Last July we traveled around Europe and the US with Xswipe on the Xswipe and Loopkicks World Tricks Tour! During our few days in France we spoke to Vivien Youlou, widely regarded as one of the strongest men in existence, about his tricks and experiences as a tricker, his injuries, and his upcoming plans. Keep in mind this is slightly out-dated, these are Vivien's thoughts as of July 2013! My name is Vivien Youlou, and I started tricking at the end of 2006. I come from France and I am 23 years old. And right now I am really tired. We’re currently in the World Tour, staying in a little city in France before going to the Czech Republic, and in a really good gym chilling before the session starts at 5:00pm tonight.
Tell us a bit about this year’s tour.
I wasn’t on the tour last year, but this tour is really fun. I’ve shared a lot of amazing times already with Scotty, Phill, James, other people, and it’s been really good. I’m proud to be on the tour and enjoying it a lot.
You’re injured at the moment. How is recovery going?
It’s getting better every day, but it’s so important that I’m careful with it, I will see. I saw a specialist about my knee and they said they can work on it so that I’m back to 100% in one month, so I’m feeling hopeful. That is probably my last chance to get back to tricking the way I was before so I’m hoping it will work! At this point Scott interrupted.Scotty:
Hey Vivien, are you doing an interview? Vivien: Scotty, you have to know, I am a tricking star now Scotty: Woah, I didn’t mean to offend you. Can you teach me to be a tricking star? What do I do? Vivien: First step, be black.
Who do you look up to as a tricking hero?
I don’t really try to be like a particular tricker. I know that every tricker brings something unique to the tricking community, and I think that every great tricker has to be proud of that, of what makes them unique. If you're always trying to be like a particular person you will never bring something new to the table, you have to bring a part of you when tricking, and that is the most important thing. If there are many different trickers in the tricking community, the greater variety of people exist in our world, and that's really important as tricking can bring a lot of good things to a lot of different people. That's why I don't really want to be like a different tricker, I just want to be me. I am proud of my life, of what I do, and if I just help one person in the tricking community to enjoy his or her own life, that's enough for me.
What is the hardest part of being Vivien Youlou?
There's two things. In France there are some people who don't really like the way we trick, and it's really hard for me. I've always tried to make the tricking community one big family, and I don't think they really want this to happen, they don't feel our way to trick. The problem is that for them I am the representation of what they disagree with, and there's a lot of people who say bad things about me because of this. No matter how hard I try with this there never seems to be a good answer or solution to this. The second thing; A lot of people assume that everything is easy for me because I can jump very high, and that couldn't be more wrong! It's really hard for me to dub-dub, I don't mean to be cocky but often my first dub is so high that it's impossible for me to do the second dub. It's for that reason that I've never done a dub-dub in combos, it's one of the hardest things for me. People think that when you can twist fast or you can go high, you have everything you need to be a good tricker, but I always say to my students 'the only thing that will make a difference between you and any other tricker is what's in your mind.' I am not a good tricker because of my height, I am a good tricker because I train a lot and I constantly have the drive to be better and better. I think that's the hardest thing about being me; people think that everything is easy for me. It's not.
What's next for you?
This current time is a really bad period of my tricking life due to my injury. I'm trying to get better and trying to come back even better than before. So I don't publish a lot of videos on YouTube because at the moment I'm not really proud of what I'm currently doing. But I hope that this experience can bring to the tricking community, and any people who do sport, the idea that if you really want to, you can do anything. Right now I probably can't trick like I could before. I've just found someone who can help me though, and if it works I promise that I will share the steps I went through and what I did. I also want to say if you really want to and have the drive to make your goals and dreams come true, keep following them and they will happen.