Not too long ago, Alan Sarlo was on a surf trip to Mexico with his good friend Jay Adams. Sadly for the skateboarding community all across the world, Jay Adams passed away during that trip due to a massive heart attack. Seen by many as the true essence of skateboarding, Adams’ passing is as devastating today as it was then. Jay was skateboarding and skateboarding was Jay. Life can be very short, and for board pushers such as this amazing guy, it's made to be lived to its fullest.
The shocking news echoed back over here in Montreal and created one of those moments when you realize that us skateboarders truly form a united community. In this city I was brought up in, you have three major categories of skaters. First, you find the kids that will carry on our everlasting love for the sport, then the young am and pro skaters, and finally the pioneers. Amazingly, all these groups are important to the community and play a crucial part in keeping our beloved sport alive and true to its roots.
On the grounds of the recent events, I think this is a good time to take a step back, think, and return to why we really love skateboarding. “Rolling around together, now and forever” is all about that: meeting up with different actors of Montreal’s skateboard community and seeing why they started skateboarding as well as what the board pushing action brings to them.
I met up with 15-year-old, goofy-stanced Philipe Dulude at Taz skatepark, which is actually where I first saw him ride about a year ago. You can easily see he has that special something running in his veins. And it's extremely satisfying to know you are right about that when you ask the guy, “What hobby do you have apart from skateboarding?” and he genuinely answers, “Skate or die”. From Saint-Constant, Phil Dulude is already sponsored by Empire and Technical skateboards, has entered a few competitions (Jackalope and AM Getting Paid) and gave demos with his local skateboarding team. Definitely one cool kid to keep an eye on.
N.B. The following interview was adapted from french to english.
Get Born: When did you start skateboarding and what got you into it?
Philipe Dulude: I started skateboarding with my dad and the whole family when I was five. He built skate ramps at home, so we would skate almost everyday when I came back from school. We pretty much traveled all across Quebec and Ontario, skating around.
GB: Many skaters feel skateboarding brings creativity and freedom to their lives. What does pushing a four-wheeled wooden board represent and mean to you?
Phil: When I skate, there’s nothing in my head. If I have a problem with my parents or whatever, I’ll go on my board and find a freedom of mind. My smile will come be back in no time and all my thoughts just go away. I skate and think of nothing else. The tricks just come naturally.
GB: In your opinion, what’s the purest form of skateboarding out there?
Phil: Well for me, it all started with vert skating. I’ve always liked it. It’s also pretty much what my dad does too. We like to look around for old pools to skate in. I also skate street, but I was bowl skating before that.
GB: Pro skater Rob Drydek once said in an interview: “Stay inspired! That’s the key to life and success in anything. Put yourself in a position where you get up each day and can’t wait to get out skate.” What do you make of this statement? Do you agree?
Phil: Yeah. When I get up in the morning, I always check the weather to see if I can bring my board and skate on lunch break, find new spots and hangout with my friends. It’s basically the only thing I think about.
GB: Do you occasionnally skip school to go skate (stay in school, kids)?
Phil: Yeah, sometimes with my dad we go to Toronto for two days… I guess we hit the road a lot.
GB: Have you ever broken a bone in a way that made it impossible for you to skate? What do you do in those moments?
Phil: I broke bones in my foot and hand, but I skated with my cast anyways. I couldn’t stop skating. I was told I had three months to go without skating, but I’d still drop in ramps, roll around. If I could not skate at all, I think it would just really suck… skateboarding is pretty much all I do.
GB: When no one is filming, what’s your skating like?
Phil: I let myself go way more, tricks just come naturally. When you concentrate on doing lines, you have to think about what you want to do to get the nicest, sickest line possible. When you’re off-cam, you do what comes at the moment, what you feel like, whatever your mind thinks of.
GB: What does it feel like when you finally land a new trick you’ve been working on for so long?
Phil: I’m happy! I find it cool… not that it moves mem but like… I don’t know how to put it… say it was a huge trick. [Landing] gets me even more motivated to land other big tricks.
GB: What’s your wildest dream in relation to skateboarding?
Phil: I wish I could go skate in the United States with huge brands and be able to have something going on in California. I just don’t want to stay in Quebec, things don’t get big here. You can’t become a pro skater here, you have to leave for the US, you have to find something [sponsors] over there.
GB: If anything was possible, who would you want to spend the day skateboarding with and why?
Phil: If anything was possible? I think I’d want to go to Pierre-Luc Gagnon’s house to skate his vert!
GB: In the future, say something like 5-10 years, where do you see yourself going?
Phil: I see myself having finished school and leaving for the States!
My guess is that you will hear a lot more about Philipe Dulude in the future. This kid has got what it takes to make it big while keeping it real and fun. Keep grindin’ buddy!