Print and Go Back Skateboarding [Print without images]

Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Rodrigo Petersen pro interview

It has never been easy for foreign skaters to make it big in America. Language and marketability have always been a factor in U.S. kids gravitating towards riders from other countries. Recently there has been a shift towards international pros actually staying put and having pro models on brands based in their countries like Blueprint, Cliché, Jart, etc. But Rodrigo Petersen has always had loftier goals than being big only in Brazil. Nearly 12 years ago Petersen forsook his Brazilian pro model to make it big in The States and it has been a long, rough road ever since. We're proud to say after a dozen long years of amazing, smooth, technical, stylish skating, BLVD skateboards has finally made Petersen's dreams come true with his first U.S. pro model. Congrats, Rodrigo. You deserved it a lifetime ago.

Rodrigo Petersen is finally and officially professional with a pro model from BLVD skateboards hitting shops now.

How did this BLVD deal come about?
It was right after leaving Organika. luckily I was able to do this BLVD thing.

What happened with Organika?
It was a crazy one. We both agreed it wasn't working for either side and we agreed to end it and me to start somewhere fresh.

Why didn't you ever get a pro model there?
You might have to ask them. I got that question a lot at every skateshop I went to, everywhere I went. I really don't know why it didn't happen.

You had a board on Listen skateboards though before, right?
No, I was about to get a board on Listen right when it was close to the end. Then I got an offer from Organika and Listen ended so I never got a board on Listen.

So this is technically your first pro model?
Technically, yes. I had a board in Brazil with a Brazilian company but when I came to the U.S. I decided to restart everything and do it right.

Do you regret that at all?
No, no. Not really. I'm happy and everything is working out right now. I never expected to have a board but when everybody started asking me about my board I was like, maybe I should start caring now.

How many years have you been here?
Twelve years.

You were pro 12 years ago and you're finally getting another pro board? That seems insane to me. It seems like you've been pro forever.
I know but that's how it is. You have to go with it. I was happy because I was doing what I loved to do and still getting a little bit of money so it didn't bother me that much. Now everything came together finally.

Did Nike help you out a lot during those lean years? It seems like you're big on that program. You've done a bunch of exclusive Brazilian dunk colorways.
Yeah, Nike has been huge for me over the years and I really appreciate what they do for me. They treat me good; I cannot complain.

Why do you think it took so long for you to turn pro in The States?
It's just the industry and the way it is. It should have happened after the LRG video but I guess I'm a foreigner maybe I don't sell too much; it's just business.

Do you think there's an anti-Brazilian sentiment in skateboarding?
Ha. Not really. Who knows? You know how it is. I'm hyped now. I just got to work now and keep doing what I have to do.

Do you ever think you should have stuck with Danny Montoya and Rob Gonzales after Listen died out and waited for BLVD to start? Do you think it was worth it or a waste of time?
It was kind of a little bit a waste of time because if I believe in something, if I go to a company I just want to grow with them and make that my life. That's always been my thing since I was a kid. When I first started knowing about companies and the industry I thought it was like that, you get on a company with your homies and everybody is going to grow, make money and everybody is going to work hard to make the company good. When I got on Organika I thought it was going to be like that and I was giving 100 percent on my side to do my thing and I thought it was going to work that way but it eventually didn't work that way. Now I'm happy to be back with people who really like me and respect what I do.

How did Danny and Rob ask you to come home?
Actually after the Organika thing went down I went up to them and asked them if they were still down to do this. They were down and we just did it.

Well you're finally pro in America what are your plans moving forward?
Just keep growing and keep the fire alive. We're working on a BLVD video for next year and we'll be on the road soon.