Have you seen that Instagram video of a kid dodging a flying kick from a Taiwanese security guard? Then you’ve seen Heitor Da Silva.
For many, this was his first introduction, but if you’ve been paying close attention you may have seen him pop up here and there. He’s been skating since he was eight and has now garnered such high profile sponsors as adidas and Krooked, proving he ain’t no viral video. Brazilian born, he moved to Norway with his mother when he was six and his effortless, flowing style can be seen alongside Gonz, Magnus Bordewick, and in Solo’s THREEE series. He just graduated from the Bryggeriets Gymnasium skate high school in Malmö, Sweden (which seems just as awesome as you’d imagine) and is one of four featured skaters for adidas’ new Camps ADV colourway (watch above). In anticipation of the shoe’s release and an accompanying clip of Heitor, Chewy Cannon, Blondey McCoy, and Marc Johnson skating around Paris, we got him on the horn to find out more.
Where are you right now?
Right now I’m back in Paris from Copenhagen for DAS Days. I just got into my room. It’s lovely here.
What got you to Copenhagen?
I was studying at the skate high school in Malmö and made a lot of friends from Copenhagen because they’re so close to each other. Where I’m from in Norway is just this little town that isn’t so great, skate-wise. I like a bigger place like Copenhagen.
Skate high school?
I think the school has been around for 10 years now. In Norway, I saw a mini-documentary about the school—Bryggeriets Gymnasium—and always knew about it. At first I thought “Ah, fuck it,” because it’s not like I’m going to move to another country for school. But when I came to high school age I had some friends from south and east Norway who went to the school, so their parents told mine about it and convinced them it was good. I applied and got in and went with like four of my good friends. It had a skatepark and skate class, it was very motivating. It was something new, if it was a regular school I would maybe drop out. I was happy to be there so I could make my parents happy and finish school. I was 16 and living on my own with my friends! I just graduated at the beginning of this summer.
So you didn’t need to send a tape or footage to get in, huh?
[Laughs] No. It’s not really about the skating like that—it’s really focused on academics. But they tie skateboarding into it. I was so hyped to be living with my friends alone and skateboarding and still finishing school. It was a great experience.
Taking it further back, how’d you start skating?
It’s kind of a classic story. I saw my neighbours doing it and tried their board and liked it. Then I made friends with some other guys who had an extra board that I would borrow, until I dropped it into some water. I had to buy them a new board and then finally my parents got me my own board for my birthday. I think I was eight.
So you were in Norway, not Brazil?
Yeah. I don’t think I would have started skateboarding if I was in Brazil. It wasn’t as available where I was. In Norway, it was more around and we were a bit better off economically.
How’d the adidas and Krooked hookups come along?
My second year in high school I had filmed a lot of footage in Oslo from the summer before. My skate teacher, who used to give me all his old shoes, was helping me send that around to guys at Nike. They never answered me, and randomly I got a phone call from this dude Neil at adidas. He asked if I wanted some shoes and to travel a bit. I was stoked, obviously! After I got on adidas, Neil hooked me up with Krooked as well. He knew someone there and got them to send me a few boards. Before that, I wasn’t really getting anything. I had a few local sponsors in Norway but when I moved I was on my own. Neil helped me out a lot. Thanks to him I got boards and shoes!
What was it like cruising with Gonz for the adidas x Krooked clip in New York?
I believe I only hung out with him for a day and a half. I was asked to go to New York for it and I said yes, but I managed to miss my flight! I just slept past it. I woke up super stressed knowing I was supposed to meet Gonz in two days. I couldn’t really go later. I searched online and the first ticket to New York from Copenhagen that I found I bought with my own money because I felt so bad I missed the flight. It worked out—I only got to New York six hours later than expected. Hanging out with Gonz was sick. It was wintertime but he had so much energy. A funny-ass guy.
Now you’re skating with all sorts of people. What was it like filming with Chewy, Blondey, and Marc in Paris for the Campus ADV edit?
That was also a short trip but being around all those guys was cool. They’re all funny as fuck, real good at joking about random shit. I was laughing so much. We just cruised around and I wasn’t really thinking about what I was skating. They’re so comfortable to be around that they made the whole session very chill. We would just hang out and get a clip and then cruise around Paris. We clicked.
What do you look for in a skate shoe?
That’s a hard question. One of my favourite shoes is the Superstar. I like the bulkier type of shoe that goes with all my clothes and has a classic look.
How does the Campus ADV work for you?
It’s a very classic skateboard shoe that works with anything I wear. It’s a bit slimmer, but I really like the look of it. I’ve been rocking the Campus way before I was riding for adidas so it worked out. It’s cool that they took some of the elements from the original into the skate shoe because I probably would just be skating that one anyway.
You seem to have a very classic approach to street skating—endless flip and ledge tricks—but have command of a lot of different types of tricks. Case-in-point: that slappy bluntslide you just posted on your Instagram. What influences you?
Maybe in the past I would say I have favourite skaters, but I don’t really now. I’m inspired by different people and different approaches. I’ve always liked the 90’s style of skating—ledges and stairs and all that shit. But at the same time, if I see something and I like it, I want to try it. I’ve been skating for 11 years so I’ve picked up a few influences along the way. I like to try new things. I’ve been checking out a lot of old stuff from before my time. I’m kind of a nerd when it comes to that.
Well, fully—you went to a skate high school!
[Laughs] Yeah! But I was like that even before, I think. That definitely marinated me with other skate nerds.
Just skating every day, the same shit I’ve been doing. I usually say yes to trips, so I’m keeping myself available. I have a lot of footage I’ll turn into something in the future….