Hailing from Albi and active on the French scene for well over twenty years, Nico Cambon keeps us amazed with his unshakeable motivation, all the more so when Yann Chochman a young man hungry for life tags along. While waiting for their video to drop, we discuss motivation, and also the very idea of solidarity with the birth of the E-FISE Athletes Fund.
N – Nicolas Cambon, 43 years old, BMX rider for more than 30 years.
Y – Yann Chochman, 24 years old, I’m a skateboarder originally, but in Albi we all mix a lot so I also have a lot of friends in BMX.
What motivated you to create this video for the E-FISE contest?
Y – I’m going to work in the industry as a videographer, and my goal here is simply to gain a little more experience. I saw the news, Nico was motivated, and that’s how it started. It gives me an excuse to film, to move around a bit; it’s always better to have a certain goal you want to be filming for.
N – For me, it also gives me the motivation to go out into the street and get the best possible footage.
Nico, have you thought this thing through a little bit beforehand?
N – No, not really. We do it lightly, we improvise, but it’s true that I don’t necessarily want to do the same stuff you see everywhere else. So we try to look for spots or tricks that aren’t really common, or find new things to do on old spots I’ve known for 30 years. I don’t want to do the same thing again. I can’t do anything bigger either, but I always enjoy looking for original stuff.
Yann, do you already have an idea in mind for the editing?
Y – No, I’m going to try and adapt to the clips and above all, I’m going to try and find music that suits me in the Universal catalog. The idea is to make a super dynamic video clip that hits strong, so I’m looking for a tune that hits the spot too.
You told me you were planning to film with a skateboarder too?
Y – Yes, I’ve got a buddy (editor’s note: Louis Bars) who’s down for it, but he recently injured his ankle so we’ll have to see if it’s going to work with the dates.
What is the main difference between filming BMX and skateboarding?
Y – It’s quite similar in itself, especially filming lines where the technique is a bit the same. In general, the filming techniques are similar, but it’s true that in BMX the tricks are often bigger, so as I’m not so used to it I make sure to learn and adapt.
Nico, is your son Sasha ready to film his minute too?
N – It’s already done haha! He’s the productive type, and one minute goes pretty fast. He’s always filming at l’Idéal (Editor’s note: the skatepark in Albi) and he’s very very good at it. All we have left to do is edit it, and then have him register in the amateur park contest.
You were riding in competitions for quite a few years, would you say that the prize money was a good addition to your salary at some point?
N – For the first five years I was pro, I would say yes, especially in the summer when there would already be events taking place every weekend. But then, it’s very rare to stay well paid by sponsors for a long period of time. If you don’t keep on working to improve yourself, many younger riders are always hungry to learn new tricks, and ready to take your spot anytime. It’s the natural process after all. At one point, when we were all a big crew together with Twenty (editor’s note: the French brand), we didn’t often ride in parks anymore, we were looking for street spots, filming videos. Once you’ve fallen into that pattern, it’s complicated to be at the same level on park and in competition.
Can E-FISE bring these two styles of riding together?
N – Yes, I think we’re going to see a lot of guys we don’t usually see on events, it’s definitely going to be interesting.
What we’ve all been missing for the last few months is the atmosphere of the events. What do you think a FISE without an audience would look like?
N – I think the riders would still do the job, so the result would still look good on TV, but something would be missing for sure. When you have a full house with people cheering you on, it gives you an incredible adrenaline rush, it motivates you to do your very best.
Does it still do it for you?
N – Definitely, it’s always better to be surrounded, by other riders or the public, rather than being alone every day in your park.
Individual sports that are practiced in groups, basically. But do you think we could talk about a real sense of solidarity in our sports?
N – Clearly. It has always existed between riders, I would even say it’s at the very heart of our practices. If someone blows a tire, you’re not going to let them walk home, you give them your spare tire…
Y – …Same as skateboarding, if you’re missing a screw or something.
To go a bit deeper and bounce back on the birth of this FISE fund for athletes, what do you guys think about this fundraiser?
Y – You often see fundraisers for the construction of D.I.Y spots, and many riders take part because it feels very real to them, and local too. They see their interest in it. Then, I don’t really know how the scene will react because a lot of riders are already struggling to finance their own practice.
N – It’s a first, so I don’t know how people will react, but I think it’s cool that we can support these sports by allowing more riders to get a fraction of the prize money. So much the better if more riders can enjoy it, and it’s always positive when people feel invested. But to be honest, I do regret that sponsors in general don’t support their riders more, when they give their everything and ride hard all year long, especially since as I said, a career in BMX is generally quite short.
WANT TO SUPPORT YOUR FAVORITE DISCIPLINES AND ATHLETES? IT HAPPENS HERE :
Interview and B&w photos : Ben Bello
Video and other pic : Yann Chochman