Barcelona is widely regarded as one of the premier street skating destinations in Europe and Madrid also has a strong reputation thanks to the notorious X Battle real street events that once took place in the bustling city, but to date few other cities in Spain have received much exposure within the blading community. However, the Costa del Sol hosts its very own blading paradise in the heart of Andalusia and it goes by the name of Malaga. The birthplace of Pablo Picasso is a street skater’s playground and it has been gaining some attention recently thanks to the impressive online edits of Aritz Ortega.
The resident Razors rider moved from Bilbao to Malaga two years ago and since then he has been shining the spotlight on a city that is brimming with potential. An endless supply of ledges, gaps galore and countless handrails have all felt the wrath of this hungry blader that is determined to leave his mark on the national scene. He has also been setting his sights further afield, filming impressive online edits for his boot sponsor in Barcelona, Germany and Holland, and apparently we can look forward to some fresh footage from Italy very soon courtesy of Json Adriani.
While we wait for Ortega to release what is sure to be another online visual treat, we decided to hit him up with a few questions to find out some basic information about the man from the Basque Country who is determined to solidify his legacy as one of Spain’s all time greatest bladers.
Wheel Scene: I see you are in Italy at the moment. What are you doing there?
Aritz Ortega: Yes, I’m actually in Italy with Felix Caballero and the presidente Json Adriani for the X-Masters Awards in Senigallia, a comp at the beach. It looks awesome. Also, we are trying to film an edit.
Which events have you been to this year?
I have been to Rotterdam Invitational, Winterclash, Laced, NL Contest, FISE and all the comps around Spain. All of them have been awesome. Winterclash is always sick, but I can’t say a favourite one.
What is the Malaga scene like at the moment?
Malaga is one of the sickest places in Spain. You can mix blading with the beach and party 365 days of the year. Also, the scene is awesome. All the people who skate do so with heart, and nowadays there are new kids and we try to keep them in blading.
Do you have a job?
I’m trying to make my own blading school, but nowadays I don’t work.
How did you get into blading and what year was that?
I have been blading since 2003 and my first experience was at the skatepark in my city with my parents. When I tried it was like, “This is all I want.”
Are you filming for any projects at the moment?
Not yet, but I would like start working on a new section after summer.
What interests do you have outside of blading?
Partying and having a good time with friends, movies, music and travelling, but you know all of that comes with blading.
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
I am trying to travel all I can and meet old and new friends.
Are you planning on attending any more skate competitions this year?
Yes, for sure. I want go once again to NYC Invitational and so many other comps.
Apart from Razors, do you have any other sponsors?
Jug, Ground Control and One Love Rolling.
Are you a competitive person?
I’m competitive with myself. I like to focus on getting new tricks or new spots, but it’s always about having fun and feeling it with mates. Sometimes I enjoy the competitions and other times I prefer to be chilling and just have a session with people.
Who would you say has been the biggest influence in blading?
For me, it has been all the friends who started with me in Bilbao and in that time we have had some pros in our city, like Borja Fernandez and Jose Felix Hormaetxe. Those guys were our influences during that time. I think we have and we had real icons on our sport, looking back at people like Feinberg, Latimer and Shima. I think today’s icons are Broskow, Haffey, Aragon and Farmer. There is a new generation of icons coming up, like Nils, Bolino and Montre.
Do you have any other passions apart from blading?
Nowadays I only blade, but I like go out to the mountains, or fishing at the beach with friends. When I was a kid I played soccer ‘til my first inline experience.
Why did you move from Bilbao to Malaga?
Bilbao is one of the sickest cities in Spain. It’s very safe, chilled and it’s not too big. For street skating the spots are awesome but the weather….it’s kind of like London. It rains a lot and it’s so cold, and there are no indoor parks. When it rained we sessioned under bridges with the homeless.
Because of that and because I really needed to move from Bilbao, I asked my friend Uani if I could live with him in Malaga. He said me, “Let’s do it, man.” Almost two years ago I came here and nowadays I’m in love with the people here and the weather. It’s perfect and I don’t have to worry about the rain. Uani made this all possible. Thanks, bud!
I just want to thank everyone who keeps blading, thank my sponsors, my family and my friends. Our sport is a small one, but also one of the biggest ones because we are one family living the same dream. To all the people who are working on blading just because they love it, thanks. Blade for fun and keep growing!
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