DC Shoes' "Gotta Eat!" Article

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"Gotta eat!” I’d hear Tiago yell from the back of the van. Since I was a member of the inner circle, I knew he wasn’t actually hungry—the man wanted to skate! When you’ve been on multiple trips with your bros, you develop a common dialect amongst the group. On these DC missions, the term eating became synonymous with fucking up every spot in town. So when we’d hear that recognizable phrase shouted from any of the boys, we knew it was time to pull over and chomp down some spots. And let me tell you, these guys were fucking starving!

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DC Photo Sequence1 750pxNew pro Jaakko Ojanen is taking tech skating to confounding new levels of precision and grace. Front tail to back 360. Melbourne, VIC

DC Photo3 750pxExplain the term, “Gotta eat!”
Gotta eat, G! You know, it’s like eating food, but skating. We gotta eat all the spots we can!

It seems like you’re steady eating anytime we’re on a trip together. Why are you so damn hungry?
I don’t know. All of the new spots we find and skating with the homies on DC gets me hyped. Gotta eat!

Every time we drive by a spot that you might skate, everyone in the van is always yelling, “Lock him up!” Why does the rest of the team compare you to a caged animal?
I guess it’s because I try and skate all the spots that I can and the guys like to hype it up. It’s always super fun traveling with them.

Who were some of the guys on the trip that you were hyped to skate with?
I am always hyped to get on trips with guys like Wes and Evan. All of the team, really. Everybody. But Wes especially. He always gets me hyped to skate and keeps things fun. He’s always positive and he makes everyone else happy. It’s so much fun. Whenever he hits me up before a trip it always gets me hyped ’cause I know it’s going to be only good times!

DC Photo4 750pxThe locals asked and Tiago delivered—NBD switch O off the corner and over the O at the Auckland Library

How do the spots in Oz and NZ compare to Brazil?
So many good spots, G! It’s so different. There’s so much marble. My favorite spot was Aotea Square in Auckland. That plaza was so sick. I liked that spot a lot. We went there a few times.

What’s the biggest cultural differences between the States and Oz?
I really like the people in Australia. The people were really friendly. My English is pretty bad, you know. I didn’t feel weird talking to people. It’s just good vibes over there. It’s similar to the States but way mellower. Everyone is nice. We barely got kicked out of anywhere.

Did you eat anything weird out there?
Not really, man. All of the food I ate was really good. No problems with the food, and they had Acai everywhere. There were a lot of Brazilians around, too, so I got to meet a lot of new friends.

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How do you feel about the Super Tour theme and the jerseys?
I think it’s so sick that DC brought it back! The jerseys looked so dope in the old videos, and everyone knows it’s from back in the day so when they see us in the jerseys everyone gets hyped.

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Why did you go with the number 19?
It’s the area code for where I am from: Jaguariúna, Brazil. It’s a couple hours outside of São Paulo.

DC Photo6 750pxMost people visit the Melbourne museum to get a history lesson. Tiago showed up to make some history of his own—360 shove it up. The man’s gotta eat!

You seem to be embrace the ’90s nostalgia. What was your favorite thing about the ’90s?
The vibes. I watch the videos. The vibe of everyone skating together and the baggy clothes. I started skating in 2000 and my brother would always bring home older skate videos to watch. I grew up watching that type of skating and that’s how I was introduced to skateboarding.

I’ve always wondered, are switch back tails easier than regular for you?
Yeah, I think so, G. It’s easier switch. I can do them regular but doing them switch feels better for me.

DC Photo7 750pxYou might call it a meal, but to Tiago it’s only an appetizer. Backside tailslide the hard way (aka not switch)

Who’s is your favorite Australian skater?
Lewis Marnell. He always passed off good vibes when I watched his parts—gnarly tricks with good style, and he was always smiling. He had really good energy. Good vibes. Rest in peace, Lewis.
Name a skater who was previously on DC that you’d like to see back on the team.
Scott Johnston. I always enjoyed watching him in videos. All of the footage I have seen of him was so dope. That frontside 180 up and gap to switch crooks at J-kwon was so sick! Mike Carroll too, man. There’s a lot but Scott Johnston is my pick. I like the way he skates.

What’s your take on the current state of skateboarding? You ride the line between someone who is recognized as a non-competitive street skater, but you also compete in SLS.
I just try and skate the same way wherever I am at. The vibes are different at contests, but I try and keep the same mindset no matter what I am skating. I look at the contests as fun and a way to see friends I don’t normally get to see all of the time. I just love skateboarding. I am not really about competition. I see some of the homies get so serious. People crying if they do bad, like the contests are the only thing in skateboarding. It’s just different.

DC Photo9 750pxTiago hardflips while the upstairs neighbor worries about his driveway being eaten

How about the Olympics? Is that something you’re hoping to be involved in?
I don’t really wanna go there, you know? If I go, I don’t think I would be happy and it would be weird for me. I prefer to just skate for fun and keep doing what I am doing with homies.


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After the tour you decided to stay in Sydney for an extra week. How was that? What does a guy like Tiago do on his own time in a place like Sydney?
After two-and-a-half weeks of skating every day, it was good to chill, see the beaches and eat good food. I tried to keep myself busy and see as much as I could, but after the tour I was so tired. Every day I’d sleep in then hit the beaches. It was good to chill and relax.

Sometimes the beast needs his rest!
Yeah, man. It was really nice to relax after such a busy trip before heading back to LA to skate more.

Well, thanks for your time, Tiago. Save some leftovers for the rest of us!
Gotta eat, man!

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DC Photo10 750pxFirst spot of the day = Brekkie. T-funk managed to not crack his eggs on this nosegrind into the street in Sydney

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DC Photo11 750pxFresh off a 20-hour flight from Finland, Jaakko shakes off the cold and jumps into the hot New Zealand summer with a 50-50 to wallride in Auckland

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DC Photo13 750pxAlex Lawton switch heel 5-0s and then makes a trip to the chilly bin

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DC Photo15 750pxShanahan fulfills the dream with a noseblunt slide. Somewhere The Muska is smiling

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DC Photo18 750pxUnlike most, Evan gets hyped when he’s trying a trick and it starts to rain. “This one’s for the clouds!” Back Smith in Sydney

DC Photo16 750pxWhen you hear the cage rattle, you better stop the van! Tiago unleashes a bluntslide after demanding one more feeding in Geelong, AUS

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DC Photo20 750pxThere’s no holding back when food is on the line. T-funk nosegrind tailgrabs a trolley in the deep end for a rotisserie chicken and a case of liquid porkchops

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DC Photo22 750pxT- Funk peppers his back lip with a shove it in Melbourne. Obey that!

DC Photo23 750pxEvan, flatscreen-assisted tube ride—digital DIY

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DC Photo26 750pxThe Sydney locals described this spot to us as a slappy shoot-out ledge. Tiago saw things a bit differently and chomped on a noseslide the wrong way

DC Photo27 750pxPyramid huck to skinny ledge ride, T-Funk checks it off the bucket list

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DC Photo28 750pxPutting it all on the line, Jaakko serves up a tasty no comply bluntslide

DC Photo29 750pxAfter a few hits off the goon sack, Evan wallies over a rubbish bin into the busy streets of Melbourne

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DC Photo31 750pxWhile the squad sat back and enjoyed the local fish-and-chips offering, Jaakko reeled in a 50-50 that could have fed the entire crew

DC Photo32 750px“Don’t touch my shit!” Shaun Paul noseslides seconds after ripping his board out of a concerned citizen’s hands

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DC Photo34 750pxAfter a full day sampling Melbourne’s local cuisine, Evan settled on this 50-50 kickflip for dessert. Delicious!

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DC Photo37 750pxShanahan demonstrates how one can fully indulge yet still keep a skinny figure. Thread-the-needle ollie in Oz—must be an ectomorph

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DC Photo38 750pxTommy Fynn bites into a kickflip crooks at Geelong’s most well-known spot

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DC Photo41 750pxT-funk lathered on the sunscreen and 50-50 transfered his way on down to Tamarama Beach. How can you guys still be hungry?!

DC Photo42 750pxSydney’s famous Martin Place feels the sting of Wes Kremer’s wicked switch tré. Go off, mate!