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In 1971, college dropout Frank Nasworthy moved from Virginia to Southern California to surf. Nasworthy would later get a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Mechanics and invent the world’s first wide-format thermal inkjet printer, but it was his first innovation that has more resonance with skateboarding. Nasworthy was the first human to surmise that the urethane wheels being used in roller skating rinks would translate better to skateboarding than the clay wheels of the time. With a $700 investment he formed Cadillac Wheels in 1971 or 1972 or 1973 - depending on which source you read - and all of skateboarding changed forever. Crazy.
The advent of video may have been skating’s next major innovation. You could argue concave boards or modern truck design, video’s impact on modern skateboarding was larger than documentation. Along with pushing progression, video’s currency was connectivity - through 411VM specifically, skateboarding media became global and less centered around California. Formerly known as Deathbox, Flip Skateboards moved from the UK to Southern California in 1994 with the equivalent of a European super team, symbolizing a shift even if it took putting up So-Cal roots to do so. More global pros emerged and succeeded but it wasn’t until YouTube, and later Instagram specifically, that the mechanics of the skate industry were completely disrupted by the tech industry.
In 2020, skateboarding lives in our mobile devices and computer screens whether or not we like or even acknowledge it. The ability to start brands and careers from them has democratized skating to the point that it feels that taking the traditional path to turning pro seems not only antiquated but limiting. Why vie for the attention of a brand or a magazine if you have an audience and a credit card?
Enter Lucas Puig. Born in 1987, Puig’s trajectory has been documented on DVD, BluRay, and even VHS, leaving a hyper-productive trail of video, but he’s neither a “video skater” nor “traditional pro” nor “contest skater.” It’s tempting to label Puig an anomaly in that he lives what many see as a life of leisure, surfing, skating, and parenting in Biarritz, France. But that discounts the output and ability that earned him the right to nurse cocktails beachside, often in short-shorts. In fact, Puig exudes such casual confidence that it often overshadows his massive output - it’s like service at a fine restaurant, you only notice when it’s not outstanding. To date, that’s never been the case with his parts and even better, Lucas Puig never serves you one type of meal, he’s a master of all cuisines.
We spoke to Lucas not just about the battles and process of all his parts but also the feelings, takeaways, and vibes they all evoke to him today.
adidas Skateboarding PUIG
“For this one the main thing is that we basically had one month to shoot and edit due to the COVID-19 situation. But I had an idea of wanting some cool tricks instead of the classic NBD boring game. At the end it all worked out and I’m stoked on the results! For sure it’s not my best part but I like the vibes a lot.”
“I didn’t have much time for this one cause I was always involved in some adidas projects... which was obviously good too. I definitely would love a stauncher part especially when I see all the fellas ripping hard.”
I joined this project a bit late but we were able to film some intro stuff as I was new on the team. I went to London just a couple of times to get this part. We always got a big crew over there so everyone on the session is pretty hyped. I just love skating in London and how the footy looks.”
adidas Skateboarding Away Days
“This was a long journey! We are a big crew and we did a lot of trips for it. I got some of the best memories making this video. At the beginning I wasn’t stressing about the video but when I heard the deadline was coming I felt like I had to really focus [laughs]. I just remember my last mission, I was in Los Angeles with my girlfriend and I planned a mission to San Francisco to try one trick. We drove there and I got it and I even got some extra stuff. It’s very rare that I work that hard to get a trick.
Cliché Bon Voyage
“At that time I bought a GH2 camera and was filming with it but the result was terrible - lucky Boris Proust was always around.”
Cliché Gypsy Tour
I wasn’t stressing to get tricks on this one but more of where we gonna sleep and if we gonna have enough beers [laughs]. I have so many memories from it. One time we fucking with photographer, Spoon with a water gun, whistling the Kill Bill song in the forest and he was losing it. We were all high in emotions it was so funny and hard at the same time. French Fred punched me in the face cause I was too drunk the night before… we all got our moments.
Lakai Fully Flared
“At the beginning I was just so stoked to be able to skate with my favorite skaters. At one point I realized I had a lot of footy but they were backing me up to get even more. I was so lucky to meet people like Guy (Mariano) who would organize a trip for me just to get a trick. And what trick? Switch front shove-it crooks on a handrail! Like c'mon this still so insane to me! I learned this trick ‘cause Guy did it in Mouse and 10 years later he’s bringing me back to get it! That will always be my top memory.”
Cliché Freedom Fries
“This one came after Bon Appétit where I got the last part. It was all magic at that time. We had the best time filming. Whether it was in Lyon or on a trip, I was always skating and chilling with Charles Collet. It was a trip because I was into tech skating and French rap music and he was into rock ‘n roll and handrails [laughs]. We were totally opposites but became friends and brothers and still are today.”
Cliché Bon Appétit
“So much to say! I just feel so lucky to have met people who trusted me since day one and built me into the man that I am now. At that time, they all did their best to help me get shit down. Most importantly, they taught me to be humble and grateful.”
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