Meeting… Vincent Touzery!
Photos: Vincent Coupeau
Interview: Benjamin Deberdt
"I don’t have a plane ticket, I don’t have the money, but I’ll find a way!"
Vincent was another Bloby’s until recently: a skate rat, always attached to many other members of the crew, always found cruising from one spot to another, somewhere central of far out in the suburbs of the French capital… Pretty talented, and never too worried about anything: another good kid!
But things have changed, quick. After a (long) trip away from home… Already spotted by Converse, after his return from San Francisco, he has gained confidence in his skating, and gone a couple notches up in general. Most likely the side effects of foreign downhills. Anyway, Vincent has been the talk around town, lately, and impressing whoever has crossed in paths around a Parisian street. To where Pontus Alv has recently asked him to join the French chapter of his Polar militia… Which must mean something, don’t you think?
But don’t worry, the 19 years old is still, first and foremost, a Bloby’s at heart, a Parisian skate rat and a good guy, as the following will confirm…
So, it is your first interview, isn’t it?
Apparently, yes! I’ve never done this before… It’s cool, must be fun! Just got to answer some questions…
Actually, what could be the worst question I could ask?
If I work, or go to school… [Laughter]
No, not really… I have been avoiding this sort of activities for two years, now. In the end, for the better, as I’m spending everyday with the Bloby’s. We travel all the time, also, thanks to Luidgi Gaydu [the Converse team-manager, Ed’s Note], so it’s perfect!
Your next trip is around the corner, isn’t it?
Yes, New York! We’re less than usually, this time: Karl Salah, Kevin Rodriguez, Paul Grund, Roman Gonzalez, Rémy Taveira, Vincent Coupeau and Luidgi. Last time, we only went to NYC for a weekend, during our three weeks stay in Philly. That was more or less our two best days, so this should be great!
You know San Francisco a lot better, don’t you?
Yep, I spent a year, there. I went to study, but it unfolded differently… [Laughter] I went to school for four, five months, but when I made friends; it got hard to go to classes when I could be out skating with them. As I only had one year, I decided to make the most of it. It was worth it!
How old were you?
Seventeen when I left Paris… I turned 18, over there, and I must have been back for almost a year, now. Going over there, and coming back, that helps me appreciate Paris even more, actually.
Backside tailslide. Philadelphia.
What main differences do you see between the two cities?
People are a lot more open-minded, over there. It is a lot easier to meet people: everybody says “hi”, speaks to you… In the beginning, it’s hard: as it never happens over here, you don’t know what to do. In the end, people are just really nice, so it’s cool. And, then, skating wise, the downhills are quite there! In the beginning, I got myself a couple marks, but then I got used to it! [Laughter] I was with Zach Chamberlin, that filmed for Rasa Libre, then, and he’s the one that really made me appreciate my year over there. I knew Evan Kinori from when he lived in Paris. He introduced me to Zach that more or less showed me the whole place, once I got there. I am supposed to meet him in Panama, in a month, with other friends from S.F. Hopefully, I can make it happen! I don’t have a plane ticket, I don’t have the money, but I’ll find a way! [Laughter] That’s the kind of country where you don’t expect to ever go, so it’s worth it!
You have traveled much, already?
Yep, it’s been adding up! Europe, mainly… I have never been to South America, so that’d be the occasion… I went to Africa when I was little, I think…
You think? [Laughter]
Well, yeah, in Dakar, but I don’t remember much, as I was very little. I was eight, or nine. My uncle was a fisherman, there, but his boat has burned down, since, so we can’t go back to visit him… I would love to go to Asia, also, as it seems like a completely different culture, which would be cool to see for yourself.
What about the “no job, no school” situation. Don’t miss it at all? We were just talking with Aaron Herrington about how he wants to keep a job, so he can really dig skating when he gets the chance to do it…
For sure, it’s better, but I have no diploma, and with Converse, we go on trips every other two months, so I can’t picture myself getting a job, then telling them a month later that I’ll be gone, then come back… But, well, I will have to think about it. I live with my parents, still, so it’s cool. They divided our apartment in two places, so that allows them to rent my part when I’m away, and make a bit of money. And then, I’m always staying at Roman’s, because I live on the other side of Paris, in front of the La Muette bowl, in the XVIth arrondissement. The last buildings before the suburbs… I always hated it, but, when I go back there, I enjoy it.
So, how did you meet the Bloby’s, then, as they pretty much are all from the other side of town?
I never had any buddy in my neighborhood, and this is also why I stopped school. Seeing all those jocks all day was driving me crazy! The first must have been Kevin… The two friends I started skating with had met Kevin at the Porte Maillot spot, which isn’t far from home, and had kept in touch. We ended up meeting, and this is how it started.
Everybody is waiting for the next Bloby’s video!
[Laughter] Ah, touchy subject! Hadrien Buhannic, the filmer, is really motivated, but he works a lot. So, when he has free time, he’s more into cruising without his bag. But, we’ll get there! He’s just done a remix of you latest video that should be online soon!
Backside heel flip. Las Palmas, Spain.
How long do you think you are going to last, without working, in a city like Paris?
I won’t be waiting till I’m 30! I’m just 19, so I think I’ll get working in a year or two. I had posed for some photos, when I was little, and my mom did good, as I ended up with a bit of money saved up, when I turned 18. But, right now, there isn’t much left!
What about Polar, how did it happen?
I was not expecting it at all. I had just been speaking with Nico Rouquette and Guillaume Martinez about getting some Trauma boards, and I was stoked. With Oscar Candon and Alex Richard, I was into it! Then, Pontus came to Paris with Jerome Campbell and Harry Lintell, to film a Converse ad. We skated all week, and at the end, we were in a bar, on their last night, and out of nowhere Pontus asked me about getting Polar boards. I was a bit drunk, and I flipped out! I skate with Kevin [Rodrigues, Ed’s Note] every day, so… And when we go on trips, Paul Grund is always with us, so it couldn’t be more motivating. Plus he has taken Roman Gonzalez with me, and he’s my best friend, so I couldn’t dream of a better situation!
Are you going to start a Polar skate house in Paris?
I’d like to, but Kevin is with his girl, so I don’t see that happening… Then again, we are always staying at one or another’s place so, it’s a bit like that, already.
Since we are on the Paris subject, how do you the whole scene at the moment?
I believe it has never been better before! The launch of Parisii has helped everybody to get a boost of motivation. We meet up, fifteen deep, to cruise some neighborhood, with Fanchon and Dezecot [The two directors, Ed’s Note] are so motivated, so it’s great! In the end, you meet people you rarely see, and end up skating spots you would have never imagine skating, so it’s amazing! You’ll always have people criticizing it, but, in the end, you don’t see them in the project, and you never see them anywhere else, either, so they just shouldn’t speak if it is to say that kind of things…
OK, think we can finish this… What could be the best question I could have asked you?
Hmm… [Laughter] Well, this one! That’s the more complicated one! No idea… [Laughter]
And here is proof that Vincent did quite adapt to the S.F. spots, with this clip celebrating his official arrival on Converse: