Here is something that you’ve probably never heard of! goFlow introduces the skateboarder Alexandre Feliz and his Extreme Freestyle!
After a serious knee injury, Alexandre Feliz, a true Carioca (Rio local), had to find a different path on his skateboarding career. What he did was invent a totally new way to ride, mixing in some of his other passions, such as climbing and always staying in contact with nature. From there, Feliz started to look for new spots to ride, tapping into his creativity and going far beyond regular surfaces like streets or ramps, slopes and handrails. All resulting in creation of something that he calls “Extreme Freestyle”.
Essentially, this new style allows you to ride on any surface, be it stone, sand, clay and, of course, cement and still be connected with the flow, enjoying different natural landscapes everyday.
This is the type of unique adventure that Alexandre Feliz brings to goFlow and the kind of Experience that he wants to offer, especially for people who want to ride a skateboard while explore natural spots around Rio, like Pedra da Gavea or Ilhas Tijucas.
Tell a little about yourself (including something you think no one knows).
I got my first skateboard when I was 3, but at the time I didn’t give much attention. I was more interested in climbing some trees and rocks. It wasn’t until I was 8 years old, that my passion for this sport really blossomed. I started hanging out with my friends and discovered the Freestyle, after watching a video of Rodney Mullen. At 9, I got my second skateboard and, from then on I didn’t stop anymore. I started to focus on the Street (skating), but also practicing all the other modalities, except Vertical and MegaRamp.
In 2005, I broke my knee trying a trick and the doctor said that I would never be able to ride again. Such a bummer! But I kept on going and even before the cast came off, I was already practicing again. Unfortunately, my knee was never the same and so I had to leave the Street (style) and get back to focus on Freestyle!
Of course, I was a bit frustrated, cause I didn’t feel that just skating Freestyle was enough for me. I wanted more, so I began to mix the modalities and explore different places, which initially seemed to be impossible to ride, like dirt, sand, rocks and even trees.
At the end of 2012, I traveled with my family to Viña del Mar and discovered the Reñaca Rocks, which completely changed my life and where I first had the inspiration to create Extreme Freestyle, this crazy modality that became my addiction in life. Since then, I have ridden in over 200 different spots in Chile and Brazil, exploring different surfaces such as sand, earth, stones, trees, mountains, abandoned buildings, walls, fences, railroad tracks, roller coasters, water and waterfalls. =)
In addition to Extreme Freestyle, I have created 26 other maneuvers and I am still developing new possibilities and tricks that you can find on goFlow or my website and social networks.
Who was your inspiration to start practicing skateboarding?
In the beginning, it was Rodney Mullen. I saw him on a video, doing some Pogo tricks and that opened my eyes to the Freestyle method. But once I started to practice the Extreme Freestyle, the biker Danny MacAskill (video) became the one that I always look for some inspiration.
Who was your greatest influencer or mentor during all these years?
My friends and skaters Lúcio Flávio, Guenter Mokulys and the photographer Pablo Koury, who are primarily responsible for helping me evolve my skills, technic and style.
What are your favorite spots in Rio de Janeiro?
I have a few: Bico do Papagaio, because it has no crowd, many wild animals and the best stones in the river to practice climbing maneuvers safely;
Pedra da Gávea, because it has so many possibilities to ride and to maneuver and although I have been there many times before, it always feels like it’s a whole new world.
Pedra Bonita, because it is a complete place for the Extreme Freestyle, providing a bit of each style and where you find the quieter trail of the city.
The Stone of Prainha, because it has lots of sand and some wet and slippery rocks with the highest degree of difficulty in Rio, that yields an intense and challenging ride, with a prize in the end: a refreshing dive on the ocean!
Joatinga and Dois Irmãos, because they are the responsible for my passion for cliffs.
What about the rest of the world. Where are they?
Cerro Manquehue (Santiago, Chile), because it has the most funky sandy spot that I’ve ever ridden. It was like walking on the beach, but 1600 meters above the sea.
Stones of Reñaca (Viña del Mar, Chile). It was where I first felt the limitless possibilities of skateboarding and decided to create the Extreme Freestyle. I have a list with more than 100 spots that I still want to go to, each of the with their unique characteristics that will surely be on my favorite list. Places like the Ball’s Pyramid in Australia and the Trolltunga rocks in Norway.
Tell us what you offer on your goFlow Experiences. What can people expect when they book a Session with you?
I will take my student on a unique goFlow Experience at Pedra Bonita and teach him the basics of Extreme Freestyle, going through some safety techniques and the basics on how to achieve balance and control of maneuvers. And, of course, share my passion for nature and teach what we can and can’t do in the nature.
Which type of board do you use? What do you recommended for beginners?
For beginners, I suggest the Freestyle Skateboards from Sugar Free.
What do you like the most about Skateboarding?
Everything, especially the unlimited possibilities of maneuvers that come everyday and all the friends that skateboarding provides. This is something for life.
What are your other hobbies and passions?
Besides skateboarding, I also love climbing, swimming and video games.
Any tips for before and another for after your session (food, preparation etc)?
Before the session, I recommend checking the weather and if the all the screws are tight on your board, eating a banana and drinking plenty of liquid, preferably water. Make sure you are carrying everything you need in your backpack and tell someone where you are going. Preferably, always be accompanied.
After the session, I would recommend take a good dip in the sea, waterfall, river, pool or shower and rest for at least 15 minutes before doing anything.
What does the expression “being in your flow” mean to you?
Being connected with nature, because this is exactly what I feel when I complete a hard trick in a impossible spot. I feel like I’m part of the mountain. I feel the Flow!
Describe Rio de Janeiro in 5 words or less.
Nature, Mountains, Beach, Paradise, Epic!
If you are in the Rio de Janeiro area and would like to discover Extreme Freestyling with the one and only Alexandre Feliz, you can book a goFlow Experience with him through the goFlow app.
- Code valid for $R30 off one goFlow Experience per person with Alexandre Feliz. Code valid through 12/31/17.