Diego Guilloud is a Swiss rollerblader, and one of the best inline skaters in the world. Successful at both, street and park, he won quite a few contests, but yet, his biggest motive is - fun. After successful 2017 on and off blades, it was the right time for us to catch up with him, and hear what's he up to.
Hey! Long time no hear! So, what's going on with you these days?
Diego: Hey! Everything is fine for me! Working, studying and taking care of my wife and my son. La routine! (laughs)
Last year was a blast for you, you were doing some traveling, riding, and filming, including the official USD Team edit for 2017. How was it and have you accomplished your goals for 2017?
Diego: These last two years I was working and studying a lot, so, unfortunately, I didn't have a lot of time to skate. I only had the time to go to some competitions and do my best without practice, and I also took some time to film some clips when I was abroad, or here in Geneva during summer. However, I could say my goals for 2017 are achieved because my wife gave me a wonderful lil' boy in February!!
You describe yourself as a street blader, and not really a contest rider. Yet, you won quite a few park contests including Pannonian Challenge in Croatia, Winner of Belgrade in Serbia, Chasco 5 in Mexico, the AIL World Championship in LA. What motivates you to leave your comfort zone, and perform so well in the park?
Diego: It‘s true that I prefer street skating, but nowadays, there are no more street contests. And to tell you the truth, I enjoy skating parks. There is nothing better than a good park session with a bunch of friends! Actually. FISE is doing a great job for rollerblading community. They create competitions around the world so the crowd from everywhere can see what we are up to! Plus, it‘s a great opportunity to travel and discover different cultures and meet new people.
In recent years, it seems like rollerblading has fallen into the shadows of skateboarding and BMX. It lost its place from the X Games and many other extreme sports events besides FISE. In your opinion, what's the reason for that, and what do you think about that decision? How do you see the future of competitive and professional rollerblading?
Diego: Like all rollerbladers, I‘m sad to see that happened. I wish the best for the rollerblading and the next generation. Personally, I think this is due to the main sponsors of the big competitions; they are so powerful they can throw a sport out of the competition because it doesn‘t bring them (good) advertisement. But I like to think that rollerblading is coming back slowly. FISE is slowely bringing us back on track, and there is maybe a chance to see our sport at the Olympic games in Paris. Moreover, there is always more show with rollerbladers inside. Now our community has to be part of this change, to change its attitude, and be more respectful during the competitions, show a good image of the people in this sport to the public.
With both, skateboarding and BMX already being part of the Olympics, it seems like extreme sports are getting more attention than ever. Do you think it can have a positive impact on inline as well, or there is a risk of blading being even more left out?
Diego: I think that a good point. People are considering the extreme sports. This can have a good impact on our industry because if they have a closer look, they will see us being part of this world. Last year, the World Championship was in Nanjing, China. A lot of federation was there, like India, Thailand, Italy, France… It was awesome to see that our sport can be organized like a real one, and that gives us hope for the Olympics 2024.
Your blading got you all over the world. What are your favorite places to ride?
Diego: I would say South America. It‘s a really good place due to the big community they have! They also have a lot of good skateparks, and of course good food, good people and a lot of sunshine! I don‘t know for all the countries there, but Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Chile and a bit higher, Mexico are awesome places.
I know you love Balkan countries, and especially Croatia. Even your Facebook profile says you're from Osijek. How did you discover this part of Europe, and what made you fall in love with it?
Diego: The Balkan tour, organized by Samo Bajec made me discover this beautiful country. People are really nice, it‘s beautiful and has crazy nightlife. We had such a good time in every Balkan tour we did, mixing skating, discovering, partying and of course hanging out with friends!
Besides traveling for contests, a few years back, you had an amazing project called Rollerblading World Trip Experience. Can you tell me more about it? Can we expect "Part II" or some similar project in the future?
Diego: Rollerblading World Trip Experience is a world tour I did with my good friend Anthony Omar during 10 months. We began in North America, then went down to Mexico, all South America, Australia, New Zealand, China, Singapore, Thaïland, Japan, India, and Finland. We wanted to do this trip firstly to skate, but of course, to discover the world and other cultures as well. It‘s one of the best memories I have, even if some moments were really difficult. Nowadays it will be hard to organize the second part with my kid, but maybe in 20 years, we will be back with a „VIP“ World trip. (laughs) Traveling is the only things you can buy that make you richer.
There are quite a few internationally recognized riders from Switzerland. Except you, there are Stephane Torres, Maxime Genoud, Adrian Dek, Jan Fehlmann... From the outside, it looks like blading is as popular as skiing. :) How would you describe the inline scene in your country? Who do you love to ride with the most?
Diego: Switzerland is a little country, with a population of 8.5 million. I think the inline scene is like our country - little. Compared to France or other countries, we don‘t have a lot of active bladers anymore. Earlier, we use to be a strong team with really good skills. Nowadays, like you say, there is a maximum of 5 to 6 riders that ride competitions. My favorite team to skate is, of course, the one in my city, Geneva. People don‘t go to the contests, but some of them are on a really high level, and each session is a pure moment of happiness.
Besides rollerblading, you are active in Muay Thai. How do you manage to keep track of two completely different sports?
Diego: I used to train Muay Thai 5 time a week for 3 hours before I began my class. During this time, my schedule was simple - working, training, sleeping. And during the weekend, if the weather was good, skating. Muay Thai learn me so many things about myself and self-control, but also to be stronger and more flexible. This is really helpful for rollerblading.
Which injuries are worse, the ones from blading, or the ones from fighting?
Diego: Without a doubt - blading! They are deeper and stay for much longer. During the fight, you hurt your legs and your head, but it doesn‘t stay as long compared to the slam we can have while blading! I remember that during the training class, my friends were “shocked“ because of all the scars on my legs… I was just responding that this is normal for rollerbladers. That was enough to demotivate them to begin skating. (laughs)
So, one last - what are you up to in 2018?
Diego: 2018 will be a good year, with a lot of traveling for rollerblading - Saudi Arabia, Japan, Croatia, Mexico, Ecuador…, but it will also be a family year because I want to bring my wife and son to most of the competitions I'll go to. They are my best supporters. (laughs) I am also preparing a big stuff for rollerblading in Switzerland… I hope it will be ready for 2018 ;) Also, I'd like to thank my sponsor, USD, for all the help support; Olivier Furger for taking the time to film most of my videos and my wife for all the love and kindness she brings to me every day.