Col Du Galibier - Photo by Alban Pernet

Col du Galibier Longboard Opening

After a harsh winter, the mythical passes of the French Alps were opened and it was time to visit Col Du Galibier between Savoy and Hautes Alpes for the grand longboard opening!

The crew said goodbye to their snowboards and skis and replaced them with their longboard gear to tackle this sixth highest mountain pass, with an altitude of 2,645 meters above sea level.

To us the high peaks, the altitude, the lunar mountains and the endless runs that bend are home to the most enduring riders.

For me these kinds of sessions are moments of true expression, while the riders Pierre Hardillier, Benjamin Sornin, Alex Martin, Yanis Markarian, Elton Vejux, Augustin Joan Montes, Alice Bonnet and Arnaud Tisserand got a chance to enjoy their freedom, and together the whole trip took on another dimension.

Photos by Alban Pernet Photographiste
Website: www.albanpernet.com
Instagram: @albanpernet

Partners: Blackkross longboard, Fastboa, Entre Couzs Collectif

Lyde Begue's IXO SK-08 pro model deck

The new IXO longboard deck for Lyde Begue is just stunning

Lyde Begue, a French downhill skateboarder ranked 8th in last year’s IDF women’s skateboard ranking, recently joined the IXO team.

IXO is a Spanish manufacturer specialized in carbon fiber products, mainly high-end car parts for brands like Spano GTA, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, and Bentley as well as military aircraft parts, but they also list a few high-end downhill skateboards with an average price of 1300 €.

The IXO recently parted ways with Emily Pross when she announced KebbeK Skateboards as her new sponsor, but have soon after welcomed a new female longboarder.

Lyde and IXO made the announcement via social media, presenting her new pro model longboard deck, the IXO SK 08.

We’re very happy of having Lyde on board, she’s a very talented skater but also a fantastic, smiling and kind person.  ~Pedro Sanchez, IXO

Lyde’s pro model deck is personalized according to her wishes and riding style. At IXO they also took into consideration her weight, that is why the IXO SK 08 is expected to be a bit heavier.

The board’s construction consists of 100% carbon fiber surrounding a Nomex honeycomb core, vacuum compacted and cured in an oven.

Roadside the deck is finished off with a special metallic chameleon tint that shows off the carbon fabric underneath, protected by eight layers of high gloss nano-ceramic varnish on both sides and polished twice to reach the high IXO product standard.

For now, the price or release date is not known, so be sure to keep an eye on Lyde during the next racing season.

Photo credits: Lyde Begue and IXO

Alkemist Longboard deck collection 2017

Alkemist Longboard 2017

Alkemist Longboard recently presented their latest collection which now includes four decks; three previous models upgraded according to their riders’ feedback and one completely new deck. All of them feature colourful eye-catching graphics done by the French artist Mikael Moune.

Alkemist Longboards 2017 Collection

Both top and bottom graphics are sublimated on a high quality foil to ensure that they will stay there for a very very long time. Most people will put the grip tape over it, but the top layer graphic is a really nice feature.

Although it’s fairly young, the French brand Alkemist Longboard is gaining recognition quickly, especially on the European scene.

Their well designed high-performance decks and a team of very skilled and active riders like Clement Blondeau, Sylvain Mostel, Alice Bonnet des Tuves and Tiki Tarz,  helped them with getting noticed in the crowded longboard market. Well deserved, that’s for sure.

Since the launch of its initial collection, Alkemist has been busy gathering their riders’ feedback with the aim to improve the initial designs and to launch their second version this year. The new board collection is promised to be lighter, stronger and more efficient.

Let’s check out the boards…

New: Alkemist Alkatraz 37″ Longboard deck

Alkemist Alkatraz 37″ Longboard deck

The newest addition to the Alkemist Longboard collection is a top-mount deck dubbed Alkatraz, created in collaboration with Alkemist rider Tiki Tarz, which features a symmetrical platform with double kick-tails.

The Alkatraz is built with versatility in mind and it’s meant to take your skateboarding to a whole new level. The deck is 94 cm long and 23.9 cm wide, and compatible with both new and old-school truck mounts, while providing with 51.3 cm wheelbase.

The construction of the Alkatraz doesn’t differentiate from the other Alkemist boards, but that’s a good thing because it only means that you’ll be enjoying the same high quality.

The wooden core sandwiched between two layers of fibreglass combines Birch and Ash wood which makes the board both lightweight and strong.

As described by Alkemist Longboard, the Alkatraz can handle a lot…

With a comfortable concave, wheel flairs and kick tails you can do anything with this board. From boardercross events and slide jams to the mountains, you can roll in bowls and skate parks or just down the street to pick up your groceries. ~ Alkemist Longboard

Symmetrical platform, double kick-tails, medium concaveflared wheel wells and a comfortable size make the Alkatraz a great choice for smashing pretty much any terrain.

However, nothing is the best for everything, so it’s fair to mention that the Alkatraz wouldn’t be the best choice for beginners looking to get into downhill due to its shorter wheelbase which makes the board very responsive, especially at higher speeds.

But no worries, Alkemist Longboard has got you covered with three more decks built specifically for downhill and freeride; Sweet Smoke, Ghost Knight and Valkyrie.

Let’s check out those as well…

Alkemist Sweet Smoke v2

Built primarily for freeride, the Sweet Smoke by Alkemist features a simple radial concave, a kick-tail and large wheel wells to accommodate bigger wheels with the addition of multiple wheelbase options.

The Sweet Smoke is a directional top-mount. It measures 91.3 cm in length, 24.5 cm in width and provides a 56,2 cm to 61,6 cm wheelbase. Depending on your favourite wheelbase option and setup, this board can deliver on fast downhill runs and dominate on various slide jams.

The Sweet Smoke is composed of a wooden core sandwiched between two layers of fibreglass ensuring that the deck is both lightweight and strong.

Alkemist Ghost Knight v2

The Ghost Knight blurs the line between downhill and freeride. It’s a directional dropped top-mount deck built for speed and designed in collaboration with the Alkemist team rider Sylvain Mostel. However, with having a smaller but functional kick-tail it doesn’t rule out your everyday shenanigans.

Micro drops in the front and back lower the centre of gravity resulting in a more stable ride at higher speeds. The board also features a W concave which is more defined in the back compared to the front. Combined with the micro drops it creates comfortable pockets that keep rider’s feet safely locked-in when performing high speed manoeuvres.

The Ghost Knight longboard deck measures 93 cm (36,6″) in length and 24 cm (9,4″) in width. Multiple wheelbase options range from 60,7 cm to 63,7 cm which make it possible to adjust the responsiveness to your needs and preferences.

Composed of a dual wooden core sandwiched between two layers of fibreglass the Ghost Knight, like Alkemist’s other boards, is lightweight and strong.

Alkemist Valkyrie v2

Last but not the least, Alkemist has got the downhill enthusiasts covered as well with the upgraded Valkyrie, a directional top-mount deck built for high-speed skateboarding.

Valkyrie’s directional top-mount platform fused with a W concave in the back and progressive concave in the front makes it a great choice for those who are looking for the best ratio of comfort, control and responsiveness.

The Valkyrie longboard deck is 90.5 cm (35.6″) long and 25 cm (9.8″) wide. It has an adjustable wheelbase which ranges from 64.2 cm (25.2″) to 68.7 cm (27.04″) allowing you to adapt it to your preferred style of riding.

Like the other Alkemist decks, the Valkyrie also has a dual wooden core consisting of Birch and Ash wood, which provides the right mixture of strength and lightweight. The wooden core lies between between two layers of triaxial fibreglass.

Price and where to buy

All Alkemist longboard decks come with the same price tag and are currently available via their website for 178,99 Euros (deck only).

To make it easier for their buyers, Alkemist also offers completes with the setup including AHMYO wheels and Caliber trucks. The price for a complete is 288,99 Euros.

For more info about Alkemist Longboard visit alklongboard.com and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

Do you already shred an Alkemist board?
Share your experience via the comments below. Thank you!

Longboard Girls Crew France - Behind the scenes of filming a new video

French Girls Going Down – Behind The Scenes Photos by Alban Pernet

In June, the French Longboard Girls Crew found themselves filming a new video called French Girls Going Down. The filming took place on Espigoulier Pass, located near Marseille, France.

Anne Poursin, Marjorie Roméo, Lyde Begue and Laure Descloitres took two days off to skate a giant corkscrew road. Meanwhile, Augustin Joan-Montes from AJ Médias captured their motion and me, Alban Pernet documented their adventure with the lens of my camera.

This trip was an opportunity to appreciate the fast and feminine style of the girls riding, who are always happy and smiling. Even after two day of non-stop runs under the hot sun of Southern France.

The new French Girls episode features the following riders:

Anne Poursin (ROCKET Longboards, Politic Longboard Activist and Naitup Tent)
Marjorie Roméo (Wigga Skateboards)
Lyde Begue (Restless Longboards, RipTide and CDK)
Laure Descloitres (9.81 Swiss Boards and Idle Slide Gloves)

All of the girls are members of the Longboard Girls Crew France and the new Entre Couzs Collective.

Photos: Alban Pernet Photographiste

Go-Goats Freeride 2016

Go-Goats Freeride 2016 by Laféedesrations Derideàroulettes – Event Report

September marked our last skate trip of the year and we decided to explore Switzerland and end our trip with our first French event, Go-Goats Freeride.

The second edition of the Go-Goats Freeride took place on September 23 until the 25th. Organised by Laféedesrations Derideàroulettes, everything ran smoothly and the event had a super chill vibe to it.

Go-Goats Freeride 2016

While the price was more expensive for non-members, we really got our money’s worth. The inscription was 85 euros for men and 75 euros for women, a mere 10 euros increase.

Go-Goats Freeride 2016

The road was absolutely intense and super fun. The upper part of the track was fast and narrow and got your heart pumping. Once you got past the first two corners, it started getting interesting. The middle section had an open view of the road and tightly packed corners. Followed by a second fast straight leading into the final hairpin and finally, the finish line.

With a top speed of around 80 km/h, 13 corners packed into 2,3 km and an average grade of 10 %, everybody felt their legs in the evenings.

In addition to the great track, the camp was placed right next to the end of the track, on a big parking lot. In the middle of it was a big tent where riders had breakfast and lunch (included in the price), a beer and a big party in the evening.

Go-Goats Freeride 2016

In conclusion, I would recommend visiting Go-Goats freeride at least once. Everybody was super friendly, the track was immensely fun and the level of skating is super high. Besides the hospitality, the surrounding is also beautiful and offers much needed relaxation after a hard day of skating.

For more info about Laféedesrations Derideàroulettes and their activities, visit their website.

Watch the video

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Mushroom gastronomic skate trip

Mushroom Gastronomic Skate Trip

Just before the Go-Goats Freeride (France) in September, Pierre “le Laboureur de Talus” Hardillier, Mathieu Zeder, Thib “la Roulette” Mordacq and me, Alban Pernet, found ourselves on a three-day long skate trip around Morzine. We filled our days with big rides down the small roads, filming, picking mushrooms and preparing delicious dishes on a “Campingaz”. Adoring fresh vegetables, mushroom sauces and good food, it really was a real gastronomic skate trip…

The first morning, a big shooting session to warm up after a night of camping too wet… on El Diablo spot. Riders: Thib and Mathieu
The first morning, a big shooting session to warm up after a night of camping too wet… on El Diablo spot. Riders: Thib and Mathieu
Thib, Pierre and Mathieu trashing the lower part of the spot.
Thib, Pierre and Mathieu trashing the lower part of the spot.
In a real autumnal scenery, between fog and big wet drill.
In a real autumnal scenery, between fog and big wet drill.
The trio in the fog of the Joux Plane pass
The trio in the fog of the Joux Plane pass.

Mushroom gastronomic skate trip

The second day was more conducive to riding than shooting, but allowed us to discover the other spots of the corner… the other face of Joux Plane pass, Praz de Lys- Sommand…
The second day was more conducive to riding than shooting, but allowed us to discover the other spots around the corner… The other face of Joux Plane pass, Praz de Lys- Sommand.
The third day, we came back to El Diablo for an unreal flash shooting session…
The third day, we came back to El Diablo for an unreal flash shooting session.

Mushroom gastronomic skate trip

Featured riders:
Pierre “Le Laboureur de Talus” Hardillier (Blackkross, Sabre Trucks, UD Mag, Fastboa)
Mathieu Zeder
Thib “La Roulette” Mordacq (Madrid Skateboards, Venom, Trojan, Trapstarnation, CHWAG)

Alban Pernet Photography
https://www.albanpernet.com

Interested to see more from the El Diablo spot?
Here’s a run shot by Thib La Roulette with Hugo Besset tailing him just inches away.

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WAPH Laces

WAPH Laces – The strongest laces system ever created for your shoes

The young french brand WAPH, which is becoming more and more famous in kitesurfing and wakeboarding, has rebuilt the traditional laces tightening systems to make the bindings never get loose. And it works pretty well, without making any knot.

WAPH Laces - Jaune

Then the brand adapted its system for shoes, first for wakeskaters (skateboarding on water) but it began obvious that it could be used for any board sports that require a strong tightening with no risk of getting loose.

WAPH Laces - Jaune S

Here is why the WAKESKATING pack from WAPH, composed of 2 laces + 2 buckles, will really be useful for us! The lace is 3x more stronder than other laces, and can handle some pretty hard treatments ! The buckle was especially design for the WAPH lace, to guarantee the best tightening ever. Its real cog wheel inside reall yblock the lace in a perfect way, and gives you the best comfort.

Without making a knot, the laces are shorter (90cm) and there’s no risk to walk or ride on it.

The whole system is 100% made in France and seems to be a great weapon for those who always have trouble with their laces. This might be the solution : no knot, no scotch, just this small buckle to block the lace.

WAPH laces - Collection

It seems that the system is really loved in wakeboarding, kitesurfing and wakeskating, sports in which the laces have a hard life, so it must be perfect for longboarding too.

Visit WAPH website for more info at www.waph.fr and follow the brand Facebook or Instagram.


GIVEAWAY – Try WAPH laces for free

Would you like to give the WAPH laces a try and let us know how they worked for you?

Tell us what you think about the WAPH laces based on what you’ve read and seen in the video above; Leave a comment below and WAPH will draw 3 lucky riders to receive the WAPH Laces pack.

The winners of this giveaway will be announced in Comments, so be sure to check the Notification option. Good luck!

THING longboard wheels

THING Wheels – New longboard wheels made in France

This fall at Go Goats freeride I got introduced to new European longboard wheels called THING Wheels. There was a bunch of French riders skating these and their slides looked really smooth. That sparked my interest and I talked to some of them to learn more about this new wheels made in France.

According to what they were saying and from what I’ve seen, you can expect the THING wheels to have a smooth consistent slide with easy initiation and controllable hookup. In general, they should be great longboard wheels for freeride.

Photos by Maxime Lassale via Laféedesrations Derideàroulettes, Rider Hugo Besset at Go Goats freeride 2016.

The wheels are also promised to be durable, but it’s hard to judge without skating them myself. I’ll try a set when I get the chance, until then I’ll just have to trust our French friends 🙂

At this time THING wheels are not available for purchase yet, but the word is that they will start to sell them soon and the price is expected to be 67,90 Euros.

THING Wheels Features

As their first model, THING plans to introduce THING ’01’ LF longboard wheels.

THING ’01’ LF longboard wheels are 70mm in diameter with overall width of 52mm and 38mm contact patch. They have round edges and thick solid lips (17.5 mm) and a big centerset core.

THING 01 LF Longboard Wheels. Photo by THING Wheels.

For the past four years, THING was developing and testing their own urethane formula called LEVEL FORMULA (LF) which is now used to produce 01 LF wheels in three colours and hardness levels.

  • THING 01 LF Violet
    Hardness 2 – Recommended for downhill and fast freeride
  • THING 01 LF Yellow
    Hardness 3 – Recommended for downhill, fast freeride and freestyle
  • THING 01 LF Green
    Hardness 4 – Recommended for freeride and freestyle

*Hardness scale from 1 (softest) to 6 (hardest).

They fit a standard 10mm spacer or any other skateboard bearings with built-in spacers and the complete set of four wheels weights 730g.

Overall, THING wheels seem to be a great freeride wheel and the only improvement from my standing point could be a stone ground finish.

As mentioned earlier, THING Wheels will come with a price tag of 67,90 euros. Not the cheapest wheel on the market, but according to rider testimonials these are definitely worth trying out.

Check out more longboard wheels brands from Europe here.

Watch the video

A couple of days before they hit Go Goats freeride, a group of French riders enjoyed some fine hills in the area. Here’s a clip of Hugo Besset chasing Thib La Roulette down a tight and fast mountain road and showing off new longboard wheels from France – THING Wheels ‘O1’ LF.

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Amazing downhill skateboarding in the Alps under the full moon – Project Moonlight

We’ve been waiting for a highly creative video like this one for the whole year. As it almost seemed like there’s not going to be any, Yvone Labarthe (Flying Focus) and a dedicated group of shredders finally made one.

Update, October 10th, 2016
Unfortunately, Yvone Labarthe had to remove this awesome video from the Internet according to the authorities who run the national park where the filming took place.

Skateboarding down the alpine road in a night-time, lit only by the moonlight, can be frightening, mysterious and a wonderful experience at the same time, especially when you do it with a bunch of rad people. If you haven’t done that yet, this video will definitely get you stoked about it.

Until now, we haven’t had the chance to see it captured in such a great quality, creative setup and performance. In order to shoot a video like this one, you’ll need a bit more pricey camera, like Sony a7s, but that’s not the only problem.

Project Moonlight filming crew © Remi Nguyen Cao
Some of the Project Moonlight’s filming crew © Remi Nguyen Cao

The Challenge

I’ve had a quick chat with Yvone about it who says that the biggest challenge was to have all the required conditions fulfilled. There are only four days of a full moon during a month and in addition to that, the sky has to be clear, plus, all the riders have to available for filming.

Another interesting fact which Yvone brought to my attention is that the footage is so clear due to the high altitude of the locations where it was taken.

Project Moonlight © Remi Nguyen Cao
Project Moonlight © Remi Nguyen Cao
Project Moonlight © Remi Nguyen Cao
Project Moonlight © Remi Nguyen Cao

Filming locations

The video was filmed on two mountain passes in France. The first one is Cormet de Roselend (1,967 m) in the department of Savoie and the second is Col de la Bonette (2,715 m), a high mountain pass near the border with Italy.

I believe that this piece will definitely get it’s well deserved place in the history of downhill skateboarding videos. It’s simply mind-blowingly-amazing.

Follow Flying Focus on Facebook or check out the official website.

Featured riders: Mathieu Zeder, Johanne Grandjean, Pierre Hardillier, Greg Péré, Keven Le Ber, Jules Hornung and Maxime Sorek
Photographers: Alban Pernet and Rémi Nguyen Cao
Special thanks: Artiom Missiri, Ana Lowry, Lyde Begue, Diogo Costa and Roman Brunisholz.

Abou’s mind-boggling footwork throughout the Paris on Majutsu’s Bùto

Today’s feature is a promo video for Majutsu’s dancing board, Bùto, filmed by their team riders Achel Massin (film & edit) and Aboubakry Seck (skating) in Paris two weeks ago. Definitely worth watching, especially if you’re into longboard dancing.

Majutsu Longboards from France is a newcomer to the scene with their cruising, freeride and dancing boards. Built with a combination of bamboo, fiberglass and carbon, Majutsu boards are lightweight and strong while providing a responsive flex. The Bùto is Majutsu’s latest addition to their not so impressive collection and takes them to completely another level.

Majutsu La Bùto © Majutsu Longboard
Majutsu Bùto © Majutsu Longboard
Majutsu La Bùto materials © Majutsu Longboard
Majutsu Bùto materials © Majutsu Longboard
Majutsu La Bùto © <a href="https://www.facebook.com/majutsulongboard" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Majutsu Longboard</a>
Majutsu Bùto © Majutsu Longboard

Thoughtfully shaped and beautifully curved longboard dancing deck weights in at only 1.75 kg. The Bùto’s 1200 mm by 230 – 250 mm symmetrical platform feels very comfortable and has kicks on both ends. It comes pre-gripped with a laser cut grip tape for captivating look while featuring two different courseness. Extra course grip tape on the kicktails assure you won’t slip off while performing manuals as well as on the sides to hold your feet on board while sliding. The middle part is covered with a standard grip tape to allow unobstructed foot movement. The Majutsu Bùto has adjustable wheelbase range from 83 – 87 centimeters.

Compared to other brands, it’s a fairly priced dancing board with a 199 € price tag.

For more, see their website (in French) or follow them on Facebook.