Leo embodies sarcasm at it’s finest. Anyone willing to wear a self-made “Fuck Koston” T-shirt really couldn’t probably give two fucks about what you think about him. It’s quite unlikely for him to be featured in a “mainstream” series such as PUSH. Check out how Leo ended up being featured on PUSH, his thoughts on the industry, and how he feels about coming back from a major injury.
Full Name -Leonardo Romero
No middle name? Nope, that’s it.
First Board- Ha, that’s a funny story. My first board was found on the street after church one Sunday. I think it was on Citrus Ave. near our house. I had been telling my mom that I’d wanted a skateboard. Then all of a sudden we were driving and my mom was like, “Stop the car!” And on the side of the road was a complete board just, on the street. It looked like an early 90’s board from what I remember. It had a weird shape. I think it had independent trucks and small wheels. That whole story is very random.
Favorite Trick-Kick flip and 50/50s
Favorite Spot- Vans Skate Park in Huntington Beach
Favorite Part-Heath Kirchart -Sight Unseen
I’m always thinking about midwest connections since I live there. Doesn’t Heath own a shop or part of a shop in Iowa? I’m originally from Iowa, so I’m curious..
Yeah! He owns part of Subsect skate shop in Des Moines! Have you been there?!
Naw I haven’t, but I’ll make a point of it the next time I travel home! For Sure!
Yeah. It’s a cool shop. I used to travel there and hang out all of the time on tours and stuff. Heath’s the best. Make sure you go check it out.
Wait, do you skate? Why are you doing these interviews?
Ha ha ha, nope I don’t skate. I’ve been following the industry for about a year and a half now. I just love the vibe the industry puts out and I think that at it’s finest, skating can be incredibly beautiful. Ha ha ha, I know that sounds cheesy.
No, I agree. Why don’t you skate though?
Eh, I’m kinda old, and I don’t have a board, ha ha.
Damn, why not? You should get one!
I’ll think about it. Back to the interview.
Favorite Skater- Heath Kirchart
Food- Mexican- my mom’s
Movie-Dumb and Dumber/There Will be Blood/Tombstone
Band/Musician- Bob Dylan, Wilco, Neil Young, Randy Newman, Avett Brothers, Paul Simon, Mark Bolan, and Lou Reed.
Do you skate to these guys? Or is this more of what influences your own music?
I mean these guys mostly influence my own music, but I’ll listen to these guys all of the time really.
Toughest trick since coming back?
I don’t think I can pick just one trick. It’s more just the lack of movement in my ankle that makes things tough. It won’t bend a certain way on certain days which can hurt. I guess if I had to pick something maybe 360 flips or front feeble.
Anything you’ve been to afraid to try?
It’s not really about being afraid, I’m not afraid to try things. It’s really just being capable of doing things. I’m breaking my ankle in and it kind of feels like there is more at stake because not everything is working correctly. Just like if something is flawed of course you run a bigger risk. You know like coolant in a car, if it’s low you’re going to run a greater risk of something happening while you’re driving it. It’s the same thing with my leg and ankle and my skating, I’m always kind of running a risk because I’m not at 100%.
That’s got to stink, feeling that way when it’s something that consumes so much of your life. How do you deal with it?
I miss jumping down everything and not having to worry. I miss being 100% and just jumping down shit. I’m ready to be ready, it’s annoying being injured.
So you’re still recovering from a pretty gnarly injury, and we get to see that in your first PUSH part. What’s it been like filming and skating for the rest of your PUSH part while still recovering?
I’ve had a limited time to film. The process began at the beginning of the year. It stinks that I was out the first half with the broken leg. I still have this metal plate in my leg too, and it has to come out eventually. Actually, I can get it out now but that would mess up filming for my PUSH part. So really now I can’t get it out until the video part is over.
The deadline for PUSH is in January. After that I’ll get the metal plate removed. What really sucks is that I’ve been out for the last month and half because of strained ligaments in my foot. It’s the foot on the same side as my broken leg. Dr. Dave is trying to expedite that process as much as possible.
Man, that sucks. You really kind of have had a string of bad luck, haven’t you?
The thing I’m worried about is that in the back of my mind I want to get healthy. By doing this PUSH part, I haven’t allowed myself to get 100%. I went right in to filming for this video part. Sometimes I kind of think, maybe if I wouldn’t have filmed for this part, I’d be going through surgery now to get the plate out and be back to skating at the beginning of the year.
When I think about it though, the PUSH part is very different from other parts I’ve filmed. I was motivated originally to do it by Jaws’ part from the first round. Personally, I’m worried about what my sponsors are going to think, and how they’re going to feel about the part. I’ve never been hurt to this extent. I’ve never had to be out for 5 months and then go straight into filming a video part, and then have the deadline be 6 months away. In the end, this part is more for myself. I really want to know what I can push myself to do. People will ultimately perceive it however they want to. People are going to talk shit no matter what. So if it’s more for myself that’s really all I have to worry about. It just really sucks because I’ve been traveling with friends and I haven’t been able to skate at all. I was with Dylan (Witkin) and Dakota (Servold) traveling around Texas and I wasn’t able to skate with them at all.
What’s the process for being chosen for the PUSH project? You seem like a little bit of an unlikely candidate. How did it all go down?
Ha ha, I wasn’t chosen actually. I asked to be a part of it. I was in rehabilitation and the doctor’s office has videos from The Berrics and Thrasher on constant repeat. One time when I was getting the cold laser I watched Jaws’ PUSH parts. I know him well but I’d never seen him in a documentary format like PUSH.
I’ve always noticed and thought a lot about how The Berrics and other mainstream skate outlets are overrun by Nike, Adidas, and Vans. It’s kind of a bummer that there’s a hierarchy of brands that fuel the industry. Really, in the videos they all look the same to me. They are all wearing the same logos like Nike, Adidas, Mountain Dew, Monster. I was just thinking it’d be cool to see these real skateboard brands being shown like Toy Machine. Skateboarding is so fucking lame right now with these big name sponsors. I know I can’t make it cooler on my own, but having guys like Blake (Carpenter) and Daniel (Lutheran) along with me, all from Toy Machine, maybe we can get some exposure to skater run companies, and the companies that are focused on just skating.
I have a buddy, TJ who does quite a bit of filming for the PUSH parts. I asked him originally about being a part of PUSH and he then asked Kevin Duffle. They honestly thought that I was fucking with them. Berra isn’t a fan of mine. One time I was getting interviewed and I said I don’t appreciate video parts like “Battle Commander.” Berra takes criticism terribly. He wasn’t that happy about me trashing his content. He also thought I was messing around with him by saying I wanted to be a part of the project. Eventually TJ talked him into it.
What part are you looking forward to the most this year?
Fuck, man, I don’t really know if I know all of the people who are even doing it this year. Let me see if I can name them all-umm well I know Blake, and Daniel. Tommy Fynn was added at the end, Biebel, me, Nick Tucker, Miles’s just came out. Is that all of them?
Actually, you’re still missing one… He skates for Flip and Vans, and has amazing hair.
Oh yeah! I think he can rip, I bet his will be okay to watch.
Give us your thoughts on Made 2! So far the talk is that it’s pretty epic but the music has gotten mixed feedback.
There was so much hard work put into that video. Man, goosebumps came with Jerry’s part. I thought that the music was good, it’s not meant to be a contemporary video. It’s in the same vain as older raw videos. Now, most videos come out on the internet and people don’t really take the time to invest in the music and the flow of the video. It’s just like they watch it once and they’re done. Everyone in this video has a deep respect for skating and the whole video flows together as a cohesive piece because of this. If you watch that video and appreciate it, the music is the way it should sound, it looks and sounds great.
What about a favorite part? So far I think I’ve heard Dickson the most.
Everyone’s part is good. Figgy and Dickson, you can tell Kevin worked his ass off, while I was watching his part I just kept thinking, “This guy is killing himself.”
What do you have to say to the skeptics who say Emerica may not be around for a Chapter 3?
Emerica will be around. People question it because skateboarding isn’t skateboarding anymore. A lot of the core brands in skating now are being funded by corporate brands, there’s nothing that belongs to skaters anymore. Let’s wash our hands of all that trash and get back out there and make another. The next one will be just as good and organic.
Alright, finally-SOTY prediction?
Oh shut up. For real…
Laughing– I mean, I think Figgy deserves it, but Vans has already paid for it.
I’ve heard Evan Smith from a lot of people. Thoughts?
I’m not saying he’s not good, but Figgy should get it.
Aw man, well Leo, thanks for the time! You’ve got some pretty great opinions.