|Pauliana Laffabrier FS Layback at Bordeaux Skatepark. Photo Mary Sweet|
(Skateboarding News) So, apart from the USA, Australia and Brazil it seems vert skateboarding also exists in other parts of the world… Take France… Although France still has to yield a bowl-vert rider at the same level as Pedro Barros, Nolan Munroe or Austin Poynter; for a very long time, the country had plenty of ramp and vert riders (Read Jean Marc Lalondrelle Interview on isTia.Tv) but it was not until a couple of months ago that the bowl craze started to pick up. Of course, there was, and still is, the bowl of Marseille, but that's only one bowl for a country that is bigger than California...
|Paulie Portrait by Fred Ferand|
|Pauliana Laffabrier Crail Transfer in the fun box. Photo Mary Sweet|
isTia.Tv: When and how did you start skateboarding?Pauliana Laffabrier: I started skateboarding in 2007 with my half-brother, we self-helped each other! We had a SpiderMan board that we bought at Decathlon (a big box retailer) at the time. We practiced in our garage, I was fascinated by skateboarding. I tried it and I found it cool. In our garden there was a mini flat concrete area, I took my first ollies, and my first sprained ankles trying to do flips. In my village, there was not much for
|"Vert is much more adapted for skateboarding, and street should be done in the street, not in the skateparks."|
Pauliana Laffabrier at the P.A.S skate house. Photo Mary Sweet
isTia.Tv: So, you are you more of a bowl rider? Pauliana Laffabrier: I almost only do vert. Say, if in France there were the street parks that you have in the US, I might as well do street, but our parks are fairly rudimentary and I still find that there are many more feelings, adrenaline and respect for each other in ramp riding.
|Pauliana Laffabrier at the PAS House (Skate House) Photo Mary Sweet|
|Pauliana Laffabrier Salad at Gornan (Spain) Photo Maxime Conan|
isTia.Tv: Skateboarding in France is different from the rest of Europe? Pauliana Laffabrier: I have not had the chance to travel a lot. I went to Spain and skateboarding there is very different from France. They have almost a bowl in each city and hundreds of street spots plus the weather is nice! Having Spain on our doorsteps is a little bit like a dream. It’s only 3 hours my home.
isTia.Tv: Is skateboarding in France and Europe different from skateboarding in the USA? Pauliana Laffabrier: Of course it is! Let’s take the example of the Venice Beach skatepark. Well; we don’t
|Pauliana Laffabrier Nose Grabat Bordeaux. Photo Maxime Conan|
isTia.Tv: How do skateboarders see bowl riders in France? Pauliana Laffabrier: I am not overly concerned about what others think. In France, street and very are really two worlds apart. There are like clans who disliked each other because some skaters are vert riders and the others are street rider, it's utterly stupid, in all cases, it’s skateboarding. From my perspective, vert is much more adapted for skateboarding, and street should be done in the street, not in the skateparks. Of course, you can find Old Guys around the bowls and ramps, it is part of their time, it's even better that there is this inter-generational wealth, most of these OGs are an inspiration for me.
isTia.Tv: What was the first park you rode? Pauliana Laffabrier: The first park I rode was 20 minutes away from my house (La Réole) in a modular skatepark with a bank, a small tranny, a manual table and a bar. On top of it, the surface was made of tar ... There was hardly anyone skatin’ because like most skateparks, it was not done by skateboarders for skateboarders.
isTia.Tv: Was there a lot of girls riding at the skateparks? Pauliana Laffabrier: At my first park? No. There was not any girl. It’s only when I arrived in Bordeaux, that I met Mary who started skateboarding at about the same time as me. There was already a ramp and I had hardly ever do that, I really find it cool to skate with a girl! Now there is a group of three girls who skate the bowl (Mary, Marine, a recent skater and I).
isTia.Tv: Until recently there was almost no skateparks in France and suddenly it seems skateparks are popping up everywhere ... What is happening? Pauliana Laffabrier: Hehe!! We're not going to complain! Keep it coming! We still have a long way before we catch up to America! It is true that there
|Pauliana Laffabrier FS Air at Gujan Mestras. Photo Maxime Conan|
isTia.Tv: How Many new skateparks have opened in France in the past 2 years? Pauliana Laffabrier: I could not say exactly how many skateparks opened in France over the past two years. I think twenty, I mean real skateparks, real concrete or indoor skateparks, not modular skateparks that are very dangerous. There are a lot
|FS Grind at the Black Bowl Battallion. Photo Maxime Conan|
|Tagged bowl. Is it art or vandalism? Pauliana Laffabrier at Gujan-Mestras Bowl FS-Air Photo Fred Ferand|
isTia.Tv: What is the Black Battalion Bowl? Pauliana Laffabrier: It is about twenty friends who foolishly sought to build a pool kept secret and private, simply because 2-3 years ago, there was no pools in France. This is a real DIY wooden pool and it’s rad!
|Although the specialty of the Bordelais is the Bordeaux, they are more and more focused on skateboarding. But a|
glass of Sauternes and a Foie Gras between two runs would be welcome. Pierre Gosset at Gujan Mestras.
Photo Fred Ferand
isTia.Tv: Are there skateboarders in your family? Pauliana Laffabrier: I started skating with my half-brother, now he has virtually stopped, he prefers playing music! My little brother got to skate a few years after me. When I moved to Bordeaux, the village hall where I lived decided to build a skatepark. We fought for the skatepark to be made out of concrete, and now it attracts a lot of skateboarders. This is a good example to follow; I hope that local councils are beginning to understand.
|Photo Fred Ferand|
isTia.Tv: Do you surf? Pauliana Laffabrier: No, I never surfed. I’m not interested, for now.
isTia.Tv: When did you skate the P.A.S house? Pauliana Laffabrier: I guess this is the Skate House? Say it is not at all common to skate something like that! There are a lot of flat and the curve is rad, and you find yourself very quickly in the over-vert! The tricks are limited but it's really fun to skate. The ramp is now in Bordeaux, at the Caserne Niel. It is Sebastien Daurel (former pro skateboarder for Adidas) who recovered and reassembled it and put it in a covered shed. He has already mounted his bowl with a curb extension and a coping, and two ramps! He is currently building a mega ramp :) I can’t wait!
isTia.Tv: Although it is growing, the participation of girls in skateboarding in France is still extremely rare. How many skater girls are there in France? Pauliana Laffabrier: I do not even know if we represent 10%, I count thirty girls all over France. I think girls represent one, maybe two percent of all the skaters, no more ..
isTia.Tv: Why is it that so few girls are skateboarding? Pauliana Laffabrier: I don’t know, it's a mystery. Many girls like skateboarding. But they don’t picture themselves skateboarding. Afraid of getting hurt, I guess.
isTia.Tv: Is skateboarding a guy's sport? Pauliana Laffabrier: In part yes, but with the right motivation any girl can do it too!
isTia.Tv: Who are the girls skaters who inspires you? Pauliana Laffabrier: Allysha Bergado & Lizzie Armanto impress me much, I admire them! These prove to me that the girls can be
|"Of course, you can find Old Guys around the bowls and ramps, it is part of their time, it's even better that there is this|
inter-generational wealth, most of these OGs are an inspiration for me." Seb Daurel At Gujan Mestras.
Photo Fred Ferand
isTia.Tv: Girls like Lizzie Armanto, Allysha Bergado or Amelia Brodka have an amazing bowl level, yet they are very feminine and gracious on a skateboard. Do you think that’s an exception and those girls skateboarder are usually tomboys or is the trend going toward a more feminine way of skateboarding? Pauliana Laffabrier: It is important to take care of yourself, and to be a minimum feminine especially in female skateboarding. Don’t forget that we are primarily girls! I don’t think that this is an exception, more and more
|It was not until a couple of months ago that the bowl craze started to pick up, especially around Bordeaux.|
Alexis Bauche at the Gujan Mestras Bowl. Photo Fred Ferand
isTia.Tv: Amelia Brodka is preparing a documentary on girls skateboarding. She started with no material, no money, no help and now everybody is waiting for the documentary. That is expected to be a big deal ... How do you see Amelia's venture? Pauliana Laffabrier: Respect, I really can’t wait to see this documentary.
isTia.Tv: Have you ever skated a backyard pool? Do you want to? Pauliana Laffabrier: I would love to skate a real pool yeah!
isTia.Tv: Core skateboarders say skateboarding is not a
sport but a way of life, an art… What does skateboarding represent for you? Pauliana Laffabrier: For me, Skateboarding is a kind of lifestyle. Skateboarding only brought me good, it taught me to stop being afraid of what people see, to have simple contact with people of all ages and backgrounds without giving any importance to the age. I know that if I go to a skatepark, I would always find a place to be greeted without fear because even though skateboarding is an extensive family, we are very few at the same time and wherever you go, you may cross buddies even if it’s at the other end of world.
|Pauliana Laffabrier at BBB. Photo Fred Ferand|
isTia.Tv: Tell me about the push that the City of Bordeaux is doing for skateboarding… Pauliana Laffabrier: I think it was an event not run at all by skaters
|Paula Laffabrier Photo Fred Ferand|
isTia.Tv: How do you see yourself in five years in skateboarding? In 10 years? Pauliana Laffabrier: I hope that I would always be healthy enough to skate, I would probably own a small concrete bowl with a coping to be able to skate at home when I come back from work ;)
isTia.Tv: Are you sponsored? Pauliana Laffabrier: No, no sponsor for girls in France.
isTia.Tv: Do you want to add something That we missed? Pauliana Laffabrier: Thank you!
isTia.Tv: Thanks a lot Pauliana!
Translated from French. Thanks a lot to Fred Ferand, Mary Sweet, Maxime Conan for the pictures...