Adrien is the type of dude who's really mellow and soft spoken, but then skates really gnarly. He tried (and did) some insane tricks while shooting for this interview and video part. He screamed in agony, broke boards, but always stayed focused and got every trick he wanted. The back tail on El Toro was one of the craziest things I've ever witnessed. He hit his head so hard blood was running down his face. He broke his board and started trying it on someone else's. His girlfriend (who went to school there oddly enough) was there. After an hour and a half battle, he rolled away perfectly. Then out of nowhere, Heath Kirchart walked up and Adrien showed him the clip.–Blair Alley
Interview by Alex Braza
Hey Adrien, how you doing? Where are you right now?
I'm in Barcelona right now, just arrived this morning. I'm here for 15 days to finish filming my part for Jart Skateboards.
Who are your sponsors?
I ride for Jart Skateboards, Nike SB and Grizzly griptape. I met Torey Pudwill at Tampa Pro this year, and he told me "Welcome to the squad!" I was happy, he's a skater I've seen skating for a long time in videos, and now I met him in real life and ride for his company. A friend of mine gives me some stuff too, like 1991 denim, Krysp Headwear by Carlos Zarazua—we are on the same team now. For me, it's crazy to be on the same team of a guy I've seen on video skating in LA. It's just another dream come true [laughs].
Where are you originally from?
I was born in Mont-Saint-Aignan. It's in Haute-Normandie in France.
What else are you into besides skateboarding?
I try to do things like running and exercise when I'm not skating to keep fit and get more power for when I skate, so I can skate for as long as possible.
How often do you make it to the States?
I go to the USA every year. That's where skateboarding started! But I try to travel as much as possible to skate street and some contests.
Do you think you have to spend more of your time in the States to make skateboarding a career?
I would like to be recognized in the world of US skateboarding. We went on tour in the United States with Jart Skateboards last year and this year. I want to go back and film more for my new part. I got a lot of spots that I want to skate there. I also want to meet people from there, it's new for me and I like the US style of life [laughs]. I like that I can go to the United States, meet some pro skaters that I used to see in videos when I was a kid… and now I can skate with them. It's like a dream come true. In the United States, they take skateboarding a little more seriously and there's more opportunity I think. I like Europe too though, because there are a lot of spots and you don't have to drive two hours to go to one [laughs]. I think yes [career]. I skate everywhere in Europe a lot (both contests and streets), now I want to change and see another landscape and state of mind, too. I would like to go back to the US this year.
You skate a lot of contests. What do you like the most about them?
Yes, I do contests so I can spend a good weekend with my friends and meet new people. Also, I like to skate new parks and try to get some money when I skate good in a contest! I really like to skate the best trick contests too. I see the spot and think, "Ah, I can do this trick!" When I do it, it's a personal satisfaction. And it feels good when people like it too. Sometimes they tell me, "Ah, that was a crazy trick!" and it makes me happy to hear this.
What is your favorite video part? And what part of yours are you most proud of?
I like a lot of video parts; one of the best and one I have in my mind right now is Koston in Yeah Right, and Paul Rodriguez too. My first video was a Habitat video. I remember seeing it and liking the music and type of video it was. I'm also proud of my last two parts and the video we did on tour. Every time we go somewhere, I'm always skating hard for it. Every time.
Ok, let's talk about the trick everyone is talking about—that backside tailslide on El Toro. How did that trick come up?
The back tail on El Toro… I'm so happy to have done that. Hopefully, people from the States will know me a little bit more now. I can't wait for people to see my next part. The back tail was a hard battle. I took some slams, but I was so determined to do it. I finally got it and I was so happy to do it and that I didn't have to try it again. I want to do more tricks on it for my next part. We'll see next time I go there. I did the back tail with a friend's board because I broke my board on one of the tries. I didn't want to go to the car and be cold—I was just focused to do it. When I did it, I said in my head, "I don't have to do it anymore," with relief because I was scared every try. I went for it and overcame my fear and I'm so happy for it.
The day after that back tail you went to Nyjah's new video part premiere, and everybody was already asking you about it, right?
Yeah, I was at Nyjah's premiere and it was a crazy night and party. I really wanted to see his new part when I was there, all the crazy tricks he did. Yes, I remember David Loy telling me, "It's you—you did the back tail on El Toro!" Felipe Gustavo told me I'm a legend [laughs]. I was happy that finally some skaters started to know of me more. I hope people like my next part because I really worked hard on it and tried to put it out with the music I like it and tricks I want. It's a lot of tricks I wanted to do, and if I run out of time to get them all, I'll do them in my next part [laughs.]