Carl Sambrano: United Stoke

Carl is a super stoked skater from the Philippines, he is all about spreading the stoke and promoting good vibes. Read on to find out more about Carl!562273_446783748669749_256471757_nHi Carl, how are you?
High! I’m safe bro.

Excited for the weekend?
It’s already here. I’m baking some stoke for a trip tomorrow.

What are your favourite flavours in the stoke kitchen?
That would all depend on the occasion but you never go wrong with sweets.

Who gets to enjoy your baking?
Random people or anyone. Who cares, as long as the world is happy on sweets.

Where are you from?
I’m from Muntinlupa city, it’s in the Southern part of Metro Manila. Luzon, Philippines.

Nice place to grow up?
I grew up a city away from here but the South has always been my home.

When did you find skating?
My older brother Caloy and I used to have skateboards when we were like 7 or 8. He would do a bunch of tricks on his but for some reason I would go on a little bit steep part and try going down it faster and faster.

What did you like about going fast?
I like feeling the speed.

Have you stayed in it since that young?
We got a bit adventurous with other stuff so we kind of stopped skating up until 4 years ago.

What kept your attention in those years?
School, Work and trying out other stuff.

What brought you back to skating?
One of my good friends lent me her Sector 9 board for a month.

Did it feel different from skating earlier?
At that time I really wasn’t sure because I was about to stop doing my daily grind in the corporate world. So maybe I just wanted to do something new.

Do skateboarders fit in the corporate world?
You fit in wherever you can express yourself. I remember skating inside carparks when we had breaks and stepping on a board during brainstorming meetings.

Did anyone ever say funny stuff to you?
At work? No, not really.

What adventures did you have in that first month?
Mostly just inside the village and whenever there was some time during the work week.

When did you get your own board?
The day after I said goodbye to the corporate world, my mom gave me my first longboard. Thanks Mom for getting me back into skating.

What was your new board?
Landyachtz 9 two 5.

Why did you part ways?
Corporate? I wanted to do something different.

How did your longboard help you with your new life direction?
It was more of an excuse to go around the country, to enjoy the Philippines.

What did you find on your travels around the country?
That our country and it’s people are beautiful and I was an idiot to travel to other countries before enjoying my home, the Philippines.

Did you take your board with you?
I went around joining races and events. It was an excuse to enjoy an adventure.

What kind of skating were you doing in those early days?
I first joined a push race in the city and then started going downhill the week after.

What was the first race you went to?
Whiskey Hill 6 (2010).

How did you do in the race?
I didn’t know much about downhill so I walked up the hill watching what people were doing. I made the semis of the Beginners division with a half shell for a bicycle as a helmet and had trucks so tight everyone who tried stepping on my board felt it was way too stiff.

Did that experience get you hooked?

Who was organising events back then?
Whiskey Hill was the organizer of that race.

What other adventures did you have that year?
I went to another race a few weeks after, it was an outlaw and I dislocated my shoulder. Then 2 months after I went to enjoy one of the first big races in the country (Daet, Camarines Norte). It was the first time there was a big number of racers coming from around the Philippines. Then I also made the finals of a local outlaw.

What was the spirit of those early events?
Everything seemed to be so simple and open.

Who was winning all the cheese?
I don’t even remember honestly. I remember when I started at Whiskey Hill 6, Gerard was in Canada enjoying the rain.

Who are the OG’s in the community?
It would be whoever brought the stoke. Respect to them.

Were you different from the Carl who left home at the start of the trip?
An adventure will grow you most especially when it’s a new one.

Was it easy to buy good boards back then?
My mom brought mine back from a trip abroad and I got other stuff from a shop called Longboards Manila.

Was that the first shop in your country?
I went on a trip to the Visayas once and they said their store was from way back and to Mindanao also, so I really wouldn’t be the right person to ask.

How important are good skate shops to the scene?
A good skate shop could sustain the growing of the stoke, because most of the time, those who want to start skating visit skate shops to know what’s up with the stoke.

What did you get up to in 2011?
I was still managing a rock band, doing consultancy stuff and then UNITED.

You play drums?
I used to play added percussions with a turn table in rock bands.

Manchester United?
19th league title! We knocked them off their perch.

Not looking too good right now though!
With ManU? Depends on how you look at it.

What’s your relationship with UNITED?
I planted the seed of stoke that is continually growing to become a tree of stoke in the Philippines and in Asia, and I have kept it high and safe ever since.

What did you hope to grow?
I always dreamed to be a team manager and I was a huge fan of Sir Alex Ferguson.  I dreamed of growing a family or team who could express themselves to their fullest while trying to play with fire safely. I wanted to have a sustainable way of motivating others to relax, go out, enjoy and make a difference in the world.

What were the first things to grow??
You would always want to know what was going on first and try to make things more solid. Back then you could only count groms in the Philippines. UNITED’s 1st riders were home grown 14 year olds groms. We wanted to widen the age group and had a dream that maybe kids would have the most time for skating during after school hours and summer breaks. We wanted to grow a future full of stoke.

What fruit did you hope to get from the tree later?
As long as it stands high, stays stong and it keeps on branching out, it will bring good. Whether it would be to keep others under a shade of stoke just getting stoked off UNITED thru videos, websites, photos, sessions, maybe bearing fruit that would have other seeds to grow other trees of stoke or maybe just leave a sweet taste of stoke in them to remember.

Did the community need this tree?
There will always be some division and friction in any community but sometimes a little good can go along way or start some needed transitions that will keep it growing forward.

How UNITED is the community?
The community is growing, getting bigger and wider. Our stoke family reaches around Asia to Singapore, Japan, China etc. but if we keep on seeing more and more people making skating an excuse to go out with their friends and enjoy an adventure then we are united by the stoke that moves us.

Who are the other people tending the garden of stoke?
Everyone who keeps the UNITED stoke high and growing. It’s getting to earthly how this garden thing is going. But respect to all those keeping the South high with the green UNITED stoke.

Who were the first people you added to the family?
2 groms, Sherwin Uy, Dustin Basilio, Caloy Sambrano, Harold Crisostomo and guys from Grupo Nopo.

What is Grupo NOpo?
Grupo Nopo is a stoke family from the Visayas. We first started moving around with them mostly.

How has it grown over the years?
UNITED went thru knowing it’s image while moving around the scene in its first couple of years. We thought we would get more riders recognized in the local scene to motivate others to keep going at it. Today we are more focused on keeping the stoke high in our home in the South of Luzon. We still continue enjoy moving around and enjoying more adventures to keep on adding to our ways of sharing the stoke.

What is your role in UNITED?
Depends on who you ask. I could be the guy who drives a truck full of stoke or the guy who pushes safely a bunch of rad souls to go faster. Maybe to some they would say I’m the owner of UNITED, maybe an adventure planner or a guidance counsellor.

Do you have a shop?
We used to have one.

What do you have now?
We have a business of stoke with the fastest moving products are good and contagious souls who love expressing themselves and sharing the stoke.

What has been your favourite year of skating?
We have grown into who UNITED is and we kept things closer to home in 2013 but I would say 2014 will be my favourite year of moving around.

What adventures did you have last year?
We found lots of spots to enjoy and locals to share the stoke with, they were all efficiently and conveniently not more than 150kms from us. We used to travel 3hrs (one way) before, now 2hrs would be a lot for the truck.

What are your favourite types of runs??
I do runs doing chase cam runs with the truck. I have seen a lot of runs but I enjoy following a close and tight fast fast pack run down a hill that the guys have only skated for the very 1st time or seeing locals or first time skaters get stoked after their very 1st time on a spot.

What setup are you riding right now?
I step on whoevers board on trips just to feel them. Someone in UNITED is enjoying my trucks radly now and someone else is enjoying my board safely too. We had to sell my wheels after VLT last year so one of the riders could fly back to Manila.

What is the VLT?
A summer reunion, it’s like the summer circus of stoke and new characters seem to be growing it every year.

What are you excited about this year?
We are known for sharing the stoke but this year we are taking our time seeing how “moving around united” rolls out. I’m also excited to enjoy Asia with the Asian Downhill Circuit as an excuse.

Why should people visit the Philippines?
We have more than 7,000 islands in the Philippines. We’ve got waterfalls, beaches, lakes, mountains, rivers, good food and hospitable Filipinos all in a tropical country for your adventure.

What do you do when you’re not skating?
I pray to the most high to keep us safe.

Pick 3 numbers between 1-17.
15, 9 and 10.

15 – what happens when a zombie bites a shark?
I’m not sure but I read somewhere that’s how those Landyachtz wheels were born.

9 – what would you choose as your last meal?
Large Fries from Mc Donalds, Hofan noodles, Butterscotch, Brocolli and pumpkin soup, Uni and salmon sashimi and maybe baked Oysters and some solid meat.

10 – who’s your favourite skater?
Scoot or RAD King Kelly.

Thank you so much for your time tonight, it has been awesome getting to know you. Hope we get to hang out sometime!
Love to all those in Asia who are sharing and enjoying the growing stoke. Thank you to all those sharing the good stoke that surrounds us in our country, the Philippines. Rolling one for the UNITED family for always keeping it high and for showing love always. May we enjoy smoking out negativity and breathing in positivity. Good love bless you and may God’s stoke move you.