interview / lee leal

Greetings Nathan, what’s up?
Going good, man, just skating everyday. I try to skate as much as I can. I usually get a ride from my friend, or my dad takes me to Mt. Trashmore.

So you know, this interview is for BL!SSS Magazine.
Yeah, I like the online version. I get to check it out on my mobile device. I know it comes in print as well. It has some rad shit in it, stoked on BL!SSS.

Cool, so we’ll start here. How old are you, and where did you grow up?
I’m 15 years old, and I’m from Virginia Beach, born and raised.

How long have you been skating?
Five or six years. My dad got me into WRV (Wave Riding Vehicle) skate camp and I’ve loved it ever since. Hooked for life.

What’s your current setup?
The Embassy Danforth model, Ace Trucks, Spitfire Wheels and Launch Mode rails.

I know VB has some gnarly winters, so how do you guys keep the stoke during those months?
We skate through it. We skate as much as we can. It’s hard to skate sometimes, but we find a way.

Who do you skate with?
Collin Graham, The O’Neal brothers, Henry… all the Fork Crew.

What’s your favorite thing to skate?
Mt. Trashmore vert ramp. But I’ve been skating Northside Skatepark. It’s a different thing than the vert ramp; it’s a gnarly pool. I like skating different shit.

Have you been on any skate trips to other states?
My friend Mike Fava rides for Moonshine and he has a van. We go on trips to North Carolina. We go skate with him. I’ve been to California a couple times, once with the Embassy Crew to Rumble in Ramona and the other time was a family skate trip.

Was that the first metal vert ramp you’ve skated?
I’ve skated the Vet Skatepark; it’s metal and fast, but I like Ramona.

So how old were you when you heard the name Jeff Grosso for the first time?
Ahhh… shit. I met Jeff Grosso before I knew who he was. I was 10 or 11 when I started to recognize who he was.

When did you realize that you had a dad who was part of skateboard VB history?
I was young as fuck. I grew up with all the skateboards that he had everywhere, and knowing that he was good. When I really got into skating, it really hit me that my dad was rad and he was something special. It stokes me out – I want to be just like him.

I notice you do a lot of old-school tricks – where does that influence come from?
That comes from my dad. I try to keep it original and as honest as I can, but it’s a style. I can’t really help it.

Okay I’m going to say a word, and you answer with the first word or phrase that comes to mind.

Henry Gutierrez: Fork Crew

Darren Navs: Fucking Vertical Vampire

Jeff Grosso: Sad Plants, Inverts

Texas: John “TEX” Gibson and Embassy Posse

Fork Crew: Family

Homework: I never do it (can I say that?)

Circle K or 7-11: Neither, Whole Foods

Collin Graham: Ripper

Mom: Raddest

Dad: Fucking RULER!

That was rad. So what music is blasting in the headphones?
Rap, Artist from California, Chris Travis, Xavier Wolf… there’s some hot VB rappers around that kill it. Local dudes!

Have you ever got run off by the police for skating?

How did you like the Combi?
I liked it. It was difficult but fun! I’m going back to California in July.

What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Fucking skate. Progress. Charge it hard as I can. No limits. Wherever my path takes me. I really want to travel more and hit the spots. I’ll sleep on a couch – hint, hint, California friends.

Right on, Nathan. It’s about my bedtime, so any last words, shout-outs, anybody you want to thank?
Thank you to all my sponsors, especially Embassy Skateboard’s Lee Leal, Ace Trucks and Shrewgy, Wes Laine at Coastal Edge, Kent Russell (Launch Mode), my mom and dad, my Virginia Beach family and everybody who supports me. And thanks to BL!SSS Mag for giving me my 15 minutes!