The cheetah is not only the fastest land animal in the world, it is also the name of a Barcelona native that is steadily making a name for himself in the European blading scene.
What do you know about the Spanish blader known as Tony Cheetah? Well, to be honest, our knowledge is slim to say the least. We know that he was briefly sponsored by the now defunct boot brand Nimh and is now riding for Valo. We are also aware that, over the past couple of years, he has produced some frustratingly short edits that show a lot of promise. The Barcelona native has been flickering on our radar for a while now, so we decided to find out a bit more and discover what the story is behind that nickname.
Wheel Scene: Many people know you as Tony Cheetah but what is your real name? Where did the name Tony Cheetah come from?
Tony Cheetah: My name is Juan Antonio Alvarez and I got the nickname ”Cheetah” about nine years ago because of some OG bladers I used to blade with in my hometown. It’s a long story and it makes no sense at all. My name is Tony, that’s all. I hate nicknames but everyone calls me Cheetah and I can’t change it. Anyway, like a good friend said, it could have been Tony The Elephant! Haha!
When did you start blading and how did you get into it?
I have been skating most of my life. When I was six or seven years old, I started to blade with my dad and my little brother. When I was like 13 or 14, I started to skate street because we never had a good park, so I spent years jumping stairs and doing grabs and airs and frontsides ‘til the first day I bought a blade video and realised all the stuff that could be done with skates – that video was Thrash by Jan Welch. Five years ago, I met two friends that were the biggest influence I had on my skating and I started to skate the streets to create something of my own, to see new places, go on tour see every corner of my city and more awesome things. I also started to save money to get a camera and a decent computer.
Who are your current sponsors?
Jon Julio gives me Valo skates – the only thing I need. I am also sponsored by Inercia Skateshop and I support Josue Diaz from Psyko Clothing.
Do you have a job or are you studying at the moment?
I work at Inercia Skateshop and do some other freelance stuff. I am also studying communication.
What do you like to do when you are not blading?
Music in all aspects – playing, collecting, composing – I spend all my money in it. I appreciate the arts, like painting, cinema and drawing with my lovely girlfriend.
What are the best and worst aspects of living in Barcelona?
Best: Home, spots everywhere, good weather, friends, Balas Perdidas.
Worst: Hard to find new shit, Barcelona cops, stupid laws against skating. Spain is the worst. There are no jobs, political corruption, streets full of dumb people and their only goal in their life is to consume football. Plus, the Spanish blading scene is really close minded and full of park rats.
Are you filming for any sections at the moment?
Probably, I don’t know. I try to get clips every day and who knows what it will become.
If you only had to listen to five albums for the rest of your life, what would they be?
Brian Eno - Another Green World
Stiv Bators - Disconnected
Peter Murphy – Deep
Bauhaus – BBC Sessions
David Bowie – Aladdin Sane
Kind grind up by Kiku Comino
Roll to makio by Chris Dafick
Backslide up and down by IMPRO
Gap transfer to bank by Kiku Comino
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