It’s a small world …
Thaynan’s life started out in Brazil, where he first met future teammates Felipe, Carlos, and Tiago. But it was a sudden move to Portugal at thirteen—and an extended stay in Barcelona—that ended up setting the stage for his blossoming skate career, as he eventually got hooked up with DC and enjoi (twice) by the time he was seventeen.
Now, after nine years and thousands of miles between the four of them, Thaynan has reunited with the homies and is at work on De La Calle/Da Rua. Did he trip out when he learned that they were each going to have full parts? “For sure! It's a big thing we’re all in the same video,” Thaynan says. “It’s just a good vibe, that’s what it is.”
The Skateboard Mag #142.
How old are you and where are you from?
I’m twenty years old, I’m from São Paulo, Brazil, but I live in Lisbon, Portugal.
So how long did you live in São Paulo?
I was born and raised there until when I was thirteen I moved to Portugal with my family.
Did you skate while you were in São Paulo?
Yeah, I started skating when I was nine. I know, like, all the guys like Carlos, Felipe, Tiago from Brazil, from when I started skating.
Okay, so they were all a little bit older than you?
Yeah, I think maybe a couple of years older, maybe. Tiago was the closest to the same age.
So you grew up skating with Tiago too?
Yeah, I was skating more with Felipe and Carlos but I knew Tiago too. We were from different cities but Carlos and Tiago always used to come to São Paulo and go skate.
What types of spots did you have to skate growing up in Brazil?
I was so young, so basically just skating the backyard of the place I was living and the skatepark. My father wouldn’t let me go street skating alone. I was like ten or nine, so Brazil was not the best place to do it! I was skating almost everyday at the indoor park inside of a mall, so I was basically [on an] after school field trip. I was there until eleven everyday just skating there.
Wow, did you have U.S. products or were you using Brazilian products back then?
Oh, no, all Brazilian. I think just the wheels and the bearings I think was from the U.S., everything else was from Brazil.
So, from an early age you were used to skating Brazilian product?
When was the first time you had a U.S. setup?
I think when I moved to Portugal.
When did you first meet Felipe and where did you guys meet?
I met Felipe when I was in Brasília. I would skate the skate park I used to skate everyday and then he was skating there and there was a guy, like, taking photos of him and it was his dad and I was like “Who is this guy?” and he was like, “It’s my son Felipe.” He’s like, “Hey, I’m a skater,” I’m like, “Oh, that's sick.” And since then we started to know each other and started skating more and more together, but that was the first time.
Oh, I see. So back then did your dad really help you cultivate your skating and support you?
Yeah, my mom was down for helping me and my dad was kinda, “I don’t know,” but then, like, after he knew I really liked it he was like, “Fuck, let's back you,” ‘cause my dad was a surfer so he was like, “Okay, let's do it,” and then they were like chilling, one hundred percent backing me.
What is it about the Brazilian culture that you think creates such good skateboarders down there?
I don’t know, I think there’s just so many skateboarders there and they want it, you know what I mean? They just try and skate a lot everyday and I think the quality of the product there isn't the best, so when they have material from here I think it's easier to skate. I don’t know, I think they just want it so bad. I have no idea.
Does the ruggedness of the spots help, too?
I haven’t been there in like eight years, you know what I mean? I don’t remember much … I know that it's not the best ground! But I think they look sick, for sure, Different spots and style.
Yeah, you're about to find out again soon. You’re headed down there on your final filming trip right?
Yeah, I’m stoked, I saw a couple of videos and the spots look good.
You started talking about this a little earlier: Why did you move to Portugal? Was it because Brazil can be dangerous and you weren’t able to go out and skate at night by yourself and stuff?
Nah, I think it was just because my father just asked me, “Hey, what do you guys think about moving to Europe?” Because half of my father's family are from Portugal, you know what I mean, so we had passports and everything already, and he was like, “What do you guys think?” I was like, “I’m down!” I was super young, plus everything was exciting to me so I was like, “Fuck, let's do it.” I think after maybe two or three months we just went to Portugal.
Okay, so it wasn’t necessarily because of your skateboarding that you guys moved?
I don’t know, maybe the skateboard helped for sure, but I don’t think it was the main reason, you know what I mean? I think my father wanted a change, he wanted the different lifestyle, I don’t know, but the skateboard helped.
So, who do you root for in football Brazil or Portugal?
I’m not into football.
I watch, but … for sure Brazil, you know what I mean, but I’m not that fanatic guy. I’m just, “whatever.”
How long have you lived in Portugal then?
When I was thirteen I moved and since then I lived there my whole life until right now. I went to Barcelona for like a year, maybe, but basically just Portugal. I’ve been traveling but that's my home now.
Do you have any plans to move to the US?
Yeah, maybe. I’m trying to do that maybe next year. Let's see how it works, you know?
So your time in Portugal was when you really got sponsored and hooked up by everybody?
Yeah, when I was in Portugal, like, after a couple years maybe. I was sixteen, I got on the DC and maybe when I was seventeen I got on enjoi flow. That was like when it really started, you know? I was skating everyday with my friends but I didn’t know much about how things worked. I was just skating.
Did Felipe have any influence in you getting on DC?
No, actually he was, like, surprised when I got on DC. When we both rode for DC we were like, “Fuck, that's tight,” you know?
That's sick! Was it all through the DC Embassy or contests?
No. It was more like I was getting shoes from a brand in Portugal, then I went to Madrid and Madars [Apse] was there and I knew Madars from other contests, other places in Europe. He was like, “What do you wanna do?” “I don’t know. Skate, traveling, seeing the new place, I don’t know,” and he was like, “DC, they’re like looking for an Am.” After maybe a couple weeks I got an email from Gaston, he was the Europe TM, so he was like “Madars talked about you. Do you wanna come to Barcelona?” and I was like “Fuck, I’m down,” but I went there and I didn’t speak like any English or any Spanish … like nothing. And I went to the Embassy with my friend and there was, like, a lot of people there and I knew no one and I was just skating. I just skated for, like, maybe two hours and I was leaving and then Gaston came and was, like, “ Hey I’m Gaston” I was like, “Oh, what's up” and he was there the whole time, but I didn’t know it and he was like “Do you wanna come have lunch tomorrow?” and that's when it all started. Then I went to a tour in Italy and that's when they put me on the team after that tour.
Sick, how long ago was that?
I was sixteen, I think, five or four years ago. I was stoked!
Yeah, that’s amazing! So, how did you get hooked up with enjoi while you were out there?
I use to get boards from enjoi in Portugal but they kicked me off because they weren’t selling enough boards to give me boards or, I don’t know, some bullshit. I went to Barcelona and I was in the same apartment as Louie was, but I didn’t know him from nowhere. So I went and skated with him for a couple days and then he talked to me if I was down to skate enjoi boards and I was like, “Fuck yeah, I’m down,” and they started sending me boards.
When did you first hear about this DC Latin America video and that you might have a part in all that?
Maybe in the beginning of the year because I was hurt and couldn’t skate, maybe like late last year? They said they are doing a video for Latin America and everything but I had surgery on my knee and couldn't skate, you know? I was six or seven months out of skating and they were filming, so when I started skating again in February this year, and since I started skating I’ve been trying to film something for the video. It’s going good!
Nice! Because you were kind of hurt during the end of oververt filming?
Yeah, I was hurt like maybe three months before the deadline going to Arizona and I tore my ACL.
That’s great that you’re healthy again.
Yeah, now it’s all good, it's chilling.
Where have you traveled so far to film for this video?
Barcelona, Italy, Argentina, Mexico, U.S. and I think that’s it, maybe a couple of other places in Europe, but I think that’s pretty much it. Oh, I went to Alaska, too.
When did you get reunited with Tiago, Carlos, and Felipe and all that? Did you see them much over the years after you moved to Portugal? When did you all realize that you’re filming for this video together?
I just realized the beginning of this year. First off, I was just thinking it was Tiago, Carlos, and Felipe, and then they thought I should have a full part. I was like “Fuck, I’m down!” I was just like, “I will try my best and see how it goes,” just skate and then every time they come to stay with Felipe, Carlos, and Tiago, we just try to skate together. I skate more sometimes with Felipe and I’ve been skating more with Carlos now lately.
Does it feel really special that you had that history together growing up? Did you guys trip out?
For sure! It’s random, you know? Like, we know each other from eight, nine years ago and we all ended up having parts in the same video for DC, you know, so it's a big thing we’re all in the same video. That’s super tight! It’s just a good vibe, that’s what it is.
Watch raw clips from the DC Boys From Brazil, HERE.