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Heitor Da Silva Interview

Heitor’s not gonna hate

Meet Heitor Da Silva, the Norwegian Brazilian living in Sweden. Heitor came to Malmö to attend Bryggeriets Gymnasium in 2015. The buzz in town started right when he got of the plane. People loved his style and persona straight away. The hype extended and soon enough his part from his latest video project, Tigerstaden, landed him boxes with three stripes and loads of love. Get the video and watch it. It’s well worth your time and will have your mind blown like it blew the mind of his team manager, as of late, Neil Chester: “Hands down, one of the most exciting aspects to skateboarding is discovering new kids, it’s part of the daily natural skate conversation, you get told about someone via a skate store, friend, filmer, photographer, whoever it is. I got told about Heitor through our sales rep in the Nordics, the mandatory Instagram check then confirmed his skill. But it was his style and the way he skated that clicked, it looked like he just had it, a natural flow that made it look so good. I followed it up with a trip to Malmö some weeks later for a contest that was really just to see Heitor skate in person! It was a boardslide on a low ledge to pop-in on the transitioned other side that did it for me, the words 'he’s got it' just rang out in my head.” Keep reading and see that behind the smooth style is an even smoother character. Or to put it with – Heitor’s friend and favorite skater – Magnus Bordewick’s words: Heitor’s the best! He’s got so much confidence when he skates that he has you believing he’s gonna land whatever he’s rolling up to at any time. He’s got crazy good style, he can skate everything, and has a never-ending bag of tricks. In addition to that, he is just a really good guy to be around! Cheers Thoor!”

Heitor Da Silva Roll On Smith2

Roll On Smithgrind

What’s your full name, Heitor?

In Portuguese, it’s Heitor Eugenio Mesquita Da Silva. I have four names, two first names and two last names. Da Silva is actually my grandfather’s name on my mom’s side. They divorced before I was born, so Da Silva is sort of pointless, but somehow it stuck.

Were you born in Brazil?

Yes, I lived there until I was six years old. Then my mom married my step dad. He is Norwegian, so we ended up moving to Norway. I was young, but I remember most of the move. It was such sharp contrasts to what I was used to. I remember how weird it felt to wear thick clothes. I was used to just wearing a T-shirt. The first two months, I refused to wear knitted shirts, but after a while I had to give in. It was winter. I keep in contact with Brazil and we try to visit my Brazilian friends and family about once a year. I don’t have a skate crew there since I started skating after I moved to Norway.

Where did you move to in Norway?

I moved to a place called Haugesund, it’s on the coast in the west. That’s where I started to skate.

"I had a picnic table. I would learn all the tricks, like tre flip, backside 360, and so on, down that onto grass."

Your classmate Daniel Moi Pedersen says you were always the best, even as a “kid”. Has skateboarding come naturally to you? [check the DC video Delta Charlie 4 to see for yourself, editor’s note]

I think I have had the same process as everybody else. When I was a kid, I started to cruise and got the hang of ollies. I skated by myself a lot since I lived a bit outside of town, where there were no spots. I only had curbs and a table. First, I learned all the tricks on curbs. I learned some pretty advanced stuff, but I didn’t slide or nothing, just stalls. Then I had a picnic table. I would learn all the tricks, like tre flip, backside 360, and so on, down that onto grass. It took about a year before I started to move the table and land on asphalt and then roll away. I knew a lot of tricks, just didn’t have the balance at first to stay on I guess. Then I started hanging in the skatepark, hanging with other skaters, and being part of a crew. Through that, I met all the skaters like Daniel and the rest of the guys I now go to school with.

Were you fluent in Norwegian then?

I probably was, but I had a hard time at first. I was supposed to start in school after we moved, but I didn’t know the language, so they put me in kindergarten instead until I learned. It’s just that the children in kindergarten are not that good to learn from! It probably took longer than it should that way. I was by far the oldest kid in kindergarten! Then I started school instead and I learned pretty fast.

Why did you apply for a school in Sweden?

There was a documentary in Norway on TV about Bryggeriets Gymnasium, the skateboard high school. It had Hermann Stene and Steffen Austerheim in it. I saw that with a friend and we made a pact to start there once we were old enough. It was abroad and it just seemed so unrealistic at the time. My parents said it was impossible, too. Then I got to know friends that were set on moving to Sweden to go to Bryggeriet. I had my parents contact their parents and once we started talking to each other, it became more of a realistic option. And now we’re here!

How was the transition to another new country and how was going to school?

The first two weeks, I stayed with older friends from Norway that already attended the school. Within days, they introduced me to everybody and I got to be a local pretty fast. But I remember coming into Malmö at night and it was such a weird feeling to be alone in a new country. It was great, but it was a strange feeling at first. I am grateful for the way everyone took me in. 

1095

Wallie To

1096

50-50

There are a lot of fantasies and misconceptions about skateboarding as a subject in school. Can you break it down? How does it work?

The documentary I saw gave a pretty good picture. I knew it was not a competitive school, more like a regular school with the opportunity to skate. That’s the way it is. Skateboarding is built by people that know skateboarding, like you, for example. I can see how things could get really weird if someone with another outlook on skating did it. I feel like you and I share the same view. There is a lot of skating and some assignments, too, school stuff but related to skating. And most of all, we get the park for ourselves. There are a lot of good sessions.

Have you learned anything but tricks?

Of course. There are a lot of things I’ve learned about skating. On a personal level, I have learned to be patient. You need to learn that to skate, I think. You never know which try you are going to land and some things take time. In skate class, we get to learn about other stuff, too, like taking care of injuries and your body. I have always been a full-on skate nerd, but sometimes it’s hard to keep up with everything that is going on. Here, I am surrounded by skating and other nerds, so we share and marinate ourselves in it. We also watch new things in class, like sometimes we’ll have little premiers and stuff. It’s fun and you actually learn a bunch of stuff through discussing parts, videos, and brands, too. It was funny the day Away Days leaked, within an hour everyone had a copy!

How does the school support your skating?

Since you are here and the teachers have an understanding and respect for skating, it’s easier to communicate. You understand the importance and meaning of going on trips, for example. The whole concept of skating is hard to explain. It can be hard for parents and teachers to understand, but here I feel like I get that understanding and support. In a regular school, I don’t think I would be allowed to go on trips, for example. I also get extra help with classes to stay ahead before going on trips.

"The old format still stands: skating every day and doing proper video parts."

Things are moving for you. Perhaps you will be served a lot of candy in the near future, like trips around the world. Is that a tough call: either going to LA or staying home and doing a math exam?

It’s great where I am right now. I have all my homies in one place. That’s a rare thing and it’s not going to last forever. After graduation, we are all going to move to different places since we all came from all over Scandinavia to go here. Before going to Bryggeriets Gymnasium, I would only meet people at contests and trips. Now I get to skate and hang with those people every day in school. It doesn’t get much better than that. I miss my friends that graduated last year. We’re only here for a short time, so I want to make the most out of it. The rest comes later. Getting a high school degree when I am 26 would suck. I might as well do it now while I’m at it. It’s not bad at all. Wait, what was the question again?

[laughs] Don’t mind the questions, just keep talking! Let’s change subjects. There is so much crazy skating happening on social media, for example. Does that affect you or even stress you out?

Everyone I hang with loves doing little edits at school. It’s fun. I think it’s cool that the whole thing is there. I’ve seen it doing good things for people that weren’t that well known at first. There are good examples of that from our school. That’s cool, but the old format still stands: skating every day and doing proper video parts. At least that’s how I feel. It’s dope to make little edits, but I enjoy a good part more. I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes here. I like it all!

Send out some hate!

No, it’s just not like me to do that.

Heitor Da Silva Nollie5050

Nollie 50-50

You just came out with a part in Pekka Løvås’s video Tigerstaden. How did that project come about?

It’s a funny story actually. Pekka made a great video called Fire Tre. [4:3 in Norwegian, named after the video format, editor’s note] I didn’t really know him at the time, but in an interview in the Norwegian Playboard, he said he wanted to film with me. That got me so stoked. I had filmed a couple of tricks, but his willingness to film made me want to go to Oslo and get as much footy as I could. I filmed for three weeks. It was just meant to be a couple of tricks in the video. After that, we became friends. The other guys started joking about how much footy I got the first week and pushed me to film for a whole part. After Pekka watched it all, he offered me a full part. We realized I needed to broaden the clips to build a whole piece, so I went back for two weekends to get some more thought trough singles to tie it together. I had mostly lines since that is what I enjoy filming the most. I was stoked how it came out.

You always speak highly of Pekka. What makes a good filmer?

He has a good eye for tricks and spots and can see the skater’s potential in a good way. I think that is important. Sometimes filmers will come up with suggestions that are just crazy. Pekka is good that way, he can sense what you want to do and match tricks with spots in a good way. There are so many good spots in Oslo and he knows them all.

What keeps you motivated to skate as much as you do? I see you going at it on every break you get.

There are periods when I am really psyched and then periods when I am not as psyched. It goes up and down like everything else. Sometimes I have periods when I learn a lot of tricks, but most of the time, I just enjoy cruising around. I cruise a lot at school, every break I get. In my old school, I was always tired. Skating sort of wakes you up, so it helps me going into class. 

Heitor Da Silva Noseblunt

Nosebluntslide

Eric Koston says that Ishod Wair skates every chance he gets. You remind me of him sometimes. Who are some of you favorites?

Ishod is definitely one of them. He rips everything and I enjoy watching that. There is another skater called Kyron Davis, I have seen him in all these edits and he skates so dope. Like everyone else, I enjoy watching my friends skate. There are so many sick skaters. I also enjoy Magnus Bordewick skating. He’s so loose. But then I also love Oski’s [Rozenberg-Hallberg] skating, too. He can pull out any tranny trick with such ease. He skates vert like it’s a mini ramp. I guess I am looking for a lot of different qualities. Take Magnus and Oski, for example. Oski is so controlled and tranny based, while Magnus is just wild in his style, waving his arms while he charges. Such good styles.

What’s going to happen next? What’s your plan?

I don’t really have a “plan”. I have been filming with the adidas guys in Barcelona. I hope I can come along for some more trips. But most of all, I am just looking forward to summer. I want to get my school assignments done and then just go out. Winter can be tough, it feels like a long pause. It’s some cold in Malmö. Bring the spring!

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