Three years ago, equipped with basic English, Carlos got his first taste of the U.S. skate scene. Although he couldn’t express himself fully, he was determined to return and pursue skating in the epicenter of the industry. Today, Carlos may have to put up with the nightmare of ever-stricter travel visa regulations on a regular basis, but he’s motivated to skate in the States as much as possible, even if it’s only for his personal growth. As he puts it, “I really want to stay here. If I can’t stay here, then my skateboarding can’t evolve more and more, you know?” Cue the Star Spangled Banner.
The Skateboard Mag #142.
Carlos, how old are you and where are you from?
I’m 23, and I’m from Brazil … Porto Alegre.
Did you grow up skating in Porto Alegre?
Yes, I grew up skating there.
How is the skate scene in Porto Alegre these days?
In the beginning, when I started skating over there, they had no skateparks. They had nothing, and the spots are pretty rough. Everybody knows this. It’s kinda sketch, everything. But after two years that I start skating, they made a really good skate plaza in my hometown and then I just tried to go every morning. I even had school classes close to the skatepark, so sometimes I try to go to the school … but, you know, the skatepark is pretty close, and then I’m all, “Fuck the school, I’m going to skate!” I skate every time, that’s my house, I grew up out there.
I got a bunch of homies out there, and my family, but the spots are kinda sketch—you might get robbed or something.
What’s the name of the plaza?
Oh, that’s the one in Luan’s PUSH episodes.
When did you decide that you wanted to come to America?
Um, the first time when I came here was three years ago. I just came to visit a few things for DC Brazil. My first experience was not too good ‘cause I don’t have any English to express myself and everything, but I feel so good over here. I feel I can learn English and other language—I just need to put my cell phone. The first time I just feel, like, kinda not too good, but then I just say, “Dude, I just need to come back.” I came back, and DC gave me the support to stay a couple of months, and then I just skate with those dudes and they just like my style—like my vibe, you know—and they say, “Yo, I have opportunity for you here. I know it’s not easy, but maybe you can make happen.” And I’ve just been doing what I’m doing: skateboarding and whatever. Wherever I go, I just try to skate, having fun, and I make happen. They say, “You want to move over here, we can give you support.” That’s why I move it. [laughs]
How have you been using your phone to learn English?
I got a little class the first time, but not that much, then I just use a couple books. My girlfriend goes to the school, she has a class every time. Then I just learn with her and teach her a couple of things I know, all the time on the cell phone or the books.
That’s awesome. Who’s your biggest influence? Who really motivates you to skate and pursue skating in the U.S.?
All the peoples that just came in the ‘90s and just make this happen and just opened the door. Rodrigo Petersen, Rodrigo TX, Cesar Gordo, all the homies, the rippers in Brazil, you know.
Do they inspire you mostly because they are repping Brazil?
No, not just about this, ‘cause they make happen for the other guys, the other kids from the ghetto in Brazil. I know a bunch of peoples that doesn’t have a skateshop in Brazil but they got a lot of clothes, a lot wheels, boards and everything, and they just hook up a lot of homies in Brazil. That’s why they are my inspiration, because one day I can have a lot of things and I can just hook up other guys from the ghetto, you know? Even just have my own skateshop. This is what they been doing, this past twenty years.
Do you feel like skating is getting bigger in Brazil?
For sure, yeah, a lot bigger!
When was the last time you were in Brazil?
I’ve been back and forth all the time, because I don’t have a work visa … I have a tourist visa. So I go back and forth all the time. Sometimes I don’t go back to Brazil, I go to Europe to keep my skateboarding fresh and keep it on point. [laughs] Because if I go back to Brazil, I’ll stay with my family sometimes and not skate too much. But right now I just gotta keep go everywhere and keep skateboarding all the time. But the last time I was over there it was sick, I been there for like a week with my family.
Do you know who Donald Trump is?
I don’t understand what is that.
He’s a politician in America. He wants to build a wall at the border to keep immigrants from entering the country illegally. What would you say to him?
Oh yes, I know who this is! Yeah, all the time I just say, “I just came to America to shoot a photos for a magazine.” I actually getting paid from DC Brazil, that’s why I’m back and forth ‘cause all the money for me came from Brazil. Not came from America. I keep trying to make happen over here, you know? All the time for the immigration guys, I just say, “I came to know the skateparks, to know the skateshops, to shoot a photo at the skateparks, shoot a photo for magazine,” and they just let me go. Just chillin’.
Sometimes, I have a trouble and I need to explain how much money I got and everything, but sometimes they let me go.
Do you want to eventually move here and live in the U.S. permanently?
I really want to stay here. ‘Cause over here the skateboarding is more bigger than in Brazil. If I can’t stay here, then my skateboarding can’t evolve more and more, you know? Learn more tricks, more English, more other language, you know? No limits! [laughs] You know that’s what I feel the first time that I came here. If I can came here, I can go anywhere. My skateboard can take me anywhere, you know?
Watch raw clips from the DC Boys From Brazil, HERE.