I had known of Riso before I even got to know him. He lives in the same house in which my grandma lived.
I would meet children in the hallways as they did battle with self- made skate obstacles and riding them in the yard between the housing blocks; one of whom was Richard. It was obviously a good schooling, albeit a somewhat rough one. Later I saw Riso at the new Kosice skate park- such a small, quiet boy. As he wasn’t yet 18, he had to wear a helmet. Imagine a big helmet, small body, almost no words, but perfect technical skateboarding. That was Riso a few years ago; today the helmet is gone and he is back in the streets.
Hi Riso, let’s go right back: where did the game all start for you?
I was six when I got my first skateboard; it was the classic supermarket board for little children, so not a normal one. At first I skateboarded with my friends from the block on a basketball court near our block of flats, where we built improvised bits and pieces. About half a year later I got a real skateboard, and when I was maybe six they built a skate park in our neighbourhood.
Who were your crew? Who were the big local stars back then?
The guys from CSU- Cassovia Skateboard Unity: Roman Lisivka, ‘Dirty’ Dano Kolinosvky… Brano Kolinovsky, Drewo, Miloslav Saly and I would say Guma, too.
I get the impression that in 2013 everything I heard about you was another contest victory. Do you remember any comps where you didn’t win anything?
Of course! There were a few, let’s see- at the Mystic World Cup in Prague I came in 13th… a week afterward in Beroun at that competition organised by Tomas (Vintr) I got 4th, and also at the Paris Far N High event I limped in at 22nd. Can’t complain though. The best result was 2nd in the best trick at Amsterdamn Am!
Are contests just part of the ‘come up’ grind, or do you like them?
Well… I am rather ambitious, so ... I guess I like to compete (laughs)!
With the economic crisis it seems like the skateboard business in Slovakia has completely died off, how is your situation now?
Yes, the Slovak sponsors gradually stopped functioning, and there is almost no skate distribution in Slovakia now. The Czech Streetmarket shop thankfully hooked me up and subsequently I managed to get onto the Czech/ Slovak Vans team, which I owe mainly to Tomas Vintr.
You've travelled a lot of the skateboarding world, where is the best street terrain?
The best street is definitely in the USA. Tomas (Vintr) and Vans took me to US…to LA, and it was great. It’s awesome when all the spots, all the walls and banks are perfect concrete. It was cool, too, that Tomas lives part of the year in L.A., so he knows it well and he could take us to excellent spots.
You live in eastern Slovakia, you are 20, enrolled in a weird college studying security management, where does it go from here?
So: I’ve deliberately chosen an easier school (smiles) so I could do a lot of skateboarding and travelling around. The plans are clear – to get onto some European team. But, it’s going to be hard- to achieve that requires lot of hard work, I know.