Interview with Mateo Rossi
When did you first stand on a longboard?
Haha well I’d been skateboarding for a bit already but one summer when I was like 8 or 9 my cousin brought this sector 9 pintail over so I asked if I could try it out, we hit up this hill not far from the house we were staying in and at the bottom of the hill was this fence. I bombed down but didn’t know how to stop; I could either jump in the grass next to me or go for a super rough pavement.. I chose the latter and had pretty bad road rash. My parents weren’t too stoked about it but I definitely was !
What is PSJ?
The Paris Skate Jams are events I organise with the help of Landyachtz Longboards, HawaiiSurf Shop and the Upper Roosters. We help people get started going down hill, Landyachtz have been awesome and have given us 6 test boards and some gloves. We also have a bunch of spare helmets we lend to people if need be. We also organise events for more experienced riders like slide jams or outlaw races. As for the name, it came pretty naturally as we had already organised a slide jam called the Paris Summer Jam.
Apart from skating what else do you get up to at a PSJ?
The aim of it all was to build a bigger and tighter knit community in Paris. Of course the Docksessions already exist and are great if you want to chill, listen to music and maybe skate a little but we wanted to actually get people skating and going downhill. The scene has grown a little since, more and more people are coming to our events and we see more and more groms picking up longboards.
What inspired the PSJ?
The Paris Skate Jams were an obvious response to the Docksessions. Upper Roosters and I had the idea of having more downhill orientated sessions for a while but didn’t have the time or means to do so on a larger scale until Landyachtz (especially Blake and Ryan) supported the initiative.
What has been the greatest pleasure in making PSJ?
What’s awesome is to see people progress, get stoked, tackle bigger hills and go faster. The slide jams we organise are also super fun as people give it their all, we see gnarly crashes and massive slides breaking past records.
Who have supported your journey so far?
Landyachtz Longboards along with Bear and Hawgs have been a huge help to me and the Paris Skate Jams: test boards, prizes, stickers, they’ve helped push the scene and the events in Paris. We’ve also received local support from shops like HawaiiSurf, gained exposure thanks to magazines like UD Mag (and now Thrill !).
We’ve also organised screenings in a local bar: Le Duke who were also super helpful and supportive of our events. As for myself, I’ve got to thank mum and dad for the support as I couldn’t get everything done without their help.
Who are upper rooster Skate crew?
The Upper Roosters are a bunch of friends who started skating all together in the Paris region. We mostly skate together, hitting up freerides and going on skate trips but we’ve recently started organising events more often - the Paris Skate Jams. We also make videos (link youtube page) and take some pics from time to time (link instagram).
What made you choose Exeter University? Do you know much about the skate scene there? Will you set up some similar events in the UK?
I have a few friends already studying at the University, the mechanical engineering course there also appeals to me. There’s also surf not too far away, I’m not too far from home either and apparently there a decent hills around Exeter. I don’t know too much about the scene in the UK yet, I’ve met Adam from Lush a few times and we’re pretty tight (I think haha). Also skated with Jooz a bit as well as Jamie, Oscar and other guys that have hit up REB events in the past. I know the University has a Longboard Society but I am unsure of how developed the scene is. I’ll definitely be getting involved in the scene whether it be through similar events or just hitting up freerides.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Wow, that’s a big question.. No idea really, I should have finished school by then so I guess with a job, I’d like to keep travelling as much as possible and of course I’ll still be skating or on some sort of board.
If you could invite any 5 people in the world to a PSJ who would they be?
Haha only 5 ? I’d love for Adam Yates to come, he looks like a super sick dude and having lived in Australia when I started skating his attitude and skating are something I’ve looked up to for a while now. It’d be sweet for some of the Freiburg crew to come too, those guys are super fun and skate hella good. Felix, Siggy, Hack all of them. Other than that, skaters like Pat Schep and Billy Bones who helped with the skate jams and getting me on Landyachtz. Finally I think a rider like Steven Vera would be sick to have at a Paris Skate Jam as he could show the Parisian scene you can skate downhill and also through in some tricks and dance steps into the mix. I feel the community here has a problem with that, most people either stick to downhill or freestyle/dancing which is absurd, it’s all skateboarding we should all be having a good time together !
Is there anything you hate to see at a PSJ?
YES ! People who don’t / won’t wear helmets even after us telling them 100 times they should. All our events make it an obligation, however I don’t even understand why we should be telling people this as it’s just so obvious. I think this also comes from the dancing/freestyle scene where 5 panels and beanies have replaced helmets, I understand some skaters feel comfortable enough to not have to wear a helmet to cross step, but I still think it’s not necessarily sending the right image to people getting into the sport. I’ve seen way too many people turn up at a Paris Skate Jam who don’t even own a helmet, and don’t understand us not letting them skate.
Any last words ?
I’d like to thank Landyachtz Longboards, Bear Trucks , and Hawgs Wheels, as well as HawaiiSurf Shop and V7 Distribution. A big shoutout to the Upper Roosters too who have helped me tremendously organising the events. Finally, thanks to mum and dad for driving me around with all the test boards, brooms, banners, prizes, etc.
Upper Roosters Instagram
Upper Roosters Youtube
Photos by Amelie Deshayes