Interview with Antoine Delpero
Far from the spotlights of the ASP World Tour, Antoine Delpero became the best European and French longboarder ever in 2008 finishing a spectacular run on the ASP World Longboard Tour with an overall second place.
1. Two finals, ASP World Longboard No.2... Happy with the year?
Second in the world, second European as well. It is frustrating not to get any title despite trying hard so I cannot say I am satisfied with the year. I am tired of the number 2 and I know that as long as you don’t get the crown, it doesn’t really mean anything. However, looking back on 2008, it’s still a good performance and I will take it and use that experience for next year.
2. You seemed very strong both lentally and physically in 2008. What did you lack to win one of these two finals?
I think I lacked a bit of confidence at these two events, but maybe more in the last one in California because I knew there was the world title to be taken and that I was in good position to get it. When I think about my opponents, there is nothing else I can say except that Bonga Perkins is really impressive both in and out the water.
3. What is you plan for next year?
I am definitely going back for the title and I have a three year comitment with my sponsor Oxbow so I really will be there whenever there is an event going on. I just need to work more on some details that can make a big difference in competition.
4. In the last couple of years, two French longboarders ended second in the world (Justine Dupont in 2007). With the recent performances of European surfers around the world, the sport is growing but do you feel it is the same for longboarding?
Well, apart from Oxbow’s support, which is a French brand, there is almost no support at all for longboarding in the surfing industry. The big brands like Quiksilver or Rip Curl don’t pay attention to our division and it is pretty surprising because I am sure there is at least 50% of surfers in the world that are longboarders. Longboarding is a lot easier for beginners so it does reach a lot of people. On the other hand, longboarding is older and less spectacular but there are many other aspects of the sport that could definitely be highlighted, like the “artistic” side of it and the style.
5. Being a professional longboarder nowadays... Easy? Tough? What’s the atmosphere on tour?
It is hard to make a living as a professional longboarder, even when you are one of the best in the world. Most of the guys on the ASP World Longboard Tour have other jobs and with two events a year there is plenty of time to do something else. But there is a good atmosphere between us generally. However, even if from the outside it seems very cool, everyone wants to win and we all go for it as hard as we can. I have good relations with a few of the guys like Matthew Moir (Durban, ZAF) and with most of the other European longboarders.
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