We spoke to Belgian skater Jarne Verbruggen (@jarneverbruggen) about his new thrasher part “professional life”, the recent Jacky video and what life is like under lockdown in the beautiful French coastal town of Biarritz. Links to both the videos are at the bottom of the page. Interview conducted on the 30th April 2020.
Interview: Robert Delaney (@robertjdelaney)
(Right) FS rock and roll. Photo by Pim Notebaert (@pimnutbeard)
Robert: How’s Biarritz, what’s going on there?
Jarne: It’s pretty strict actually, like you can’t really do much, you need a paper to go out and you can only go out for one hour a day.
Robert: Oh, yeah? that’s crazy!
Jarne: Yeah everything’s closed.
Robert: That’s insane. I think we’ve all seen your quarantine antics up on Instagram, just wanted to ask about how else you’ve been filling your time, what else have you been doing?
Jarne: Well I’ve actually been going back and forth to a friend of mine’s house, being in the space of 1km because we can’t go further than 1km. I go biking around a lot. I'm not skating that much because I’ve just come off an injury with my foot. Just walking, checking the beach, yeah it’s pretty gnarly to check out the beach because it's close to us. It’s still nice to be around the ocean you know? We live in a pretty cool place, it’s the off season now so we have a really gnarly place that’s normally really expensive. We have a golf course in the garden and we have the ocean right next to us so we just started playing golf actually.
Robert: No way that’s sick!
Jarne: Yeah it’s pretty sick, I don’t know why we didn’t do that earlier but we just got some golf sticks and playing some golf. We’re pretty stoked just chilling in the garden, having fun with my roommate (Rafa Cort), making videos for Instagram.
Robert: Yeah I saw those.
Jarne: Yeah man, watching movies, trying to keep in contact with my family and stuff.
Robert: For sure! I wanted to ask just on the topic of movies, you got any recommendations of skate videos, films or music that’s keeping you sane through whatever the hell is going on in the world at the moment?
Jarne: Yeah, I like to rewatch the videos that I’ve always loved, like the old videos I used to watch. There is so much new footage coming out every day. I feel like I’m going back to the stuff I like because I don’t really like the videos coming out, I don’t watch everything anymore. I like to be able to look back at old stuff like say “Sorry” (Flip) or Habitat’s “Mosaic” or like “Mindfield” (Alien Workshop). We’ve been watching a load of Tarantino movies too which are always great to watch.
Robert: Just staying on the topic of videos, the new Jacky video features some really heavy clips, it’s a really gnarly video. What tricks in the video really stood out for you, what was the sickest stuff from it?
Jarne: The BS 50 by Jeremie (Plisson) on that gnarly big ledge because we went there a few times and he had already done the bottom part of it. Jeremie is like a total legend here (in Biarritz) and it was just like a pretty crazy mental battle for him. He always wanted to do this and we started filming for this video and he was like “yeah I’m gonna do it”. It was super cool, he got motivated to do it and it was crazy. I think we went like two times and its gnarly because the ledge is so fucked up to grind. He just stayed on and everyone was there so it was a pretty cool moment.
Robert: Yeah that was awesome, was there any other tricks that stood out for you?
Jarne: Yeah like Charlie’s (Charles Delignette) trick where he jumps onto his board laying on the pole.
Robert: Yeah when he jumps the gap, that was sick!
Jarne: And Sammy (Sammy Mould), Sammy’s wall ride, that’s one of my favourites for sure because he’s been killing it the whole time. He’s a really unique skater, he'll skate anything it's crazy. And all the tricks by my roommate Rafa (Rafa Cort) are sick. We met here, we started living here at the same time and we moved in together. It was really cool to get to know Rafa, do this video with him and I really love his skating so yeah!
Robert: Carrying on with the topic of video parts, your “Professional Life” part on Thrasher has been one of the most talked about skate videos this year. That plant plot clip had everyone like “wha the fuck? that’s so gnarly!” but I wanted to ask about what happened with the car hitting you and the rest of that clip?
Jarne: Yeah that was crazy because I nearly went under the car. I was sliding on my ass and was like “oh fuck I’m gonna go under the car”. I was really scared to go under but I was on my back and had my feet up so I pushed on the bumper. It was pretty crazy because the guy in the car was super soft. He thought he ran over me and he came out of the car shaking, I was like “I’m fine I’m fine”.
Robert: It's good he wasn’t an absolute arsehole about it!
Jarne: Exactly, people in Italy are gnarly sometimes. Especially when they’re in cars and you’re skating, they don’t really dig it. He was really sweet and I felt really bad we shocked him like that. He was more shocked than us actually! I was fine it could’ve been a lot worse.
Robert: Yeah definitely.
Jarne: There’s gonna be a rough cut coming out so you can see the whole part.
Robert: Oh, no way, can’t wait for that! Just carrying on with that video, the classical music added a really unique touch, you don’t really see that in too many videos. How much input did you have in choosing the tunes for your part?
Jarne: Guillaume (Perimony) chose the first song and I chose the second song. We went to Croatia, the whole first part is filmed in Croatia, and it’s just the great song. The funny thing is, Guillaume already knew the song before we did the trip to Croatia so he said “hey we can use this one”. It was perfect. Using classical music is in one way makes it quite funny but also quite serious you know? It brings a hype. It has a lot to say and makes everything quite epic. We had some problems with the rights though. The part should’ve come out six months before but because of the second song we couldn’t put it up. Guillaume actually made it himself on software.
Robert: Oh, no way, that’s sick.
Jarne: Yeah, Guillaume actually made the song. The song was over 200 years old that’s why we wanted to use it. He (Guillaume) was like “yeah for sure that’s gonna be cheap”. Then we couldn’t find the people who made it so Guillaume just said "fuck it" and did it in two days on software.
Robert: You’re the king of rough staired hill bombs especially switch. You got any tips for not absolutely dying on these?
Jarne: The key is don’t be scared! Just have fun doing it because if you’re scared, that’s when you slam. I notice whenever I’m not scared I make it. I think speed wobbles come a lot from shaky legs, so if you’re feeling comfortable and confident you have more of a chance of making it. A lot of its just in your head, just have fun going down. There’s nothing more fun that a good thrill!
(Left) Tail-drop. Photo by Roger Ferrero (@rogerferrero)
Robert: So just to round this all off, you have no board sponsor after recently leaving Element a decade after they put you on. Loads of people have been leaving Element at the moment like Mason Silva, Evan Smith, Tyson (Peterson), what do you thinks gonna happen with Element in the future?
Jarne: I don’t really know man. I think they’ll just stay Element. They’ve got some new kids on there like Victor Cascarigny, Maité (Steenhoudt), Jaakko (Ojanen). They’ve got a really sick team and I think it’s gonna be a new era for Element. I skated for them for ten years and my time was good and I had fun so I think they’ll be fine!