A great friend, a great streetboarder and a great filmmaker. Best qualities.
I meet him back in the 2000, in Utah for the world cup. I flew alone from Spain without knowing what will be waiting for me. I couldn’t barely speak any english. Dan Coleman pick me up from the airport, we drove for like 45 minutes and got into Brinton’s home. The house was full of riders and there was Diego… There our relationship started. Was with the only one I could talk hahah…
And we keep been friends. Now you will be able to know more about him: Diego Romero.
- Interview and photos by Sergi Nicolas
- How is life bro?
Hi amigo! everything’s good here in São Paulo… Living a busy life as a father and filmmaker even though I still save time for streetboarding, can’t live without it.
- I’m sure been a father takes most of the time (you have a wonderfull dauther). So tell us a bit about you, for those who don’t know you.
Well… What should I tell? I may begin with my story in Argentina, where I come from… There I started snakeboarding back in the days with a wonderful crew of riders we founded a team called “Dragones Voladores” and organized lots of events bringing Brinton Gundersen to some nice national championships, those where the good times until we did worlds in the worst economical crisis in Argentina in 2001, f#@% that was hard for us, but we’ve got over it…
Anyway, I always say that I found my profession with streetboarding, because back in 2000 when I went to my first worlds in Utah and bought my first camera I couldn’t stop filming, so with my mate Juan Sáenz we founded Elevate video magazine and there I found my passion on making movies… So when I traveled to any worlds I always filmed and then did videos with the trips.
- So streetboarding took you to become a professional filmmaker?
Pretty much yeah… It was fun to do 2 things I love at the same time.
- I understand but sometimes is a problem when you are skating and your friend is like “film me bro!”
hahaha… Yeah, sometimes I just want to skate but if I begin filming I make sure I get a perfect shot, it’s a bit crazy, I begin to work, hahaha, can’t help it, it’s my job! And I love it!
- Hahaha… Of course. must be annoying sometimes, I’mm sure… So how is the scene in Sao Paulo, Brazil? Who do you normally skate with?
Well… Here we have a super small scene… I moved to Brazil almost 10 years ago and the most dedicated rider is Pedrão, he’s probably the oldest streetboarder in the world, is there any other 50 years old streetboarder? Anyway, when I came here he was the only guy but then some other guys appeared. There is this super good guy Junior who used to be a professional snakeboarder back in the days of Kelly Dean and Petter Nye who rides with us sometimes but he lives kinda far away, and of course there is Fabio, a super cool guy and nice rider.
- I didn’t had the pleasure to skate with Junior, I hope next year. Tell us more about Pedrao, please.
Yeah, it was a shame we couldn’t meet Junior but yeah, Pedro is my closest friend here, we live very close to each other and we skate our park “Sumaré” at least 3 times a week together, it’s great skate and beer session always, hehehe.
- Sorry, I couldn’t follow with the beers…He is a great guy.
Are you working on new tricks? Some killer ones for the next contest?
Well, I’m a lot into bowl riding now and yeah, I think I have some nice lines and a cool bag of tricks, I’d like to be at a bowl contest, it’ll be nice! Actually, riding with you was big inspiration for tricks.
- There’s alot of influence into bowl nowadays, specially in Brazil. I’m flattered bro, thanks! Brazil is one of the capitals of skateboard, do you think someday could be of streetboard?
For sure… but we need 2 things here:
1) Better and cloeser skateparks, this might sound crazy but maybe nobody knows that skateparks in São Paulo are far away and there is no nice big skatepark inside the capital city, this makes difficult to ride.
2) people or brands investing, we need someone to have the money and courage to put boards on the shops, I’ve tried small but it didn’t work, this country is too big and needs something big to be done… But I warranty that with the level of skateboarding here it’s a matter of time, everytime I hear people say “wow! that’s crazy man, cool board, but isn’t it difficult?” and there is when we need people to teach and brands to show what the sport is… the good news on issue 1 is that better skateparks are coming, just rumors for the moment, but for sure it’s gonna happen…
- A great explanation. I like Brazil, I wouldn’t mind going there a few times a year. Hope to be there for the big opening. Do you have any new project&video coming soon?
Well, I have a project of making a TV show of streetboarding for Brazilian TV, maybe that way we can take it to the masses…
- Like that project, hope it works bro! Your best trip?
Wow, that’s a hard question… but I’d say true skool tour and Barcelona after that in 2001 was epic… but I have so much good memories from all my trips, it’s nice that there are the videos to remember… Mallorca 2010 was really good too.
- Good times my friend, I’m sure many of those who were there are gone do a small digg in they minds and smile about it (I just did). Who was your partner in crime in all your trips?
I need to travel to more worlds, I miss being with tons of bros!
-You should come this year bro!
Hehe, it depends on which country, in Barcelona was you, in England Jay, In Germany TK and B was nice partner in the USA back in the days… I liked being nomad, hehe, always making new friends and getting the old ones stronger…
-What about South America?
Yeah, in South America Juan, Pipo, Ulises, Max, all the dragones were super close partners in the national comps, but of course Pipo was a nice partner too in some of those international trips, good times bro!
- Amazing, this sport took us so far… What’s your favorite camera & lenses to shoot streetboarding?
I like actually 3 set ups: classic follow shot with wide angle is something you can’t beat, it can be a Canon 60D with 8mm fisheye or a Canon 5D with a 14mm prime lens. I like both styles, it depends on what you have… I love long shot also, so a 5D with a 70-200 f2.8 zoom lens is something killer for that nice photography look and a lovely bokeh on the background. And 3rd is the new POV cams like GoPro that you can grip everywhere and get the feeling of being the rider.
- Any tips to any who wants to start to film&edit videos?
Well… for the starters out there I’d recomend to begin with a simple DSLR, the one you can afford and a good zoom lens with a nice range like the 18-135 that comes with those APS-C sensor cams… Film a lot, train your focus, it can get tricky but you’ll get used to it, and once you’ve got it you can invest on a fast lens like the 50mm f1.8 (the cheapest of its kind) to film in low light, that makes a huge difference. And of course, if you are info film skating get the 8mm fisheye and a grip for low shots, for that comes the fun part where you can ride and film at the same time
- Thanks for your time Brother! Any last words you want to say?
Thank you my friend! And come visit us again anytime soon here in Brazil!!
Also I’d like to thank all the true streetboarders out there who ride no matter what people think and make new board brands (I’ve done that and know how much hard work it takes). So much respect for this bros! Strapped in and what! Abrazos!!