Having Words with Toni Alvarez

 

 

So bro what’s good?  We last interviewed you way back for Issue 4. What’s been going on since then?

Ha ha,  too much things happened in 4 years, but the best thing is I’m still skating, just won 2014 rider of the year,started working on Gazpacho with Gabi Muñoz. Created a streetboard school in my neighbourhood and put the streetboard contest into Extreme Barcelona event. So it looks I made some things bro. Ha ha.

For sure! You’re a busy man. First things first. Riding. You are one of the most prolific Insagrammers. Where do you normally ride and who with?

I don’t like to ride always in the same place, now I’m riding more skatepark, not much street because maybe I have 2 hours off and a skatepark session is worthy.

Pipe Dreams - Front Lip. Photo: Sergi Nicolas
Pipe Dreams – Front Lip

Cool man. And who you normally ride with?

I ride always with Sergi (when is not out of Spain) sessions with him are the best, always trying new tricks filming and making pics, snaps, whatever, a random simple session can turn in a bangers battle with him. Also ride with Adrià, Cristian, Marc Forman who is skating a lot this year, and of course with skateboarders. I love to ride with skaters and learn some new stuff.

Nice bro. So you briefly mentioned the Streetboard School.  Where do you hold it and how are the new recruits progressing?

We started the school in 2015 some kids are coming every week to train with us and also have fun. We have some kids with his own board and learning a lot. Is hard because now kids only want to smoke and use tinder hahaha but were trying to make a real new generation.

Well they will get more Tinder swipes with a pic of them being strapped in. Trust me, I know, I’ve studied the data.

That’s is an awesome grass roots plan. It kinda reminds me of what Sergi and Gabi did years ago which some of the current generation of killers are from.

How did you start Streetboarding?

Just a friend from the hood showed me one like 15 years ago. I started snowboarding a year before and I fell in love with a street snowboard. I bought one and skated a bit. Damn that feeling is impossible to forget.

The best bro.  Other than slaying insta with your constant tricks, you pull a lot of weight behind the scenes. You’re the Team Manager for Gazpacho. How do you lay down the law and keep that motley crew in check?

This is hard work, because Max is now in US, Nacho in Malaga, and is hard to work in the distance, just trying to get some footage usually from them, and trying to help them when they need spare parts or other things. This year we want to make a push to the team, now Eric joined Gazpacho and we are proud of it.

backsmith
Shutters down. Shut Down Back Smith. Photo: Sergi Nicolas

This year the team will work a lot, we need to show the sport and our riders are Streetboard  ambassadors. So we need to work on this way and bringing them in more events. 

Talking of events. You were the man behind this year’s world championships. The most successful ever. How did you pull it off?

About Extreme Barcelona just started working into the Sports events agency in charge to produce EXtreme BArcelona

I joined as the Community manager and I told my bosses about our sportand that will be good for the event to make a contest there.   After some months trying to solve all the problems. We made it and the Streetboard Worlds were the best contest on saturday in Extreme Barcelona with Live TV broadcast an a big crowd so the organisers loved the sport

Also the Catalan TV and the results is they want to improve the sport for 2017 and will be an official sport inside Extreme Barcelona. I’m so happy about all what happened here

Man seriously I’ve been in the sport for years and I’ve never seen such a positive event.  What in your opinion the biggest change that’s needed in the scene?

I think a combination of things. Get inside more big events, make an international championship with diferent stops inside big events

That’s the big start and make more schools. Teach the kids how awesome is our sport. These two things are vital for the streetboard. If we work in this two ways the sport will grow up for sure and I hope it happens. I will fight for it here in BCN but we need this same effort in all the streetbord capitals. Stuttgart, London this is the next step

wallride
Squeezing in a ride in a different BCN spot. Photo: Sergi Nicolas

Fucker.  The only Skool I rock is True Skool. And parents definitely don’t want their kids going to that Skool.

Ha ha ha ha ha. I know too much for the kids

So you’re role at the events company is in charge of social media.  Did you learn all those skills through Streetboarding ?

Yes you know I studied Geology at university, but to find work  as a geologist is almost impossible.  So 3 years ago started to learn about social media just for myself. A year later did a Digital marketing and ecommerce master and know I’m working on a nice company so everything started as a game but got more and more real and now is my job

You have like 13k followers. How did you get to that amount? Or do I have to pay you to find out?

Ha ha ha. Just trying to post everyday making good content. Social media is a daily homework. Hard homework. Is another way to show our sport. And nowadays is a strong marketing platform.

Any shout outs? 

All the streetboard family, all the friends I met during my streetboard trips arround Europe, Gazpacho Boards, BK footwear, Upfront company, and finally my Girlfriend Alejandra and my family for all the support.

Rafael Rodriguez: Vert Alert Winner

Since January, The Vert Alert contest, masterminded by Gabi Muñoz and supported by Gazpacho Streetboards and Dimension Streetboards, has been running monthly.  The results are now in, and the deserving winner is Rafael Rodriguez of Colombia.  The lucky man will be spending a week in China’s Woodward skate camp with super pro’s Gabi himself along with the legend Sergi Nicolas.  We had a couple of words:
OK, First up, How do you feel after winning the Vert Alert contest?
Soo happy to win and also to learn more Vert.
And when do you go to China?
The 29th of this month.
Will it be your first time in China?
Yes, and also my first time out of Colombia!
Yeah? Damn homie…..That’s unreal…..
Yes, it’s a dream come true.  To get to know Gabi and skate one week with him and Sergi in Woodward.  I’m going to go crazy! Ha ha ha.
Siiiiick!. How is Streetboarding in Colombia?
There’s 10 of us that meet once per week to skate in some places in Bogota.  Two are like the teachers, that have skated for a long time and are like 40 years old and are super good.  We’re super good friends and each one pushes the other to keep on riding.
Sick! And you skate Street as well?
Street also.  Bogota has some good spots.  This year we have new skateparks, and its really good to get to know the city. 
 
Sweet. Anything else you wanna say?
Yeah, I want to invite all the riders of the world to come to Colombia.  I also want to bring boards into Colombia so that more people can start to Streetboard.
Perfecto bro….Una otra vez felicidades

Fifty Three and What!

With the World’s eyes on Brazil, we thought it was time to get in on the action. Streetboarding, like Japan (next Olympics I’ve heard zimmer 100m will be joining skateboarding on the schedule ), has an ageing population.

So many times I hear, from others as well as my inner voice, that they’re getting too old for this shit.

Well tell that to Pedrao .

He’s still rolling at no less than 53 Years old. That’s 10 years on Ingo Föhre. Fifty Three and Fucking What! Big thanks to the juicy master Diego Romero for the pics and translation!

Interview by Jay Nowman

My man, so you probably are the oldest active Streetboarder: How old are you and where are you from?

53 years old from São Paulo, Brazil.

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Backside Over K

How long ago did you start riding?

I skate since I was 14 years old on a skateboard and switched to streetboard on year 98/99, don’t remember exactly, I use to ride both boards at the beginning of the snakeboard days, now only Streetboard!

What do you normally ride?

I’ve always liked transitions, mini ramps, bowls, halfpipes.

Brazil has a pretty sketchy reputation, is it really that bad?

Brazil is very big, there are a lot of problems like any other countries, but it’s a great country to live, NEEDS TO CHANGE THE POLITICIANS

I’m 34 and my knees are already on their way out; how do you keep on riding?

I’ve been hurting myself with skateboard and with a streetboard, but it was just a dislocated arm, hahahaha, maybe until year 3000 I stop, hahaha

Floating on the Frontside
Floating on the Frontside

Have you ever made it over to Europe or the States to ride?

I’ve never got out from Brazil, I’d love to be on a world championship of Streetboarding and know everybody in person.

Name one of your favourite rider and why?

Without detracting anyone I like a lot TANCREDE LECA, I think he is incredible in transitions. There are also big names but I couldn’t say right now…

On piece of advice for the kids?

Do what gives you pleasure.

Vert Alert Last Month: Gabi Muñoz Explains

So it’s the last month of Vert Alert…just let us know the concept quickly?  

Vertalert is a call to empower Vert Riding. Vert is one of the most spectacular disciplines in Streetboard and the contest has a double objective: One is to bring new riders to learn Vert. The other, discovering talent around the world unknown to the public spotlight. Its free and anyone in the world can register & win.

What’s the prize? 

Every month has a random prize.

The winner at the end of the contest wins a fully paid 1week trip to Woodward Beijing with Sergi Nicolas & myself. Woodward is one of the best training facilities in the world, with foam pits, resi, etc. It’s a dream to a lot of riders.

Who is leading so far? 

Rafael Rodriguez (Colombia) is top today. He just passed over So-Ga (Japan) who was top for the last 4months, but missed June submission because of rainy season in Tokyo and lack of indoor verts.

GABIPOTRAIT

 

How do the points work? 

This is a Online contest through Facebook, so its:

40% on-line impact.

60% judging

On-line Impact:

Each rider gets 50points every month for submitting a video, that rewards consistency, the key of vert riding!

Then every Like👍 in (both vertalert & rider wall video) gives the rider 1point. Every Share (from Vertalert wall only) gives the rider 5 points.

The most successful video in a month will get 4scores, no submitting gets 0, the rest of videos get a proration of that month maximum’s punctuation.

60% comes out of judges, based on each rider evolution, thats why a beginner learning a lot can get higher score than say Sergi Nicolas pulling 900’s.

When both advanced rider and beginner shows similar level of learning, advanced skills will get the judging favour…but thats’ very hard, the learning curve speed benefits beginners unless a retired pro goes back to the game very strong, or a Pro is pretending to fail tricks first month jajajaja.

Is there any way for someone to enter in the last month? 

Yes, you can submit July’s video submission today. Just visit vertalert.info and follow “how it works” instructions, pretty much is letting us know who you are and sending us a video edit link before August 16th. Anyone can win any month’s award.

What inspired you to set up vert alert?

Streetboarding is meant to help riders live unforgettable experiences, and I thought it would bring some magic to bring someone from anywhere in the World, regardless of skating level, down to Woodward in China with two World Champions to accompany his skating sessions for a week.

Dimension, Gazpacho boards & Streetboard Spain supported the contest, and Streetboard Spain supported judging so…I couldn’t resist!

What differentiates Streetboarding on vert against say skateboarding? 

Whats different between Snowboarding on Vert and Skateboarding on Vert?

Sweet bro.  Well let the best man win.