Get To Know Mervyn Victoria
Mervyn Victoria is an up and coming force in the Seattle skate scene. Always stoked and ridiculously dedicated to his craft and the community, I have been fortunate enough to shoot some photos with him over the past few months. I caught up with him towards the end of the year to talk about life and skateboards and wanted to share the interview and help everyone get to know Mervyn a bit better.
It’s nice to see you again man, would you mind telling us your name, age, and how you like to ride a skateboard?
My name is Merv, I’m 22 years old, and I like to ride my skateboard loooseee.
You’re supported by DB Longboards and Cloudride Wheels? What has it been like riding for them?
Yeah it’s been fun. That company is amazing man they started with three people in their garage and now they’re growing so fast. They have a big warehouse now and are growing. The great part is they’re all still homies. They’re really cool and you can just sit down and chill with them. They’re super down to sponsor local events and really give out prizes to the community. They want to make the community happy and help make fun happen. That’s what I start events for and why I’m on DB.
Part of being an sponsored rider is being active in the community. You’ve thrown a bunch of events in your community. What has that been like for you?
It’s amazing, it’s good seeing the kids and veterans coming together out there, seeing people’s smiles. Every event you can see people really enjoying themselves and feeling positive vibes and it’s really satisfying.
Your events have been all all pretty different kinds of skating right?
Ya, they have all been a bit different. There were three recent events, a Slide Jam, Chill Dance/Freestyle, and a Garage Session. The biggest one was probably the Kiss n Tell slide jam. We even had people from Oregon drive up to join us and it was a huge success man.
A lot of local guys came out too yeah? People came out and really hucked it.
Yeah huck was the word for it. Longest slide was insane.
What about the event at the University of Washington, what was that like?
We threw a “longboard and chill” event. Since there weren’t any dancing/freestyle events happening in the area we decided to throw one and see how feasible it was. It ended up being a huge success. I was stoked that we had a really competitive hippy jump competition. A lot of people threw downs some really cool tricks and it really great to see all the talent. It was also great to see some groms as well, it was flat and we had some young kids there.
And this third event?
The third event was a local garage event. We bought a bunch of pizza and it literally got inhaled in under 3 minutes. It was insane, 60 people in a garage. Craziness. I don’t know how to say it other than it was way too crowded.
This all sounds great. Any plans for the future? More Events?
Well I do have a few but most are pretty secret for now. One thing I am thinking about is renting a giant warehouse for a dance event with lots of space or a boathouse with a strip for people to do freestyle tricks. Mostly more dancing and freestyle events at this point. Slide jams are fun but I want to give freestyle and dancing some love.
That sounds dope. Glad to hear you’re giving some under-loved parts of skateboarding more attention and opportunity to get together. So tell us more about dancing? Whats up with that? Whats up with dancing right now?
Dancing is really still so new and undiscovered. While it’s been around for a while, it’s also been pretty niche. There are millions of tricks and combinations to be discovered and only a small group of people in America are being exposed to it. It’s bigger in Europe and Asia, and one of my biggest goals is spreading here in the States like that.
So people have been getting into dancing all over the world. What’s it like to try and spread that stoke in America? Who are people you learned from?
Well in America, Ethan Cochard, Adam Colton, and Adam Stowoski have been inspirational to me. I’m trying to spread their legend, keep the scene active and growing and get people stoked.
So what do you look to for inspiration when it comes to new tricks these days?
There’s great skating going on all over. I really enjoy it when people do the biggest tricks on the biggest boards. And all kinds of dope manuals and grab tricks too. That’s what freestyle is really about for me right now.
For people getting into dancing what tricks do you recommend starting with? And what is your personal favorite trick?
Well my favorite tricks are all freestyle tricks. Some people are dedicated to dancing but I’m really into freestyling. Landing something like an Aeroflip just feels amazing, you just get a rush. Its definitely my favorite trick. A good trick for people to start on would be peter pans or cross steps. After that go to shove its, no complys, and you’re on your way. There are a lot of great videos to help you learn on the internet and then get inspired and create something new.
On a different note, you ride for your local skate shop, the Motion Boardshop team. What’s that like right now with them re-opened and what has that been like? Any inside team secrets?
Well if people didn’t know, Nate Blackburn bought Motion Boardshop and has reopened the shop this past year. Motion has always been a core community shop. One of the things I was stoked on were their reviews. Motion really started some of the first wheel and board reviews on youtube with Nate, Ethan Cochard, Ross Druckery, and others just reviewing the stuff they liked. Nate’s vision is to continue that and keep supporting the community, keep promoting longboarding, keep getting knowledge to the kids and to generate stoke. That’s what Motion is about and thats what I’m there for.
From someone who works a full-time job, pays rent, and has to be an adult most of the time, do you have any advice for skaters balancing skate-life-adulting?
Well I build habits around my skating. Everyday after work I go out and skate for three hours a day. From there I can do whatever I want. Humans are creatures of habit, so if you set aside some regular time to skate you’ll keep at it. Skating everyday should be the goal, healthy mind, body and soul.
Any thoughts or words for the kids? A message for everyone back home?
Actually yeah, what I really think is important in skating is celebrating your friends’ successes. It’s really shitty when you land an awesome trick or stick a gnarly slide and no one reacts. We need more high fives happening ya know?
Yeah Spreading the stoke I get that.
Yeah give that energy back to your friends. More energy too. Its more fun when everyone is just happy and having a good time. Don’t take life too seriously, just have a good time and get stoked on your friends. We need to remind people that it’s cool to show love.
Wise words. You definitely personify that too, you’re one of the most stoked out people I know.
Any last shoutouts? Anyone you’d like to give some love to?
Definitely Skate Slate, they’re always spreading the stoke and message and thats really cool. Thanks for doing this. Shoutout to DB Longboards, Motion Boardshop, Cloudride Wheels, Atlas Trucks, they really spread the vision and the stoke and I appreciate their support.
High five your friends more and give hugs and enjoy skateboarding!
Thanks Merv! Stoked to connect with you and help spread your stoke.