When Pierre-Luc Gagnon first joined the pro circuit after winning the Vans Amateur series in 1996, his peers thought he was a cocky little brat due to a seeming unwillingness to chitchat. But then a funny thing happened. He learned English. It was soon widely accepted that PLG was indeed, a down dude.
Pierre grew up in Montreal, Canada where he would speak French with fellow vert shredder Max Dufour on the decks of whatever vert ramps they could get their wheels on. Then in 1992, at his dad’s prodding, the city built them their own park with a state-of-the-art halfpipe. It was called Boucherville, which sounds better if you speak French.
Boucherville eventually fell victim to the inevitable dismantling, so in 2000 Pierre packed his bags, kissed his parents goodbye, and headed west to San Diego, the land of milk, honey and vert ramps.
Once settled, the French Canadian Jay-Z of vert came into his own and in the time since has pretty much done it all, from filming state-of-the-art video parts, to mastering the mega, to going on one continuous contest killing spree. After winning his first X Games gold in 2002 (followed the next day with another gold in best trick), he’s been one of, if not the guy to beat at nearly every event.
In 2006 a pulverized patella gave him a major setback, but he came back even stronger and more focused. By 2008 he was back in peak form, winning X Games, the Maloof Money Cup, and, after getting his first Dew Tour victory of the year in Orlando, eked out the points needed to take home the Dew Cup. In '08 alone he pulled down a record haul in prize money, which is good because Pierre likes to bling, and blingin’ ain’t cheap.