13 Questions for Antonine Champetier from Team Majutsu
DEFINING PERSEVERANCE AND DETERMINATION
I had the pleasure of meeting Antonine for the first time at the first longboard dancing & freestyle competition at the ABOUT YOU Pangea Festival 2019 in Northern Germany (Yes, the infamous festival where I broke my foot lol).
Antonine is a team rider for Majutsu Longboards, one of the most known and respected longboard brands in existence, and the brand’s team is one of the most talented teams in the world.
Antonine and I have had a couple of fun chats since then, and I decided she would be an awesome person to introduce to the longboard dancing world via the site.
This is your chance to meet her as a skater, and more importantly, her as a person. I hope you enjoy!
So without further ado, meet Antonine Champetier
Alright Antonine, generally I like to start these interviews with a fairly random question, just to give people an idea of who you are…so my number one question is, when there is no global pandemic happening, what is your favorite drink to order at a bar?
AC: A huge pint of beer!
Cool, on to the basics for our readers, where are you originally from and what are you doing with your life currently, other than skating?
AC: I am from Paris and I am 28 years old. For nearly three years, I have been working as a manager of a senior’s residence, a job that I love, and one that I am also very passionate about.
And now for the famous question everyone loves, what’s your longboarding story? Tell us all about how it started, and how you found dancing and freestyle?
AC: I started around 4 years ago. I always liked sliding and wheeling sports but, but never really practiced heavily. I have done some skate and some cruising, but it was always more transportation than actual high level performance or training.
Then one day, when I was on vacation at Lacanau Ocean in the South West of France, I saw Laurent Perrigault (I didn’t know him at that time) skating barefoot on a huge surf longboard (it sounds like a stereotype but it happened like this haha) and he was also doing some dancing moves, and I immediately fell in love with it.
Back in Paris, I bought a longboard, a Madrid pintail, absolutely not suitable for this discipline… Then, it took me a while to join the Dockession, because I was very stressed and shy. Finally, I decided to get a real dancing / freestyle board, so I bought a Loaded Boards Bhangra and trained a lot, both in freestyle and dancing.
So you ride for the Majutsu Team. The brand really seems to be the pride and joy of a lot of French Riders. Tell us all about how you got on to the team, and what that means to you.
AC: I started riding with Majutsu in 2018 after winning the X-mas challenge organised by Spin Skate and Majutsu on Instagram. The first place prize of the non-sponsored category was a Majutsu deck, the Odori.
I remember I trained a lot for this video because I really wanted to ride a Majutsu. We filmed for hours in a parking to have good lines. I was not used to dealing with social media like Instagram and I wasn’t really aware of what makes a good video.
So I only focused on the level, the tricks and dancing, and absolutely not on the aesthetic of the video. But despite the video being in the wrong format (whoops!) the breathtaking beauty of the parking I was riding in plus my level of skating at the time won me the contest and the deck.
As soon as I started riding, I loved the board, the shape and especially the lightness. Compared to the heavy Banghra, it was way easier to land tricks.
From that moment, I wanted to get on to this team so I worked very hard. They first took me as flow rider, then maybe a year or so made me a team rider. I was so happy, it was a goal achieved and I was very pleased to ride with such great riders, but also riders I know well and I skate with, which I think is really important.
I also know Charles, the shaper, since I have started longboarding, which is another advantage. I think you feel more comfortable in a team when you know the people you are with.
From that moment, I wanted to get on to this team so I worked very hard.Antonine talking about her determination to join Team Majutsu
I am glad to be supported by a French brand, I think in these times of globalization, it’s important to represent a local company. And let’s not forget, they are also a high quality handmade brand.
I’ve never been really attracted by other brands because Majutsu has everything I expect from a board. First the colors, I’ve been riding a full black deck for a long time, but now I rock the dark wood. The board is very elegant, in a very sober style and I just love it.
I feel very comfortable with the shape, the flex, and the size.
What is actually expected of you as a Majutsu Team member, like are there certain requirements you have to fulfill?
AC: No, I don’t have requirements to fulfill and I am very thankful for that. With requirements, I guess you mean posting very often on social media. If this was the case, I would have not be the right person.
As Majutsu is my sponsor, I have to represent the brand through videos and pictures, and even if there are no specific requirements, I want the brand to be alive and seen by people.
I post as much as I can, which is not a lot, but when I post, I try to post quality content with new tricks, steps and moves, or also beautiful pictures. But – posting for posting – I can’t. I know that some brands ask their riders to post regularly but if it’s to have content without any interest and made because of pressure, what is the point?
I didn’t grow with Instagram and there are some aspects I am not comfortable with but if you want a brand to be alive, it works like that now.
Speaking of Majutsu, I remember around the time of Paris 360, you recorded YUMM with fellow Majustu Rider Giulia Alfeo. Tell us about that project, how did it come to life, how was it recording a music video that revolved around longboard dancing and freestyle?
AC: Giulia and I were contacted from this band after they saw a video of both of us, which has been very successful on social media, (And it was not a professional video, Achel filmed us in a parking with his phone in maybe 30 minutes). Anyway, they liked our duo and wanted to have us for their project.
It was a very interesting, unexpected, and funny experience. We went to Bristol for two days and the shooting took place in a seaside resort in Torquay.
Initially, the band knew what they wanted us to do, but the weather was against us. We were supposed to start filming at night at 2-3 am but a huge storm erupted so we had to restructure everything.
Finally, we decided to go to Torquay at 5 in the morning to catch the sunrise (We didn’t sleep that night because with the stress, the new plans, and trip but when you do something new and exciting, it doesn’t matter, you don’t feel it).
So once there, everything was about improvisation and adaptation, catching the light, finding beautiful spots, and everyone was participating. The two cameramen had awesome filming equipment but they were not skaters!
The members of the band gathered a bike with a trailer so someone was biking trying to catch our speed and the cameraman was sitting and filming. It was really sketchy but really funny.
It was really sketchy but really funny.Antonine on some of the film crew’s tactics
It was a very long day because the shooting ended at 6 pm but such a great experience, the members of the group were so kind and caring, the cameramen especially.
Check out YUMM below
If you were to pick one favorite moment from filming YUMM, what would that be?
AC: It’s definitely the one on the pear when we are on each side of it.
Now a hard question, aside from your Majutsu (because I know you love it) what other board brands do you really like?
As I was saying above, I have always been focused on Majutsu. I never really tried other board brands, I mean during 1 week or 1 month, only quickly on a random session when I take someone else’s board to do a line. (Except Loaded with the Banghra, I did like the shape but It was too heavy). So I can’t say that I really like an other brand board.
For me, the aesthetic of the board matters a lot and I can’t ride a board I don’t find beautiful.
So I do like Simple Longboards because they craft elegant boards that keep their natural wood appearance. I usually don’t like patterns on a board but I appreciate those of Crown Boards – uniform, sober and beautiful.
So here is my answer concerning the product itself, but If I had to say I like a brand because of their riders, then I would like a lot of brands!
For me, the aesthetic of the board matters a lot and I can’t ride a board I don’t find beautiful.Antonine Champetier
If a beginner asked you to help them put together their first longboard, what would that setup look like?
The deck would be Majutsu, minimum 120cm so you have a lot of space to do dancing. Paris trucks V3, matte black, white or sage green color. Skate Bloodorange wheels, the smoke ones or the midnight series (So beautiful).
Speaking of events, we met at the Pangea ABOUT YOU Festival in Germany last year. What did you think about this festival and the competition there?
AC: The festival was awesome ! There were music scenes everywhere with beautiful wood structures and light arrangements proposing different music styles. There were so many activities to try like skimboarding, rollerquad, skateboarding, and there was food from everywhere.
During the day, you could fight your hangover by chilling at the beach. They built arrangements on the lake like a sauna, a climb wall, and diving boards.
The best way to get into water, which was very cold, was definitely the huge toboggan they setup.
I must say that I didn’t like the competition because of the spot : small with very bad concrete and in the middle of a road. I didn’t care though because it was only 3 hours upon 4 days.
To be honest, when I decided to go there, it was more for the festival than the competition, and I think it was the case for a lot of people. I spent the festival not skating too much, but more chilling and having fun with old and new friends and I loved these moments spent with them way more than the competition.
One last detail, the weather helped a lot because it was hot and it didn’t rain, which can help a lot, especially when you sleep in a tent!
To sum it up, Pangea festival was a blast!
Now I have to bring up some literally, painful memories haha. But if you remember, I broke my foot at that competition haha. I know you also had a broken ankle or foot right? Tell us about how that happened.
AC: Yes I do remember… haha…I broke my ankle – lateral malleolus- in March 2018, only few weeks before SYCLD for which I trained a lot.
I remember everything about this terrible day. I was at the Docksession spot, I was working on a backside new step and I was going super fast. At some point, my feet got all tangled up, and I fell but then I couldn’t put my foot on the ground anymore, it was too painful.
I ordered an Uber to get to the hospital close to my house. I remember that my friends had to carry me on the stairs to put me in the cab. I knew it was very bad because my ankle was the size of my thigh but inside me I was still hoping it was a bad sprain so I could rest and go to SYCLD… haha.
The thing which makes me really angry, is that the orthopedist who took off my cast (After 6 weeks my bone wasn’t healing well) gave me bad advice, so the whole ordeal lasted 3 months longer than it had to.
To be honest, these 5 months were torture because I am person who is very energetic and I am always moving. And overnight, I couldn’t work and I couldn’t skate.
Everything becomes very complicated, going shopping, taking a shower because you can’t get the cast wet, taking the bus because the step is huge and then you have to sit but the bus is already driving so you are about to fall and all the eyes are on you…You realized how hard it is to be disabled and how Paris is not properly setup for this at all!
Since I also had to go through an injury, I know how hard it was to be away from skating for a while, and how hard it was to come back to it. How did you stay motivated about skating while you were hurt, and how was your return?
Well, I am someone optimistic and tough, so even If I was desperate, the only thing I really wanted to do more than anything was to be able to skate again. I just had to stay very patient and also, I wasn’t watching a lot of skating videos during this time because I knew they would make me feel even more frustrated. I just kept my mind occupied with other things during this time.
From the moment I got that cast off, it was already a huge relief (I was so sure they would not take the cast off because my bone was still all messed up. I didn’t’ take a second shoe when I went to the hospital so I had to go home with one foot with a shoe, and the other one barefoot haha). I went back to work, to the swimming pool, biking and also to a normal social life.
This injury definitely helped me a lot in longboarding because since I returned, I progressed faster than before and I am twice as motivated. I lost 5 months of skating so I wanted to recover lost time and I was skating way more and I still keep up with this pace to this day.
Also, I apprehend my skating in a different way because I am more careful, I care more where and how I position my feet, and how I land a trick without getting hurt…
Even if it helped me, I don’t wish for anyone to live through this.
I am more careful, I care more where and how I position my feet, and how I land a trick without getting hurt…Antonine on returning to skating after a major injury
Alright, my favorite question to end these things with is: What’s the best piece of advice you want to give to everyone out there who is just starting out with longboard dancing?
Keep motivated and never give up. Think positive, have a strong mind and don’t push your limits. Try to find some friends with whom you can skate because you progress faster and it gives you more motivation. Be regular, constant, skate often and you will progress.
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