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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ten years with Cliché: bon anniversaire Lucas Puig!

Lucas Puig and some Cliche partners sharing the Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles
Ten years with Cliché: bon anniversaire Lucas Puig!

It takes a lot for a pool rider to recognize the value of a street skater… But after all, are we not skateboarders? We are French!

I would have been so proud to discover Lucas Puig. But unfortunately, Jeremie Daclin was the first one in recognizing the talent of the Toulousain. Oh, moun pais, oooh Toulouse (to loose) sung the poet… That French city situated north of the Spanish border was once host of some kind of French Federation of skateboarding. Yeah, a federation! Weird, right? Even the name sounds socialist.
Lucas Puig and his new video: Pro Spotlight. Filmed by Fred Mortange, Dan Wolfe, Mikendo, Kamil Krzesniak,
and Joey Brezinski.
And the socialists once built a magnificent skate park in Toulouse, when Thierry Dupin (the then president) was still leaving other there. Toulouse is considered as a good place for future skateboard stars. JJ Rousseau, Lucas’ big brother, was also from Toulouse and Lucas quickly became JJ Rousseau’s protégé. But thanks to a nollie heel noseslide down the hubba in front of his inventor (Eric Koston), Lucas won the prestigious V7 (Jean Marc Vaissette – a homie of PAS), Teenage Tour and was put on the Cliché team. He was so young at the time (13 years old) that Jeremie Daclin had to sign an affidavit and became his legal guardian.

Lucas Puig and his new video: Pro Spotlight. Filmed by Fred Mortange, Dan Wolfe, Mikendo, Kamil Krzesniak,
and Joey Brezinski.
At that time, Cliché was not yet the brand we know now, but in 1977, Steve Rocco said of the French Brand that: "It is had for me to imagine a place on the globe where a foreign company could not dominate the skate industry, except for France". Here we go, the French exception! Should I say the French connection?

Lucas Puig is some kind of conundrum in the skate business. Since he first made contact with Cliché before 2000, he stayed true to his love. This truthfulness rewarded him big time as he ollied from one victory to another: his own board, his own video character, even his own shoes (with Lakai and Addidas) and two amazing videos: Bon Appetit (03) and Fully Flaired (o7). Lucas Puig is now celebrating 10 years with Cliché and releasing a limited series.

Lucas is like a flea: never twice at the same place, it’s so hard to catch up with him, unless you are Transworld or Mackensie Eisenhour. It took a lot of phone calls, but eventually, I met Lucas in the Miracle Mile on Fairfax Avenue (Los Angeles) and found out that he was even nicer than he was supposed to be...

Because today is the release of the new Lucas Puig Video, that was a good time to unearth this interview.

But let’s go back in time when Lucas first discovered a skateboard between a scooter and a pair of Rollerblade and let’s praise God for not showing him the bright side of the scooter boys...

Lucas Puig Interview

isTia: Who are you?
Lucas Puig: I am Lucas Puig, I am 24 years old and I live in Toulouse.

isTia: How long have you been skating?
Lucas Puig: About 14 years.

isTia: How long have you been sponsored by Cliché Skateboards?
Lucas Puig: Ten years…

When Lucas Puig met Jeremie Daclin he recalls it as a carnage. They were raging every night; drinking and getting wild. He was only 14 at the time…

isTia: How did you start with Cliché?
Lucas Puig: Jean Jacques Rousseau was one of my friends, I was living in Toulouse, the same city, we were often going places with him, to skate spots and stuff, I met people from Cliché, they started to give me free boards and the rest is history…

isTia: Who are your other sponsors?
Lucas Puig: With JJ Rouseau, I think we were lucky, we were at the right place at the right time, so I have Lakai, they came for a tour in France, I skated with them, then they asked me to do the tour with them, and that's how it happened.

isTia: How many Gypsy tour (now Gypsea Tour) have you done?
Lucas Puig: I have done to 3 Gypsy tours.

isTia: Which one was the easiest of all the Gypsy tours?
Lucas Puig: The last one…

isTia: The most difficult?
Lucas Puig: The second one, it was too cold, we were not going to the best spots to sleep, that was not the best spot to live the gypsy life …..

isTia: What’s best, a difficult trick landed with no style, or an easy trick done with style?
Lucas Puig: Definitively the style. It really does not matter if it is difficult or not, if the trick is well done with style, I respect.

isTia: What’ the trick you are trying to learn?
Lucas Puig: Switch Backside Nose Blunt in a mini ramp.

isTia: What’s the best part of being a pro skater?
Lucas Puig: I do what I like, I travel a lot, I am with nice people all the time. I like all parts of being a professional skater.

isTia: What’s the worst part of being a professional skater?
Lucas Puig: You have to skate a lot. People are expecting a lot from you because you represent the brands; you always have to be at the top ….. You have to have a great physical ability because it is very demanding. If you don’t have a sponsor you have a tendency to let it go, you don’t care, but being a pro, there’s no mistakes to make.

isTia: Do you train a lot?
Lucas Puig: I skate everyday, but I first skate for pleasure. If you skate for pleasure everyday, then you train and you enjoy what you are doing at the same time.

isTia: Where do you usually train?
Lucas Puig: In my hometown, in Toulouse, with my buddies, that’s cool. We do a little bit of skatepark, a little bit of street, et voila…

isTia: What’s your best spot?
Lucas Puig: There’s a place I want to go, that Love Park at Philadelphia It’s a big plaza where I never went and it seems like its kinda rad.

isTia: Did you badly hurt yourself while skating?
Lucas Puig: I broke my scaphoïd (the wrist). I could not skate for about 3 months. No skate at all!

isTia: When was that?
Lucas Puig: About 2 ½ years ago.

isTia: Do you like Los Angeles or the United States?
Lucas Puig: It’s cool. It’s very different from Europe, everything seems easy here.

isTia: What do you mean easy?
Lucas Puig: Here, you always have a cameraman to shoot you, even if you get sacked all the time from the spots, there are very good spots, lots of photographs everywhere, all the magazines are here, all the skate business is here. It’s easier to be a pro here than in Toulouse, where I live, because there are no cameraman, no photograph…

isTia: During this week that you were touring in L.A. , in general how long did you stay on the spot before being evicted?
Lucas Puig: Just the warm up. No more than 15 mn and after the cops are coming. It’s been like this all the time. But that’s like it everywhere. Just don’t believe that this happens only in Los Angeles, In France if you go skate in front of a back you get evicted. Same as here.

Thanks Lucas


I skate therefore I am: skateboard pools, pipes, parks, bowls and vert, daily skateboarding news...
posted by Xavier Lannes @ Wednesday, August 31, 2011 


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