Hello and welcome back, now this is a somewhat weird Place Presents, because, firstly the video was online already, and secondly it is not so much a standard video. But then again, Sylvain Alcayna is anything but a standard type of person and the actions contained in this video are only logical to someone with the creative mind that Sylvain has. All in all, this is an a-typical thing for us to do but one to good to not show you, our trusted viewers, especially seeing that the new Jackass movie is dropping soon.
Intro & text by Roland Hoogwater.
Film, Edit & Performance by Sylvain Alcayna.
This story starts in 2019 in Rennes, France, where Sylvain was living in an artist-type house together with Louis Deschamps and some of his friends. “I kinda was living between Nantes and Rennes, but only in theory, I was so broke that I was avoiding paying rent. It got so bad that in Rennes I made a little space for myself in the basement, it was horrible! Soon enough Louis and the Gang asked me for some rent money.” That money never came, instead, he decided to move back in with his parents in Les Brouzils and made an appointment at the local Job Center.
It was one day before that appointment that Sylvain decided he wanted to skate this rail. “The rail was a dream spot, ever since I was young I wanted to skate it. Already as a kid, I loved skating rails and so when I moved back I thought it would be a fun idea to shock my friends by making a selfie video of me skating the rail alone.” Coupled to him being alone was the fact that nobody could see you skate the rail, in essence, the spot was isolated. Knowing Sylvain a little bit, this might not have been in his mind at the time but it becomes relevant later in this story. “This rail, although beautiful was pretty high, the run-up was also pretty slippery, I remember resetting my feet a lot and wiping the dust off my grip.” After rolling up a bit and setting up the phone the session started. “It took me one or two tries to commit to the boardslide because of the height of the rail, but back then I had more pop. Anyway, I got the boardslide and the feeble first go…” After the first few tricks his confidence grew, the ollie over the rail, the backside 50-50 went down easy as well but then…
“I tried to Backside Lipslide the rail but it was too steep, Crooks, my normal go-to didn’t work either so I went to try the Backside Smith. I got that one but I was not pleased with the landing, it was kinda surfy. I checked all the tricks and decided that I wanted another angle for some of them, so, I moved the camera and did the boardslide again. At this point my confidence was high, so no Feeble, I went straight to the Backside 50-50 this time…”
If you read this far without pressing play, please do so at this point, otherwise, you will read some spoilers.
The last thing Sylvain remembers is rolling up to the rail… “I blacked out, I don’t remember much but what I do remember was that at first, I thought my leg was broken. I have some knowledge about the human body, I went to Uni and studied sports. So after I checked for a break, I was relieved for a split second… But then the adrenaline slowly left my body and this immense pain set in. Immediately I remembered that a muscle tear is way more serious than a break.” He was about 6-Kilometers from the hospital and 6-Kilometers from his parents’ house, in immense pain and stuck in a location where nobody could see him. He decided to tiger crawl to his phone and decided to call his parents first. “I called home and my mom picked up, I asked if dad could pick me up and she told me he was in the garden, maybe he could be there in 30 minutes or something. Internally I was freaking out but I tried to stay relaxed and said: Well, then I need to call an ambulance. She said, let me call your dad first, so in the end, even though he said he was about 10 minutes away…I was stuck there in pain waiting for 30-minutes until he arrived.”
The pair went to the hospital where they did a scan, the diagnosis was made quite quickly because of the video evidence. “The doctor watched the clip, and asked me if he could show some of his co-workers, they laughed about it together. I ended up staying in the hospital for about 3 hours after which got sent home. I ended up in bed unable to move for about a month, no Job Center, a lot of pain, and this footage of me.” In the end, it took him 8-months to get back on the board, after the first month, he had to hold his leg to walk for 8 more weeks until he was walking normally. The official injury was a 50% tear of the hamstring on my front leg.
“After about 5-days I started to watch the clips, only the makes at first to make me feel good. But slowly I got into editing it with the slam. It was a bit masochistic to edit, like maybe a little bit more slow-motion on the slam, ok… let’s zoom in and replay it for extra effect… anyway I posted it on Facebook and the likes started coming in…”
Hugo Maillard wrote Magnifique, Clement Harpillard was mad because he wanted to shoot me skating the rail, he called me an idiot for wasting a good photo. But the best comment was by my ex-girlfriend’s mother who simply wrote: Just put a little tiger balm on it. That one got two likes, one by my ex and one by me.”
After a while, Sylvain finally managed to go to the Job Center and get a job, only to go to a concert get drunk, and… re-injure his leg… In the end, though he is back on the board, he found a profession as a bike mechanic, and even though he says his pop has never been the same, I would argue he is skating better than ever.
As the French say: FIN