French ripper Leo Valls rides for Bordeaux-based Magenta Skateboards, and is also sponsored by Adidas, Prize Fighter Cutlery and Bordeaux’s Riot Skateshop. After picking up his first sponsorship deal with a small company from the south of France called Logo Skateboards, he was spotted by David Coolio’s Metropolitan company, and appeared in the stop-motion Frame by Frame in 2010.
For Magenta, he has featured in a series of short promos, including Microcosme (2010), SF Hill Street Blues (2011), SF Hill Street Blues 2 (2012) and Panic in Gotham (2013), the full-length Soleil Levant (2013), and the Battle of Normandy 2011 contest video featuring teams from Magenta, Palace and Radio. In 2011, a part from Leo featured in Yoan Taillandier’s independent release, Minuit.
Leo was born on 21st July 1986 in Bruges, and began skating on the streets of Bordeaux at the age of 13, cruising around the city and letting his creativity express itself freely. His family and childhood friends still live in Bordeaux, and, despite his recent global travels, he says that it will always remain his home ‘no matter what’.
He approaches his skating with a refreshing simplicity, always focusing on style and spot selection – it is clear that Leo views it as an artistic activity rather than an extreme sport. He spent much of 2013 travelling in Japan and the USA and the results were impressive – a short film called Missing Our Brother, set in Tokyo, and Old Woops New Groove, a film which brought new life to the ‘woops’ of San Francisco.