We didn’t really know where to file this one; Rider Profile? Gatherings? Just plain awesomeness? We went for ‘Scene’. Yuri got in contact because he wanted to let the distance skating world know about what is going on in Brazil. Here is his story.
Hi, my name is Yuri Santos and I’m the creator and organiser of the LDP-Rio Community in Brazil. Ours is the only community in the world with exclusive authoral content in Brazilian Portuguese. This is our story, hope you enjoy it:
It all started as a blog in late 2012, as I was returning to skateboarding after 7 years away. One day returning from work something inside me just flipped a switch, “hey I think I’ll try longboarding, seems nice, let’s see how much it costs…”. I got out of the bus in front of a famous skate shop and assembled a longboard. Fully suited after work, I went home pushing 4 miles. Arrived dripping sweat, but had forgotten all the stress from that day’s work.
After that naturally I started reading about more and more about the many possibilities of longboard and was starting to search for the pump, instinctively. Since I hated my job at the time, it gave me a lot of time to do my research. After a couple months I landed on Pavedwave and it blew my mind! Every day I went back to where I stopped and kept reading, and reading and reading…I couldn’t get enough of it. Still cant.
In the meantime I decided that I had to find those parts to assemble a dedicated LDP board! I HAD to do it, NO MATTER WHAT! Since it was VERY HARD to come across good parts, especially those usable for LDP, I had a long journey and upgraded my longboard piece by piece. It was very tiresome and expensive; a lot of trial and error went in the process. Thanks to that I found all the good ways and the bad way to do it.
While doing all this research, I created my blog “ldprio.blogspot.com.br“, with no goal other than to use it to store useful info and track my progress and experiments. If it could be useful to somebody, someday, great! At the time I discovered a deactivated blog from a girl named Enia Lobo, it was also about LDP, but due to lack of practitioners in Brazil it was deactivated in 2011. Nowadays we are good friends. We met doing freeride here in Rio. I basically took some of the topic she talked about and took it to another level. I’m very thankful to her for the insights when I was starting! Now I’m bringing her back to LDP, after 4 years away only freeriding.
After a couple of posts on the blog, some random people stumbled upon it and commented in it. One of them had just bought a Subsonic pulse, which I was crazy about trying since I didn’t have the money to buy yet. After some messages on the comments I found out that the guy worked in the same damn company as I did!!! And more, he live one block away from my apartment!!! We just never met before because he used to ride very late at night, and I went always after work. The guy’s name was Thiago David and he became like a partner researcher of the blog. A very methodical and geeky guy, just like me. We used to go to ride with many bushings in our pockets and change it every 3~4 miles to compare the differences between them while the feeling was still fresh in our feet and legs. Thanks to this we could develop a lot new theories and experiments. Combined with the knowledge we gathered form Pavedwave we could reach the next level.
Along with all the research and experiments, more people stumbled upon the blog and started asking us to ride with them, to gather on weekends. Also a lot of consulting was being asked, since there was nobody else to ask. I helped so many guy assemble their boards that I lost count… it’s a very rewarding feeling, to spread the stoke of LDP…
In early 2014 I came up with the idea of a facebook group. We never imagined it would be such a hit! Nowadays we have almost 500 members and the they are VERY active, all day long!!! Apparently LDP is like a drug, and some people get really addicted! When they get to do 1, 2, 3 miles without pushing, they come back to me with a huge smile that says ” I want more!”.
Since the blog was not so effective anymore, we launched a campaign to fund a dedicated website for the LDP-Rio community: www.ldprio.com . In a month we got the necessary money to upgrade it to our needs. Since I’m a web designer by trade, I built it myself. It is in constant growth and we add more content always we can. Some sections are still getting filled in, since it’s a lot of things for just two guys to write. But we get lots of collaboration from the community members too. To see so many people cooperating toward the same goal is something awesome to witness.
Around the middle of last year I founded the “Mega-Pump” through a ‘manifesto’. It basically consists of a monthly gathering for LDP riders through the city. Every last Saturday morning of each month, we gather for the 20 miles ride. March 28th will be the 9th Edition. The first Edition had 3 riders, the second 16, the third more than 20… Nowadays the numbers fluctuate between 15 and 25, since a lot of the guys work on Saturdays. It is a great way to know people and share experiences personally. Most of the first timers arrive with a generic board and get their minds blown by the setups dedicated to the pump… the next month they return with their LDP board. There is no return, they are hooked… Some of the editions even had people come from other states to participate!
Since the Brazilian market is so poor on high performance parts, and the ones we get from overseas are VERY expensive ( just to put it into perspective: A Subsonic Pulse + Bennett/trackerRTS + Otangs, end up costing more than 750 dollars after converting it to Brazilian Reais… a country where the minimum wage is about 200 dollars), we had to came up local solutions. Last month I launched my first board created after all these years of research and miles ridden. I called it “ZERO”, since it is the beginning of all boards that I plan to build. I sketched many boards on my notebooks for months, build some prototypes and perfected it for some months. Got in touch with a nice company in a neighbor state, and made a deal to manufacture the boards. After the first batch, which sold in a day, I updated it to the “v2”. It is the sum of my entire experience riding LDP, push, freeride, bowls and other, since all the modalities are complementary (at least for me). In brazil the only company that used to make LDP related boards was Bossa Boards, but we needed more options and new stuff to drive the market. We still have some guys that prefer to import when they got the cash, but for beginners in a new sport to spend so much in something they don’t know if they will like, is kind of ask too much. Thank god, we see barely any people abandoning the LDP. It is VERY rare to see someone selling their boards and saying they are giving up on LDP. Up to today I only saw it happen twice in our community.
Every day I get my inbox full of questions, support messages and thanks you messages for all over Brazil, and even from riders from Portugal and Spain. My passion and dedication is what drives me forward every day to help all these guys (and girls too). I’m not in it to get fame and fortune. When I started I had to go through all sorts of trouble to get a Bennett truck, nowadays we have many sellers on the community and we can gather the parts and assemble a complete setup overnight! I never thought that day would come! It’s amazing, seriously.
Well there are a lot more details in this story, but I tried to summarize it in a couple pages, not to drag it for so long. This is it, my statement of how I brought the Long Distance Pumping to Brazil, and got to spread it more than I could ever possibly imagine when I started 3 years ago. My name is Yuri Santos, 26 years old, born and raised in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), and I love Long Distance Pumping. I thank Thiago, Enia and all the other riders of the community for their support. Our success, so far, in this journey is because of them and for them. They made it all possible, the collective effort and will to change experiences. I just planted the seed. May it last for many years, and that we can reap a lot more good stuff and experiences from it!
Thanks for your time, Yuri.
No, thank you Yuri. We as super stoked to know that there are people like you out there, spreading the stoke of distance skating! If you have a distance scene and you want to let the world know about it, drop us a line!