Don Alex from Valencia tells us all about the community in his city, and how he got into DH skating. He also shares stories of his recent adventures.
Big Gbemi! Merry Christmas bro! I’m very happy about this interview.
How was your weekend?
It was a crazy weekend! I was in the Ridersfly house with my teammates doing a lot of downhill and preparing surprises.
What is ridersfly?
The reason that I started doing downhill. In May 2011, I discovered the amazing video “Only Fly´´ with Sergio Sebastiá and Alex D´Elía.
Ridersfly strives to make longboarding grow in the best way possible and they provide incredible products made with good materials after many product tests. As we say: “By riders for riders´´. Visit the website ridersfly.com and find out.
Is that skatehouse Valencia?
Maybe… hehe. For me its the Ridersfly headquarters. It´s the place where we have to go for orders, haha!
Who are Sergio and Alex?
They are two people that I admire for different reasons. Apart from being great people and big riders, they have worked heart and soul for what they are passionate about. And they never stop fighting for it every day. I’m very proud that Ridersfly offered me a place onn the team. It´s a great honor to be part of this family.
When did you start skating?
I started in 2009 at 18, as an alternative to surfing. In my hometown (València) there are very few waves and the vast majority in winter. I started using my board as transportation (because the city is flat) and surfing the asphalt. I started downhill in May 2011.
Who else was skating in Valencia back then?
In the city few people, but everything changed in 2011. One day, I was in Palau “local spot´´ I met Viktor Moneva, who is like a brother. That was the beginning of the evolution of longboarding in the city.
Who is Viktor Moneva?
He is my freestyle and dancer brother. We used to shoot a lot together. Thanks to Viktor, I understood that the longboard is much more than a hobby. On a day´s journey to the port, it occurred to us that we have to unite all who skate in Valencia, to enjoy together in brotherhood.
As I had just seen the film “The Godfather´´, we thought each crew was a family, so we decided to be called “LongFamily Valencia Crew´´. And now there are different LongFamily´s around the world.
What changed everything?
Everything changes when you meet people that share your passion. Before summer 2011 I got my first sponsor, ( Fuerza 5 Surf Shop ). A great store that is constantly evolving since 1981. They helped to me to go to my first downhill competitions in Spain, and they are still helping me. Now they have an online shop, growing step by step (www.fuerza5.com).
What other sponsors do you have?
Bonita Bay Wear, Cevep.es , Volatile Longboards, Pucks Crema, Ridersfly brake soles and Genghis Truck Co. And doing a collaboration with ARC prendas de motorismo.
Do you wear the pucks under your shoes like in the video?
No bro! I wear the Ridersfly brake soles. Predictable and smooth brake with a very long life. Believe me, the best soles. The same with the pucks. That videos was amazing. If anyone has not seen it yet, they will see what I mean. First and second part. Enjoy!!
Why did you want to go fast?
Because I love speed, the improvement which comes with practicing downhill and all the countries and natural places that I visit and skate with my board. I always forget my problems when I go fast.
What is your favourite place to visit?
I haven’t visited yet, but I really want to go to California. Maybe in the near future I’ll b able to live there for a while. Good weather, natural parks, many hills to ride, big longboard scene, what’s not to love?
How does downhill make you feel?
It helps me to free my mind. All you have to do is go as fast as possible and enjoy, always safely.
What is the LongFamily?
A union of people who support and help each other, as a family. An open group to any disciplines where the only requirement is respect. We skate, meet new people and help the community grow.
Tell me about the community in Valencia!
In Valencia, the longer community has grown since 2011. We were few, but now we have many events and we are gradually growing. The community is very welcoming and if you come to us, we will take care of you as one of us. Tobias Kibbel knows what I mean.
What is your role in the community?
They call me “The Godfather´´ but I´m just another rider. Maybe a little crazier! Hehe.
What events have you organised in Valencia?
Many cruisings, downhill/freerides in the mountains, underground events with freestyle, races, jumps and slalom contests. We have great weather on the Mediterranean coast, even in winter!
This year, the LongFamily will oganise different events in the city and maybe out of town.
Who do you skate with?
Now I skate with the people that practice downhill, because I need to improve my skills. Although I like to skate with the people I met in the beginning.
What sort of skating do you like?
A video by Mikel Echegaray -(Wild run! Alexander D´elia VS Louis “Louch´´ Bigourdan), is one of my favourites. This is pure DOWNHILL!!!! http://vimeo.com/18631899
Have you skated in other parts of Spain?
Yes bro! In many parts: Catalunya, Asturias, Galicia, Madrid.
Are there many freerides in Spain?
Yes! Velefique international freeride, freeride Tuixent, freeride Erandio, freeride Laredo, freeride Sant Mateu. And more that I haven´t said.
When did you start competing?
I started in summer 2011, in a national race organised by FDI ( Federacion de Deportes de Inercia) in Asturias, at a beautiful place called `La Mafalla´.
I will never forget the kindness of the people, the natural scenery and the 4 hairpins of the track. Unfortunately the federation (FDI) needs to improve to make a good national circuit. Here we have many good hills and really good weather to ride at any time of the year. We need to take advantage of that and we’re doing it at Ridersfly. Thanks to the hard work of Maria Giner, Sergio Sebastia and Alex D’Elia.
What other races did you do in 2011?
Only one more, again in north of Spain. It was in Galicia, in a great place called Valdoviño. I will never forget that race because it was my first competition in the rain. Also I had no leathers and I finished completely wet and cold, but with a big smile in my face.
How was this year for you?
This year was really crazy. I met big people that I hope to remain friends with. I was able to attend two European races (Bo Peep Crash and Burn and Lagoa Azul Pro) learning a lot and enjoying with big riders. And what made me happiest was joining the Ridersfly team. It has certainly been one of my best years. I hope next year is better and I can attend more races.
What do you enjoy about racing?
I enjoy the feeling that you have when you are going down with the other competitors and trying to not get overtaken. And I love the moment of the exit, I consider myself a heavy pusher.
I think it is very important to take advantage at the start, because you have less distractions. But I need to improve my tuck position.
What do you ride?
Right now I’m riding this setup:
Board: Volatile Panic.
Trucks: Genghis NTRCPTR
Wheels: Venom Cannibals
Bearings: Bones Reds
Where would you like to ride next season?
I would like to go to all the competitions, but it’s impossible. It will be perfect if I could go to all the European races.
It’s been great talking to you bro, thanks for always being a great friend. Hope to party with you more next year!
Thank you Gbemi for this interview and all your work for the longboard scene. It was a pleasure to talk to you and share my experiences. Hope to see you soon. Big hug bro!
Any thank yous?
Gracias a todos los viejos sponsors por haber renovado conmigo y vuestra confianza. A Carlos por Fuerza 5 Surf Shop por tu confianza y esfuerzo por avanzar, Benja por Bonita Bay, una ropa de gran calidad, comoda y grandes diseños y Cevep.es por Rafa, Luis y Abel por permitirme el gran honor de poder estar con vosotros. Gracias a ARC por los mejores monos y todo vuestro trabajo y esfuerzo. Thank you so much to Josh and Javi for let me be a part of Genghis team. Finalmente agradecerle de todo corazón a Sergio, Maria, Alex, Irene, Pablo, Thomas, Rufi y Mikel las grandes personas que son y que nunca hubiera conocido sin el downhill. Nunca olvidaré que me permitierais ser parte de vuestra familia acogiendome como uno mas y poder compartir con vosotros muchos buenos momentos.
Muchas gracias a toda la Familia del Downhill!!!