Photo via @blabacphoto Instagram
There is a laundry list of adjectives that could be used to describe Tiago Lemos. In English his name translates to many things, but “The one who wins” seems to be most fitting.. Wins SOTY? If you talk to anyone who knows him they are going to begin by telling you how great of a human being he is, then tell you how amazing his skating is. Lastly, that he may be one of the most deserving dudes for the SOTY title.
The world of skateboarding got its first taste of Tiago in “We Are Blood,” but was formally introduced to Tiago later in his Green Label documentary “Guerreiro: The Tiago Lemos Story.” In the documentary we got to walk a few days in Tiago’s shoes and see where he came up in Brazil. In talking with Primitive Skateboard’s pro Carlos Ribeiro, who has known Tiago and skated with him for over ten years, he was able to shed some light on how difficult coming up in Brazil as a skater can be. Carlos shared,
“It’s definitely different skating in Brazil. The material we had such as boards and shoes were the worst you can imagine. But there was no mind set (to skate in Brazil) needed. I feel like all we knew at that time was what we had so we were stoked and we were living it and loving it. We all knew that the US is where it’s at. We all knew if we wanted to be skateboarders we had to do it out here. We definitely talk about it (being sponsored) and it’s a trip. It’s crazy when you’re right next to all the skaters you look up to when you were young. Especially coming from a 3rd world country where getting a visa and coming to US is already a come up. “
Carlos had nothing but love and potty humor to share about Tiago’s “Press Play” part that dropped on Thrasher on Oct. 21.
Carlos also shared his favorite session with Tiago,
“The session that stands out is when we skated Belmont ledges here in Long Beach. We both wanted to do a trick on the top part of the bench and he did a Sw front crooks grinding the whole thing it was insane watching it live. I got my trick afterwards too. It was good times as always.”
The switch bigspin backtail on the famous JKwon gap to ledge, and the fakie hardflip down that monster set of stairs are feats that prove that Tiago has enough to be put on the SOTY ballot. DC Shoes’ Chris Ray filmed and edited the majority of the footage in the “Press Play” part and shared that Tiago’s newest part is,
Switch backside tailslide at JKwon photo via brizenvideos.com
DC has supported Tiago from the beginning. In “Guerreiro”, we see that a DC Brazil rep was the first to discover Tiago and invited him to compete in DC’s “King of São Paulo.” Sk8mafia pro Wes Kremer shared that it was the first time that he met Tiago.
“Then we re-met in Barcelona in 2010. Initially the language barrier with us was a couple words, a few hand-gestures, but mainly smiles. He had just about no English and I had absolutely no Portuguese. His skating all let us know what was up, he’s buck. Now, his English surprises me every time I see him. He’s getting more and more comfortable, it’s amazing!”
Kremer had nothing but love to share for Tiago.
Switch Backsilde Lipslide at a crusty spot in Brazil. Photo via Transworld Skateboarding
DC recently released a Tiago signature colorway of The Plaza. DC team manager Jimmy Astleford approached Tiago with the idea,
“He was pretty stoked when we approached him with the idea of the Plaza Colorway. Since those discussions began he’s done a lot, and shined through to a lot of different people. I think his opportunities are endless at the rate he is going and I don’t see him slowing down anytime soon.”
It’s no secret that Tiago has grown into one of the best skaters in the game right now. His list of sponsors and the fact that people are referring to him as the next SOTY could easily change a guy’s perspective on things, but Astleford shares that it is not the case in Tiago’s story,
“I feel like so much has happened so fast for him, that I don’t really think he’s even realized how far he has come. It seems like yesterday he was struggling to communicate and hesitant that he would ever make it as a professional skater, and overnight people are referring to him as a “skate god”. It’s really rad to see people’s reactions, and his reaction to all the respect coming his way. He embodies everything that real skateboarding is about.”
In the “Guerreiro” documentary, Tiago’s mother humorously talks about his early skate days,
“He was a troublemaker, never stayed in school and skipped school to skate. One day I broke his skateboard.”
Hey, momma knows best! But according to all of Tiago’s homies, whatever she did made him into a incredibly gracious, humble, and hardworking skater that Astleford describes as,
“I think one trait he possesses, that may or may not be an attribute of coming from Brazil, is his gratefulness. He is genuine and always makes sure to show respect to people in all walks of life. He is a person that attracts happiness, because that is what he puts off.
He is humble as they come. Don’t think any of that is gonna change. I am sure the environment he was raised in, along with the people that helped guide him along the way have played a big part in that.”
A big thanks to Chris Ray, Carlos Ribeiro, Jimmy Astleford, and Wes Kremer for the time and input they provided!