Tim Debauché – I Forgive You
Following in the footsteps of his father Bruno – who, as a journalist and TV presenter, played a huge role in the democratisation of skateboarding in France in the late 1990s/early 2000s – and his older brother Matt – one of the most gifted ledge technicians to come out of the south-west of the country – Tim is the third Debauché to make a name for himself in our little world.
It also weirdly happens to be his third attempt at working with us on a project, and it’s one that has come to fruition thanks to the support of, you guessed it, the three stripes. So yeah, we’ve decided to go full Bobby Puleo on you guys and assume that the presence of this magic number in these completely unrelated facts has some sort of deeper significance and that it should be used to extract whatever information we can from this humble 22-year-old.
As I was preparing the piece, my deep, deep dive into the world of numerology landed me on cosmopolitan.com where their experts emitted the theory that ‘wherever the number three shows up in your life, it’s generally an omen of creativity, communication, optimism, and curiosity.’ Now
I’m no specialist here, but judging by Tim’s photos and how we did end up getting him to open up about a bunch of stuff, I’m inclined to think that they’re on to something…
– Arthur Derrien
Photography by Clément Le Gall
Three manga comics or anime films/shows you’d recommend to the uninitiated?
Vinland Saga, Your Lie In April and Death Note. When me and my brother were really young we were obsessed with Dragon Ball Z. Like every day we’d watch episodes, played the video games and we had all the manga comics. And I guess from there I kind of branched out and stayed really into them… The three that I picked here are pretty different from each other and are all a little bit different from the classic Dragon Ball Z style manga that just focuses on someone with superpowers.
Vinland Saga is kinda based around Vikings and nobody really has any superpowers. The story’s really good and it’s kinda more of a history-focused one.
Your Lie In April is completely different and revolves around classical music. It’s about this his mother passes away and he has a mental breakdown. But then he meets a girl, falls in love and she gets him back into it. This one’s actually a really good one for people that don’t necessarily watch much anime. It’s just really interesting, beautiful and easy to get into.
Death Note is more of an obvious one and it’s also a lot darker. It’s the story of a 17-year-old who finds a notepad in which if he writes someone’s name then that person will die in 40 seconds. And he goes mental ha ha, he basically kills all the criminals in Japan and in the rest of the world. That one is really well thought out.
The three reasons Noah Mahieu is one of your favourite people to skate with?
I love skating with Noah because we always have such a good laugh. Like if we’re out on a session seriously and always find ways to mess about, on or off the skateboards. I’ll always have really fond memories of our sessions and I feel like we should really try to go out together more when we’re at home… Our Frogtown sessions were definitely some of the most jokes ever. Even some of the street missions on that trip were hilarious.
The other big thing is that he’s always incredibly motivating, and that’s whether you’re actually trying something in the streets or just at the park chilling. Countless times he’s been there to push me if I’ve been struggling to get something… Plus he’s the first to get his hands dirty if a spot needs fixing, rub-bricking, some Bondo or whatever, even if it’s a spot he’s not necessarily going to skate and that always makes you feel good.
The last thing is that I just love watching him skate. He’s so stylish and comfortable on his board that everything looks easy, it’s so satisfying… Like you can tell he’s really taking pleasure when he’s skating and there’s nothing I enjoy more than seeing that in a skater. I could sit and watch him skate for hours on sessions…
Three memories from your various trips to LA?
The hill bomb slam Ruben Delisle (who we were out there filming with) took is definitely a memory that stands out. You know that spot where there’s a white barrier at the top of a hill that people go over and then bomb the hill? Nick Michel cabs it in a recent part… Well for some reason he was super keen to skate that day and so me and Noah started egging him on to bomb the whole thing, saying he’d get 50 dollars from each of us if he did it. And it’s a reeeeeeeeally long hill. Plus it’s kinda hard to tell just from looking at it quite how much speed you’re going to pick up. But yeah, then I guess my mate Daniel picked up the camera and next thing you know Ruben’s tightening his trucks up to do it!
How did it go?
Not well. He did the worst possible speed wobble when he got to the bottom and went flying, took it all straight to the shoulder, dislocated it and was covered in scabs. I had to spend five hours at the hospital with him… Me and Noah felt so bad for getting him to do it… It was terrible.
Another one that comes to mind is from one of the many nights we spent at Andrew Peters’ house drinking beers around the fire. We met Andrew on our first trip out there and he quickly took us under his wing, coming to pick us up and driving us around from spot to spot, inviting us back to his place to chill after the sessions… Which is kind of crazy because thinking back to the first time we met him out skating with Ryan (Townley) we were definitely pretty intimidated.
But anyway, one of Andrew’s best friends is an artist that lives just below him, a guy called McHenry who paints, tattoos, etc. And last year when we were drunk I got Noah to draw something for this guy to tattoo on me so when we went back this year we were keen to get another one… But we got a bit too pissed and Andrew requested that I write ‘nephew’ on him, which I completely butchered, and then he wrote ‘uncle’ on me and Noah. But again, look at the state of it (pulls out a barely legible scribble on his arm). He didn’t know what he was doing, ha ha, he fully fucked my arm up.
The last one is from the first week of our first trip out there. This was when we were staying around Echo Park and still just going around from spot to spot with our boards. This one time me and Noah were chilling on our phones after having skated that famous circular manual pad with the bricks all around it, like just sat there eating donuts not far from this liquor store. I remember it being just us two because Ruben had just gone on a mission to try and find somewhere to take a shit… And this huge coked up dude comes up to us, nonstop sniffing, touching his nose and moving all crazy, and shouts at us to get up! This dude was terrifying so we did what he said. He then takes me aside, pulls a wad of cash out and tells me to go into the liquor store to buy him some vodka or some shit… I tried explaining to him that I wasn’t 21 and that I wouldn’t be allowed to, but he kept insisting and kicking off, saying that it had to be me ’cause he banned, and because he his gun on him! And he rearranged his basketball shorts and I could see the gun! Then he started super forcibly telling me that he wanted me to step into his caravan with him and this thing looked so sketchy… That’s the point when I had to be like, ‘you know what, fuck it, we’re legging it.’ We grabbed all our shit and started running as fast as we could away from him.
What about Ruben?
Well luckily he just appeared at that moment all peaceful and relaxed from his successful mission ha ha. You should have seen his face when he saw us running as fast as we could towards him with all the stuff ha ha, it confused the hell out of him.
The three most influential people in your life?
The first person I’d pick is probably my mum. She’s got so much energy and has always done everything she possibly could for me and my brother as she raised us alone; I find her incredible. She’s definitely one of the most inspiring people in my eyes and I’d love to one day have her strength.
Then I’d say my brother. We’re not as close as we once were but we’ve always done everything together since we were little. I’ve always been really impressed by him and his skating, and always wanted to be like him since I was young. He’s been a very influential person, for skating but also beyond that.
Finally I’d like to say my father, even if he’s no longer amongst us he will always remain a role model for me. It’s thanks to him that we both started skating and that we grew up immersed in that whole culture. He transmitted so many great things to us, whether it’s around skateboarding, music or travelling and I’ll always be grateful for that. I think he’s probably the person I’d like to resemble the most when I’m older.
If you could only watch three video parts for the rest of your life, what would you pick?
Tony Cervantes in Zero’s New Blood: I’ve got that video on DVD and it was one of my first videos with Almost Round 3… I watched it so many times when I was like 8/9. I was a big airwalk guy back then ha ha.
Then there’s Jake Johnson in Mindfield. That one came a little later when I started looking up videos on YouTube and stuff and I instantly loved it. It really made me realise how important style, editing, etc. was. I’m also a big fan of Omar Salazar’s part in that video.
Mike Carroll in Fully Flared was also a big one for me mainly because at the time me and my brother were listening to a lot of Three 6 Mafia so when that part came on with that song we lost it. But again it’s hard to narrow it down to one part in that video because Lucas’ part was also a big influence, as were the other French guys in there.
Three fucked up tricks you’ve seen your brother roll away from?
Flip bs tail bigspin the flatbar at our local skatepark when I was nine. For some reason that one really stuck with me…
He also varial heeled the 5-block in Irun when he was like 12 or 13. They’re the ones that Dylan fakie 360 flips in Mindfield. I wasn’t even old enough to go with them on the session but I remember how watching the footage felt when they got home and showed me, again that’s one that really stood out to me at the time.
And then I’ll say the bigspin flip over that gap in Bilbao, which ended up being the ender of his Free part. The way he did that one was unreal, like so beautiful.
Three best things about living in Anglet?
It’s really good for cycling around, which I love, as it’s by the sea, there’s a forest you can check out… And that’s how I get to Biarritz most of the time. It’s like a 10-minute cycle from mine.
It’s also close to the Pyrenees so it’s amazing to go on big hikes or to go camping. Drive an hour and a half and you can be completely immersed in nature, with waterfalls and endless beautiful bits to explore.
And then finally you’re super close to Spain, which is good for skating as there’s loads of spots… It’s like a 20-minute drive away and Clém (Le Gall) has a car and is always down for a mission.
Three worst things about living in Anglet?
That there’s not really that many spots ha ha. I mean there’s some stuff but it’s not like there’s one big street spot where you can just skate and hang out all day with your mates without getting kicked out. It’s more little bits where you’d go try to film something… That’s kind of why we skate the skatepark in Bayonne so much; it’s the best option if you want to just have a mellow one. I’m there most days.
A big downside about living here is just how busy it gets in the summer. Like right now it’s hell. There’s not that much to do here in the evenings other than go for beers on the beach with your mates and doing that when there’s another thousand people doing the same thing is a nightmare. September is the best time to come.
It does also rain quite a bit here…
Three things you’d like for yourself in the near future?
To be completely honest with you it’s been a bit of a rough year for me, I lost two close friends in the space of six months and was finding it hard to stay motivated at times, but I’ve been working through it and I’m feeling excited to film again and really try to get out there. And I can feel that the more I’m skating the better I’m feeling…
But yeah all that to say is that I don’t exactly have any big goals I’ve set out for myself, I just want to be happy, keep skating as much as possible and make the most of the time I have with my friends and my family.
Three reasons to go fishing instead of skating on a certain day?
It’s too hot that day, it’s an excuse to drink beers and you get to properly catch up with your friends? Like we’re not deep, deep into it, like say Doobie or someone, but it’s a super relaxing thing to do, even if you don’t catch anything. It’s more about just being around it and chilling by the water with your mates.