Douglas da Silva, aka Dalua is a beast of a downhill skateboarder. For years he has been terrorising riders on race tracks all over the world, he is feared amongst all as the ultimate competitor with a monster push. He has been around the world more times than you can fart in a minute and has reached speeds higher than you would want to go without your dot puckering on power-mode. For the first race of the 2016 IDF World Cup series, Dalua returned to Oz to race at Mt Keira. The final between myself, Max Ballesteros, Dalua and Brennan Bast will go down in IDF history as one of the closest epic battles of all time. Max, Dalua and myself all hit the line within centimetres with Dalua and I ending up sharing second, Max winning. This interview was done by Hop a month before Mt Keira. It was suppose to be a Dalua is coming blog to promote the Mt Keira race and the Australia vs Brazil race we were expecting. Here it is, a Hop interview with Dalua, edited by myself. Enjoy!
So Mr. Dalua, right now, Who are your current sponsors?
Abec11, HondarSkate, D1D Skateboard, Muir Skate, Roxtec Brasil, Mad Rats, Onbongo Skate, Ojoom and RogerBros.
I see you have been running your own skateshop?
Yes, its called D1Dskateboard
Do you have an actual shop? Is this your fulltime job, or have you partnered with someone?
It is an online store, and it takes me fulltime to do everything with quality... realization of a dream.
D1dskateboard has a team - who are they right now? Are you team manager?
Dalua, Robert Rodrigues, Melissa Brogni, Miguel Moreira, Lucas Perdoná, and Allyson Pastrana
How to you mix racing, skateshop, team manager?
I have 6 riders, and try to help them in the best possible way. I'm still a small shop with limits, but I do it with love and dedication.
Everyone in Brazil would want to be on Dalua's team - how do you say no to so many skaters?
I try to help all I can...
What happened at Pikes Peak in 2015? That was one of your major IDF races, but you failed to qualify for the final 64. Injury? What happened?
Pikes was my first World Cup after one year and four months standing still. I have had 3 Achilles Tendon surgeries. After Pikes I improved my physical state, and the last three races of 2015 I was in 3 podiums, not bad!
Mega Grand Prix you were very consistent, but you battled with Dillon Stephens all day?
Dillon beat me all day, his focus was bigger than my will, I was the only athlete to reach the final against the third best of the year (Dillon Guto and Lessa), this was my reward.
How did that Mega Grand Prix final end? Did Carlos get such a big start no one could catch him? You and Thiago side by side in the last corner? You got him on the inside? Was that the master teaching the young one a lesson...close the gap or I'll skate through it?! :-)
Carlos had an incredible year, earned his conquest, everyone has his moment and his moment came. I have won what I have won, it's an incredible taste, but I am 33 years old, and they have a maximum of 26 years on them. I ask you, They will be on my level when they are 33 years old? ha ha ha :-)
Carlos Paixão is the new IDF World Champion, one of the young guns of Brazil - does that make you feel old? Or hungry for more wins?
I think I need to adapt to the new style of champion, this leaves me with more enthusiasm and will. I race against Martin, Mike Zietsman, Stuart Bradburn, Bassi Haller, and other great old riders over the years, I believe myself to be the second single generation of world athletic activity against These giants...Old age, young mind.
The South American Championship did you see positive impact on the sport? In business and as a competitor?
No, I never gave me some return...but I gained many friends in South American, who I have for life.
It is amazing the amount of talent in South America. Carlos Paixão only competed in two events, won both but only placed 12th in the South American championship! Should we be expecting big things from Mateus Cavinato (1) and Tiago Mohr (2) in the future?
Matheus is a great future, humble and very talented, we have many other athletes who deserve respect here ... very good riders ...
La Violenta looked to be a locals (South Americans only) race, were the IDF international competitors just too scared to race?
I believe that it will be one of the biggest races of 2016, La Violenta is special, amazing vibe ...
You dominated that race (La Violenta) - why? Did it suit your style?
No, I was just recovering my race pace, it made me ride more safely after a long time of not riding.
I see Robert Rodrigues came 5th at La Violenta - is he your protege?
he's my brotha! I sponsor him, it's like a different mother's brother, much respect to him.
What is the Dalua racing plan for 2016? Do you still want to win another World Championship?
That's my main goal for me to stop and retire with a clear mind, I want to prove to the world that age and injury are nothing when you have your mind prepared to win.
How do you win a World Championship? (answer anyway you like - as advice or what you do - ie if you plan to win the World Championship in 2016 what do you have to do? Is there a certain amount of WC races you have to do? Certain amount of training?)
A world championship is won years earlier, is gained, training hard, focused, and dedicating before race. The level is now very high, and any point can be a weapon against great riders.
What advice to you give young Brazilians who want to get into downhill?
Never give up your dreams, fight to the end, be an example for the younger ones, and ride a skateboard with a big smile. It will leave you the happiest person in the world.
You have been unlucky racing in Australia and the rain has not co-operated. Australia is one of the driest countries in the world but you seem to get rained on in Australia! In 2010: I thought no one could beat you at Newtons except it rained on finals day. You almost had Mischo in 2012, if Mt Panorama was 50m longer you would have won! Mt Keira was a wet track in 2012 which made it slippery for the fast skaters. Is rain the only thing that can stop you from winning?
(we have moved Keira race to February so it will be drier :-))
God knows the hour of each, I love Australia, this country would be one of the few I would take my family to live. I think if my time will be, I'll be prepared and ready to go ...