… I had already heard, saw and tried a Longskate. But that day I bought one, with good advice. This board saved my day. My month. My year. My life.
A Loaded Dervish, old version.
Do you still have it?
Yes of course …. With ten others… Longboardlarry, Landyacht, Secoa, …
How would your life have turned without the longboard?
Like a bird without wings… surviving.
When did you discover the community?
8 years ago. Meeting Spoky Woky, Morgan Preioni and Stef at Cdk shop, Pappy Boyington in Paris, then Lyde Begue and others i’m forgetting…
How did meeting these guys change skating for you?
Creating a real family relationship. A skate family around the same passion. Helping each other when we need it, sharing our energy, and never forgetting that riding is the solution.
Where were you riding before you met them?
All around the city. Scouting spots. At that time i found a perfect road to go to work longskating with some dh, some dancing, some slides. It’s always my road even right now. Lyon is the only city in France which can offer all this in one trip!
What’s your favourite thing to do on your board?
I started dancing and making tricks. I still remember my first real shovit in a park near Lyon after a lot of training sessions and Morgan’s advice. However, thanks to the hills in Lyon and around, and many rides with Spoky and Lyde, I discovered the powerful feeling of dh and slides. So to answer, to get my feet on this magical object and let it decide…
What’s your role in the skate community?
The storyteller, because it really deserves to make history. And I’m so happy to be part of it.
What are the stories of Lyon’s skaters?
Lyon and skate have a very long story. A lot of skaters and skate brands in the international scene were from Lyon. Then longskate at the beginning of 2000’s became more and more popular thanks to the geography of the city and to the legendary Lyon Longskate Crew (LLC). So we can honestly say Lyon is the skate French capital.
Have you done much skating outside your city?
Filming more and more skate events and practicing more and more skate disciplines allow me to ride some great places with great people in Paris, Alsace, Beaujolais, French Alps and in Madrid. But I know I have a lot of spots to discover.
What is your favourite discipline to record?
Even if Downhill is most spectacular to record, I think I prefer to film Dancing. However, because I’m an indecisive person, I really enjoyed working on the Foreign Exchange project in Lyon, precisely because we made all the disciplines in just one day in order to show to our special hosts how “skatable” the city is.
When did you first document skateboarding?
My first real document was a four minutes video with Morgan 5 years ago. Thanks to Stef, it featured 2 months later in a video competition called Longskate Video Party in Paris organised by Pappy Boyington. At this moment, I realized that what I was doing alone on my laptop during the nights could please a little.
No pictures before that?
No. It was at the same time. Shooting Spoky in a home spot called Rochecardon.
What was the reception for these videos?
With a lot of enthusiasm. It was the beginning of APS-C camera’s popularity in France offering new possibilities without spending a lot of money. So my video made the difference.
Have you won anything at the LVP?
For this sixth edition, I was second. But I won the meeting with amazing people like Pappy. And I had my revenge in the 3 next editions winning in different categories each time! And for the tenth, Manouk who now organises the LVP, asked me to be part of the jury. A true recognition.
Is shooting skateboarders difficult?
Not at all. i learned to adapt myself. Some skateboarders need to be directed. Some others just want to be free and do what they feel. Some riders need time, some don’t. Some people love the camera, some others hate it. The challenge for me is just to capture what they do without damaging what they are.
“Some skateboarders need to be directed. Some others just want to be free and do what they feel. Some riders need time, some don’t. Some people love the camera, some hate it. The challenge for me is to capture what they do without damaging what they are.”
What do you aim to show with your films?
i always try to translate one of numerous feelings of longskating through the images, the edit, the music. With this central theme I try to pass an emotion. For example, in my last video, I wanted to show the feeling of power when you’re riding such an epic spot. As we said in french, something “grandiose”.
Does every video have a special message?
In the intention, yes, always! Sometimes it’s obvious. Sometimes it’s more hidden. And I don’t forget that I must let the perception of the viewer decide.
What is the most important factor for a good skate video?
A good balance between aestheticism and technique always to tell a good story. Because you need to speak to a large audience who want to dream too.
Have you met any of these guys?
Unfortunately i couldn’t yet for Yvon, even if it would be easier than for the others… I’m unforgivable… But I know I will make it happen. I still hope to go to California one day to ride with Adam, to chat with Juan over a drink in Madrid, to take lessons from 3heads in Kozakov and to prostrate myself before Spike during the Oscars.
Would rather be on your board or behind the lens?
That’s exactly my eternal problem. I can’t choose. Both bring me a lot of pleasure. Both are so important to me. No really I can’t choose. Sorry…
What have been your favourite projects to work on?
Always the next one!
More seriously. For the past 2 years, I’ve been part of the Secoa Longskates project, thanks to the confidence of Stef, the owner. It’s a huge pleasure to participate with a terrific team (Manouk, Wonderbang) in the media’s creation (videos, pictures, books) and even in boards design! It’s very inspiring and i love it!
Now I will have always a special affection for the video project called Anthem of These Days because it represents a lot of things to me and because it’s like a wine that age well. In ten years it will be even better…
You’ve done a lot of projects with Lyde and Spoky, are they your favourite riders?
Yes they are! I love their style. The graceful ride of Spoky, the incredible balance of Lyde. When they ride together it’s amazing. And they are beautiful people.
Why do you put so much attention on female skaters?
Thanks to them. They are, with other great french female skaters, the best example of women in sports. Challenging themselves all the time and proving to the world they fully deserve their rank. And you know, I have two daughters who love to see my videos with girls because they can dream to do the same thing.
“I have two daughters who love to see my videos with girls because they can dream to do the same thing.”
Did you enjoy working on the Foreign Exchange tour video?
We had the chance to host for one day the Foreign Exchange Tour in Lyon. I couldn’t imagine riding with all these famous longskaters without filming their visit. It was really intense to organise, participate and record all this. But it was such a perfect day! As I said to Mike and Arian while we had a beer at the end of the evening: see you next time!
When are we going to see more collaborations between Europe’s film-makers?
Shh… it’s a secret!
It takes more time than expected but we actually try to set up a project between several European riders and talented film-makers to create an original video about all the aspects of longskate.
Why don’t we have a pan-European film festival for longboarders?
A PAN!-European film festival?! Good idea haha!
More seriously, I think it will happen soon. The current national longskate film festivals are growing year after year with a larger audience. The longskate videos are getting better and better. And we didn’t explore yet all the streaming modes. It’s now up to us to create something bigger!
Haha. PAN! Are you having a fun year?
I’m always having fun! It keeps me going. Fun is my only fuel.
“Fun is my only fuel.”
What are your plans for the future?
To finally make concrete a longskate video project called Narcose. I’ve worked on it for a few years and it’s close to my heart. To continue the photography project called We Are Skate Family showing the daily skate players i meet. And my mind is full of other ideas…
What do you do when you’re not skating?
I try to sleep a little.
Pick THREE numbers between 1-30.
2 / 13 / 30
2 – In a Zombie apocalypse, who would you wish to survive?
Bill Murray of course. He will save us all!
13 – Do you have a pet ?
Yep! A black cat for the day and a dragon for the night.
Papa Pan! Stoked to do this. Hope our paths cross one day! Stay rad.
Any last words?
Yes. I would like to dedicate this moment to Yannick Perry, a terrific rider with a huge heart, who left us much too young.