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SKATEBOARDING BRAZILIA



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Skateboarding in Brazilia

Interviu Fabio Bolota - Tribo Magazine

photo: SHIN SHIKUMA
words: Costa

Totul a pornit de la un mail primit de la un anume Fabio Bolota, editor al revistei de skate braziliene Tribo. Adică ”tribul” mai pe românește. Dorea un schimb de articole, noi să-i dăm cam ce avem despre scena de skate românească, iar el să ne prezinte un pic din universul brazilian. Iar omul de legătură avea să fie un prieten de-al său, Andre ”Skilo”, percuționist într-o formație de samba ce urma să ne viziteze în Mamaia. Da, ați ghicit, era vorba despre brazilienii lui Mazăre, asta pentru cine se mai uită la ”antene” și ”realități”. Noi am profitat de evenimentul intitulat ”Ride the wave” de la Constanța pentru a încerca să descoperim un pic aroma skateului brazilian. Deși nu știam la ce să mă aștept, uimirea mi-a fost mare când am descoperit cât demult ne seamănă ”frații brazilieni”. Bere la PET, bere la doză, Ciuc sau Ursus, indeajuns pentru a vorbi cu Skilo ca niște prieteni de-o viață. Am aflat despre o cultură a skateului, total alternativă, dacă se poate zice așa, sistemului propus de americani. O țară din așa zisa lume a treia, în care skateboardingul prinde rădăcini de la sfârșitul anilor 70, și pornește pe o direcție independentă mainstreamului american, pentru a deveni în prezent aproape un ”sport de masă” cu peste 3 milioane de practicanți. O țară unde skaterii își mai permit ca în timpul unui concurs să tragă aurolac pe marginile bowlului, pentru ca apoi să-i ”îngrozească” pe spectatori cu trikurile lor.

Următoarea parte e o mică felie din Brazilia cu poze drăguțe și cu un interviu al editorului celei mai cunoscute reviste de skate, care pentru păstrarea autenticității nu a fost cosmetizat, ci a fost lăsat în braziliano-engleza în care a fost scris.


Masterson Magrao

Oscar Mad bs wallride
Costash: Hello Fabio, I understood that you are the editor of Tribo, brazilian skate magazine. Tell us a bit about yourself, how you end up here.

Bolota: My name is Fabio Bolota (Nickname: Bolota), and this is a long history. But, to make this short, since I start skateboarding in ‘79, I had a big pleasure reading the magazines. At that time, we had a little Brazilian publications, and the only way to have informations about skateboard world, was to buy American skateboard magazines (Skateboarder, World Skateboard, etc). A friend of mine, who skateboard freestyle together with me – Jair Borreli – was a skateboard photographer at an action sport newspaper, called Brasil Report. He printed some pictures of me skating at that time (freestyle). But in the 80’s, street skate was growing, and I and a lot of freestyle crews start practice street. One day, I told him (Jair Borreli), to write something about this new modality, to divulgate everything about street skate: the tricks, the skaters, and the evolution. After he printed this article, the guys at another magazine, called Trip, bought this newspaper, and started a skateboard magazine, called “Overall”. They invite me to be an editor assistant. That’s was a dream to me! The first Brazilian skateboard magazine in the 80’s! Since that, the skateboard in Brasil grow and grow. In 88, everybody knows about skateboard and it’s been in everywhere: in TV, TV News, newspaper, etc… Overall skateboard magazines was selling in all brazilian territory and another 3 nationally publications start together. The skate was so big… But 5 years later, in 1990, the economy in Brasil was so bad. The president was impechemed and in consequence of this, all the skateboard industry sink. Skaters stop skating everywhere and the skateparks were close one by one. Again, skateboard been underground and all skateboard magazines, closed they offices. One year later, me and another friend at Overall, started a magazine, called Tribo Skate, and here we are, 18 years later, doing the magazine.

C: I know brazilian skate scene is very big. Describe it a little bit please.

B: Well, some searches in Brasil indicate that skateboard is the most popular sport, before football (soccer). We live in a country where football is the “opium” of the citizens or a popular word “Péle’s country” (the famous player in Brasil and the world). And that’s is a big curiosity, because how a country like this, have good skaters nowadays? But, brazilian skateboard is a warrior, like we says. The brazilian skaters have a pleasure and love skate like no others. They believe in this sport and life style, so, love this. In the 79, Brasil send the first team to compete in the USA, and this was the beginning of the idea to show what is the brasilian skateboard. But at that time, we were amateur in compared with American level. They had the products, they had the best skateparks and that’s the place where skateboard was born. In the 80’s, to be exactly in 88, Brasil back to the international scene, compete in Europe contest (Munster in Germany, etc), and in 89, Lincoln Ueda get the best high brasilian competitor score, and finish in 4 th place at the professional half pipe. The Brasilians was in shock. He breaks all barriers about the 3º world and put a little bit piece of brasilian in the international scene. So, the street skate start and put everybody in the some level, and brasilian skater conquer his level step by step. In 95, Bob Burnquist won in Vancouver/Canada (WCS) and Rodrigo “Digo” Menezes won in Munster – Germany in the same year! Again, this shows the power of brazilian skaters and again, breaks the barriers. After that, Brasil start to be coverage of a country of big skaters…


Denis Buiu ninja melon

C: When did skateboarding begun in Brazil and how was it back in the days?

B: That’s a long history, but someone’s tell that skateboard started in Rio De Janeiro city in 1967, when some Americans mariners brought skateboard in the ship. But skateboard start to be more popular in the 1975/77, when skaters was seen drop some hills in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo with surf style. The skateboard at the time is similar with a little toys, without technology, clay wheels, banana boards and all skaters used to have the some surf dressed (board shorts), and long hairs…

C: Tell us a little a bit about the skate industry and the skate infrastructure in Brazil.

B: Since the beginning back in the old days, Brasil started their own industry of skateboard. This was like a necessity, cause until 1988, was very difficult to get and buy an American skateboard. That’s was expensive and been a dictatorship country, no ones could sell American products here. So, the only way to get skates and sell stuffs for the new skaters, was to start a brasilian industry to manufacture all products: decks, wheels, trucks, helmets, etc. Today, we have 25% or 30% of American products, and 70% to 75% of brasilian products: shoes, t-shirts, decks, trucks, etc. Of course, some products have less quality than American, but the price is better than Americans products. Since 91, Brasil is a true democracy and open market, so, today, is easier to get American products, but the price still higher than brasilian’s… Last year, in 2008, we print a business skateboard magazine, called Tribo Skate Display, and show more than 400 different products between brazilian and American. And that’s been out intention: show for all the country, a big business in our sport.

C: Brazil has some big cities like Rio or Sao Paolo, is skating in Brazil only in the big cities or is everywhere?

B: Like São Paulo (where I live) and Rio de Janeiro, there a lot of other big cities and skateboard is everywhere. Here in Brasil, we’re 180 millions people ,and 6% of this, have a skateboard in his house. This is around 3,1 million skaters in Brasil. In São Paulo, where 85% of the skaters and brands are located, is the 2 nd practice sport in the city… Not bad!

C: How come brazilian skaters are so good at the Xgames?

B: Brazilian is very competitive. This start because football is very popular here, and since you are born here, you have a favor team and start to be competitive in this football way. So, this feeling in sport, start from this. And in skateboard, all skaters put this in the “game”, dedicate like no others, and to have a passion for this, try to push the limit everytime in skateboard. Rodil “Ferrugem” Jr. won 6 gold medals at X-Games in street skate. Others like, Bob, Sandro Dias, Rodolfo Ramos, Carlos de Andrade “Piolho”, etc, put their names in the skateboard world scene, won contests like X-Games, Dew Tours, WCS tours, and etc.
Adelmo Jr wallride on the highway Sergio Yuppie burning powerslide

C: Can you tell us a number about how much money are being rolled during one year in the brazilian skate industry?

B: Well, this is a very difficulty answer, because no numbers is open by the brazilian skateboard industry, but a no official number, shows around R$ 250 millions – brazilian real (US$ 138 millions/year)…

C: Can you tell us some brazilian skaters that will rock the world in the next years?

B: The generations come and go, but today, skaters have a longer carrier than in the past. Skaters with 30 or 35 years old are not old anymore. By the way, childrens start younger than ever, and with 10 or 12 years old, the young guns can skate like any old skaters. Pedro Barros is a new young gun in Brasil. His is 15 years old, but skate in vert like old dog, and do 540 in the mega ramp! In the street, a lot of names is on the game: Luna de Oliveira, Danilo do Rosario, Felipe Gustavo, etc. They live in USA, have american sponsors and skate so good.

C: How hard is to keep up a magazine like Tribo?

B: In this month – September – we’re commemorating 18 years. We start in 1991, and since that, we have a goal: to help the evolution of the sport. Since that, we see it year after year. More skaters, more brands, more skateparks, etc. But like any other country, to do a magazine, is a fight every day, to do the best we can and work to sell the magazine in the shelf every month and to print more ad we can, to pay the bills. But, we (me and my partner) are from the second generation of skaters, and I can say: we see everything in skateboard. The highs and downs… the live and death of skateboard… the fashion and the roots… the fun and the professional part of the sport. So, that’s our life and we believe in skateboard, like life style and professional… and that is what we know and can do. Without any doubts, skateboard today is bigger than ever, in any place in the world… Just believe what you do and do the best you can.

C: Where do you think world skateboarding is heading?

B: I think skateboard changed a lot in the last years. These changes have aspects positive and negative. Skateboard still searching about professional scene and in the other hands, your have the fun scene. Someone’s defending a pro side and trying to direct with a lot of rules, disciplines, etc. trying to put skateboard in the Olympic games. Is that good for the sport? But skateboard have a underground culture, where this pro aspect didn’t work, and the roots of the “no rules” and “skate for fun”, is the way. But looking for the practice, I believe than we are in the best moment, where you can skate street very tech, but can skate in the roots pool, or find an underground ditch and have fun. Also, the slalom is back, downhill is alive, freestyle still tech again… Now, you can skate everything you want, and nobody discriminate this like in the past… Now you can be a skater and not a poser… anymore!

C: In the end tell some words for our readers please.

B: Skateboard can be the best way in your life. Enjoy and have fun!

Thanks a lot for this opportunity! Go hila.ro!


Neguinho nollie heelflip

Vanderlei Arame punker's tucknee

Sandro Dias olliepipe

Marcelo Formiguinha feel the rhythm

Otavio Neto nosegrinde

Sergio Yuppie beer powerslide

Robson Reco backside flip

Rogerio Ragueb
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