Featured rider: Eduardo ”Eko” Guimarães


Mr Eko tells us all about the family of longboarderz in Portugal, his BIG plans for his slide glove company, and upcoming events in Portugal.

Oy Eduardo/Eddy/Eko? Where are you from?
I’m from the great, sunny and ‘Invicta’ (never conquered) city of Porto Portugal! Nowadays I go by Eko. It was a family nickname, but it just caught on, and now with the slide gloves, I’m Eko to everyone.

When did you start skating?
I started skating back in 2008. I was out of uni, back home, no driving licence and my little brothers street deck was on the wall by the front door. One thing led to the next, and soft wheels felt a lot better on my daily commute. Everything started there and will never stop!

You never skated before 2008?
Nope, a little bit of inline, and surfing, but the idea of skating just brought pictures of broken bones to my mind haha.

How come you didn’t skate in Uni?
I studied in the UK, Oxford Brookes University and I was more into football, and the rain kept me more indoors than outdoors.

WOAH! You lived in England?
Haha, yeah. My family is multicultural, dad Portuguese, mum half English half American, so I got the opportunity to live both in the UK and the states.

So you Speak Portuguese, English AND American?
Hell yes, grew up speaking both languages, Portuguese and English at home. I brush up on my Spanish whenever I go over the boarder to skate with my Spanish friends. Hopefully I’ll take in a good amount of French this coming week in Switzerland.

How long did you ride your brother’s street deck for before upgrading?
Not long at all! My sister had a sector 9 pintail, oh boy did things get interesting from there! On one of my work trips to New York, I bought my self a sector 9 sidewinder, soft wheels took over from then!

It almost sounds like all your siblings had left you behind with this skating thing!
Yeah, i know. They are all into longboarding. My little bro Joe longboards here in Porto, and we often skate together, and my sister is ripping it up at uni in Buenos Aires, sent here a new board for here birthday:)

You’ve skated in New York?
Yes, yes, yes! Love skating in New York, although I haven’t been there in about a year. I used to go a lot on work trips, work during the day and skate at night. The pavement is amazing, and the city; well its breathtaking! Next time I go over I would love to do the Broadway Bomb, definatley on my to do list.

This year? 
Definitely! I love the feeling of skating in big groups and crowds. I’m a lot about the community of skating, and love it when I see a sea of skaters just cruising, and having fun! I went to La Noche en Negro in Madrid last year, and it was just one of the best feelings being able to see longboarders EVERYWHERE, stoked and happy to be able to all skate together!! I’m always trying to bring everyone together, especially in my home City of Porto. When we skate together we learn from each other, and evolve, and teach, and spread the joy and stoke of longboarding.

That was an amazing weekend. I didn’t see you though, just the bearded princess.
That was really an amazing weekend! I got to travel with my long term Longboarding friend, Susana Torroais ‘SU’, and a group of longboarders from Lisbon that I hadn’t met before. And of course the ledgendary Helio!

SUZIE is the greatest!
She is for sure! Props to Su, she got back a few days ago from Madrid, from the 100k Longboard Girls Crew weekend party, and placed 2nd at the Moyano Slide Jam!
Su has been at the heart of Longboarding in Portugal since I first came on the scene, organizing events through our LONGBOARDERZ FORUM and LBZ MAG.

Do you guys do many trips like that?
I try and do as many as possible! My first big trip was to Eastbourne in 2009. I had just gotten interested in Downhill, well I was kind of peer presured into it by Zeto ‘Z-Dog’, my wingman on this longboarding adventure. Last year I started going to freeride events, and will never stop going to them! The last one I went to was Tuixent, organized by Gerardo at Kaina and Jarto Jartorious, what an event!

You and Zeto started skating together?
No. Ze to started skating a few years before me. He and two friends started the LONGBOARDERZ FORUM, a forum that brought together a community of longboarders that is constantly growing. But from the moment that I found out about the forum, and met Zeto, we started skating together, and from then on we became partners in crime. I’ve done all of my trips and races and freerides with him! He’s definitely a crazy guy, and always up for an adventure. I have a lot of respect for him, as he has without a doubt laid down the foundations of the longboarding community we see in Portugal today, and brought people together that in the past skated in their cities or towns in Portugal, and wouldn’t have had a chance to meet other skaters. The FORUM has organized events that have allowed us all to meet and skate, and creating a nation wide family, and to me that is what longboarding is all about- family.

What is the family like in Porto?
It’s growing! It’s great! All kinds of people, young, old, from all corners of the city. We all get together at Casa da Musica, an opera house in the city center, (with marble waves) every Tuesday and Thursday, and from there we bomb and cruise the city.

How are you bringing people together in Porto?
I’m living in the south of Portugal now, and have been since August 2011, but try and go up to Porto every week end. I will be moving back in the near future, and will ddefinitelybe at Casa da Musica every tuesday and Thursday, and on the weekend road tripping to the nearby hills. One of my past sponsors, BOLLYWOOD Skate Shop will be organizing some events, and with the help of other skaters in the community, like my great friend Simao Soares, more and more events will be organized to bring not only skaters from my city together, but from the whole of Portugal!

What’s your involvement with the forum now?
At the moment I’m an administrator, and help out with the LBZ MAG.

You write?
Haven’t written much, some translating. I like to think of myself as more of an ambassador. I’m involved more in the physical side of the forum, skating and making people aware of its existence, and of how its a great way to find new spots, discuss relevant news and info in the sport and the industry, i’ll find any excuse to get on my board.

What technology do you guys use for spots?
Word of mouth. Google maps, and aeolic fields maps. There are a lot of Aeolic windmills in Portugal, and whenever they put up a few new ones they build roads and lay down fresh tarmack for the maintenance crews to go up and work. But definitely word of mouth.

Do you guys have anything like La Noche where everyone in Portugal comes together?
With the numbers of people that I saw at La Noche en Negro, unfortunately not, but its definitely an objective. We are having more and more events, a lot of freerides and some races.

What events are you most excited about?
Well this year I’ve got a road trip planned for August. We’re going to hit up Peyragudes in France, and then off to KNK longboard camp. As always Z-Dog will be joining me, along with Jorge Pernes, great friend, great skater and fellow longboard tripper. Ricardo Reis and Miku Cardoso from Deckheads (my new sponsors) will be joing us along with Jorge Sousa, Ludger, Simaõ Soares and my Board Sponsor Nuno ‘POWA’.

PENIS!! Haha he is the best
LOL, Pernes is THE CRAZIEST longboarder in Portugal!!  Full respect to him for his skating, his stoke and his loyalty to the sport with his constant need to progress and involvement in the progression of others!!

What is Bollywood?
Bollywood is a core longboarding shop in Porto. Its run by Ze and Xana. Over the years Ze has been working towards making his store into a core longboard shop, and is now there. You have top of the range technical equipment from a big range of board makers and trucks and wheels. They are starting to organize events, and this year we will see the second ‘RISE AND FLOW’ event, in which we bomb down Avenida da Boavista, the longest avenue in our city, 7 km long, followed by a slide jam and BBQ!

Sounds a bit like La Noche en Broadway Bomb!
Yeah, its great because everyone wants to get involved, and for the bomb itself you find yourself bombing the Avenue with longboarders, skaters, inliners, cyclists etc… Its a massive wave of pure adrenaline and joy.

Is this part of a weekend of events or just a push race? 
Its a weekend of fun, sun and longboarding. Last year we bombed the Avenue, followed by slide jam, hippie jumps and best combo trick. Late afternoon we pushed along the sea front, which turns into the riverside and into the heart of the city, the ‘baixa’ – down town area. Dinner and then drinks and projection of all the days happenings on the side of a massive 18th century building! This year we hope to add to that with another day of freeridng and some racing, so please come over and enjoy the sea and the sun that my great city has to offer.

What’s the date?
Early September, date to come in the near future..

Is Bollywood the only physical longboard shop in Portugal?
Core longboard shop at the moment yes, although there are other skate shops that are starting to invest in Longboard gear. Deckheads is one of these shops, and I’m very proud to be riding for them now! Bollywood at the moment though is the place to go for diversity in terms of Longboard gear.

When was it opened?
It opened late 2010, previosly Ze had another store, WESTCOAST, more of a surf skate and urban wear store.

Where did people get their stuff before this?
Well on line shops mostly. I have to give it up to KAINA, and Gerardo and his wife. www.gotokaina.com They operate this online shop very well, to the point of me ordering a board one day and having it on my door step the next! They have all the gear and tech products that any longboarder would want, and are always at hand for any info or doubts that you could have!

Do you have any other sponsors?
Yes. POWA Skateboards sponsor me and I’m one of the team riders. I helped on the creation of the POWA ‘ Seratonin’ which is my board of choice for downhill. I’m also sponsored by Waterteck Skateboards, massive longboards made for cruising and dancing, and of course EKO Slide Gloves.

When did you first get involved with POWA?
I first got involved with POWA when I saw this skinny kid on roller blades in shorts and a tshirt on a very rainy day in Porto. He was a friend of a fellow skater and joined us when we bombed Av. da Boavista, I only remember him saying ‘ man I like going fast!’. From that moment on he jumped on a board, rolled up his sleves and embarked on creating a new board brand with all of his product engineering knowledge, and crazy lines that he had stored up in his head. I’ve watched him create his brand and develop his products from the beginning and and I am greatly pleased to be a part of his team and help out with whatever I can.

Who else is on the team?
Nuno aka’POWA’, Z-DOG, Gabe, Sandro, and it keeps on growing!

Why do you have TWO board sponsors?
Well, things are pretty much laid back, and when I say this I mean that I’m here to skate. I love it, and want to see it grow, especially here in my country Both board brands are Portuguese, and as I was approached by both brands I accepted their kind gestures with a massive smile on my face. If I can help them, I will, especially if it’s something that I love doing!

What are EKO gloves? 
Eko Slide Gloves is a bunch of things haha. I started making gloves for myself because I was fed up of buying sliding gloves for a ridiculous price and having them tear just as I was beginning to enjoy sliding and keeping both feet on the board without footbreaking. I was involved in the footwear industry and had access and the know-how to work with leather, and so Eko Slide Glove began!
I had a great year in 2011 with the initial swell of production, and creating contacts and buyers and riders and a general great feedback from a product that I created and could share with the community and the sport.

How are they different from other gloves in the market?
Well my initial goal was to make the gloves affordable, and at the same time I wanted them to be durable. I started making them out of leather, goat, cow, pig leather all natural products, with natural fibers. Leather is a lot stronger than synthetic products and will last a lot longer, along with the fact that they start to ‘mould’ to your hands, so when you put them on they feel right! The price factor was always there as well, and being the cheapest compared to other brands was a must! And I managed to do it!
The past few months have been behind the desk, planning the future, and trying to create something solid. So watch out world!

What will the next step of evolution be?
My personal goal is to create a solid brand of longboarding accessories.

Racing leathers? Underwear? 
Only the future will tell! Keep your eyes peeled…

Do you have a team?
I have sponsored some riders and, and I am very grateful for all their help in publicizing my product. Katiana ‘Kati’ Torebella, from Mallorca, Alvaro Bajo from Madrid, Aaron Skippings from the UK and Oli Slaughter also from the UK, Fredrick Molin from Sweden and pretty much all of my longboarding buddies back home!

Haha that list was looking so good till you got to Aaron. Kati’s smile makes up for his ugly face I suppose. 
Hahah, as soon as I get everything rolling out and polished I will be sure to send you a list of my team, Aaron will definitely receive an offer, I will never forget the hospitality that he, Oli and Juan showed me and Z-dog at Eastbourne in the UK!
Kati has some rad video’s, and is a great skater, make sure to watch her videos!

What’s your favourite kind of longboarding?
I love all longboarding has to offer, but after I saw Loaded’s dervish video I knew that dancing was what I wanted to do. love downhill and freeriding also.

Whirling dervish got you too?
Yeah, without a doubt, but then I saw the loaded Dancer video, I was hooked!

How was last season for you?
Last season was freeriding and trips. Mostly Spain and Portugal. Went to Velefique and Tuixent freerides, and then just travelled a lot in Portugal skating with friends.

What plans have you got for the rest of this year?
Moving back home to Porto, skate everyday, skate trip in August, turn my dream into a reality, co work with some friends in various projects, be able to wear shorts and a t-shirt till late october.

What do you do when you’re not skating?
Well, when I’m not skating I’m working, or chilling with friends, and since last August I’ve been able to do both constantly. I’m working for a company in the South of Portugal with a group of friends, some old, some new, all a big family!

Choose 3 numbers between 1-26

haha any reason for that date?
My first tattoo, keeps a special person with me all the time :- )

15 – What was the last book you read?
Well you hit a soft spot there, I can’t remember.

6 – What is the strangest food you’ve eaten?
Snails, last week, never again!

11 – What’s your favourite website?
Skate house media pretty much everyday!

Haha awesome. It’s been really fun talking to you this afternoon!
Thanks man, has been a pleasure

See you in Madrid?
Maybe in Portugal, will keep you updated on coming events.

Any thank yous/shout outs?
Yeah! Thank you to everyone I’ve met along the way, from back home casa da musica, the guys from the UK, the Spanish family, huge Spanish longboard family, Madrid, Barcelona and everywhere else as well, Jorge and Hanna from La Chica de La curva, Gerardo from Kaina, Fred from Sweeden, Z-Dog, Pernes, Simão, Sandro, Nuno Powa, Maaruwan (Saudades) my sponsors, I’m missing loads, and thank YOU for this opportunity to share a bit of longboarding from Portugal!


Discussion2 Comments

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