"No Idea" Alltimers in LA

By Daniel Wheatley
Photos by Colin Sussingham
Captions by ET

The Alltimers boys showed up to Los Angeles this winter, like most East Coast skaters do, itching to skate and ready to see a woman that isn’t all pale and wearing a puffy Marmot jacket (and frowning, I would imagine). While all the boys' stories about how cold it was back East sounded very familiar and boring, it wasn’t until Will Marshall spouted off facts about the arctic temperatures back in his home of Montreal that I began to realize how much of a terrible nuisance winter really is. “Wheat, back in Montreal it’s so cold they had to take the penguins in at the zoo.” “Wheat, did you know that at -40 degrees Celsius and Fahrenheit both mean the same thing?” “Wheat, did you know it’s two degrees colder in Montreal than it is on Mars?” “Wheat, if you walk outside in Montreal without a face mask, your skin will burn.” For Christ’s sake, how many hideous Marmot jackets does it take to survive in such a place? As we proceeded to the nearest Ralph’s to buy every Corona in the store, the Northeasterners agreed unanimously: “Fuck the cold, LA is the best place on Earth and In-N-Out is way better than Shake Shack.” On our trip to the grocer I had the unique privilege of meeting the child the Alltimers call ET. The only way I can describe him would be to have you imagine the coolest French-Canadian eighth grader you’ve ever met, dressed as if it were 1995, mispronouncing every word that he hasn’t learned from the latest Rich the Kid song. And just when you think there is no way this kid, who you could swear you've seen on an episode of Global Guts 15 years ago, could even give a shit about skating, he lackadaisically steps on his board and makes it look as if he came out of the womb on the thing. The next two weeks flew by bringing ET and the boys to all of the cool-looking-but-actually-terrible spots they had seen in Logan Lara’s videos, and filming some final tricks for Alltimers’ upcoming video, No Idea. Rather than bore you with a rundown of my memories from the two-week trip, I hit up Etienne “ET” Gagne to get his take on the mission. 

DSC 5653 750px“ET”

What’s going on, ET?
Chilling, waking up. About to go to bed soon. 

Have you ever had an interview before?
Not really. No. 

DSC 3831 750pxFucking Colin told me he was gonna buy me a 12-pack of ‘roners if I did a backside lipslide down this rail. I didn’t do it the first day ‘cause I was too drunk but I came back and did it in a couple try. Pretty easy

Before we get into it, how long have you been speaking English? Rob Harris, the Alltimers co-owner, wants to make sure people don’t think after reading this that your parents pulled you out of school at age 12 to pursue skateboarding. 
Four or five years. 

DSC 6231 750px
I heard that two or three years ago you barely spoke English at all. How did you learn the language so quickly?
Chilling with Ben Blundell and Dustin Henry and all these guys. And going to their loft in Montreal to chill. Let me get my shit together.

ben blundell sw bs heel 750pxThis is Benjamin Blundell switch backside heelflipping the Dylan Rieder street gap. I don’t know what he did here but rest in peace. It’s a pretty good spot. He did it pretty quick, with a lot of steez. Wearing a toque and he’s shirtless, I like that

Dude, get your shit together. This is Thrasher.
Yeah, The Bible. Who said that?

Who said what?
Like, how did they came up to me? 

DSC 6219 750pxDustin Henry killing it—fronstside flip, alley oop, just like Reynolds. Fuckin’ good. He owns this spot. Perfect. I like it

They just reached out and said they wanted me to interview you. Let’s focus. Does listening to tons of rap music help your English or do you think that might hurt you a bit? 
Fuckin’ hurts, actually. For sure. Just start learning all these dumb words and keep saying them.

Okay, well if this is your first interview that the world will see, tell everyone your name, where you’re from and what hair products you like using.
Okay. So, wait—what was the deal? 

DSCF9747 750pxHopping fence with all the boys. See Rob in the cut. Chuck doesn’t have to hop it, can probably just jump it. Classic LA vibes, ya know

What is your name?
Etienne Gagne.

DSC 3092 750pxThat’s me 50-50ing a rail someone Smithed before but who cares. It was fun. It was sick. I was stressed. Some lady was screaming at us. I still did it. I don’t care. Big drop, scary rail

Where are you from?
Born in Montreal, but live in South Shore.

And what do you like to put in your hair?
Coconut oil.

DSCF9963 750pxThe boys in the van. Dustin trying to intimidate Tyler. Probably didn’t work. Chuck looking good. I dunno what he’s thinking and I don’t know what I’m thinking about, too

Why coconut oil? 
’Cause it’s fuckin’ good for you and because I have, like, super thick hair and it goes like an afro and it’s not the best.

DSC 5029 750pxOh my God—Delaney, that back tail was crazy! Really good, slid the whole thing, almost dropped to 50-50. Classic Delaney. Really good—with style

In skateboarding there’s a lot of shit nicknames. How did you get a cool one? Who gave you the nickname? 
My cool nickname is ET.

No, who gave you the nickname and why?
Christian and Ben, because they couldn’t say my name right. Now every time I meet an English people at first I just say, “Yo, my name’s ET,” ’cause it’s way easier. I don’t have to deal with all this Etienne bullshit; it’s annoying.

If you had to pick another nickname, what would it be? And you can’t pick The Featch. It’s already taken.  
Bam? 

Also taken. 
Fuck.

So was this your first time in LA? 
No, I came to LA when I was 16 by myself with one of my friends. Kinda crazy—we had no car and would Uber from Venice to every spot. I got hit by a car the last day I was there. 

Damn, hit by a car?
I was bombing a hill and crossed a street without looking. She was driving. You know when you go down a hill but don’t press the gas? So I couldn’t hear her, and she just bumped me and I got focused. Did a front flip and broke my board. 

DSC 4966 750pxAh, that was the day crazy Tyler Warren killed it: he almost got hit by cars, smashed into cars but still did it really good. I like this style. You see all the homies in it; it’s really good, nice trees. Switch noseslide to switch hill bomb of pain. Hell yeah, crazy T, love that

So how did this trip to LA go compared to the first one? 
It was dope, just skating schoolyard and waking up with all the homies. Fuck, playing beer pong sounds kinda wack, but that was fun. Drinking was sick at the Airbnb. But, dude, my first time to LA my Uber bill was $900.

Do you think you’d ever live here?
I don’t know. Maybe a year. Uh, no. Never live there. You look bummed if you don’t have a car there. What was dope when we went to LA? 

DSC 6127 750pxDustin built this spot, so he owns the rights on it. I don’t know how he thought about that. Nice little session with the boys. I did this heelflip pretty easy. Ha! just kidding

Uh, the Mexican food? 
It’s good food in Mexico City. Way better in LA, though, because you don’t have the fear to get focused by Montezuma’s Revenge. 

You are making this really easy. What are you eating right now? 
I just had two eggs, sausage and hashbrowns. Now I’m eating gum. They give us that. 

Anything you like or don’t like about LA?
I like the hot girls and your dog, Brick. And it smells like shit everywhere and it’s so polluted. There’s garbage everywhere and people don’t know how to recycle. I don’t know how you live there. 

DSC 6377 750px
DSC 6381 750pxMan behind the lens with—holy shit—the dog shitting, too! Damn, that’s beast. I don’t know why Bacon was always wearing these Beats that time, but it was pretty funny. Looks like the Vice cameraman. Respect to Bacon

Thanks, dude. Have you ever read a skate interview before?
Ha! No. I’ve never seen really like a Thrasher. I’ve looked at some photos, but I’ve never really owned one. 

Wow, I never owned a Thrasher, quote by Etienne. 
It’s true, though! I wasn’t registered to it, or whatever. Like, every month Thrasher. I never had that. I wish, though. 

ET, everyone that runs into you seems to love you. So, what would you say are some of your biggest character flaws? Do you know what that means?
Not really.

It means what do you think is wrong with you. What are some things that are bad about you?
Oh, fuck, man—not knowing people’s names because usually I met them at bars. 

That’s not too bad. That’s the worst thing about you?
Not really.

DSC 5716 750px
When I first saw you in person you were drunk at the Dime contest yelling, “I do anything I want!” over and over. Do you believe people deserve second chances in life? 
Oh, for sure, for days. Yeah, that was bad then. I didn’t even remember that. 

DSC 3454 750pxDustin Henry decided to build a spot over a water—I don’t know what the fuck it’s called. It was pretty insane. Went to get tacos and they build the whole thing. Then police showed up, kick us out. Cops were nice for once. Pretty sick photo. I’m glad of my buddy Dustin. All soaked and stoked

I do too. It’s all good. Everyone was having fun, dude. 
Yeah, that was a four-day bender.

DSC 6003 750pxCrazy T! Rocking the rockstar shades, probably having a smoke. Yep. He loves smoking. I like it, too

Who are your biggest skate influences? 
Oh, man. Fuck, I usually don’t really watch skate vids, for real. Tom Penny. Tommy Penny is a GOAT. 

That’s a good one. I think most kids who pay attention to previous generations skate way sicker. Who are your biggest skate influences in 2018? 
Oh, fuck, I hope you’re not live. That’d be scary. I mean, my buddy for sure. Everyone on Alltimers.

DSC 5946 750pxZered in Beverly Hills maybe? Nice kickflip, well executed. I was trying to get someone to wallride the wall. No one did, but that kickflip is crazy. I like how you see Wheatley working out. Nice bomb hill. Did the whole thing, no powerslide. Classic Z

Okay, who is your biggest non-skateboarding influence. 
Rappers. 

Rappers? Like who?
Soulja Boy. 


tyler warren fence ollie 750pxTyler Warren and the fence ollie. Good hang time. He went super fast and did it. Perfect. I like that

In a world where there’s too many kids that nobody gives a shit to watch skate, how did you start getting shown love from some actual good companies like Alltimers and Vans? 
Uh, fuck. I met Pryce, the Alltimers co-owner, at a party. I guess he vibed. Maybe it was because I didn’t know how to talk too much, but could still express myself? Not having too much fear. 

And how’d you get on Vans?
It’s all party stories. Is that fucked? I was at an after party wearing Darth Vader Vans. They were fucked, but they were only $20 so I was able to afford them. I saw Bob LaSalle from Vans Canada. He saw my shoes and said he would send me a box, and then—I don’t know. It just happens. Meeting the right people, I guess.

Speaking of Alltimers, have you ever had a dirty martini?  
Yeah, they’re good, but they get you so frigged. But they’re good. I like one, not ten.

DSC 8988 750px
Do you know what’s in a martini? 
I mean, whatever you want. Gin?

Yeah, and vermouth. Olive juice depending on—forget it. So is this your first time actually trying to film for a part?
Yeah. Kinda tried, but I kinda blew it I feel like. 

You blew it?
I think so, yeah. Like, I was supposed to get a Gucci polo if I was filming a great skate part, according to Torey Goodall and Pryce. And I don’t think I’m gonna make it.

DSC 8741 750pxBoyz N’ The Hoop

So that’s what would have motivated you the most to film a great skate part, a Gucci polo?
Yeah. Because I’ve seen Torey after a wedding wearing Gucci loafers and a Gucci polo and he gave me a joke he was going to trade it to me for my wife beater at a bar in New York. And I was trying to keep it because he was so drunk. He was, like, “I’d rather have a wife beater than this polo.” And I was, like, “Holy shit, this is sick. I just got a free Gucci polo; that’s so sick.” Then at the end of the night, Torey was, like, “Give me my polo back. ET, if you film the best skate part of all time, me and Pryce will buy you a Gucci polo.” So I filmed Pryce saying that and I was, like, holy fuck, I got this on film. I have to film a good skate part. But then we’ve been filming for so long, I kinda just got motivated at the end, like, knowing I was going to get a Gucci polo, but it was too late. I kinda lacked. I coulda done better, but it’s all good.

DSCF0040 750pxDr. Z and Mike Lottie, really nice guys. Super gentle and fuckin’ nice. Will Marshall looking pretty hungover in the back, but whatever

How much effort, out of 100 percent, do you think you gave. 
Man, I don’t know. Actually, like, 30 percent. But at the end maybe 80 percent? I know I could do better, but there’s always next time. I’m not scared.

et smith pool 750pxPool-side Smith by ET, not scared

Are you planning on making a living off of skateboarding? 
Gotta work at one point, I guess. Maybe not. We’ll see. But for now, I’m going to try to because I’m traveling. I never could have traveled if I wasn’t skating. 

Any last words? 
I love skating with my friends.

DSC 6697 750pxDustin with the 50-50 pop out, last spot in LA we hit. Perfect. A hundred percent on that one; it’s really sick

Very original.
Is it?

DSC 8786 750px
No.
Ah, it’s not! It’s actually so bad! 

Okay, last question: How does my new haircut look? 
It’s fuckin beast! I’ve got to say, man—that’s a question?  

DSC 8900 750pxI did this ollie off of Wheatley’s roof. Pretty sick. Love the palm trees in the back. Nice house, Wheatley. Wish you can drink some ‘roners there again. Or once. I don’t know

Give us some last words, ET.
After this interview, if any designer clothing wants to hook me up, hit my line. And shout out to fucking Pryce, Rob, Zach, fucking Giovanni, Forbes, Bob LaSalle and all the Alltimers homies. And you, Daniel! I appreciate you all.

Note: After this was written, ET was rewarded with his Gucci polo.

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