Brazil is blessed! Part 2

Brazil is blessed! Part 2

Missed part 1 of the Brazil report from Allan Schmidt? Read it right now…

Rough spots, lack of company´s support and professional championships, absence of indoor skateparks for the rainy days, no money to invest in pricy film and photo equipment, inferior quality boards and a couple of other things are what makes the daily life of a Brazilian skateboarder a struggle. That´s what makes me think why do we have riders rising up from the ashes to become international icons? Why Brazil among so many other countries in similar conditions in the world??

Names like Bob Burnquist, Rodrigo TX, Carlos de Andrade, Lincoln Ueda, Fabrízio dos Santos, Adelmo Júnior, Rodrigo Petersen, Rodil de Araújo and Rodrigo Lima just to name a few, are great examples of what Brazil has accomplished in the last years. We´ve taken over a large portion of the worldwide scene and new talents are born everyday. Kids of 16 years of age are travelling to the USA, winning championships, signing contracts with big companies and getting video and magazine coverage.

Last year Felipe Gustavo, 17 years old, won the Street Tampa Am championship. This year he came to the final on 4th place, but two other young Brazilians, Pedro Barros e Ronaldo Gomes got 2nd and 3rd place in the Vert Am Finals. Just after that Pedro Barros went to the Florida Bowlriders Cup and took part of the amateur competition winning it on Saturday and being invited to ride in the professional division Sunday. Well, he finished in 3rd place!! The kid is 12 years old!!

These are a few random examples of what I´m talking about. Although championships never proved anything when it comes to skateboarding, they still help show us in which direction things might go.

I would dare to say that Brazil has the second largest skateboard scene in the world and this due to the fact that Brazilians are passionate just about everything they do. They ride with heart and soul, in the same way they live! If you have already seen Bob riding, or even Nilton Neves you know what I´m talking about. That´s true skateboarding!!!

People like Og de Souza show us how we usually turn hard situations into good opportunities, this guy used to use his skateboard as a way of transportation since the government not always treats us with the dignity we deserve, he is a husband, a father and a professional skater.

So, looking at things from a different point of view, to not be selfish, the question which comes to mind is what happens in – let´s say for example – China, India, Russia or South Africa? China has proven to have amazing street spots and now the largest skatepark in the world, but where are the Chinese skaters? India has also over 1 billion people, good weather, and not a large scene as far as I know. Russia has definitely major constructions and spots to skate, so where are the Russians? Or even South Africa which has lots of great professional surfers proving they like adrenalin rushes too. Where are these guys? How often do you hear about them? I respect and know each country has its values and I´m not underestimating anyone here, but trying to trace a parallel to understand which factors help us Brazilians to succeed. What makes us love skateboarding the way we do?

Maybe our dreams do.

Due to the fact that the largest portion of our street spots are super rough, (if you don´t believe me, ask Jake Phelps or Cardiel) our folks grow up hungry for marble ledges, smooth ground and perfect rails. Ask any guy here what his dream is and living in California or Barcelona will come on top of the list. Giving these guys good spots to ride is like giving a child lots of chocolate, they will enjoy every piece and make the most out of it! Add to the list some good boards and supplies, a photographer, a camera man and a full belly and you have a success recipe! I don´t mean that one really needs a photographer and a camera man to have fun. But some people do get excited to ride and get coverage material.

I can recall a 411VM Brazilian edition which puts to evidence some Brazilian guys with some memorable footage and that´s one thing I had never seen before since 411 already brought tours to the screen but never a edition with just skaters from a certain country. It´s so gratifying to see that we´re recognized just by doing something we love!

Thanks to those guys who chased their dreams, left home at an early age to a different country without even speaking the language and still made it happen, the reality is about to change drastically here. Skateparks are starting to pop up everywhere, associations are being created, new brands, tv shows and magazines showing up, international companies sponsoring events, and even the X Games was brought to Brazil this year in its full scale.

Thanks to these warriors, we are starting to be recognized as citizens, athletes, professionals. Thanks to these guys the society started to understand that we are a large portion of its own and therefore we have power. Power to vote, to change, to make it happen! We did it once without them and here we are still growing with or without their support.

The society starts to see now they better off staying on our side because this “enemy” they can´t fight!

Missed part 1 of the Brazil report from Allan Schmidt? Read it right now…

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