Portrait: David Turakiewicz
Interview: Benjamin Deberdt
The exclusive release of his part –celebrating his official entrance in Emerica’s European team– is a good excuse to sit down with Oscar, quite the colorful character amongst the Parisian scene… Always on the go, always hurt, or trying to get broke on his board as fast as possible when he’s not: this is how “Oscar la Bagarre” might look like. But he is quite secretive, actually.
Our little conversation gave us the opportunity to learn more about his roots, his fishing skills and his own take on skateboarding in America…
Enjoy, in order to appreciate the following images.
Did you travel a lot to film that part, in the end?
Oscar: Not really… A bit of Barcelona, a bit of south of France, to Perpignan, but that wasn’t so productive, so you do see a lot of Paris in there, I think! I did trips with Emerica, but every time my footage would go to the travel edits. Like for Athens, or the Big Push, recently…
Tell about the Big Push, for the non-British…
O: The Big Push is the British equivalent to the King of the Road, where you can go where you want around England. You get stupid challenges too, but we didn’t do many… We mostly filmed, instead of trying to have fun with the challenges, but it was great!
Who were you with on the Big Push?
O: Tom Knox, Casper Brooker, Kyron Davis who isn’t on the team anymore, and then Eniz Fazliov and Rob Maatman. Both are killers! We went to Manchester and Liverpool. Spots are rough all right, it’s cool, but mainly the Brits are crazy! We ended up being out, next to people in their fifties getting smashed. You walk in the street, it’s 10h00 PM and you’ll stumble upon a girl in her thirties puking on herself! That’s what I remember from that trip! It’s not like here, where, once you’re forty, you’ll be home drinking whine with your wife. No, they keep on getting hammered in pubs! [Laughter]
How was Greece?
O: We stayed in Athens, but it’s so big, anyway… It was all the Fins and I. Eniz, Sami Miettinen and Miki Tahtinen. So much fun! Sammy and Eniz invited me to Finland. I’m a bit worried: they drink too much over there!
Let’s rewind a little bit… You actually are from Paris?
O: Montpellier, actually. Then, when I was 7, we moved to the States, Washington DC, for my mom’s job. We did get deported for not paying some taxes [Laughter] and landed right back at my grand mother’s place, in Meudon [just outside Paris, Ed’s note]. And we’re still there. We have the last floor. It’s a family house, so we all have our spaces: my brother and I, my parents, my grand-ma… It’s perfect. And it’s ten minutes away from Paris.
Oscar Candon, fs crail, durant le Big Push. photo: Percy Dean
So, did you find out about skateboarding in the States?
O: In Washington, yep, in our residency, where it was mostly foreigners. I was ten, it was during our last year there. I started on those painted curbs that everybody slappies in the US videos. Only for me, those were ledges, I had to ollie onto them! [Laughter]
How did that translates, once back in France?
O: Meudon’s skatepark, every day after school! Once my parents let me take the train on my own to Paris, this is where I meet Rémy Taveira, the twins, all the gang… How old were we, actually? [Turning to Benoît Renaux] 13, 14, and our first drinking together! By skating more and more with Rémy, I ended up skating Chelles skatepark more than in Meudon, and that was a good move! [Laughter]
This is across Paris from yours, isn’t it?
O: One hour and forty-five minutes, door to door! It’s exactly the other side of the suburbs… It’s shorter to jump in a plane to Barcelona! [Laughter] But, it’s worth it, once you get there!
You don’t seem to mind those sorts of treks…
O: No, after the Europe tours we have done with that lot, spending ten hours in a train, or sleeping about anywhere, it’s not a problem anymore… [Laughter] This year, I met them in Amsterdam, then we did Copenhagen, Malmö, then we went to my family’s house in Sweden…
Benoît: Then, down to Berlin, Ljubljana, Zagreb…
O: And Vienna, that was amazing!!
Ollie out frontside wall ride, in Poitiers. photo: David Turakiewicz
So, you have family in Sweden?
O: Yes, my grand mother is fully Swedish. She’s the one that moved to Paris a long time ago, and who we live with. But we still have her whole side of the family other there, and let me tell you they are from Stockholm, but the woods! They are in the middle of nowhere. My great uncle is a lumberjack. So, they have a “stuga”, that’s the traditional summer cottage, all red, on the side of the lake, with a little jetty, the small motorboat. I took them all there, they were a bit lost! [Laughter]
B: No, we were so happy! We would wake up, go fish a pike, then eat with his parents. Oscar would bring back one every time!
O: They never caught one! The first day at the stuga, we took the boat, and right away I got a pike. I took it inside the boat, and those guys thought you were just going to let it die there, or something… [Laughter] You have a mallet in the boat. A big smack on the head, and that’s it! Thomas [Benoît’s brother] freaked out! [Laughter]
B: Oscar doesn’t give a fuck! Boom!
O: No, I have a little prayer, before doing it. It’s quite a gesture to kill a fish. You eat it at night because you fished it during the day, it is your responsibility.
B: so, meals would be pikes fished by Oscar, and mushrooms harvested by his parents…
You go back there often?
O: Every year, since I was a kid.
You ever skate in Sweden?
O: When I was beginning, a bit, and this year, we went to Malmö to hit Pontus spots with the twins. But, I’m not that much of a fan… Frankly, it’s not that fun to skate, for me. The morals of the spot are that you build it, and you have to skate it every day to master it. It’s great if you live there, but, if not, you can’t get the lines right away. You miss a grind on a tiny transition, and you lose your line… Rémy wasn’t having any trouble, though!
So, what have you planned for the winter?
O: I’m going to start filming for Trauma skateboards. We are re-launching it. Everybody is psyched! We each have to film a small part! So, heading out South, then Barcelona, for sure. Nico Rouquette [Former pro for Trauma, taking over the brand, Ed’s Note] called me, and I told him: “I’m down, but let’s do it right away, let’s not waste any time!”.