Interview : Tiziano Ferrari (Italy)
By Close Yr E's
And not only is he a confirmed freestyle slalom skater (#7 at the March '09 WSSA World Ranking), but he is also quite good at speed slalom: in winning the European Battle Championship in the Speed Slalom Category in Moscow (March '09) he reaches place #1 in the World Ranking!
Name: Tiziano Ferrari
Birth date: 04/12/1989
Occupation: Bank employee
A personal definition of freestyle skating? What is it for you?
Freestyle skating is..quite everything for me. And I can say it is a part of my life, of my lifestyle: it isn't only a sport, but a real method to show what I have inside of me.
Genesis: How long have you been practising skating?
...Freestyle slalom skating?
I started skating when I was 8 years old, then I did hockey, some street skating, some race skating, and finally freestyle skating in 2003.
How were you introduced to freestyle?
I remember it was a Saturday night, and my mum asked me: "What about going skating tonight?" And I said: "Cool!" .....after that I bought my first skates! (but I can't tell you the brand (laugth).
My mum also tried to bring me to some artistic skating lessons, but this is definitely not for me, don't worry :-)
My coach at that time, Piero, started to do some contests, like Lausanne, Rollercup, etc. He taught me mabrouk, wiper, and other basic tricks and I did my first contest in 2003 in Savona, near Genova, where I won my first title in freestyle slalom =). After that competition I didn't win anything until 2004.
Influences: Who did/do you train with?
I started freestyle skating with some Italian guys, but I was the youngest in the group and nobody helped me during the first year. Then my coach helped me a lot in 2004.
That same year I had the opportunity for the first time to see the top skaters of the moment (Seba, Olivier...) and to see what the best skaters could do helped me improve my skating, and of course my personal style.
Did the media played a role in your training?
Sure, the Internet had a very good role for me: I learnt tricks, combos, and I remember I saw Asian skaters too.
But skating with other people, that's the best thing I think: then you can have fun and improve yourself too.
Evolution: A short chronology of the key-moments?
My key-moments were:
- the Rollercup where I took the 4th place after French skaters, and I was the first Italian;
- next Lausanne, where I saw other kinds of top skating and I learnt so much.
- The 2005 and 2006 Rollercups when I won everything in Italy. I was the best Italian skater at the moment in freestyle slalom...
- But one of the best moments for me was Bordeaux 2007, an International contest, and there I won against the best European skaters... So now Italian people know they can be good in this type of competition too!
- Of course I had very good moments in 2008, like in Paris for the PSWC, when I was 3rd: it was a real honour!! By the way PSWC for me was the best 2008 contest... I enjoyed that competition! And also I met too many skaters =D
- Battle UK III was very good too.
- But the best experience was Singapore, for the 2008 WSSA World Slalom Championship. There I met all my idols: Asian skaters! I didn't get a good ranking, but I had a very good time and I thank everybody who was there for this!
- Not forgetting Mönchengladbach for the 2009 Rollerdays.
One special thanks is for Powerslide brand: they gave me feedback for everything and they helped me a lot... and now I have very good skates, a good team, and people know me better than when I was only an independent skater on his own. So this sponsoring was for me the best thing I ever had.
I was sponsored by Roxa too, in 2006. And I also want to thank Gianluca, who owns the Freemove shop and he gives me skates, wheels, bearings, clothes, everything! :-)
Competitions and trainings: Things you are proud to have accomplished in skating?
The most important thing for me is having fun! But remember that if you're skating in a main competition, then rankings and titles are very important... Better than titles or rankings, you should always say: "I did my best" so you can handle everything with fun!
You're taking part in both individual and battle competitions. What do you get out of these two different formats?
I can't tell you which is my favourite competition, but I love both!
In individual competition you can express yourself, you have your music, your tricks and your choreography, but you must be careful not to do penalties, and you should remember your run :-)
In battle competitions you can do almost everything, like in training, so (for me) I'm not nervous, I'm relaxed, but you must skate to many kinds of music, and for example some skaters need a good sound to skate well (Xuan Le, me, etc.) but I really love the friendly battle atmosphere.
You've recently peaked up in speed slalom too!
And in winning the European Championship in Moscow (March '09), you reached place #1 at the WSSA World Ranking, a victory renewed and confirmed at the PSWC in Paris (May '09).
How do you feel about that?
I love doing speed slalom also, and I'm working to improve my times.
I worked so hard in 2007 when I was last at the Italian ranking in speed slalom, and now I'm 5th at the WSSA World ranking.
Yes, now I'm at the top and I'm too happy to describe it: for me it's a great result!
The most difficult thing is to stay at the top: there are a lot of fast skaters who can kick me out. I just hope to do my best during the rest of the season and of course I need some luck!
Do you get any opportunities thanks to skating?
Travelling! I've been travelling around the world for all the 2008 year :-)
I have to thank Powerslide, Team Italia, my mum, and many skaters who invited me to competitions! And travelling was a good opportunity to try many strange foods (Singapore).
And I hope I'll improve my popularity in Europe and in Asia too, like Igor, Rudy, KSJ, and many others =)
What about your slalom sessions now? What does your typical slalom-session looks like?
Now I'm practising quite hard on Asian style, on wheeling fakes, and spins... Music is the main point: first of all to make a run, I choose the music, maybe a good music like jazz, or a soundtrack... anyway, people should say: "I know this music!" then I listen to it, and I can imagine tricks..combos..stops. But don't copy it, it's my method ^^ *joke*
When you're skating for battles, people are very important, so I usually skate with good skaters to improve myself; but then when you're making a run, you should be alone, with your music ^^
Slalom tastes: What aspects do you like best in slalom?
All these aspects like that feeling of freedom, the body expression, or the technical challenge, but it depends from the challenge ;-)
Maybe not so much the underground spirit, but it doesn't matter..the best aspect for me is the style challenge =)
What are you favourite kinds of tricks?
My favourite kinds of tricks are sevens, and fakes on wheeling, but I need to improve my technique to get better tricks, maybe in 2009....
What are your aims for the 2009 season?
My next step in this season is doing toe wheeling to toe wiper to back wheeling, and the other one is to try something like a new wheeling record... but I can't tell you about this yet! =) it's a surprise!
And my aims for 2009 are 2:
- The first is: beating at least one of the best slalom skaters! (Did it at the PSWC 09 but with a lot of luck!)
- The second is: having a great dinner like in Singapore, with everybody!
Besides... Do you practice other skating sports?
Apart from Speed slalom, I often do some races, on Tuesday and Thursday, and I love hockey^^
Do you have other passions?
My passions are motors and my car, I love it! And motorbikes too, but....( I must say it if I don't want to die =P) I love my girlfriend Alice... ok now you know everything about me... is the interview finished?
More to say ? Special thanks... ?
Thank you for this interview; thanks to all the skaters who helped me and taught me; thanks to all the Italian team members, Davide, Barbara, Luca, Savio, Andrea, Sara, Chiara, Enrico S., Enrico P., Piero, Andrea P. and organisators, for every good moment I had with them, and I hope to have many other good experiences and sorry for my english!
May.09: Break on Stage 2009
Fev.09 Mönchengladbach (ger) Rollerdays 2009 Battle Consolation Final
Dec.08 WSSA World Slalom Championship in Singapore Individual Run
Dec.08 WSSA World Slalom Championship in Singapore Battle
PSWC 2008 final
WSSA World Ranking
Photos: all rights reserved