Tiago Lemos and Carlos Iqui Interview

Tiago and Carlos have power and trick selection, they’re humble, and—most importantly—they live by respect. Real stand-up dudes who do not expect anything from anyone. They’re hard workers, and it shows in their skating and personalities. Future legends no doubt.Josh Kalis
Words by Blair Alley
Photos by Mike Blabac

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Tiago Lemos, switch backside lipslide, Guadalajara. Photo / Darwin (click to enlarge)

TIAGO

Is Tiago a typical Brazilian name? Where did your parents get it?
Yeah, it is a typical name in Brazil. Unfortunately I don’t know where my name is from, so I don’t know if there’s a story behind it or not.

What part of Brazil are you from?
I’m from Jaguariuna, inland São Paulo.

When and where was the first time you saw Carlos skate? What was your first impression?
The first time I saw Iqui was at a contest in Blumenau, a city in the South of Brazil. I was tripping on how many tricks he was landing. That was the first time I saw him live, but I had already seen video parts of him—I knew who he was, I was impressed by his skating already before I had met him. This was 2008.

When you and Carlos skate together, what kind of spots do you usually end up at?
We usually go skate schools on the weekends. We skate a lot of picnic tables; I really like skating tables. But we’ll skate anywhere. Usually when we’re in the US, weekends mean schools.

What Brazilian skaters did you look up to growing up?
There’s many of them. Rodrigo Petersen, Rodrigo Lima, Rodrigo TX, Felipe Gustavo, Adelmo Jr. There’re plenty of them.

Did you ever think getting sponsored and skating in America was a possibility for you?
It was a dream for me, and now it’s a reality that I’m living. I’m skating all these crazy spots around the world and skating in America with American sponsors, and I’m loving it. I’m living my dream. I thought about it when I was younger, but it seemed really far away.

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Tiago Lemos, frontside nosegrind, Brasilia. (click to enlarge)

How did you get hooked up with sponsors in America?
Just skating, doing what I love, and things just flowed in that direction.

Did you send out sponsor-me videos or YouTube links?
No. I was just out there skating and filming, and it just happened.

Who got you on BLVD and DC? Had you always wanted to be on the same board and shoe companies as Carlos?
Robson Reco from DC Brazil got me on DC after a tour I was on. For BLVD, Rodrigo Petersen got me on. Yes, from the first moment we skated together, the vibe was there with Carlos. I wanted to travel the world and skate with him since the first day. I’ve been happy to go down the same path as him.

Do you like skating contests? What have been your favorite contests that you’ve been in?
I liked skating them when I was younger; I don’t like them anymore. I just like getting together with my friends and skating, trying new tricks, and just having fun with friends. The best contest I’ve been in was the one that happened at Agenda over the picnic table [TransWorld’s Cash On The Table] because I really love skating tables and all my friends were there. It was a mellow vibe. Other than that, I really liked the Tampa Ams I skated. Before going to the US, I always looked forward to going to Tampa Am, and then I went and really enjoyed it.

How did you find out about your TWS cover? What did you think?
I was at Rodrigo Petersen’s house, about to film some interview. Rodrigo came up and had the cover on his phone. He was like, “I got something for you, but I wanna show you after the interview.” After the interview Rodrigo showed me, and I was blown away. I couldn’t believe I got a TransWorld cover, and I couldn’t believe I got it with a kickflip on flat. How did I get a cover with a kickflip on flat? I was tripping on that. The feeling was of craziness and joy at the same time. I’m really happy with it.

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Tiago Lemos, switch backside Smith grind, Brasilia. (click to enlarge)

What’s the secret to massive pop?
I don’t really know. Rice, beans, and lots of acai [laughs]. You have to have a lot of will and just try, and take care of your body and eat well.

What’s it take to go pro? Is it happening soon for you?
I’m working towards that. I’m focusing and working in that direction.

 Would you want to live in America permanently, or would you rather stay in Brazil if you can make a living skating there?
It’s always been a dream to live in America. There’s better opportunities for me in America. In Brazil it’s not that easy. Making a living and skating in America—I’m going for that.

How was it skating with the DC team at first? Were you intimidated by such a team of heavy hitters and legends?
It was difficult the first time I went skating with Mikey Taylor and Mike Mo. I wanted to speak to them and just chitchat, but I couldn’t speak English. Other than that, I was really impressed by them. It was cool.

How does it feel when Josh Kalis says you and Carlos are two of his new favorites?
I was really happy to hear those words and stoked because Kalis has always been an inspiration for me and many other skaters. I was stoked to have one of my favorite skaters say he likes my skating. Really nice to hear that.

Seems like you, Chase Webb, and Chris Colbourn stole the show in We Are Blood. How was traveling and skating with those two?
Traveling with those two guys was really cool. At first we didn’t really know each other, but they’re skaters, I’m a skater, so we speak the same language even though my English isn’t that good. We still had a good time, they’re easy to travel with. Now I can say that we’re friends, we’re comrades. I have their phone numbers and they have mine and we kick it.

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Tiago Lemos, heelflip, Los Angeles. (click to enlarge)

What was your expectation of We Are Blood while you were filming it, and what was your take on it once you saw the final product?
I really didn’t have any expectation when we were filming for it. When I’d see Ty Evans point the camera at me or waiting for me to land a trick, I was just going for it and thinking about landing the trick. I wasn’t really thinking beyond that. Later when I saw the video finally, it was pretty much perfect. It’s inspiring, everybody loved it, I loved it. To put We Are Blood into one word: perfect.

Tiago in We Are Blood, Dubai section

Do you have an older pro who is like a mentor and has given you good advice on skating and career moves?
Basically Robson Reco helped me when I got on DC. Also Rodrigo Petersen. This guy Fabio Castilho. Those are the main three.

Do you have a day job?
No.

Words of wisdom that Rob G has given you:
Keep skating, keep doing what you’re doing.

Favorite Danny Montoya part that gets you hyped to skate:
TransWorld’s The Reason. He’s got a lot of style with really wide, big pants. I really love the style in that part.

All time best DC skater:
Wes [Kremer] is the best in the world.

All time best skater to come outta Brazil?
Rodrigo Teixeira.

What does respect mean to you?
Respect is thinking about other people—respecting your brother, your family, your friends.

Tiago in De la Calle/Da Rua

Tiago in Gold Goons

Vote for Tiago for Readers’ Choice

CARLOS

 

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Carlos Iqui, gap switch 180 five-0, Porto Alegre. (click to enlarge)

What part of Brazil are you from?
I’m from South Brazil, Porto Alegre.

When and where was the first time you saw Tiago skate? What was your first impression?
The first time I saw Tiago was in São Paulo in 2010. The first time I saw him skate was incredible. It was insane. So many tricks with good style. I didn’t know him, but I’d heard about him from friends. The first time I met him and I felt his vibe, everything just came to my mind. The way he skates is the way he is. He’s an inspiration to me.

When you and Tiago skate together, what kind of spots do you usually end up at?
The last year we skated a lot together. We’ve been to so many spots around the world, so many trips. Every day is a different spot, we don’t really know. It’s always a surprise and a good time. Every single spot, we skate together. A bunch of schools in LA., skateparks, Cherry Park, Long Beach skateparks, Costa Mesa with the homies from Brazil.

What Brazilian skaters did you look up to growing up?
I started skating in South Brazil, there’re a lot of skaters and history and culture and a big skating scene. Cezar Gordo, Marcus Cida, Guilherme Zolin, Rafael Russo, Rodrigo TX, Rodrigo Petersen.

Did you ever think getting sponsored and skating in America was a possibility for you?
When I started skating I wasn’t even thinking of going to the US, but after a couple years of skating, 10 years of skating, I got my sponsors. I saw that it’s a dream that I can make happen. I really did have a dream to go there and see what it’s like.

How did you get hooked up with sponsors in America?
I got sponsored seven years ago by DC in Brazil. Robson Reco asked who the young skaters in Brazil are who are skating good. All the homies said my name. After a couple years I had the opportunity to do my visa. DC Brazil paid for it. They paid for me to go to the States. Jimmy [Astleford], the DC team manager in the US, I skated with him. He and the guys out there hooked me up.

Did you send out sponsor-me videos or YouTube links?
No. The only thing I sent was my part in the video Simplesmente from a video in Brazil.

 

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Carlos Iqui, switch frontside lipslide 270 shove-it out, Los Angeles.

Who got you on BLVD and DC? Had you always wanted to be on the same board and shoe companies as Tiago?
For BLVD it was Rodrigo Petersen. He told me on a trip to Buenos Aires. I was filming for my video part in Simplesmente. Rodrigo asked me if I wanted to be a part of BLVD. I was psyched because I didn’t have a board sponsor and that meant I was able to get American-made boards. For DC it was Robson Reco who got me on.
From the day I met Tiago, I really liked him and I loved his skateboarding. I didn’t have any sponsors when I met Tiago. Traveling with Tiago and skating together and discovering the world together—the answer would be yes.

Do you like skating contests? What have been your favorite contests that you’ve been in?
I don’t have anything against contests, they’re fine, but they’re not really my cup of tea. If it’s a contest I like, I might skate it, but I’m not particularly into them. The contest I like the most actually happens in my hometown of Porto Alegre—the Matriz Open, it happens in the skate plaza of IAPI. I love it because my friends and family are there. I’m skating with all my friends at my local spot. A contest like that I’m definitely down to skate.

What’s the secret to nailing tricks over picnic tables?
Eat well and try without being scared. A lot of will and try it a lot. That’s the secret.

What’s it take to go pro? Is it happening soon for you?
I don’t know. I’m not pro, so I don’t know yet.

Would you want to live in America permanently, or would you rather stay in Brazil if you can make a living skating there?
I’m grateful for the time I’ve lived in America so far, I’d like to extend it, I like living there. My focus is living in the US right now. Whatever tricks I do there go out to the whole world. Stuff I do back in my hometown are for my friends. They don’t have the same impact. As long as I’m fit and able to skate, I’d like to live in the US and make a career there.

How was it skating with the DC team at first? Were you intimidated by such a team of heavy hitters and legends?
It was incredible for me. Back in 2008, I didn’t speak English. Wes Kremer, Matt Miller, Bjorn Johnston, Jani Laitiala, Sammy Winter, and PJ Ladd were all there. I had no experience with people from the US. It was scary for me. I couldn’t say anything to them, but they were my inspirations. Wes Kremer is a G. I can’t explain it, but he made me comfortable all the time. He tried to teach me English, he tried to learn Portuguese. That kept me comfortable with the crew and comfortable to skate with them and have fun. That time was incredible, it was a good feeling out there.

How does it feel when Josh Kalis says you and Tiago are two of his new favorites?
Nothing is just chance. There is a reason for everything. When I was young, I was watching him [Kalis] a bunch. I have two older brothers that skate, and they love Kalis too. This came from the beginning and I can’t explain, all I can say is thanks, Kalis, for all you did for skateboarding.

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Carlos Iqui, frontside noseblunt-slide, Brasilia. (click to enlarge)

Do you have an older pro who is like a mentor and has given you good advice on skating and career moves?
My best friend and he’s like my dad, Cezar Gordo. He’s the owner of Matriz Skate Shop. My brother gave me my first skateboard, and he gave me my second and the opportunity to know everything about skateboarding.

Do you have a day job?
No.

Words of wisdom that Rob G has given you:
Keep it real, man. Keep doing what you’re doing.

Favorite Danny Montoya part that gets you hyped to skate:
Adio, One Step Beyond. Every single part he’s had is insane. Every part he’d do new tricks that had never been done. And it’s chill, just him. The Reason is good too.

All time best DC skater:
Wes Kremer.

All time best skater to come outta Brazil?
So many. Tiago, for sure.

 What does respect mean to you?
It’s a Portuguese saying that’s difficult to translate, “Look someone straight in the eyes, have a word, and stay true to your word.” It’s perfect.