Having made a name for himself in last year's FISE World Series, George Poole is one of the youngest talents in the world of Skateboard.
We talk to George about how his upbringing helped him on his way to becoming a skateboard pro, and what life’s like on the road.
How did you get into Skateboard? Did the move to France have an influence?
I started skating because my Dad had his own skate shop in Watford, England, and he used to work for Vans. I grew up around skateboarding and watched skate videos as a kid. I hopped on one and started skating around the house when I was about 2 and it just picked up from there.
At first, moving to France was hard because I didn’t speak French, but everyone who lived in the same area was in my class. They all rode BMX or skated or did some sport and that really helped me to learn French because it’s way easier to understand a language through doing stuff you love. I mean, kick-flip is the same in France as it is in England, it’s just kick-flip with a French accent!
Do you stick to parks or get out on the street? Which do you prefer?
I started out skating bowl as a kid, so for me it’s probably a bit more of a chill transition because I find it a bit easier. Growing up, I found street way more fun as there’s many more tricks to do than in bowl.
Is there any one person you hang with who pushes you the most?
Aurelien Giraud – he’s got balls and can literally do anything, go for anything. If I say he can’t do something, he’ll do it just to prove me wrong! That’s a great mentality.
Is it more competitive when you’re travelling with these guys? How does it work?
I wouldn’t say so, it’s strange because we’re friends. Obviously we’re stoked for one another, but when you do contests you obviously want to beat them because that’s the whole goal, you want to get first. But if it doesn’t happen then you’re still stoked for your friends, that’s just sport for you.
When you’re training will they try and match your tricks or is it more spontaneous?
Most of the time actually we play something called “Game of Skate.” We try each other’s tricks; with skateboarding it’s hard to say someone is better than you, you’re just different in the way you skate. That’s how you get the progression and improve; if someone else can do it then I can probably do it too.
What do you think of skateboarding in the Olympics?
It’s great for the skate community to be pushed forward like this. It’s good for the people who don’t know anything about skateboarding to understand what it’s about. If I have the opportunity for sure I would go, I’d be dumb not to. It would be life changing! You’ve got to think ahead: participating at the Olympics could lead to a million different things!
I think there are only 25 places for the whole world and no more than 3 per country – so it’s pretty tough! But if you skate decently I think that means you’re in with a good chance and it evens it out. It would be nice to have every country there to represent the fact that there’s skating all over the world.
Do you have any advice for kids who are trying to become pro?
Just have fun, do your best, and try and learn as many tricks as you can. Don’t forget it’s just skateboarding in the end! It’s about having fun, hanging out with your friends and pushing one another. The more you think about becoming pro, the less likely it is to happen – let it come by itself.
Keep up to date with George's adventures on Instagram as he tears up around the world.