BLAST SKATES – Interview with Amanda Pérez and Matt Bromley.

If you haven’t already seen footage of Amanda Pérez skating, you’re seriously missing out.

Moving from Uruguay to Madrid, Spain as a kid, Amanda now resides in the UK and is a member of South London skate company Blast Skates.

Today her collection dropped over on the Blast site. Consisting of a limited edition @creepiestoys keychain made by Amanda herself, sweatshirt and tee’s and a cotton Blast scrunchie. The collection also features her 9.75”, glittery (!!) signature deck, perfectly pressed, shaped and printed in England by @gnosismfg.
You can also check out the mini edit, filmed and edited by @maceysherman, with a rad animation made by @ahhratfarts.

I spoke to Amanda and owner of Blast Skates, Matt Bromley about the production of the new collection, big decks, and what we can expect to see from the team in the near future.

Photo by Rich West

Amanda Pérez.

Congrats on the new signature deck! How long have you been on Blast now? Is being on the team part of the reason behind you making the move from Madrid to London?

Hey Kate! Cheers. I think it’s been about 3 years now. I got my first Blast board when I was living in Madrid in 2016, I didn’t know much about the brand as you would never see the boards in Spain and I just had seen some silly videos of Snelling on Youtube riding the boards and I just really loved smasher and the designs. It just looked like so much fun I couldn’t resist to try one. I think I skated that board for like a year haha. I don’t really snap boards and didn’t want to buy a new one so I skated it for ages.

I wouldn’t say Blast was one of the main reasons I moved to London, even though the brand is UK based being on the other side of the pond wasn’t an issue for @rollersurfer for example! But it was definitely some extra points for London for having Blast.

How much did you work with Matt on the design? The colour is so good, reminds me of swimming pools… is there any link between this and the graphic and your love for shredding bowls?

I was pretty confident of the graphic I wanted, Matt was super helpful and made some twists to the original design and I couldn’t be happier! I’ve always loved pools and every summer we would go from Madrid to Basque Country or Barcelona and try to find some pools to skate. It’s a shame you can’t find that many here in UK. I remember the first time I did a fs slash on a pool coping of a bowl and it was the best sensation ever, just love the sound and the feeling, pure serotonin!

The custom shape is also rad, is there a reason you decided on it? And the size…  I ride bigger boards myself, do you get dogged on for being a small girl with a big deck too?

We changed the shape a couple times as it was initially similar to my design of the Uncut Deck, this was based on a Jeff Kendall deck. After trying to use it regularly just felt a bit too wide and the nose too short. So, we went down to 9.75” and a bigger nose and this was the one!

Yeah, people make jokes all the time about me being so small and riding a “big boy board” or “mosher board” as some friends like to call it. Especially the classic question of: ‘Can you even flip that?’ best part is seeing their faces when I do it ha! It just feels way more comfortable and fun, I started riding a 7.5” probably like most people and you just make a transition at some point in your life if you get into ramps, I just got bored of popsicles.

Amanda Pérez signature board – Blast Skates.

Everyone on Blast stands out for their individual styles including yourself, which skaters do you watch to get inspired to head out and skate?

If I’m 100% honest I don’t really watch skate videos. I’m a weird skater I guess haha but someone I love watching is Shanae Collins (@yeahsheezy), a bunch of the Vans crew that are always skating around London and always killing it and then just skating with friends… there’s always a good crew in Stockwell! I also love watching videos from my friends in Madrid skating the spots we always used to skate.

You look like you have so much fun when you’re skating, what’s it like being the only female on a team with Snelling and everyone? Do you all get to skate together as a crew much?

I’ve always been used to being with guys and I don’t have any problem with it so not much difference to be honest. Snelling might look tough on the outside, but he’s always been super safe with me and fun to skate with. Same with everyone in the team. Unfortunately, we don’t get to skate that much together, last year was supposed to be the year for it but lockdown changed all plans! I do skate with Snelling and Nass every now and then, and Broyd if he’s around but everyone is just a bit all over the place but hopefully this year we can get together a bit more.

When you’re not at Stockwell, where’s your favourite place to skate? Have you got any trips planned for the near future? 

If it’s not Stockwell it’ll probably be somewhere else around south or if I’m lucky somewhere outside London! Anywhere with some ramps and friends and there’s not much you really need. DIY’s are always a good option and a challenge to skate sometimes so always down for the adventure.

Thanks for chatting with me about the board release, what’s next for you and Blast?

Thank you! I can’t ask for much more after this board as it’s already a dream but maybe making a toy with Blast would be rad. BIG UPS BLAST!

Amanda’s signature collection. Blast Skates.

Matt Bromley.

Blast is made up of some gnarly male skaters and you put out decks and merch for Ben Koppl and Jake Snelling last year, when did you decide it was time to give Amanda her own signature collection? Did you work together on the whole design or just the graphic?

Thanks! All the team riders are working on their own signature collection, which come out one after the other in no particular order. We’re releasing each riders collection when they have them shaped up and ready and Amanda’s was next up!

The process is collaborative and evolves from the core idea each rider has for their board graphic and the other items sort of flow from this. It’s super exciting and I can’t wait to see all of the decks side by side to really see how each of the riders personalities came through in graphic & shape form!  Amanda bought forward a few references she was stoked on and we just worked it up from there and I drew up the artwork and the animation at the end of her edit which was animated by Erik Fountain killed it and really brings the graphic to life after you’ve seen it.

Amanda absolutely rips (obviously), what’s your favourite trick to see her throw down?

Really stoked on Amanda’s BS Laybacks, sick how she holds it in slob OH and that wallie photo Raf took when Amanda was on her lunch break, sooo sick!

Lunch time wallie at the Vans store.
Photo: Rafal Wojnowski.

Do you have any specific future plans for Blast Skates? I would love to see a full length vid, can we expect to see anything this year?

A bunch of really exciting, fun and varied collabs and yeah there are plans for a full length video for sure, lock downs and restrictions have really put a pause on all of this as the way the video is planned revolves around trips and adventures together…

Check out Amanda and Blast on instagram, or head over to the site now, grab yourself some Pérez goodness and go find a bowl to shred.

Filmed and edited by @maceysherman
Animation by @ahhratfarts

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