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Anecdotes: Leo Valls

Photography by Leo Sharp

Text by Leo Valls

In 2019, Leo Sharp and his family visited me in my hometown of Bordeaux, and we ended up shooting a whole interview. We promised the Sharps that we would come visit their home in Cornwall the next year, but it never happened due to Covid, having a baby and all that life stuff… We decided to finally come visit in the summer of 2023 with my wife and daughter. It was our very first time in Cornwall, and it was supposed to be a family vacation, basically away from skateboarding. I’m skateboarding and working on skateboarding related projects all year long, and the idea of going to the south of England to chill sounded exotic and relaxing. Plus, we love the Sharps; they're the best, really. Of course, I brought my skateboard and we ended up having some skate sessions sprinkled in between family time.

Duck under backside lipslide, Truro.

Leo took me around Truro city on the first day visiting Cornwall, and I found some exciting non-spots that looked very British, at least by my French standards. This backside lipslide duck under is located by the entrance of the Truro Cathedral, and I was able to go home afterwards with my head still attached to my shoulders. A great day.

Pop-comply, St Ives.

This day was sick. The Sharps proposed to take us to St Ives in Cornwall. We started with lunch at some classic British restaurant and I somehow felt like I was in a Monty Python (pronounced “Monty Peeton” with a French accent) movie. Don't ask me why. It could be the lake and the toasties, or simply my French brain being silly. Anyway, we drove to St Ives (pronounce “Saint Hhhyves” with a French accent) and we immediately got surrounded by a bunch of tourists trying to eat fish and chips while basically swim at the same time. It seemed like nothing was skateable in St Hhhyves, and I started feeling bad that Mr Sharp brought his heavy camera bag out on such a hot day, when all the sudden, around a sandy corner, I noticed the shittiest bank spot Ì’ve ever seen. It was the most perfect non-spot to try and shoot a photo of this non-trick I’ve been wanting to shoot a photo of for a long time. Well, I’m not sure what to call this trick, but I can certainly try and describe it. You basically pop the board standing on the top of your front foot, and you jump back two feet on the board. I got inspired doing it while watching Gou Miyagi skate in Japan. Anyway, I love filming and shooting unconventional tricks on spots that people wouldn't really consider spots, and Mr Sharp is always down to make weird things happen, so we gave it a go and got this photo.

Wallride backside powerslide, Bristol.

In order to come to Cornwall from France, we had to land in Bristol. It was the perfect excuse to pay a visit to the homies at Rock Solid, the distributor of Magenta in the UK. Big boss Wes Morgan took us around the city for a skate and I got to meet the homie Pigdog who gave me a lesson in Bristol skate history. Epic times! During our cruisy sesh, we checked out this metal bridge that looked really sick. Shitty stripy ground and little holes in the wall made it much harder to skate than it appeared, and I had to really run and push to get up there. Only after a couple of tries, some security that looked like the dad from Family Guy came and kicked us out. We had to go back a few hours later and eventually we got this photo. The best part about it is that right behind muscular Leo Sharp pointing and shooting, stands the legendary (and tall) Josh Arnott. After that we celebrated with Caribbean food and flew back home the next morning. I need to go back to Bristol; it’s a sick city with a unique vibe. Thank you England, thank you everybody who made this family trip a special one. We will be back soon! 

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