Words by Kevin Duffel, portrait by Anthony Claravall

When The Firm folded and all of its riders merged with the Flip team, there were a slew of skeptical questions floating around in peoples’ heads: what happened? Are these dudes actually homies? Is this all gonna work out? For the most part, yes, it all worked out and everyone fits Flip like a golden glove. But after spending the better part of a decade with Bob Burnquist and Lance Mountain–the two guys who basically turned him from unknown street rat to household skate name–Rodrigo TX decided to flip to DGK. But is it really a surprise? After all, he’s always been a dirty ghetto kid at heart.

Why the switch from Flip to DGK?
I feel like it was time for me to make a move and do what I wanted to do. With DGK we are into the same things. We can all kick it and skate at the same spot. It’s just more who I am.

How’d you feel when Appleyard left? Were you bummed at all?
Not really. Homie had to do what he had to do…

How is it leaving behind Lance Mountain and Bob Burnquist–the two guys who basically took you in and who you’ve been rollin’ with for your whole career? Any sadness on either end?
It’s cool. I wish I saw them more, but I’m sure they’ve got my back.

How is it being on DGK now? You homies with everyone on board?
It’s dope. I’ve known most of the squad for a while now. Like I said before, on DGK we are all into the same things.

Are you going to be getting some footage at Da Playground soon?
I went to Atlanta before the park finished and we skated and filmed some stuff, but I’m going there I think in February to kick it with some of the squad and skate, so something will come out.

Do you see yourself on DGK for the rest of your career?
Definitely. I see a board company like your home and I don’t change homes very often, so DGK is my home now for good.

It seems like the Brazilians are comin’ up hard and that you were one of the original ones to come over and kill it. Who’s the next breed–like who from Brazil’s super sick right now?
There’s mad kids, like Diego Garcez, Carlos Iqui. Tons.

You ever seen any City Of God type shit in Brazil? If so, what’s the gnarliest thing you’ve seen out there while growing up? Is that why you fit in being a dirty ghetto kid?
I’ve seen some shit. Brazil is a Third World country. But I think there’s a ghetto–and a dirty ghetto kid–wherever you go, but I’m just an official one!

Rodrigo rippin’ the shit out of Da Playground