Yoke magazine features Giacomo Galli, from Italy, skateboarder / longboarder and designer of longboards. Giacomo Galli is raised and based in Italy. I was lucky enough to meet him in Valencia and become friend with him. He represents the type of people who try to combine their studies with their passion. Important to mention that he’s launching his own longboards on Pake Longboards.
Let’s talk about the skate culture…
- When did you really begin skating? When do you remember yourself riding your first skate?
My first ride on a skateboard dates back to when I was around 6 years old. Back then, it was just a toy for me but I have really good memories of it.
I started skating again after 8 years when I was 14; firstly on a skateboard, but it didn’t suit me perfectly. Finally, after a year or something, I discovered the longboard and I have been riding it since then.
- A lot of skaters claim that skating is a synonym of freedom and independence. Is this real? What are your main feelings when you skate?
When you ride a board, you are standing on it and you are moving fast, you feel the wind, the air, you breathe; you have a feeling of lightness, you pass among the people and they seem to stand still while you are so fast, and it’s so easy. It feels like you can go everywhere, nothing can really stop you, and you decide to enjoy the route, as it is.
- What’s your favorite part of skating?
It’s travelling, for sure. But with travelling, I don’t mean just the practical trip on a plane… I mean the fact and the serendipity of going to a new place, meeting people and having something in common, which is the love for board. To be honest, you make a lot of friends and kinda easily through skating.
- Did you meet people because of skating? Can you explain us some things about events, races and international traditions?
I’ve met a lot of people due to skating, especially in contests and meetings; skaters and longboarders belong to a really open and friendly community. People aren’t very inclusive, something that happens in many other sports. When it comes to skateboarding, there aren’t written-stuctured rules and this allows people from all ages and communities to be part of it.
Go Skates Days and Green Skates Days are ones of the biggest meetings, where skaters participate just for fun, riding in the city streets, promoting the skateboard’s eco friendly attitude.
- Your favorite skater, surfer or longboarder?
I’m much more into longboarding than skating or surfing, and my favourite is Jong Bin Jo.
- What are the top 5 (& friendly) cities for a skater?
As I said, I’m not really a skater, but I would say:
- What requirements you need to have in order to be a good skater and how much time does it take?
It really depends on the innate attitude, abilities, skills and of course on perseverance. It’s not possible to say how much time you will need to learn to cook or ride a car, become a chef or a F1 pilot and the same happens with skateboarding; you can learn or invest time and then you will realize that you need even more.
You will know it when you feel it!
- “Began as a hobby. But right now, it’s an entire world, a huge culture about urban life, street art, skaters & clothing.” So, is skating a way of living or a lifestyle?
Skating is a lifestyle. Buying a board and skating it, is not enough to make you a skater, in my opinion. But I respect those who use it as a means of transportation. I just don’t like those who, by using it, give a wrong image of it to the ones who don’t know about it.
- «Live to skate, skate or die with this motto Ι’ll survive» (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ut8PEP4XKI) , in your case from 1 to 10, how real does it seem to be?
I would say 8.
- You also run your own website with handmade longboards for sell, right? (https://pakelongboards.bigcartel.com/ ), how did it all begin? It feels that you combine your design studies and your passion for longboarding. What are your dreams or plans for the future?
Yes, it’s right!
Well, everything began like a joke, more less in 2012 when I tried to construct a board for the first time…it sucked. Then, I bought a new one, I started skating and in the late 2014, I participated to an event in Rome where I discovered an entire world behind that board and I immediately fell in love with it. The longboard dancing.
I started practicing it and almost immediately I felt the necessity to customize the board to fit with my preferences / needs.
Off we go: I designed a mold, bought materials and I started trying and trying. Trying non stop for years, wasting money, making a lot of mistakes, but always learning and improving.
Design studies helped me a lot with constructing boards, and constructing boards has helped me in my studies, too. I grew through it and it taught me some knowledge that you can’t find in books.
Honestly I don’t have big plans at the moment, I’m trying to enjoy what comes without being afraid of the future. I just wanna learn and try something new everyday, meet new people and see as many places as I can. I think I just want to be free, without being lost. For now, constructing longboards is one of the things I like the most, I’m on it 24/7, but I also have other projects in my mind and many goals to reach.
My dream is to always have a goal, which could also be to don’t have one for a while. That’s completely up to you, though.
Thank you Giacomo!