With a title hearkening back to the golden early aughts of skateboarding, I’d be forgiven to have only indulged myself in Bastien’s latest part for the selfish pleasure of reliving my youth. However, the reality is that a skater of his style and talent transcends the physical reality that we mortals occupy and manages to deliver a time bending portal back to those heady Flip days of Rowley, Arto, and Appleyard with stunning synchronicity.
Bastien, like Miko Mo or Sean Malto, had remarkable style and power even as a 15 year old, a seemingly innate ability that apparently never leaves. He was a powerhouse of consistency and confidence, winning major American and European contests in his early career, but will ultimately be defined by his dual parts in Flip’s seminal “Sorry” and “Really Sorry” videos. Standing out as a talent of reckoning alongside Geoff Rowley is no small feat, but with ground-breaking flip tricks into handrails and one of the best full-cab flips in the world, Bastien was hungry for skateboarding excellence and clearly excelling fast.
That same acceleration is what would ultimately take him off the rails into substance abuse and deteriorating relationships with his sponsors, depriving the world of almost a decade of precious footage from the revered Frenchman. His absence only serves to make this triumphal return all the more exhilarating though, as I begin to realize just how much I’ve missed his amazing double flips, bigflips, and aggressive skating. Here’s to a modern resurgence of a classic talent, as we all hope to see much more of Bastien in the months and years to come.
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