Carlos Ribeiro never considered himself a contest skater. He came up in the streets of Porto Alegre, Brazil, and made a name for himself in the plazas of Barcelona and schoolyards of Southern California. During his travels, Carlos locked down sponsorships from top-tier companies including Nike SB, Primitive, and Diamond Supply Co. to name a few. In 2016 he entered his first Tampa Pro and hit it out of the box, placing 2nd and earning a spot on the SLS World Tour. This year, Carlos was a little more experienced as an SLS Pro and it showed. He stacked up season points and even took 3rd place in Munich which helped him clinch a spot to skate against the best in the world at the 2017 Super Crown World Championship in Los Angeles on September 15. Not bad for a guy who, before last year, had taken an eight-year hiatus from contest skating.
How’s it been skating SLS for the past two seasons?
It’s been fun, better than I was expecting. You get to travel the world with your friends and skate. I like the format. It’s better. It makes you want to land your tricks. I don’t know. I have a lot fun. I didn’t know how it was before I got in, but I really enjoy it.
Has your strategy changed at all from last year to this year?
When I first got in, I wasn’t thinking about it in terms of strategy. I was just skating. Now, I think about it more in terms of trying the tricks that I have on lock. I really just got a little strategy going this year.
Some of the SLS skaters are really conscious of what the judges scored their previous trick or what the skater that went before them scored. Do you think about that stuff?
No, I don’t think about that stuff. When I’m skating, I try not to look at the scoreboards because I don’t like to feel the pressure of thinking I need a certain amount of points. I try to go with what I have in mind and not look at the scoreboard or anything.
You do a lot of technical stuff that people would consider high-risk in a contest setting. How do you go about pulling from your bag of tricks for SLS?
I usually go with the tricks that I know I’m going to land if I fully commit to it. Then there’s the tricks that you’re scared to fully go for. Eventually, it comes to the point where you know you have one shot to score what you need and this is SLS so you have to just go for it and hope it ends up working out. It’s becoming more and more like that—trying things that are hard that you don’t usually try. But you know if you fully commit to it, you’re going to land it.
The Super Crown World Championship is coming up. How are you feeling going into it?
I’m super hyped, actually. I’m really hyped to be out there with everybody. I wasn’t expecting that. I’m just excited. For me, it feels like a contest where you’re already in the Finals. Usually, I feel nervous about qualifying. Then if I make it to the Finals, I’m like, “yeah, that’s sick!” This one feels like I’m already in the Finals. It’s gonna be fun for sure.
If you won, what would you do with the money?
Probably save it and just keep living how I live. Of course, help my family in Brazil. That’s for sure, but nothing special.
Who are some of the skaters that you like to watch in SLS?
Well, Shane for sure. He does some crazy tricks. Ishod, of course, people savor him. Evan, I’m stoked to see him because he never tries anything in practice. He just shows up and starts flying around. It’s sick to see Tiago, too. We usually skate together. So it’s cool being out there with him as well. We both talk about what we’re going to try. It’s dope to see what he does out there. It’s hard.
Outside of the U.S., Brazil has the highest number of SLS skaters. Why do you think so many world-class skaters come out of Brazil?
I don’t know, it’s big. And Brazil is a really big country. There’s a lot of people. And there’s a lot of people skating too. Usually when I go back to Brazil and go to a skatepark, I see so many different kids ripping. I think they have a lot of passion. For us, if you just go to the United States, you’ve made it. It’s just a hard thing to come here from Brazil. There’s a lot of passion for skateboarding in Brazil. It’s not just like something normal to make it out of Brazil. So the skaters there try really hard.
Skateboarding is going to be in the Olympics in 2020. What are your thoughts on skateboarding in the Olympics, and would you skate for Brazil if given the opportunity?
I think it’s sick. In the beginning, I was kind of tripping a little bit. But it’s growing. So let it grow. It’s a good thing. And, of course, I would skate for the Brazil team.