VANS Thursday Sessions / WEEK 2 / REPORT

You might have heard about the #VansThursdaySessions before, as we already dropped a recap of their first installment, here on this very website. Well, the second one just occured, over the course of not just one Thursday but two, due to persisting, unfortunate weather conditions across France - and its skateshops - those past weeks.

Well, eventually the line-up did get a wee bit shaken up regardless, with the Dijon-based Shifty reluctantly, but temporarily having to step out and, on the other hand, the inclusion of the Lyon-based Wall Street alongside Bud Skateshop's Montpellier representation, thereby joining its Rouen and Marseille counterparts. In the end, globally and against all odds, those sessions still turned out to be a success all around!


ABS Annecy

Video: Marc Leblanc

In Annecy, via ABS Skateshop, it's on a semi-covered, gloomy, dusty spot that it all went down; despite its looks, still a perfect set-up including a long ledge bound to make some good grinding sounds.

And it's exactly what it did, thanks to improvised performances by locals Axel Baouimb, Sebastiano Bartoloni, Lilian Ceccon, Leo Morisot, Lilian Fev, Fabien Oudot, Lucien Genand, Quentin Caillat and more.

It is to be noted that the man behind the lens and the clip, Marc Leblanc, is also the author of ABS's full-lengths "Polaroid Monster" (2009) and "La Petite Venise" (2013), most definitely a good watch if you're into local european skateboarding.

The boys wrapped it up with a longest ollie and longest grind contest; the fundamentals!

Ph.: Sebastiano Bartoloni


ABS Grenoble

ABS again, but we're talking its Grenoble-based location this time. The guys went to a spot the configuration of which looks incredibly fun, all the while being the definition of an architectural clusterfuck as it's in no way a skatepark or a public place ever built with skateboarding in mind. In short, a little gem of a spot with possibilities aplenty.

Audran, backside flip (and an unidentified mall grab in the background). Ph.: Julien Rousset

The beast is called Le prisme, in Seyssins, apparently; suddenly, remote little French villages sound so tempting, right?

Alan, boardslide. Ph.: Julien Rousset
Wall Street (Lyon)
In Lyon, for Vans Thursday Sessions' newest inclusion Wall Street Skateshop, people chose to hit the Perrache skatepark as well as the pillars of the bridge, or so it appears.
The proof is in the footage in this clip by Guillaume Colucci, the filmmaker behind the Blaze video "French Diplomacy" - shot whilst Loïc Benoît was taking care of the photos, below.

Baptiste Apse, wallride. Ph.: Loïc Benoît
Flo Maillet, no-comply wallride to fakie. Ph.: Loïc Benoît
Bud Skateshop (Rouen)

Video: Franck Wenning
LIVE Skateboard Media won't make any statement regarding that one tasteless tee-shirt that duly triggered many reactions or really, will we, solely by exposing a reminder of the matter here? Quite surely so.
Besides that unfortunate story and for everybody else who never earned themselves collective e-cancellation, the day took off with some grinding and ended with some jumping, always dodging the rain drops. Franck, of Bud Skateshop, recounts:
"As soon as the morning, people started hitting us up frequently about the weather. "Do you think it might rain?" - we heard that line literally all day. And in true Normandy fashion, the default answer was always "Maybe, maybe not"...

Paul Gallelli, crooked grind. Ph.: Valentin Melocco

Eventually, springtime graced us with some nuances of sunshine, so we skated from the shop to Quais de Seine Rive Droite, close to the upcoming Espace 105 where, hopefully, our wishes for an indoor and outdoor skatepark configuration will soon be granted... 

After warm-up time, the ledges received a certain assault of tricks from a smooth-as-usual Paul Gallelli and the ever-so-tech Pierre Vanel. Then the idea of going to Théâtre des Arts to try wallie variations out of grinds on the stair to pillar set-up there came up.

Victor Cayot got some tricks on the way, and we got kicked out from Théâtre Des Arts by security literally as soon as we reached it. So instead, we kept going and hit up the Tex Mex spot where Max Berguin and Jean Motel hucked for a bit. 

Max Berguin, kickflip. Ph.: Seb Saunier

And then it was time for rain again. "Mais quel temps de m.....", one can catch Mehdi saying at the end of the clip! So we went back to the shop and refilled on Crunchy Mellow pizzas and beer, and exchange amounts of banter.

Thanks Vans, and to photographers Valentin Melocco and Seb Saunier (special mention for the introduction slam, in the clip)".

Ph.: Valentin Melocco


OKLA Skateshop (Toulouse)

In Toulouse, it was a block and ledge spot that the Okla guys chose to unleash their inner beasts at, which in turn resulted in a waterfall of maneuvers of all kinds.

Watch the clip for some action, and feel free to take a gander at the photo gallery below, by Gabriel Renault.

Ph.: Gabriel Renault

Ph.: Gabriel Renault

Ph.: Gabriel Renault

Ph.: Gabriel Renault

Ph.: Gabriel Renault


Bud Skateshop (Marseille)

It is no other than Marseille skateboarding godfather Laurent "Momo" Molinier who's going to recount that one to you!

"So this time around, we decided on an undercover spot just across the street from the shop to shelter ourselves not just from the rain but also from the wind, which was pretty damn strong that day.

We went for a best line and best ledge trick contest for the grown-ups, and improvised a best trick over the barrier and down that one drop for the kids.

About thirty locals showed up, including heads such as Pierre Hoarau, Erildo Boccaci (Boulou) and Karim Chérif who should need no introduction by now.


Boulou won best line with a switch back tail on the ledge, then a switch backside heelflip over the barrier and then a nosegrind backside 180 out on the rail, followed by a flatground caballerial flip.

Pierre Hoarau won best ledge trick with a backside 180 nosegrind revert that just oozed style.

Ph.: Christophe Reverbel

In the kiddies' pool, Colin and Alex Reverbel both put up a good fight heelflipping, 360 flipping and kickflipping down the drop.

Even the very young ones were trying their best, most notably the eleven-year-old, Noé.

Special mention goes to Farès who got close to landing his backside 360 ollie off the drop.

It was a great afternoon for which I'd like to thank Karim Chérif for helping out with the organization, as well as Christophe Reverbel and Jonapic for shooting photo and video.

Thank you to everyone who showed up, and see you at the next one for more pizza, beer and pastis - Marseille it is, after all!"

Bud Skateshop (Montpellier)
Another inclusion to the Thursday Sessions program!
Of course, to celebrate, they went on a full-out downtown skate as to release energy and now, let's leave it up to Pierre, of Bud Montpellier, to tell the story of that day.
"This Vans Thursday Session was a first in MTP.

Everybody met up at the shop around five, and it turned out that no less than thirty dudes were willing to hit the streets.

We aren't used to rain much and the weather looked bad the whole time, but we did manage to dodge the rain drops, and get tricks!

We went to Peyrou as the first spot of the day, where everybody warmed up, our little kids Mika and Bilal tried their best to kickflip just about anything, while LouLou - from Réunion - was going for full speed lines.

Then we hit up the law school for a few nollie flips, lipslides and body varials out of grinds courtesy of Arto and Ruben!

Ignoring the threat of the few rain drops that were starting to appear, we settled for the courthouse as the last spot of the day - the place is home to a really nice six stair.

Courthouse session sounds like potential trouble at first, am I right? 

Skateboarding is everywhere in Montpellier, a city that claims to be the French capital of extreme sports [laughs]. Yet it's got nothing, no real structure for skateboarding besides the street spots.

It had to be half past six by then, so security must have been off duty already as nobody ever showed up to kick us out.

Luka backside 360'd the set, then Damien hardflipped it...

No to forget Axel Foley's impeccable forward flip, a good fifty tries deep.

Dinner time - so we all headed back to the shop for some Valentino pizzas, and beer stock raiding.

Everybody had a blast, thank you Yves-Marie and Manolo for the clip, and thank you Vans!"


NDJ Skateshop (Nantes)

Video: Ilies El Khomri et Damien Indersie

Nantes-based NDJ Skateshop's crew and devouts also managed to stay clear of the rain for long enough to get a skate in.

For them it all went down first on NDJ's bench in front of the shop as warm-up, then everybody headed to the park and even got to hit some transition. Not a bad day.

Ph.: NDJ

Ph.: NDJ

Ph.: NDJ
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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