Great interview with an All Around Skater who enjoys downhill, slalom,long distance, luge and CRASHING! Read on to learn how this crazy guy got back on a board 5 months after the doctor said he would never walk well again.
Hey Thib, where are you from?
Hey man, I come from France, more precisely in Grenoble, near the famous road of Chamrousse! I have a home 2 km off this road. Now I live between aix les bain for work and Grenoble for the pleasure . But since the start of the season and the famous weekend at La Croix Saint Robert with Spoky, Lyde and many other riders like Michael Para. I spend many weekends on the road in my car! That’s Gypsy style but with the possibility to ride in some road and events.
What is the famous road of Chamrousse?
The famous road of Chamrousse is the location of the first big freeride in France, I started longboarding just one year after the last edition but I learnt lots of things about this freeride and the road is near my home, it’s actually my local spot and I get lots of pleasure riding this road alone or with friends. All the sessions here are always Epic! That’s the road where I learnt buttboard and standup and it stays one my favourite roads!
Who are Lyde and Mr Para?
-Lyde is a young girl from Lyon, she rides hard and always no hand in the corner, she has a very good style and she never say no to ride. She is the Padawan of Spoky, and I hope that she registers to race soon (when her bones heal).
-Mr Mikael Para is my teacher in Buttboard and in partying and also my best friend. He’s buttboarded for a long long time, he never says no to a good weekend of riding and partying! This guy is always ok to help the organisations on some events like last year the Familia Challenge or the Confortable Race where he give all his holidays to help the organisation, this man is a great guy!
When did you start skating?
I started skating at 15 years old with an old longboard of my father, but just on the flat and for fun. One day I found a vidéo on the web, and I discovered that I’m not alone in longboarding. I decided to go to my first event at a luge track in Villard de lans and here I discovered the world of longboarding and I never stopped since this time, in downhill, slalom and this year in long distance pushing . That’s my passion, it makes it possible to travel and meet some poeple, it’s actually my way of life!
Does your father still longboard?
No he never longboarded, the board was a present from a friend and it sleeps in the house for a long long time. I think now he wants to try because he asks me lots of things about longboarding. If he does it, it will be a great pleasure for me and and a possibility to share my passion not only with friends but family too.
What was the first board you bought?
Haha my first board was a fucking Decathlon (french sport shop) with bad wheels which burned after one day of riding and with plastic trucks. I quickly customized her with Krypto 80’ and Randall trucks. I rode it for long time up till my first hard falls, I sold it after. But it was a good occasion to discover longboarding with little money. Now I have a nice set up and more money, but I never buy a board or a classic luge for more than € 100. In my opinion it’s not a sport for rich people, anyone can buy a board they can afford, to discover this fucking feeling ¨!
How is it your way of life?
I work hard all winter, in different shops so I can have lots of fun during the summer. When the snow is out, I pass all my weeks of March to November on my board. I’m addicted to this feeling and I’m very curious to discover guys and girl (of course) who share this spirit and this sensation. I hope to live like this for a long time!
It’s my way of life, because it gives me the opportunity to travel a lot too and discover other countries, other roads and meet lots of things that I can’t see in France. Longboarding is the biggest part of my life!
You also practice luge?
Classic luge only man, I learn it with Pauca, Adrien Massieye and of course my teacher, mister Michael Para! I love classic luge because you don’t have a lot of risk and you can ride like Mario Kart, but it can be fast too like at Kozakov where it was crazy!
Mario Kart! Do you throw shells and bananas?
At the King of the hill at Grenoble we can do that. The La Familia Rules promote safety, we don’t ride to get accidents! I remember a day in Lyon with the LLC Guys (crew of Lyon), they organised a sort of Mario Kart trophy at Parilly, and some guys threw peanuts, banana, and many other things, that was fun event!
When did you get into slalom and long distance?
Slalom I started after a bad accident, I broke my legs seriously, and the doctor said that I will never walk well again. I continued to go to the sessions with friends on a flat spot in Grenoble to drink beer and see the other riders, and I saw Adrien Massieye practicing slalom and I decided to come back on a board. Five months after my crash on flat for slalom, it’s not fast, the crashes are not too hard, and it was good to come back! Now I continue to practice slalom but for fun.
For the long distance pushing I started in Paris this summer at the Paris Push race, organised by Alex Bangnoi. I finished second. After this race I decided to plan a trip in Portugal with Romain Duch, a friend from Paris. To train I took part in all the Long distance races of the winter. I won the Familia long distance in Grenoble, I was third in the long distance of Annecy and I finish second in the 6h of Parilly just after Romain who won the race with his new board! One week after the 6h of Parilly in Lyon we made the plan for the Portugal Longtrek. Where we made a trip of 6 days of pushing across Lisbon and Porto, that was a great experience to push with a friend as a team, with 10kg bags, alone in a foreign country!
Great experience to push the limit of my legs and mind, but at the same time a good travel to discover a new country, with very friendly poeple, very good longboard crews in Porto, and lots of good memories that you can find on our website : longtrekportugal.tumblr.com
You finished second in your first ever push race?
Yes that was a very good race in Paris. I took the third place during all the races with my Mindless Velocity and 20 minutes before the end of the race, Alex broke his board and fell, I passed and I finished second. That was cool, but with a good part of luck. The first guy is Mathieu Josse and he is a very good pusher. For me the best!
How did you break your legs?
I broke my knee exactly one year after starting longboarding. That was a good entry to the sport! One night I rode alone one a hill, I fell after my foot touched the wheels when I tried to footbreak and I bailed and hit the floor. My knee exploded, at the hospital they put THREE screws in my knee. That was epic during two year, but now it’s okay!
The doctor thought you would never walk again – how are you SKATING?
Like always the doctor says things because it’s a medical corp, but you can do what you want, it’s your body! I love skating and I wanted to continue it, I restarted slowly, step by step on flat and now sometimes it’s hard but the feeling on board is more important , than the pain! I’m lucky, because I’m young, I see some other guys who fall and the have some difficulties to come back on the hill to down. The person is not always lucky and sometimes it’s too serious to come back from. That’s why we try to ride always with protection helmet, gloves, leather so as to limit the risk. We don’t practice longboarding forthe fear just for the fun!
How has your accident impacted your attitude towards skating now?
Now I can’t footbrake, I’ve never tried it since my accident, just sliding. But my accident just gave me the confirmation that we practice an extreme sport and we are not unbreakable . I have seen more important crashes than mine and I can never forget it. After Maryhill 2010, I rode with Adrien Massieye in Vancouver and we slept at Glenna Evans’ home. On the last day of riding, she came with us to a hill near Vancouver to ride all day long. In the first run, I followed Glenna and Adrien in the car and on the last corner Glenna slid and took the exterior of the corner and she hit a car, a 4×4 and she died. I think always about it the moment when I ride , and I hope never to see it again.
Now I try to ride more chilled and alert on open roads, but it’s not always easy when you’re with a friend. Sometimes I feel myself about to make a dangerous action but always stop when I’ve not a good feeling.
What inspired you to go on the Portugal longtrek?
Since I started longboarding, I wanted to travel with and for it. Naturally I thought “ why don’t you try to travel in a foreign country just with your board” I spoke about this idea with Romain and we managed all the trip during 5 months. Romain and his wife have done a very good job to create sponsoring files and I got sponsored after. The rest is just training, learning to push with heavy bags and with both legs, and at the end just enjoy!
How did you plan this trip?
For a first trip we decided to find a European destination for more security, and we thought about the Portugal because of the cool weather, the sun and the sea. It was different when we went because they had lot of rain in spring (2 days of 6) but it was cool to discover this country, and it inspired me to go back again through other countries next year perhaps German or Holland.
Who sponsored the trip?
For the trip we had some good sponsors like: Mindless Longboards who are my personal sponsor for this season, Sevens suns longboard who are Romain’s personal sponsor, Lowe Alpine for the Bags, Neway 38 for sunglasses and some other stuff, Abk a famous Climbing wear company of Grenoble for the budget and Mr Morgando for the vidéo card and some other stuff!
When can we expect videos?
Now you can see the photo on the facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Long-Trek-Portugal, the video is coming soon with the first episode in start of June and the others during the summer! We hope you enjoy it!
How many episodes will there be?
Perhaps four or five, Romain is working on it and I know that’s a hard job. But he is one of the best for it!
What was the highlight of the trip for you?
The best memories of the trip is the long hill of carving just in front of the sea near San Pedro de Moel! Because it was a sunny day, we found a 50km bicycle track to ride fast, and also a hill to close the day. That was great! And of course the beer just after this carve time.
What did you find most difficult?
I think the most difficult is not the rain, not the hill to climb but the long flat part near the sea, it’s was so long and so repetitive with no view of the sea or anything interesting and it rained all day long during this step. That was for me the most difficult day mentally. Physically, the most difficult is the first hour of riding, you don’t have good feelings and you need to start the “ Machine”, but after this first hour, all is okay. On the trip we rode 6 to 8 hours per day.
Did you get to skate with any local riders?
Not during the trip, we met a Legend of longboarding in Caldas de reinha Helio Imaginario (on facebook ) who was in this vidéo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cg_X806Rg3o and in Porto we met some guys from the Bollywood skate shop and we rode all night long in the Boavista street and in their famous spot of Casa de Musica.
In Portugal, Longboarding has become very popular and all the riders have a good level, women and men, that was cool to see. I think I’ll go back to Portugal to ride the IGSA race in the south and also find time to surf!
You met the bearded princess?
Yeah, when we arrived at Caldas da reinah, after the rain, a guy stopped his car and said “ what do you do here ?” , we explained the trip, and he says that we are mad, we answered that we think so too. And he left us.
Three days after, when we arrived at Porto, the longboarders from Black Ink crew showed us the video, and we said “ oh we met this guy, and we didn’t recognize him” and of course we laughed a lot! In Portugal and around the World the Bearded Princess is now a legend, and at the same time he was very very friendly guy!
So what is your next adventure?
I don’t know yet, some Freeride this year, I’ve done Chuyer and Wander barr already. After I finish my studies, I’ll start my race season with Mt Tabor Race in Portland, Maryhill, Confort in France, Padova , Peyragudes and if I have money – Portugal. In September it’s back to work again. I’ll try to plan another Long Distance Trek maybe Germany east-West or Holland South-North, we will see.
What do you ride?
For downhill and Long distance I ride a Mindless Velocity, heavy board but resistant and more easy to slide, push and fun on downhill. Sometimes on Downhill I ride a Pavel GoG, it’s fun to ride a gun of slalom with lot of grip! In the city Gravity or now Lush Kisiwa!
What do you do when you’re not skating?
Sometimes, I work ( I try), or I do some others sports, like windsurfing, telemarkskiiing in winter, downhill bike, or standup paddle on waves or flat water. But when I’m off of work I try to do lots of sport always!
Choose 3 numbers between 1-26
1 – 6 – 13
1 – What do you take with you when you go for a skate ?
Helmet, gloves, leather and beer!
6 – What is the strangest food you’ve eaten?
13 – Do you have a pet ?
A dog , his name is Chinook
Haha. Awesome. It has been great talking you bro! Great to hear about your trip, and I look forward to sharing the videos on our site. Thanks for all the brilliant reports!
No Problem man, continue to work like this, your website is so cool and so interesting about the longboard community! Continue and skate safe, fast and with style!
My website :