Interview with Vincent Vu Van Kha 
(French Slalom Team, French Tecnica) 
April 6, 2002


What role does skating play in your life?

Vincent: It is a way of having fun, a leisure, a sport, a family, a way of meeting friends and people in general, a link even with people from very far or very different. It provides me a balance. An achievement tool in fact.


When and how did you start skating?

Vincent: I start as i was 18, some 6 years ago now. My dad and my brother bought pairs of in-line skates, i just did so, and start with them sunday afternoons on a supermarket parking in Poitiers.



Did you have any ideas or plans to move to aggressive skating?

Vincent: Actually, i start with style jump. I was in a show team as Jump and Slalom skater. I really like jumping, but i won't move to aggressive skating.

There are many stereotypes about Russians. For example, there is a lot of bears on city streets, or Russians always wear specific winter caps with ear-flaps. What do you think about Russian skaters? What is their image in your imagination?

Vincent: I might have stereotypes about Russians, but about Russians skaters, very few. I imagine the streets of Russia covered with snow, so i ve been surprised to see that skating was so developped in Russia. And i imagine the skate park of Moscou which, i ve heard, is on 2 levels linked. I ve been surprised by the beauty of your monuments, especially when i ve seen you were doing skate contest there. In my imagination a Russian skater looks first like a skater.


What is your opinion about technical and artistin level of Russian skaters?

Vincent: I would first say that i don't know Russian skaters (except Marta), but as far as i can appreciate thanks to what i ve seen on videos, it seems quite good. I m looking forward to meeting them.


What is your preferable element in inline slalom? What slalom elements are the simpliest and most difficult for you?

Vincent: Prefered trick : "Cafetiere" : you almost sit and slalom on one foot.
Easyiest trick : One foot.
Most difficult trick : there s always something more difficult ...




How do you invent new elements and their combinations?

Vincent: I just give a try, and if i feel like doing it, i train. I get inspired by everyone, inlineskating, iceskating. But most of the time i just give a try on my own.


We regularly see you with an exotic cap. Is it your style or talisman?

Vincent: I used to do my competitions with this funny hat, just for fun... But i ve got another one now, all black.


Do you go with other sports (except for inline skating)?

Vincent: Not really, i play snowboard from time to time but just as a leisure.



What is your the most preferable meal? Are you a gourmet?

Vincent: I like enjoying life, so i like eating. I really appreciate a nice cheese with a red wine. That sounds so french, ... so let me try your food !


Were there any serious traumas in your skating life?

Vincent: Well, i once smash my head on the ground after a bad jump and opened my chin. 2 other times, i broke muscle and stop skating normaly for many months. I m still waiting for one of these muscle at the moment.


Your name is not French by default. Where is your family from?

Vincent: Vietnam and France.


Do you have any bad habits?

Vincent: Sure


You are a member of French Tecnica Team. What do you think about this company? Do you have any suggestions or recommendations (e.g. relating a skate design) to this company?

Vincent: I appreciate them because they have first sponsored Slalom, now Rollerblade is doing so, but i prefer Tecnica skates. Also they sponsor me for skating and competiting, not for doing shows or working for them. It s nice that skates companies start recognising our sport. I prefer the TWISTER skates from Tecnica... I would just recommend the skates companies to keep on producing hard boots skates, soft boots are less performant even if they look more confortable at first sight. And please produce short resitant frame.

In what slalom contests did you take part? What are the best results?

Vincent: I did many, I did participate to the main one just these last few year :

Lausanne Switzerland 2001 1rst
Monza Italia 2001 1rst
Modena Italia 2001 2d
Nice France 2001 2d
Lausanne Switzerland 2000 2d

I would like to participate to other contests in Holland, Russia, Japan ...

Photo: Vincent Vu Van Kha


Kirill Skugarev & Oleg Vigodsky