You might not have heard of Los Angeles local Leandre Sanders, but maybe you’ve stumbled across his Instagram and seen him skating, inexplicably, in two stances. No bullshit, he rips street regular, then rips bowls goofy. It makes absolutely no sense. I randomly met Leandre in Australia last year and occasionally his name and remarkable abilities will pop up in conversation with people who know him. We figured it was time for an interview.—Blair Alley
Where’d you grow up?
I grew up in Hawthorne, with Theotis [Beasley] and Little Louie [Lopez] and Antwuan [Dixon]. Then I moved to Venice Beach with my friend Hayden, then I started skating here in Venice everyday. Then I moved to Australia when I was 17, for like two years.
What did you move down there for?
Well it’s my ex-girlfriend. I met an Aussie, and we went out there together and I stayed out there for like three months, then I went back for two years. Just traveling around working and skating. Just exploring.
So what stance are you? What do you say when people ask?
I say regular because I am regular. When I started skating at The Dirty, that’s Hawthorne Skatepark, I was always skating regular. I started skating street first before transition. When I moved to Venice, it was weird, I couldn’t skate the snake run. I couldn’t pump regular, so I just dropped in goofy. Out of nowhere I just ollied like normal. Ever since that day I haven’t jumped on a board regular to skate a snake run or any bowl.
It’s weird, when I skate goofy on street, some tricks feel switch. Like tre flips, I can only do switch tre flips, I can’t do regular.
So after you started skating tranny goofy, how long was it until you felt like you were comfortably skating both ways?
Once I found out I could skate transition goofy, I haven’t jumped on my board regular. It’s been three or four years that I’ve been skating goofy, since the Venice skatepark’s been open.
Do you ever skate street goofy, and do you ever skate tranny regular?
I can do frontside flip lipslides, noseblunts, and nosegrinds regular, but I can’t do kickflips goofy or noseblunts goofy, so I kind of mix it up. On transition, when I skate regular, it feels switch. It’s weird.
Do you know any other skaters that are as fully ambidextrous as you?
I haven’t met any skater that skates the way I do. But when I was in Tampa last year, some kid came up to me saying his friend skates the same way. I was like, yeah? I wanna meet that kid. I wanna see how he feels about it.
Have you ever talked to Rodney Mullen about it?
I actually have. When I was in Australia, he was there with Globe, and he was like, “That’s kinda crazy, that’s always my dream to skate like that.” He was tripping out. I was showing him all this footage and he was like, “Dude, we have to talk.”
I think he’s been working for years to have no stance.
Yeah, is he getting his hips removed or something like that?
I don’t know exactly what. Did you ever have a longer talk with him after that?
We talked for like 30 minutes. It was at night, I was skating at St. Kilda skatepark. He was doing some pop shove-its on flat, and I was like, who is that skater? He looks familiar, by his style. I was like, “Yo Rodney!” He was like, “Yo!”
I went down there and had a little chat with him. He was stoked to meet me because I guess he had wanted to get out with me, with Jesse Martinez, a long time ago when I first moved to Venice.
Who are you getting stuff from?
I get hooked up from Deathwish, Shake Junt, éS and OJ Wheels.
Do you have video parts online? Or are you filming for anything?
No, I’m trying to film a part at the moment, I don’t have anything online. Just Instagram stuff.