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Created by T. Gentsch | News

Gustavo Dos Anjos | Labirinto

"Skateboarding saved my life!"

Photos & Video: Bruno Rocha

Indenpendently produced skate videos always have their special vibe and charme, especially when filmed over the course of the last 5 years. Having to deal with special happenings like a pandemic and people moving to other countries, traveling was essential for filmer and producer Bruno Rocha. This led to a visual journey following a cast of somewhat unknown brazilian skateboarders, maybe apart from Gustavo Dos Anjos and his part in „Labirinto“. Mostly filmed in Spain this part is the missing link between Gustavo leaving his home in Brazil, making a name for himself in Barcelona and getting on TITUS – and emphasizes how good he always has been!


Hey Gustavo how are you today?

Fine, thanks, hope you too?

Sure sure. Tell me, what is your daily routine these days?

It's actually quite simple. I always wake up quite early because I like to enjoy the whole day and use it wisely. I usually go to the gym around 8am and from there straight to MACBA or the skate plaza "Born". After a small first session I meet Ludi and the other homies at a street spot and hopefully film a trick. In the evening I go to work at the Social Club, which also sponsors me, and earn a little money on the side. It's pretty simple, but I enjoy it.

I saw your part and I was most impressed by the sw Flip up the 5s at MACBA. That was obviously a while ago though wasn't it?

Thanks Gentsch, yes, that was easily 4 years ago. I had the trick in my head even before I lived in Barcelona and when I saw the steps live for the first time I thought of it again and thought it would work. The first time I tried it, the board was a bit older and I just didn't have enough pop. Then my homie Felipe gave me a new one and the next day I went back with my filmer Bruno and did the trick.

You've been living in Barcelona for a good while now, since when exactly? How did life start there?

I've been living here now since 2018 and actually it wasn't planned to stay here longer. Before that, I was in Portugal for a month and actually wanted to start a new life there. Then I wanted to come here for 2 months, just get to know Barcelona and, what can I say, I just decided to stay here.

But that wasn't legal the whole time, was it? I mean, as a Brazilian you actually only get a visa for 3 months, so you were an "illegal alien" for a long time, right?

Yeah, for more than 3 years I was here illegally. Then one day we were at a spot with my homie Blake Johnson, he was trying to do a trick, I was just sitting next to the spot, but then the cops came and asked for IDs. I didn't have any, so they took me away and put me in a cell until my identity was cleared (and of course it came out that I wasn't actually allowed to be here anymore). But I had a good lawyer who got me out and I was given one year to leave the country. Then my girlfriend helped me fill out the right papers and now I have unlimited residence status in Europe.


I once heard that you originally come from a pretty violent favela, right? How was it there compared to Barcelona, after all there's violence and crime here and there in Barcy too?

It's honestly a joke compared to my home country. Skateboarding saved me, as well as many other Brazilian skateboarders. I saw things that traumatise me to this day and when you grow up there, the path to crime is a very easy one. I was so afraid of losing skateboarding and in the end my life because of the outside influences that I got as far away from the shit as I could - halfway around the world.

Gustavo, why do Brazilians always have so much pop? I once heard that it's because the boards of the Brazilian manufacturers are not made of the usual 7 layers of maple wood, but of wood that has much less pop - and as soon as you have a maple board, BOOM! Is that right?

Yes, that is indeed true, at least in part. In Brazil there are many boards made of other woods, called "Mafin". Many people ride them, and I also rode such a board for years. When I rode a maple board for the first time, it was a difference like night and day. And since we Brazilians like to skate ledges anyway, and especially high ones, we also learn to pop high at an early age. Combine these two things - boom, that's where the "Brazilian Pop" comes from, hahaha.

How long did you skate in Brazil before you came to Europe?

17 years before I came to Europe for the first time. And apart from visiting my family, I will stay here as long as I can.

Can you ever get bored of Barcelona?

No, the city is still just perfect for skating and you always find new spots. It can never get boring!

Then everything seems to be going very well for you at the moment. If you had 3 wishes...?

I would like to work on my new part for TITUS and hope to maybe get a pro model someday. I don't have any more wishes, except, of course, not to get injured and to stay healthy.

So, any plans to do another trick up the 5s?

No, but I still want to film one trick at MACBA.

Allright, we are excited, keep ripping Gustavo!

Thanx Gentschy, see you soon!

Gustavos stuff at TITUS: