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INTERVIEWS

With MACBA in Jeopardy, Javier Sarmiento Talks Barcelona With SOLO

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As you’ve probably heard by now, MACBA is currently being threatened with a skateboard ban. This would certainly be a huge blow to the international community of skaters that make it their home. Considering this pending catastrophe, now is an apt time to talk to an O.G.about the evolution of the scene in Barcelona. SOLO handles business with the online release of its Javier Sarmiento interview from Issue 30. He speaks on the culture of skate tourism that is the foundation of the situation at MACBA.

How was it to be in Barcelona when it got really big?

At first, it was really cool. The people weren’t that famous. You would roll around pretty easy. People that would come from the States would feel really comfortable to go to MACBA, or the bars, without being asked for a photo or an autograph or whatever. After we did the Firm video, we used to hate to go to the skater bars because people knew you; and it’s not that comfortable. So I didn’t come here for four or five years. I didn’t want to go through that.

How was it back in the days with MACBA and Sants?

The roots of Sants go way deeper than MACBA for sure. It’s older and it was bigger for the people from Barcelona. MACBA got popular way later. New kids from the hood started skating there, and they didn’t have good relations with the Sants crew. It was separated at different times. There were so many skaters at Sants before MACBA. They were super good.

There are tons of skaters here all the time. Everybody is always filming. Is it hard to skate in a city where so much is happening?

If you want to make your way up in a competitive way to get sponsored, it’s super hard. If you just want to have fun, it’s super good. All I wanna do is have fun. So it’s cool for me. But it’s not the right place for an up-and-comer. You have to be super good to get proper recognition.

Head over to SOLO to read the rest of the interview.

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Image Via SOLO

INTERVIEWS

‘Good Work’ Episode Features Lisa Whitaker and Meow Skateboards

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Skater Lisa Whitaker narrated how she started Meow Skateboards in this episode of “Good Work”.

She also related how she got introduced to skateboarding and how she founded Girls Skate Network in 2003.

Whitaker started her skateboard company in 2012. Now, Meow has more than a dozen talents including Vanessa Torres, Mariah Duran and Kristin Ebeling.

“Lisa has always been the catalyst for women skateboarding”, says Torres who was one of the first skaters to join Meow’s roster.

Produced by Red Bull, the Good Work series features skater-owned and operated businesses.

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INTERVIEWS

Monster Energy’s Aspire-Inspire Episode Features Mami Tezuka

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Get to know more about Mami Tezuka in this episode of Aspire-Inspire by Monster Energy.

Surrounded by skaters growing up, Mami showed interest in skateboarding at around the age of three.

She started participating in competitions abroad in 2017. In 2021, she won silver in the X Games Women’s Skateboarding part. She landed third place in X Games Chiba 2022.

Fellow Monster Energy rider and friend Lizzie Armanto describes Mami as easy-going, fun to be around, and inspiring. “When I’m around her, I want to push myself better,”

Tezuka admits that she enjoys filming video parts more enjoyable than participating in contests.

“Competition is kind of stressful for me”, Mami said. But added that she does enjoy seeing everyone at contests.

“Filming part is more fun for me…it doesn’t to be hard, tricky trick, but you can see the style and progress of the skating”, explained Mami.

I want to inspire girl skaters and young people. Do what you love and then don’t be afraid to be yourself.

Mami tezuka

Aspire-Inspire is a mini-documentary series by Monster Energy. Previous episodes featured Aurelien Giraud, Kelvin Hoefler, Rune Glifberg, Ayumu Hirano, Nyjah Huston, and Matt Berger.

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INTERVIEWS

The Nine Club Features Elliot Sloan

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Elliot Sloan narrated how he injured his neck while doing a 900 and his other worst slams on the ramp in this episode of The Nine Club podcast.

He also talked about getting into vert and then mega ramp, building his own vert and mini mega ramp in his own backyard, and hosting the X Games in his backyard among other things in the two-hour podcast.

Sloan is a four-time X Games Big Air gold medalist. In the recent X Games held in his backyard, he landed second place in the debut of the Mega Ramp category and first in the Skateboard Vert Best Trick.

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