Questions by James Threlfall. Introduction by Ryan Clements.

The Felipe Gustavo story is like a skateboarding fairytale. From the most humble beginnings to global recognition, Felipe truly started at the bottom and earned it through hard work and nothing less. He showed up at Tampa Am many years ago as a little kid that couldn’t speak a lick of English, and he wasn’t even officially registered for the Contest. I worked there at the time and we initially denied him entry, but after a bit of coaxing from Felipe’s dad, and finding out that he sold his car for the money to get Felipe to the States, we caved and put him in.

At the time of course, he was just another unknown that wanted to skate in the Contest. But then this kid from Brazil, that no one had ever heard of, won, and that was the beginning Felipe’s journey. I’ve had the pleasure of watching Felipe come up. I was there the day he first got noticed, and to bring it full circle, I got to call him the day his board came out on Plan B and congratulate him. I’m proud to call this honest, polite, appreciative, generous, hard-working young man my friend. Now he can get his pops back on that car.

Hey Felipe, thanks for taking the time to chat to Forecast Magazine! How have things been since you went pro for Plan B at the end of 2013?
All good man…any time! It’s been good so far man. I’ve been traveling a bunch, just skating doing the same thing, ya know!

How much of a surprise was it when you walked through those doors and all of the guys were there with your pro boards? Did you genuinely have no idea it was happening?
Dude they totally got me. I had no idea! I was so surprised! Plus, my family was there. I just started crying. Good memories for sure!

We always felt it was always something that was going to happen, it was just a matter of time! You always seem to be working super hard at your skating, putting out content all of the time through your sponsors. Do you make a conscious effort to go out and shoot loads of photos and footage, or does it just naturally happen?
It kinda naturally happens ya know. That’s the skate life…go out skate and get whatever you can get.

You’ve come super far in such a short space of time. A lot of people are aware that you won Tampa Am in 2007, but not so many know that you sold the family car to make it over there from Brazil. How did it feel to overcome such a challenge to get to the contest, and then win?
Man, it was just a blessing from God I believe. I mean, everyone knows how hard it is, and how everything happens. Everything happens for a reason! And that was me out there…haha!

What’s the full story behind that? Like when did you actually decide “I want to go to Tampa Am”?
I was just a kid in Brazil that skated and always skated contests and stuff. Then I had a dream to go to Tampa Am, because I always had seen it on the Internet, the most famous am contest. So I told my dad that I want to go and stuff, and then there was a contest going on in Brazil that if you win you would get a ticket to go. So I ended up winning that contest and got the ticket, but it was all fake. The guys from the contest never gave me the ticket, and my dad saw me all hyped and sold the family car so we can go to Tampa. We didn’t speak any English at the time, so everything was extra hard for me. But I just kinda got there and it happened man…

Who were you riding for at the time? And did you start getting tonnes of interest from companies after that?
I rode from some Brazilian companies at the time. Yeah, right after some dudes from US companies hit me up and told me to go to California and hit them up. It was hard to communicate because I didn’t speak English and stuff.

“We didn’t speak any English at the time, so everything was extra hard for me. But I just kinda got there and it happened man…”

What was it like when you headed back to Brazil afterwards? Did you throw a party or anything, or just continue life as normal?
Haha! Party? I was 15. Hahaha! Nah, just kinda went back to school like normal days. It sucked…because I want to go to Cali.

At what point did you decide that you were going to head out to America for good, to make a career out of skating? How scary was that, just to pack up and leave Brazil behind?
Yeah man, after that going to school was the worst thing ever. I told my dad, ”I can do this, I wanna go to Cali,” and my dad always supports me on anything I want to do. So he somehow got me a ticket and I went. 16 years old, didn’t know anyone out there, crazy.

Along with going pro all these years later, you also won Run & Gun at the Berrics in 2013, beating a tonne of big names. How many attempts did that line take before you eventually got it?
Dude, it took me like three hours straight. So gnarly!

Obviously the Plan B video is highly anticipated right now. Has filming for that been pretty heavy as of late?
Yeah man, I’ve been traveling a lot for that. It’ll be a good one for sure. I’m in China right now filming for my part.

Can we expect a full part from you in the video?
Hell yeah man, I’m working on it. I’m just stoked to see the whole video. Besides riding for them, I’m a Plan B fan. Can’t wait to see what the whole team’s got.

The Plan B team always seem to be heading away on trips to some amazing places, such as the big trip to China in 2012 which was documented by Red Bull’s Sheckler Sessions. Where have been your favourite places that you’ve travelled to?
I know we’ve been on the road a lot. My favorite place has always been Barcelona. It’s the best!

Do you have any further trips or contests planned for the year ahead? What can we expect to see from Felipe Gustavo in 2014?
In 2014 I’m pretty much focusing on filming my Plan B part. Also, LRG is coming out with a video, so I’ll have a part on that, too. I don’t know…skate some contests whenever I can and travel the world!

Any final words of advice to aspiring skaters that want to follow in your footsteps?
Be hungry and skate for the love, and everything will happen in the right time!