How did your skateboarding career start?
I think my path was a bit of a phased one. I was always interested in culture and the sensation that the sport could awaken. The thing with boards and being on a skateboard or a board has always been something that interested me a lot, and then, as I grew up, I also became very interested in everything that encompassed skateboarding, fashion, lifestyle, music... So it was always something that interested me. When I was younger, I was interested, but I wasn't dedicated. The dedication came a little later, when I started to have time for it and was already older and could go out and "skate" with friends or alone. It was from then on that the dedication to skateboarding started.
The skateboarding community in Portugal and in the world has been growing steadily. What do you think that does to the skateboarding community?
I think it's important and it's good. It's important that we maintain a little bit of coherence and the true spirit of skateboarding and I think that, nowadays, there are a lot of people who get in a little bit more for fashion than for the sport. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it was probably a fashion that led me to skateboard too, so after all, I think the more people who skateboard, the better! I repeat my answer: the more people who skateboard, the better! Skateboarding is spectacular, so the more people who ride, the happier people there will be.
Skateboarding's entry into the Olympics was a major milestone in the acceptance of skateboarding as a sport, but it has divided the skateboarding community greatly. What are your thoughts on the matter?
That goes a little bit along the lines of my previous answer. I think it's great because it helps professionalise a sport and then a person can stay true to their principles and true to what they believe in, which is skateboarding. This is because skateboarding, for me, can be one thing and for someone else it can be another, and I don't think that someone else has the right to define what skateboarding is for me. I think it's great that there can be professionals in this sport and we can see talent growing, which wouldn't happen otherwise. From the moment the sport is getting professionalised, there could be new talent and new people with more support that will stand out more, that otherwise they wouldn't be able to. It's an incredible way to bring more opportunities to people who deserve them.
To what extent is sport an integral and important part of culture?
I think sport is essential to culture. I think that sport and culture go hand in hand and that sport influences culture and culture influences sport. So I think that, above all, sport is important for people's mental and physical health. You can see the influence that skateboarding has on clothes, on music, or, for example, that basketball has on footwear. It's fun to see the influence that sport has on culture and realise that they go hand in hand.
Do you think fashion and sport can go hand in hand? What do you think can be the influence of one and the other in their respective fields?
Yes, sport influences fashion and there is an intrinsic correlation. Even in skateboarding, we have the influence of other sports, like basketball with the SB DUNKS (Nike model trainers), and there are many more examples. I think they really go hand in hand.
How would you define modern Portuguese culture?
I think in Portugal we are on a good path. I know that sometimes in Portugal we are a little bit behind the rest of Europe, not to mention the United States. I think there are still some closed minds here. I'm talking only and exclusively about fashion and clothes, but I think Portugal is going in the right direction and you can already see that people are less judged by what they wear and that they can express themselves better through their clothes. I think it's good to continue on this path, so that it's not just beige trousers and white shirts.
What, for you, is the role of brands, like Overcube, in the voice that modern Portuguese culture should have regarding sports, culture, diversity, disruption, inclusion and so many other areas essential to development?
It is essential, precisely because of what I was saying. Sport is essential, culture is essential, but what moves all this is what artists and brands put out there, and Overcube is a platform that puts things out there and makes them available in the market for people, so it ends up having an important role and it's good that it activates them like with the campaign we are doing. I think it is absolutely essential to at least show people that there is a lot of availability and supply for people to express themselves in the way they want to.