Tiago & Marina

Marina Gabriela, Kickflip, Brasília. Photo: Paulo Macedo

Wholesome content alert! What you’re about to dive into is a heartwarming tale of friendship between a couple of ridiculously talented skateboarders from Jaguariúna, in Brazil. The oldest of the two you’re probably – as in if you have functioning eyes – already a fan of, whilst the other, if not already on your radar, most certainly will be by the time you put this mag down… That’s right we’re talking about the hungriest (both in terms of pieces sushi consumed and distance travelled in switch back tail position), most gangster swongo pusher of all time, Tiago Lemos, and his picnic table kickflipping protégé, Marina Gabriela. For a little while now the pair have been going around together stomping the fuck out of ledge tricks from Southbank to J-Kwon and despite their 14-year age gap, are notorious for relentlessly taking the piss out of each other (something their boy Felipe Ventura did a banging job of capturing in this interview). So yeah, basically get ready for a confirmation that your favourite skater is also a humble, certified legend of a human being, but also to discover how impressed he is by the skills of the 17-year-old girl that loves to rinse him about his trousers.­ —Arthur Derrien

Tiago Lemos: Hey what’s up Marina!
Marina Garbiela: What’s up!

Felipe Ventura: Yo, take off that hat; let us see the haircut you just got!
TL: You gotta be fucking kidding me! The barber straight up took a shit on my head; he messed up the whole thing ha ha.
MG: Ha ha ha.

Tiago Lemos, backside 50-50, Sant Celoni. Photo: Gerard Riera.

You better shave it already!
TL: Sorry actually I think I can’t do this with this haircut… Just kidding! Ha ha. Let’s do this.
MG: So how’s everything in Norway?

TL: It’s pretty good, I really like it here, all the spots are dope, hard to skate but I like that, and the footage looks sick. I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy the summer up here, been skating a lot, stacking footage. I’ve made a lot of friends… They’re all super good at skateboarding here, like they’ve destroyed all the spots already; you really gotta think twice before you film something in Oslo.

MG: Did they take you somewhere else to skate?
TL: They took me to Bergen, eight hours away from Oslo, a small city with lots of spots but unfortunately I rolled my ankle on the very first day of the trip so I didn’t get to skate. I was just chilling. But here in Oslo I like all the spots, they take me to a different spot everyday, I’ve got everything I need, a filmer, photographers, the homies to skate with… It’s super nice out here.

MG: And how did you end up in Oslo?
TL: I came to be with my girlfriend, I hadn’t seen her in seven months. Also I came to skate, I was here two and half years ago for the X-Games and I saw that the city was dope to skate but didn’t get a chance to street skate at all… I even mentioned to Felipe that we should have stayed longer but there was another contest on the following weekend. So now it’s perfect, I have more time so I can really get to know the city and all that. I don’t get lost here anymore, which is good. And with this pandemic and everything, to have had this opportunity to travel is such a blessing. I thought I was gonna be in Brazil for a minute.

MG: How is Oslo different from Jaguariúna?
TL: It’s way more expensive ha ha! But it also has way more skate spots… The city here is beautiful, as is all the nature… Everything is clean… Unlike Brazil you can drink water from anywhere; I like that. The city is not too big so you can skate from spot to spot; I like cities where you can use your skateboard as your transportation, just like New York or Montreal. It’s so different to Jaguariúna.

Tiago Lemos, swicth ollie, Sant Celoni. Photo: Gerard Riera.

We saw that you went camping one time, how was that?
TL: Hanna is friends with a couple that camps all the time, so they took us to the wild; they have all the camping gear…

We saw those skinny pants you were wearing to camp ha ha.
MG: The Internet will not forget those skinny pants ha ha.
TL: Oh lord! Ha ha ha! Please forgive me! A bunch of people sent me messages asking what happened to my pants… I told them to chill ha ha. They were just camping pants! Baggy pants won’t keep you warm ha ha. And those weren’t even my pants; the homie just let me use his gear.

MG: It looked like you were ready to get back to Jaguariúna to join all the cowboys in a rodeo. (Editor’s note: Jaguariúna is famous in Brazil for its rodeos)
TL: But seriously, the homie was a professional at camping. He took us to a super beautiful place, it was a different experience and I really liked it.

Marina Gabriela, frontside 50-50, Brasília. Photo: Paulo Macedo.

What about the food over there, do you like it?
TL: I haven’t really eaten traditional Norwegian food, I’ve just been eating sushi, pho, they have it all… I’m barely eating meat here since Hanna is a vegetarian.
MG: I’m gonna send you some açai.

TL: There’s an açaí place here too, super good, I’ve been eating there a lot. They even have a team! Michael Sommer is their TM. He told me he was gonna hook me up but I’m still waiting ha ha.

MG: And what about the skate scene compared to Brazil?
TL: There’s not as many skaters as in São Paulo, but it seems like they’re all really united: they are always up to something, fixing the spots… They are true skateboarders. Magnus (Bordewick) has everything you need to make a spot skate-able inside his car; he fixes the spots for the homies, builds DIY and all that. This is what’s missing in Jaguariúna right now… The kids there, they only think about skating at the park and chilling.

MG: The guys from Jaguariúna that used to do that all moved to Barcelona. There are some new kids but they need to get out of the city in order to hit the streets. There’s not that many spots other than the bus station in town.

Tiago Lemos, switch varial heelflip, Oslo. Photo: Lars Gartå.

So in Jaguariúna you are the only girl that skates right?
MG: Yep, it’s only me, I mostly hang out with the boys only, I grew up like that and they had a lot of respect for me. It was good ‘cause I wanted to skate up to their level, learn the same tricks. But I wish there were more girls around too, I always liked going to contests because it was the only time I’d get to hang out with other girls. But now that I’m travelling more, staying in São Paulo more, I hope I can street skate with more girls.

Talking about the Jaguariúna skate scene, what do you guys think it’s the biggest difference between now and when you guys first started to skate?
MG: When I first started there were way more people skating the park, it was always full.
TL: I feel the same, it was super crowded, we used to travel to a lot of contests together, to skate different cities, make friends from all over: we had a tight crew back in the day. I just hope that Marina and I inspire more girls and boys from our little city to skate.

Do you think because you left Jaguariúna, things slowed down a little?
TL: I don’t know, I wish there were more skaters from my hometown following their dreams. I was the only one from my city to turn pro, travel the world and now Marina is doing her thing…

So was it Tiago that inspired you to pursue a skate career? When did you guys meet?
MG: It was when I was little… My brother used to take me to the skatepark with him. I remember meeting Tiago the day I learned how to drop-in… He was the one supporting me, telling me I could do it, so after that I started looking up to him and tried to skate with him every time he was around. There was this time when he showed up at the park and started filming me, posted it on his Instagram, I didn’t even have an Instagram at the time, but I was hyped. I got on Instagram because he told me so.

TL: I don’t really remember the first time when we met, but I remember there were no girls in the park other than the homies’ girlfriends. She was the only one there to skate; I could tell she really liked it since she was always there. Then I noticed she was becoming good, her kickflips and heelflips were really dope. I knew her brothers and sisters from before, they all tried to skate at some point but she was the one with the feeling for it, she was a natural. So that’s when I started to film her and from there we became friends.

Marina Gabriela, 360 flip, São Paulo. Photo: Allan Carvalho.

Did you plan on helping her?
TL: Not at all, I was just hyped on her skating. I wanted to show that there was a girl from my hometown that was into skateboarding too. She reminded me of myself when I first started. So every time I saw her at the skatepark I asked to film her, she was super happy, and I would always say let’s do this again tomorrow, but then the next day I forgot about it and she kept hitting me up. She was so down to skate.
MG: I remember this one Sunday when you took me and the other kids to street skate for the first time, I kickflipped some stairs and you filmed it, then we all went to my house to have lunch with my family and back to the streets again, it was fun…

From the streets of Jaguariúna to the streets of the world.
MG: Yes, the first time we saw each other outside Brazil was in Montreal, I was there for a contest and Tiago was there for the Dime Glory Challenge, then London, we were there for the SLS and he asked me to go film on the streets with him instead of just skating the course, then LA, that was a crazy one, I was coming back home but my flight got delayed. Do you remember that?

TL: Yes, I had no idea you were in California until someone mentioned it. I texted you and you were at the airport waiting on the next flight so I told you to stay for another two weeks, called your mom and picked you up from the airport
MG: It was crazy unexpected. I ended up staying for another 15 days.

Tiago Lemos, nollie 180 switch crooks, Barcelona. Ph: Gerard Riera.

I love how you’re always pranking Tiago on all these trips, like that day we were at some hotel and he was listening to some gangsta rap while in the shower, but he left his phone outside, so you switched it to some country music and had him finish his shower to some horrible music ha ha. Oh and you even filmed him coming out the bathroom with the speaker playing that song and posted it on the gram telling everybody that was the kind of music he was really into! Ha ha.
TL: She can be a little brat! Ha ha. But it’s fun!
MG: He’s the one messing with me the whole time; don’t get it twisted.

Any highlights from those trips?
TL: I’ll never forget the day she kickflipped over the picnic table, that was impressive! She didn’t want to try, so I kept telling her: ‘try an ollie, you can do it’, she did it super fast, so I kept pushing her to do a kickflip. It only took three or four tries; everybody was tripping. While she was trying a couple of boys showed up at the spot. They were trying to ollie the table while she kickflipped it; they kinda felt intimidated by her and left the school.
MG: I remember that day; you were filming a commercial with P-Rod. I couldn’t believe I did that trick, it felt impossible at first.

So it must feel good to have a friend like Tiago around pushing you to do some tricks?
MG: Totally. I really wasn’t sure about it because the picnic table is so high… If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t have tried
at all.
TL: She could have heeflipped it too, just saying…

And now you both skate for NB#, Crupie, Andale, Mob and Primitive. How does that feel?
TL: It’s so good to have someone from my city around, to skate and travel with, and also to be able to help her with whatever she needs, you know? Like help her with an idea to film a trick or a line, or help her cope with a certain pressure if she’s feeling some, those kinds of things. It’s also good to witness her evolution since that first drop-in, but not just with skateboarding, with life in general… You know growing up, travelling, doing things on her own; I’m proud of her.
MG: Feels amazing, because I grew up watching him skate; he kept me motivated. I remember one time he blasted a frontside flip next to me so high that I said you could have gone over me with that pop. He’s always inspired me, especially now that we skate for the same companies.

Funny thing is that most of the people think Tiago hooked you up with the brands, but actually he basically got on NB# because of you Marina. I was talking to Tyrone trying to get you on and he asked about the Jaguariúna combo.
TL: Also with Primitive, I was thinking about asking the guys to flow her some boards, but before I could say anything Alan Hannon told me it would be nice to give her some boards. I can’t wait to see what’s next for her, hopefully she can fulfil her dreams… I wanna see her travel the world, put out video parts and all that.

So what’s next for you guys?
TL: By the time most people read this I’ll be in Barcelona with Anthony Claravall, we might go to Portugal too. After that I wanna come back to Norway for a couple days to visit Hanna’s family and then back to Brazil. I wanna stay in Europe as much as possible right now, because if I go back to Brazil I’ll be stuck there again until this pandemic ends. We’ll see how it goes…
MG: As for me, I’ll be in São Paulo filming, skating and waiting until it’s ok to travel again, as
I wanna go back to California and stay there for a little while to film and drop a video part soon.

Tiago Lemos, switch backside 50-50, Barcelona. Photo: Gerard Riera.