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Skateboarding

Skate Tales meets inspirational Birdhouse Skateboards pro Felipe Nunes

Madars Apse rolls into Curitiba, Brazil to hang out with the incredible adaptive pro skateboarder and Thrasher Magazine cover star Felipe Nunes.
Written by Niall Neeson
3 min readPublished on
This episode of Skate Tales is truly amazing, we think you're going to agree.
Now, perhaps you've already heard of Felipe Nunes? He's a professional for Birdhouse Skateboards and has appeared on the cover of skate media leviathan Thrasher Magazine, after all.
Even so, what you may not know about him, however, are not just the details of his life story, but his frankly unbelievable outlook on life, having become a double-amputee before his tenth birthday. Think back to when you were that age.
To be sure, we'll make this point again in later episodes of Skate Tales, too, since it is a leitmotif of what makes the activity of skateboarding so magical, but the unit measurement of skateboarding is heart.
We're in Brazil with Skate Tales this time around to celebrate Felipe Nunes’ skateboarding talent of course – but wait until you learn about his heart.
Let’s go back a bit: Felipe Nunes is a 22-year old skater from Curitiba in Brazil. Aged just six, he lost both legs while playing on train tracks. After five years in a wheelchair, he was given a longboard to get around on. That longboard would become a skateboard – and the rest is history. In a short space of time, he was competing in and winning contests against all-comers within his native Brazil. People began to notice just how talented Nunes really was.
The moment I got a skateboard, it changed my life forever
Felipe Nunes
Aged 18, Nunes felt ready to make it beyond Brazil and started a social media fund to enter Tampa Am. Tony Hawk championed his cause, and Nunes was headed to Florida. Incredibly, he made the semis and finished 21st overall as the only adaptive skater in the contest.
Nunes had the skateboarding world’s attention and soon joined Tony’s brand, Birdhouse Skateboards. In 2019, he scored the cover of Thrasher magazine and did The Loop, second go. Now pro for Birdhouse Skateboards, his career has gone from strength to strength.
And that takes us right to one of the most remarkable things we have ever borne witness to on Skate Tales: notwithstanding Nunes’ unbelievable tenacity in overcoming impossible odds, he explains to Madars Apse that he's actually thankful for his accident in shaping the outcome of his life and where he finds himself today.
My life began after the accident
Felipe Nunes
With an insight borne from a hard life, which affords him a wisdom that belies his relative youth, Nunes explains that as an everyday youngster in urban Brazil, his path looked likely, if not certain, to become sick with the social ills of the neighbourhood in which he was raised.
Instead, despite the most horrendous misfortune as a reckless child and the mountain it left him to climb, he's gone on to the highest echelons of the skateboarding game – an activity second only to football in terms of participation within Brazil.
Nunes is a human being with the effervescence of spirit to see the upside in what must have been as traumatic an experience as anyone could survive, let alone flourish beyond. Skate Tales is all about the skateboarding stories you don’t hear – and this is one which everybody should. As Nunes himself says: 'No excuses!'
Click on the player up top to join Madars as he cruises Curitiba with unbelievable adaptive skateboarder Nunes in this uplifting episode of Skate Tales!
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