Fun chat with another Guadalajara local and Jati rider who has gone to the Darkside. Read on to find out how this Wrongboarder plans to turn potatoes into bacon.
Hola Gerado, where are you from?
Hi Gbemi, I’m from the land of Sombrerows, Mexico!
When did you start skating?
I’ve been skating my whole life: since I was 10, on and off. My first skateboard was a Wal Mart Ninja Turtle skateboard, about 15 years ago.
Where were you riding in the early days?
Street skating, and also a bit of transitions.
When did you start riding longboards?
It was about 3 years ago when I lived in NZ, my brother had a flexy bamboo sector nine he used for transportation, I start using it too as a faster way of transportation than my shortboard. Every time I went to work, there was a small hill that put a smile on my face.
How did you end up in NZ?
I’m a Food engineering student, I was in the middle of University and I wanted to quit and change to another career. My brother was on a sabathic year and I saw that as a good chance to think what I wanted to do with my life.
What do you want to do with your life?
I want to keep skating for the rest of my life.
As a food engineer, can you turn broccoli into steak?
I can turn potatoes into bacon!
Who did you ride with when you were there?
Most of the time by myself, I think street skating was way more popular by then.
Did you find people to ride with in Mexico?
Yes, there were around ten guys skating, doing some crossteps and some push up slides, but it really look like a lot of fun.
Had you seen anyone doing any stuff like that before?
Not really coming from a street skating background, all I knew was people grinding rails, jumping stairs, and doing kickflips.
Where were they riding?
It’s a place called “Via Recreativa” the government allows everyone on Sundays for them to ride bikes, roller skates, skateboards or just take your dog out. Car free Sunday!
What were you riding in those early days?
I had one of the old sector nine DH boards.
How does your street skating reflect in your longboarding?
Well, I still like doing both, I like to go fast with the same board I can get some air. Wrongboarding doesn’t hurt anyone. Popping ollies with my DH board or grinding rails with CNC trucks makes the world go round.
What board do you ride?
Currently I ride for Jati Boards, It’s a Ninjati shape with a big kicktail.
How soon after you started longboarding did you get sponsored?
About two years, but I always get supported by the 2 guys from the local community, Claudio Uribe and Jesús Gonzalez from Treee Skateboarding, these guys took me to skate, shoot videos and Jesús gave me a friends discount on wheels. I’m a big guy so wheels were kind of a problem. Well still is.
Who are Claudio and Jesus?
Claudio is a friend, skater and photographer, who’s been supporting the scene since the very beginning by making videos and taking pictures, Jesús is the owner of the store Treee and other scene supporter in Mexico, by making events and helping friends with discounts and some products.
How did their influence shape the skater you are today?
Most of the influence of my skating today is from the friends and people around this guys the people that took me to bomb hills when all I knew was how to make 180’s and Coleman slides.
What is the Treee and when was it planted?
Treee is the biggest community of longboard in Mexico, and it is also a store. It’s pretty much a channel to connect skateboarding and longboarding inside and outside of Mexico.
Are you one of the branches?
More of a fruit than a branch. There is not such a thing as team riders, it is just a big community, people skating, people taking photos, making videos, events etc.
Who are the other fruits?
There are a lot of people helping proactively in the community, just to mention couple of them is, Pollo Romo, Jorge Vigón, Daniel Caro, Fer Vega, Rosy Vega, David Dacar, Jairo Romo, Ignacio Hernandez, Fer Ortiz, Neff Ortiz, Oscar Perez, Richie Peregrina and I can keep going and going with this, there are just so many people here that the only thing they care about is skate.
Do you guys ride together a lot?
Yes most of the times.
What is your role in the community?
I don’t think there is a specific role inside, I just love skating, making events or go to an other cities and skate with the locals is my way to share the stoke.
What sorts of events do you make?
Last event I organized was call the Darkside DH Outlaw, and the reason for this was to give skaters from all over the country a “safe” environment to skate, with no cars and bales on the corners, and of course to have fun and meet new friends.
Did anyone come as Darth Vader?
Darth Vader actually compete but he got disqualified on the first heat for using his lightsaber
How did it go?
Pretty well, I had a lot of fun and also the people that came were rad. Formula was simple, beer, pools, closed roads, skateboards and friends. We had around 65 riders racing and about 100 watching.
Had you organised any other events before?
I help with the organization of couple more events like slide jams but this was actually the first being the main organizer.
How did it feel to organise your own event?
It was kind of stressful on the part of keeping the road closed, because it’s dealing with people’s lives, but all the riders helped me and at the end everything was better than planned.
Is it hard to get roads closed in Mexico?
Most of the times yes, but we have a really good relationship with the locals of this town which is 30 min driving from the city, so they had no problem with it.
Do you have plans to make more?
Yes maybe a winter freeride or a wet Tshirt contest, not sure yet.
Haha Puto Gerardo. Wet shirts are more aero right?
For sure man! Wearing a wet Tshirt gives you like 27.8% more aero.
Are there other cities with big communities?
Guadalajara is the largest community in Mexico, and after this there are 2 big cities with large groups of people skating, Monterrey and Mexico City.
Do you compete in either?
I used to in street skating years ago. This was my first year of dowhill competitions, I competed in 3 IGSA races, and some local races too, thanks to hard work and of course to sponsors.
Who are your sponsors?
Currently I skate Jati Boards, Orangatang Wheels, Rey Trucks, Riptide Bushings, Ojoom Pucks, and of course the constant support of Treee Skateboarding.
Why did you decide to start competing?
I just love the feeling of adrenaline while going fast on a closed road with 3 or 4 guys beside you.
Which competitions have you entered?
NY I love DH, Maryhill FOS and The MILF (Monterreal International Longboard Festival) which was the first IGSA race hosted in Mexico, and a couple more local races and Outlaws.
How did you do?
Better than expected after the 3 races I finished ranked on number 14 of the NorAm IGSA.
What was the highlight of the whole experience?
Amazing it’s hard to find the words to describe this, it was 3 weeks of not caring about anything but skating.
Which was your favourite?
Hard to decide but I’ll have to say the MILF.
As a Mexican, how did it feel to have your favourite riders lining up to race in your country?
It was such a good experience to race and skate with people from all over the world and friends from Mexico.
How was this race different from the others you had done?
This was the fastest and most technical race track, it’s a 3.8km long track, top speed is about 55 mph, and you need to predrift 5 times during the race, the pavement was really slippery, and the party was awesome, rock bands, DJ’s and a lot of wasted people.
What made it special?
The combination of wasted people, cheap beer and food.
Is there a national Mexican DH league?
Not really, we are working on it, so expect news in the future.
What format will it be in?
Probably just have state organizers that can take care of the sponsors permissions and stuff, with a committee than can regulate prices and agree the rules.
What difference would the Mexican DH association make to the scene?
Thats kind of hard to answer, but the main idea is to give local riders the chance to compete without the need to spend tons of money on flights and expenses out of their country, and of course, bring riders from other countries, to skate with the locals
What does Mexico have to offer to skaters from other countries?
We can start from fast and technical courses and of course is way less expensive to travel, eat, drink a place where to stay. Almost forgot about something important: parties with girls in short shorts!
Are these short shorts really as great as everyone says?
I have pictures to prove it
What are your plans for the rest of the season?
Just chill for the rest of the year and assist at local races.
Which local races are coming up?
I heard the guys from León a city 2 hours driving from Guadalajara will be throwing a race before the year ends.
What did you want to achieve after your first competitive season?
I can say I achieved more than expected, after the races I got the chance to meet a lot of new people, got to see different cities, made new friends, and improved my skating.
What’s been your most significant new relationship?
I met the people behind the brands I skate for, so that helped me a lot too.
Pick 3 numbers between 1-39.
7, 26 and 19
7 – What is your favourite meal?
Mole and curry
26- What kind of films do you like?
Suspense and horror
19- What is/was your favourite video game?
It’s been really really great talking to you bro, thank you for all your time, enjoy the rest of your endless summer.
Thank you Gbemi, you made me pass a good time
Any thank yous?
To my family, friends, my girl and sponsors for the constant support.