Gemeinsam mit der Einladung zur Street League nach München kam auch das Angebot, dass ich dort Paul Rodriguez interviewen könnte. Obwohl ich zuvor noch nie eine Person live interviewt habe und man sowas ja eigentlich erstmal üben sollte, sagte ich natürlich zu. Eine solche Chance bekommt man selten und was soll schon passieren...wenn die Aufnahmetechnik funktioniert, dann sah ich wenig Probleme. Vor dem Interview war ich ein wenig aufgeregt...nach dem Interview umso erleichterter, dass die Technik perfekt funktionierte und Paul Rodriguez ein mega cooler und professioneller Typ ist. Ganz im Ernst...Hammer Typ!
Foto: Marcel Veldman @thefluff
DMLB: Hi Paul, when i saw your clips in the „Opal – Primitive Promo“ is was really stoked about your footy. The first line (sw bs noseblunt – sw flip fs blunt) , "the sw fs blunt heel out" and the "sw bs 360 ollie" really impressed me. Your in the thirties now...how do you manage still being on this level, beside having a kid and all your companies and projects running?
Paul Rodriguez: I don´t exactly know. I just know, that i really love what i do. I love being a dad, i love business and i love skateboarding. I´ve got a lot of energy, so i´m just excited to do it all. Thanks to god, that i can do all of this. But when it comes to business at Primitive, i can´t take the credit for this...i have really good people, that i work with. I´ve got partners, that create Primitive on the day-to-day basis. I make sure, that i stay on the loop and know what´s going on. But my partners...i trust them...they are running it...dedicating it. The best thing, that i can help Primitive, is by being a skateboarder. My role is to try to be my best in skateboarding.
Foto: Marcel Veldman @thefluff
DMLB: Do you do some other sports to stay fit? You go to the gym a lot?
Paul Rodriguez: I definitely go to the gym...i work out...i don´t try to be a big buff guy, but i stay in shape. I want my body to take the abuse from skateboarding. I also go to the chiropractor a lot...this keeps my body as healthy as possible. Also i do a lot of stretching and i thank god every day, that i´m lucky, that i haven´t had any serious injuries or surgeries...so i got very lucky also.
DMLB: What about your nutrition – you care about what you eat to stay fit?
Paul Rodriguez: Yes...but i´m not gonna lie...i´m not the best at that. I think i eat pretty good, but i´m not super strict about that...i´m not like…i need this and that every morning...i don´t have that discipline.
Foto: Marcel Veldman
DMLB: How is your work-life-balance? You do more „office work“ on a regular day, or does skateboarding still dominate your daily routine?
Paul Rodriguez: My doughter is first in my life. But after that skateboarding is the foundation. I mostly skate...but at my age...i´m in the thirties...i can skate really hard...like one or two day in a row, but then i have to take a day off. My body is telling me „Hey...i need a day off...you´ve got to relax!“. So these days i use to spend with my doughter, my girlfriend and my family. For work it´s pretty cool, that Primitive is close by my house. So sometimes i go there in the mornings, visit Heath Brinkley and Mitch Bhatia and they catch me up on what´s happening...what we´re working on. Mostly i´m just listening, because i´m not a smart businessman...i wanna become that...but i´m still trying to learn. It´s like...in business i´m still skating curbs...i want to learn the basics. But at the end i just want to make sure that i can skate...everything else, besinde my doughter, comes after skateboarding.
DMLB: What about „Primitive“ – You have some of the best „young tech-guns“ worldwide, you´ve got mr. mellow style Devine Calloway Who is in charge of picking the team and what´s the system behind the team?
Paul Rodriguez: At first it was me and Heath Brinkley...he´s the man behind the scenes with the vision. He´s kind of a Mike Ternasky (Plan B) type guy. He really loves skateboarding, he studies every bit o fit, he´s always been a type of guy, that finds talent...he´s really good at that. So him and i were first...with Carlos Ribeiro and Nick Tucker. He showed me Carlos years ago and i tried to get him on Plan B but it didn´t work out. So when we started Primitive, Carlos was the first person we wanted to be on the team. Thank god he was interested in Primitive. Same with Nick...i knew Nick a little bit already before, i´ve been skating with him a little bit through our friends and i was blow away by his amazing skills. So once we had Carlos and Nick...we were looking for Bastien Salabanzi. Heath and me have always been huge fans of Bastien...i love his charisma...i love his confidence...he´s bigger than life. After we got us four everybody came by discussing like „How do you like this guy? What do you think about that guy?“ It´s kind of a growing family.
Foto: Marcel Veldman
DMLB: With Bastien Salabanzi, Roman Lisivka and Marek Zaprazny there are three euros in Primive and you pushed them by giving them Primitive webparts – what´s your opinion on european skateboarding nowadays?
Paul Rodriguez: European skateboarding is unbelievable. There are so many extremely talented european skateboarders and...years before it was kind of hidden...but now the internet is the key. Now you can be everywhere in the world and have a skate career. Before the internet everybody had the dream to america...come to Los Angeles...to get noticed by the industry. But now...on Instagram...you can be anywhere in the world and everyboday can see what you´re doing. So i think that the fact that the internet is making the world a smaller place has allowed european skateboarders to show their talent worldwide without havin the obstacle to think about how to make it to america. Now there are also popping up really cool brands everywhere in Europe, so the european industries is recogniced worldwide. I remember...when i was a kid...and i came out to europe for my first time...i didn´t know that europe has all their own magazines. I thought in europe everybody was looking at the same magazines as i do...and i didn´t know that all companies had their own european teams. But now...trough the internet...the industry is everywhere. For me...this is the best time in history. You just need a camera and the internet and you can get recognized.
DMLB: With all these amazing skateboarders on your company – do you feel some positive or negative pressure for your skating by seeing them rip? Does it push you to skate with these next generation top-guys?
Paul Rodriguez: I´m just very thankfull...at this point of my carreer i have nothing more to proof. I´ve been very lucky, that i´ve had a lot of year of showing what i can do and people showed me a lot of love and now i love to skate with the younger guys. Skating with them reminds me of when i was young. I was having so much energy and i was so much into it. Hanging out with the new generation makes me feel young also. I don´t think about being better than these guys...you can´t fight them...they are next level shit. But i just love to hang out with the...they make me keep trying to give my best and improve myself. It´s a pressure...but a good pressure.
Foto: Marcel Veldman
DMLB: I just received your new pro shoe „P-Rod X“ last night and went out on the party wearing them. The look really clean and feel super comfortable to walk in. What are your plans behind the conception and the minimalistic design of this shoe?
Paul Rodriguez: The shoedesign stands for this time of my carreer. I feel like i want to go back to the basics...skate no contests, be back in the streets, be back in the van with my friends and just skate as i did it, when i was younger. So this „back to the basics“ is kind of what the shoe represents. I also wanted a classic combination of suede and rubber on a not too expensive shoe. I´m really happy how the shoe came out and i hope that the people feel the same about the shoe.
DMLB: 10 Pro Models in 12 years at Nike SB - How does it feel sharing this anniversary with great sportstars like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Kevin Durant and the one only Michael Jordan?
Paul Rodriguez: It´s flattering....it´s really flattering...you have these big superstars and then you have me. It´s flattering to see that i made it this far....it´s Nike...the biggest shoe company in the world. When i was a kid dreaming about pro-skateboarder, i never know i could be like this. It means a great deal and it shows what can happen if you love something and you dedicate every day for years and years and years to it. So many unbelievable things can happen by passion and dedication. I´m a little mexican kid from the valley in Los Angeles and somehow i´m in this group with Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant...man that just shows what passion can get you.
Foto: Marcel Veldman
DMLB: For all the P-Rod fans out there – What can we expect to see in the next time? Any plans?
Paul Rodriguez: Right now my mind is feeling back to where it all began and my goal is just to go outside with my friends, try to get some footage, improve myself as a skateboarder and release that footage at some point in time and i hope people will enjoy it. It´s a little bit a weird transition...i was used to be the little kid coming up and now i´m on the other side. It´s a little weird for me to accept that, but as long i gonna be healthy, i gonne be skating and try to be better than i was yesterday.
DMLB: Thanks a lot for the interview!
Paul Rodriguez: Thank you!