Eric “Julio” Debruyne is a 39 year old Ralston Team Rider living in Les Arcs in the French Alps. His roots are in skateboarding, which led him to snowboarding, which eventually lead him to snowskating. He has recently placed 2nd in the European Snowskate Jam and was featured in the new snowskate film Livin’ the Dream. He also has an awesome youtube video up called Alone in the d’Arcs which has a killer soundtrack and where he just nails feature after feature.
What is the snowskate scene like in France?
The French scene is pretty poor. People don’t even realize snowskate possibilities. I know there are few snowskaters out there somewhere, but for now, it’s quiet. It’s still very underground and local. We saw a snowskate in magazine a few years ago but mostly single decks. I have only one snowskate mate, he rides an Ambition single deck.
I saw your video Alone in the d’Arcs and your part in Livin’ the Dream. You kill it off kickers with grabs and technical tricks and on tricky boxes. A lot of it looks like a back yard set-up or urban features. What’s the status of resorts allowing snowskates in France?
The status of snowskating at French resorts is totally blurred. It’s completely different from one resort to another. In my case, in Les Arcs, it’s banned! It seems like it’s up to the resort manager…
So, I made my own snowskate park, shovelling. Sometimes, I go to the terrain park snowboarding with my snowskate and my shoes in my backpack. After I get there, I can ride there, but I have to hike it, because they won’t let me on the lift with my snowskate.
Sometimes I lurk at the resort looking for something to ride. I like that this is the street side of snowskating. I just walk out my door then ride the sidewalk!
Have you been able to do any powder-snowskating?
You are the only Ralston Team Rider outside of the US. How did you manage that?
So, I rode and took some photos and video. Then, Ralston picked me up on their team. It’s rewarding. It gives me motivation to keep on riding and to explore new ways of riding – mixing all I learned skateboarding and snowboarding. I see the terrain diferently, new challenges! It permited to meet a lot of other riders involved in snowskating who give me more motivation. So now, I know that I’m not so “alone in the d’arcs.”
What advice would you give to kids that are trying to get sponsored?
It is hard to give advice to kids about sponsors… To the kids I say, “surf, skate, snowskate, snowboard. Take your board for what it is- an all generations toy! And, enjoy it the most you can!”
What is your opinion on the idea of forming an international snowskate association?
An international snowskate federation, in an optimistic vision, I say yes. Yeaahh! All we need is love and snowskate. But you know how it works…
A cooperative, a comission , an association …. rider’s side, brand’s side, business, rules??
I don’t know… for the acceptance of snowskate by ski resorts, yes. That’s enough, just more credibility and communication with them, and that’s all.
I think we should more look on the skate side than the snow side of snowskating! We can work together to develop snowskating, keeping the spirit without a big “federation.” If something must happen, “cooperative” is the world I like for what it means .
The only thing we need is more and more riders! In your country, we can see the difference. There are so many snowskaters, so you’re stronger! But…are you all friends?
Ok, last one. What is your Snowskate Confession?
My worst injury, after all these years riding and skating, is a snowskate one!! But, my modesty doesn’t permit to relate the story. Trust me, not even my closest friends want to hear it!
I want to give some shout outs and thanks:
To you first and Projectsnowskate.com
Ralston, and all the snowskaters I met on FB these last months, hope we can share a ride together some day!
Seb my snowskate homie, Kab, Scalp, Fred
Andrew from GBF productions – ” Livin the dream”!
0910 Mike, Chris
All my fellow skateboarders, snowboarders, and snowskaters around here!!