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E.S.P vol.2 | Riders interviews

BRANDON WESTGATE

 

What is your name?

Brandon Westgate

 

Where are you from and what is your favorite thing about your hometown?

I’m from Wareham Massachusetts. My favorite part of my home town is being close to the ocean. Our house was really close to the beach and my dad always had a boat which was always fun as a child. Also I love seafood.

 

How long have you been on Element?

I’ve been on for around 6 years

 

Best session/ trip during the timing of ESP vol. 2

The best session I had was in Paris. I tried kick flipping the gap over rail for a long time and it started raining and I didn’t get it. I went to Barcelona 7 months later and Phil surprised me by saying the photo was going to be used and I needed to go back. I got a plane ticket from Barcelona to Paris for one day to try and get it. I got there around 7 in the morning to avoid being kicked out and the whole building was gone, just the spot was left. I struggle for a while but ended up getting it and was so relieved.

 

Who on the team is the one cracking the whip (the serious one) and who is the jokester?

Phil cracks the whip and Dave is the jokester

 

What has been your main goal throughout the filming* process?

The main goal is to land tricks. Doesn’t count if you don’t ride away and you waste time and energy.

 

What about the filmers and producers… what is the crew behind the camera like?

I’ve know Dave for a long time and really enjoy skating with him. He keeps you motivated and is  encouraging when you feel like you can’t go any more. He’s also always down no matter what or no matter how long it takes. Thank you Dave!

 

Music during a session or the raw noise of the streets?

I never listen to music.

 

What has been you biggest battle during filming for the vid (hardest trick that you tried forever)?

I backside flipped out of a curb cut over a bar in Barcelona. I had went to Barcelona before covid and tried it and didn’t get it. I want to go back this previous time to try again. The spot is really annoying because of traffic, you have to wait so long between tries, either because cars or people crossing. I tried until my legs were dead and failed to get it again. I chilled a day or so which came to my last day. I also got some bondo to fix a crack that I thought might be my problem. It didn’t help I skated it for over two hours landing on a bunch but I couldn’t ride away. I got pissed and tried to focus my board. It didn’t break all the way making me feel like an idiot, so I figured I had to keep trying and three tries later I rolled away.

 

Finally, what does ESP vol. 2 mean to you?

For me it’s shows all the new talent on Element and how good everyone is. It was also a special video for me because it was my first trips over seas after covid. The trips were special for me to be able to finally travel again and hang out with the team.

 

 

LEON CHARO-TITE

 

What is your name?

Leon Charo Tite

 

Where are you from and what is your favorite thing about your hometown?

I’m from Lörrach a small town in southern germany. I think what I like most about it is the rich nature and the homies. I live in Berlin for almost 4 years now tho.

 

How long have you been on Element?

I guess I got my first box last year January/February

 

Best session/ trip during the timing of ESP vol. 2

Paris last year and Mexico city this year. It was insane!

 

Who on the team is the one cracking the whip (the serious one) and who is the jokester?

I guess Phil leads the way and hypes all the homies to get stuff done. Gabriel cracked me up as soon as he starts talking. He got the good vibes too for sure. S/o to all of dem

 

What has been your main goal throughout the filming* process?

Try to get as much footy that I personally like

 

What about the filmers and producers… what is the crew behind the camera like?

Everybody is mad professional with what they are doing. You can tell they got a lot of experience! Big trust! Gigi and Dave yall got it!

 

Music during a session or the raw noise of the streets?

Maybe not haha. Maybe sometimes, just something that gets you hyped

 

What has been you biggest battle during filming for the vid (hardest trick that you tried forever)?

There was the wallie off the roof in CDMX. It didn’t take that long but it tired out my legs so hard. I had shaky ass legs when I landed the one and was out for 3 days after

 

Finally, what does ESP vol. 2 mean to you?

It means the world to me. Not just because I’m part of this huge project which is the biggest one for me yet. But what means the most to me is that trust, support and love I’m getting since day one. Thank you guys so much, yall crazy for that!!!

 

 

JAAKKO OJANEN

 

What is your name?

Jaakko Ojanen

 

Where are you from and what is your favorite thing about your hometown?

I’m from Tampere, Finland. I live in Helsinki now. Tampere is still my hometown and there are many favorites there but one for sure is the homies.

 

How long have you been on Element?

I’ve lost the count so I have to check. Since 2014 or 2015.

 

Best session/ trip during the timing of ESP vol. 2

I feel like the best trip for me was Mexico city. It was my first time there so that might be one of the reasons. The crew, spots, food and footy was amazing.

 

Who on the team is the one cracking the whip (the serious one) and who is the jokester?

Phil is a jokester. I don’t think any of us are too serious.

 

What has been your main goal throughout the filming* process?

Probably just trying to be thoughtful with the things that help me keep skating.

 

What about the filmers and producers… What is the crew behind the camera like?

Everyone involved has been very good to us. Without them any of this wouldn’t be possible. It couldn’t be nicer to film with filmers who know what’s going on and are always down for whatever.

 

Music during a session or the raw noise of the streets?

Both I like.

 

What has been your biggest battle during filming for the vid (hardest trick that you tried forever)?

A couple of battles there for sure. Can’t think one over another.

 

Finally, what does ESP vol. 2 mean to you?

The time period of this project means a lot to me, it made me enjoy filming and skating more, and improved my sense of creativity in some way I feel. I’m glad for this project. So many talented people involved it’s amazing!

 

 

GREYSON BEAL

 

What is your name?

Greyson Beal

 

Where are you from and what is your favorite thing about your hometown?

Kennesaw, Georgia and I’d have to say favorite thing would be the genuine hospitality & being surrounded by friends and family♥️

 

How long have you been on Element?

I’ve been riding for the brand for around 4 years now, but officially got introduced around two years ago now.

 

Best session/ trip during the timing of ESP vol. 2

Best session had to be when Jaakko did the Front Krook on the chain in Paris, nobody else was really skating except him but the rest of the team was holding down the chain to keep it up for him, but we were all keeping the energy levels high on that chain hahah.

 

Who on the team is the one cracking the whip (the serious one) and who is the jokester?

I’d have to say Vinicius for the first answer, not necessarily for taking it serious but more so you could see it in his skating that he definitely meant business haha and i’d have to say the jokester has to be Gabriel cause he always finds a way to make everyone laugh.

 

What has been your main goal throughout the finning process?

My main goal has been to just get footage that i’m personally stoked on and not to over think it too much but also another goal of mine was to be more present on trips and really take in the different cultures & enjoy the simple moments while traveling.

 

What about the filmers and producers… what is the crew behind the camera like?

I’d like to say that without the dudes before the len’s we wouldn’t be able to do what we do. Dave Hoang is the fucking man! There’s never a dull moment when Dave’s around, you can always rely on him when he’s behind the camera but you can also rely on him to be crackin ’funnies along the way! I really wouldn’t be here without him and just wanted to say thank you to Dave & all the guys out there like him holding it down behind the scenes. Phil is also the man! Just from the few trips we went on for the project i immediately could tell he meant business hahah but in a good way. He’s the one making sure the crew is at the van on time, and helps coordinate spots for everyone, but also is definitely one of the jokesters, him and dave are always coming up with new funnies. Gui Gui is the masterlens’min he’s got the 16mm ready at all times hahah or you’ll catch him searching for angles or something unique that catches his eye. i’m super excited to see how it comes how the film comes out. Alex is the man behind the vision, he’s always making sure everyone is comfortable on trips, and making sure the show runs smooth.

 

Music during a session or the raw noise of the streets?

Okay so this is a interesting question cause personally i feel like i could go both ways. Reason being i feel there are times when the whole team is on a good vibe and playing music keeps the energy levels high but also i feel there are times when no music is good especially if it’s just one person trying a gnarly trick or just not the right spot to be blaring music at all. It’s a touchy subject to say the less hahah but it’s one’s of those things you just kinda gotta read the room.

 

What has been you biggest battle during filming for the vid (hardest trick that you tried forever)?

The biggest battle had to of been the kickflip into the bank at Obregon. It wasn’t a physical battle but definitely a mental battle. The run up was this skinny square platform with a narrow path to roll from but right in the middle of it there’s a nice sized crack so those all played a factor hahah but it mainly was a battle to just get the right roll up to catch a good one and just fully trust it. After while that’s kinda what happened, i just trusted one that felt good and it happen to be the first one i put down and some how that one worked out but i don’t really remember much, i went full blackout mode forsure hahah.

 

Finally, what does ESP vol. 2 mean to you?

ESP has meant a lot to me personally just cause i’ve never really been apart of a major project before so i’m just really stoked to have been given this opportunity to present my skating in such a way. Especially going on the trips, it’s always been a dream of mine to travel to various places to see the culture behind it all so that’s been a surreal experience in itself. I’d just like to say thank you to Phil, Alex, Andrew, Dave and everyone else that’s helped me personally get to this point through the process, i’m forever grateful for the opportunity, and stoked to see what the future holds for us!

 

 

VINÍCIUS COSTA DA SILVA

 

What’s your name?

Vinícius Costa da Silva

 

Where are you from and what’s your favorite thing about your city?

I’m from Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil and the beaches here are beautiful!

 

How long have you been on element?

I’ve been on the team for around 5 years now.

 

What was the best session or trip experience you had during ESP vol. 2?

The entire trip was unforgettable. It was my first international tour, and I learned a lot! I’m super grateful for being a part of this! The best sessions were in Paris - France, I was able to skate in the streets more, there were so many different spots!

 

Which people on the team do you think go off, which are more serious and who are the jokesters?

On the sessions, Brandon west, Eetu, Vitória, Greyson, Nick, Jako and Sacha GO OFF

Brandon and Guillaume(Gui) are the serious ones????♥️and the jokesters are Phill, Alex, Nick, Dave ♥️

 

What was your main objective during the filming process?

My goal was to stack as much footage as possible and to go back home with some good material! Mission accomplished! hahaha

 

What about the filmers and producers… What’s the team behind the lenses like?

I really enjoyed meeting and filming with them, They were super active and willing to get the camera out to capture moments, like while the crew was street watching to make sure no cars were coming, helping whoever was trying the trick. These moments really capture what skating is about!

 

Music during sessions or the chaotic sounds of the streets?

Sound of the board on the streets!

 

What was your biggest battle while filming for the video? ( the hardest trick you tried)

My biggest battle was this spot in the video with a gap to go over, I was really tired, Sacha called me over to check it out, I had seen it when I got to the place but I wasn’t intending on skating it, just imagining. At the end of the session, Sacha called me out to look at it again, and out of nowhere I was hyped to skate it, I asked if he was gonna go for it and he said no, so I said I would, and the battle started, I don’t know how long I was there, it took so many tries! But finally I got the ollie! That was the toughest battle for sure!

 

And finally, What does ESP vol. 2 mean to you?

ESP, like I said before, I’m extremely grateful to be a part of the series, it’s my second big international project and it means a lot to me!♥️

 

 

GABRIEL FORTUNATO

 

What is your name?

Gabriel Fortunato

 

Where are you from and what is your favorite thing about your hometown?

From brazil and my fav thing from my hometown is the skatepark my Brother made it, evertime i go i meet up all my homies over there and skate.

 

How long have you been on Element?

I have been riding for element for 10 years

 

Best session/ trip during the timing of ESP vol. 2

Mexico city

 

Who on the team is the one cracking the whip (the serious one) and who is the jokester?

Damn !! Jaakko is the man he killing every spot we go. I guess the jokester is me haha

 

What has been your main goal throughout the filming process?

For me was try to film some new trick i never try in my life

 

What about the filmers and producers… what is the crew behind the camera like?

They are funny, chiil vibes and they are down for anything !

 

Music during a session or the raw noise of the streets?

Music everyday every spot please

 

What has been you biggest battle during filming for the vid (hardest trick that you tried forever)?

Mexico spot, 4 hours trying this trick on the ledge haha

 

Finally, what does ESP vol. 2 mean to you?

It means a lot of things... but for me everyone who is on this project, we are making history.

 

 

VITÓRIA MENDONÇA

 

What is your name?

Hello, my name is Vitória Mendonça

 

Where are you from and what is your favorite thing about your hometown?

I'm from Rio de Janeiro, southeast Brazil and My favorite things about my hometown are the sun, the heat, and the very friendly people.

 

How long have you been on Element?

I have been on Element since 2020.

 

Best session/ trip during the timing of ESP vol. 2

The best trip for me was the Mexico city trip. Because that is when I spent the most time with the crew in the same house. I got to know the team better and hang out with them, it was epic.

 

Who on the team is the one cracking the whip (the serious one) and who is the jokester?

I think Westgate is the most serious guy on the team and Nick is the jokester. But both are gnarly on skate.

 

What has been your main goal throughout the finning process?

It's hard to tell just one goal, but the main ones were knowing the team better, improving my English communication, traveling more, and for sure, having good times.

 

What about the filmers and producers… what is the crew behind the camera like?

All guys are lovely. Especially Dave (filmer), Alex (Brand Manager), Arch, Phil, Andrew (TM US), and the photographers. No words for them, all the crew is amazing.

 

Music during a session or the raw noise of the streets?

Raw noise of the streets, for sure! Music just during a solo session. Brazilian music, please! =)

 

What has been you biggest battle during filming for the vid (hardest trick that you tried forever)?

I think it was the heelflip firecracker in New York City because it was a totally new experience for me.

I have never tried something like that. It was hard but at the same time pretty fun.

 

Finally, what does ESP vol. 2 mean to you?

It means fulfilling a dream, being on the full-length video of everybody killing it, and having been part of it. Definitely, it's like a dream turned into reality.

 

 

NICK GARCIA

 

What is your name?

Nicholas Garcia

 

Where are you from and what is your favorite thing about your hometown?

I’m from Long Beach, Ca. My favorite thing about my hometown are all my friends I grew up with, and the loads of other friends that live nearby.

 

How long have you been on Element?

Since 2009. Many moons.

 

Best session/ trip during the timing of ESP vol. 2

Best trip was to Lisbon, Portugal. Best session was on that trip at a plaza where Dave Hoang did all his flat ground tricks, plus the rarely seen kick flip.

 

Who on the team is the one cracking the whip (the serious one) and who is the jokester?

Phil Zwijsen has to crack the whip now, and Dave is the jokester. They balance each other out. Sometimes Dave comes down on us and Phil makes jokes. But, if Dave was mean, he’d be so mean.

 

What has been your main goal throughout the finning process?

Just to do things that I’m proud of. That’s it.

 

What about the filmers and producers… what is the crew behind the camera like?

Dave and Guillame are the filmers. Clement shoots photos a lot of the time. Alex Pires shot on one trip, then lots of different homies on the LA sessions. All of them are people we enjoy being around, or we probably wouldn’t be being around them.

 

Music during a session or the raw noise of the streets?

music, but at the throw down point, so it’s not too loud on the clip. I could care less, but I know it matters to the filmers/editors.

 

What has been you biggest battle during filming for the vid (hardest trick that you tried forever)?

the last trick I filmed. On the curved rail in downtown LA. There was a lot of pressure to land it, cause I had to leave on an Etnies trip a couple days before the deadline. I tried it for three days and ended up landing it on the last possible day in like the last 30 minutes of good light.

 

Finally, what does ESP vol. 2 mean to you?

it represents what a well rounded team of actual friends can do when put in a good enough environment for skating. I’ll look back on the process with fond memories, and will probably forget all the mental breakdowns.