For the 10th daily installment of Big Wheel Blading’s Inline Skating and Life During COVID-19 series we talk to Tiago Le Meur. Tiago is a 25-year-old inline skater, content creator and film student from Paris, France. He also runs the popular YouTube channel Tiago Inline Skater.

What is the current situation with COVID-19 in France?

France is one of the worst hit countries by this pandemic; and we are in lockdown. In the beginning, a lot of people didn’t take it seriously; for example, we could see a lot of people chilling in the parks and next to the Seine… The government had to impose a more strict lock down, but there are still people who aren’t respecting that.

Are you still skating? If so what precautions are you taking to stay safe?

For the moment, I’m not skating as much as I would love to: these last two months have been rough both physically and psychologically. But today I decided to film a part of the forthcoming video. Not outside. I take the lockdown very seriously since it is a team effort in order to make this situation improve! 

Today I discovered I can skate in the parking lot of my apartment! Since it’s the lockdown, very few people are going there, so I can practice freely and away from anyone! It really felt GREAT to put my skates back on, I missed it! 

Precaution wise, when using the elevator, opening doors, etc., I try to avoid using my bare hands since the virus can stay on these surfaces for several hours. Also, I avoid touching my face when skating! (It’s not easy since I tend to have a runny nose every time I do some exercise ha-ha!)  

How has COVID-19 affected your normal everyday life? 

I’m in the last year of cinema school, and normally we were supposed to have our final exams this week, plus 2 productions to shoot, write a 40 page essay, and a few months of internship.

All the schools have been closed, so everything has been delayed, or cancelled, we don’t know, it’s a huge mess! I’m using this  free time to work more on my personal projects!

What are you doing to fill your time?

As a content creator, this is a question I asked to myself from the very beginning of the lockdown: How am I going to entertain the community? Since people want to see me skate, I can probably skate outside and try to make a viral video like “How is it like to skate/do sports in quarantine/ in France?”. Technically, this could work! But I consider it as a highly immature move; “If we have to stay home; why is he having fun outside? F*** it, I am going to go out too!”. I don’t think this would ever help in this difficult situation… Instead, I’m planning on releasing a new category of videos that is easier to produce at home!

I’ll still be preparing my final exams and write my essay; but I also want to shoot more photos and update my portfolio! Since my channel started to work, I put most of my effort into making more videos for the community, and a few commercial shoots. My only goals for 2020 are to work more on my personal projects! Now is the perfect time to start!

Practicing slalom outside before the Paris lockdown.

What are your major concerns right now and looking into the future?

I wish everybody would take this issue more seriously and respect the lockdown; the sooner we act, the faster we’ll get rid of it!

How are skaters in Paris responding to the lockdown?

You know, our government enables us to go out for a quick and individual exercise, near our homes (1km max from home). You also have to fill a paper in order to go out; if not, you’ll get fined. At first this paper wasn’t very specific, so I saw a few skaters taking advantage from it, skating miles and miles, going in crowded skateparks and showing off on Instagram… But this has changed now! Most of them are staying home!

Do you have anything you’d like to add?

I think that it is a good time to work on tricks/moves we’re uncomfortable with! I think I’m going to try to improve my one wheel tricks, or maybe do some dance moves on my skates! 

Pre-COVID-19 skate session with friends.
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