is loading

"Fruits of labor & white wine" – Vincent Milou Interview & behind the senes video

Vincent Milou has put in work to be where he is right now. Born and raised in the countryside of France, he started skating on something you barely can call streets, far away from the fancy skateboarding hub of Paris. By skating contests, he took the hard way to get into the spotlight – and the even harder way to emancipate himself from that again and establish himself as someone who will drop a video part that even stokes the people who usually don’t pay any attention to competitions. He kept his sympathetic, down-to-earth attitude, sending good vibes all the time; and being where he is right now, he can finally reap the rewards of his hard work. There is a lot to talk about, so we stole a little time from him as he jets between missions in the U.S., competitions in Brazil, and white wines in Europe. Besides being on missions, Vincent also went for a beer and bowling with us in Paris while he was shooting the interview for SOLO No. 48 and completing his adidas skateboarding video part releasing tomorrow, December 28th at 6pm.

You are in L.A. at the moment, right? What’s your daily routine there?

We’ve been filming a lot, basically skating and filming every day. Wake up and go skate. I’m pretty exhausted! This week, however, David [Serrano] is kind of busy, so I’m trying to work out. I went there at 8 a.m. the other day and Grant Taylor walked in after me, pretty funny!

Didn’t know that he is a guy who does workouts! What kind of exercises do you do there?

It’s more about stabilization. I’ve got weak ankles and I want to strengthen them more to prevent injuries. I do exercises where I put them into difficult positions and train them to not break. It makes a huge difference. I recently rolled my ankle on a trip and somehow my body reacted faster than my mind: instead of fully rolling my ankle, I only got hurt a little.

"I love France a lot though and don’t see myself in the U.S. having a family and raising kids there."

You spent a lot of time overseas, but still have your home in France. What holds you back from moving there?

It’s so different in terms of the culture – the personality of people, the way of thinking. Before and during COVID, I had an apartment in Long Beach, but I had to give it back and go back to France. I love France a lot though and don’t see myself in the U.S. having a family and raising kids there. Even having a girlfriend in California could be different for me. Also, tight friendships are quite tough to make, I think. I don’t want to talk too badly. I like it a lot here, I like the people and the weather is amazing, but I’m looking for something different when it comes to my home.

There is that ongoing cliché that people from California have a problem with being honest.

I always talk with Gino from Pizza about that! I had a situation with a friend who I was staying with out here. I was hyped to skate, asked him if he’s down, and he said, “maybe later.” That was before the time I learned that here “maybe later” probably means “no” and so I kept on asking him and he kept on responding “maybe later.” Guess what? I sat on the couch until sunset. [laughs] If he had just said “no,” I would’ve asked someone else, but I’m getting used to it. Sometimes people here say, “Damn! You’re rude!” and I say, “I’m sorry if it feels like that, but I just want to be honest.”

Vincent milou alley oop 180 fakie nosegrind

Frontside 180 to Switch 5-0 Revert – Photo: Clément Le Gall

The last time we had a chat, you were also in L.A. and you sent me some photos of you having a good time at a party.

Oh! Wait, did I?

Yeah, it was at a bar or something. A couple of selfies. [searches them in the WhatsApp chat] Here they are! I just sent them to you again.

[laughs] Oh no! I’m sorry, I was probably drunk. Yeah, that was at a bar. I was already in L.A. then and I almost spent the whole summer there because of contests and stuff like that.

I just mentioned the chat because I had it in my mind again watching the intro of your latest part and the remix you did for us, which was a lot of good vibes. We also met at CPH Open before and it seemed like you were enjoying it a lot. Would you say you are a party person?

[laughs] Ah, that’s funny! A lot of people that know me would say I’m not, but there’s a side in me that likes to party. However, not many people do know that side. I also like America a lot for that. They don’t party that long or start earlier. They are not losing time out here. The whole summer, we spent the day out here filming, maybe going to a bar afterwards, and then going home by midnight.

"I usually don’t listen to music when I skate, but at the last contest I skated, I had my headphones on during practice and listened to Sean Paul."

What kind of music gets you into the party mode or hyped in general?

Mostly, it’s more like party but not too big party party songs. Something with a good vibe you can dance to. Honestly, it could get a bit cheesy sometimes. I usually don’t listen to music when I skate, but at the last contest I skated, I had my headphones on during practice and listened to Sean Paul.

He’s so sick!

[laughs] It’s pretty bad, but the song was grooving. I actually really enjoy many of those bad songs from that time. I had such a good time when all those songs came out. For example, rap songs have a different vibe for me nowadays. Imagine people going crazy in the club back then when “Temperature” started to play. So cool!

I find myself enjoying shitty clubs way more now because they play that kind of music, and no one is trying to act super cool like at the most fancy techno parties.

That’s exactly the reason why most people would say I’m not the biggest party person. I party if I enjoy the music, but some of my friends party to music I’m not enjoying that much. At those parties, I get bored really quickly and probably just go home. I’m also not a big drinker, but if the music is right, it could be the case that I will get trapped!

Vincent milou switch bs lipslide

Switch Backside Lipslide – Photo: Clément Le Gall

Of all the events we had the opportunity to go to during this year’s packed summer, what’s your favorite memory of summer ’22?

It’s probably a basic answer, but I think CPH Open. I love that city in the summer and the music there was nice. Such a good vibe. We had a pretty good crew in the shittiest hotel in town. It was fun!

With whom were you staying there?

Back then, it was the people from Globe and Josh [Barrow], who is very close to me and would always serve me with beers. We didn’t get any clips there, but I think no one really expected us to go on missions during CPH Open.

"I basically was about to re-sign my contract with Globe this summer, […] but then I got a call from Al [Boglio] and he told me […] if I would sign on time, I would go on tour with Busenitz, Silas, and so on."

Next time you go to Copenhagen, you’re gonna wear some different shoes. You just left Globe and joined adidas. Could you tell us about the process of changing your shoe sponsor?

I basically was about to re-sign my contract with Globe this summer. Everything was fine there, but then I got a call from Al [Boglio] and he told me that adidas would like to sign me to their global team. And if I would sign on time, I would go on tour with Busenitz, Silas, and so on – pretty much the whole global team. They also signaled that they would be supportive of me skating the Olympics and other contests and taking me on a lot of trips with my heroes. That sounded like a really nice opportunity. It was really hard, however. They [Globe, editor’s note] already sent me a photo of my new colorway and it looked really good. I then called Josh and explained the situation to him. As a team manager, he wanted me to stay, but as a friend, he also wanted the best opportunities for me.

So the Globe side was pretty understanding?

From a friend’s perspective, yes, but from the brand’s perspective, they were a bit mad because they already planned the colorway and everything. I can understand it, it wasn’t the best timing. Globe was doing a lot for me, but obviously adidas can do that on a bigger scale and Josh understood that. Also, I already had friends at the team in the form of Nora, Lucas, and some more – and Al is also a really good friend. I jumped on another boat and I knew I would have a pretty good time there. However, I’m really thankful for everything that Globe did for me during the last ten years, and I had a beautiful time there as well!

Vincent milou switch bs wallride

Switch Backside Wallride – Photo: Clément Le Gall

It’s funny that you mention adidas telling you they support you skating at contests and at the Olympics. Didn’t you say that you would like to skate fewer contests if you were not financially dependent on them? Being under contract at adidas probably takes that financial pressure off you.

For sure. Skating street is what I like the most, but I grew up skating contests, and it’s a part of me. I already skate fewer contests and only the contests I like, which is a good thing. It was just a good feeling they gave me. Basically, the message was, “We will support you with everything you want to do.” And, I have to say, taking part in contests was really good for me to not have the financial pressure. I wouldn’t have a lot in my life and would not be where I am right now if I hadn’t skated contests. Actually, I put myself under way more pressure, since everything is new. My friends tell me to chill, and please don’t get me wrong, everything is alright. It’s just that I have so many opportunities now and I want to do it right. I’m never going to complain about it though, it’s a great thing to have!

Did you feel any pressure on your first tour with the guys?

Not at all, because that was a tour to just have fun and I knew a lot of people already. It wasn’t only about filming missions but also about demos and hanging at the shops. We also played a lot of dice and card games with the team. It was a super chill vibe. I guess you’ll feel it when the video is out!

Vincent milou fs bluntslide

Frontside Bluntslide – Photo: Clément Le Gall

Looking forward to that! Do you like playing these kinds of games with friends?

Yes, I love gambling! That’s my worst habit and that’s why I was caught in Vegas. [laughs]

Tell me more about that Vegas trap!

London was kind of a warm up, because we played games with the team after the skate session every night. As soon as I got to the airport in Vegas, there were gambling tables everywhere. Because of the jetlag, I woke up and was finished with my routine pretty early, so I went for a coffee around 8 a.m., and guess what? There is a machine right next to you. So I fed that with 20 bucks, another and another.

In the morning?

Yeah, it happens.

Wow, that’s crazy!

You definitely get stuck there. Have you ever been there?

No, never. But I can imagine that there is the opportunity to gamble everywhere.

It is everywhere! It’s the worst city ever and the best city at the same time. You should try it once if you are in L.A. for work or something and go over there. But don’t stay for longer than 48 hours, then it gets really bad. I spent a week there and I remember calling my friends like, “I need to get the fuck out of America!” There are no windows, you go from hotel to hotel in that underground tunnel, and there is a fake sky, so you forget about the time. It’s insane! No clocks anywhere, everything is set up so you lose your money. If you play, drinks are free. You can imagine the circle people get into.

"If I drink white wine, my party side comes to light."

Sounds way more exhausting than a seven-day skate trip.

Yeah, it was way more exhausting. It was a funny experience once, but it’s a crazy place.

Talking about how exhausting skate trips can be, what’s the effect of white wine and red wine on you?

[laughs] Al threw that in there for sure. Yeah, we’d been drinking a lot on that trip.

I won’t say, I can only tell you that I have ears everywhere.

But yes. If I drink white wine, my party side comes to light.

And now you have a good French connection on tour. That could be dangerous with the wine!

Yeah, Lucas and Al. That was a problem, but at least, they drink the good ones! Anyway, it’s great to have them on tour. It feels like you are home all the time. While I tried that switch backside smith on the hubba in Paris, they were doing French inside jokes, which made me feel way more comfortable. Without speaking French, I didn’t enjoy the previous tours I’ve been on. I have to say I kind of missed that feeling.

Vincent milou switch fs noseblunt

Switch Frontside Noseblunt – Photo: Clément Le Gall

Some people also told me I should ask you about Confit de Canard.

[laughs] It’s my favorite food. A special duck dish that’s all over France, but it’s a specialty from where I grew up. Damn, it’s so good! Now I miss it after you asked me that. I want to go home just for that now! My grandma makes it, it’s the best I’ve ever had.

When will be your next chance to get it then?

I will go home shortly before Christmas time. I can’t wait!

Bon appétit!