VANS Thursday Sessions / WEEK 1 / REPORT

The concept behind the Vans Thursday Sessions should need no introduction, as it's named rather appropriately: via a selection of some of the best French skateshops, the shoe company is now organizing regular sessions on certain, specific Thursdays, where every local voluntary is invited. All this for each crew to put together their own media content and respective Instagram clips, but first and foremost to improvise some street skateboarding with the spots at hand, and always fun, sometimes serious tricks between friends.

The first installment was last Thursday, actually; if you follow LIVE on Instagram (or any of the shops involved, or the dedicated hashtag #vansthursdaysessions), then you're bound to have caught glimpses of the first few clips floating around... If not, then fear not! We just put together this recap of everybody's day, on this very page; a great occasion to meet rad local scenes, new faces, catch some unique styles and salute the activism of them oh-so-precious shops!

The list of which, in this case, is: NDJ Skateshop (Nantes), ABS Annecy, ABS Grenoble (Gre), Okla (Toulouse), Shifty (Dijon), Bud Rouen et Bud Marseille!


Nantes / NDJ Skateshop

Ph.: NDJ

In Nantes, it all duly started out in front of NDJ Skateshop, and quite literally so by the means of an improvised kicker to trashcan. Téo Manceau, William Raison and Charles Fontini notably stood out, and way up, on that thing; then everybody ditched to the Hôtel Dieu skatepark, bringing the shop's bench there, only for said obstacle to endure some local domination from Calum Buchanan, Guillaume Laurie.

Obsession is a rad little local skate mag that even took the initiative to cover that afternoon as well; altogether, let's salute a certain group energy that's very specific to Nantes, and is again successfully part of the picture here!

Ph.: NDJ

Ph.: NDJ


ABS Annecy

Ph.: Sebastiano Bartoloni

Video: @isaac_oliv

Their clip has to be up there amongst our favorites on this first installment of the Vans Thursday Sessions.

An old deck recycled into an improvised pole to jam, and a (fat) flat gap: maybe all the ingredients you need to expect a waterfall of improbable maneuvers on spots so elementary, they are barely spots. The best vibes!

All the skaters are individually tagged in the Insta clip, yo.

Ph.: Sebastiano Bartoloni


Bud Skateshop Rouen

The Rouen guys definitely had a blast too from the looks of it, or maybe even two. The last back tail is just as crazy as the spot looks.

Involved in this mess: Florent Lemeille, Max Berguin, Baptiste Benard, Victor Cayot, Paul Gallelli, Sofiane Agoudal... and a bunch of others, a lot of the aforementioned faces being prominently featured in the latest local video to date: "WILFUL", by Adrien Latron, streamable here via the Bud Skateshop website.

One can see an older lady getting physical with a young skater in the clip. On this topic but also more, Bud Skateshop's Flo recounts:

"The kids arrived around five P.M.; we waited until we were about sixty skaters deep and then we went to a local spot : le carré, where the residents and neighboring shops regularly get heated by skateboarding, especially around that time of the day. We only went there for fifteen minutes to warm up, but mostly to emphasize the message that despite a growing number of local skateboarders and the existence of three non-profit organizations, the city really doesn't do anything for skateboarding here. 
Then we went to a spot in front of the Musée des Beaux-Arts. The most predictable thing happened: this older lady showed up and started deliberately getting in the skaters' way, to try and block them. She was starting to get physical with the younger kids, so I had to intervene. She claimed to work at the museum and thought she had to school everybody on how this thing here was art, a sculpture, although nobody was even touching the thing. All attempts at a discussion were sterile so again, I told them to notify the city about how skaters liked to have fun around sacred Alexander Calder pieces for the lack of suitable places to go.
That's it for politics though, now for the skateboarding that went down - we ended the day at this new plaza behind the Musée des Beaux-Arts. We ended up sticking around for a good hour-and-a-half, beginners, advanced skaters and residents were all getting along. Sofiane "Sams" and Paul Gallelli ended the day with some craziness and then we all went back to Bud for another kind of session session : pizza / beer for the fossils, cookies / juice for the young blood."
OKLA Skateshop (Toulouse)
Some French old-timers may not be familiar with OKLA, which is bound to change quick when they get that said shop is the latest inception of an earlier enterprise whose logo could regularly be spotted in the advertising pages of most early 2000's French skate mags: E.T. Skateshop.
But that was a while ago and nowadays, what they suggest you should watch is their latest video productions here. Please stay up to date.
Anyway, they seemingly spent all of last Thursday on the one same plaza, which looks so incredible nobody remotely self-conscious will dare to blame them; it's not like most of us wouldn't have stuck around, too.
Shifty (Dijon)

Ph.: Shifty
Les Dijonnais!
Well, their clip perspires with the smell of great fun and ancient stones. It also teaches one that skateboarders supposedly damage historical landmarks, that it is possible to land a cab over a chain right on time (the proof is in the bells and no, that's not about that one hippy jump nightmare slam), that Dijon looks beautiful, and also how to properly do late shove-its.
Now the world is definitely looking forward to some kind of wallride behind that trashcan at the first spot - hopefully soon enough, in a next clip!

Ph.: Shifty

Ph.: Shifty
Skateparks, long jumps, colors: welcome to the Grenoble Olympics, just in time for the skateboarding world championships masterfully organised by a dead serious Fred Demard. Fred is the man behind ABS Grenoble, but also behind the late, legendary Freestyler Magazine then Some Skate Mag, all long running and French-based. Too bad history will only remember his name as one of the first getting a mention in Charles Collet's Bigger Spin, itself popular for being only one installment away from Seb Daurel's legendary episode and that's still close enough to count.
One can see Arno Wagner in the clip; Arno didn't wait for the Thursday Sessions to start getting Vans shoes, and recently had a part in the local video: "ABS Trente-Huit Mille", introduced by even better than Lance Mountain and Johnny Rotten (combined).

Share this article with your friends on Facebook if you thought this was a Slipknot beanie at first glance. Ph.: Julien Rousset

Ph.: Christophe Reverbel who apparently just literally saved Marseille, thus we have to mention it in the article.
Now those guys, we were waiting for their clip - and they came through not disappointing, ever. The Marseille heads still kill it, including one Karim Chérif who's not slowing down, as well as more ledge prowess by the likes of Michael Kaba, Ben Raitano, Joseph Posh, Léo Vaugoyeau and more.
Yes, we're talking ledges; and the only apparent incident to have occurred that day wasn't even one but the pizza guy, appointed for delivery literally at the spot.
Léo with the storytelling:
"A session that felt like typical Marseille: slightly freestyle, with drinks and pizza delivered straight to the spot, in addition to Vans goodies!
Nothing more needed to content everybody, O.G.'s and kids, for the duration of one great late afternoon!"
To stay in touch with the next Vans Thursday Sessions, please follow the dedicated hashtag as well as LIVE for exclusive reports on the following installments, and a lot of bonus content to come!
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