Kevin ”The Eagle” Bouaich tells us all about his skate history, romance with a man called Nicolas and shares his opinions about the future of our sport.
Hey man! I just read about Lagoa Azul now, what a crazy story. Good article from you about this.
Thanks. Did you have fun there?
Yes and no, the road really saved the event, but the crappy organisation created problems during the race. Again too much time was spent waiting.
What was the road like?
The road is like the last fast right in Kozakov. Nicolas Robert said it’s like Mt Kiera in Australia, sweeper after sweeper! I love it.
What sorts of problems did you experience?
First day, we had only 6 runs, for like 70 riders, with a 2 km road? We spent the day waiting till 10 a.m. At 6 p.m under the sun because nothing was planned in the evening for the riders, except a chair and a small outdoor tent.
How was the rest of the racing after that first day?
On the second day, we raced to qualify, funny because a lot of runs (6-8 ) were promised, only 5 made. Only problem, we didn’t meet all riders, so the result is a little bit…. not exact.
What was your favourite thing from the weekend?
I have a lot of good things about this weekend, tripping with the sick team was crazy, and making lot of run with Nicolas Robert.
If there was one thing you would change about this event, what would it be?
How did this race compare to the others you’d been to this season?
We need more roads like this! Maybe a little bit more steep. I hate when I have hairpins with a flat exit, you know what i mean? Look at Teolo, 50% of riders push after corners, I hate that, it’s not a push race.., it’s DH!! Kozakov is amazing, but in the rain, it’s boring, because you need to brake A LOT before the hairpins. So pushing in the exit often. Peyragudes is a crazy hill, a real race for a real world cup. I want more experience skating a road like this!
Is Peyragudes your favourite track in Europe?
No, Kozakov is crazy, the start to the first right is awesome. My favourite tracks are Graveyard Call and Comfortable race! But these roads are not real tracks. But only for the French Championship.
What’s so good about those roads?
Graveyard because I love the technical hairpins, it’s like a toboggan you know? But it’s not really a race track, it’s more for freeride, or racing for fun, not really for a world cup.
Comfortable is long, 4 real hairpins, no straight line, always sweepers, right, left, right, left. Your legs hurt, but you need to have a good speed, this road deserves to become a World Cup race. I hope one day. You run the risk of losing concentration, and this road does not forgive mistakes.
Is Nicolas your partner in crime?
We’ve been riding together since 2006, he gave me my board when I started, and full of good advice. He started one year earlier.
Where did you meet?
I remember meeting Nicolas at a little session with a guy in town, after this I never stopped longboarding. Nicolas has a lot of motivation and me too, it was a good meeting.
How did you start skating?
In 2005 I started commuting. I tried to go down the little hill of my village, I got a lot of wobble, grabbed my board with my two hands, and I decided to understand and inform myself. I met Nicolas shortly after.
Where were you skating then?
Always the same place in Delémont,Switzerland (what a lost town!). It was a little road with 2 hairpins,1 right and 1 left, 2 good brake, no cars, I don’t know the number of times we hit this road. I think 2 years, and sometimes other little roads like this. We have only the bus, and didn’t have a lot of money so we never went to big roads in the first 2 years.
Who else was skating around you those days?
Christoph Batt and Stephan Rufli led me to the next level!
How did they influence you?
Nicolas taught me the basics, position, footbrake. Batt and Rufli taught me how to use EVERYTHING to go faster, but not only this, they have 10 years more experience than me, they are like trainers and best friends at the same time. Before I met them, I knew these guys were fast, make world cup, I was really a fan, and I’m still a big fan now! I can’t thank them enough for taking me with them, this is an incredible opportunity.
What is your perfect track?
I think she is not yet ready to exist. A road like Newtons in Australia look’s good, but with three or four more kilometers.
I imagine a start like Kozakov until the first left hairpin, directly going to Newtons, all the track, and finishing with Lagoa Azul but 5% more steep. A road which frightens, not too much braking but hard braking, turny and always with a good speed! A road not for everybody.
What will you call this road?
SICKness mountain! Yeah!
What is the community like in Switzerland?
It’s awesome, we have lot of good riders in Zurich, Lausanne, Geneve, Lucerne, Berne, Bienne. Everyone knows about weekend sessions. You need to travel, sometimes up to 4 hours on the road, but always good sessions, nice people, nice road, living here is good.
When did you first skate outside your little town?
Bienne, the place of Batt and Rufli.
Where is your favourite place in Switzerland to skate?
We have mountains, I don’t really skating in the city, but Zurich is my favorite place and my favorite city in Switzerland.
Who do you ride with when you go to Zurich?
What do you ride?
Fibretec Classic FlyingPan
DTC Gecko Grip all day every day for freeride and downhill
Aera K4 best truck ever made by the best
Fat Ant bushings
Are those your sponsors?
Yes and Sickboard Shop too.
When did you first get sponsored?
Fibretec in 2009, he give me help, and believe in me since this time, they are friends first and sponsors second.
What makes the K4’s so good?
Haha what a question, I tested a lot of trucks before, Magun, Paris, GoG, Randal, Ronin, Kahlani but none have felt like this. I want to emphasize that the hardware gives you a feeling, a response. Everyone has choice, but all guys need to try an Aera truck before you make that choice, then a K3, it’s awesome! The behavior of this truck is natural. I very quickly sold all my trucks when I started with Aera.
How did you hook up with Sick?
We started talking at the start of the year, we sent videos, pictures, files, he give me sponsorship with Nicolas before the summer, after we make 2 race together, Peyragudes and Lagoa Azul. We are talking about the future, and now I’ll go to the Netherlands to work in the shop.
You’re moving to the flatest country in Europe?
Yes, that’s right. I know it’s flat, but in Switzerland, the winter is hard and you can’t skate, so no problem for me. I can take more time for skating next year. I really want to move out of Europe, and working at Sickboards will be awseome. I’ll be IN the world of longboarding all day!
Have you skated in Holland?
First time in Holland for me.
What are you looking forward to about your time in Holland?
Everything dude! Learning English first! Working on my passion too for sure.
Deen must be so excited!
I love those guys, Deen and Jacobus (Tacoo!) are crazy. I remember when me and Nico met these 2 guys haha.
What will you miss most about Switzerland?
Swiss cheese, steep roads, my crew, friends, family. My life is here, but I want to see the world. And the Netherlands sound good.
Where would you like to move to?
Vancouver and California first, Australia if money and time is with me.
What was your first competition?
Izoard Legendary Race 2008
How was it?
Not bad I raced in Classic Luge only because I was injured.
Which other races did you do in 2008?
Nothing, I went to the first Peyragudes only to look because I was injured.
When was your first full season?
This years is a really good season, but as always, it was too shortly. Next years will be better.
When did you first do the Euro tour?
First Eurotour in 2009, I won my first race IGSA in classic luge at Peyragudes2luxe cup, that was awesome.
How did it feel to win?
Felt like : 0_o wtf!?
How was the 2010 season for you?
Awesome! I finished 3rd in classic luge and 6 in street luge only using my buttboard. That was really a crazy race: fighting, trajectory, break hard, take draft, that was awesome!
Do you prefer stand up or luge?
I don’t have preference. We have more of a challenge in stand up, more riders, more popularity. Classic luge is awesome, the position changes but it’s terribly fast, racing in luge is totally crazy, you can ride really close at high speed, you can brake really strong and quickly in luge, it’s awesome.
How is the feeling different?
I more feel like a bird when I’m on my longboard, classicluge is more like… F1 with a mixture of stockcar.
Haha Kevin the eagle. Is that why you put your wings like that?
My wings? Haha I tried to fly with my ‘’wings’’ but now I’m sure it’s only a feeling.
Which races did you do in 2011?
In 2011, only Veredicchio and Teolo in IGSA, I made 2 finals, I crashed 2 times after 100 meters, 2011 was epic.
What was the highlight of the season?
My 2 first final in my first longboard races.
Which was your favourite final?
The final for classic luge in 2009 was crazy. I started in the 6th place, and I took first place in the last corner. I want to win a race like this in stand up.
What did you have to do to make sure you performed better in 2012?
No crash in the final, I tried it in Kozakov, and I won!
How did it feel to win Kozakov?
When I came out of the last corner in the final, I wondered for a moment if it was really the final. Cause it was the most easy run of my day, I took no risk, I stayed back and I thought to myself ”don’t crash like last year”. I prefer to finish 4th with no crash, than to finish 4th because I crashed. Second turn was wet and scary, I felt my wheels sliding on the footbrake, and I saw Dillon, Zen and Herlter take too much speed. I thought maybe 1 crash or maybe 2… but all!? Haha thanks guys.
I remember my first run was with Alex Tongue and Tojborn Sunde, lots of level for a first heat. Second run with Mischo Erban and Nicolas Desmarais, and the next was more difficult..
Which other races did you do this season?
Only 6 races: Comfortable, Kozakov, Teolo, Peyragudes, Montreux, LagoaAzul. I need more races!!!
Which was your favourite race?
Kozakov for the road, the organisation, the party. That is the best race in Europe.
Will you do more races next season?
For sure, I need this, it’s a dream for me to take 3 or 4 months only racing, maybe more. Not only IGSA, look at America, you have a lot of competitions.
What needs to happen in Europe for this dream to be real?
I don’t know exactly, I will answer this question when I’m working at Sickboards.
How will spending time in Sickboards help you with the answer?
Because I’m not sure about the future, unfortunately it is too often a matter of money and time. But I think we can find a solution.
What future would you like for downhill racing in Europe?
We have a lot of potential in Europe: riders, roads, we have all for making a better future. I wish all this be coordinated, I think there will be changes next year, I don’t want to spend my days waiting!
What changes do you think are coming?
I wonder even if there will be an IGSA in Europe next year. I’m in doubt.
The atmosphere was strange this summer. I heard a little of everything. I think we’re at a turning point. And we don’t know yet what comes after, I wish only the best for Europe, and if I can help in any way I will.
What do you do when you’re not skating?
Normal life, friends, family, work. But generally I go skating, A LOT!
Choose 3 numbers between 1-39.
1, 2, 3
1 – What do you take with you when you go for a skate?
Board, gloves, helmet(!). Before I took a lot of wheels, but now with DTC, I need only one set. Water and some food.
2 – Would you rather have a hook for a hand or a wheel for a foot?
WTF, emmm, wheels for a foot sounds funny haha.
3 – What impact has longboarding had on your life?
Longboarding simply made my life. It’s a passion, I organize my life around going riding.
Kevin! It’s been awesome talking to you again. Keep up the eagle spirit and don’t let those Dutch people corrupt you too much!
Thank you Gbemi! It’s nice to answer your questions, good experience. I love All Around Skate! Dutch people look awesome, I’m so impatient haha.
We all love you too bro!
Any thank yous?
Yes, first my family and my friends for accepting and supporting me a lot in my passion. My partner/sponsor/friends (yeah all at the same time!), because it would not be possible without them. Special thanks to Nicolas, Batt and Rufli because they were with me in the beginning. The future looks good.
My awesome sponsors:
‘cause SHREDDIIIINNNG : http://www.skatehousemedia.com/home
Good magazine for the french people → UDmag : http://blog.udmag.net/magazine/