Our first of many features on Portugese riders. We catch up with super stoked rider and video editor – Jorge Pernes. He tells us about the community in Portugal and the IGSA race being held there this August.
Hey Jorge, where are you from?
Wazup! from Portugal, the West Land on Europe that ends on the sea heheh
You live near the beach?
Yeah by skate it takes me 10minutes, always downhill, but to catch some waves its more 20min.
What city is that?
Its a Village named Oeiras inside Lisbon District, its located on the west side of Lisbon, when River Tejo ends and the Atlantic Sea begins.
Big skate community there?
Yeaaah!! mainly its here is located, Oeiras have a more united community, and the roads to skate are more perfect than Lisbon center. But yeah Lisbon is good to, and the community is growing fast and furious with new blood.
When did you notice the fast&furious growth of the community in Oeiras?
Hummm, it´s difficult to say, I have been an active skater for almost 10years and I have seen a lot of booms, but I would probably say that I was more surprise with 2008/2009 when I returned from 1 year in Barcelona, it was crazy, in a place that only 10 or 15 people rode, now there were more than 30people shredding. So yes definitely 2008.
Where did you start skating?
I started in my backyard with my friend Ruca Marques we were just stoked with the idea of going fast on a skate, then we decided to make our own and ride. We did it, we rode it and we crashed it, broke the boards, and went home with some nice skin medals.
But I think I told you the first experience on a longskate, I must say that it started in a place we call “Passeio Maritimo” it´s like a road along the sea, there I met the dinosaurs of skate and longskate in Portugal.
Who are the dinosaurs of skateboarding in Portugal?
Luis Paulo, one of my mind mentors, is the oldest active skater in Portugal, the guy skated with the best of the best, Tony Hawk included, he even has a huge museum of skate.
The other one, and for me, the one that is responsible for Longskate in Portugal, Alex Caldas. He made a longskate brand with a little bit of knowledge, and started sketching in the wood, after some years, GEZU Skateboards was born, and Longskates started to appear, near the beaches, in surf contest, etc.. it was gnarly… this guy is the reason why I ride dude! Fuckyeahhhh and Amennnn!
Amen! Are there any other Portuguese longboard brands?
Yes, the other one is called “POWA”. It is from a gifted industrial designer, and the pieces are pretty new and modern to the eye! There are a few more but nothing serious i think… sorry if I forgot to mention you, no offence was meant!
Where are the board builders based?
Gezu is located in Oeiras, exactly on the same place where I started my first time, it´s a pretty good coincidence.
Powa is in the North of Portugal, Oporto, don’t know exactly where.
In a secret lab probably.
HAHAHA probably! But this brands are pretty different, Powa is still fresh, 1 year in the business, GEZU is doing it at least for 25 years, so this one is more handmade and the other more ”industrialised” in a manner of speaking.
That’s great, diversity is good for the soul. Are the brands involved with the local community?
Yeah both have their roles in it – Workshops, freerides, some races, organizing meetings, but I think that in the end the community is the one that makes it happen.
We have some communities, and the more communities we have the more we ride, it doesn’t matter who´s in to it.
As they say in Stockholm – Riders to Riders!
Yes, no doubt about it! We can have brands, clubs, associations, whatever, but in the end it is the riders that make everything possible!
What’s your role in your skate community?
Hummm, I think i try to inspire the new ones to skate safe, teach them to ride the basics. At the same time i try to improve the current longboarders to a professional level, mainly so I have more company when I Shred hehehe.
Have you found it difficult to get new riders to skate safe?
No! not at all, it´s a work that everyone gets involved in, no doubt, if it’s just in a cruise, almost everybody uses helmets and gloves. If it’s downhill, every new one hears what seniors have to teach them. I think it´s also because we try so much not to see our sport in a reproachful way, like it was back in the days.
We have strong rules, when we take some one new to the downhill and it is working, nobody gets hurt.
That’s great, how was longboarding perceived back in the day?
Mainly, if cops caught us skating in the road, they took away our skateboards… cars just didn´t respect us, and just wanted us to crash, hummm just some examples of past experiences lolol
How did the situation change?
I think the word just spread, cops started to see us organized, if we ride hills (and in the past it was mostly at night) we use reflective vests, one car behind with the four lights, etc… but mainly we got organized.
Did they talk to you?
Yes, now we just take a normal conversation, explain what we are doing, what security measures we are using, walkie talkies, support car, and most of the times they let us continue
Has any of them tried skating?
HAHHA no, but they are always curious to see more of what we are doing, for 2 times we got escorted with blue lights and everything, hahaha that is only the good cops lol
It’s great that you’re enjoying such a nice relationship with the authorities, right now a lot of communities are at the opposite end, what advice would you give them?
My best advice is to fight with organization, show the media and the authorities that we are organized. For example get the community together and make organized cruisings, with every one stopping on the red, respecting the walkways, and ask some local media to cover it. It works! Most of people think that cops are mostly bad, but if they understand you and feel that you are controlling the situation, they will act like a normal cop and will just advise you.
It´s difficult, specially for my friends in Catalunya (Chinako, Alexander, Axel, Agro, Gon Martins, Longboard Mediterranea…) “Mossos de la Esquadra” are pretty nasty when they want. So Instructing the Police and the Media is the first objective.
You mentioned earlier than you spent a year in Barcelona, is that when you met our Axel?
Yes I knew him in Barcelona, i believe it was in “Forum” where Longboard Mediterranea Crew started, many new guys were there, it was a big boom there also. amazing, but i think that we skated together mostly in some freerides on Spain.
Where is your favourite place to skate?
Hum that one is hard, but i think every place is cool if you have your friends around. You can have an amazing hill but if you ride it alone it’s nothing compared with the 100 meters hill that you usually shred with your friends.
But, back to your question, “Pena Palace”, “Blue Lagoon” in Sintra, it´s 25 km from Lisbon, and Ericeira, no doubt!
What makes it so special?
Pena Palace, it´s a mysterious place, full of fantasies and history, the road is just hard curves, walls, secret paths, shortcuts to go up, in some parts you can see all the road, it’s just so nice to go and skate with your friends.
Blue Lagoon, is the power one, when the North wind is strong from your back, and you ride at the rise of the sun in the morning, it is simply special and the road is so sooo grippy, even a ”stimulus” is good there for Downhill lol.
Ericeira, has the gnarliest road for Downhill Sliding/Freeriding, is a huge cliff, and it ends on the beach, perfect for a meeting. But just for Pros.
You’re a pro?
LOLOL i don’t entitle myself as a pro, but I have a good level of skating and the knowledge that takes to teach. In the mean while I ride Hard! hahah
How was last season for you?
The Best!! Traveled a lot, skated a lot of new places, and I noticed a big evolution in my riding, and I discovered that Sliding Fast with no Hands is Fun!!! hahaha
Where did you skate?
I must check my movie archive to answer it. 2011 started with some meetings in the North and Center of Portugal, it is always fun to skate with those guys. But the gnarly was in May i think, with the trip to Velifique Freeride (Velifique, Almeria organised by RidersFly), hahaha just amazing riders there from all Europe, I hope they remember to do it again. The road is amazing and you can watch every corner from above.
Then was Tuixent Freeride (in Spain, Near Andorra) hahaha this one was fast!!!! and it had a perfect organization (thx Kaina SkateShop and Jarto Jartorious for organizing it), it is a perfect place for downhill
Hum after that, i tried to make some Eurotour events and freerides on the summer, but I decided to do the north of spain, skating some hills and surfing, after that i spent the rest of the year in Portugal, Shredding with my mates.
Lololol i love my hometown bro hahha
You make videos?
Yes love filming, love editing, and watching them again and again and again, it´s the way I found to keep the flame in the community, and in me of course. hahaha
Ha! Do you make more videos of your travelling or your local crew?
I try to make more for the community, but some times it’s hard to do the filming and not skating lol, and I just like to film with something already on my mind, so probably the response is of my travelling
Would you consider yourself to be a film-maker?
No, not at all, but I feel with time and a good Gun I could do good movies.
But as a camera man on a skateboard I can rock pretty good hehehe
What was the highlight of the season for you?
Hummm, that one is difficult, I guess i dont have a answer for that one, it could be in a race, or in a normal freeride day, its so many joys in a season, that i could only describe 1 for a day hahah
What do you ride?
Gezu Deck model SlimWavy, with Randall and mostly Otangs for cruising and techsliding also Gezu decks
This year is looking good already, with KnK and Bear’s Guts announced today, what plans do you have?
Yes super into Knk, already putting up my savings for that, this year I won’t miss it, it´s what Europe needed, a Winter and Summer Camp.
I am trying also to do the Eurotour or part of it, looking for sponsors, know any one?? haha
Nope, I am but a humble rider. When you find one, add the first stop of the euro tour to your list!
haha I will defenitly do some eurotour stops this year
Any events in Portugal?
Yes, Eurotour will end in Portugal, in Serra da Ossa. A awesome hill very fast and short, it will be very fun to see all the guys riding there.
It has a second hill that is longest but not so fast, but its a alternative to the principal, if you get eliminated.
Are you involved with the organisation?
Not directly, but when the time comes for my help, ill be the first to help, after all it is all about the family.
For sure! Who is the main person behind it?
Nuno from Powa, I believe he is the guy that will make it happen.
Did you attend last year?
The tour didn’t happen in Portugal last year. This year will be the first time at Portugal
What would you say to people who are not sure about coming to this event?
Well, I would probably say to them that first of all, the weather in Portugal is amazing in the summer. The beer is one of the best in the world. The people are the most kind and helpfull. And, the hill is just RAD! Only good reasons to come here and enjoy the ride! Oh man!!!…and the food! It’s the best in the world!!!
Where else will we catch you next season?
I’m trying Kozakov Challenge, Padova Grand Prix and Peyragudes. This last one for sure, they are announcing a supa nice and new road. And of course the Knk Camp for a full day skate session.
And Bo Peep in England?
I work so I just have a few days of vacations. So, unless my company gives me more holidays, for sure I would go to Bo Peep to meet my “tea friends” Aaron Skippings and Oliver Slaughter.
It’s the Bandito’s local hill! It would be great to have you.
Yeahhh great!! those “Velifuckers guy” (and this they will understand) are awesome riders! and last year it was great skating with them again in Velifique Freeride!
Always watching for Bandito’s movies!
Choose 3 numbers between 1-20
1, 14, 13
1 – What do you take with you when you go for a skate ?
14 – Favourite band?
13 – Do you have a pet ?
Black Labrator Retriever, it’s Duna
Great. It’s been fun talking to you and finally getting to know something about the Portuguese scene.
The pleasure is all mine, to report our skate culture to europe and the world, you guys Kick Ass! Keep up the Gnarlyyyy work! Yeahhh