French bro Tibs has moved to two countries since we last spoke! Mr Parise shares a lot of skateboarding motivation in this conversation charting his journey from dream to reality.
Hey bro, how are you doing?
Doing great, as usual! You?
Super. Why are you up so early?
Because the future is own by people who get up early! Haha.
What will you do with the future?
Like the present, live it! I mean tomorrow is built on today, I like to make things happen! I want to enjoy what I do, so I work for it! No secret.
Do you have much planned for today?
Yes, I’d like to finish filming this video part for Abec11, do some photos too. And because it’s Friday, get a beer or 2 with couple friends tonight, and be ready for the weekend.
What is Abec11?
Abec 11 is a wheel company, I just got on the team! Pretty stoked, we’ve known each other for a long time, and I’m glad we do things together today.
First wheel sponsorship?
I used to ride Sector 9 wheels, but when we think Sector 9 we think skateboards, the wheels are great, but my first DH wheels were Abec11, and they have so many different wheels for any kind of skateboarding, that I’m pretty sure we can do a lot of things together! Having a sponsor for me, it’s like having a partnership, we “work” together to go forward and do things to help each other.
How did you get on the team?
I met Rory and Brad a little bit than a year ago, and I shared my story with Abec11 (about 10/13 years ago), they were my first wheels. We talked about skateboarding, being friendly, respectful, and doing what I do (skateboarding) made things happen.
Who is Brad?
Brad is one of the main guy who works at Abec11.
What do you bring to the team?
I think I bring something they don’t have on a team, someone who rides any kind of transition with a big board, I also bring ideas and plans (I mean my goals, and how we can work together, how we see things for each other).
“I try to (skate everything), but riding downhill with hard wheels or riding pools with soft wheels is not really the way to do it.”
You skate everything with one setup?
I try to, but riding downhill with hard wheels or riding pools with soft wheels is not really the way to do it, I just switch my wheels. But I have differents boards, I bring them with me if I know I will hit more than 1 spot in a day.
Last time we spoke, you were leaving France for Cali – what continent are you on now?
I think we spoke about 3 years ago, time is flying! I don’t think I would imagine living in California at that time! I’m in the American continent right now.
Haha. When did you decide to live in America?
I left my job and everything in France to go to Mexico and open a store, but the law about immigration changed when I got there, so I decided to go to Tahiti to live with my twin brother. But I was like, I’m close to California, so let’s go there for few months and enjoy skateboarding before living in Tahiti.
ParadoxGrip found me a lawyer for an Athlete VISA, I got my contracts with Sector9 and Gullwing Trucks, it was like everything happened to make my dream of living in California, and here I am!
What is Paradox?
ParadoxGrip is a grip-tape company co-owned by Jake Brown, Peter Smolik and David Gravette. I’ve also been a part owner for about 2 years. We have some of the best skateboarders in the world in our team like Corey Juneau, Alex Perelson, Ben Hatchel.
I’m in charge of the longboard side called the “Light Speed Division” (instagram @lightspeeddivision), we have Aj Haiby, Jeff Budro, Troy Yardwaste aka Turbo, Sergio Yuppie and myself.
We do grip for Sector 9 skateboards, Jet longboards, and others brands, also for some skate shops (Route44, Grandeur etc).
Something you should know about ParadoxGrip; we have a technology which increases your balance, strength, endurance and stance about over 767% (tested on a double-blind test placebo).
Obviously, not everybody knows it, and most people (almost 100%) who try/ride ParadoxGrip love it.
ParadoxGrip is a small company made by skateboarders for skateboarders, everything is designed in San Diego, California
All the riders seem to be on S9!
Yes, most of them. Sector 9 has great riders. But did I tell that LightSpeedDivision riders ride for us because they love the products, we are not yet able to help them with money. And when some of the best riders in the world choose your product, when they could get paid by other companies, believe me, it means you’re doing something right!
“When some of the best riders in the world choose to ride your product (for free), when they could be getting paid by other companies to ride theirs, believe me, it means you’re doing something right!”
What kind of tech can boast those kind of results?
You take an amount of healthy people, you give product A and product B (nobody knows what is what, not even the lab, only the ParadoxGrip owner knows). You bring them on day 1 and you do tests with one product, you do the same on day 2 with the other product,.. and keep going. They test it with machines which calculate your performance.
We have all the details in a report.
So, at the end, they gave us the results and our product increased the performance of the people by 767%.
Grip-tape can increase this because we encoded the crystals in the grip-tape. In life there is a ying and yang for everything. We know microwaves, phones etc are bad for your health! We are just the opposite, we develop something good. I’m not a scientist or the person behind this technology, and my English is not that good enough to explain to you how it works, but here is the document with the results/report/explaination: http://media.wix.com/ugd/534f8f_f18f04eeefe946ba957eed49354781d5.pdf
How long did you spend in Guadalajara before you left?
I spent more than a month or 2 (don’t remember). When I figured out I couldn’t do anything, because of this new law, I tried to figure out something else.
What was your relationship with S9 & GW while you were in France?
You know, I was working for Sector9 and Gullwing Truck in France, I was in charge of the sales for the whole country, and because I was riding, I got free products to keep skating and representing the brands. I was stoked.
Did the contracts change anything?
The contracts didn’t change anything in my relationship with my sponsors, they just helped me out for my VISA, and helped me with finances. That’s it, contracts don’t change my love for what I do!
“contracts don’t change my love for what I do!”
What were your Cali dreams?
My Cali dream was to live and skate with the pro skateboarders (When I was a teenager). But, today, my life is way more than a dream, I skate with some of the best skateboarders in bowl, downhill, street… Sometimes when I have text, phone calls from people like Jake Brown, Louis Pilloni, Jeff Budro, PLG, I feel like “wow”, but you know, I like to consider everybody the same. I’m glad to have those guys around me, they help my skateboarding.
Who are you most excited to skate with?
If I ride hills, I’m stoked to skate with Jimmy Riha, Jeff Budro, Louis Pilloni and AJ Haiby! When it’s about Poo /Bowl, I’m excited to skate with Cory Juneau, Darren Navarrette, Ben Hatchell.
About Street, Peter Smolik and Tyron Olson have crazy energy (I have to get back on skating street actually).
Why do you like to ride with these people?
Because they push themselves and you a lot. Each time you skate with them, you see good things and you learn new tricks. Your day will be productive, always!
How did you bring your dream into life?
Life is a dream, and the best way to make things happen is to live it. I think I visualized this life so much when I was young that I made it happen. You are the owner of your life, you make the decisions for who you want to be.
How different is life in France from America?
First, I would say California is not really America, it’s different. But I really like the life in Southern California, people, skate spots, sun (I mean, no winter here)… everything is made to live an easy life.
In France, you cannot do shopping on Sundays, because everything is closed, you can’t find what you want at anytime. But I do miss the good food from over there, and my buddies.
When last did you see Oleev?
I saw Oleev in Brazil this winter for making another serie with Art Of Life Project (www.art-of-life-project.com). But before this, it was for his birthday last year in France.
Who else do you miss?
Except close friends and good food? Nothing! I have everything I need here.
How is Cali different from America?
I think the quality of life, the positive energy, the lifestyle, people are more healthy, and there are a lot of opportunities, everything is possible. I think the American Dream is made in Cali haha.
Why are you so in love with it?
Ask Skateboarding! When you grow up skateboarding, watching videos, reading magazines… and you end up living with all those guys you saw on paper/screen, you love it! More when you can find anything you need at anytime and realize everything is more possible here than France, why shouldn’t I love California?
What were you up to when you first moved over there?
When I got here, I didn’t plan to live here at first. So my first move was to skate, meet friends, and enjoy my time. When I figured out this is where I’m going to live, I set up goals like; getting a car, getting a place, making things happen.
Which of the skateboarding communities do you spend most time with?
Jeff Budro! He is like my American dad, I couldn’t make it if he wasn’t here! He played/s an important role for me.
How easy was it to support yourself with full time skating?
It was not easy, I have to get an extra job on a side. But when you love something, you just do it, and you do anything you can to keep doing it as much as you can.
“When you love something… you do anything you can to keep doing it as much as you can.”
Will you ever be able to do it full time?
I tried during the last 2 years to make it full time. I kinda did do it full time, but I’m 27 years old now, and I want to live a life where I don’t want to be stressed about the income and bills haha, so I decided to get a job on the side, save some money and build a stronger future.
What is Art Of Life?
Art Of Life Project is a video project we created with my french friend Oleev Torrin. We travel to some countries/destinations and make a video with locals about skateboarding and lifestyle. We just want to share what we experience.
Skateboarding is a lifestyle which teaches you a lot about yourself & life. We want to share our vision, show people that it doesn’t matter where you are on the globe, you can skate, find people who do, and have fun.
How many episodes have you made so far?
We made US (LA with Skate House Media), another one in San Diego, then Madrid with LongboardGirlsCrew and Basque country. We are working on the Brazilian one now. http://www.art-of-life-project.com/#!destinations/ckra
Skating in Brazil?
Yes, skating in Brazil with locals, discovering the culture, food, lifestyle.
When did you go to Brazil and how was it?
We went to Brazil in March 2015 for 2 weeks, and it was just AWESOME, I’m about to go back there for a month in November, take some vacations… Actually, my life is about vacations, so I’m just going there.
What is the response from the community like?
They apparently enjoy it, but I never asked the question haha.
What have been the highlights of your time in America so far?
I have been injured for almost a year, so couldn’t make that much happen… maybe my slam at Downhill Disco haha
But you know, being in California, skating and hanging out with PLG, Jake Brown, going to the X-Games & watching them is pretty gnarly! I mean, having the respect of those guys is something. I wish to ride the MegaRamp at the X-Games, but when I see the teenagers killing it, I feel like it’s not for me anymore haha.
And also being a part of the downhill community is rad, I’m known for my ‘America! F*ck Yeah” from Angie’s Curves, Louis Pilloni, Jimmy Riha, Switzer, Max Ballesteros and all of the downhill racer are gnarly, I wished I wasn’t injured for that long.
But you talk about highlights, and I’m pretty over competing, I’m more into riding for fun, pushing the limits for me, not for winning anything. Being in magazines like Concrete Wave, SkateSlate, Heelside, Crvis3r or other magazine around the world is probably my highlights.
Honestly, I think my skateboarding life is a highlight, I don’t think I have a specific moment as a highlight, it’s just the total amount of everything I have done, and doing it was my highlight.
“get a bigger board and skate everything”
How did you get the X-Games hookup?
Being a part of ParadoxGrip, with Jake Brown as a part-owner, helps! Jake Brown is also a friend, and got me a pass.
What was it like?
It was insane, access to the VIP areas, being with everybody, watching live (not on a screen), the tricks, contest is pretty intense!
Who did you get to see?
I got to see Bob Burnquist, Tom Schaar, David Gonzales, Laeticia Buffoni, Jake Brown (of course), but I was used to seeing vert ramp skaters because I have ridden with them, or I see them at some events.
How did you get hurt?
I did a huge FS Air in a corner in the bread bowl, I felt my head almost touched the ceiling, so I pulled out (too much) because I was scared, and fell straight leg to the flat (for some reason I still don’t know). I thought my leg was broken, but I was able to move it, so it wasn’t broken… lucky.
I stopped skating for few weeks, and when I got back, I twisted my knee, and stopped for a month or 2, and twisted my knee again… so I decided to stop, go back to France and take care of it, rehabilitate and come back to Cali. Jake Brown gave me the contact of a knee-brace company (CTI knee brace) who he was sponsored by (they also sponsored Danny Way, Tom Pages), and after watching/looking at what I do, they hooked me up. So, I’ve skated with a knee brace since, and honestly without this, I don’t think I would be able to skate as I do today.
Will you ever be able to ride without the brace?
Yes I will, but I prefer to be safe and wear it as long as I can. I go to the gym on a side of skateboarding to keep myself in shape (I don’t use the kneebrace for the gym).
How is this year going for you?
This year is going pretty well actually, already got a few publications & videos coming. Some amazing new things are going to happen pretty soon. I’m happy about it, so yeah, going great.
What are your plans for the rest of the summer?
The plans are to keep filming, doing photos, learn new tricks and plan my Brazil trip for the fall/winter, that’s about it!
What do you do when you’re not skating?
I do a lot of things, I work with some friends and help them, I go surfing, I do emails, get ideas, I think (it happens haha), workout, cook, enjoying California lifestyle and read. There’s a bunch of things I like to do!
Any last words?
Yes, don’t forget, if you want something in your life, you can get it, focus, work hard, never give up! Nothing is easy! Respect and happiness are the key. Always have fun!
I would like to thanks all of my friends (and haters haha), without you I won’t be here!
G you rule!