Featured rider: Katiana Torrebella

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Fun conversation with Kati Torrebella (aka the best smile in longboarding) about downhill skating in Mallorca, upcoming races in Europe and dealing with Zombies.

Hi Kati! Nice to talk to you, where are you from?
Hello Gbemi, I’m from Mallorca, Spain

When did you start skating?
I started 3 years ago, in Madrid, I was living there for studies. Without the sea… I needed to play some open air sport.

You didn’t have a skateboard as a kid?
I did! When I was younger about 10 years old, I had a skateboard and I was going down the hills near my summer house. But I didn’t skate from then until I was 22.

What open air sports did you do before you went to Madrid?
Kite surfing and horse riding!

How did you get into longboarding?
A longboard  was a present for my 22nd birthday, I wanted a transport medium and also some exercise, but I didn’t have friends who skated on longboards so I went to skate by myself for a year, after that I found out about Moyano, I went there and all the people there were so friendly to me. After that I couldn’t stop going to Moyano even for a day!

What did you like so much about Moyano?
The people, the atmosphere there was amazing, all of us loved longboarding, and the drop was perfect for practice and learning how to break. People showed what they know, and you showed them what you know. Fun, skate, new friends, perfect plan for everyday.

Who were the first people you met?
First guy was Robert, one of the pioneers. First girl, Jacky, I was amazed with her. Jacky Madenfrost and I were the only girls in Moyano at that time.

Wow. How did it grow from just you two to what we have today?
The sport is growing everywhere. Particularly for girls, it is because of a great idea of Jacky’s to make The Longboard Girls Crew. Now there are girls longboarding all around the planet.

What is your role in the Longboard Girls Crew?
I’m the downhill rider! I support them with everything I’ve got. My appearance in The Endless Roads was on the last episode, Costa da Morte, going downhill with Marisa Nuñez and Amanda Powell. I couldn’t be in ”The Island” episode, even though it was in my home  because I was working in Galicia, in RAZSURFCAMP, as a longboard instructor.

How did your riding progress over those 2 years you spent in Madrid?
The first year I learnt alone, how to go around the streets in the big city. Second year, Moyano people taught me how to slide, break safety, and also getting comfortable with speed. Third year in Mallorca, I was introduced to Downhill longboarding. People here showed me all the great hills we have in the island for perfect downhill sessions. More speed everyday, more experience, more safety.

Which of the two places do you enjoy skating more in?
Difficult to say haha! The environment in Madrid is great, lots of people, motivation everywhere. And the mountains in Mallorca are too much fun!

Who introduced you to downhill?
My friends from here, Luis Cerron, 10 years of downhill skateboarding in the island, he knows everything about the spots here. Also Palex and Andres were always there for me.

Who is Luis Cerron?
He is the guy who has spent the most time skating downhill on the island, about 10 years without stop. Studying every hill, pavement, traffic, speed, police. He has extensive knowledge about everything.

Does he race?
No he is a free spirit!
What is the skating community like in Mallorca?
The community is big, but many of the riders are kids. Their level of riding is absolutely fantastic. A small group of us go downhill. The kids just freeride.

Who organises the scene there?
Well, I try to be in contact with everyone, I don’t bring young kids to the mountains, it’s too dangerous, just for adults. The events and competitions are organised by both longboard shops, SwitchPeople and B76. Also there is a group who meets every Friday for  cruising.

Who organises the cruising?
B76, the new longboard shop in the island

Most people are into downhill?
A small group that is growing every year. Anyway we cannot go with too much people in a session. 5 is good number.

You have many shops in Mallorca?
Actually, we have three shops with technical material. SwitchPeople, Devil and B76. Some more with basic longboards. Switch People is the oldest skate shop on the island. Nowadays it has skate, surf and longboard, all you need for your extreme experience in Mallorca!

When was Switch opened?
About 15 years ago.

What is the history of skating on your island?
I don’t know really much, I’ve been skating here just 1 year, but people told me that skateboards were everywhere, skateparks and squares were full of skaters. Those days the sport was booming. Now the longboarders have taken their place!

What do you enjoy most about downhill skating?
Speed, nature, take curves…

What things have you learnt since you moved back to Mallorca?
A year and a half ago, I finished my studies in Madrid and came back home. I knew Luis and Palex already so I started going with them, first to easy hills with lots of turns but not too much speed, this way I learnt first to take the curves properly going faster every time. After a few months, when I was ready, I went to the biggest and fastest hills. Step by step, improving my skating, now we alternate spots, it’s important training to skate everything.

What did you plan to achieve by skating bigger hills?
Be able to skate any hill in the world, without fear, with the knowledge and skills necessary.

And race?
This summer will be my first in IGSA races, I’ll just start with Padova and Potugal.

Have you attended many races since you became confident with skating massive hills?
I’ve only been in Velefique last year and Zaragoza girls meeting.

How was Velefique?
Velefique for me was the greatest experience I ever had. A lot of good riders, wonderful village and hill. I learnt so much on this trip. Also skating in Sierra Nevada with Stephan Risch and his team, Bekks, Olson&Hetmati brothers.

Wow! How did that happen?
They are really good friends of ours, they come often to the island for training. So we stayed together in a rented flat.

Will you ever go back to Madrid?
I miss people from there, so I try to go twice a year to skate with everyone. Although, I wouldn’t live there, I need a place close to the sea.
Because of Kite surfing?
Don’t ask about it, jajaja, I don’t do it anymore.

Haha Kati you are a mermaid! Why else would you need the sea?
haha surfing! I stop skating when the swell comes with good waves!

Are there any other Spanish girls racing?
I think that they are all debuting this year, Sonso Masia, Eider Walls, Cristina Sanchez and Jacky.

That’s a lot! Who are these girls?
New downhill promises in Spain.

Will you be travelling together?
Not this year, I will be living in Galicia for the summer, working in a surf camp, as a longboard instructor so I’ll go to the races from there.

What do you do when you’re not skating?
Surfing! If there are no waves, just enjoying life with my friends.

How was last season for you? 
Was very fun, sharing times with Dominik Kowalski, learning a lot from him. He was on the Island for a month, and we had good times skating with him.

What was the highlight of your season?
The highlight of the season was going down hills so FAST all together, going into the hairpins in a tight pack.

What do you ride?
Actually, John Barnet from Kebbek, I love it, I can do all I wish with it. Soon I’ll try JimZ trucks.

Are those your sponsors?

Yes! I have Kebbek longboards, JimZ trucks, Eko slide gloves and Roxy for clothes.

That’s pretty awesome, when did you get all these sponsors?
Yes, it’s great, I’m very grateful for the support. Kebbek and JimZ are very recent. Eko gloves and Roxy since last summer.

Congratulations – what’s your race setup?
Deck – Kootenay from Kebbek, JimZ trucks and Abec11 flywheels 76mm 78a.

Choose 3 numbers between 1-30
25, 30, 2

25- Would you rather be a penguin stuck in a lions body, or a lion stuck in a penguin
Lion in a penguin haha

30 – In a zombie apocalypse, what would be your weapon of choice?
My longboard is always my best weapon, I feel like a super hero on it, with it i’m more agile and faster. I can use it for defence and also to get away!

2 – Would you rather have a hook for a hand or a wheel for a foot?
obviously, a wheel-foot!!!

Haha. Awesome. It has been amazing talking to you buddy, I miss you and your big white toothed smile!
Hahaha thank you very much Gbemi, amazing talk to you too, hope to see you soon my friend!!

Any thankyous?
To you! To the longboardGirlsCrew, to all my sponsors, Roxy, Kebbek, JimZ, Riptide, Ecko, Kiehl’s, also to Switchpeople, to my coach Luis and all my long friends!