Sk8Trip to Mexico: Interview with Aaron Gomez
Abec 11 and Sk8trip have been well known for not just their diverse wheel lineup, but a diverse team. Aaron Gomez first came on my radar after Catalina earlier this year ripping the mini ramp. I got a message from Brad Teschner, Abec 11 team manager, with some clips for instagram. Brad has never steered me wrong and said Aaron was someone he was stoked on. Months later, this trip video to Mexico pops up thanks to Michael Alfuso and it was time for me to get to know more about Aaron. Brad’s right, Aaron’s rad and I am stoked to learn more about him.
Hey Aaron, thanks for chatting with me. I think your name really started popping up for me after Catalina? We haven’t had a chance to meet before, can you share the basics? Name, age, where you’re from?
My name is Aaron Gomez, I’m 23 from Southern California – Mission Viejo. That Catalina trip was super fun!!
Was that your first Catalina Classic? Seems like the mini ramp is on point there.
That was my first Catalina Classic trip, the mini ramp was really fun and I got to invite a few of my friends and explore a little bit of the island and do a bit of free diving.
How did you get into skating? When did you connect up with Abec 11?
I got into skating when Big Lots used to be Pic N Save and my cousin bought a 20$ complete for me. She asked “Are your parents OK with this?” Of course I lied and said “yes”. Years later I connected with Abec 11 through Brad Teschner, I was riding for another board company when I was really young and he needed some testers for an electric board and have been in contact with him ever since.
Is it now your full time or do have work / school civilian life kinda thing too?
I skate for fun, it’s not my job. I work at a marketing agency for skateboarding – FvS Media. Kind of a trip for me because I’m somehow now working with all my heroes from Chris Cole to PLG. I am also helping Sk8trip with their social media and marketing now as well.
How did you get into social media and marketing? Did you go to school for it, or hands on and experience?
I’ve always wanted to work in action sports marketing, those guys always seem to lead very exciting lives. I’ve tried school, I guess still trying at the school thing… but I was fortunate enough to intern at Etnies via SoleTech and then at a PR agency which then I started working for Flip Skateboards for a little while and then somehow ended up to where I am now.
What’s your best advice to anyone trying to get in the game and find a job in skateboarding?
Talk less, do more. Stay hungry, stay humble. More than anything I’d say – put in your time, utilize your network, & make friends.
What’s your best advice to riders trying to build their own name on social media and get sponsored or even sponsored riders trying to get out there more?
Be patient, I always see kids try way too hard to get noticed. Just keep doing your thing, getting sponsored should never be your 100% focus, you lose out on the fun that way.
Were you as sad as I was to hear the ramp was leaving Sk8trip?
YES! Super bummed.. I was hoping to actually take that ramp and rebuild it in my friends backyard, but we didn’t have enough time. I was working with Flip skateboards a while back and they took down their ramp and my friends and we rebuilt it back there.
Do you ride a variety of setups or more a one board warrior?
Much like different tools suit different projects, I like to ride different set ups. I don’t really downhill much, but I do enjoy a softer wheel and throwing some power slides.
What are you favourite Abec 11 wheels and when do you use them where?
I’m currently on these Abec 11 prototype wheels, they are designed for street skating but they have a wider contact point which I love for anything from rails, ledges, stairs and transitions. They should be out soon.
Tell me about Sk8trip Mexico? Always a blast I’m sure.
Sk8Trip to Mexico was an incredible experience. I will occasionally go down south to camp and surf whenever the waves are pumping. This trip lined up perfectly because Michael Alfuso just so happened to be in town and I’ve always wanted to document a trip down there. This trip was different than all the others because I had never driven down to Ensenada and neither had any of my friends. I had a tip that there was a skate park down there and we just went for it.
We skated, surfed, camped under the stars at San Miguel and left our troubles, responsibilities and cell service back in the USA – pretty much all time. One of the highlights was going to the local skate park in Ensenada and seeing how stoked all the kids were there with what they had. Everything was DIY and hanging on by a thread, but it still worked. Abec 11 was nice enough to provide us with extra product so we could hook up the kids down there.
What’s it like finding spots down there versus at home? I heard mention of the cops, did they haste you at all?
Finding spots down there are like finding diamonds in the rough. Everything is so haggard and unkempt and they are very few and far between. My friend Cody Sanders and I were on a surf trip down there and thats when we found the empty pool off the side of the high way that was in the video. It’s amazing to come up on an empty pool in the back of an abandoned building.
We ALMOST got arrested. We went to this all you can eat brunch spot at this upscale resort. The security there was mad sheisty! After our meal I thought it would be cool to surf this wave behind the resort but security wasn’t having it. They wanted to call the federalis and have us taken to jail. If our cars weren’t blocked in I would’ve just upped and bailed. Security gave us two options: either pay their “fine” or settle it with the police. We basically got robbed in broad daylight. It isn’t a Mexico trip unless something weird happens.
I have to note, the video had a bunch of eating in. What’s your favourite food when you’re down in Mexico?
If you ever go down south there’s a taco stand – Taco Surf by K38.. Super authentic, really good tacos & tortas. Right next to it there’s a restaurant called Calypso, awesome bar with a pool table and an ocean view.
How about at home?
Hard to narrow it down. My friends and I are into spearfishing, nothing is better than coming home with a catch and serving up something fresh.
Any plans coming up? Future video?
I’m currently working on a small part for Zeal Optics, they’ve been a huge support for me as well.
Thanks again for your time. Want to make any shout outs, thank yous, hi moms?!
Of course, thanks for the opportunity! Thanks Abec 11 crew, all the guys that made the trip possible, Zeal crew and yeah.. MOM!!!!
Notes from Abec 11:
Living in Southern California means that you can sneak away to a foreign country in less than a couple of hours. Over the years traveling through Mexico has become increasingly more “adventurous.” But Aaron Gomez and some friends of Sk8Trip decided to throw caution to the wind and go for it. With next to no budget, no maps, and no cell phone service, it was a minor miracle that they managed to meet up with their other buddies across the border.
Aaron is a big part of Sk8Trip, but he’s a also a big-hearted skater. He always makes it a point to stoke out the local skaters by giving away his gear before heading home. He’s the perfect GRN TM ambassador and it’s entirely impossible not to smile when you’re hanging out with Aaron and the crew.
Follow them along as they skate, surf, camp, eat, drink, and get lost along the way. With only one minor shakedown, zero arrests and smooth re-entry into the states, we’d have to that say this Sk8Trip was a complete success!
Film: Michael Alfuso & Andrew Jimenez
Edit: Michael Alfuso
Skaters: Aaron Gomez, Andrew Jimenez, Cody Sanders, Zachary Fontes, Siomar Bueso, and Blake Grills.
00:05 Buena Vista Social Club – “De Camino a La Vereda”
02:39 Current Swell – “Room of the faded moon”
04:23 Pretty Lights – “One Day They’ll Know (ODESZA Remix)” – A Color Map of the Sun Remixes
Rider: Aaron Gomez
Photographer: Andrew Jimenez
Trick: Mellon Fakie in the sunset
Location: Ensenada, Mexico