Meeting with Mario Marinelli
interview Edoardo Viganò, photo Alberto Della Beffa
Mario, you’re one of the skaters who have created the “El Santo Skateboarding team”. Let’s start with you, what does skateboarding mean to you?
Freedom, happiness, independence and life without rules! I feel all that when I think of skateboarding.
What do you think skateboarding is able to create, from a community perspective?
Skateboarding, while I do think of it as a personal passion, pushes you to seek company and competition. So it’s normal for a skater to look for other skaters. Every skatepark, ramp and street spot gives birth to a new group, a new crew. It’s always been this way, and that won’t change.
As for your success, how have you become a popular brand in this scene?
I think right from beginning you must believe in what you’re doing, then do everything you can, put as much in the game as you can, and sometimes more. Everything is still growing, and having said that I don’t think we can call ourselves popular yet.
Based on your experience so far, what do you think has allowed you to come up?
I think it’s essential to be a skater behind a skateboard brand. El Santo Skateboards comes from skaters for skaters. I think this is the main feature that has helped us down the right path, not to mention all the passion, consistency, dedication and perseverance it took to make this a reality.
So what are the difficulties of founding an independent brand?
The difficulties in the beginning are mainly economic and organizational. When you
start off, at the beginning of everything, things run straight like a train and it looks like everything will work out but there’s always things to deal with ahead. The problems to be overcome arise later. Resourcefulness and perseverance are the only keys to progressing, they’re the only ways to overcome the problems you’ll have moving forward.
When did you realize that you were succeeding?
I couldn’t really tell you, as far as the business goes, we’re still running that race.
Finally, you have attracted new, young talent, how does that feel?
It’s a positive and continuous journey, you’re aware that you’re stirring things up and this is what encourages you to do better.