Life In The Fast Lane: Gustavo Ribeiro Profile

Written by Niall Neeson

Portugal’s Gustavo Ribeiro might just be the hardest-working man in pro skateboarding today. Notwithstanding his prolific contest career up to and including his Silver medal at the WST World Championships in the UAE this February just gone, he has also filmed full video parts for his board sponsor Jart, clothing sponsor Ementa and footwear sponsor Cariuma, as well as launch his own Youtube show ‘Mundo Gustavo’- just in the last three years alone.

gustavo portrait

With his own private skatepark built on the footprint of Portugal’s original indoor spot in Amadora by the master skate craftsman Francisco Lopez, Gustavo has been dialling in his talent in a way which has seen him all-but nailed-on for a podium spot in any contest you drop him into, anywhere in the world. Put simply, he is doing tricks that vanishingly few other skateboarders can, and with a consistency not normally associated with European skateboarding. All this, bear in mind, while rehabilitating a  stinker of a shoulder break.

Interestingly, the Men's Street finals at the WST World Championships in Sharjah last February had a bigger European continental representation than from anywhere else and given his second place at World Street Skateboarding Rome the previous summer, it was no surprise to find the 22-year old Lisbon native in contention for top honours as night fell and the last 8 went at it. With two flawless runs to establish his composite score, he also landed three different 360 kickflip-to-rail variations in his Best Trick selection for a total score of 267.38 from a theoretically possible 300 and an impressive second silver medal.

Early in his Youtube show, Gustavo is asked to reflect on the level of hunger required to keep going at such a gruellingly elite competitive level, to which he replies:

"I have a lot of dreams; I’m a dreamer… (and) I love pressure!"

There can be no doubt that the throwing open of the world of competitive skateboarding has not only brought in talent from around the world but has also relentlessly driven the baseline standard up to a ridiculous level where Japanese teenagers are doing kickflip front blunt bigspin out on legit skatepark rails consistently. Think about that.

gustavo tre

Against that backdrop, Gustavo understands that to reach the pinnacle of his skateboarding ambitions, talent alone is not enough:

"Everyone can do everything- but you need to have mindset, you need to have focus, you have to work hard."

If there is a motif for just how much of a dogfight the pro game in competitive skateboarding is today, then surely that is it. Talent alone is no longer enough because there is so much skateboarding talent all over the world today... and some of them have younger siblings coming up on their vapour trails already. In that context, Gustavo Ribeiro’s next moves become all the more interesting. For context: the Paris Olympic Games are less than 500 days away!

gustavo self cheerWatch Gustavo take Silver at the WST World Championships in February here!