portrait

Victor Galicia is the kind of individual who always defies expectations. Just when you think you understand the kind of skater he is, what he is capable of or the obstacles he prefers to ride, he comes out with a part full of surprises. The only thing his recent sections in The Xsjado Video, F33t and Haitian Magazine’s The Lost Tapes have in common is that he pursues the unconventional at every possible opportunity. Galicia has a clever way of easily linking three or four obstacles to compile a combination of tricks that just don’t make sense at first glance, hopping from each surface with the agility of an erratic cat. His unusual, and often intricate, conjuring is reminiscent of Chris Farmer at times, but his style is undeniably his own. It’s a form of organised chaos that never threatens to get predictable despite several video sections and various online edits in recent years. His position on the infamously progressive Xsjado team makes perfect sense and relentlessly high quality video performances suggest that he is worthy of a place on the professional team alongside Chris Farmer, Ben Schwab and Dustin Werbeski if he can maintain this momentum that he has created.

To say that conducting an interview with Victor Galicia was a challenging process would be an incredible understatement. Initially, the plan was to speak with the California native shortly before the release of Lonnie Gallegos’ latest offering F33t. Jonathan Labez agreed to accompany the crew on various filming missions to get photos for the feature and, from the first few updates he sent, everything appeared to be going to plan. Then things went quiet. We lost contact with the photographer and his attention was diverted by other commitments, so we assumed the feature was simply dead in the water. This is not the first time something like this has happened, so we decided just to let it go and not pester him for photos. Fast forward to April of this year and, out of the blue, Labez emailed over the complete set of stunning photos, along with an explanation for taking so long. I naively assumed we had overcome the largest hurdle and the interview would finally be able to go ahead, but I was wrong.

Even though the visuals had finally arrived to accompany the interview, there was still no interview and no way of getting in touch with Galicia. Until recently, he didn’t use any social media, so that ruled out Facebook and Twitter, and apparently he never goes near a computer for an extended period of time, thus killing any hopes of getting him on Skype or FaceTime. Fortunately, Jonathan Labez came through for us again a month later when he bumped into Galicia on the street and got his email address. All it would take is a few email exchanges and the feature would be wrapped up, or so we thought.

When we initially contacted the Santa Ana resident, he was warm and responsive, even if his answers were often incredibly vague stoner ramblings that simply prompted further queries. After answering two sets of questions, Victor ignored the third and simply sent an email saying, “I think that’s all I have for you.” This left many unanswered questions regarding his friendship with Lonnie Gallegos, the reason why Brandon Negrete abruptly stopped working on The Xsjado Video, what exactly he means by the term “prison workouts” and various interesting rumours I had heard about him. Basically, it felt like I had barely scratched the surface of Galicia’s personality when he decided he called time on the whole thing. I tried to persuade him with a couple of emails, but he simply responded: “I have an interview in the Haitian Magazine issue Earth. You can find a little more about myself in there.” It was almost laughable that Galicia expected us to construct an interview based on what he has said in another publication’s article…that is, if it wasn’t so frustrating.

This bizarre response cemented the fact that Galicia had essentially given up on the interview, so we approached Jonathan Labez once again, thinking that he would be able to tell us more about the skater after spending time with him while filming for F33t, but he struggled to provide more insight. He simply agreed that Galicia was an obscure guy and that all he really knew about him was he eats avocados like apples, smokes a lot of weed, learned how to play Rob Guerrero’s wooden flute proficiently in a day and once sold the photographer his skates so he could afford to get home. We also approached Lonnie Gallegos, but he simply said: “I haven’t spoken to him in a while.”

In total, this interview took over a year of emails and phone calls, and we still know little more about Galicia than we did before the drawn out process began. All we know for certain is that the guy is as obscure as the tricks he performs on skates. Then again, sometimes the story behind an interview is more interesting than the interview itself. We will leave you with the Q&A below and let you decide.

Stub X-grind 360 out

Stub X-grind 360 out

Wheel Scene: You are not an easy man to get hold of. You don’t seem to use any social networking accounts and you have admitted you don’t use Skype or FaceTime. Is this a conscious decision? How do people get hold of you?!
Victor Galicia: I’m not that interested in the whole social media/networking thing. but I do have an Instagram account now. People usually text me or call me whenever they want to get a hold of me.

The past few years have seen you make quite a name for yourself. You have been in F33t, The Lost Tapes, The Xsjado Video and released quite a few online edits. What’s next?
Life continues with all of its magic. And if anyone is working on a video, hit me up…or not.

You seem to be a skater that divides opinion. Some people love the fact you come up with weird and unusual ways to approach obstacles and others criticise you for not always rolling away from tricks or landing “clean”. Do you read the comments under your videos?
I sometimes read the comments: It’s a little entertaining. Some are sweet, some are way off and some are just poop. Thank you to those that enjoy what I do on the blades and I can care less if people dislike my landings, sorry. I like to think I am in a dream where the nightmare isn’t too intense nor the big dream.

I am guessing you are based in LA, right? Do you live at home or with friends?
LA is about 45 minutes away from where I live. I miss living with friends in LA. I live at home in Santa Ana.

What was it like spending time with the Haitian guys? They seemed like quite a rowdy bunch. Any interesting stories you care to share?
I cherish the time I spent with those guys, magic for sure, celebrating every single day. Every single individual there…unique, in whatever way it was. I haven’t experienced that again.

What other interests do you have besides blading?
All of the arts interest me, but since I’m not a grounded individual it’s hard to stick.

Would you describe yourself as a spiritual person? Do you have any specific beliefs?
Um, nah. I like reading about all that stuff and I try to understand and learn, but no. I can tell you I am more into the whole spiritual side of things than the material. Us humans are full of emotion and thought. Just knowing about life and death, and not being afraid of death is the most spiritual I can get.

I understand you are quite health-conscious and take good care of yourself. What things do you do to keep yourself fit and healthy?
I like balance. You obviously know when you feel good and when you feel bad – the duality. I like eating pretty much all the organic colours of the rainbow the most. Stretching and yoga is key. I also like doing prison workouts.

I have been told that you and Ben Schwab hang out quite a lot. What do you two like to get up to when you are not blading?
It’s been a while since the last time I hung out with Ben. Filming for F33t was pretty much the last time I hung out with him. I hope you’re well, buddy.

You have filmed various projects with Brandon Negrete. What effect did his passing have on you?
Brandon is my friend forever. He made me feel special even though we knew each other for a short period of time. No day passes without the image of him, his laughter and his voice in my head.

Is there anything that you have taken from spending time with him that you apply to your own life?
I’ll share a little story. After he was over the whole filming and editing situation for The Xsjado Video, he got a little bit of money for his work and out of the blue he comes up to me and he says, “What up, homie? Here you go, you deserve this.” He hands me a little bit of his money that Xsjado gave to him for his filming. Brandon’s amazing and I miss him. Forever in my heart, homie!

Photos: Jonathan Labez

Gap to ledge roll

Gap to ledge roll

Makio to alley-oop fishbrain

Makio to alley-oop fishbrain

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