Bigger Spin / EP 001 - Yann Garin

bigger spin is a new live skateboard media feature with the purpose of visually complementing each episode of the all new french skateboarding audio postcast: seb charlot and arnaud dedieu's big spin. we'll be providing extra information and visual illustration of the main points every interviewee brings up, respectively; thereby supplying the non-french speaking audience with a connection to the themes and subjects that get tackled in the recording(s). big spin's first guest was just revealed to be @101chichi, also known as Yann Garin in the old times, so let's get the ball rolling with a detailed examination of the memories, events, characters and inspirations seb and arnaud managed to squeeze out of him!
In case you happen to be a French speaker yet prefer to browse the English version of this page for whatever reason, let us kindly invite you to start out by checking Big Spin's first audio episode, available by the means of one click here. And if you aren't a French speaker, well, maybe click anyway and try to figure out some of Yann's OG street slang?

OG French skater Yann Garin is Big Spin Podcast's first guest, check out the first episode here!
Because the man known as One-O-One Chichi on the 'Gram didn't end up becoming one of Paris' most Insta-followed skateboarder just overnight. Of course, his path is a long one he tells the story of himself in his audio interview, so complicated and packed with events and memories we would definitely misinterpret everything, were we to try and recount everything again ourselves as an attempt to carve around the language barrier. Instead, we picked every major idea Yann brought up in the recording and reorganized everything in photos and links, as to better allow you to experience each of those subjects yourself and maybe experience a bit of Yann's relationship with them firsthand. Anyway, if French is just a succession of exotic sounds to you, then one can always just play the interview in the background whilst browsing this page like they would do for, say, Bob Ross.
Denis Ménochet is one of the OG skaters Yann brings up as part of his personal background, who used to be a La Défense local (meaning he would spend his days roaming around the major business district just outside of Paris). Nowadays, Denis is an accomplished actor, strong of a decade-plus-long career and a notable (and noted) appearance in Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds" de Quentin Tarantino, in addition to having his own Wikipedia page. In the above video, one can watch a younger Denis teaching most every pedestrian in the vicinity their ABC's, jazz pushing out of nollie 5-0 grinds before some of you were born, and demonstrating a strong proneness to opposite-footed manoeuvers. Oh and that VHS ain't no app and that screen ain't no square. We're talking a big boy's deal!
Kevin Besset, aka. B7 also gets brought up in Yann's interview - and what a great mention! Now well into his forties although one might not be able to tell from Kevin's childlike smile despite being a well-traveled individual, Kevin has been part of the french skateboarding landscape since forever, together with and just as much as his Albi peer, Jérôme Chevallier. Yann brings up Kevin's instances of early coverage as soon as the epoch of France's OG skate mag, "Noway"; now, watching the above, recent-ish video, it is obvious what keeps Kevin going with the contagious joy he looks like he's still finding in skateboarding, thirty years later.
Rare Skateboards was a french board brand in the mid-2000's, for which rode the likes of Joseph Biais, Nicolas Eustache, Mathieu Hilaire, Boris Proust, Guillaume Dulout, Nico Canu, Christophe Piquard (the man behind the notorious Villiers-sur-Orge indoor skatepark), Fred Constant, and of course Yann. The above video is Yann's epic part in the Rare Skateboards video, "Storyboard" (2005), in which he was demonstrating some interesting street spontaneity and confidence for the era - eons before the recent late eighties, early nineties tricks popular revival.

One of Yann's pro models on Rare Skateboards.
And if you've got interest and thirty minutes to spare, feel free to click here to check out the whole "Storyboard" video, or here for another part Yann shared with Joseph Biais around the same time period. As 2005 was marking a shift in media platforms with the birth then the quick rise of YouTube, according to the filmmaker, Rare struggled to sell some of the few DVD copies the brand had produced (making them "rare" for good...), while paradoxically the online posting of the video drove the visibility of the film through the roof (for the era at least). A solid decade before renaming himself @101chichi, Yann's e-designation was "bol2riz" (or "bowlful of rice") on YouTube and foreseeing the power of user-shared content, he ended up posting his own video part which happened to meet immediate success, resulting in avant-garde, extra online publicity for the brand. The man's always known how to catch the eye.
Now click the above video for an glimpse into Yann's more recent skate activity with a part from 2017, and enjoy how the contrast with the former clip only reveals how well his style is aging - like fine french wine!
Then, benihanas are the main subject to get tackled in the interview and, to illustrate what that skate trick looks like for the most innoncent of you, Seb Charlot himself sent us this random clip which does an actually pretty good job at making it look tolerable. Unfortunately, we're still not sold on it as Seb isn't the one doing the benihanas himself, a sight we'd have prefered to get to enjoy, no matter how impressive Robbyn Spangler-Magby's flatground ones (!) look. Now for a more realistic and unromantic example of the trick, here's a repost of a classic magazine cover: the one of Big Brother's "worst issue ever" (until next month!), featuring Josh Kasper tailgrab-dogpissing over a few overweight ladies covered in blood. A crimson inundation of sorts that only bears witness to how badly Josh used to butcher that move, according to Yann aka. @101chichi in the podcast.
Then Seb Charlot again sent us another random clip to try and communicate something to us moreso than to illustrate Yann's past as a mongo pusher. As we're writing this, we still have no clue as to whether Seb actually did watch the video he sent before submitting it; but we'll suppose he didn't, due to being busy with all kinds of interesting projects on the side, including - but not limited to - not filming himself piss pedaling around the République plaza for Yann's @101chichi Insta feed. We want a contribution under the form of more personal handicrafts of demonstrations, Seb; maybe even selected snippets from all the angry mail certain (mongo) readers of the french skate magazine SuGaR used to send in would do. Jokes aside, Mike Carroll just calls the act "pushing fakie", which really isn't exactly wrong and perfectly describes the only instances where moving in such fashion is acceptable. Whatever your stance is (...), the above video will make you either sick, of fall into a YouTube vortex of premeditated vlogs and sinister user comments. Anyway, bol2riz does it better!

Nicolas Eustache, kickflip, Le Havre, 2006. Ph.: Seb Charlot
Talking "doing it better", Nicolas Eustache used to do just that and higher, too. Nicolas was Yann's teammate on Rare at the time, and notorious for his fat pop as hereby demonstrated over a fountain in Le Havre, France, with a flip. I personally have a vivid recollection of that photo coming out in SuGaR at the time, seeing as I was happening to be visiting Le Havre myself exactly when that issue of the magazine dropped, and had just skated the spot prior to getting a copy in my hands - with locals who were cracking jokes about the possibility of anyone ever ollieing over the fountain. Then minutes later, boom - photo of a kickflip. It's been twelve years now, and word on the street is those locals have been waiting for someone to mongo show up and benihana over the spot ever since - in the name of progression.
If you've been somewhat following french skateboarding then and now, then you're very likely to have heard or seen David Couliau's name before. This OG skater from Nantes has been around for decades now, wearing all kinds of different hats from pro skater to filmmaker (as soon as the mid nineties), to helping out with the edification of France's first modern street plaza, in his hometown, back in the very early naughts. And while David is now busy with Fadereight Films, he's strong of a past of endless skate sessions in SF, as the occasional Pier 7 clip in the above video (for Bamboo Skateshop) demonstrates. David also used to skate for the french brand Minutia as well as Carhartt, for which he even directed films at one point, something he brings up (among other subjects) in this joined interview with Scott Bourne from a few years back. Dave's "body of work" runs deep, punctuated with instances such as this Nantes feature in the classic european skate video magazine Puzzle (dating back to 1998, making it two decades old!), this "unseen part" of Geoffroy Leblanc circa 1997, or his second full-length video "Bumble Bee" from as early as 1995, in case you'd still be doubting of Kool_Yo_Dee's longevity.
Click to peep not just the clip, but also an exclusive joined interview with David Couliau and Scott Bourne for LIVE a few years back!
Marke Newton is another name thrown in Yann-O-One's mix of memories. A contemporary artist from Liverpool with the rotating hats of a painter, sculptor, designer and Parisian, Marke is well-versed in many a craft and will know how to handle anything remotely looking like a canvas, including skateboards. He's notably responsable for most of the imagery of the french Metropolitan Skateboards (the Rouen-based company, unrelated to the classic Metropolitan U.S.A. although the brand claims inspiration from similar east coast enterprises such as "Illuminati and Silverstar"). A profile to get down with!
Metropolitan's very first series, circa 2006. Marke Newton already featured as a guest artist, see the first board on the left.
Another take on the same design, six years later, for Magenta this time. Talk about full circle!
Now you're definitely likely to have heard of the Blobys before; that parisian crew of (now all grown-up) youngsters, the most prominent members of which being Kevin Rodrigues or Greg Cuadrado. If you aren't familiar already, then this recentish group interview for Free Skate Mag will make you; then - or now - make sure to click the video below for a brief glance into their world on wheels.
You are watching "Zdroopy", by and feat. the Blobys, on the LIVE video platform. Vlogs of Seb's benihana attempts coming soon.
And in addition to being a crew - complete with its own language - Blobys also doubles up as a clothing brand. Now, we've been hearing whispers of low-key plans for a Blobys' New World Order scheduled for 2020, then to be promptly followed by full independence from the rest of the universe, with YouTube montages to boot - exciting perspectives.
And as now seems like a good time to bring Yann's past as a mongo pusher again (#neverforget), with Yann's mentions of Randy Colvin - one of the only two mongo pro skaters in history (alongside Bill Danforth), his raw prowess was finely demonstrated (besides that exotic trait) in World Industries' 1991 video epic, "Two World Industries Men" which he shared with a pre-Stereo Skateboards Chris "Dune" Pastras. Watch Randy's section below - the pushes still look better than a vlog - then hide your mommy before clicking on this NSFW link to Randy's controversial pro board graphic by Marc McKee, "Censorship Is Weak As Fuck" which certain critics doomed even harsher than the piss pedaling, so much that the board was sold in skate shops hidden in a plastic bag.
Click for Randy Colvin.
Click for the right clip Seb really should have submitted for us to explain mongo.
Now for the younger generations - and before this Bigger Spin really starts testing your patience - let's open our history book on the same page as Yann now is, and tackle the chapter about Luy-Pa Sin, one of french skateboarding's finest living landmarks. Which instantly springs yet another vivid recollection of mine back to mind: my traumatizing first encounter with a kid too young to know who Luy-Pa is. That was about ten years ago, too, when the Lordz video was still fresh (although it obviously still is). I could never forgive him.
Actually, that was the last time I ever saw him.
Luy-Pa's name is attached to so many crazy stories, from missing skate tricks on purpose so the locals from Paris to SF would stop paying attention to him; the way he naturally learned to form his flips, and his discontent with his style on them despite it quickly ushering certain standards; him breaking his arm as soon as the first time he ever stepped on a skateboard in his hometown of Blois, of course trying to ride down a steep bank first thing; or Mark Gonzales personally suggesting he should start repping Real. Indirectly, Luy-Pa's style is still influencing yours before you know it. The video below is Loops' sponsor-me tape filmed by French Fred, no less than twenty-one years ago.
Yann then brings up some of the fanciest models his former shoe sponsor, Globe, used to make. In case you weren't skating back when bulky feet were all the craze, below is what the average culprit of a design would look like, under the form of the Globe "Sabre". According to plenty of skateshops, that shoe actually did really well, continuing to cater to ravers and round feet lovers worldwide to this day in the same vein as Osiris' "D3" or éS' "Koston 1".
That was just around the time when Yann was a brillant demo performer, and a constant crowd's favorite as such. Below is some footage of the first "street contest" in Evry, just as he was morphing from his "switch switch indy" embryonic state into his current sophisticated state.
Now as this Bigger Spin is coming to its closure, big thanks to Yann for playing along, and to Seb Charlot and Arnaud Dedieu for the greatly welcome cultural initiative that is the french Big Spin Podcast.
An enterprise you can follow as soon as now on Mixcloud, Soundcloud, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram - the guys have got you cornered!
Let's wrap things up with one last clickable image; the photo below makes for a link to a rad Instagram edit filmed by Yann at the ephemeral skatepark Le Garage in Paris, not too long ago (despite what it looks like) and featuring many a french OG skater.
Thanks for reading, and make sure to check back soon for more Bigger Spins!
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