Sowi Rodriguez: Queen of Shenanigans

Sofia is a delightfully quirky skater from Uruguay. She loves Pulp Fiction, cats and haters. She tells us about her adventures around South America and big plans for the year.20Hola Sowi, how are you?
Hey! I’m doing pretty good. Working and… working. And eating, of course. Working involves eating I guess.

Are you working to eat or eating to work?
Both. AND eating my work.

You are a bacon taster?
Yes, definitely yes. A professional one. But I’m currently retired… because of some legal problems I had a while ago. I won’t talk about that. Next question.

Why did you kill Mario, he was a good man. Now Luigi has nobody to play with!
Bullshit! Mario wasn’t a good man. He was actually a pretty evil one, and what’s worse he was… VEGETARIAN. And Luigi, I won’t talk about Luigi, he touched my bacon and got what he deserved.
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Where are you from?
Born and raised in Montevideo, Uruguay. Yeah, the country that legalized pot. That’s why everyone knows the country.

For… medical use?
Yeah… medical use. Yes.

You guys have that president that lives in a box, right?
Haha actually he lives in an ordinary house… in a ‘poor’ area. He is kinda cool.

Does he skate?
I bet he doesn’t. He is a fucking old, man!

How did you get into skating?
Actually at this point I don’t even know how. I used to have a friend that skated, so basically I started skating with her. But after that, I started to use one of my friend’s longboards and… bam!
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What were you riding in the beginning?
Actually I used to ride one of my friend’s boards. He wasn’t using it, so I stole it. Like… he lent me that board. It was a Lab Longboard.

Is Lab a local brand?
No, it’s from Argentina.

 How did the longboard change skating for you?
What changed mainly was that I started to be more interested in skating. I mean, it changed because the main concept changed. It was really different and to be honest I wasn´t that good with a shortboard.

Were there many people skating in your city then?
Hell no. Like, 20 or 30 people.

Are you a first generation longboarder?
In my country, I guess yes.
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What kind of fun were you having in the beginning?
Actually, all I used to do was cruise and lurk around. That was all for the first couple of years. At first, I rarely had anyone to tell me what to do, how to do it, and I didn’t even know Adam&Adam existed haha.

Was there anyone to teach you?
Not at first. We were all doing the same… nothing. So after all of that we realized people were sliding and shit so we tried on our own. But yes! I had many teachers haha. The first two Uruguayan Loaded Ambassadors here; Fede and Seba, were really important for me. Also Andres Guidali, he is Loaded’s representative in here.

Which of them was your master?
I can’t choose one! All of them were equally masters for me.

What were you learning from them?
Lots of things! From dancing to freeride.
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Is there one lesson that was hard to learn?
Definitely. Being patient! Sometimes I act like a Kamikaze and that’s not really good sometimes.

Is Montevideo the capital of Uruguayan longboarding?
No! Montevideo is mostly flat. I would say that the capital of Uruguayan Longboarding is Piriápolis. It’s an hour away from Montevideo, and there are awesome hills.

What was the first event you attended?
The first one that I attended was like, 5 years ago. I went there just because I was curious. But the first one that I competed in was 3 years ago, in a city called Jaguarao, between Brazil and Uruguay. And I was scared as fuck. AND I was the only girl in there, so… poop.

What were you riding back then?
I was using a Sector 9 Lacey back then. And a Bhangra. Ha!
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What kind of competition was it?
Actually it wasn’t like, a slide jam or whatever. You were able to do whatever you wanted from freestyle, freeride or downhill slide.

How did you do?
Kinda shitty cause I was scared as tits.

Were there other girls skating in Uruguay?
I only knew Dan Montes de Oca. And after a couple of months we started seeing more and more ladies skating around. But it is kind of complicated here; action sports have become a trend and most of the times girls buy a super expensive board, ride it for a month or two and after that you see all the boards being sold on Facebook.

When did you stop being scared?
When I stopped giving a fuck about falling. But in fact the feeling of being scared turned into adrenaline.
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Was it hard being the only girl?
In fact it wasn’t really hard. It has it advantages. But what I hated the most was getting all the attention. I really hate that.

What are the advantages?
The advantages are that you are sort of a little sister to your friends. They beat you and also take care of you haha. And I guess that most of the times, guys encourage girls more.

What kind of attention does the only girl get?
It is kind of annoying feeling that everyone’s looking at your butt. I mean, not only the butt. But in fact I guess that happens when you don’t know the crew you are skating with. Because otherwise, you are just another person in there. It’s kind of complicated to explain haha.

In an ideal world, what would you like to happen when girls go to events?
Getting free food. Lots of it. AND no particular attention for no reason.
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Would you like to see more women joining and staying?
Definitely! It would be awesome having more ladies going fast and skating hard.

Are you doing anything to make that happen?
I try. Whenever I see a girl riding, I try to encourage them to keep on trying new stuff. I USE FOOD TO ENCOURAGE THEM. Nah, kidding. I eat all the food.

Last year we organized an event, a meeting with Valeria Kechichian and some girls from Argentina. It was in Buenos Aires, and the main idea was doing something to spread the stoke between girls. It was pretty cool because we had girls teaching Freeride, Freestyle, Dancing, and Downhill Sliding. And also it was pretty awesome because it was the first time in my life that I was able to skate with more than 5 lady shredders.
24What did the event achieve?
It was really awesome seeing how lots of girls that, most of them didn’t even know each other, got together just for a day to have fun and skate; and most importantly, to learn stuff.

Does it feel different when you skate with stoked girls?
Definitely. When I went to Buenos Aires, I met some girls from all over Argentina, Yamile Isach, Manuela Bayugar, Manuela Stabile, Poli Wiaggio, Pauli Riulli, all of them were amazing riders (and to be honest, it was the first time in my life that I saw a girl doing a Backside Check in real life). And it is kind of a feedback. You spread the stoke you get from other stoked girls that get stoke from you.

Where is the longboard capital of South America?
To be honest, I can’t tell you that because I don’t even know where it is. And I haven’t been in another places rather than Argentina and Brazil.

Do you have any girls you admire in skating?
Definitely yes! Alicia Fillback, Carmen Shafer, Elena Corrigall, Micaela Wilson. I admire most of the ladies that skate hard.
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What is your favourite thing to do on your board?
Whatever that involves my board and food is my favourite thing to do. Actually, longboarding helps a lot in so many ways it is kind of my meditation.

Do you remember the moment you knew you’d be hooked for life?
The first time I rode my first bhangra. It was freaking magic. Almost like the first time I slapped Mario.

How is the community in your city?
It is pretty cool, it has become bigger over the years. But as I said, most of the crew are dudes.

Is there a name for it?
Not really. There are a couple of crews, like Godlike Downhill, 5 Esquinas…

Which gang do you belong to?
None. Los pibeeeessss.
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When did you get the bhangra?
I got my first Bhangra in 2012. Andrés Guidali, is not only the main distributor in here, he is also like a father for me. He has done lots of things for me, including giving me my first Bhangra before starting as an ambassador. It was really important for me, cause I was completely in love with that board at that time, and he knew that. Before that, I was doing freestyle with my Lacey haha!

How did getting the Bhangra change skating for you?
First of all, kicktails changed my life haha. I was able to learn lots of tricks. I learnt how to do the fakie shovit with the lacey, so doing it with the bhangra was much easier and it looked much better. Even though it seems weird, I loved doing freeride with my Bhangra. I got used to the long wheelbase, and I felt really comfortable with it.

What kind of tricks do you like to do?
Bigspins, Flips, Shovits.
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What adventures did you have in 2012?
Well, the most important one was making it into Loaded and Orangatang. That was definitely important for me. Going to the IGSA’s Snake Skeleton that year was also a really good experience. To be honest it wasn’t really ‘good’ because I crashed really bad, but I learnt a lot during that trip and I met lots of awesome people from all over the world! I finished college that year, so graduating was another good thing that year.

Was that your first race?
Technically yes. But I wasn’t able to compete in there. I crashed and then spent the last 3 days lurking and getting mad with myself.

Is all of South America one big happy skate family?
Errr…I don’t know. I guess yes, because Longboarding has one main advantage, if you go to any country, you can easily access to any Facebook group and contact local riders, and most of the times they are open to take you to local spots and meet people in there. I’ve made lots of friends in other countries, especially Argentina and Brazil.

“I have to admit that when Andrés told me that I was gonna start riding for Otang and Loaded, I almost shat my pants. The Bhangra was my favourite board at that time so riding for them was like a dream for me.”

How did you hook up with loaded?
Actually the story is pretty confusing. Andrés Guidali, Longboard House’s owner, told me he was going to California on a business trip. A couple of months before that, I was talking to Gina Mendez on Facebook, and she asked me if I had any videos. The only one I had was a shitty one, poor quality and just some tricks. I sent her that one, and she told me I was doing some good tricks, and that she was going to send it to Darren (Loaded’s team manager). I thought she told me that just to make me happy haha! But when Andrés went to California, Darren talked to him about me and said that Gina showed him the video. I have to admit that when Andrés told me that I was gonna start riding for Otang and Loaded, I almost shat my pants. The Bhangra was my favourite board at that time so riding for them was like a dream for me. And I’m thankful to Darren, Gina and Andres too.
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What is a Longboard House?
Longboard House is one of the main board shops in here. Andrés Guidali started selling Loaded and Orangatang at first, like 5 years ago, and then started to sell more and more brands. Now he is the distributor of most of the best Longboard brands. He worked a lot for that and after all he ended up opening this shop, which is like my second home.

Did you have a fun 2013?
I always have fun! And yes, 2013 was an awesome year. Lots of changes, lots of fun. I moved in with my best friend to the center of the city and found a cat and named him Sambucetti. We met Kyle Chin and Ethan Cochard, and it was damn amazing seeing them in real life. I met lots of people last year. Made a lot of new friends, made a couple of enemies (haters gonna hate, bitch!) and I’m sure that I grew up a lot. Moving out helped me in so many ways. I learnt how to handle myself on my own. I forced myself into growing up when I decided to move. I used to live with my mom and brother, and I just decided that it would be good for me to see how it worked without mom’s help. It was pretty hard, but I definitely had fun. Except for the bills. Bitches hate bills.

Is Ethan as cute in real life?
Well… he is even sexier. And shorter. HA!
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How do you deal with enemies?
Kill ‘em before they lay eggs! Meh, as I said, haters gonna hate. If you don’t know me you can’t say a word about me. And if you don’t like me, fuck you.

If you don’t know me you can’t say a word about me. And if you don’t like me, fuck you.

What ways did you grow up in?
First of all, hair. Grey hair. I don’t even know how that happened. I guess I used to be damn selfish. And living with my best friends helped me a lot with that. The other thing I learnt was that you can’t hide from your problems. I used to do that a lot and this year I had no other option rather than facing what I was doing wrong.

I also learnt that if you have a cat in a small apartment, it will always smell like poo. No matter how hard you try.

Is that what you say to people when they realise you don’t shower?
No. I tell them that I don’t want to have a bath. And I don’t do it. For weeks. Kidding.
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What gave you the biggest smiles last year?
My best friend, Sofía Sánchez aka LA PERA. She definitely gave me the biggest smiles cause she is hilarious.

Do you guys have any races in Uruguay?
Last year we got the first couple of races in the ‘Cerro San Antonio’. That was real fun!

Why should skaters visit your country, except for Safety Meetings!
Because weed is legal! Haha, kidding, we have some really good spots. Not here, in Montevideo. But if you go to Rivera, Piriápolis, Lavalleja… you would be amused by all of them.

How is 2014 going?
It is going pretty well. Lots of work and lots of changes again. I’m really stoked about this year and all the things are coming. Yay! Won’t tell you why, but this year is gonna be fucking huge.
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What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Travelling, and getting my switch backside check hahaha. And eat. All day.

What do you do when you’re not skating?
Work. Haha! Actually I work a lot. I also work with my mom, I work with my dad too, in a magazine…and everything that comes to me haha.

Skate mag?
Yes! It’s called Defrontside. You can google it. And share it.

Pick 3 numbers between 1-19.
1-3-9

1 – If you had to be a bad guy in a movie, who would you be?
Jules Winnfield, Pulp Fiction.

3 – What crime are you most likely to go to prison for?
Illegal monkey trade. SAY WHAT AGAIN, I DARE, I DOUBLE DARE YOU MOTHER FUCKER, SAY WHAT ONE MORE GODDAMN TIME.

9 – what would you choose as your last meal?
Empanadas!
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Miss Rodriguez, you are delightfully random. London isn’t ready for you. Thanks for your time. Good luck and wash your hair.
Don’t tell me what to do! We already talked about hair washing.

Any last words?  
I’m always thankful, but I will say a huge THANK YOU one more time to Loaded, Orangatang and Andrés Guidali. I love you guys.

Links.
http://www.loadedboards.com/
https://facebook.com/LongboardHouseUruguay‎
http://www.orangatangwheels.com/
https://facebook.com/uniform.uy
https://facebook.com/DefrontsideSkateMagazine‎

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