When I was Heitor Da Silva‘s age, I was still eating dining hall pizzas for dinner in my college dorm and sneaking into shitty Irish pubs with a fake ID. Heitor’s come a long way in skating rather quickly, and he’s already living the good skate life at 20.
Jumping on our American radars overnight it almost feels like he skipped the line and rose right to the top, with sponsors from Adidas and Palace. While he’s done some interviews, we tried to unearth some gems that haven’t floated around yet. Here are 16 things you might not have known, just to get you started.
1. Heitor speaks four different languages.
“Um, let me count. Norwegian, Swedish, Portuguese, English. I get by in pretty much all of them. Portuguese is like my first language, which I have to relearn later because I don’t practice all the time. But it’s still there, so I could still understand people and articulate. I guess I’m fluent in all of them. Even my parents laugh at how my dialect has become. It’s like all the languages come together. Especially with metaphors, I’ll say something that doesn’t really apply for that language.”
2. He used the same Band of Horses song Guy Mariano used in Fully Flared for a sponsor me tape when he was 11.
“That was a sponsor me tape, I filmed that when I was young, man. That was fun. I didn’t pick the song. My friend did the editing. At that point, I don’t think I had many songs to pick out that I liked but once I was 12 I was listening to more music.”
3. He has been compared to Tom Penny on more than one occasion.
“Man, some people have been saying that [I skate like Penny]! I think it’s just because I did a switch frontside flip or something. I mean, that’s a compliment. I’ve been watching old videos of him too, it’s crazy to watch him skate. I’ve never seen him in person, but he’s a legend.”
4. He has dual citizenship in Brazil and Norway.
“I got a passport for Brazil and a Norwegian passport as well. I try to go back to Brazil often because at some point I wasn’t going back because of family issues.
It’s awkward when people ask where I’m from because I have to tell them the whole story. I don’t really feel Norwegian, but I’ve lived there for many years and of course, there’s a lot of things I’ll take with me. But I’m influenced by a lot of Europe, like some Norway, some Sweden, Denmark, really wherever I’ve been spending time. And then Brazil I have my family there, so, it’s a mixture.”
5. But he doesn’t know which country he’d want to represent in the Olympics.
“I don’t know to be honest. I’m glad I don’t have to choose. I guess because I’m living close to Norway, it would be cool to be on Norway. At the same time, I would be down to rep Brazil and skate with all the OGs too. But I’m glad I don’t have to choose, I fuck with them all. I need that worldwide citizenship.”
6. He moved out of his parents’ house at age 16.
“I was really young – I’m still really young, but 16 – I couldn’t believe my parents let me go [laughs]. It was up and down. I was living with three of my good friends Daniel, Erik and Ruben. We all got an apartment not too far from our school. One of their parents was really cool about it, they hooked up the place and we paid them. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have had a place to stay. We lived there for 2 years.
I ate a lot of fast food and easy to make food. That’s when we started partying and all that shit. Copenhagen is like 30 minutes away on the train. They start drinking a lot earlier there. At 16 you could legally go buy beer and wine. But it was just learning a lot of things. Luckily real bad shit didn’t happen.”
7. He makes an effort to hit up his parents as much as he can.
In the beginning after moving out, I was definitely like, “Aw, I miss my mom” and shit [laughs].
Sometimes I could go a while [without calling them]. Eventually, I’d have a reason to hit up my mom or dad, but then if I didn’t I might just forget. I’m just that kind of person. I’m bad about getting back to people. I try my best, I think. Now I’m in a better routine. I try to hit up my parents as much as I can.”
8. He was caught between Polar and Palace.
“At the beginning, I maybe got one board from Pontus and then he saw me wearing some big pants and he was kind of stoked and he gave me some Polar Big Boy Jeans. He’s always been good to me. I think in my mind I was expecting to be on Polar at the time, but at the same time, I was also amazed by being asked by Palace. I didn’t see that coming. I felt like I had to check it out, too. I went on a trip to Detroit and it was sick. I kind of just ended up with them, and I don’t really regret it. I still have all the homies that ride for Polar, but it’s sick to have all the brothers from Palace too.”
9. Rory Milanes took him raving in Detroit on his first Palace trip.
“It was a two-week trip with the whole Palace team. Some parts of Detroit are almost like a ghost town, then there’s a lot of dope culture and people doing cool shit. I met Rory there and he’s a big fan of techno music from back in the day, and I remember going to some clubs there and I really liked the music and the overall vibe in Detroit.”
10. Heitor is the one-man skate team for Parade World.
While talking to Neil Chester, co-founder of Parade World he joked, “We pay all of our riders!” the punchline being that Heitor is the only one. Neil was the Team Manager of Adidas when he first met Heitor, who he was still in school at Bryggeriets. Heitor started riding for Adidas while still attending school, and then linked with Parade shortly after graduating.
11. He just started doing some model work.
“I hadn’t really done modeling shit before. It’s very new to me but I think it’s cool. We just go somewhere and have good meals and chill out. I guess they take a few photos and then do an outfit change. I remember the first time it was kind of weird. We went to some studio and they were like “Yeah, dance, start moving!” I thought it wasn’t my element but it was still funny. It’s what you make of it, you know? I’m not that into being in photos but now I’m more used to it after being put under pressure [laughs].”
12. And still figuring out what to do with all the free shit he gets from his sponsors.
“The amount of Palace clothes he has, he never needs to wash clothes and seemingly doesn’t! He is insanely messy with all his clothes, ask anyone who’s shared a hotel room with him. [laughs]” – Neil Chester, Parade World
“I still don’t know him very well, but he has a good collection of pants. And he loves Sade.” – Jamal Smith
13. He was already living off skate money right out of high school.
“I think I was maybe 17 [when I first started getting paid for skating]. I was still in high school, getting some checks from Adidas. That was cool because it was just extra money for doing whatever. Going to the bar or something. It was a smooth transition cause after school they started paying me a little more and asking me to go on trips or whatever. Before I knew it, I was just doing this.”
14. But he still needed to take out student loans.
“That’s just me being shitty with spending money [laughs], so I had to take out more student loans.
If you go and study in another country the state [Norway and Nordic countries[ gives you enough money for food and to get by and shit. It’s really good in Norway. I didn’t have to pay that much when you think about how much money I got from the state. In Europe, they just give you money. As long as you graduate, you don’t have to pay it back. But I was just buying shoes, boards, weed, going out [laughs]. Shit like that. It’s way harder for you guys in The States. ”
15. His favorite skaters are Keenan Milton and Gustav Tonneson (kind of).
“I mean, I was really into a lot of skaters [growing up]. I was watching a lot of videos, just on YouTube. I liked Keenan Milton a lot. And then some Norwegians, like Gustav. I can’t think of them all right now… It’s like when someone asks you your favorite movie. I know a lot of great movies but I don’t know one right now. There’s two at least.”
16. He can’t fuck with medical-grade California weed.
“To be honest, the first time I went to LA I felt so useless. I was getting so high off that weed, it was kicking my ass. I just learned that I didn’t have to smoke that much. I guess everyone in Europe is smoking dirt [laughs]. In The States, it’s not a game! I remember all my social skills kept getting stripped away from me just because I was getting so zooted. Gets you smacked…”