Jaime is from the Philippines the first Junior Champ of the Asian Downhill Circuit. He tells us about the scene in his country, and gets us stoked on the upcoming VLT.
Hi Jaime, how are you?
Hey Gbemi! I’m great man, just chilling.
Where are you from?
I’m from the Philippines!! I was born here, and grew up here.
Nice place to grow up?
For sure! I love it here. Great weather all the time, beautiful beaches and mountains, skate paradise.
Are there lots of skaters there?
Yep! Well, maybe not as many as other countries, but the scene is growing like crazy over here.
What got you into skating?
I had this drum teacher when I was 13, and one day he brought a S9 bomb hills to my house, I skated it and loved the feeling. I saved up cash for a few months then bought myself a deck with my bro. I’ve been pretty much addicted ever since.
Are you a big musician?
I played the drums as a kid, I was a real rocker type. I don’t really play as much, but yeah, I love music.
What was your first board?
Loaded Dervish. I didnt really think about my first board before buying it, I just knew i really wanted a board to skate.
What made you go for the Dervish?
Loaded videos were really popular back in 2009 and 2010. I wanted to go straight for a LY or something, but I was splitting the cost with my older brother, so we went with the dervish.
Where were you skating in the beginning?
Just around my house. I’m lucky enough to have some solid spots inside my subdivision where I can skate everyday with the other groms in the area.
How did life change when you got the dervish?
I remember the morning I got the dervish. It was Monday and I was dying to skate, I woke up at 5:30am just so I could skate for an hour before school. I took the dervish to the biggest hill I could find, and bombed it, I remember the cold air while I experienced the speed for the first time.
Does your brother skate?
Yep! All my brothers do. We’re 5 boys in the family. I’m the only one who really skates now though, they all got into their own thing.
Who was the first to start skating?
I was the first to skate, in the beginning they all got stoked and joined in.
How did it feel at the bottom of that first hill?
The ultimate stoke. All skaters nowadays know what stoke feels like and they try to chase it; but the first time you’re really stoked on a DH run, you don’t expect it, and it just gets you stoked out of your mind.
Do you guys have a name for your gang?
My brothers and I? Naw, I skate every day, and i like to go fast. The others just like to chill. Except Miguel (9), he’s really talented. I took him on one of my races earlier this year and he dominated the under 10 division.
You guys have enough skaters to have an under 10 division?
Well, at that race, there were only 4 of them. Haha they all raced for the first time and podiumed, it was really fun.
How old were you when you first raced?
My first race, I was 14. But I didnt start racing seriously till I was about 15.
Is it important to encourage the young to skate?
Definitely! Groms are the future.
How do your parents feel about Miguel racing?
Well, they were stoked on his win. But he’s probably gonna focus on his football career. One child risking his life downhill is enough for them.
Would you skate if your parents didn’t encourage you?
For sure. If not skate, I’d surf, skim, or wakeboard. I’d find something to get stoked off. I’m really blessed to have parents who support me, most parents would freak out, but I guess I’m just lucky to have cool parents.
What were you riding in your first race?
I had a LY Spud with Gullwings and Flywheels.
How did you do in those first races?
I didn’t know I was going to a race, some guys from school picked me up and we went to an outlaw race somewhere in Subic. It was a wet race, and iI crashed a lot. Won the “losers bracket” though, and I was really stoked. After that, I started to go to more and more races, till I met Kuya Carl from United at Rad Hill.
Did you have fun competing?
I’ve always been competitive. I was bouncing around between all kinds of sports before I found skating.
Why did you choose to settle down with skating?
It was the obvious choice. I never felt passionate about any other sport or hobbie like skating.
Who is Carl?
Carl is the founder of UNITED. He’s the best. All about sharing the stoke. Carl basically takes care of all the skaters and makes sure we’re all safe when we skate.
Haha The United Skate Shop. TUSS. And yeah, I’m pretty sure Carl’s a Man U fan.
You guys seem to be big on football. Would you choose watching your team over a session?
Of course not! I’d pick a session over most things. Football is cool, but skating is cooler.
“Football is cool, but skating is cooler.”
What is the united skate shop?
The United Skate Shop is a local shop/team here in the Philippines. We’ve got over 40 riders nationwide, and even some shredders in other countries.
Are there many skate shops in the Philippines?
Yup. Lot’s of skate goods circulating through online skate shops nowadays too.
When did you first get sponsored?
That’s hard to say, I was never told “you’re officially sponsored now”. But Carl and Harold took me out on a wild skate trip one day, we shredded some solid mountain pass and surfed a bit in the afternoon, after that, I felt like part of the family.
Who is Harold?
Harold is one of the first people who taught me how to skate. He was there on my first skate trip and my first surf trip. Goofy master. He’s also really tight with Carl and Caloy, one of the brothers i gained through skating.
What does it take to join the family?
We’re all so different and UNITED at the same time. I guess you just have to be an adventurous type who loves to get stoked outdoors. Skaters are the most accepting and least judgemental people ever, so it’s really easy to fit in.
What were the most important lessons you learnt on the journey to becoming the skater you are today?
Skating has taught me so much. Respect your elders, because as a grom, they can either teach you a lot, or make your life a living hell. Sometimes, it’s good to shut up and listen. Skating taught me to relax, and enjoy the moment you’re in. Focus on safety while trying to go as fast as possible. Watch out for other people, don’t just think about yourself. And of course, SHARE THE STOKE.
“Respect your elders, because as a grom, they can either teach you a lot, or make your life a living hell. Sometimes, it’s good to shut up and listen.”
Are there a lot of groms there?
Yup! More and more groms are popping up everywhere. Before, it felt like just me and the Nopo kids from Visayas, but now I’m seeing groms killing it at slide jams and outlaws all over the country.
Who are your favourite people to ride with?
My UNITED Familia. All of the UNITED riders are fast as fuck, and it’s a great feeling when we can all charge a hill together safely.
What’s your favourite thing to do on your board?
I like to go fast. I never get tired of the speed.
Who are the kids from Visayas?
There are lots of groms shredding in Visayas nowadays. I first met the Grupo Nopo homies when I was 15 on my first VLT. They really shred, and they’re all awesome guys
How do you feel when you’re going fast?
Very few people who aren’t skaters will understand the feeling. It’s like, you’re flying downhill, you don’t feel anything but the speed and gravity pulling down faster and faster. It’s a feeling you don’t find anywhere else. Basically, I just get stoked.
What are you riding these days?
I’m on an S9 Daisy, Ronin Trucks, and RAD Wheels. I’m really digging this setup.
Are any of those your sponsors?
Nope. I wish man. Haha it’s not common for Asian riders to get recognition. Most skate companies gotta focus on the North American and European market first before branching out to us.
What does it take for an Asian rider to get that level of sponsorship?
Well, you can do it Gerard Cancio style and win everything. Or you can go Dandoy version and just be an awesome guy who kills it both downhill and freeride.
What’s the difference between the two version?
I’m not sure. Both ways seem to be pretty effective though. Good for them, they’re awesome and really deserve it.
Which path will you take to achieve your dream?
I guess I’ll just have to figure that out as I go along. The plan really is just to keep skating for fun, and if anything comes out of it like travelling and racing, then awesome.
What is your dream?
Wow, that’s deep man.. I guess the dream is to skate, travel, and be happy… right? hahaha
Are there any Asian brands?
Yup! We’ve got Asian brands like DWLE, Contach, Freetech, Etc.
What has been your favourite year of skating?
2013 no doubt. UNITED got to explore over 50 new spots, and I was really stoked being able to travel the country while skating with some rad guys every weekend. I skated everyday after school too. I tried to hit up every race, and I could literally feel myself levelling up as the year went by. Haha by the end of the year, I was stoked on becoming the first Junior Champ of the Asian Downhill Circuit.
What competitions did you attend?
Palumba in January – 4th Open
Visayas Longboarding Trilogy in April – 2nd Juniors Siquijor
Nasugbu Race in May – Semis.
Ralph’s Slide Jam – Biggest Stand Up and Biggest Air
Lobo Race in November – 2nd Open
Taktak Outlaw in November – 2nd Open and Biggest Stand Up
HG in December – 1st Juniors and 5th Open
What level are you on now?
I’m not sure. But I feel really confident and safe when I go downhill nowadays. I’m really excited for the future though.
Is it hard as a junior to kill it in open?
It isnt easy. Groms are usually smaller and lighter than most open racers. But it just takes lots of practice; work on drafting and lines to be able to keep up. Thankfully, I’ve grown a full foot since I started skating, so there’s not a huge size disadvantage anymore.
Who do you look up to in racing?
International racers are all so beast now, it’s hard to find a favourite. Locally though, Sherwin Uy, The People’s Champ, has the most raw speed ever and Jap Romero has the cleanest goofy lines I’ve ever seen. Caloy also for sure, he’s killing it downhill recently and is legit one of my skate idols. Basically, I look up the the whole UNITED team, setting the standard for South East Asian racing.
Where did your 2013 season start?
Started my 2013 race season in Palumba. Palumba was sick, it was my first time to reach the finals of Open, I was only 16 then. After that race, I realized that it’s not impossible for a grom to race with the big boys.
How did that realisation impact you?
Well, it’s not about winning, but it definitely motivated me to skate everyday.
“The Visayas Longboard Trilogy is a week long event across 3 spots in the Visayas… Great people, beautiful island spots, and fast skating all week long.”
What is the VLT?
The Visayas Longboard Trilogy is a week long event across 3 spots in the Visayas. I’ve been hitting up this event for the past 2 years, it’s something you really don’t want to miss. Great people, beautiful island spots, and fast skating all week long.
Why should people everywhere come for it?
VLT is a unique skate trip experience. It’s just more fun in the Philippines!
“VLT is a unique skate trip experience. It’s just more fun in the Philippines!”
Congratulations on being the champion! What did you win?
Thanks man! I won Haven’s Gate 2013 Juniors Division. I’ve won a few junior races before, but this was the first ADC event ever, so it really felt great to take it home.
What are the races like?
The races here are great. Everybody comes out to get stoked. Ultimately, it’s all about having fun, and that’s what we try to do. Competition is getting tougher and tougher every year though. At my first few races, only 2 or 3 people had leathers, now everybody shows up to races in leathers, it feels so legit! South East Asia is really gonna blow up any minute now.
What is the ADC?
The Asian Downhill Circuit is a new organization that will hopefully put on lots of races in Asia.
How will their arrival affect the fun you have on your board?
Hopefully it means I’ll have fun on my board while travelling around Asia. I really want to explore the other spots Asia has to offer and meet more awesome Asian riders.
What are your plans for this year?
My plan this year is really simple. Just keep skating. I’ll skate everyday for fun like a always do. I also made a deal with my dad that if my grades go up, I wont miss an event this year.
Do you have any trips planned outside your country?
Nothing finalized yet, but I really wanna race in Indonesia this year. I also might travel to Europe with my family this summer, so hopefully I’ll get some skating in there too.
Pick 3 numbers from 1-19.
4, 17, and 3!
4 – do you have any recurring dreams?
Yeah, I dream of flying maybe once or twice a week, no joke, it’s weird.
17 – What is Victoria’s secret?
I have no clue bro.
3 – What crime are you most likely to go to prison for?
Not skateboarding that’s for sure.
It’s been really really awesome talking to you Jaime Supergrom! Good luck in the upcoming VLT and maybe see you somewhere here soon!
Same to you man. Thanks! Keep on sharing the stoke!!
Any last words?
Yeah man! Of course, gotta thank my parents for all the support in this wild sport. shoutout to UNITED for always keeping the stoke high.