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Friday, May 4, 2012

Protec Pool Party 2012 Profile: Daniel Cuervo

Daniel Cuervo has the speed, the power and the tricks. Practice before the Pro-tec Pool Party 2012. May 2012.
Protec Pool Party 2012 Profile: Daniel Cuervo

When I interviewed Daniel Cuervo 2 years ago (on January 2010) he was just unpacking from the plane that brought him to California from his natal "Republica Dominicana". We met at the new Venice skatepark and he told me how he first became the National Skateboard Champion of the Dominican Republic before being sent in 2007 to Gromfest in Vancouver Canada where he finished third. Vancouver is the place where he first met Heidi Lemmon, the director of SPAUSA, who has been Daniel’s mentor ever since.

Daniel Cuervo's sketches before the Pro-Tec Pool Party practice. Note the Bible on the right... 
Daniel Cuervo was not really into skateboarding until one of his friends brought him to the only available ramp in Dominican Republic. He was 12 years old at the time and the local champ was Ivan Maroño. He remembers that he “saw him skate and felt compelled to skate.” He though “I want to follow his paths”. After That, he remembers that “Iván just taught me how to skate.

Giueseppe Polanco, owner of Tropical Skate took Daniel under his wing and was his first real sponsor and mentor.

When he arrived in California, he had a dream: becoming a professional skateboarder. The first months were not very easy. He had no sponsors, no money, a soon to expire US visa and he broke his wrist. Bad karma uh?
Daniel Cuervo
After a lot of hours sessioning at the Venice Skatepark, he was picked up by Maui and Sons, who was his first sponsor. Then, he got a job at Woodward west. After that Cheryl and Blake at Maui & Sons helped him get an Athlete’s visa which allows him to stay three years in the US. Finally, he jumped on the team for Xcaliber Trucks, Madrid Skateboards and Jimmy-Z (together with Steve Caballero) and got a Pro status that allowed him to compete at the most important contests, including the next Pro-Tec Pool Party 2012.
With a background in vert (no street) Daniel adapted to the line oriented style of bowl riding. No more back and forth for him, although he plans to drive several days a week from Venice, where he currently lives, to San Diego to be closer to the Mega ramp and the huge bowls of Southern California.
Daniel Cuervo has a deck with Madrid and he is currently designing a new deck that will be out in the following weeks.

Most recently Daniel helped open 2 skateboard programs at orphanages in Mexico and will be going back every 8 weeks to teach. Daniel is a strong believer in giving back and in addition to the orphanages he also volunteers to demo and teach at schools and in the inner city.

Daniel is a tactician. He draws his runs and lines on a sketch before performing them in the pit. He regularly videotapes his runs and studies his flaws. Daniel is amazingly fast and powerful in the Combi. He has a great variation of massive airs and flies so high that only a handful of skaters are on his league.

Because he never won a major contest, he is little known to the skateboarding media, but wait until the Crow from Dominican Republic flies high over the Vans Combi Bowl.

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posted by Xavier Lannes @ Friday, May 04, 2012 


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