(Photo above: Ben Gore, backside flip)

Last time I was out in New York I met Pat Hoblin. Pat is a good friend of Yaje [Popson's], rips on a board and runs some seriously baggy pants, which he makes himself under the moniker "Pats Pants." So it was with a little bit of a surprise that I found him in Leo Valls' apartment in Bordeaux where I had been expecting to find Yaje who was to be joining Leo, Ben Gore, Chris Thiessen and I for two weeks in Bordeaux and Paris filming for our new video, Riddles In Mathematics. (Bobby DeKeyzer who will also have a part in Math was sidelined in Toronto with a nasty ankle sprain). Pat had gotten his own ticket out to join us (his first time out of US soil) and was, as they sometimes say, "as green as a blade of grass." Whilst he was reveling in enlightening us on the virtues of flying with two neck pillows, we discovered that Yaje—who was flying from New York and had been destined to touchdown on French soil before any of us—had thought that his flight was a day later and was currently posted up at Tompkins playing games of SKATE. We were off to a rough start, but at least we had his boy Pat who rivals Karl Watson in the PMA stakes!

WORDS & PHOTOS /  Dave Chami
CAPTIONS / Pat Hoblin

Pat Hoblin, frontside crooked grind to fakie. (click to enlarge)

Oui Oui out here! 50 baguettes later, a few bottles of wine, some more stories to tell—front crook to fakie and a partridge in a pear tree. This night was a party in itself. We cruised around Bordeaux having a good time the Magenta way. Bor duh!

At the first spot we skated the next day in Bordeaux, Pat stretched something in his groin which would become somewhat of a cross to bear for him as he struggled to push through the pain at every amazing spot we encountered, wondering out loud if he'd burst his appendix (a trip to the doctor later confirmed that he hadn't—phew). As our days in Bordeaux passed, everything imaginable happened to Pat. He bowled over an old lady on a busy walking street one night but managed to scoop her up and avoid hurting her, the resulting embrace resembled that one on the deck of the Titanic. He left his belongings at every spot having to make a mad dash back each time and was unfortunate enough to get pickpocketed whilst shopping for trinkets. On the morning of our flight from Bordeaux to Paris, I was greeted by Pat's beaming face. "I got my wallet back, yo! But my flight to Paris was yesterday." Someone had found his wallet (minus the cash) and contacted him via Facebook to return it to him but in all the commotion of having no wallet he'd totally forgotten that his flight to Paris had been a day earlier. Not wanting to disrupt the crew, Pat hopped a train to Paris and said he'd see us there. When he arrived later that evening he was still all smiles and recounted having spent nearly two hours locked in the bathroom to avoid the ticket collectors only to come out and be given a ticket by a passenger who's companion had failed to show. Pat accounted this lucky event to having selected the seat number of his girlfriend's birthday, "to activate the destiny." Before I went to bed that night, I heard Pat shriek from the bathroom. He'd dropped his phone in the bath…

Leo Valls, nollie into rocky hubba. (click to enlarge)

Leo takes the path less traveled with this nollie into the rocky road hubba. Most would pass this spot and not think of skating it, but Leo had something else in mind.

Aside from the constant ups and downs in Pat's first international ride, my favorite thing was his New York slang/attitude. When we played Carom billiards (the table has no pockets), Pat described it as a girl with no vagina, and one day when he disappeared with his camera down an alleyway teaming with feral cats, he came back proclaiming, "Yo, I took ill flicks of bully ass cats!"

The more I hung out with Pat the more I envied his entry into the world of travel. He was learning the hard way but appreciating it all. When we wound up at the Louvre one evening around sunset Pat started blasting frontside wallrides on the glass Pyramids that hover above the Mona Lisa; his fervor to experience everything far stronger than his fear of what would happen when the security guards got hold of him. I'll let Pat caption the photos from here on in and I want to say thanks to Pat for helping us all appreciate how lucky we are to travel just to skate something we may have come to take for granted. Pat, you got a unique baguettenique!

Ben Gore, crook pop over. (click to enlarge)

Providing entertainment for the senior citizen home. Old folks watched out the window breathing through oxygen tanks while Ben did this crook pop over. Good karma points earned.

Leo Valls, crail powerslide to backside lipslide. (click to enlarge)

Ayooo bonjour! Skrttt skrtttt… The power slide heard around the world.

Yaje Popson, switch crook. (click to enlarge)

The colors are beautiful… Oh and this   is Fuegington! Classic spots call for a classic trick.

Ben Gore, backside nosegrind. (click to enlarge)

Ben Gore the builder… Ben couldn't go to Bordeaux without skating a construction spot. Although it looks picture perfect, it wouldn't have been without a little modification. Thanks to a skate tool and a little imagination, Ben made this backside nosegrind happen. The next day this entire spot was gone!

Pat Hoblin, frontside wallride. (click to enlarge)

While thousands of people come to stare at the Mona Lisa down below, Pat would rather paint his own picture with this frontside glass ride.