Name: Boaz Arrow Aquino
D.O.B: 24.11.1980.
Hometown: Santa Cruz, California
Current location: Tel Aviv, Israel
Years riding: 28
Sponsors: Red Bull, HUF, Jin-G, SmS Audio
Social media: Facebook, Instagram, Youtube-LuVideoMag

When I was at Pannonian Challenge XV, I met up with Boaz and quickly asked if I could do a interview with him if I have enough material after his run in the skate contest. Out of the blue he just asked “Do you have a car? What to shoot some spots right now?” 5 min later Boaz, his friend and videographer Boris, another photographer Tomislav and me were in a car driving around Osijek to find good skate spots. We found some ledges at a newly built building complex and Boaz was stoked to skate them when a security guard walks around the corner. He was super chill and said that he’ll let Boaz skate here for 10 min so we can do some photos, but he has to be here with us. That was totally fine by us! Thank you mr. security guard! Next day Boaz finished his runs at the contest, did a huge wall to bank drop and met with me at the hotel to tell me his story…

So Boaz, how did you started skating?

I saw the movie Back To the Future when I was like 5 years old, at the beginning of the movie actor Michael Jay Fox was late for school, he jumps on his skateboard and starts riding down the street. That was the coolest thing I saw in my life. The way he’s riding and skitching to school, I was like WOW. So I wanted to start skating and asked my grandmother, rest her soul, to buy a skateboard for me, hide it till my birthday and give it to me then so my mother doesn’t find out because she said no way when I asked her for a board. That’s how I starred skating.

How’s the skate scene in Israel?

It’s pretty cool, there are few generations of skateboarders, the younger guys are really good and you have guys riding that are older than me. But now it’s really blowing up, we have a lot of modern street spots in Tel Aviv and the bigger cities like Jerusalem and Be’er Sheva, also in the last few years there’s a boom in cement skateparks that are made by american companies from California so the level and finishing of the ramps is amazing. I hope that we will have more events like Pannonian Challenge in Izrael because there aren’t many big events there, but we are geting there. We used to have big events, like ten years ago, but you know, Israel is a country with some problems and you have longer period of times when nothing is happening in the skate scene.

You’ve been competing on Pannonian Challenge for a few years now, what can you say about the Croatian skate scene?

Yeah, this is my fifth time here. First of all there are friendly guys, they like to share skate spots and skate together. That’s why I like to come back here, every time I get smiles, the kids are like “Hey good run!”, people smiling and giving you thumbs up. It gives you a good feeling and makes me want to make a show while I’m skating more than I want to compete.

Pannonian Challenge is growing year by year, what can you say ‘bout it compared to other big events in Europe?

Well I come back here because Pannonian brings the fun side of skating and having a event like this, it’s fun to be here. If you’re reading this and haven’t been to Pannonian Challenge, please come next year because it’s a fu*king fun event.

They say skateboarding is a lifestyle, how does your day go by from the time you get up till you go to bed?

I’m gonna give you a different answer for this. Skateboarding is a lifestyle, but when I started someone told me that skating is moving from point A to point B with style, that is skateboarding. So imagine this simple sentence in everything you do in live. That’s how we do it, to do it with grace and with style, make something really hard look effortless, you know, to push your limits. Also skateboarding is imagining something that you can do and then you do it, you create a reality for yourself without distractions from the real world like for example rain, guards, … and then you do things you imagine in your mind. It’s a little bit like music, musicians create their own world with music. Also skating gets mixed with other arts, from graphics on the boards to photography and film making. With skateboarding you get exposed to this whole other world, that’s skateboarding. Also I think that skateboarders are the original hipsters but nobody wants to admit it.

Do you have any stories that happened while you were being photographed or filmed? Any unpleasant moments with security guards or the police?

Well when you go skate, usually you will get kicked out of places because many people don’t understand skateboarding and they see it as vandalism or “O, he’s trying to kill himself in front of my house!”. But if skaters, and this I’m talking from my experience, keep a positive mind and instead of arguing with the guy, explaining “Hey we’re filming a video, come and make the story more interesting for our high school project, we only need 5 more minuets.”. Try to be polite with guards that are kicking you out, usually you’ll get a positive outcome. Like this example yesterday: There’s a new building in Osijek that we skated at, there is a guard there, a big guy, he looks like a bear. And he would kick us of the property, you cant skate there. But it was raining and the only place to skate. We spoke to the guard and he was like: “Ok, cool. You can skate a little bit more.” Instead of us running away from him. Everybody’s human, everybody’s connected. You just need to reach out with a positive vibe and you can skate anywhere you like. That’s what I’m saying! *Clap*

In skate photography, what makes a photo pop out from the rest?

For me it could be an amazing trick on like a big sized gap or huge rail, or a difficult trick on a big drop. I like to see original spots and interesting angles. I like to look at a photo and think, wow how did they get there, where is this? It’s also important whats going on around the trick, the street life that happened while you were doing the trick. There could be a family next to the trick, or a guard. There is always something happening on the street that makes things interesting.

So does Osijek have the biggest sandwiches? 

Osijek has the biggest sandwiches in the whole world! Even if the guy cuts it in half it’s bigger than most sandwiches in the world. I haven’t seen so much bread in my life.

You got a smooth riding style, even when you don’t land tricks perfectly, it still looks awesome! What’s up with that? 

Thank you! I do my best to not force skating because there is stuff that come natural to you and stuff that doesn’t. I try to do tricks effortless, I think surfing is the grandfather of skateboarding so I try to have a little surfing in my skating. The only difference in skateboarding from surfing is that in surfing there is a wave and in skateboarding you are creating the wave all the time. Some people forget about that and they don’t show it when they skate. It’s only tricks tricks tricks. Like I said before, it’s all about going from point A to point B with style. You have to feel the board, feel the ground, you know.

What is more important in a contest, style or technical tricks?

Wow, thats a hard question. I think that the attitude of the rider is important. It’s important that you don’t get lost. Style is also important because you can do a kick flip a thousand ways, but only one will look perfect on you. Don’t just skate, try to make stuff that you do look good. We are like modern artists, a skateboard is our paintbrush and we go into the city to make our little sketches. That’s the way we need to express our selfs, with our own style.

You often say that you need to “see the line” before you roll in. Do you visualise the tricks or just go with the flow?

When I’m filming I visualise the trick and concentrate on it, but when I arrive at a new skatepark I just play with it. That’s when the magic happens, it’s spontaneous skating. It’s a lot like dancing, I sometimes say that skating is like some kind of urban ninja dance.

You are quite close with Boris, how far do you go back?

Right now Boris is my filmer and a friend, he is also doing LuVideoMag films and is a music producer. When he was a little younger he was a little skate rat from Be’er Sheva in Israel and we came touring there, he was like a little fan and loved skateboarding. Few years later he moved to Tel Aviv and did music that I really loved so we decided to make videos together. So we ride and film together for the past year. It’s cool.

Did you have any bad crashes? Skateboarding is pretty aggressive on the body.

Yeah, skateboarding is dangerous and not for everybody. The first contest I went to in Europe was next to Paris and I won best trick. I was so exited and everything was in french, I understood nothing. In my line after wining the best trick, the best trick was in the middle of the contest, I did a backside ollie over a pyramid, I fell and put my hand down in a wrong way. I had to have a operation and they inserted two metal plates and like twelve screws into my arm. You need to watch out, if you’re getting to excited on a contest, maybe go out where their is no music and get some fresh air, drink some water, relax, stretch. I love skateboarding but there’s a lot of stress during contests. It’s different, so you need to approach it right. Then you’ll have a lot of fun.

Any last words or shout outs?

I want to say thank you to Croatia in general, to Zagreb crew, Wanted crew, Erva, all of the Warehouse boys, Denis Pusic – the legend. Also Jura from Red Bull for inviting me here every year. Shout out to Pannonian organisers for making this event every year. I hope to come back again and again. Thank you for this interview and opportunity to be apart of your FRAMED project!

I was riding a skate contest and #ijustgotframed!

I would like to thank Boaz for being so cool and for sharing his story for the project. Big props to you my friend! Stay tuned because I got more stories spinning on my hard drive that will be published very soon!