A couple of weeks ago I got in contact with the guys behind Jart Skateboards, mostly being a bit curious about what is going on with Mr Bastien Salabanzi, a personality in skateboarding with incredible board control and an array of tricks in his pocket that most of us will never even get close to in a lifetime. Lucky for me (or us…) Bastien took some time to answer a few of my questions, first asking and congratulating him in the same question about his new-born child:
Hi Bastien and thanks for taking the time for these questions. As you’ve probably already been asked many times about your childhood, growing up in France etc. I’ll stick with what is going on today and maybe just a bit of your past if that is okay with you. And of course, congratulations to your new born child. Is it a boy or a girl?
It’s a boy, his name is Lao. He’s amazing.
After the split-up with Flip and Etnies you seemed to leave the major skateboard scene for a while only to come back in very impressive form (let’s mention Copenhagen 2007) I can’t help to be curious? What were you up to in the time before coming back? Practicing secretly?
Well not really, I was in Paris with my familly taking some time off. I wasn’t skating much at the time.
Bastien Salabanzi – Flip BackNoseblunt / Photo:Thibault LeNours
Let’s make sure we have our facts right: which sponsors do you ride for currently?
Currently I ride for JART Skateboards, Hawaii Surf Skateshop and Alis.
How did the sponsorship with Jart Sakteboards get started?
I went to the factory in Spain to meet all the guys, not only the riders but all the members in JART. Everybody is motivated to do things right so that’s how it got started for me.
How do feel about the skateboard industry today? Being a pro skater, it does help to pay the rent when you sponsored. Are there sponsor deals/companies which you just would not deal with even if they offered some crazy amount of money?
Of course , if you’re not stoked or you’re not into the company which you ride for it will affect you and your skating no matter how much they pay you.
Bastien goes bionic / Photo: Vincent Perraud
You have just been in LA with other Jart team riders, unluckily you injured yourself (get well quick). How was the trip up till then and what spots were you skating?
It was cool going back to LA, all the guys were excited to be there. A cool dude named Tim showed us some really good spots that I never knew of, so every new spot was something special and that everybody wanted to skate you know. It was a lot of fun men.
Your confidence is what really shines when you skate contests or just generally skate. Do you feel encouraged to try new tricks with a crowd watching ? I’m refering to the Globe Metz contest earlier this year. your skating was just insane!
Not exactly, you know when you have a session with 10 other riders down at a spot and the vibe is cool it motivates you. Everybody’s trying their best trick in a good spirit it’s all about fun you know pushing ourself.
Do you have any favorite tricks or spots at the moment ? Any tricks you are working on?
One of my favorite tricks is fakie flip fakie manual, the feel is one of the best to me. I am practicing my sw flip and other sw flip trick these days.
Music has always made a huge impression on skateboarding and these days the ‘typical’ skater can be seen with headphones on during a session. What music influences you? What do you listen to?
Ho men? It goes from Otis Redding, Herbie Hancock, Mavin Gaye, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, Gang Starr, Talib Kweli, Common, there are too many I like a lot of different style.
Life isn’t of course is not just about skateboards. What else do you like to do in your spare time?
Most of time I’m with my son and when he gives me the time I grab my guitar, I love playing.
Which skaters do you think are really influencing skating the most or will be in the near future (other than yourself !)?
It’s hard to say there is a lot of skaters that inspire other riders out there, skaters like Marc Gonzales, Kareem, Koston, Penny, Marc Johnson or Mariano – all those rider did influence or still influence skating today. So many more tough.
Switch Heel B/s 5-0 / Photo: Thibault LeNours
To wrap this up, how’s the future look for you? Any big plans for this year? Know where we will be able to see you skate?
This year is very special being a dad. It is something very important and will stay my priority this year but I want skate as much as possible, travel and do all the things that I used to. I am trying to take things as they come without pressure and I love it.
A big thanks to Bastien for sharing his thoughts with us. Watch out for this guy, he really can skate! Try out this video from this year if for some strange reason you haven’t seen him skate before!