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JZ Radical

Ricardo Napoli Interview

07 September 2013, 03.33 | Posted in Skateboarding | No comments »

Ricardo Napoli started filming skateboarding early as a kid and has expanded his repertoire to include still photography over the past few years. He’s one of my favorite people to explore New York City with and get it done!

Tell me about the city you grew up in Brazil.

Im from Curitiba,Brazil.  It has 26 municipalities with a population of 3.2 million. It’s the 7th most populated city in the country. Curitiba is mostly inhabited by Brazilians of European descent and more then 40.000 japoneses.

The Curitiba skateboard scene is pretty good though,there is a couple outdoor skateparks and one really famous indoor park called Drop Dead.  They have a national contest each year. Rodrigo tx won it twice when he was a kid, Danny Cerezine and Fellipe Gustavo both won it in years past too.  Drop Dead Skatepark has helped so many skaters come up over the years.

Alex Carolino
akira. the bronx
akira. the bronx
Curitiba sounds rad.
It is. Most of the time I skated with Leandro Fischer,Rodrigo Petersen,Alex carolino and some other homies. Yeah miss those times for sure especially the homie Leandro who I haven’t seen him in a while.  He lives in Barcelona and skates with lots of Brazilian’s and others such as Jesus hernadez, Tom Penny and Javier Nunez.
When did you arrive in America or New York?

I moved to the US around 2002. I lived in NJ at first. Now I live in Manhattan.

Majors. frontside nosegrind. NYC

Majors. frontside nosegrind. NYC

Fellipe Gustavo. Los Angeles.

Fellipe Francisco. Los Angeles.

Who was the first skater you met in US?
I already had couples Brazilian friends living here in NY, but I met Anthony at hoboken skatepark. I actually don’t know his last name but he is such good skater.  He lives in Laguna beach,CA with Robert Brink from Ride Channel.  I also met “John Maxfish.” John and I were living in NJ, one night we came to NY to meet with Rodrigo Petersen and watch the listen video “Viajeros Lokos”.. it was this night I met the New York  legend  Rodney Torres. He’s the one who showed me around and introduced us to Max Fish and Sway!!

How do you feel about Max Fish moving to Brooklyn?

I’m bummed. I used to live a couple blocks away from the Fish and met so many rad people there, normally I worked/skate and hung out at the Max Fish.  It’s really sad that the LES is dying!! Max Fish was my second home. I had the best nights at the Fish. I’ll probably never hang out on Ludlow street again.

Jarrod Brandreth. Kickflip frontside board. NYC

Jarrod Brandreth. Kickflip frontside board. NYC

JP Dantas. Bluntslide Transfer. NYC

JP Dantas. Bluntslide Transfer. NYC

What’s the average day like now in NYC?

Go to Mud, grab a coffee and work as a photo assistant for some fashion photographer and if I’m not working I’ll go to the TF, skate some flat, link up with the homies and go from there.

It seems like you have skaters visiting from brazil like every other week. It’s wild. Often times when we link up to shoot there are homies from Brazil killing it. It’s awesome.

Yes dude pretty much, i have a lot friends from Brazil coming in the summer to skate and film.  The homie Rafael Gomes visits often cuz he rides for 5 Boro.  He has a sick part in their last video Join or Die. But yeah skaters are popping into NYC often from Brazil so I like to hook em up.

Fellipe Francisco.

Fellipe Francisco.

JZ. 50-50 grind. Bedstuy, Brooklyn
JZ. 50-50 grind. Bedstuy, Brooklyn

What skaters you mostly shooting from Brazil/NY these days?

From Brazil – Alex Carolino, JP Dantas,Rafael Gomes,Carlos Iqui, Carlos Ribeiro and Danny Cerezini. From New York – Jarrod Brandrenth, Akira Mowatt, Nolan Lee which is one of my favorite person to skate and shoot. He’s just a beast .. so much power and control in the board.  And you homie, we always end up skating really cool spots when I shoot with you bro.

Thanks Ricardo. You’re photos are sick. I find myself fully going for it when I’m skating with you bro.

I actually don’t shoot to many people from New York but would like too.   I recently I had an article published in this Brazilian magazine called Vista Art with DC Shoes (Brazil). It was like an article 10 photos from 10 days shooting in NYC.

I know you went to  california  last summer, tell us about that trip.

That trip was really fun. I was there for 2 weeks. The first 4 days I stayed at my friend’s house Mauricio Bozo and owner of Subspace skate shop in Costa Mesa. The rest of the trip at Rodrigo Petersen’s place and the homie Marcio Torreta’s pad in Echo Park. We would wake up in morning and skate the bowl at the Venice skatepark for a couple hours ..than drive  an hour to Orange County and meet the homies to skate the street spots if they weren’t coming to LA. At night  BBQ with all Brazilians homies and maybe go to Cha Cha lounge or Darkroom.

This trip I got to skate with all my brazilians homies and rippers Carlos Iqui and Carlos Ribeiro.  Both of these guys have serious pop and switch skills!  Watch out for these guys.

What’s up with the Reflection Editorial?

I recently had a reflection story published in Focus Magazine. I am working on this project with another Brazilian photographer Renato Custodio, he already made 1000 copies of his first reflection book and it exhibited in Brazil and Japan.  We are working  together on the second one and plan to do an exhibition in New York.


Nolan Lee. Frontside kickflip. Brooklyn, NY.

Nolan Lee. Frontside kickflip. Brooklyn, NY.

Thanks Ricardo. Any last words?
Thanks for this opportunity Josh. You’re the man and please keep it radical.  Nolan lee for all the good sessions and killer times, Whatit.be and the man behind it – Bradley Cushing,  all the brazilian homies for keeping it real and the New York locals.

Check out more of Ricardo’s work at ricardonapoli.com