Leo Valls (Connected): An Interview | “The rules in the skate industry needed to be broken,… “
Leo Valls is Bordeaux’s most connected and he has been more busy lately than usual. Making skating legal in town again, filming a TWSkate part, touring with Magenta, making hilarious Insta videos (see below), and now doing up this interview with CafeCreme.
How did you get to Magenta?
Soy was already my friend, I used to visit him a lot and spent some time in Paris, He inspired me a lot. I also used to know Vivien pretty well; he used to come to Bordeaux to skate. When Soy told me about creating a new brand in France, I was immediately inspired and I quit my former sponsor. I trusted them enough to join the project. It was in 2010, there are been so good memories since then.
Has Magenta given a boost to the Bordeaux scene ?
It gave a shine to Bordeaux for sure, thanks to all the footage filmed there and all the people who have visited Bordeaux. One of the best things with Magenta is all the people we meet and showing them the vibe where we live. But on the other side Magenta is Soy in Paris, Ben in SF, Jimmy in Florida, Zach in Washington, it’s a family with many affiliated people from all over the world. Magenta is brand based on connections, even if it’s French brand.
The way you skate is quite unique, the power slides etc. It’s almost a surf style you inhabit. How did you get your inspiration?
It came gradually, whilst travelling, meeting people, growing. I feel like skateboarding was very codified, We used to only get inspiration from what the American industry brought to us. When I travel, I get inspiration from a lot of different stuff, I was fascinated by the SF scene from the 90’s, by the Japanese scene in Tokyo and Osaka. But I think you have to look further, the surf for example. You have to take pleasure in the movement, and the environment.
The rules in the skate industry needed to be broken, it tends to push to either the ultra tech or the gnarly stuff, which is more understandable to most of people. Ultimately, I think you have to skate the way you feel, naturally. It is what I’ve always enjoyed the most to do.
I never thought I could make something in skateboarding with the way I skate. I probably came at the right time.
Have you ever been told to change the way you skate ?
Yes, I won’t say any names, there are been many discussions about that, when I started to skate my own way. Some people would not understand, and probably still don’t, but I enjoy that, making people react. I think that many people were sitting on a unique style of skating. But I think we have a good dynamic nowadays, you can do anything you want. Something really cool is on. And people can promote it and show what they do via the internet, you don’t need to know the right people in the industry like it used to be 15 years ago.