Born in 1997 in Lake Worth, Florida, Alessandro Sorgente (better known as Alex) grew up between his family’s home in the Sunshine State of Florida and his father’s native home of Bologna, Italy. Alex’s cross-continental skills have landed him on the podium of skateboarding’s most globally renowned competitions, from the Mystic Cup, to Vans Park Series, to X Games.
Currently residing in Carlsbad, California, the 22-year-old is part of a group of elite hopefuls supported by USA Skateboarding, as he works to qualify for skateboarding's debut on the world stage now scheduled for 2021.
After spending a day with Alex for our latest episode of Field Day, we hopped on a call with him to catch up and find out what life was like growing up in Florida, being sponsored at age 10, and living in Tony Hawk’s beach house.
We head down to Carlsbad, California, to tag along with skateboarder Alex Sorgente for a day in his life.
Red Bull: You grew up skating in Florida. Can you share with us what growing up there was like?
Alex: Florida’s sick, man. You know, there’s not much going out there and it’s really laid back and kinda slow. Well, not slow, but just really laid back, especially when compared to out here. It’s a totally different vibe. But Florida’s sick, lots of skating growing up, that’s for sure. That’s really all I did. When I was growing up, I just wanted to skate every day as much as I can.
That seems to have worked out for a lot of skaters coming out of Florida. Who are some of your Florida favorites?
Yeah, it was always sick to have Mike Rogers with the Grind for Life organization around. He had these events called the “Grind for Life Series,” and they were all over Florida. I would follow those events ever since I was a kid. And you know, so many skaters entered those comps that are now household names. Evan Smith would skate them back in the day. Joey Rigali, Zion Wright, Jamie Foy… yeah, it’s kinda crazy. Lots of Florida heads coming out of that contest series.
With so many skaters in the field, how did you grab people’s attention? What was your first sponsor?
My first sponsor was 187 Killer Pads. They put me on when I was… probably like 10 years old? Something like that. Vinton Pacetti [owner of 187 Killer Pads] is from Florida so we became cool with him. He had seen me skating and ended up sending me some pads which was sick. And then Grind for Life – again, Mike Rogers, who taught me how to skate at the YMCA in West Palm Beach when I was a little kid, sponsored me. I think the first time I met Mike I was like 6 years old. It just took off from there.
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We know this is a heavy question because there are a lot of solid answers for this, but who was your favorite skater growing up?
You know, there’s a lot. There are so many good skaters out there. My type of skating is: I really like people that go fast and high. People that have great style. I like all types of skating too; I like watching ledge skaters… all types of skaters. But my favorite skaters were definitely people like Christian Hosoi and Pedro Barros. Those are two guys I’ve always looked up to since I was younger.
You have an amazing story and have been sponsored since you were 10 years old. Have you ever had a traditional job?
I actually haven’t had to have a traditional job, which is pretty insane. Yeah, it’s pretty crazy. I’ve been so blessed to be able to have this life.
How has your family reacted to your career? What did your parents think about you skating?
I’m so thankful for my parents. They’ve always had my back. Whatever I wanted to do; they would be there to support me in any way they could. As much as they can. It was super nice to have them and Mike [Rogers] as part of my upbringing in skateboarding. Mike’s family to me too. Anytime Mike would travel somewhere, I would go with him. Sometimes he’d go to an event or something, and I would enter the contest. He was like, my “guardian” for a lot of trips when I was younger. He’s at like every freakin’ event ever [laughs] it was so cool growing up with him.
Do you remember who was the first pro skater you ever met? How did that end up going?
Hmm, first pro skater… you know what? I met Tony Hawk actually when I was like, really young. They came and did a demo back in my hometown. Actually, I don’t remember if it was in Boynton Beach or Fort Lauderdale, but it was somewhere around there. In Southern Florida. I remember I have a photo of me, him, and my dad. That was the first professional I met. I had just started skating though, and I was just super star-struck at the time. I remember I was trippin’ on that.
And now you’re living in Tony Hawk’s home?
Yeah, it’s kinda crazy. He hit us up this morning and was like “Hey, I’m coming over to check on the stove.”
Speaking of home, you’ve got a sweet set-up living with Chris [Russell] and Greyson [Fletcher]. How did that happen?
I mean, we were talking about moving in together for a little while. I was living in LA at the time, Greyson was about to move out if his apartment, and Russell was just moving out of his parent’s house too. It kind of worked out altogether, it was just perfect timing. Then Catherine and Tony [Hawk] said it was all good for us to move into their beach house, which was sick. I just wanted to get out of LA, too. I was kind of over that whole scene. Definitely over the traffic. Now I’m down here livin’ it up!
Can you share who the best pool player in the house is?
Probably Greyson. Actually, Greyson for sure. He smokes us.
Your Independent Raw AMs part was heavy. It was really good. How long were you working on that?
That part was made up of footage from the past… two years or so? Initially, I wanted it to be a part for Plan B, but there were some changes and I decided to put something out so I didn’t hold on to the footage for too long.
There are a lot sick skate videos out there. Do you have an all-time favorite skate video?
My all-time favorite video is probably Pretty Sweet. That video is so good. Speed Freaks is really good too.
You’ve also participated in a lot of competitions. Do you have a favorite that comes to mind?
The Vans Park Series. They definitely got it pretty dialed as far as competitions go. If I had to choose a favorite, it would be Vans Park Series.
Do you have any projects in the works right now?
Yeah, be on the lookout for my Independent Trucks Raw AMs Rough Cut that’s coming out soon!
What are your plans and goals for the rest of the year?
Definitely trying to stay healthy and keep skating. I’m actually filming too, so hopefully go on some more trips and put some parts together. Just going to try to workout at home and skate as much as I can.