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[dropcap]M[/dropcap]adars Apse is a professional skateboarder from Latvia. He started skateboarding in his teenage years. Since that time Madars has proved himself in many national and international contests. And currently he is one of only few Red Bull sponsored Latvian athletes.
How things changes when you become professional skateboarder? And how it is possible for a guy from city of 40 000 people? Continue reading and you will find it out!
– Please, Tell Us a Little Bit About Yourself!
My name is Madars and I am a skateboarder since 2001.
– Where Are You Right Now?
I’m in Riga (Latvia) and it’s summer time, love it!
– When and Why Did You Start Skateboarding?
I’m skateboarding since 2001. I tried all other sports before and skateboarding I liked the most, it’s fun.
– How Soon Did You Understand, That That’s the Thing for You?
Not exactly sure. It was over a long period of time. But I guess it was in 2008 – once Element skateboards offered to pay me for doing it.
– What Has Changed Since You Are a Professional Skateboarder?
Nothing much has changed since I’m professional skateboarder. Just my name is on the board. Pay check is a bit bigger. And PRO contests are accessible now. I’m not a contest skater though.
Now I’m also starring in commercials and movies for my sponsors – DC, Element, Red Bull, Perus and others. Usually these are 3-5 minute long videos, sometimes only once a year. Quality over Quantity! People should know you. Because if they know you, they want to buy the products you are promoting.
– Where There Any Really Hard Moments, When You Thought About Quitting Skateboarding?
Nope, never, skate till I die.
– I know You Like to Travel. Where Have You Been So Far? Favorites? Best Cities for Skateboarders?
Best cities for skateboarding are Barcelona and Los Angeles. It’s actually impossible to classify into the best and worst. I think everywhere where the populations goes above 100K, there will be skate-spots! But in general every city in Spain and every city in China.
– How Traveling Has Changed Your World View?
It has changed it a lot. Not sure exactly how, but I believe now I am more open minded to some things. As I have seen so many different things and met a lot of people from many cultures. And everywhere people live different lives, they believe in different things.
You know, somewhere people would just not understand how can people live in a certain way, but if You have seen other people do it, it’s easier to relate to. There are interesting people out there with interesting beliefs. And believing is what actually does the job I think. You have to believe in what you do and it will be realistic.
– Your Piece of Advice to All of Us in Doubts.
(You know how we Latvians often say – we are from a small country, we can’t do this and that,…)
If you really love what you are doing – keep working on it. You need to work hard first, to improve yourself, to become good at what you are doing. And then you can look for help from others. Then you can search for supporters, sponsors and so on.
My mom and dad helped me a lot. They taught me how to write a pitch, how to represent myself in the best way. And that’s what I was doing. I was writing to companies, asking for support. I was writing to city council. The more you will ask, the more you will achieve.
From the other side – if you are asking for something, you must give something back as well. So not only you are satisfied with the result, but also the supporter.
If you will say, I can’t do it, then you will not even try it. But if you will not try, then you will not achieve anything. You must be confident about what you are doing. At the beginning you may need to push yourself to feel confident. But you must do it.
Latvia is the most beautiful country in the world. With the best nature and changing seasons. I would not change it for any other country. Politics is a different story, but You know, it’s getting better and people work for a better society. I have seen that. So let’s work together!
Follow Madars’s adventures on Facebook.
Pictures used in the article are from Madars Facebook page.