It all begun with a video I found on the net. I saw a person who skated with a board longer than what I have ever seen before and made some movements that impressed me. This video prompted me to investigate the sport. I wanted to try it.
I bought my first longboard and started to skate. At the same time Alex skated in Venezuela and already had an idea what it meant to compete. When he came to Spain he continued skating and participating in events. I have been practicing in the mountains and one day while browsing the net I have found a network called Zonagravedad I wanted to meet with others to improve my technique and to expand the team. Fate wanted that Alex would respond to my message and so the friendship begun. Together we wanted to improve our skill levels. We would skate on the weekends refining our techniques. After a while we have decided to create a website. I sketched the Ridersfly logo. Our website was supposed to create a dynamic portal in which we could show the world our videos and share our experiences and knowledge with other riders.
Shortly thereafter, we have received some help from Mikel Echegaray who is a luge street rider and in my opinion one of the best riders and a wonderful person. Together, the three of us started to skate and record videos of our rides. We would review our footage and discuss mistakes and give each other advice. Our skating would improve from week to week.
Week after week with hard work our experience level increased. Our team is based on passion for the sport, perseverance and friendship. The story of our team is that of passion, friendship and dedication to a sport.
1. What benefits have you noticed from creating Ridersfly?
The benefits I have noticed come from passion and enthusiasm, we, as a team, have grown closer together and are seeing other riders turn to us for advice and assistance and are able to learn from us.
2. Is it easy or difficult to get sponsorship in Spain?
To be honest this is a sport little known in Spain, which makes the issue of sponsorship difficult. You have to research and talk to a lot of people in Spain and abroad to find sponsorships. Yet, we were able to receive sponsorship from brands such as Boca Bearings, Doctor X, and Bongo who support the Team Ridersfly as much as possible.
3. Tell me more about the team.
The team consists of Alexander D'Elia, Mikel Echegaray, Oriol Galvez and I (Sergio Sebastia). We are a group of friends who love the sport and together we are trying to improve our level of riding. We support each other and are there for each other in our best and worst times.
4. How did the idea of a store come about?
We wanted to get additional funding for Ridersfly to organize events, and other activities in which we can promote our sport. We also would use the profits to develop new products and materials and gradually attend more events and help each other grow and learn.
5. After setting up the store have you started mentoring other riders?
We have decided to help a fellow racer Oriol Calico Galvez. He is only 15 years old. We want him to take advantage of our experience and materials, so he can perform better and grow personally and as a rider.
6. Tell me a little more about how the boards are manufactured.
Our boards are completely hand-made, which at times can be very slow, but each of the boards is unique. We are working on each board, adding improvements based on our experiences. At Ridersfly our motto is Material does not make the rider, it helps improve and helps increase dedication. Making individual boards motivates us to research and evolve our products. I come from a poor family, but I have always been guided by the motto Perseverance leads to perfection. I consider myself passionate in everything I do. All my life I have been trying to promote unusual sports, I guess I have a passion for extreme and rate sports, I guess that is part of me.
7. Could you comment on your accident and your recovery?
Obviously, you prefer not to have an accident, but these things happen and we must fight and move on. That weekend I was skating with my friends recording footage for a National Television show. I went into a curve and saw two cars, I tried to maneuver around the guy but at I was going about 65km/h and the car was at 35km/h and it made an escape impossible. I hit the car head on, broke tibia and femur and waited 45 minutes for the ambulance. Eventually, I was transported to a heliport and rushed to a hospital. I lost a liter of blood and was in critical condition. I had several operations and more than 1.5 year of recovery behind me. I am looking forward to skating again.
8. I know you had been spear-fishing, tell us about that.
This is a hobby that I have been sharing with my brother Oscar Sebastia who is 10 years older than me. He is a member of the Spanish fishing selection and underwater world champion. He has taught me a lot about this sport. I do not have an extreme passion for this sport it is more of a hobby. Diving with my brother has greatly accelerated my recovery and has maintained my form.
The article was originally posted on DH Longboard Magazine 4th edition April 29, 2011