The first time I saw French wakeskater Leo Labadens ride, I instantly had a ton of respect for him. I was judging the 2008 WWA Wake Park World Series stop in Toulouse, France, and Leo came out and absolutely slayed the quarterfinal round of the contest. He had such good style and was not in any way stressed about riding in the contest. He just took it mellow and had tons of pop on everything he did. The best part was when he cruised into the shoreline after his run and his girlfriend ran down to him with a beer and a freshly lit cigarette full of God knows what.
Over the years, I’ve encountered Leo at contests all over the world, and every time my respect for him grows. He is down-to-earth and has an awesome attitude toward the sport, and his riding speaks for itself. It’s no surprise he recently joined the Nike 6.0 and Remote teams or that he’s quickly becoming a household name to wakeskaters everywhere.
In 2010, Leo made his mark by coming to the States and riding in the Byerly Toe Jam at the end of the season in Orlando. He wound up blowing minds in the earlier rounds, making it to the final eight in the cable portion of the event and back lipping the fairly steep hubba ledge during the pool event. Recently, he has been riding and filming in the United States with both the Nike 6.0 and Remote teams, and he will be traveling again this summer to events all over Europe.
Hometown: Toulouse, France
Sponsors: Nike 6.0, Remote, Electric, Rixen