collabs - 26.08.2020

All in the Family - Brothers On Wheels

What were you doing when you were 4? Or when you were 7? We were trying to figure out how to kick a ball and how to tie our laces. Elie and Achille however, also known as the @5050brothers, can be found tearing up skateparks and riding their boards as much as they can. Their passion for skateboarding and their amazing energy made us super curious as to what their story was. So, we decided to follow them on their recent family road trip to Portugal. We learned all about ollies, fakies, surfing and… sushi.
wordsBjorn Dossche
picturesThomas Van Den Driessche

Hi Elie and Achille! First things first. How long have you been skateboarding? How did you get into it?
Achille: It’s been about a year and a half for me. When I was little, I used to walk by Place Morichar, which is a big skateboarding spot in Brussels. Whenever I’d pass there, I’d say “Achille skate, skate” (laughs). My parents didn’t understand right away, I was just 2 years old and couldn’t speak that well yet. One day they finally understood and got me a skateboard. Since I was quite small, I kept falling so they hid the skateboard. I found it again when I was 6 and this time my parents couldn’t say no any longer.

Elie, is it Achille that helped you discover skateboarding? Is it cool to skate together?
Elie: I followed in Achille’s footsteps and my dad also taught me… Well, actually no, my dad isn’t that good at skateboarding (laughs), he started when I did. I used to have a tiny board and I wanted to do everything like my big brother. It’s super cool to go riding with Achille.

Do you have a favorite skateboarder? Someone that inspires you?
Achille: Christian Hosoï! He was one of the best skateboarders on ramps and bowls in the ‘80s, the same generation as Tony Hawk. Tony is tricks, Christian is style! He had long hair and was wearing three shirts on top of one another… So cool!
Elie: I have two! Jay Adams and Tony Alva! They are old-school skateboarders. Jay Adams was a Los Angeles Z-Boy. He was both a surfer and a skateboarder.

Some people think that skateboarders are dangerous or kind of crazy… What do you think about that?
Achille: That’s not true! Skateboarding is a sport, that’s it. It’s like saying people riding on an electric scooter are mean. Nobody would jump to that conclusion. A board and wheels doesn’t turn you into a dangerous person. Skateboarders can be a little rebellious, that’s true. They don’t dress like everyone, they dress like punks (he says with a big smile).
Elie: Pfff… Absolutely not! One of my best friends at the skatepark never wears a shirt and has tattoos all over his arms and his belly. Another guy has a mustache, I’m starting to have one too! (laughs). They do dangerous things on their boards, but they’re super nice.
Your friends seem to have a pretty rad style! Tell us, is there a special “skater attire” ? What's your favorite outfit to skateboard with? 
Achille: I almost always wear shorts and long socks when I skate in a bowl. All year round, even in winter! I’ve got a lot of cool socks too. They’re practical with the big knee pads and they hide the bruises and wounds I get all the time. When I'm just going out with friends to skate in the streets, without protection, I prefer pants. I don't like clothes that are too tight for skating, so I wear baggy jeans with an old Led Zeppelin t-shirt. I also like wearing grey, black or pink hoodies and sometimes a checkered shirt. Oh, and I almost always wear a hat! I’ve got hats in a lot of different colors... That way I don't have to style my long hair and they keep my head warm.
Elie: Just like Achille, I've got lots of socks, hats and caps… I almost always wear hoodies and my Thrasher or Dogtown Z-Boys t-shirt. Since my pants are too big, I use a rope as a belt like my friend Valère!

Skateboarding can get pretty wild though. Are you never afraid to hurt yourself?  
Achille: Sometimes I’m afraid. When I do a rock to fakie in a big bowl for example. That’s when you put your front wheels over the coping of the bowl and then you roll backwards back into the bowl. If all goes according to plan you do so without falling (laughs) 
Elie: Yes, I do get scared… But I still go for it anyway!

What’s a trick that you would do to impress us?
Achille: A fakie disaster, a 50/50 of course and… oh yeah, an acid drop! That one is scary. It’s when you roll on the edge of the ramp and you dive in without stopping or grabbing hold. It’s a scary sensation, like eating 2 or 3 peppers all at the same time.
Elie: I know how to do a big drop and an ollie.

Skateboarding’s an Olympic sport now. Would you guys like to go to the Olympic games to represent Belgium one day?
Achille:  I don’t think so. I’d rather go for field hockey. It’d be cool to win with a team rather than on my own. Skateboarding is good to have fun with friends, not for competition.
Elie: What are Olympic games? Can you win a gold medal? Then yes, I’d love to go win the Olympics! (laughs)

How would you describe your road trip to Portugal? How was it? How was surfing for the first time? Is it very different from skateboarding?
Achille: The trip was awesome! Surfing for the very first time was super cool! When you take off and you get up on your board, the feeling is just perfect. I get bored in a pool, but the ocean is different with the waves and everything… So much is happening! I still like skateboarding better but maybe that’s because I’m just better at it right now. 
Elie: I loved Portugal and the big waves! Surfing is the best thing in the world. Better than anything else. Even better than skateboarding! I fell in water a lot, but still loved it.

Now that school’s starting again, where can we find you after school?
Achille: At the Ursulines skatepark or on our patio. We put up some ramps there for skateboarding. Perfect! 
Elie: I like to ride my board in the street when I come back from school.

Thanks so much boys! Last question. What’s a skateboarder’s favorite food?
Achille: Fries! And… hmmm… I love maki sushi! I like them with rice, mango, salmon and Japanese mayonnaise… Sometimes I get shrimps instead of salmon. When I’m older, if I can’t ride a skateboard anymore then I want to be a maki chef!
Elie: Skateboarders drink milk and they eat mangos.


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