Austin Leleu & Kyle Walsh Interview

Hey guys, could you please introduce yourselves.
Austin : Austin Leleu, 25, originally from Doylestown Pennsylvania, now living in Long Beach.
Kyle : Kyle Walsh, 21, from Chalfon, Pensylvania.

When was the first time you came to Quebec? And what brought you here?
Austin : Well I was 17 and visited concordia in the winter the first time I came to Quebec. It was cold as shit. The fire alarm went off in the middle of the night and we had to all go outside at 3am. shit was brut. The following summer my brothers Ben and Nick took our first skate trip to Montreal. I’ve been going every summer since then.

What year was it?
Austin : Summer 2013 was my first time skating Montreal. I knew there was a lot of untapped potential and I fell in love with the city.
Kyle : First time I ever been to Quebec was on my very first skate trip in the summer of 2014. It was my first time ever leaving the country, and my hometown for that matter. It was awsome, I had just turned 18 so I was eager to party in Canada. We skated a ton, my favorite stop was p45.

I like FDR too but I’d rather be at P45.”

For somebody who never came to Quebec, how would you describe it?
Kyle : What really tripped me out was how old all of the building structures looked. Especially in Quebec City. So many spots too, everything was skateble lots of concrete.
Austin : I grew up visiting my Dad’s family in France as a kid. I love Qubec because it is the perfect blend of american culture and the french culture. I thought I’d be able to understand the french in Montreal but quebecois is much harder for me to understand. The food in Quebec isn,t really like the food in France nor is it like the food in America. You pretty much just eat putine the whole time or pizza from the boys at Aldos or BBQ with p45 fam.

What are your spots here?
Austin : Ludo’s Crib is our spot. Haha, his place is a skateboarding muesem with old vhs’s, mags, and boards. Ludo is the chief, always looking after his friends. P45 would have to be my favorite DIY ever. I like FDR too but I’d rather be at P45.
Kyle : Shout out Ludo and his hospitality, he always held us down when we would visit… his spot is the sickest. Always starting our days with some strong french press coffee then go skate a bunch of differnt spots. The best stop of the trip was always p45, the skate community there is like no other.

How did you guys meet?
Austin : I think I was 13 when I first met Kyle but he was only a little kid skating with my friend’s little brother. It wasn’t until I was 20 and he was 16 when I remet Kyle at our hometown skatepark one day after work. He said he was bored and put together a skateboard with a bunch of random parts at his house. I was stoked ‘cause I didn’t have many people to skate with at the time and he was killing it! Kyle has progressed so fast and I love watching him skate, he doesn’t seem to stop raising the bar.

I grew up outside of Philadelphia in a small town and skateboarding is illegal so got in a lot of trouble with the police for skating.”

How is the skate scene in Pensylvania?
Kyle : It’s okay, I definitely like to get out of there sometimes, gotta make the most out of what we have. I think it helps make our skating more creative because where we live, spots are few and between.
Austin : It depends where you’re skating. I grew up outside of Philadelphia in a small town and skateboarding is illegal so got in a lot of trouble with the police for skating.

Kyle, you said that it was painful to get a sponsor here, because the level is really high. Are you guys still without sponsors?
Kyle : Rich Vanhorn, the owner of our shop we ride for (Dogwood) hooks us up when he can, he holds us down! But besides that no sponsors.
Austin : I am skating for Dogwood skate shop out of Langhorne, PA. I’ve never had a shoe or board sponsor. 

Thank god the skateshop exists, it seems they are doing the hard job of what the brand’s are supposed to do, find the new killers in town.
Austin : Rich Vanhorn is the sickest. He keeps a real friendly welcoming vibe at the shop and he is always out skating with the homies. Big thanks to Rich for looking after the skateboard community.

Did you google yourself?
Kyle : Never have googled myself haha
Austin : Imma creep on myself right now.

When you type Austin’s name on google, you have some gnarly skate pics, skate videos, hot chicks, and even the face of Kyle.
Austin : Well the fact that Kyle’s face comes up makes sense. Not seeing those chicks… I’m surprised you didn’t mention the rollerblading videos that pop up. Those Anthony Machione videos are the best.

I didn’t see the rollerblading, I was too distracted by the hot chicks. But when you type Kyle’s name on google, there is just dudes faces, nerds and douchebags, but not even your own face!
Austin : I looked it up online but I am the only Austin Leleu in the USA. Theres 103 Kyle Walsh’s.

You guys have travelled a lot these last years, where have you been?
Kyle : We came out to Montreal for our annual stay! Made two cross-country trips. The best trip so far was Shanghai and Tokyo, it was epic, 13 of the homies sent it! Skated so many dream spots I never thought I’d see.
Austin : I was all over the place last year. I started off my year driving from Philly to Long Beach with my friend Nick Benton. We spent 3 weeks on the road and skated all over. I did a lot of travelling in the US for this video I am making for a race car driver named Matthew Fassnacht. I did a fair amount of travelling in northern California and Oregon. But the best trip was going to Tokyo and Shanghai with the Phathouse crew. That was a real treat, those are some priceless times. 

What is the best place for you guys? Skate and living wise.
Kyle : I don’t like to be in any given place for too long I like being on the move. Many Long Beach visits though. So many good homies there.
Austin : That’s too easy, Montreal. I’d be skating and drinking a beer in Saint-Henri if I lived in Montreal.

Austin, Boardslide. Photo: Shonn Oquendo

I’ve always wondered why the gnarliest skaters often come from the U.S. where there is no free medical insurance. When other countries who have it, the skaters are mellow, and skate curb and flatground. How do you deal with that?
Kyle : Never looked at it that way, I’ve definitely made my fair share of hospital visits though, everyone does! Gotta pay to play.
Austin : If you’re skating a big handrail, the last thing you want to think is I wish I had better medical insurance in case I fuck myself up. But yeah its tough out here, I’m on uncle sam’s medical insurance plan right now. I can keep it for now as long as I make under $15,000 a year. If you had the best health insurance in the world would that make your skating get gnarlier?

The whole state of Florida is gonna be pro by the end of the year I’m calling it.”

That is the thing! People with a good health insurance are often too soft to gaps and rails! You guys hang out with Tyson Peterson, how it is to see him go from unknown to famous, on the edge to turn pro?
Kyle : He’s the best man, that kid is an Animal! He deserves it, just one of those dudes that’s meant to be on a skateboard.
Austin : It’s crazy watching homies fly into their skate career. The whole state of Florida is gonna be pro by the end of the year I’m calling it. But there’re so many sick fucks out here that people don’t really have under their radar but are starting to get some light. Myles Willard is one you should google. 

I guess it’s an example to follow for you guys?
Kyle : For sure, Tyson gets me stoked to skate.
Austin : No doubt.

You guys are gnarly! And on the edge to be recognized soon!
Austin : Real recognize real.

When are you coming back to Montreal? Austin you have an unfinished job to do…
Kyle : We will definitely be back for the next Dime glory challenge. That contest is insane.
Austin : Planning my trip now. Some time in July, I’ve gotta make some calls.

Austin, the last time I saw you, you were skating every single fucking day!
Austin : Fuck I wish I could skate everyday. It hurts but it’s the best thing in the world not having to deal with anything but skating.

What are your secrets to be so stoked on life?
Austin : Kyle probably has the right answer to this one.
Kyle : Not taking life so serious, staying in the moment with the good homies!

Ludo Charbonneau is your AirBnb in Montreal, what you could tell me about him?
Kyle : He’s the best dude on earth he’d do anything for you.. and he rips! His house is practically a skateboarding museum. Ludo is a full on legend. We owe that man big time.
Austin : Hard on the outside, soft on the inside. Love him like a brotha.

Got the face licked by Denis on the morning?
Kyle : Ahh Denis yes, he woke us every day it was quite nice.
Austin : Love that Montreal hospitality.

Ludo told me, that you were the perfect guys to host, you always cleaned your shit behind you. I just write this here in case you need a bed in another city one day, and have the proof that you are good guys to help!
Austin : Always. I have tons of visitors come stay at my crib and it’s made me realize this.

Tomorrow you turn pro, what you gonna do with your first cheque?
Kyle : I’m buying a ticket to Europe or Norway with that money. I’m trying to see more of the world.
Austin : Mexico would be fun. 

Austin, you are living between Philly and Long beach, is it a plan to get in the skate industry? Or you just escape the east coast winter?Austin : Yeah it’s been over two years and it’s getting harder to move back to Philly. It wasn’t a plan to get into the industry just fulfilling a childhood dream.

Kyle, I guess you are stoked to have your friend in Long beach during the winter! Ahaha. Tell me what is going on with Transworld?
Kyle : My good friend Alex Papke helped me get an opportunity to put out a ‘check out’ in Transworld. I’m super stoked on it, it’s coming together! 

How did you met them?
Kyle : I met Alex through some mutual homies, found myself at his house a lot.

That’s sick! Put some Austin footy in your part, help a brother out! What are your plans for 2018?
Kyle : Try and stay healthy and make it out of the country for a month or two.
Austin : Hit the east coast in July. I’m going to France for my cousin’s wedding in September so I am planning on staying out there to skate for a bit. The future is bright. 

Any last words?
Kyle : Thank you for the opportunity Babas! Montreal and Quebec has the sickest skate scene hands down!! Check you guys soon.
Austin : It’s all for the love!!! Merci Babas.

Thanks guys! You are the best.

Interview/ Photos: Babas Levrai

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