After including Leo Heinert in our 10 Skateboarders Shredding NYC Right Now post we decided to do a little interview. Find out what Leo had to say about Staten Island, TORRO! Skateboards, his top 5 skate parts and what a typical day in the life is like. Read the full interview below.
NYSB: Is Leo your full name or is it short for something?
LH: Leo is short for Leonardo!
NYSB: Can you remember your first time on a board?
LH: I was like 9 years old! I was chilling with my cousin waiting for the new power rangers series to premier haha! And once it premiered, I wasn’t into it anymore so we went outside and started skating. I had a snoopy board that my dad found in the garbage in Brooklyn, and my cousin Nicky had a Pokémon board. I convinced him to trade boards because his looked more legit, then real shortly after I went to riverside for the first time!
NYSB: Where did you grow up and where are you living now?
LH: I grew up in sunset park/borough park, Brooklyn, but then when I was 11 my mom decided to move to Staten Island! So I’ve been half my life in Brooklyn, and half in Shaolin!
NYSB: You’re living in Staten Island, anything happening skate-related out there these days?
LH: There’s a lot of spots in Staten Island, and right now we are waiting on the faber park skatepark. There’s CD skate shop right by my house, and I try to go to 5050 skatepark right by the ferry when I can! Not much is going event wise, but I want to try to help Staten set up some events to bring people out here! But there’s the big world cup contest at 5050 in august!
NYSB: What’s your favorite Staten Island spot?
LH: I’d have to say my favorite spot in Staten Island is Tysens, although I rarely go there. When I do, its really fun! But everywhere by the ferry is really fun too! That’s my favorite area in Staten Island!
NYSB: Who got you sponsored these days?
LH: I am sponsored by Torro, After Midnight NYC, DC (flow), CD skate shop, Savage Urethane, Rockstar Bearings, and Trophy Grip! As far as who got me started with all this, Jay Margolis at balance skate shop in bay ridge hooked me up first when I was really little and still in Brooklyn, then when I moved to Staten Island, Carolyn helped me out so much and started me off with eS back in the day with a shop flow program with Joe Braegan and Vanessa! They started me off! Then with Harley and Substance. Then Rob Campbell and Akira with New Breed and After Midnight! But things progressed and things shifted around! I’m super psyched and thankful for everyone that has helped me out!
NYSB: How did you get on TORRO! Skateboards?
LH: Well I was always skating with Rodney and he mentioned to me that he wanted to start the brand! I told him immediately I was down! But I felt like it wasn’t concrete until I did that 16 stair noseslide on new years day straight from the new years party haha!
NYSB: The TORRO! video part you dropped was crazy, what trick took the longest to get?
LH: Thanks!! I think that 16 stair noseslide in the beginning was the most time consuming haha, we went back twice! So we can get the clip and the photo legitimately. The first time was new years day, and we went straight after the party basically. We went out of the blue and nothing planned, so Eby came with us and we got the clip but from a weird angle, so we went back the next Saturday! Haha I kept falling in the garbage can, I had a scar with the mesh from the can engraved on my chest for like 4 months after!
NYSB: Any tricks you wanted to get but didn’t make the cut?
LH: Well I wanted to 900 something. Just kidding haha, At Columbus park in Chinatown, the red ledge I did full cab back lip into. I actually did one that I landed regular and 180d out to fakie. It felt and looked sick to me and DJ haha but then I got the one that’s in the part. As far as a trick that I didn’t land, there’s a couple, but the main one would probably be back 3 lip into Bronx courthouse!
NYSB: What would you consider your top 5 skate parts of all time?
LH: This is a very difficult question! In no order particularly:
1. Any Bastien Salabanzi part
2. PJ Ladd in Wonderful Horrible Life
3. Daewon Song in skate more (any part of his)
4. Brandon Westgate in the new shoe part 2011
5. Mark Appleyard in Sorry (First video I ever saw)
Bonus 6. Emmanuel Guzman in any part because he is OD
there are so many more that I cant remember right now!
NYSB: What’s a typical day in the life of Leo Heinert?
LH: Honestly there is no typical day in my life haha. Everyday has been and is different! My day usually consists of me trying to catch the ferry on time but I usually miss it haha! Then I go skate if it’s not raining/snowing or if I don’t have an acting gig or money making activity for the day! Eat Dollar pizza; go to blades in soho or UWS and act like a mannequin to scare people. Probably get a text from someone about a festivity in the evening and flip this lucky Panamanian coin I acquired to decide whether I am going or not. Recently I have also been trying to attend at least 1 real estate class a day. I’m almost done with that schooling so that I can get started with a real estate career! My life is super random yet organized! It keeps everything interesting and makes everything an adventure!
NYSB: What’s in store for the rest of 2014?
LH: I am going to continue filming, skating and being productive, hopefully put out another part this year and keep getting coverage. Also, getting my real estate license to start that, I’ve had an interest real estate for a while! I’m trying to rent the whole house out to a family or someone that is financially stable, that way I won’t have too much stress being a landlord. Basically for the rest of the year and life, I want to continue having a good time and making money! Also hopefully I get to travel more! I think I smell Cuba!
NYSB: Any plugs/shout outs?
LH: Shout outs to my parents, my mom trying to get on her feet to come back out to NYC, my dad on his journey to South America by land. Shout outs to all my friends and people that have helped me out and will continue to help me out!! Carolyn, Jay, Rodney, Rob, Akira, Jeff Pang, Adrian, Wade, Jessica, Rick, DJ, Joesph, Dennis, Ryan Zimmerman, GNM, Eman, Andre, Cmart, Marino, Luis, Nate, OG Owls head crew, my amigas, my staten island friends, my homies in Ecuador, Kessler (RIP), and everyone that I forgot to mention! Keep up the good energy!
Interview by Rick Sulz
Photos by Rodney Torres
Sequence by Ryan Zimmerman