In every city, there is always a really talented skater who stopped skating. There are all sorts of reasons, usually a job or studies that have taken over his time, sometimes a stronger than usual leaning toward the pleasures of night and the city,, or a lady swiping away the memory of that pleasant rub of the metal on concrete. Every once in a while, a few years later, this skater goes back where he used to hang out every day. He doesn’t need to warm up, he can instantly pick up his old tricks and directly learn new ones, naturally, instinctively… The younger kids observe him appreciatively while wondering when he’s coming from, and the older generation reminisce with tears in their eyes and think to themselves, “Can you imagine if he had never stopped, he could have become so good!” A hint of jealousy crosses their minds, them who have such a hard time taming their own piece of wood and have been trying so hard for years to do the tricks that he does without ever having a pearl of sweat appear on his forehead. We ALL have one of those. Every town has its disappeared skater, its myth.
The first time I saw Guillaume Mocquin (who’s only 19), I instantly thought of all these mythical skaters put together, reincarnated in one sole body. The reunion of all these lost talents. The gift of never jumping from his board mixed with that of never being scared, with the capacity of always finding new things, with extraordinary ease, and, foremost, with a most instinctive and atypical way to manoeuvre his board. I saw him in a bowl in Malmö, lost in the middle of a horde of skaters from Oregon, for a contest he had been thrown in, kind of against his will. Everytime he would shyly attack a wall, it was to try a trick you rarely see. Sometimes it worked, and sometimes, he got taught a lesson by the Swedish concrete. When I asked my admiring friend who he was, I was a bit surprised by his answer: “It’s Guillaume Mocquin, he’s a street skater, I don’t know what’s happening to him; they don’t even have a bowl where he lives!”
Indeed, there must have been something wrong there. I had never heard of Guillaume, maybe simply because he was working as a spot welder, and was busy sharing his time between hanging out with his girlfriend and attending parties. Does this combination ring a bell to you? All it requires to become the lost mythical skater of Grasse, in the south of France, is there. But sorry, it’s out of the question.
At the time of our first sessions together, Guillaume threw this possibility out the window : no more girlfriend, no more job, only a serious determination for skating and a new goal : to skate the bowl of Marseille as much as possible, along with his new friend, Alex Giraud. In Marseille, Guillaume is the new foster kid, each new run an explosion, a fragile chocolate egg stuffed with surprise gifts. Every session comes with its fair share of spectacular slams…it works or he gets worked, a bit like Cardone or Trujillo. When skating the streets, its hard to predict what he’s going to do next and where… I know he’s disappointed there are no flip tricks in this Slept On, and that he’s scared of being labelled a “bowl rider ” now. Guillaume doesn’t talk about skating; he just skates.
I doubt that he watches lots of videos or knows the name of fashionable skaters. Whatever. It’s good to come across youngsters with a sense of reality, who go to work during the week to be able to buy a train ticket to go skate the weekend.
Impulsive in skateboarding as he is in life, it seems like Guillaume fears nothing, he’s got everything to become a famous skater, indeed I’ve never felt as happy as while watching him skate, be it only on that little shit transition. Last time it happened was when I watched Guillaume’s favourite skater skate: Hans Claessens. Coincidence?
Guillaume skates for Free turtle, Vendetta, Travelling skateshop, Element shoes, clothing and skateboards Europe.