If today fingerskate has a modern image with tattooed thirtysomethings dropping nollie fs tailslide at breakfast it was far from being the case a few years ago.
If things are different now in France, we owe it in large part to Sébastien Olivan, very active on the French and world scene for a long time. Interview with one of the cleanest and most technical rider of the game, Seb aka @pieceofwoood !
FINGERBOARDZ : Can you introduce yourself a little bit for those who don't know you ?
SEB : Yo! My name is Sébastien Olivan, I'm 25 years old, I come from Mont de Marsan (south west of France) but I currently live in Bordeaux !
“The main thing is to have fun, to take a maximum of pleasure, because that's what Fingerboarding is all about, fun and pleasure !”
FBZ : When and how did you start doing Fingerskate ?
SEB : I've been fingerboarding for about 10 years, I don't remember exactly when I started... Unlike most fingerboarders, I started Fb before skateboarding. In fact I was in 4th grade (junior high school) and the Tech Decks fashion had already passed in my jr high-school. Then one day while going to a discount store, I saw a small batch of Fingerboard, I begged my mother to take some haha. And right at the same time I have my best friend who started skateboarding, so I started skateboarding too some time later but not really seriously !
FBZ : What was your first board ?
SEB : So, my first board was part of this batch, it was an Xstuntz I think or something like that, something even worse than Tech Deck in quality and performance, hell!
FBZ : In your clips you seem to be well settled, in chill mode. Your sessions are more like long, steady, etc. Or is it more like spamming as soon as you have 5 minutes ?
SEB : In general I like to take 30min-1h to have a good session. It can be longer but I have to admit that at the moment I don't have much time to have a good big session so we adapt !
FBZ : Your tricks of the moment, the one you are currently working on ?
SEB : At the moment I don't really have any particular trick, but I still like to do tre and all its variations in flat, it's too satisfying !
FBZ : Your favorite trick ?
SEB : Flip back tail it's really great visually and in feeling !
FBZ : Your pet peeve ?
SEB : My pet peeve is the inwards, I've been working on them for a while. I only like the nollie inward, which was THE "bête noire". For me it was impossible to get nollie inward back tail, then finally by dint of work, I managed to shoot it ultra clean, little pride hahaha !
FBZ : Your sponsor board is Genius, a well known name in the French scene. I know that your collaboration is old and goes beyond the simple sponsoring, can you tell us a little bit about your common path ?
SEB : Ouah ! So that's a little long I prefer to warn you hahaha! So it all started when I arrived on Instagram. I found an acquaintance from the forum Petit Frère (big up to the old ones if you pass by there). We chat and as we go along he tells me that he is in contact with a guy who is on the French Riviera, who makes decks and who will certainly sponsor him.
A few days later, Kev (aka the guy from the French Riviera) sponsors my friend Mike. He suggests me to write to him because he is really cool. After that, I start to talk with Kev, the current goes very well and after a few weeks, he offers to sponsor me, the little guy who never had a sponsor of anything. That day he realized one of my dreams! Time goes by and we still get along well, he sends me crazy decks, always well done (Kevin, as usual!).
Then one day I asked him to go to Spain with my father and me for a week, that was the test. And this famous week was really too cool, we lived great things and he became one of my best friends. After that there were ups and downs, Kev had to stop for a few months, I had other deck sponsors but I didn't feel as good as with him. And when he took over Genius, he agreed to take me back straight away and he gave me my first pro model! And we've been here ever since ! Thx Kev 💛
FBZ : Nowadays there are many young kids, and not so young, who start on Fb after being hyped on Instagram, where the global scene is ultra-active. The learning curve is sometimes quite hardcore, but you realize that when it's too late hehe. Do you have any advice for them ?
SEB : I'm not going to be pretentious, but frankly Fingerboarding is like everything else, if you want to reach your own level and get combos that make you dream, you have to spend some time and work... But the main thing is to have fun, to take a maximum of pleasure, because that's what Fingerboarding is all about, fun and pleasure !
FBZ : When you're not dropping big lines on Instagram what are you doing ?
SEB : Haha thanks for the compliment! So this year I was in professional reconversion, I did a carpenter formation with Les Compagnons, I had a lot of fun but I don't have much time to ride ! Apart from that I try to skate when I can, to try to progress because my level is not really great... And I spend a lot of time with my girlfriend because she's the best you know !
FBZ : What equipment do you use to film yourself ?
SEB : IPhone 11 + death lens pro or death lens fish eye !
FBZ : Let's finish with some skate culture! Who is this rider who made you love skateboarding to the point of doing it with your fingers ?
SEB : Well, it doesn't really work since I started fb before skateboarding... But I'll give you the skaters who inspired me the most ! In number 1 there is Dylan Rieder (RIP Legend) the class incarnate, the style, the presence. It's pure fun to watch this guy. I will make sure he is never forgotten! Then I have several that I can't tell apart but that I also love: Andrew Reynolds, Shane O'Neill, Lucas Puig, Mark Suciu, Vincent Milou (Landes RPZ!) and many others...
FBZ : Thanks Seb, the last word is for you, if you want to write a 3 pages bigup nobody will stop you !
SEB : Houla 3 it's not enough haha ! First, big up to my sponsors : Kev from Genius deck, Grant from Solar Tuning and Casey from Fingerboard Connoisseur ! And also for these 3 accounts : @fingerboardweek @athome.fb @_m.athis_fb Voilà voilà ! And bigup to you for everything you do too, it's absolutely awesome!
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