Today, we're thrilled to chat with So You Can Longboard Dance Grom champ, Pavel Valkov. At just 18 years old, Pavel is making a name for himself in the longboard scene, with sponsorship deals from Pepper Boards, and yours truly.
In this article, we catch up with Pavel on how he got into longboarding, what his future plans are and more. Lezgo.
FBSC: Hey Pavel. Wanna kick it off by telling us about yourself
PV: My name is Pavel Valkov, I'm 18 years old and I am from Samokov, a small Bulgarian town. Currently I live in the capital, Sofia. I'm a professional Longboarder, artist and content creator.
I study at the national art school in Sofia, majoring in Graphic Design. In 2021, I became World Champion in Groms. Currently, my life revolves around self-improvement as a person, artist and sportsman.
So how long have you been skating? How did you first get into it?
My first time acknowledging the existence of longboarding was when a small event was held at my hometown in 2014. Two years later I managed to persuade my parents into buying me my first longboard ever. I started skating 7 years ago, when I was eleven years old. Initially, I thought I was going to use the board only for going from point A to point B, but later on I saw a girl dancing on her longboard, which amazed me and made me curious to try doing different steps on my longboard. Later in time I started practicing freestyle and dancing to these days.
What’s your setup looking like currently?
My deck is a Pepper Board Katana. This is the deck, which matches my style and way of longboarding to this moment. It is waterproof and shockproof as well, with a nice shape.
My trucks are Paris V3, 180mm 50° (electrolux color) with Orangatang knuckles bushings. I can firmly say they are one of the best on the market due to their quality and the way they feel while I dance on my board.
My wheels are by Fireball Tinder Aquamarine 60mm 81a. I've been using them for almost a year and I think they are wonderful for freestyle and freeride. Moreover, my whole hardware is Fireball Dragon!
What are your thoughts on the wheels?
The Tinder wheels feel delightful while doing long slides on streets with an abrupt slope. They are also perfect for aggressive dancing with rad tricks, due to their high durability, which makes them the best I've skated with.
Great to hear! Tell us about your biggest achievement?
A person has great moments and bad moments in their professional and personal life. I can confidently say that in the past few years my life went upside down and changed in so many ways. It's been quite dynamic from a professional point of view, and personal as well. Maybe my greatest achievement so far has been winning the So You Can Longboard Dance Grom 2020. After this win, many opportunities came at my door and maybe without it, so many wonderful things with the longboarding wouldn't have been possible to happen.
On the flipside, what’s the worst injury you’ve had?
I am happy to say that I haven't got a serious injury from the longboard that could have cost me a lot of time to recover. However, in 2016 I broke my leg while snowboarding and 10 months ago I broke the ligaments on my leg, while doing a front flip on a trampoline.
Damn, that sucks. Glad you're all good now though! What advice would you give to skaters getting into the sport today?
To do it with ultimate pleasure and delight. Do not stress if you don't succeed at doing something from the first try, because great things come from a lot of practice!
What goals do you have for the next few years?
I really hope that for the following year, I will be able to inspire many people and to teach them to this amazing sport called Longboarding! I'll be looking to rank among the first places in the world championship. Outside of skating, I'm looking to complete my studies and graduate with a Graphic Design degree.
Outside of skating, what are you working on right now?
At the moment, my focus is on self-improvement in the marketing and graphic design area.
Any final thoughts to share?
I'm so grateful for the given support in the past year and I'm hopeful that this interview may motivate more people to get on the board!
Check out Pavel on Instagram to stay up to date: @_pavel_valkov_
|Hometown: Samokov, Bulgaria
|Facebook: Pavel Valkov