I have known Mauro Ruberto for a long time now, possibly ten years or more even. When he came on the scene he was known as a little ripper that liked to jump on rails. But he was also known as someone with good style and a nice trick selection. Now all those years later skating has changed, Mauro has grown older, he doesn’t really jump on rails like he used to but his style and trick selection has aged well. It is for me personally at Place always great to see people you know do well. And to see Mauro and the type of person and the type of skater he has become, it makes me happy and it makes me proud that we can present this part, this article and Mauro to a new group of people.
Video by Dylan van der Laan
Interview by Roland Hoogwater
Photo by Ruben Noorman
Yo Man, What’s up?
Not much man, kinda tired still, I just woke up and went down to the park. I like to go early nowadays because of the skateboard boom the park is filled to the brim with kids. So, instead of going “normal” hours, I go early so I can really cruise around.
Chilling at Wezelande skatepark (Zwolle, The Netherlands), the homespot, has it changed much?
Not really, same old, they installed a speed bump to the park but that is it (laughs).
Ok, still loving it like back in the day. So, tell me a bit about this part we are dropping.
So it started with me meeting Dylan van der Laan (the filmer)…well, it actually started with Kadir Küçük, who I met when we were filming for this Chocolate promo. We linked through Martijn (van Hemmen), he told me that Kadir lived in Arnhem, which is close to Zwolle, where I live. I didn’t know Kadir at first, but we connected through IG, and we started working together on that promo.
After that project, he moved to Turkey…well, he just went on holiday there and never came back (laughs)*. So again I was without a filmer but willing to go out and produce stuff and that is when I heard about Dylan. Like with Kadir, we connected through IG. We are about the same age and he filmed well so, we just started stacking clips. Not for anything particular, we were out there having fun. So after a while, we had enough clips and we decided to make this.
*Kadir returned after a year.
So how long were you saving footage for, a year?
On this part… well at first there was talk of doing it for Lakai because they were giving me shoes. But I quit, I wasn’t feeling the shoes anymore. So I told Dylan, “let’s start from scratch” and from there it took us about 6 months to put this together.
Dylan doesn’t live in the same city, so how did you guys manage to travel?
Dylan lives in Dordrecht, so we would meet at different places. Most of it is in Rotterdam, Schiedam, Amsterdam, Arnhem, and S’Heerenbroek which is a small place near the German border. Kadir lives there so that is how we found that spot. Most of it is Rotterdam and Schiedam though.
Whatever happened to all that stuff you filmed with Kadir though? Is it sitting on a hard drive in Turkey?
Well, the chocolate stuff came out but we did more things, we visited my family in Milan and we managed to get more stuff done, so we should see some of that his full-length project when it drops.
And what about Dylan? This project is HD but I saw you skating in his VX projects, around the same time you worked on this.
Working with Dylan is super nice, he is a quiet person, but if you want to try and film a line for 4-hours he is down to do that as well. We are a good match.
Funny story, Dylan always had 2 cameras with him at all times. The HD for this project and the VX for these fun little edits that he does for himself. So he would sometimes ask me if I wanted to film for that other project. So the VX became the fun cam and the HD was serious, I have high standards when it comes to my tricks so for a while it felt good to film with the fun cam and just chill and try things.
He changed the context, he kind of tricked you.
It worked though, it helped me do other things and have fun while filming.
So what are the tricks in this part you worked the hardest for?
The one that took the longest was the Frontside Feeble Frontside shove it out. That was fucked up, I tried it for 3 hours and I kept landing on it but I couldn’t roll away, it was super weird. So the last try I hit me big toe and it totally fucked up my shit. The whole thing was blue and I could barely walk but I was really mad. So instead of going home, I slept over at Dylan’s. The next morning I put on 2 pairs of socks and went back, tried it again for 2 hours, and each try before I popped my toe would hurt like hell. I think that was the one trick I worked hardest for! The funny thing is I normally have that trick on lock as well.
Street spots always challenge you differently right? You used to be a big rail skater but this part has now handrails in it was that a conscious choice?
I did go and look at some rails, but I wasn’t feeling it. As a kid, I would just jump on those things, no problem. I had a crazy bail years ago in Arnhem. on this long rail with weird legs, I front boarded it no problem so I jumped into a Frontside Feeble and I hooked into those legs and flew down. I remember that the car was far away but I don’t remember if I walked all the way there or whatever. So after that, I became more cautious.
So it changed you in a lot of good ways as well. A shock to the system.
Yeah, I got really into wheelies and other types of tricks. Especially wheelies, I don’t even think people know I can do those (laughs).
My favorite trick in the part is the Impossible Nose Wheelie, I learned that a year back in the park. Finding the right Manual-Pad was hard though, popping Impossibles is hard so it had to be the right one. Good Manual-Pads are hard to find, especially in Holland (laughs).
You have been a Zwolle local for a while now, the city isn’t totally remote but to go to those places you talked about is still a train journey away. Did you ever consider moving to a more central city?
Not really, I like the Randstad but if I stay in those busy places too much I go crazy. I like nature, peace and quiet moments and those are hard to find in cities like the ones mentioned. For now, Zwolle is where I want to be, I got my OV-card which allows me to travel for free during the weekends so things are good as they are. Plus our country is small so it isn’t like I am traveling multiple hours from A to B.
So more healthy living, seems like it is a new trend in skating? I bet your dad still would have like to see you join a soccer team instead.
Well just to get some context, in the beginning, my father was a bit skeptical about me skating. He is from the south of Italy, deep in the mountains so he was more into football. He didn’t know much about skating and figured it was more of a drug scene. A bad influence.
It took him some years to see that it wasn’t like that for me. At the moment I don’t do drugs I barely drink and I don’t smoke weed anymore.
Besides that, those changes are also great for your mental health. Those substances come at a cost. Especially since we as men and especially young men are prone to struggle with depression it is important to talk about things like this.
I used to smoke weed and drink beer for almost every day for 2 years, and at the end of that stretch, I was just super unhappy. And when I stopped, my confidence grew, more peace of mind I just felt better. It works for some people but I found out it didn’t work for myself.
When I used to light up a joint I would get a dopamine rush to my brain and I would feel happy but I realized that I would have less of these moments in general during the day. So when I stopped I started to feel more genuine moments of happiness and those are tangible because you worked to create those moments. I had a lot of negative role models that taught me those lessons and I learned from their actions.
They say a smart man learns from his mistakes but a wise man learns from the mistakes of others.
True, that works.
Mauro that was a good closer, thank you for the interview and we are excited to see what the future holds for you!