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Kevin Rodrigues – Leaving the comfort zone

When the Blobys first appeared a few years ago, they brought something completely new to the table. Those Parisian youngsters had their own vibe and the most unique of them all was Kevin Rodrigues. You could easily see that he was one of a kind and so it didn’t take long till Pontus Alv took him under his wing, put him on Polar, and gave him a pro board. But for a while now there were rumors that he had left his board sponsor and went with another legend – Jason Dill – who was also fascinated by his talent. Benjamin Deberdt sat down with Kevin for a coffee to talk about what’s going on in his life right now.

"The pressure and that guilt I was feeling just weren’t worth it. I tried to reach an agreement which was no more money and no more pro board, but he didn’t like the idea."

Everyone saw these photos of you and Ben Chadourne drying a Parisian spot with cat litter. What’s the story?

Well, actually there’s not much of a story… Mike Anderson was here in Paris a few months ago and showed us this technique to dry a spot that’s pretty effective. And since it’s been raining here for months, we used it.

What are you filming for these days and how is it going for you?

Converse is working on a full length for a year now, I think, and they want me in the video. So far, I don’t have anything, at least nothing that I find interesting enough I’m afraid… I had two serious injuries this year, so I wasted a lot of time. Adding the fact that I’m not productive doesn’t help. Now I’d like to steal some of Ben Chadourne’s time, who just moved here, to try to catch up when it’ll dry… And same thing, I’m supposed to film for Supreme. I have a bit more time for this, but since there’s no Supreme filmer here, it doesn’t help either. We’ll see!

Corey Duffel’s new part recently came out and in the interview that comes along he’s quite emotional about his recent trip to Paris. Can you tell me more and why you invited him?

I met him in SF earlier last year and we instantly got along. I pretty much spent the rest of the trip with him. We shared a lot of things, positive and negative, and it was obvious that he had to get away from his so-called comfort zone, and I thought the energy me and my friends would bring him could help giving back a meaning to certain things. And it worked: the part that came out and the interview prove it! He started filming after his trip here. And the injury that took him away from skating was also gone.

I ran into you guys a few times during those days and your complicity was obvious despite the age difference. How do you explain this?

In his interview he talks about the fact that in order to be interesting, skateboarding has to speak out for the one doing it. And I’ve always been a fan, I felt like I knew him for a long time right when I met him. Maybe because I always felt addressed by what he seemed to tell or express.

Maybe it’s time for him to give this back to you and motivate you?

[Laughs] I knew you’d turn the question back to me when I started talking about this so-called comfort zone… Fair enough. I don’t think I need a motivation boost, because I’ve never been so motivated. Obviously he tried a few times to get me to visit him. But he’s coming back next week and that makes me happy! And I’ll go visit him when the time comes.

You’ve been telling me about some Parisian newcomers you like watching skating. Is it something that you really observe, the new generation?

Yeah, I do. The scene here is quite intriguing, I think.

Besides your friends and the Parisian scene, who makes you wanna go skate these days?

Jon Rowe!

Good choice! We chatted about this, but I’m not sure you talked about it: how do you convince your sponsors that you’re not gonna be doing any social networking and never gonna repost their latest marketing campaign?

I just think I always told them about the things I don’t like and I would hate myself doing it. These things most people would say it’s part of the game, but if I still skate today, it’s totally against that. Today, the thing I’m really happy about is to have been able to keep this freedom.

I guess you knew we would talk about this because it’s what everybody wants to know: when did you decide to leave Polar to join Dill and ride for Hockey? And how did that happen? I guess after such a long time under Pontus’s wing it wasn’t so easy…

Well, it’s pretty much the same as the last question… I wasn’t doing enough for him for a quite some time, being busy with other projects that I just mentioned, and other ones… So yeah, I would understand his point of view only to a certain point. The pressure and that guilt I was feeling just weren’t worth it. I tried to reach an agreement which was no more money and no more pro board, but he didn’t like the idea.

What about Dill, how did that happen? I could tell you’d end up riding for him. He was so into your part after the premiere of I like it here… in Paris…

He had been telling me for some time that I’d always have a spot on Hockey, maybe like two years before I made the move. That’s something that always felt nice, being a big fan of the brand and what’s behind it.

The winter starts to be really long here in Paris. Do you still want to only film in your neighborhood?

I don’t know… It’s where I want to be and I don’t feel like it’s gonna change.

I trust you on this. Thanks, Kevin!