I can't believe next year will be 20 years that Chico Brenes has been pro. It's kind of a trip to think that he has been around for, or been a part of, just about every advance in technical skateboarding history. Makes me feel old because I'm pretty sure I was in my 30s when Chico turned pro.
Over these past couple years we've been lucky enough to see an increased amount of Chico Brenes coverage in magazines, LRG's video and web clips. And if you saw Cheek's "Firsthand" on Fuel last year you already know the stories about how crossing over to America and having his appendix ruptured could have easily ended his skate career before it even started. But we're fortunate that was not the case and two decades later he's still going strong.
On the 5th of May, or as they say in Spanish, Cinco De Mayo, DVS is dropping Chico's newest shoe and having a skate jam at Lincoln skatepark in Los Angeles. We decided to catch up with him beforehand and see what was cooking.
Tell me about this new DVS shoe dropping on Cinco de Mayo?
It's my new DVS mid-top shoe that I'm dropping on Cinco de Mayo on behalf of my kids that are half Mexican. This is probably the best shoe I ever helped design for DVS. I really like the way it looks, feels and skates. Sometimes it's hard to get all those things in a shoe. I'm stoked that we were able to pull that off. Try them; I guarantee you will love them.
Being Nicaraguan, are you allowed to celebrate Cinco de Mayo?
Not in Nica but I do celebrate it here in the U.S. with my kids.
How's your shop, Central, doing down there in Nicaragua?
Things are good. Business has been picking up at the shop, although I feel like I need to relocate to a better spot in the center of the city. I got all the skate kids coming to the shop. Now I need to get more of the other customers. I've been doing these Central Nica tours a couple times a year with different pros; that's been helping the scene. We gotta plan a trip down there soon. I want to go down to the town where I was born, which is about six hours away from the capital, and maybe built a quarterpipe and a ledge, give away 30 or 40 setups for the kids to skate.
Are you a celebrity down there? Who is the most famous person from Nicaragua?
I guess you could say I'm kind of a celebrity down there, especially with how skateboarding has grown in Nica. The most famous person from Nica has to be Grammy winning salsa singer Luis Enrique. He's tight.
How's filming for the Chocolate video going? Do you have a bunch of footage stacked?
I have some but I need to get more for sure. I ended up using some of the clips I had saved for the LRG video.
Whose part in the new Chocolate video are you looking forward to the most?
Vincent Alvarez, Marc Johnson, Kenny Anderson, Gino Iannucci, Jesus Fernandez, Daniel Castillo, Justin Eldridge, Chris Roberts. I guess everyone's part.
Is Gino really going to have a part?
He's working on it!
What's the secret to your longevity? It seems like you're producing more photos and footage than ever before?
Thanks! I'm just trying to do as much as I can, while I can. I feel like at one point in my career I took skating as a job for granted so I needed to get back to doing what I love most, which is skateboarding.
What do you have lined up for the rest of 2011?
Staying busy for sure. I got a couple tours to Canada, Brazil, maybe China with LRG, some Latin America trips with Chocolate for the video and a U.S. trip with DVS.