JB “The Roach” Gillet
Tell us your full name.
JB is Jean-Baptiste. It was my dad’s dad name.
Any good nicknames?
I’ve got a lot. Jibs, Job, Jozimar, Grosse Gueule, The Roach, Frenchy… and my family uses Baptiste.
Where are you from? Tell us about your hometown.
Lyon, France. I used to live outside of the city when i was young, about 40 minutes away in a smaller town.
What’s it like owning your own shop (Ballz Out)?
My partner Nico holds down the shop mostly, because I’m skating most of the time. I help when I can. Its so cool to see the kids stoked on the shop. Plus, I get to see the industry from another point of view. Before I only had the perspective of the skater.
What’s the most important business lesson you’ve learned?
Biggie. The ten crack commandments. Just kidding.
What’s the craziest living situation you’ve ever been in?
I stayed with Enrique Lorenzo in some kind of project in Hawthorne in LA. There was the grimiest pool with like 30 empty Old English 40’s floating around. People were rolling blunts everywhere, shooting all kinds of guns in the air on 4th of July. Every Friday night there would be big trucks parked in front of the building with music blasting and big black girls booty shaking. Hahaha! They were real cool to us though. They would ask us “How the hell did you end up here??”
How did you get kicked out of the US?
I overstayed my 90 day tourist visa a few times. Honestly it wasn’t on purpose. Usually the immigration just harassed me a little bit but they’d let me in. But then in 2002, on my way to SF , I stopped in NY and had to deal with some officer that was pretty pissed. He was mad I overstayed and didnt want to hear no excuses. I was travelling with a girlfriend at the time, she was going to study in the US. They told her in front me “Don’t waste your life with this guy. Get on the plane to SF and go study!” Can you believe that? So much drama. Then he made me raise my right hand and asked me some questions. They kept me 6 or 7 hours in a room until the next flight. Worse than that they lost my passport during the flight back! I couldn’t even go through immigration in France. I got stuck in Paris’s terminal for another 10 hours after all that. It was New Years Eve too!
What’s the story behind Tom Penny saying “Is it real or really really real?”
Hahaha! We were skating in the south of Spain and part of our crew went partying hard the night before. They came back at 8am and the rest of us were leaving to go on an early skate session. Tom was one of the guys partying but he came out with us and kept partying at the spots. He kept saying funny shit and would celebrate when we landed tricks.
How long have you been riding Ventures?
I can’t tell you exactly but probably since 1994.
Which Ventures do you ride?
I ride the low 5.2 lows now because my board is wider.
Where was this ad shot and who shot it?
Its in the outskirts of Barcelona. Gaston Francisco shot it.
What’s the weakest trend in skating right now?
Transexual skating. Hahaha! Nah, just kidding.
What’s your kryptonite trick? One that you’ve never been able to do?
Every hardflip. Nollie, switch, fakie. I cant really do any of them. I need an easy flip.
Should skateboarding be in the Olympics?
Personally, I don’t care. But if some people like it, go for it champion!
What sport should be accepted in its place?
Lapidation? Maybe not.
Whar were your early influences and why?
Video Days. After that it was all the World videos.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I have no idea.