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Shadow Day with Filipe Mota and Nyjah Huston

Monster Army Recruit Filipe Mota Shreds Nyjah’s Park in 'Shadow Day'

Sep 212020

When it comes to getting super good at skateboarding, it’s all about learning from the best. At least that’s what 13-year-old Brazilian ripper and Monster Army recruit Filipe Mota has been doing, and it shows…

Raised on a steady diet of skate videos, Filipe has already mastered the intricacies of high-tech street skating despite his young age. Asked about his current source of motivation, he didn’t hesitate to point out Encore, the recent full-length feature from the company that flows him boards, Primitive Skateboards. No surprises there, since Encore showcases some of today’s most gifted Brazilian rippers, including a breakout performance from Monster Energy’s Giovanni Vianna.

In order to keep the fire burning, we recently offered Filipe Mota a special opportunity: How about spending a day shadowing the world’s winningest street skater, Nyjah Huston, at his private training facility in San Clemente, California?

Naturally, Filipe was hyped on the mission and brought his big guns to the California Skateparks-designed park. Huge hubbas, rails, hips – Filipe had a trick for every obstacle in his signature, light-footed style. Plus, a burly ender on the big rail that’s sure to generate some more conversation around this young shredder.



For anyone still sleeping on Filipe, the rookie is part of a new generation of Brazilian talent alongside the likes of Monster Energy team rider and Olympics hopeful Rayssa Leal. At the mere age of 9 in 2016, Filipe dropped his first full-length part ‘Deemers Essencial’ in Brazil that put his name on the map as a must-watch prodigy.


In 2019, Filipe arrived in the U.S. and has been earning his stripes. At the Zumiez Best Foot Forward Competition finals in Los Angeles, the then 12-year-old took third place among the top amateur riders on the circuit. After securing a list of top-shelf sponsors, Filipe went viral after releasing a four-minute video destroying The Berrics skatepark that has been viewed more than 1.4 million times to date. In January 2020, the young gun once again turned heads by releasing a ‘Dream Trick’ feature on The Berrics website.


With a new video part in the works, Filipe came into the 2020 contest season fully motivated. And even though big competitions are on hold indefinitely due to the pandemic right now, the Monster Army recruit is keeping new tricks coming and moving things forward. He'll be the youngest skater to be featured in the upcoming X Games Real Street Best Trick contest – Nyjah is competing as well – in which X Games judges and viewers vote for the best video part.


During the filming of ‘Shadow Day’, we used the opportunity to catch up with Filipe Mota for this short and sweet Monster Army Q&A:


What was the scene like in Brazil when you started?


It was not very strong, because I lived in the inland state of Minas Gerais in Brazil. And since Minas was no longer very happening in terms of skateboarding, I skated practically alone in the beginning.


But you’ve had a chance to ride with some of the best since you started traveling. When did you start coming to the U.S.?

I started in 2019, but I never went back to Brazil again.


So you’re pretty much living in Los Angeles now?


Yes, I’m living here now.


You’ve been on our radar for a couple of years now and it feels like we’ve watched you progress really quickly. Please tell us about your process for learning new tricks and filming?


I just constantly think about what I can film that would be cool. And every night before going to sleep, I’m thinking about new tricks.


Do you have any new tricks you’ve been focusing on lately?


Yes, every day!


Ha! Sounds like you’re not going to tell us. What’s the rest of 2020 looking like for you? Any big plans?
I just want to get done with my video part, that’s the biggest plan. And I hope there will be more contests this year.



Speaking of more contests this year, the session at Nyjah’s park clearly showed that Filipe has a few new tricks up his sleeve. Asked about spending the day skating with Nyjah Huston, Filipe said: “I had already met him before, that day at the park was so fun. Plus, it’s so cool to get the chance to talk with one of the best skaters in the world.”


On that note ‘Shadow Day’ also marks the first official footage drop from Nyjah since injuring his ankle early in pandemic lockdown. Great news: Nyjah’s back! Like, back in a ‘switch front bluntslide the big rail first try’ kind of way.


But see for yourself! Watch the two-minute ‘Shadow Day’ edit, live now on YouTube to get your street skating fix. And whatever you do, keep an eye on Filipe Mota because this kid is the future!