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Fries Taillieu Interview

Fries discusses the Eagle SG, riding skater owned, Ratata Skateboards & more

We recently had the opportunity to catch up with Fries Taillieu, he’d just got back from the Eagle SG tour promoting his and Charles Collet’s new colourways of the Eagle SG. Due to his laptop being stolen just over a month ago this interview took a little longer than hoped, but thanks to Fries resourcefulness we got it done.

As you’ll see from his answers Fries is a very hardworking, determined and most importantly down to earth guy with a bright future ahead of him.

Interview: Matt Broadley | Photos: As stated

So you’ve just been on the road with Globe, was there a best stop of the promo tour?

There wasn’t really a best stop, every stop was really cool. I would say Belgium was definitely more of a plus for me because it’s my home turf. Definitely the stop at Rampaffairs was really cool as it’s the skatepark I grew up in, they threw a party and everybody was there, my family, my girlfriend, my friends. So that was really fun for me, all the others were also really welcoming and super cool. Every stop was awesome.

What was your favourite spot you guys got to skate?

The best spot was the one we skated in Tours, this green handrail, maybe a 10 or 12 stair and it was perfect. That was a really fun session. We also had this little quarter pipe thing in Limoges, that was a really fond memory. It was the first stop of the tour and the whole local crew came skating with us, so another fun session, it was super cool.

Who’s got the better part?

Well the thing is that Charles has been through a lot of injuries whilst filming for his part and his ankles were already a little bit weak from previous injuries. So for me it’s insane that he got the tricks that he did for his part. The wood refinery that he’s doing and getting really good at, a new passion he can combine with skating, to see how good he has got at that already is inspirational. I hope it works for him and I hope he can be back on the board soon.

Frontside nosegrind. Ph. Thibault Le Nours

Tell us about the filming, anything particular stand out?

I went to the States to film and went skating with Ryan Decenzo, Paul Hart and Mark Appleyard. The level of skating there is really high so it’s great to be skating with people like that, it makes you lift your own level.

The only thing that bugged me through the filming process was my injuries, I have a overload of the tendon under my knee cap and twisted ankles that weren’t completely healed. It was hard at times, but right now I am home to fully focus on my recovery and get ready to skate again in summer. I can’t wait to get back on the board and completely go for it again. Overall the filming process was awesome, the tours we did were great too, we had a lot of footage from those.

“I wanted to show people fast and powerful skating – that’s the way I like it”

What did you try to achieve with this part, did you have any goals?

What I wanted to achieve was just to show people good skating, not like super technical skating, but fast and powerful skating – that’s the way I like it and what a lot of other people are into too. In combination with that I wanted to make it visually attractive, my friend Willy (Crank) who films me a lot, and knows a lot about editing, put my part together. When we work together we fit really well, we know the music we want, the cuts we want, so we worked as a team and tried to make it the best that we could.

How did the colourway come about?

I was working at the time in a cafe and my Globe team manager from the States, Steve Black, called me up, at first I was confused as to why I was getting a call from the States. He told me “you and Charles and getting a colourway and there will be a part to go with it”. I was like ‘what is this?’, I was overwhelmed. The rest of the night I was serving customers in the cafe with a smile on my face. It’s crazy, I was shocked to say the least.

What is the significance of ‘noir’?

Well, noir is just the French translation of black, and I just like black, I like to wear black clothes. It doesn’t necessarily reflect my personality or anything but it’s just the colour that I’m into. Aesthetically it looks nice, the word noir too, that’s basically it.

Kickflip backside crook. Ph. Fabien Ponsero

The Eagle SG looks legit, was it a conscious decision to pick that shoe?

I like that is has a cup sole so it protects your heels and feet better than a vulcanized shoe does, without losing the look of a vulcanized shoe. To me it’s a very good looking shoe, it skates good, you can break it in fast and it will hold up for a pretty long time.

How was it touring with the big American names, like Paul Hart, Appleyard etc?

You could say they’re big American names for sure, but on previous trips and on this trip I feel Paul has become a friend. I don’t think about names or the fact that he’s well known at all. He’s a very down to earth guy, he’s happy to talk to everybody, he’s has absolutely no ego. He’s an extremely talented skateboarder and you can see that in everything that he does. He’s really professional and calculates his tricks, lands stuff fast, he’s just a fun cool personality all round. Paul’s awesome.

“For me Globe is a really unique brand that has a lot of respect for its riders”

What are some of the perks of riding for a skater owned company?

Well it’s definitely nice to ride for a company founded by skaters because they know what it is like to skate, they know what skaters need. Those are the two most important things when you’re running a skateboard business, especially with shoes.

From the beginning I’ve felt accepted by Globe and the people who work there, I’ve never had a feeling of not belonging, for me Globe is a really unique brand that has a lot of respect for its riders. They’ve given me a lot of chances in a pretty short space of time, there’s not a lot of shoe companies giving you colourways and shoes, so for me it’s insane. I’m super happy to ride for Globe.

Can you tell us a bit about Ratata skateboards?

Ratata Skateboards is a brand by friend Timothy Deconynck, he’s a guy from Ostend on the Belgian coast. It started about two years ago and it has a very unique approach I think, I really back the atmosphere around the brand and the graphics that Timothy makes. He’s super creative, makes a lot of collages and tries to implement those into his graphics.

It’s very small right now, we have a small but good team, we can’t do as much as we want to just yet but hopefully we will grow. Another friend has joined to help Timothy and we have Jean Jacques distributing the boards, so I’m pretty sure you’ll be hearing much more from us soon.

Frontside feeble. Ph. Rich West

If you could put together a dream trip with Globe, who would be on it and where would you go?

I would take every skater that is on Globe right now, we would all take a plane to Hawaii and just go shred there for a month. Yeah, Hawaii with the whole team, that would be amazing!

Maybe they’ll read this and make it happen! What’s the next for you then?

Right now I am going to take some recovery time, so the next two or three months I’m going to fully focus on my knees and ankles, I want to get them in good shape for the summer. I have an appointment tomorrow to test out the weak zones in my body so I can better prevent injuries, I want to be able to go for it 100%.

The plan for next year is to release a video part for the clothing company I ride for, Afends, which should be going on Thrasher. Obviously I really want it to be a good part, I’m going to put all my focus into that. I expect there will be a few Globe and Ratata side projects along the way so we’ll see how that goes.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I’d like to thank my family, my girlfriend, my friends, my sponsors, Gary Parkin from Destructro, Slick from Slick Wheels, everybody who has supported me and continues to do so. A big big thank you for everything.

Thanks Fries, and all the best.

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