Pedro Delfino's "Hell of a Year 2020" Interview

Pedro’s rookie year had more than a few curve balls.
What should’ve been a series of international trips and endless hijinx was instead interrupted by a cycle of shutdowns and toilet paper shortages. Learn how he knocked it out of the park despite the pandemic, civil war fears and a serious case of impostor syndrome—from the Dec. ‘21 issue.

DZA PDelfinoLipslide DZnoLogosYou know what's really fucked up? This lipslide    Photo: Zaslavsky

PEDRO PULLQUOTE I was scared there was gonna be some sort of famine.

So the theme of this issue is Hell of a Fucked up Year.
Oooh. Yeah, it’s been fucked up.

Right? When the shit hit the fan did you run out and buy as much toilet paper as you could?
I didn’t buy any toilet paper. I bought a lot of food because I was scared there was gonna be some sort of famine.

Lest we not forget, Pedro put out not one, but two of the year's best parts. Review and revere his sardine-fueled Spitfire project 

What kind of stuff did you pick out?

I got a bunch of sardines, maybe pasta, some eggs, a lot of water. I wasn’t really that equipped.

Why was sardines first on the list?
’Cause it’s just easy, you know? It’s nutritious, it’s got protein, healthy fats, omega 3 oils and you can just put them in a little lunch box and it’s easy. No cooking required.

Pedro Delfino 5050 RHINO TS3Locked down? Nah, Pedro's locked in. Frontside 50-50     Photo: Rhino

Yeah, they smell great, too. So how has your concern level ebbed and flowed over this spring and summer?
I definitely started out with zero concern whatsoever and then as everything started locking down I got really angry at everyone and I got angry at the world and then I got a little bit too involved online and saw the scenarios everyone was saying. So then I got a little freaked out. I thought there was gonna be a WWIII and some sort of civil war-type stuff. So then I got a little prepared mentally for disaster.

Oh, dude, I did too. I bought bear mace.
Yes, that’s what you need. I wish I had that.

pedro delfino jumping neckface BURNETTNeckface employs the bear mace defense against Pedro's Indy attack

Greg Hunt got me all freaked out. He’s like, “You don’t have bear mace? Dude, you gotta get bear mace!” And I ordered it off the Internet. I’m so stupid. But I’ll be ready if there’s a bear. If a bear comes to the beach.
Oh, good luck with that.

The funny thing about the Internet is that anything you suspect, if you Google it you’ll find it.
Exactly, it’s just there to confirm anything you think of.

WEB PedroDelfino 5 0 photoPAPKE 1 DZWhat's the best way to 5-0 from barrier to bank? Don't Google it—ask Pedro    Photo: Papke

Any terrible situation you can imagine, if you’re looking for it, you’ll find it.
So yeah, it’s the place of mentally-scared people.

So how did you work you way out of that? How’d you talk yourself down?
I went to Florida in the middle of it to see my family and then after being in lockdown with them for like two-and-a-half weeks I finally bounced out and was like, Oh, this is not too bad. My parents are doing fine; they’re chilling. It’s time for me to go back to California and skate and see what everyone’s up to. But it turned out that nobody really skated through it. Everybody was really spooked for a while.

I feel like Jamie Foy didn’t give a fuck.
Nah. He didn’t give a fuck; I didn’t give a fuck; Kaylanne didn’t give a fuck; we were getting it. We still went out skating spots and the streets were just empty. No traffic here in LA. It was a blessing.

Pedro Delfino Boardslide Bronx shotby MikeHeikkila DZ croppedWhat's a few extra kinks to boardslide? He clearly doesn't give a fuck    Photo: Heikkila

The traffic—I couldn’t believe the no traffic. I was like, This is what it must have been like in the ’60s.
Yeah, exactly.

Rye told me that you went to college. Did you get a degree?
I didn’t get a degree. I got three years under my belt. But yeah, I went to school while I was just skating and traveling. Took a few years off, or a few semesters off.

What was your focus? Did you have a major?
No, I never had a major. I was too interested in a lot of stuff. I liked math and engineering but I also like linguistic studies, anthropology and literature. It was just like, There’s no point; there’s too many topics. I might as well just read for fun.

Do you feel like someday in the future higher education will be calling you again?
Yeah, for sure. I mean, as long as I can think, reading is always gonna be accessible to me. Even when I’m like 80 or 60 I could just sit there and study whatever I like.

PEDRO PULLQUOTE with all these public concussions I’ve had it’s gonna be hard to redeem my credibility.
Yeah. That’s true, but what about ten years from now? Maybe if the skate career winds down would you want go back and do an engineering degree or something like that? Like jump into something serious?
Yeah, it’d be fun. That’d be like the next adventure, right? And I got enough credits in—I got all my general stuff so pretty much I could kinda jump in whenever and finish off. But the problem is, I’ve been thinking about this recently, it’s like with all these public concussions I’ve had it’s gonna be hard to redeem my credibility.

I don’t think those will make it onto your transcripts.
Perfect. Then I’m good.

PedroDelfino Hillbomb bramphoto hires 1747 DZHIgher ed will have to wait while Pedro masters these hills     Photo: Bram

If they ask me for a letter of recommendation I won’t bring those up. Speaking of reading, I saw the other day you had the Bible on the dashboard.
Yeah, I had that there.

And a banana.
The story behind that is pretty funny. So through all this pandemic shit I just wanted to kind of gain perspective on all types of ideologies—just to see what people are thinking about. So I moved into a neighborhood in Long Beach that’s predominately white and kind of Trumpy and I felt a little out of place ’cause I’m Latino and I’ve got baggy pants and shit. And I was getting a bunch of crazy looks. So it started out as kind of a joke. I put the Bible on my dashboard and an American flag and all my neighbors came up and treated me a lot differently. I was surprised, and I’m like, Well fuck, it’s just another mask I can wear. So for a while, while all this racist shit’s going on, I put that there just to see what people’s reactions were. It’s more like an experiment. But also, I like to just know things. I don’t care what it is, I don’t have any discriminations towards any ideologies. It’s all just perspectives or different symbols of different ideas. And it’s whatever; it’s cool. The Jesus stuff, it’s harmless, right? Unless you get radical on it.

Unless it’s that Spanish Inquisition or those Crusades.

PEdro Delfino banana bible BURNETTSuburban camouflage
PEDRO PULLQUOTE I’m a witch. Watch out, y'all.
Does your interest extend to witchcraft?
Yeah. Dude, witchcraft is just another symbolic representation to life that people use to calm down their fears. It’s not different than taking pills at the psychiatrist. It’s just another different story, another different symbol that you can use to calm down your anxieties. For instance, chanting to a flame will give you the same placebo effect as praying or having a good conversation with a close person. So it’s all just different symbols. But yeah, I did that for a little bit just to have fun with it and it was cool. I’m a witch. Watch out, y’all.

Did it invade your dreams at all?
Yeah, I noticed an effect from practicing that stuff, the things that would enter into my dreams the night after. Like really cool, vivid dreams. Apparently if you set intentions for certain things they enter your dreams. And if you’re aware, if you’re hyperaware, they’ll pop out.

Yeah, I have dreams about emails and all the boring shit I do all the time.
Yeah, Mike, you gotta change it up. You can’t be working 24/7.

Ollie in rhino DZFuck a broom, this witch flies in style     Photo: Rhino

Shit. So let’s talk skate talk here. Tell me about this ollie into the bank. How did that go?
Oh, the one in Glendale?

Dude, that was such a nightmare.

It looks hectic.
Yeah. I was not prepared for it. I knew I could do it and I was just hyping myself up a little too much and I was going way too fast and the run up was downhill. On a few of the tries I popped way too far out and missed the entire bank and got smoked. I fell on my pelvis and bruised my knee, bone bruise, all that. It was bad.

Is that generally your approach? You’ve said in the past that if you’re scared you just go real, real fast at something.
Yeah. That’s usually my approach. I psyche myself out too much and I tend to over-exaggerate the pop or the speed. That’s just my style, I guess.

That’s alright, though.
Hey, yeah. It makes it fun to watch.

Stale eggplant rhino DZSnackin' on a tailgrab egg, dude's got one refined palette      Photo: Rhino

A lot of good skaters have that style. The other option is just a lot of sacking.
A lot of sacking, yeah. You know, if you find one way out, a bail that can give you a little bit more tries that won’t kill you, take that option. Bailing’s okay.

We had a pretty killer pool session a couple days ago. What was it like to skate that perfect pool with Lance Mountain and Ronnie? You got into this Indy air attack!
Yeah, man. Pool sessions are rare to come by ’cause people keep them guarded and private. But that was awesome to get to skate with Lance and Ronnie. I’ve skated with them before, but since I haven’t seen anyone in a few months it was really cool. It was nice to have Lance there, which was a surprise, and Ronnie, and we were just shredding. It was a good time, perfect pool, no kinks or nothing. Sauced-up coping, just like your typical pool.

PEdro delfino indy air BURNETTPedro might've forgotten this massive Indy air, but we won't

Do you have the same approach at a pool? Just go fast?
Yeah. You gotta go fast for the pool coping like that. There’s a difference when I skate pools compared to spots in the street and stuff. I tend to just shut my brain off. I think I’m more natural skating transition. So when I skate a pool I just drop in and yeah, maybe I’ll just focus on the first wall, it’s usually a frontside grind and then the rest just kinda comes and I forget.

PEDRO PULLQUOTE Go out there and skate some pools.
That’s good. It’s more spontaneous, right?
Yeah, it’s free, man. Go out there and skate some pools.
 pedro delfino fs invert BURNETTFeelin' free on a frontside invert

How’s your rookie pro year been? Were you ready to be a pro?

Yeah, there was a lot of weird feelings that came about from that. Maybe a lot of people feel this way, but I kinda felt like a fraud, man. It felt like it just wasn’t the right time or something. I don’t know. Every day it’s just like, Damn, am I doing the best I can? But it’s rad. It’s fuckin’ sick. For the first few months it was weird; I’m not gonna lie. It was like you have an existential crisis. You don’t know the meaning of what that status is. You see people around who treat you a little different. It was hard to kinda navigate that water.

PEDRO PULLQUOTE Just charge it, man. You never know if tomorrow will be there.
I know a little something about an impostor syndrome myself. I just feel like when you get the opportunity there’s never a perfect time, you just gotta try to make the best of it, right?
Yeah, exactly. Just charge it, man. You never know if tomorrow will be there.

So how’s this video going? People may not even realize it but there’s gonna be a gnarly Deathwish video coming out by the time they read this.
I hope people are as excited as we are, man. We’re stoked. We got a lot of inspiration off Baker 4 and the whole crew over here at Deathwish, especially Kirby, was really hyped to get this going. And although we went through a little slow down with the pandemic, we took advantage. We went on a few trips and we already had a bunch of stuff compiled beforehand, so I think it’s time. I hope everyone’s ready.

1280 Pedro Delfino Poster50-50 through a mile of rural railing, Delfino definitely has a Deathwish    Photo: Zaslavsky

How do you decide what to name a video?
I don’t know. That’s really impossible. I don’t edit or film or do any graphics. I think we just bounced back ideas. Me and Kirby have been talking and stuff. We try to see what theme we’ve got going, I mean, we’ve got Deathwish but also we’re kind of sober and healthy over here so we’ll see. Lifewish?

So you’re saying you guys don’t have a name yet?
No. We’re in the group chat having fun coming up with some ideas. My favorite is Life After Blessed after the Supreme video.

pedro delfino sunset bank BURNETTFrom the top of Sunset Boulevard's K-12

Do you feel like there’s been a big sea change after that video?
Fuck, maybe. If that came out of my head spontaneously or unconsciously, I guess that video had some sort of impact on everyone’s skating.

Yeah, I think you’re right.

Pedro Deflino Roll In DSC 6368 DZ 1
Out of the shadow of 2020 and into the light of a new year, Pedro rolls into a hill he could die on    Photo: Burnett

rye pedro kirby victoria BURNETT

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