The skateboard community has been hearing Gabriel Fortunato's name a lot recently. The 23-year-old Brazilian native has taken the skate world by storm as the newest Pro for Element Skateboards (and Bones Wheels). What he calls "just having fun" is actually a level of gnarly skill and effortless style, as seen in his recent "Gabriel É Pro!" part. With Gabriel, we now know to expect the unexpected. After his first Tampa Pro, we caught up with Gabriel to find out what's coming next...
Gabriel, you look so fucking stoked during the Tampa competition. What’s going through your mind while competing?
I was super happy cause that was my first Tampa Pro, and my brother and friends were there to support me. They even surprised me with my pro wheels (Bones Wheels - Gabriel Fortunato Pro Model) down there. I was stoked!
Damn, new pro wheels sound pretty epic! Have you had a chance to try them out?
I haven’t tried them yet, but I’m excited! I am going to wait to set them up once I get a brand-new board.
Your passion for skate started after your brother, Davison, gave you your first skateboard. From there you soared, and now your brother is coming to see you at competitions. Can you tell us the story of your first skateboard?
When I was younger, my brother gave me my first skateboard, but at that time, I was playing soccer and not skating as much. One day he asked me if I really wanted to skate. If not, he was going to sell my board. I really started skating after he said that.
Walk us through your rituals before a competition, what are the key things that need to happen before you go out and dominate?
I just pray to be able to do what I love and not get hurt.
You’re known for having a very refined technique, how do you practice & master a new trick?
I just go out and skate as much as I can and always think about trying to learn a new trick every time I skate at a skatepark.
What’s your favorite element at a skatepark?
I go skate wherever I am feeling, but right now I’m looking for a skatepark where there are more rails… I need rail tricks.
What were the skateparks like in Brazil? If you had the chance to build your own park, what elements would be included?
We have good skateparks in Brazil… if I had the opportunity to build one, I would like to put in some street spots like: ledges, bump over the rail, hubba, wall ride, etc..
How many boards do you bring to an event?
I always travel with 4 boards with me.
You made it, you’re a PRO! What are you training for, what’s the new goal?
Thank you! Yes, we made it… my first goal now is to get better at contests, collect good streets clips for my next video, be as productive as much as I can, and never stop thinking about new possibilities.
You’re an inspiration to a lot of skaters out there. Can you give them a few nuggets of advice on how to refine their style, master their tricks, and dominate?
1. Never stop to do what you love for money
2. Keep doing your thing
3. When you get your first opportunity, grab it
Which Monster drink do you always have on hand?
That’s a hard one haha! But I keep with the OG one!