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Editorial

Lucas Beaufort has 'Heart'

Lucas Beaufort has 'Heart'
Posted by Matt Broadley5 min read
Friday, February 18, 2022

You might have seen Lucas Beaufort’s latest project on Instagram. Heart is a book celebrating skate shops from all over the world. The book is huge, 428 pages, Lucas tells me - and it felt fitting to speak to him about the project at this time. As you will hopefully gauge from the interview, Lucas is incredibly passionate about everything he does, and pretty much answered all my questions without me even having to ask them. We will be running a competition where you can win a copy of the book, so keep an eye out for that, for now dive in and find out about this mammoth project.

Tell us about your background in skateboarding and what led you to making the book?

I started skateboarding when I was 13, I was always into this thing. I grew up in the South-East of France, in a small village near Cannes and Nice. In the 90s there was a very strong skate community there, at the time Bastien Salabanzi was skating there. During my studies I kept skateboarding, and after finishing school I worked with a friend of mine at Desillusion magazine, which is a surf, skate and snow magazine. After eight years working there I left as I felt ready to do my own thing.

I made a documentary on skateboard media called Devoted, which came out in 2017. I traveled the world and spoke to Thrasher, Transworld and Marc Johnson to name a few. This was all driven by my passion, I wanted to know who they are and where they live. It wasn't an interview like this, you know? It was going to Marc's place, going to the Thrasher office and spending time with Tony Vitello. I also went to Japan, and to Australia to do an interview with the magazine Slam. I wanted it to be an overview of everything.

Three years later I was thinking ‘I really wanted to work on a new project’, because I am so passionate, and I always want to know more. Over the years I have made connections with a lot of shops who I have designed board graphics for, shops all around the world. I stayed in touch with them because I am a buyer too, so I would buy boards from Anti Social, KCDC, Nozbone, just because I wanted to support them. I could buy boards from down the street, but I always want to support other shops wherever they are.

One day I thought I really want to do a book to celebrate skate shops around the world. So I started to reach out to people and say 'what do you think about making a book that would put everybody together and tell your story?', this was at the end of 2020 and the stores were ready. It started with just a few shops, then others started to reach out to me because they'd heard I was making this book and wanted to be involved. It wasn't easy, 90 skate shops are interviewed in the book, I couldn't interview everyone, so at the end of the book I decided to include everyone - all the skate shops from A-Z, probably 800 to 1000 skate shops. It was very important for me to not be the guy who decides who should or shouldn't be in the book, I wanted to put everyone in there.

It was a year-long project, I started at the end of December and it went to the printers by the end of 2021. A long road, a year back and forth getting the photos, interviews and introducing the book to some sponsors. As you can imagine, if I am going to print 5000 copies of a book that's 428 pages, it's massive, the shipping costs are insane! So I worked with distributors to ensure it spreads everywhere - U.S, Canada, Europe and so on.

Why did you call the book Heart?

Good question, when I introduced the book to the skate shops some of them said 'Lucas, you're going to make something for us? You have a lot of heart, you have a big heart.' When I started this I didn't know if I would have enough money to make it happen, nobody asked me to do this, I just took a pen and gathered my contacts and said 'let's go'. Nobody said Lucas you're going to make money out of this, I don't care. So it's having heart about what we do, you know?

To me skate shops are the most important thing in our culture, without them it wouldn't exist. It reminds me of when I was 13 going to LSD Skate Shop in Cannes, and being scared to go there, it wasn't like going to place where you just buy a t-shirt with no soul, there you were scared to talk to the guy at the counter, you don't wanna ask a stupid question, and it's still the same, you don't just go there for 5 minutes, you always speak with the people there, you always check everything, you want to know what is going on with new the magazines, the new product. It's a place you want to stay for a few hours, even if you're not buying anything. That's why I called it Heart, it's the heart of skateboarding to me. Skate shops for me are the center of everything.

I remember in the 90s there was no internet, once in a while a magazine would come out and it was so exciting to see what was happening in the US - the shops would get the new 411 video and we'd watch it hundreds of times. I feel a little bit sad today, how long do you need to make a video part for Thrasher, a year maybe, you watch it and then the next day it's gone. Even if it's a good video, you might get excited for it on Friday, then by Saturday you're asking 'what's next?' I hope this book is going to stay around forever. I asked the shops to put it out so kids can know what is going on in other stores around the world.

I feel the shops are so happy for this book to happen, and will be proud to show it off. When you see the book you will see how many stories there are. You will see that it's chronological. I put together shops from the 70s, through the 80s and 90s, it's good to see the history. The first shop in the book is 35th Avenue in Seattle, they opened in 1978, and they're still going to this day. It's crazy, it's a very old school shop, it's cool to have this mix of shops. I wanted everyone to be together in this book, to bring the world together, and to say together we are stronger.

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