interview / lee leal

We caught up with Ivan Federico in between X Games and Dew Tour stops. He was a relative unknown shredder until the Vans Park Series Tour. Now, with three top-three finishes and being awarded “Select Pro” status in 2016, he’s on a mission of fun! Here are a few words from the Italian ripper and Embassy Skateboards newest Ambassador.

Greetings Ivan, what’s up?
Good, thank you! I’m here now in Long Beach, perfect!

Where are you from and how old are you?
I’m from Northern Italy, a city named Caluso; it’s very close to Turin, near the Alps and just two hours away from France. I’m 18 years old now.

What’s the skate scene like in Turin, Italy?
Very small, street skaters especially. A lot of years ago there was an indoor skatepark with a vert ramp and street course. In the past a lot of skaters in Turin skated transition, but they now change to tranny.

Is there a skatepark close to your home?
My father built one five minutes to walk from my house: vert, mini-ramp and street. Now all we need is a bowl.

Do you ever get a chance to skate vert?
I started skating transition when I was very young; I had met Giorgio and Gianni Zattoni. I prefer bowl and pool but also skate a ramp, it’s very fun. You bring a lot of feeling with the height.

So you’re an Italian traveling in the United States, how’s that adventure?
Awesome, for skating it is the best. California is perfect – good weather and good skateparks.

Have you had a chance to skate any backyard pools in California?
Not yet, I hope soon.

How long have you been skating?
I started very young, at age three I had my first skateboard. At age five I started to go around spots and skateparks.

What’s your current setup?
Embassy Skateboard 8.5”, Gibson trucks, Indy 149 wheels, Bones 56 bearings, Bronson, and grip MOB.

Have you skated the skatepark in Rome across from Cinecitta Studios?
Yes for sure, a few times. Nothing compares with the park down there.

Who do you skate with?
Almost alone or with few friends. The scene needs to grow up in Italy.

What’s your favorite thing to skate?
I prefer skating bowl, street as well as street spots. It’s good to change it up because you could have more fun.

We know you’re a part of the Van’s Park Series VPS, so how do you like traveling around the world skating different parks?
For me it’s the best, every new experience, new vibe… just perfect!

Who do like skating with on the VPS?
All the guys are good and friendly; I like skating with all of them.

Last year you won the Canada Hastings stop – what was that like?
Have to win for sure, my first competition win. All the guys were on fire. It was amazing.

This year there’s been some Ivan Federico hype with all the success in VPS. You got an invite to qualify for X Games and Dew Tour. You’re the only Italian on the list, does that make you proud?
Yes, for sure. I’m only sorry for The Qualifiers in Boise, I fucked up. I worked very hard, but that is experience.

What’s your daily routine like, do you go to school? Homeschooled?
I studied until I was 16 years old. Now I skate, I draw a lot, I like manga.

I notice you do a lot of high difficulty tricks. Where does that influence come from?
Skating a long time around the world I always try to do my best. The thing is go and have fun, and if you enjoy it anything could happen.

What was it like to have a mentor like Marco Mina?
I’m very grateful to the all guys that have given me time and inspiration. Marco Mina is one, Mattia Rossanino another. When I was very young I was skating all time with guys older than me. It was very funny; we were skating for a few years a lot all together.

You seem like a laidback kind of guy. Do you like to compete in contests?
Yes, because all the guys are on fire. They inspire me to skate harder, more focused and to try new tricks.

What do you do when you’re not skateboarding?
I’m lazy. I watch manga, and I draw manga. I stay with my friends… Ha ha, not too many stressful things.

How does it feel to have supporting parents?
For me, it’s the only reason I am where I am now.

What kind of music are you listening to?
I like different kinds of music: rap, rock, punk… depends what I need to do.

Is skateboarding a crime in Italy, or does Italy support the skate scene like in Malmo, Sweden?
No, no… not like it is in North Europe. It’s not a crime, a lot of people skate street spots. Sometimes you could have problem, but usually it’s ok. The difference with the other countries is that we need to build a skatepark… in concrete. And good skatepark, like the ones they have.

What’s the funniest European city to skate?
Prague… good beer. Also Marseille, Copenhagen and Berlin.

What are your plans for the summer?
I don’t know… skate, have fun, beaches and sea. Chill at my house.

 Right on, Ivan. Any last words or anybody you want to thank?
Thanks to all the people that have taught me somethings, fuck yeah!