"Just Cruise 2" / Léo Valls / INTERVIEW

Not too long after Jameel Douglas', Lui Araki's and then Soy Panday with Vivien Feil's, now is the turn of Léo Valls' part from the new full-length Magenta video, "JUST CRUISE 2" (available on DVD ici) to drop online. For the first time, he can be seen sharing screen time with the brand's new recruit Florian Maillet, the notorious pleasure enthusiast and imminently, around this street corner, Léo comes powersliding into your mind in between two trips, three clips with Feugz, four public talks, twelve urban development projects, twenty switch flips and one thousand baby bottles.
LIVE Skateboard Media: Hello Léo, what's up, how have things been in Bordeaux lately? What have you been up to? How's the scene doing these days, is it still growing, lots of skating?

Léo Valls:

Hey Aymeric!
I've been really busy, but that's for good. I've been going around quite a bit lately and always enjoy coming back home to my magnificient Bordeaux marble.
Being able to travel around all the while remaining based in Bordeaux is ideal for me.
The Bordeaux scene is doing great, we've been having plenty of visitors, we have some creative and motivated young blood, and the city officially just wiped every no skateboarding ordinance it had had in place for the longest time, two months ago.
LIVE Skateboard Media: Let's talk about the new Magenta video: "JUST CRUISE 2", which just dropped in DVD form (and alongside a photo booklet by Clément Harpillard). The answer is in the credits but for those who're still wondering, when and where was it all shot, how, why? Which specific vision was it which fed this project in particular? Vivien's words read like there was a lot to express on the matter, on the Magenta blog. Do you have an ideal image of skateboarding, a message that in addition to relying on your style to convey, you would like to explicate?
Léo Valls: The concept behind "JUST CRUISE" is, everybody skates daily spots, smiles the entire time and it's also all shot in France.
And so for this new one, we brought as much as the international Magenta family in. Mostly we skated Bordeaux and Paris, but also Marseille, Lyon, Toulouse and Strasbourg.
Of course, our message and vision didn't exactly budge.
We enjoy subtle skateboarding, its relationship with the city life and architecture, and the skaters who don't shy away from developing and nurturing their own identity with no consideration for medals, comparisons and the trend of the day.
To us it's just the streets, first; and then everyone is unique and gets to beat their own path. They can find their own spots, tricks, style.

"One can show and tell
entirely different things
with the same clips, depending

on how they edit"

That is what makes skateboarding rich and interesting to us and also the reason why so many of us even started to begin with: to get away from the rules in more traditional sports and define ourselves. 
Magenta has been around for thirteen years now, and sometimes I trip out at the thought that we're still here, dropping new boards and clothing lines every three months, and forty-five minute-long videos...
LIVE Skateboard Media: Real eyes realize you didn't just contribute to editing "JUST CRUISE 2" but also have been at the Final Cut furnace for years now, orchestrating many different Magenta videos, behind the scenes. How did you even start tackling that task? Some Takahiro Morita superpower influence? And what was the first video you fully edited - wasn't long after "SOLEIL LEVANT' or was it?

Léo Valls: The Japanese scene always has inspired me in so many fields and ways.
For certain, spending time at Morita's office in Tokyo and seeing him prepare his chefs-d'oeuvre helped draw me in.
The power of editing is insane. One can show and tell entirely different things with the same clips, depending on how they edit.
The first Magenta video I fully edited was "CROSSING THE PERTH DIMENSION", back in 2014, I believe.
I was super impressed and thus driven by the filming and vision of our Australian homie, Josh Roberts.
LIVE Skateboard Media: It's 2023, nobody's patient anymore: "JUST CRUISE 2", what about it, what's in it, who's in it? How long is it, in order to hopefully reassure those who still think a skate video can only be stomached but never appreciated a little? Who wins the stair jump? Unless you mean it still is possible to get inspired, creative and subtle in this world... You think?
Léo Valls: There - surprisingly - was a lot of demand for the format and so, we made DVD's.
We also dropped a booklet of photos by Clément Harpillard which he shot during the filming with everybody.
But at the same time, it's a forty-five minute-long video we've spent two years filming for (in between other projects, right), and so was worth it.
Regarding the roster, nobody is better or worse than the next, everyone is involved in the project and brand and so there are O.G.'s like Soy and Vivien with some fantastic parts, and also some new heads.
I'm particularly stoked on the shared segment featuring our two new Brazilian riders: Mike Mag and Sergio Santoro, who really set the French streets on fire during their visit and left a certain flavor behind them that the brand was I think missing.
Flo Maillet, a.k.a. Le Pleasure Love, also just got on and delivers his first slice of Magenta footage, with ideas and spots of his own just like I enjoy seeing.

"What seems most interesting
to me now would be
to export the idea overseas


LIVE Skateboard Media: You clearly saw it coming: we've gotta talk about skaturbanism. How monopolized by your work with the city of Bordeaux have you been, also considering your relatively recent dad mode? Have you been working on new projects or expanding your maneuvering, and is the city so embracing of skateboarding now to this day still? How modern is the mentality now? Bordeaux is such a fascinating reference even as a no-name, mundane French skater to be able to point as an example of progress that's possible for what still is the vast majority of cities that stubbornly persist in denying skateboarding exists.
Léo Valls: Yeah, we made it, I'm so happy to say.
Like I was saying earlier, the city finally has understood how banning skateboarding wasn't just discriminatory in a sense, but also counterproductive and anti-design.
It's been a lot of trial and error for the past five or six years, and it was a particularly long road we just had to walk up, but today Bordeaux finally is free of all the no skateboarding ordinances it used to have, with some communication around the spots where sharing the space would persist as problematic.
It's a real accomplishment and I would like to thank Amine Smihi at Ville de Bordeaux for his intelligence and how he's been working on this with us.
But there still is a lot to do, and I'll be working on several new local projects throughout the rest of this year.

"Lauren and I
are developing those health-
and skate-focused

yoga trainings"

What seems most interesting to me now would be to export the idea overseas.
I just came back from Tokyo where I gave a talk alongside Shinpei Ueno, Yoshiharu Yoshida and Nikken architects, since they have a real problem there which the Olympics only worsened: new skateparks have been built everywhere but that's only been worsening the sanctions on urban skateboarding.
I've been realizing an increasing number of cities, skate crews and architects who view Bordeaux as an example for their own local development, too. 

LIVE Skateboard Media: Any personal projects you would like to bring up to conclude this interview? How's yoga with Lauren been, and how is Sunny doing? Is she goofy or regular? Merci, Léo !
Sunny's been amazing, and stance-wise, she's at the grouped feet and daddy assist stage... For now!
Live Skateboard MediaLive Skateboard Media

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