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22 the country it’s also way better. This year I’ve been three times for a month at a time to film that Tri-Color part…

started switching to HD prefer seeing VX footage… Funny that JB originally hated the VX ha ha.

Oh yeah what happened with that one? How come it took so long to come out? They actually had a pretty hard time with it.The première was a little while back but when it came to putting it online almost half of the songs couldn’t get cleared so they basically had to re-edit it.

Speaking of JB, what’s going on with Hôtel De Ville then? Can you give people a quick run down of what happened with that whole thing?

But yeah anyway when I went to LA for that it was completely different to when I’d go before. This time they rented out a house for the whole New Balance team and we’d really focus on filming rather than driving around from city to city, hotel to hotel, demo to demo. You’re not spending half the time in the van… It’s a different experience. You can actually get a feel for the area where you stay, get a little routine on the go and most importantly take a day off and chill at the house if you need one. It’s the best kind of mission. Plus it’s a more relaxed environment to meet the guys you skate for a company with…

Another Flo Mirtain HD part then? Have you come to terms with getting filmed on that camera yet?

Yeah I’m not as bad as I used to be… I’m not sure why; maybe just because I see it so much now that I’ve just gotten used to it. JB once told me that him and a lot of skaters from his generation went through the exact same thing when people started using the VX. The vignetting of the death lens looked so different to what they were used to seeing that they just couldn’t handle it, which is why I doubt many kids that discovered skate videos in 2007 when people

Yeah… Let me have a quick think about how it all started… It’s pretty long so I might simplify it a little bit. Basically one of us randomly came across an article explaining that this summer the city was going to tear down and redo the plaza. I’ve been skating it almost every day for the past ten years and others for a lot longer than that so obviously we weren’t going to just let it go. We did a bit of research and it turned out that yeah someone at the council was indeed pushing for this and that their plan was even to skatestop the plaza in the coming months just for the sake of it (so way before the works would have even started). At that point we started a little committee with Jérémie Daclin, Fred Mortagne, shop owners, brands and all the skaters that wanted to be involved. We got a petition going (that got 10,000 signatures in no time) and with that petition a few members of our ‘committee’ went over to meet people from the city council to argue our case. Now by talking to us one of the main things they realised was that skateboarders weren’t actually the primary cause of damage to the plaza (let’s face it, the plaza is pretty fucked). We showed them that the floor was cracked in places that skateboarders couldn’t get to (because this or that was in the way, etc.) and it blew their minds. It made them look into

other reasons why the place was falling apart and it turns out some parts of it are were sinking into the ground. Possibly it was because it was on top of a car park, or possibly for other reasons. But yeah basically the whole place was moving. Which interestingly enough is something that skaters like Fred (Mortagne) had noticed ages ago. You know how you have to ollie up a curb to get onto that second part of the plaza that’s always in the shade in the summer?

Place Tolozan?

Yeah. Well Fred pointed out that fifteen years ago there was no curb. It was flush. People in his old videos rode onto it without lifting their wheels up. Now you need to pop a proper ollie. It’s nuts.

I guess it makes sense that skaters would notice that stuff. Nobody stares at that plaza as much as we do. Think of how many hours of footage Fred must have filmed there! They also weren’t aware of quite how ‘big’ skateboarding was in Lyon right? They just thought it was just ten kids that would use the plaza every now and then and that’s it. So when those guys showed them exactly how many skate shops were in the city, how many companies were based there, approximately how many skaters used the spot etc. they started to take what we had to say a lot more seriously right? Exactly. They also had no idea that people on the other side of the world knew about Lyon and Hôtel De Ville because of skating. They had no idea that people like the Long Live South Bank guys had been fighting for a similar cause.

And what was the result of these discussions?

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Free 14  

Free Skateboard Magazine issue 14, Sept/Oct 2017.

Free 14  

Free Skateboard Magazine issue 14, Sept/Oct 2017.