Interview by Aster Lambert Geeroms
United by their passion of skateboarding, XL regroups seven guys who are all based in Brussels. Their ultimate goal is to improve their skateboarding skills while simultaneously releasing videos. So far, they have already released their first part, which you can watch here!
XL counts seven guys, each with their own specific niche. Firstly, next to studying Art History, Jérôme doubles as Brussels’ up and coming jeweller who specializes in funky rings and zines. Secondly, we have Benjamin and Rodrigue who are pursuing carpentry when they aren’t skateboarding. Then we have Leo and Tim, who are both attending La Cambre, where the former is finishing a degree in photography, and the latter is finishing a degree in typography. Next, Hippolyte is completing a degree in architecture. Finally, Brian lives between Antwerp and Brussels so that he can attend the Royal Fashion Academy while also skating with his crew in the nation’s capital.
What struck me the most with this team is how everyone’s individual vocation – their studies, jobs and interest – are all reunited through skateboarding. The carpenters build modules, the photographers film the parts, the designer creates skateable clothes, and the artists make animations for their videos. Even the most academic types are able to include skateboarding in their thesis’: whether it be about brutalist skateable architecture or in creating a font that looks like modules. Besides, all levels are welcomed and included in their crew. The fact that they skate out of passion is marker of their love and inclusivity for the sport.
Consolidated during the first confinement, XL originated in the most Brussels way possible. The skaters had common friends and ended up skating into each other quite often. From there on, a group chat was created in order to organise sessions. Finally, the guys decided to leave for Rotterdam for their first skate trip and part, which is where XL was really born.
For the (aspiring) skateboarders that currently reside in Brussels or are planning to come visit, XL let me know that their favourite spots are Place Morichar, Trône and Skate café. Each spot is a perfect example of the Brussels skate community where advice, beers, and more is constantly being shared. Obviously, since it’s Brussels, all of these spots are free and open to everybody – even those who don’t skate and just want to chill. The XL crew precises that they have also scouted the ULB campus where they have found an abundance of little spots to skate on as well.
Their future projects include the aforementioned modules which Tim is creating as part of his studies. And then, obviously, XL is set out to keep travelling, skating and filming. Their newest part was just released which you can find here!