There are some people who just have it, you can see it immediately—that’s T. I’ve been skating with him since he was 15 years old. He progresses at lightning speed right before my eyes every day. Taking what looks impossible, he has it figured out within 10 minutes. I truly believe he can do anything. It’s fucked up. He’s the future. He’s my little brother from another mother, man. He’s going to destroy everything in his path, unless he’s on Tinder, then you have to let him run out of swipes, then he’s on it. It’s an honor for me to introduce him to the world. This is Antonio Durao.-Joe Monteleone
PHOTOS BY SAM MULLER
Where are you from? How old are you and who do you ride for?
I’m originally from Portugal, turn up! But I moved to Long Island, New York, when I was 10. I’m fluent in Portuguese, though. Bilingual, son! And I’m getting boards from Girl Skateboards, Nike SB, Supreme New York, Grizzly, and Diamond.
So you’re not Italian?
No, I’m not.
Do you wish you were Italian?
How old were you when you started skating?
I started skating on my 11th birthday; actually I got my first board for Christmas before that. It was a board from Walmart. I broke the trucks trying to do an ollie, so I had to wait for my birthday to get another board. I think it was a Tony Hawk board or something, but it was pretty legit though, you know? I learned my first kickflip on that. Most exciting moment of skateboarding for me for sure, first kickflip.
Who do you skate with on Long Island?
All the big dogs, you know? Gino [Iannucci], Anthony Pappalardo…[Laughs] I’m Just kidding. I don’t skate with anyone really at home anymore. All my friends quit skating. I skate with some kids at the skatepark by my house—Jesse, David, Carlos, my friend Rick. Local dudes.
Who did you look up to growing up?
When I was younger I really liked P-Rod, now I’m into Gino, Jake [Johnson], [Mark] Suciu, and [Dennis] Busenitz. I’m really into Busenitz lately.
“I think I YouTubed ‘skateboarding’ the first time I ever wanted to see it, which is kind of crazy, I guess.”
You grew up skating in the era of videos being on YouTube. What was the first video part you remember seeing?
I remember seeing, I think, Rodney Mullen; he popped up on the news feed. I think I YouTubed “skateboarding” the first time I ever wanted to see it, which is kind of crazy, I guess. Then I started to watch It’s Official and shit like that.
Did you understand the difference between first and last part and their significance? Or was that something that happened later on?
I guess I started to understand it later, definitely not when I YouTubed Rodney Mullen’s Round 3 part, like I had no idea, but later as I got older I started to understand the difference and hear people talk about, “Oh, he had last part.”
I heard your parents didn’t let you leave your driveway until you were 16?
[Laughs] That’s not true. I was probably 12, actually, no I was like 13. By the time I was14, they kind of let me cruise around town, and by 15, was probably when I was allowed to go to the city [New York].
What did you skate in your driveway?
[Laughs] I built my own little box out of scrap wood and a bed frame. The frame has coping or whatever on it, so I built a box with my neighbor Francisco. He was the dude I skated with at the time when I was younger. He moved across the street from me, and I knew him from school. We would skate my driveway every day; he brought his rail over, we would skate that every day. It was pretty shitty. The rail, the box, we turned the bottom of my basketball hoop into a little bank ramp, and we made a little bench.
What was your town, Patchogue, like to grow up skating in?
P-Town, Beat Down [laughs]. I don’t know, man. It had no spots at all. It fucking sucked. I went behind every building looking for spots, on my bike, because there were no spots at all. I looked for a ledge behind every building in my town, and I found these curbs. Seriously, like two small curbs stacked on top of each other, probably like a deck high, and we skated that for a long-ass time every day after school or after work. Walgreens ledges, they were the shit.
What’s the difference between skating the city and skating Long Island?
Long Island you have to drive everywhere; NYC is more fun, you can just skate spot to spot, and there’s so many more spots in NYC. Long Island is like, “Oh, you have to drive to Riverhead, one hour.” There’s no fucking spots. I mean, there are some that are closer together, but definitely not as much as New York.
Who’s coming up right now from Long Island?
Pat Rumney and Frankie Spears are killing it.
You’re 19 and this is your third video part—fourth if you include the Jenkem part—that will be premiering on the TransWorld site. It’s your first really big video part, how long did you film for this one?
I’d say it was four months. I was in and out of California the whole time. I would stay until I ran out of money, then go home and work, and then come back out. I broke a lot of boards filming for this one, like 20 a month at one point. If I’m skating stairs, I’ll break a lot of fucking boards.
You filmed the whole part in California this time. How was that compared to home?
It’s all right. I personally like filming in New York better. California is not like Long Island, there’s way more spots, but you still have to drive everywhere. I like New York City, you can just cruise around and find random shit that no one’s ever skated. In LA, everything you go to usually has been killed, except maybe downtown LA you can find some weird shit and get creative. That’s my favorite place to skate in LA. It’s different, in California you have to drive everywhere; in New York City you just get to skate—I like that.
What was your every day like filming this video part?
We would wake up at like eight a.m. and go get you your fucking Starbucks, I would get an iced coffee or some shit, and then you would bring me to random spots you thought were cool. I don’t know any spots, usually they were cool, sometimes they weren’t. We just tried to get shit done. We went to Frisco a few times, that was pretty tight. Get done skating for the day, swipe right, turn up, fuck it. There was a bunch of pressure toward the end, like, “Welp, deadlines coming up and we don’t have enough photos,” or “You don’t have an ender.” That sucked, like you telling me, “You need an ender, fuck you.” Thanks, Joeface [laughs].
How much time do you spend on Tinder every night?
The whole time. Wait. How much time don’t I spend on Tinder every night?
Do you have a girlfriend from Tinder?
Definitely not the place to look for wifey, that’s for sure.
“I broke a lot of boards filming for this one, like 20 a month at one point.”
Have you had success from Tinder yet?
Not that much success, a couple dates. They have a limit on swipes now, it sucks, I actually have to pick now. You have to sort through which girls are actually cute and which ones are, ya know, not. You get a certain amount of swipes, and I’m for sure not paying for Tinder Plus. But it is kinda cool, Tinder Plus, dude, might have to pay for it one day. Just kidding.
Do you take girls for drives in your car and try to make out with them at the garbage dump?
[Laughs] Yes, I do… No, I don’t. I take ’em to, I don’t know, cool-looking spots? Like, cool-looking spots like sunsets—#kellyhart, #lagunabeach, and shit like that. [Laughs] I don’t know, dude.
You’re into cars and pretty much a mechanic off Google. How much time do you spend working on your car?
That’s what I kinda get sucked into when I go to Long Island, just cars. It started off with the first car I bought—a 1979 BMW 528i—and everything broke in the first month I got it. The clutch went, I had to break down the transmission, and there’s no videos on how to do anything on that car because it’s so old, so you just have to figure it out. But I spend all my time looking shit up on Google, like how to do things, what parts to get. It’s another passion of mine.
How do you make money at home?
I work at a carwash, and I sell parts from cars. I’ll buy cars, then take parts for my car that I need and sell the rest. I make some loot on that. I also vacuum pools, I’m a pool boy, what can I say?
What’s it like skating New York in the winter?
It fucking sucks. Oil City is not the best skatepark, and it’s an hour away from me. I used to skate my garage, now I don’t even have that. I seriously would move things and have a space of seven-by-10 and just do flatground tricks when there was two feet of snow outside. You have to look for abandoned warehouses and shit. The West Coast is lucky, man, the weather, it’s insane.
Are you going to move to LA this year?
Yeah, hopefully by August of this year. I’m trying to get an apartment. Sleeping on your couch for months at a time was tough [laughs]. I missed my bed! But you hooked it up. Thanks, Joe!
Who do you skate with out here?
You, Sam [Muller], Adrian [Adrid], K-White, Kelly [Hart], Peter McClelland, Rumney, and Neeno. Bunch of people, man, so many people skate here. It’s nice.
How’d you start getting flowed Girl boards?
I started getting Girl boards like a year and a half ago. I think. My friend Brian [Clarke] sent Daniel Wheatley [Lakai TM] a clip of me switch ollieing some bump-to-bar or something. I started talking to Daniel a bit, and he started to hook me up with Girl boards, and then a few months ago I met Sam Smyth, and he started to hook me up after that. I started to skate with some of the guys a little bit too. Feds [Federico Vitetta] took me out with [Mike] Carroll and MJ [Marc Johnson] the other day, that was really tight. I haven’t been out with the dudes too much, just recently before I left California last time. Before that I rode for Waters Army, so we’ll see.
How tough is it to get hooked up these days even when you’re killing it, but there are so many dudes going for it as well? Like, how do you separate yourself from the pack?
It’s kind of hard. I mean, I feel like you just gotta do your own thing and not really look at anyone else. I don’t really even watch skating anymore. A lot of it is the same stuff over and over and over; the same trick has been done down that many stairs or that handrail. I don’t know, I try to separate myself best I can. I hope it’s working. Tricks matter, but it’s not just about the tricks, it’s about how you do them.
Why do you skate switch so much?
Seriously, it just feels better. If I’m skating my natural stance, it’s like automatic, I don’t feel that much. It’s like a reflex, I don’t know how to explain it. I like skating switch better. It just feels better. I actually didn’t know what switch was for a few years after I started skating. My neighbor told me about it.
What’s next for young Antonio Durao?
Working and skating. I’m going to try and film a part in New York, hopefully before August, no guarantees, but I’m going to try and work on something with Richard Quintero. Just work and skate, save up and move to California.
Anyone you want to thank?
Yep! I want to thank you, Sam Muller, Federico Vitetta, Sam Smyth, Ryan Bobier, Scuba Steve, Sean Apgar, Chase Whitaker, Ty from Supreme, Evan Walsh, Richard Quintero , everyone at TransWorld! Basically everyone that supports me. I wouldn’t be anywhere without you guys. Thanks!
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