“I’ve always loved strong sensations and I love the excitement of being scared to death before trying a new trick.” Well, that’s quite a statement from Buzz l’eKlair aka Claire Wils from Paris, France. But watching her throw death drops, back and front flips on vert there must be a force that drives her. If you are curious about the magic behind this woman, read on.
Hi Buzz L’eKlair! First off, please tell us a bit about yourself?
My real name is Claire Wils (pronounced Wheels, no joke). I will be 40 this year, but am still 12 in my head. I have two kids, a daughter and a little boy. My daughter is nine, and my boy is seven. I am sport teacher in a French high school.
When did you start roller skating?
When I was a little girl, about ten, twelve years, we would sometimes visit my parents friends. Their daughters had roller skates, I put them on and played with them for hours in front of their hours. I loved it! Then, I asked a pair for Xmas, and when I received them I felt a great and huge happiness! So, it’s been years. I stopped skating to play music for about ten years, though, this was also the time I got my children. So, I restarted skating after my boy’s birth, seven years ago, playing roller derby. I started to skate in parks more seriously three years ago, in May 2018.
You have been blowing our minds with nailing death drops, backflips and now recently you added the front flip in a high ramp. Tell us how are you doing this?
When I was 14, I started gymnastics, and even if it was a bit late to start this sport, I had the ability to unplug my brain which helped me to progress really fast and to try a lot of rotations, aerials, flips etc… (and to get a lot of injuries too lol). It’s been 15 or 20 years that I quit gym now, but I still walk on my hands everyday, and I never stopped jumping around or getting upside down, I do it anytime, anywhere! I love the sensation of being upside down. That’s why when I started park skating three years ago, I immediately began doing handstands and I’ve been looking for adrenaline and strong sensations ever since.
What is the process for you to learn those tricks? They require many skills, not just being able to throw these moves but also the mental aspect of them is huge.
The first time I dared to try a flip, I was with Mallaury, a friend who teaches roller skating. He proposed me to try the backflip and he helped me to start learn it with a mat. Then I forced myself to repeat it, regularly. I never gave up, I wanted to be able to land it alone, and in several spots. I’ve always loved strong sensations and I love the excitement of being scared to death before trying a new trick. Then I can repeat it a million times and I never give up until I land it safe and strong because I am really stubborn.
What are your favorite tricks and why?
I think my favorite tricks are the death-drop and the backflip. The sensations are soooooooo good. I love the front flip too, but it’s still new, I have to stabilize it.
Is there a trick on your list left that you want to learn next?
Oh yes, there are a lot of tricks I would like to learn next. I would love to work on other flips, like maybe a backflip transfer or a flair flip – not sure of the name. It’s a backflip with a half twist in the ramp. Often I don’t know how to call a trick. And I should also really work more on slides and grinds because they frighten me a lot and I’m really bad at them. In general, anything new I see makes me want to try it.
Tell us a bit about the quad skate scene in your area?
In my area, next to Paris, France, roller skating is growing more and more. The roller dancing trend helped, together with the fact that derby folks couldn’t train anymore and started park skating too… so we’ve been growing progressively, but surely. Sadly, I rarely have time to meet other skaters because I am a mother and I often don’t have the same obligations and schedule. But I love skating with my kids anyways. In the end I often skate alone, and I like it too; it is a good way to work on new tricks and repeat them.
What are your favorite skate spots?
My favorite spot was a big and brand-new vert they built in Paris, but the municipality removed it after three months, because of the noise… Such a waste… Fortunately, I have my middle-sized ramp in Massy (in Paris suburbs, not too far from my home), which is just high enough to do flips, but I heard it will be destroyed too soon. I love skating in the South-West of France, there are a lot of skate parks there, and a lot of sun. And my dream would be to go skating in Spain, and in the USA.
Who is your biggest influence in roller skating?
For me @maxmead is an absolute UFO. I am really impressed when I look at @SpicyIvey (she is so polyvalent and everything she tries looks so easy, @Brinaboosk8s and also @Shortstop from Korea, such a wonderful teacher… look at her Tutos. Of course, I am a big fan of @Estrojen too. In Europe, I admire @BombaHache, @Ragnaroll and @BarbiePatin too, although she is from Argentina and only spends the summers here. And in France, I adore @diabydiako (an inliner). Actually, I need other skaters to inspire me or give me new ideas 🙂 Just like everyone I guess.
How often do you skate?
I try to skate as much as I can, but I don’t have any sheltered spot close to my place, so I often have to wait for sunshine. And I try to dose it, and not to be too absent for my kids and husband. I would say that, on average, over the year I skate one or two times a week. I would love it to be more but life is life.
Are there any other sports you practice?
I love climbing, gymnastics, and snowboarding. I did Ninja Warrior ( a tv show) last year, and it made me love this kind of activity too. Hopefully, I can try it again one day. Actually, I love big sensations: height, speed, adrenaline! Might I be addicted?
Do you have any sponsors? And who would be your dream sponsor?
I have a Parisian shop as my sponsor: @Nomadeshop.
They carry skateboards, scooters, and inlines too. I love them a lot. And I thank a lot @S-1rollerskate for giving me my new helmet. I would say that my dream would be to be part of the Bont team …
Thank you Buzz!
Thank YOU for the great privilege you are offering me here. And thank you for your magazine dedicated to roller quad.
Make sure to give Buzz l’eKlair a follow on Instagram. More “Under the Radar” interviews: Angel Lopez, Mary Pop Wheels, Pushy Longstocking and Anastasija Kukic.