Pascal Lieleg - Skate Photographer Interview

Interview with Pascal Lieleg, Photographer. |  by Sebastião Belfort Cerqueira

The man behind Official Bowlshit is one cool dude. Read on if you want to know the origins of the mysterious tribe of the SkateoFaris, the secret reason why people start skating transition, how to successfully mix beer with skating, and lots of other fun bowlshit.

As one of the most active photographers in the Trucks and Fins community, there’s quite a few things I’d like to ask you. However, first of all, I was looking online and I was trying to figure out if you were a professional photographer, I mean, do you do photography for a living?

Mmm... I don’t like to use that term. It’s hard to tell when that point comes when you’re a professional. Is it just because you earn money from it? I feel all the time like I have to learn a lot of things when it comes to photography, I’m not finished yet. I wouldn’t call myself a professional, just very ambitious. Plus, I don’t like the pressure. You know, when someone says “oh a professional photographer is coming”... I’m just hoping I can make them happy with my images, but you never know. Sometimes people like them, sometimes they don’t, photography as a lot to do with taste. So, yeah, I do it, but my normal profession is as creative art director for a hotel brand. In my semi-professional way I try to get better at photography and earn some money while I’m at it. One day I hope I can say I make a living from it. That would be the dream.

Because I saw you have a whole different side to your photography, outside of skateboarding, like shooting real models and for brands like Adidas and some others...

Yeah, I’d say it’s all about context. I do a lot of running and so I came to Adidas because they have a running group here in Hamburg and that’s how I got the connection, cause they said “hey, we need a photographer”. It’s always like that, that’s why I got to work for Men’s Health and Adidas and sometimes for other big brands.

  • "In my semi-professional way I try to get better at photography and earn some money while I’m at it. One day I hope I can say I make a living from it.
  • VISIT PASCAL PROFILE
It’s always cool to be at the right place at the right time. But let’s get into skateboarding – I always like to ask people when and where did they start.

I guess I was 12. Yeah. Now I'm 33, so I was 12, I was in school. One of my classmates had a board. We were at this school for the whole day, it was like nine hours and then you went home. And the school had great conditions, like big sports facilities, and we also had a little skatepark. It was one rail and two quarter pipes and the bank, that's it. But at least we had something back in the day. And, yeah, we shared this guy’s board because he was the only one who had one.

I was so addicted from the first moment that I was wishing I could also get one. And then I got one for Christmas. Yeah. For Christmas, I got a complete. And it was not the typical first board you get when you tell your parents you want to start skateboarding. They’ll usually go to a big Walmart or something and buy a board. But my parents went to a good skate shop and bought me a really good board. So that was quite cool.

Since then I had just a few breaks from skateboarding. In my hometown we didn’t have a skatepark, not a real skatepark, we had some quarters. But the city was always trying to put these quarters where we wouldn’t annoy other people, so it was hard for us, it would be like in some industrial parking lot somewhere. Until eventually this guy that was involved in looking out for the youth of the city decided to organize the community and we got our first real ramps and an official park.

How old were you then?

I guess I was 16 or 17. But before that sometimes we had the chance to go to this big skate hall. That’s one good thing about the area, a forty minute drive would take us to one of the biggest skate halls in Germany. It’s really huge, with 3,200 square meters of skate area. At first, when I was just starting, it was a pretty shitty park, they’d build ramps on pallets and everything was really DIY... but it had a lot of character. But then they got some support from the city and from some big companies and they started improving the ramps until it became a really good park. Nowadays it's called Playground Skatehall.

One good thing about it was that, when they were starting, they had miniramps with different sizes, they had huge transition and a half-pipe. Now they have completely re-done the park about four times, I think it’s in its fourth version, but the cool thing is that they still kept some of those first features and my favourite one was the bowl. We didn’t have one in my hometown and so I was always eager to skate it when I went there. And the funny thing is none of the locals ever seemed interested in skating it, most of the times I’d be the only one in the bowl.

Yeah, I didn’t have any type of transition around when I started skating, it was just street. So nowadays when I go to a skatepark I just suck at it.

It's really funny. I love both. I also do some street stuff. But the main reason why I chose transition was I just had to drop in. Because, back in the day, I was pushing mongo. I wanted to hide it, and when I dropped in nobody saw that I pushed mongo. So I have the theory that most of the halfpipe and bowl skaters are secretely mongo pushers, that's the reason why they start. Mongo pushers are also good at fakie. But, yeah, actually it was just two or three years ago I decided I’d teach myself how to push normal. It was a hard pressure to put on myself but I kept at it and now, even though I’m not as fast as I am pushing mongo, at least it doesn’t look as stupid as in the beginning.

It’s really tough. Especially when you’re older and you only have those precious moments to go skate and you know you can have so much fun doing it the way you’re used to. It’s a hard decision. But anyway, I wanted to talk about something else. More than once, when you sent us pictures of skateparks for Trucks and Fins you also sent us little articles about them that were really cool. It’s more than just information about the park, it helps us get an idea of its environment, the people who go there, and so on. Do you have any more of those planned?

Yeah, unfortunately some of the parks are closed, and that’s kind of annoying. But when I send you any stuff I always try to ask myself what I would find interesting when I go to a park. And for me it's always the people who are in the park and, like, trying to get to know a little bit the community surrounding it. Because... I don't know, maybe it’s the same everywhere, but at least here in Germany every skatepark in every town is like a community thing. It's not just that some mayor of the city said “Oh, I want to have a skatepark.” It's never like that. It's just the community.

In Jever, the town where I grew up, which is famous for its super bitter beer, when we first got our shitty ramps, we formed a group, we called ourselves the SkateoFaris, and we took care of the place. The city let us have a space where we could have the ramps and we wanted to make our little park grow. The city didn’t want to spend money on it so we had to earn it ourselves. We gave skate lessons to kids, we did demos whenever there was a public celebration in town and asked for donations, we sold SkateoFari t-shirts, we invested everything back into the skatepark, and that’s how it grew. And nowadays... it's really, really funny... The skate group still exists 12 years after we founded it. And they, the actual members of that group have no idea who it was that founded all that. They know Joshua Dings but they don't know me and Kevin Kellermann. They still call themselves SkateoFaris, but they have no idea about the history behind their crew. That's pretty funny.

It’s a great story. Sometimes we hear about a community getting together in order to convince the local authorities that the town needs a skatepark, but it’s not everyday that people actually take it upon themselves to make money and invest it into their town’s skatepark. It’s pretty inspiring. Moving on, and since you mentioned beer, I really liked your “Beerics” video. I thought it really had some production values to it, and the rhythm is really well-managed. I wanted to ask you, did you shoot it and direct it all by yourself?

Yeah! People have asked me that question a couple of times but, yeah, it was all very spontaneous. Tom [Tieste], the skater, has been working for some time as a trainee in this small brewery in Bremen, learning how to make beer. One day he asked his bosses if he could skate the brewery, you know, along the different parts of the process. It was quite funny, because he knows I do some video stuff and he told me about the idea and asked if I could be there to shoot two or three days later. I asked him how long he thought it would take to shoot and he said maybe one and a half to two hours. I have to say he was well organized, he had a good plan. But it was only when I got there that he told me exactly what his plan was and I was like... “ok... fuck.”

I had to think about a lot of things. And I guess in the end we were there for four and a half or five hours. Which was okay, yeah. It was okay. But in my head I was always like “you have to remember when he comes from the left side where he goes to, so then the next cut he must come from this side...” Because otherwise you get confused, you know, when he comes from one side and next scene he’s coming from the wrong direction... I had that in mind all the time so the pressure was really high. Yeah, I'm still a little bit proud of that one.

Well, you should be, because it looks like something that was made for a big skate brand by two or three photographers or filmers. Speaking of that, are you planning on doing more youtube stuff in the future?

How should I put it... yes, I do plan to do more of that stuff. But in the end it's always the time. I love to edit a video but I hate it at the same time because it takes ages. For me the hardest part is to find the beginning and to find a way in which I would like to tell the story. When you have the raw material, you have a lot of options. I want to entertain the viewer and to find my style, but in video editing I don't feel like I've found it yet. I experiment a lot and I try to use new techniques or to adapt stuff I see on skate videos. But there's a lot of things I have to learn. That said, I want to do some artsy stuff, but it's hard to do artsy stuff that everybody understands. I want it to be artsy, but understandable at the same time.

But actually I am working on some things right now. Last year I went to the DIY Sintra spot with Joshua [Dings] and I want to edit some video of that trip, I’d like to do it like a travel movie, because I took a lot of photos and I’d like to combine them with the video. Plus he also did some hard tricks there, he did a darkslide, we also have this one with another guy, Chris, who showed up at the spot and was a very good skater. Josh did a blunt to fakie on the quarter while Chris did a backside alley-oop wallride over him. I can’t wait to show that to people.

The thing is, when you see it too small, like on instagram, you can’t feel the image.

Can’t wait to see it. Now, we’ve recently prepared a short interview we do to every new photographer who joins Trucks and Fins, but since you were onboard before that, I’d like to ask you a couple of questions that we put on there. The first one is more of a request: choose a photo you took that you really like and tell us why.

Ok, I have this one I really love [check photo number 4 in the gallery]. The thing is, when you see it too small, like on instagram, you can’t feel the image. You need to look at a big version in order to understand what’s going on. This circle is like a full-pipe, it’s an art object made by this artist called Karolina Halatek. It’s seven metres long, I guess, and it's five metres high and the surface, the inner surface is completely like a led stripe. It’s a plastic full-pipe and it’s completely lit up. It had been standing outside the art museum in Bremen for some weeks and it was completely unprotected, there was no security, I had seen people riding bikes through it. So I went there at night with a couple of friends from Bremen, Louis and Gino, and I asked them if they could do a double. I wanted them completely on the sides and I shot it straight from the front because I wanted the image to be as confusing as possible. It looks flat but then the skaters are not on the same plane. I left a little step that was in front of the sculpture just barely perceptible, but otherwise there are no clues, it’s completely dark. I thought when I dropped it on instagram every skate magazine would be like “What? What is this?”, but it never happened... [laughs]

I’m sure it’s because there are not many magazines anymore and they must all be pretty busy. Anyhow, I’d seen that picture on your Trucks and Fins profile page and always thought it was really strange. It makes sense that it’s an art installation, you don’t just find that kind of stuff out there in the wild.

Yeah, and you know what’s funny: I really liked the installation so I found Karolina Halatek on instagram and sent her the picture. I thought it was a good picture of her work. But she was really pissed, she was commenting on the post like if she was shouting “NO SKATING ALLOWED!” and I had to say “sorry, we didn’t know, there was no security, nothing...” And then what’s even better is that the Bremen museum organized a competition of the best photos taken at the installation and mine was considered one of the top ones. I also have another good one there where Louis is doing an ollie into it and it looks like he is falling into nothing, like that big wide hole is taking him. The only thing is that his ollie is not that perfect. That's why the shot is not that special but the idea is nice.

Sounds cool. Now let me ask you another one from our short quiz: if you could choose a combo to shoot, like any skater doing any trick in any spot in the world, what would your dream combo be?

Ooh, that’s a good one... It’s really hard... but there’s this new guy that no one had heard about until Thrasher put his part out, this super sick bowl skater, John Worthington.

I know, I think he’s on Creature now.

Watching his part I was like “what the hell?” I’d love to see him destroy our local bowl in Bremen. There are these really hard stairs, like in this tight pocket, it took me months to be able to get around them, I was super stoked. I actually met one of my best skate buddies there once. He’d come from Stuttgart and he had a to-do list – he wanted to do all the stairs in all the bowls he could find in Germany. He’d saved Bremen for last and it took him one hour of straight tries. He told me those had been the hardest he’d ever done, and he’s definitely more talented than me. But anyway, I’d love to see Worthington hit those stairs, he’s so skilled at doing hard transition and shallow ends that I imagine he could probably do a backside or frontside air over that pocket. I’d love to take a photo of that.

I see you really know your bowlshit...

You know, it’s a funny thing, there’s a cool side to not using my real name in my work as a skate photographer. First I can go to the skatepark incognito, people may know Bowlshit but they don’t know that I’m the guy who’s taking all the photos. Some people think Bowlshit is a company, I’ve gotten messages and emails wishing me and all my team the best of luck and stuff like that. It’s funny. You see, when I started doing photography in college I naturally started shooting skating, because that way I could go skating and still get work done for my courses. In my group of friends there was this Swiss guy who used “bullshit” a lot. Anytime he was pissed off he’d say everything was bullshit. Only with his accent it sounded like “bowlshit” and I just thought that was the perfect name for my photography projects. Then we had to build a website for another course and design a logo and I just made everything look like it’s a brand. It’s like one big joke. I can act like I’m this big company. Newspapers that have used my photos ask me for the copyright and I tell them the copyright is “bowlshit”. Having an official newspaper write that the copyright is “bowlshit” is just funny as hell.

It’s a great joke. Before we wrap this up, is there anything you’d like to add? Any new stuff in the works?

Yeah, there’s one thing I’m starting right now... it was planned for last year but because of the whole corona thing it got postponed... maybe for October or November of this year, anyway, I’m working on a photo book. I’m choosing the best photos from the past four or five years of skate photography and putting them in a book. I’ll probably try to do it through crowd funding or like a pre-sale. Just do one run, for the people who let me know they want it, and when it’s done, it’s done, no second edition.

Sounds like a good idea. Be sure to let us know when you get that pre-sale going, we’ll help spread the word.

By Sebastião Belfort Cerqueira

Get ready for the Super Crown World Championship in Rio de Janeiro

November 3, 2022 In a couple of days the best skaters will compete in the Olympic Park. With the highlights on the duel between the Portuguese Gustavo Ribeiro and the Japanese Yuto Horigome, as well as the phenomenon Rayssa Leal, from Brazil The Arena Carioca 1, at Parque Olimpico da Barra, will host, between the 5th and 6th of November, the Super Crown World Championship, the final stage of the Skate Street World League (SLS) 2022. This is considered the main skate street competition to be held in the country in 2022. For this year's edition, the SLS Super Crown World Championship expects to receive around five thousand fans a day. The important names of the modality are awaited in the search for the title. In the men's, the Portuguese Gustavo Ribeiro, who won the recent stage in Las Vegas, will have as his main opponent the Olympic champion, the Japanese Yuto Horigome, who leads the ranking.  Photos credit: Julio Detefon / CBSk In the women's, Brazilian Rayssa Leal, who won all stages of the 2022 Street League Skateboarding (SLS), held in Jacksonville, Seattle and Las Vegas, arrives as the favorite. She also won the STU Open Rio, held at Praça Duó, in Barra da Tijuca. Second place in the STU Open Rio and in the world ranking, Pâmela Rosa also has a chance to win the third consecutive world championship.  In addition to the top four in the SLS men's and women's rankings, the top four will compete in the final after the qualifying stage, which will take place on Saturday, the 5th, at Arena 1 at the Olympic Park.  In the 2021 edition, TV coverage of the event was followed by more than six million people worldwide, while another five million were impacted by social media. In Brazil, the economy around the modality moves almost 200 million dollars, which places the country as the second largest skate business center in the world, after the United States of America. Visit StreetLeague website Watch Live

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How many skateparks are there in the world?

November 2, 2022 The million dollar question? How many skateparks are there in the world?  Three years ago, this whole crazy journey started, because I wanted to make the first map of all the skateparks in Portugal. After completing my first country I decided to map out the rest of the world and basically never stopped uploading parks since then. The following data is not 100% accurate, because I am still uploading hundreds of new parks a week. But one thing if for sure. There are 16449 skateparks in the world on our map and I estimate there are around 23000 public skateparks around the globe. What country has the most skateparks? The United States of America has way more skateparks than any other country in the world and there are 7 countries with over 1000 skateparks. The United States of America, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Australia, Spain and Brazil are all members of the +1000 club. Below you can find a list of the current top 20 countries with the most parks. What country has the most skateparks per capita? Having the most skateparks is one thing. But who has the most parks per capita? Well, yesterday I put all the numbers in excel to find out. The results are surprising. Liechentstein comes on first place. This small country has 5 parks and a population of 38383, meaning you have a park for every 7676 people. The USA currently is far from reaching the top 20 list with one park for every 98782 people. Brazil is another country that disappears off the list with one park for every 214781 people. Below you can find the current status of population/skatepark for the top 20 countries. These lists and rankings will change over time whilst I continue to upload and find parks, but it does give us an idea of the current situation around the world. Know a skatepark that is missing on the map? You can add the skatepark here and help keep our map up to date! See all the skateparks in the world Add a skatepark to the map 

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Style is fundamental in Olympic Skateboarding

October 31, 2022, interview with Marcos Hiroshi Subjectiveness, originality and fearless tricks are the secrets to success in Olympic skateboarding. In this third part of the interview with Marcos Hiroshi we get a comprehensive view about how judges value a good trick. Stay foolish is still a good mantra. How have the Olympics changed skateboarding in Brazil? We got the power to advocate. Skateboarding now has the same importance and relevance as many other sports. Now we can talk to politicians and demand a skatepark like other sports demand new facilities. Skateboarding is becoming more popular in Brazil… Yes, even folks who didn't know anything about skateboarding are now more curious. People want to know more about skateboarding and hear stories about their heroes. The bad image of skateboarding belongs to the past. A rider is not an outcast anymore. Skateboarding is now a kid’s sport. It's something that brings all people together. It's more than just winning or taking over the other one to rule. The image of that girl being raised was a landmark in the Olympics. The Japanese skater, Misugu Okamoto, missed the podium after bailing a flip attempt and falling into the concrete bowl. While she was crying, other competitors showed up to hug her and lifted her on their shoulders, becoming one of the most powerful images of that competition. This was the perfect calling card of skateboarding. Now you have that uncle who during a family dinner is talking about the young girls who are rocking in skateboarding, like Rayssa Leal. That's a good thing, because people are interested in skateboarding and it unites people.  It is about empowerment. Thanks to this, riders are receiving scholarships. They do not ride just to get a sponsor; they get money from the state or local government. That money will sustain the skater and that is a huge change! Furthermore, many specialists started to work on the backstage: therapists, physiotherapists, coaches, referees…  people who became professionals. I was in Tokyo during the Olympics and people from other sports were saying ‘hey, I like the way things work in skateboarding.’ They got impressed. You have conquered a place… Yes, but we are having some disputes with Worldskate, which is more related to roller skate. Skateboarding wants to take their own decisions and follow its own path. Worldskate has nothing to do with skateboarding. Fortunately, skateboarding is rising in other countries due to the Olympics. I went to China recently and I noticed how powerful skateboarding is. I saw some exceptionally good things in Turkey too. You are a judge member at skateboarding competitions, including the Olympics. How subjective is your analysis? There is a fixed value for a trick. The extra comes from other factors like did he do that it at the limit, the speed, style... For that we give hundredths of a point and that is what makes the difference. Let us say a deep slide is worth 5,10 but the guy who does that perfectly and with style gets 5,86. We value the one who makes the difference. It's not like snowboarding, where there are mandatory maneuvers with a closed and fixed value. Subjectiveness is one of the more important parts of skateboarding. Style and individuality mean a lot, which is the essence of skateboarding. We stand to prevent riders to become robots. How do the judges establish judgment rules? The CBSK created referee courses to explain, in each state, how the evaluation system works. Judges learn how to take notes, what to pay attention to, etc. Do you watch training sessions to? Yes. In the Olympics we must watch all training sessions since day one. Is there a specific training sessions’ number? Yes. If a competition starts on Thursday, then Tuesday and Wednesday are dedicated to practice and official training sessions. That is when we see what the athletes are preparing and what they are going to do in competition. We start to study them on previous days. Based on that we, the judges, start to set an average to a special trick. Give me an example. Let us say we see a guy doing a flipnose blunt. We start to discuss: how much should we grade it? And then we start to make charts to divide it in those items that we talked about before. We go to the park, too, to try it. It is impossible to understand the difficulty level of the obstacles from a higher point of view. By going there, we see the distance between obstacles, how high they are, witch side is more difficult, if there is a crack. Those details will help us to have a full guide and to give a fair rate. You must decide very quickly. Because competitions have TV broadcasting, judges cannot debate rates, we must decide almost immediately. We have 15/20 seconds to do it. That is why we prepare everything in advance. Is there a chance of a rider surprising you during a competition? That is almost impossible. If a rider wants to show a new trick, he must try it before, at training sessions, where we are studying them. I remember one time a guy doing a Caballerial nose flip. He was just trying, but we started to debate ‘how are we going to score this if he does it during the competition’? How many judges were you at the Olympics, in Tokyo? Five judges and a head judge. I was a park judge. Are the Olympics changing the skateboarding categories? Mixing styles in one competition is the future? Yes, the future is to combine all features at one single track. The rider of the future will be the one who has not just a category, he must do everything well. It is by watching championships that you see who has that profile. Andy Anderson is a good example; he is someone from freestyle who rocks in park. Park is still too attached to bowl and vert; the future will be a fusion of all these categories. Instagram Marcos Hiroshi Read interview part 2

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Skatepark hunter in the highlight - Patrick Peeters - 100 skateparks added to the map

October 28, 2022, interview with skatepark hunter Patrick Peeters Meet Patrick Peeters, one of our top skatepark hunters, who visited 107 skateparks in less than a year. Patrick Peeters is a Belgian TV camera operator who discovered skateboarding during a "bad moment" in his life. Skateboarding helped him "clear" his mind and chasing skateparks in Europe has been his passion since then. 107 skateparks, in less than 1 year, is one hell of an effort, so we decided to have a chat and find out more. First, tell us something about you. Where are you from, what do you do and how/when did skateboarding turn part of your life. Hello, I'm Patrick, I'm 46, I live in Belgium where I work as a television cameraman. As a teenager I skated, but can't remember doing anything special. I just liked cruising around and jumping over some self-build quarters. Then I stopped skating for 30 years, but have been back on a board for the last year and half. So yep, I'm back skating again and love it. In the beginning actually my sister wanted to start with inline skating, so I went along at the local pumptrack with her and that's how it all started. What drives you to find, discover and help update new skateparks? I love to skate at different parks, just so I can find spots I like. Skating different parks helps me get comfortable on different surfaces, shapes, heights of quarters, and carve in different bowls. I was planning to make a Facebook Page or something similar, to collect my pictures of different parks, to get my own sort of database. And then I discovered Trucks and Fins. I knew this was what I was looking for. I believe there are more people that would love to have information and see quality photos of skateparks, before making the decision to go there or not. And that's why I love to help update the website. Can you tell us how far you go to explore a skatepark? When I drive to a skatepark the first reason is to find a spot to skate. The second reason is to get photos of the park because I am there. I'm lucky to be allowed by my chief to make some detours on my way to work abroad, so I can drive some extra km's to check out parks in France and other places. Along the way I have found some great skateparks. Recently I was on vacation in Tenerife and of course couldn't resist to check out all the local parks and put them on the Trucks and Fins website. You have visisted 107 skateparks, what are your favourite? And what about the worst? I didn't end up skating all the parks. Due to weather or not having a board I didn't skate every single one of the parks. But from the ones I did skate the worst was Grand Marais Skatepark near Amiens in France. It's a concrete bowl with a nice shape, but because it's old, there are pieces of concrete coming off everywhere. I just left after a couple of minutes. It really wasn't possible to skate there. The best? I can't really pick "a" favourite, so here are my top 3: Du Grand Large in Mons, Strombeek Bever near Brussels, and Sint Niklaas skatepark. They all have a nicely shaped bowl and a street section with different obstacles in an interesting setup and quality quarters. Based on your experience, does the average skatepark have the right features for average riders? What could improve? For me there is no ‘standard rider' because of the different disciplines. It's difficult to build a park that's right for all of them. For street you want lots of flat space and obstacles, for transition skating you want a lot of quarters and half pipes in different heights, and for a bowl you want a good closed bowl to carve around. But I guess Blaarmeersen in Gent, Sint Niklaas and Strombeek Bever are all-round good parks. What could improve is getting more in contact with the local skate community when building a park. I have visited a lot of big expensive parks with a bad surface, bad quarters, or the trend now to paint bowls... Skateboarding is a social gathering, too. Do you have a happy story at a skatepark you would like to share? Recently I met a woman who was skating but wanted to skate more and with other people. She was happy to learn about the 'skating for adults’ lesson I was following each week, and she joined our group. When I was on a little holiday in Vienna, Austria, I met some local skaters who invited me to their park, lended me a board, Vans and full protection gear so I could have a go. It was a fantastic moment skating together and being welcomed like that. What is your favourite trick? Not sure if it qualifies as a trick, but I love to carve and I hear nice comments about my carve skills. I know it's definitely not a standard skill. At the De Kuil bowl in Den Haag one skater said that at the time he first tried skating a bowl, he already skated 10 years but couldn't carve, and was impressed with my carving after 1 year skateboarding. Another skater said he held competitions between his friends to see who was able to carve a curve after a curve, but they couldn't do it. And to see me do it like I do after just 1 year was really great. So, I guess it is a trick! Who’s your favourite rider (actual or all time, it’s your call)? To be honest I don't follow any specific rider. I prefer to follow adults on their journey to learn to skate than more experienced skaters. But of course, as a kid and still now I know Tony Hawk and really like his style. Would you like add something I didn’t ask? I want to go more into what skateboarding has done for me. I started to skate when I was in a bad place in life. Skateboarding gave me a thing to focus on. Something to clear my mind, a reason to go outside and do something, to meet other people, and do some good exercise. It has helped me a lot on a mental and physical level, which I could never have imagined when I started. As I have become fairly active on Instagram with my skate account, I had some people who told me they are inspired by my journey, by my progress, and so I think it's given me an extra boost to share it all, the positive and the negative. And I always like to leave a positive remark or an encouraging note. We all have our own journey, our own progress, don't compare yourself to others. Just have fun and enjoy your own skills. Could you give us your opinion about our project, Trucks and Fins? I love it! It is exactly what I was looking for. A map with all the skateparks, with some pictures, so I can plan a skate trip to the parks of my interest. I hope every skater will get to know this map, and to use it for their trips. Patrick Peeters Instagram See Patrick Peeters his skatepark portfolio

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How has the Rayssa Leal phenomenon changed the image of skateboarding in Brazilian so...

October 4, 2022 How has the Rayssa Leal phenomenon changed the image of skateboarding in Brazilian society? Well, let's start off with this... In 2022 there are more girls than boys in skateboarding schools in Brazil. Don't miss the second part of this conversation with Marcos Hiroshi, former Brazilian professional rider, where we tried to understand how Brazil turned into a massive player in the world of skateboarding.    How do you explain the evolution of skateboarding in Brazil? We had ups and downs, but at one time skateboarding started to appear frequently on TV and city halls all around Brazil started investing in skateparks. We had this mayor in São Paulo who started building a skatepark in each community youth Centre (places with schools, specialized courses and sports equipment, including, of course, skateparks). In São Paulo around thirty skateparks were build and the city became a reference in skateboarding. Most of these skateparks were built in the city’s outskirts, in poorer neighborhoods and many good riders came out of those initial skateparks. Mainstream media helped, too… Indeed. It was when the X-Games appeared. Suddenly, skateboarding was on TV all the time and we had our ace, Bob Burnquist, who became a true ambassador. Many others came afterwards: Sandro Dias, Rodrigo TX, Tiago Lemos, Luan Oliveira and the most recent of all, Rayssa Leal, who at the age of thirteen years old won the silver medal in the Olympics. Photos credit: Julio Detefon / CBSk What was the impact caused by Rayssa Leal in Brazil? A tremendous impact. Every child wants to ride now. Parents are being pressured by their kids to put them in skateboarding schools. The Olympics showed that a little girl can ride and have fun like if she was in a playground. I can even tell you more. In Brazil now, we have more girls than boys in skateboarding schools! Photos credit: Julio Detefon / CBSk You have accumulated a lot of experience in skateboarding events in Brazil… Yes, we acquired a lot knowledge in the last two decades. The CBSK (Brazilian Skate Confederation) exists for twenty years and has many skillful people. We have associations, federations, statutes, projects connected to schools, you name it. They are also many social associations that take kids from streets through skateboarding. All this know-how resulted in big events and we have created a whole group of specialized people along the way. The image of skateboarding in Brazil has changed… For sure. It became mainstream and less marginalized. Several years ago, parents didn't want their kids to skate. And a girl? Never! But now that all changed overnight. The general public now understands something about skateboarding because the Olympics and all the Brazilian "skateboarding" idols. Now we have public money allocated to skateboarding, to prepare the Olympics, because skateboarding is an official sport. This money is also used to build more skateparks. The CBSK has an agreement with local and central government to act like an official advisor with skatepark builders to prevent bad constructions. Photos credit: Julio Detefon / CBSk How many skateboarders do you have in Brazil? A search made in 2015 by Data Folha (data platform from newspaper Folha de São Paulo) concluded they were about 8,5 million skateboarders in Brazil, but I can say for sure that we have now more than ten million, after the Olympics in Tokyo. Instagram Marcos Hiroshi See all skateparks in Brazil

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