Skateboard Park: The legend of Pedro Barros
Pedro Barros is just 20 years old, but he's already reaching legend status at X Games. The Brazilian hasn't finished worse than silver in seven X Games Skateboard Park competitions.
He'll return to Austin in June as the defending gold medalist. He won his first X Games gold in 2010 at age 15. That victory was the first time an X Games rookie had won gold in skateboarding since Ryan Sheckler won Skateboard Park in 2003. Barros has earned gold in five of his seven X Games Park starts and silver in the other two. He's been the number one qualifier in three of his seven Park starts, and he's won gold each time he's qualified in the top spot.
Barros was the top ranked skater on the World Cup Skateboarding overall park rankings four years running, from 2010 to 2013. In 2014, he was ranked third.
So what makes him the best? He's the complete package: appealing style, power, amplitude, and technical tricks. No one goes as big in a bowl as Barros does. While he doesn't dominate every contest, judges consider him to be well above the rest of the field. At X Games Austin 2015, Skateboard Park, which takes place Saturday, June 6, will be his event to lose.
He's an all-around skater, too. Over the years, Barros has competed in three X Games disciplines. In addition to Park, he took fourth in Big Air in 2010 and 18th in Vert in 2011.
Skating isn't his only passion. Barros loves to surf, and he's also a budding businessman. He and his father spearheaded a new brewery, Lay Back Beer, which began brewing in 2013 and produced its first batch for sale in March 2014. It sold out the same day it was on the market.
Barros spends half the year in his hometown of Florianopolis, a coastal resort city several hours south of Sao Paolo, and the remainder traveling to skate and compete.
At home in Brazil, he has a backyard bowl that is open to most local skaters and has held contests. It is the epicenter for skateboarding in the area and includes a bowl, vert ramp, a little street course, bleacher-style seating, and a covered bar. Yes, he serves Lay Back Beer there.
Lay Back Beer has taken off and is now selling to 450 locations in Brazil. They are currently negotiating to export it (first to California) by the end of the year. Barros' father, Andre, is the vice president of marketing for the company, and Lay Back has even begun sponsoring athletes. The Lay Back team was started "as a family," Barros says. Skaters on the team include Greyson Fletcher, Chris Russell, Josh Borden, and Omar Hassan, among others, and there are surfers on the squad, too.
"We are all very good friends and the vibe is very intense," Barros says.