Mario Realegeno is a skater and artist from Los Angeles.
Mario’s skating came to our attention looking through Matt Rodriguez’s Es La Boom skate roster where his creative style stood out to us.
So as Matt is one of our favourite skaters and told us Mario is one of his, it made us even more curious about him. The more we watched Mario’s skating we found like Matt, he’s a creative force off his board, who also runs his own creative skate brand called Concrete Poetry.
Then we discovered alongside doing sick, unique tricks on a rad selection of spots, he also creates art in various different mediums.
But on top of all that, one of the main things we recognised is that he’s really drawn to seriously high stakes street skating. Whether it’s launching off rooftops, skating big drops or huge banks and Wallrides, he seems to be attracted to spots that are on the gnarlier side.
So we hit him up to join The No Comply Network and we were stoked to find that Mario was down and we had a rad conversation. Then Mario went out and shot a lot of sick photos for this interview, so alongside his words he has a series of unseen bangers we had to share.
Read Mario’s interview to find out how he first got things rolling on his board, his art-focused skate brand, Concrete Poetry,hanging and skating with Matt Rodriguez, his favourite Matt Rodriguez tricks and clips, Es La Boom, skating in LA, his Kickflip and Tre Flip into a massive freeway bridge bank, Rooftop Wallies, his shocking Wallride board transfer, Escalator Hillbomb, his thoughts and persepctives on creativity in skating and behind the scenes stories and shots of some of his most daring tricks, his favourite skate creatives and more.
Read the Mario Realegeno interview below to find out for yourself.
Mario: Shot by @justincrawfordphoto
What’s your full name?
Mario Alexander Realegeno Jr
Where did you grow up and where do you live now?
I grew up in Los Angeles, Jefferson Park and I am still in LA now.
When did you first see skateboarding and think I want to do that?
My family moved to a new neighbourhood when I was a kid in the early 2000’s. That’s where I saw skateboarding first. I remember some kids down the street had this shitty fun box they built with a launch ramp and uneven flat bar they were grinding.
I knew I wanted to skate once I saw myself become addicted to being outside skating alone taking buses downtown to skate at a young age.
Then my friend’s mom bought me the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 game on PS1 and I was hooked even more. I would beat the game to watch every skate part the characters had. I know in the game you can do every trick so I would try and mimic how the board flipped and I would go outside and try it myself. I learned many tricks this way in all honesty. That’s how I knew I wanted to skate. I even covered my room’s wall with every skate magazine page I could find.
Slappy Frontside 50-50 Grind up and Over: @justincrawfordphoto
When did you first get a skateboard and what was it?
I got my first skateboard from Toys”R”Us when I was a little kid. I remember it barely rolled and had sandpaper griptape that rubbed off.
The graphic was some foil holographic alien spaceship, blank trucks and wheels. It was $25 . I remember getting shit from older kids for having that board.
Then one year Christmas my parents took me to Boarders skate shop in Glendale. My first real board was a World Industries set up. Full World complete. I wasn’t able to pick out my setup since it was pricier and my parents didn’t want to spend a lot on something they thought was just a toy. I was stoked either way.
Switch Flip: Shot by @justincrawfordphoto
Where did you first learn to skate?
I first learned to skate solo in my front yard, backyard, the garage on rainy days, also inside my elementary school jumping off tables and benches.
Who was in your crew?
The crew was whoever had a board on my block. That was the childhood crew.
Just local kids in the apartments and houses around the neighbourhood. Later I met my friends Abe and Ty whom I still skate with today.
How did you meet Matt Rodriguez?
I first met Matt Rodriguez at Nick Tershay’s Halloween Hellride event at The Diamond Mine. Probably the first or second one. We’ve kept in touch since.
Matt’s sick, he’s lowkey and likes having a good time.
What’s it like hanging and skating with him?
Skating with Matt is sick. He can set it off anytime and also he stays creating. Any moment it can all go BOOM and the real show begins haha
Just watching him skate with the loosest trucks, making it look effortless and steady makes no sense to me still. He’s figured it out.
The spots he skates in person is like trying to figure out a rubix cube with a blindfold on, especially with those trucks he rides.
Sick. What’s your favourite Matt Rodriguez section?
Manolo’ did this sick Matt Rod Mixtape!
That’s my favourite, just watch that! If you don’t know now you know!
It’s a compilation of some of the best clips of Matt. Also he said it the best about skating at the end. He’s true to his words.
How did you start skating for his brand Es La Boom?
I was going to Sacramento sometimes to skate with Sacto heads. Matt and I kept in touch and he hit me up one day and told me about the vision. I backed it.
Backside Tailslide: @justincrawfordphoto
Okay. Who are your current sponsors?
What is Concrete Poetry?
Concrete Poetry is a small brand I started. Right now we sell hats, shirts, and hardware.
Each design is from either a personal art piece of mine or a collaboration with a local artist who focus on different types of art around the city.
The goal is to give back to skateboarding and the community.
What does the name mean?
To me, the name Concrete Poetry means to do dangerous things with style.
It is you being you being and keeping it 100 with yourself and those around you while accepting that maybe not everything will go your way all the time.
Making your mark while you’re here in life, to really push the art and creative side of skateboarding.
Crooked Grind: @justincrawfordphoto
What’s the ethos of the brand?
Concrete poetry is believing and owning your creativity. Art and skateboarding are forms of expression where you can express yourself and be a true individual.
They’re outlets that have no boundaries for freedom and expression.
Everyone has an artistic element but often is put down by external things we cannot control.
Concrete Poetry is the middle finger to all that oppose. It’s to celebrate everyone’s belief in oneself and potential.
Who skates for Concrete Poetry?
Your bridge Bank Tre was next level, where is that spot and how did that go down and how long did it take?
Thank you, I took three trips for that one. It’s not a spot you want to be at long when you’re at the top. The zone where you pop you can feel the wind push you it’s sketchy also adding the drop on both sides.
That spot is in Downtown LA. It’s under the bridge connecting the city from East LA/Boyle Heights. I had Kickflipped into it after work one afternoon and started thinking about the 360 Flip right after. I planned on going the week after the Kickflip.
That morning I woke up early to run the Tre Flip. I was chilling and I was going through the news and saw Kobe had passed away. It was a gloomy day, not a usual LA morning. Super grey morning all fog. I was bummed.
I still had to go to the spot for the trick because the homie Cain Gallegoz was there ready to film it.
I got to the spot just feeling weird, I climbed to the bank and I was only thinking about Kobe passing. It was kind of crazy. I felt like if I tried it I would fall over. I was already up there so there’s no going back. I tried one and nothing felt right, gave it another try then my board fell over. There’s nothing I could do except watch the river pull it down stream. That wasn’t the day for the trick. I plotted for the following weekend.
That Sunday morning was sunny and calm. I climbed over and started to get to it. A few tries in I remember a motorcycle cop stopped and from the top of the bridge he was yelling down at me on what I was doing. I told him I’m skating into the bank. He just nodded his head and said don’t fall and kept moving. I thought I was getting kicked out. The longer you’re up there the sketchier it becomes.
I flipped the 360 Flip thinking that was the one! I landed primo then I remember I was at the very edge of the bank. It shook me, definitely had my heart pumping plus my board fell over again.
That was two boards in two weeks that I lost in this process . Two weeks later I knew in my heart that when I go back It will be done. That whole week that’s all I could think of. I even scoped the spot after work, kind of like knowing that it will go down playing it over and over in my mind that it was real.
That morning the homies pulled up early in the am. Phillip Castillio piloting the drone and Cain Gallegoz on the HVX from the other side of the bridge. I just climbed over and got to it. Ollied in, rolled in, just feeling it out. I threw a 360 Flip and stuck it, and jumped off. That was the spark next thing I remember is just rolling down the bank. 360 Flip in the bag- Mission Accomplished.
It was definitely a trick for me that I had to overcome mentally and physically mainly because there’s no going back if anything goes wrong from that one.
What draws you to skating on roofs?
Rooftops are just another part of the urban environment. I don’t want to hold back on the way I skate or see the world. Skateboarding is what you make of it and rooftops are just part of the journey. Skate it all! They’re much harder to find, you definitely have to lurk for them.
Not every rooftop is easy to skate on; they’re made from a sort of clay asphalt with fiberglass so you have to really want to get it. I also love being on top of a building. It’s sort of a free feeling. No one ever looks up. City rooftops have more to offer that’s for sure.
Your rooftop Wallie to the side of that huge drop was next level, how’d you find that spot and how long it take?
I came up on that spot taking my mom and sister to buy some fabric at the Fashion District off the 10 freeway on Maple St in downtown LA.
Somehow it found me. I was at a red light and my eyes just glowed when I saw it!
I told my mom to look at that building, I explained to her that I will be back and skate it haha. Took a solid two weeks. Sunday is the day in LA for certain spots involving building rooftops. I got kicked out the first time I started to try it so I had to come back.
I came back with the homie Phillip C. and it worked out, only sketchy thing was the CHP. Every time they exited the highway I had to lay down. Wait for the light to turn green so they can pass.
The following week the whole building got demolished! Like a magic show It disappeared. I was stoked. Came up on that one! Get there while you can.
Roof to Roof Wallie Transfer: Shot by@seutrinh
How did the escalator hillbomb go down?
Filming for Shrimp Daddy‘s Video – he was making the second one of his series. He had some crazy locations and the abandoned mall was one of them.
There’s nothing in there that got my attention but this. I just said fuck it and gave it a go from the middle, then we started to film it from the top.
It was a fun ride, really sketchy because of wires and metal sticking up, and it was like a thin aluminium sheet of metal maybe just enough for your board to fit. You had to be going straight.
I think RedBull made it safe now they added like plys of wood to make it easier. I think that takes away from the spot, but fuck it everyone can tax it if they want. Maybe I should go back and scope it again?
Hillbomb Escalator Ride: Shot by @ryutahironaga
The photo of your Wallride board transfer was dope, is there footage of that and how’d you come up with it?
Thanks again! It came from thinking of how I can push skateboarding in my own way. I just want to skate how I see it in my mind and It was just an idea I wanted to try. I was dwelling on this trick. I just never found the right wall. One day at work dropping some boxes I passed by this wall and knew it was perfect.
I can Wallride down the set but to me I would just be another Wallride. So I gave my idea a try. I had to create it into reality .
There is footage also 100%. It all worked out. I wanted to call that move Abandon Ship.
Wallride Board Transfer: @justincrawfordphoto
What creatives in skateboarding do you look up to?
Just to name a few.
What do you think about The No Comply Network?
I think No Comply is doing great things.
The fact that there’s a wide range of voices from skateboarders, photographers, cinematographers, and artists around the world is the best thing happening in media.
Ollie into Uphill Bank: Shot by @justincrawfordphoto
Is there anybody you would like to give shout outs to?
Shout out to Justin Crawford for being a real G pulling up to spots to shoot these photos with me, thank you.
To everyone who has supported my vision in the way I skate and my art I truly appreciate you. I wouldn’t be here without my friends pointing a camera at me so a salute to you for being 100%. It doesn’t stop until the casket drops.
Thank you to my sponsors for keeping me rolling in the streets. To all my homies who have been with me through the good and bad, Big bless and I love you all. You know who you are. Day one homies know the deal, it’s always love.
Any last words Mario?
Thank you No Comply Network and thank you skateboarding.