We recently had a chat with our sister Marisa after becoming a proud new member of the Volante Wheels family. Read on for more details on her switch and recap of last season.
Hey Marisa, how are you?
I’m good! Extremely happy to be here in San Francisco right now.
What’s happening there?
Lots happening. Volante Wheels flew me out here to shoot some photos and possibly a video, as a “welcome to the team” type thing. Staying at Big Dave’s house in the Sunset District for about a month. Too good.
Who is Big Dave?
Big Dave is the man. Team manager of Caliber Trucks and pretty much runs the crew here, Sunset Sliders.
Last time we spoke you were preparing for the new year, how did it start?
I got to spend some chill time with my family in Peru, stayed there for about 2 months just hanging with family and friends. Rested my worn out knee from so many falls during the race season. I got started again in King of Kona in Jacksonville, Florida. This event was put on by Shawn Tseng and Cameron Frazier. It was originally supposed to be King of Clermont, but that got shut down.
It was a sick event at the oldest skate park in the States, turned out to be really fun. Then I went to Puerto Rico for 2 weeks for some crazy racing and partying. That was epic. Such great times had with everyone who went, and lots of people did this year. It was lovely to spend time relaxing with family, but excited to be back in action.
What was it like to be back where it all started for you?
Going back to Miami after more than a year was pretty weird. I definitely feel like I’ve changed a bit as a person, I’ve grown and I think I have a wider perspective on everything now that I’ve travelled to so many places. It’s crazy how experiences can change you so much. When I left Miami, I wasn’t a very happy person and I think I was mostly negative about things. Going back now, I realize that any situation you put yourself in, you are the one who makes the vibe. If you make the best of it, it will be the best and you’ll have fun if you want to. It’s all about what’s going on within you.
How different is Miami now?
It was definitely a lot more fun than I remember. I also got to stay with friends and got to experience their lifestyle. Getting to know them on a deeper level was very interesting. Gave me a deeper understanding. I love my friends!
What helps you focus on the positives?
Just by being positive from your interior. If you’re a happy person, it really gives off positivity and everyone around you tends to give it right back. Like a cycle.
Have you ever been at an event like Kona?
Never. I haven’t really skated park much, but Kona was awesome! Snake run and J Bowl were my faves. Totally longboardable.
How was PR?
PR was absolutely mental. The racing and the partying equally. Guajataka was cram packed with crazy drunk people and they wouldn’t get off the friggin road! It got way out of hand in the afternoon, they had to cancel the rest of the day’s racing due to an accident involving a spectator getting trampled in one of the open heats. It was really tragic. The next race was much better. Ponce is a fast, rough hill on the south coast of the island. I placed first in that one! Guama was the last race of the series and it was also really great. I placed 3rd in that one. Partying afterwards was really fun, lots of salsa dancing and drinking of Gasolina, this alcoholic beverage in a CapriSun pouch haha.
I know the gasolina song, I thought it was about fossil fuels.
A mi me gusta la gasolina, dame mas gasoliiinnaaaaa hahaha. I thought so too, but someone confirmed to us that the song came out way before the drink did, so it’s not about that.
What did you most enjoy about skating there?
Mostly the views. The beach at the end of every run was pretty much the best part. I love beaching it.
Where did skating take you after PR?
After PR, I went back to Miami for my best friend’s wedding, which was a sick party. I got to see lots of old friends and catch up. So stoked that everyone was really supportive of me and the skating thing. Apparently they had been following me and my travels all through the year. So thankful for their positive vibes!
Is your knee back to its good old self?
It’s definitely better than before, I’m sure if I fall on it again though, it won’t be pretty, but I’m having work done to my leather suit and getting more padding and protection in the knees. Prepared for more falls!
I thought you’d be getting new skin this year!
I was thinking about it, but my suit is pretty good just as it is. Only really need work done on the knee area and some logo replacements. Plus, saving the $ for traveling didn’t seem like a bad idea to me.
What logos will you be replacing?
Taking off Abec 11 and Skatera, putting in Predator Helmets and Volante Wheels! So excited to have these two! Such great people involved!
How long were you with Abec 11?
I’d been riding for Abec 11 and Skatera for 2 years. Since the beginning of my skating days. Skatera was my first sponsor, back before I even raced. I would always send them pictures of my riding around my university or the park or a parking garage and they would send me clothes. They also sent me to Maryhill for the first ever IGSA experience. That’s where it all started. Eternally grateful for that!
As a professional, what did you need in your next sponsors?
Definitely needed travel budgets. I can’t have a job living this lifestyle and I need to feed myself and pay for registration fees and flights somehow.
What were you looking for in a wheel to help you perform better this year?
Fancy cores and a nice drift. Hello, Volante Serratas!
How does a fancy core affect your riding?
Definitely helps with acceleration.
Was it hard to choose a new wheel sponsor?
Not hard at all. I’ve been in touch with the guys for a while, since last year when I passed through SF with the girls on West Coastin. I’ve also been friends with Shawn Tseng (part of Comet, Caliber and Volante) since I started skating in Miami. We’ve all had respect for each other and the opportunity to work together finally presented itself this year, so we rolled with it.
What’s special about Volante?
Volante Wheels was formed officially late 2011 between Jason Salfi (Comet Skateboards) and Brandon Stewert (Caliber truck co.) with the direction of Blake Smith (Brand Manager). Although Volante’s roots run in Comet and Caliber – it is a completely separate and independent company. Team consists of 5 pro team riders and 3 AM riders: PRO – (AFB / Eric Jensen / Liam Morgan / Anthony Flis (WIld Board) / Me). AM – ( Ed Garner / Brandon Tissen / Jesse Breiman) – the idea is to have a small family of riders.
In 2013 you can expect to see fresh new takes on wheel design and an expansion on our travels and media production. Our goal is to constantly design, innovate, and expand our line of wheels for the evolving downhill community.
What’s the most important thing in the relationship between a rider and sponsor?
The most important thing, I think, would have to be keeping a balance between what you give and what you get. It’s also really important to keep the right attitude and know how to have fun and be professional at the same time.
Are you the first girl on the Volante team?
No, I’m the second.
What Volante wheels are you riding this season?
The only race wheel that they currently have is the Serrata 72mm. It’s really fast and has a nice core design. These will be my race wheels this year.
Are we going to see a Marisa Nunez pro helmet/wheel this season?
Don’t think so haha.
Do any women have pro models?
Not any non-board products that I know of.
Will that ever change?
I’m sure it will eventually. There are so many chicks ripping the freeriding now a days, it wouldn’t surprise me if one of them popped up with one really soon.
What needs to happen for us to see this?
Just to keep the recognition for the ladies just as high as it is for the gents.
What’s next for Marisa?
Well, after San Francisco, I’m flying out to Sydney, Australia for Newton’s Nation. Staying out there for about a month, then flying to Vancouver for all the Canadian racing shenanigans. Then hopefully Europe. If I don’t go to Europe, it’ll be because I stayed in Van or Portland working and getting somewhat settled.
Come to Europe, we miss you!
Haha thanks! I absolutely loved Europe. It would be a shame not to go back this year and see all you guys again.
It’s been fun talking to you again sis. Congratulations on the new sponsors. Wish you much happiness in the months to come.
Any thank yous?
I’d like to thank my parents, Maggi and Fernando, for being so supportive of me and my skating. They’ve always been on my side and tried to help me, motivate me, in whatever way they can. I love and miss them so much! Also want to thank my sponsors for supporting my travels. It’s because of them that I’ve become the skater and person that I am. I’ve grown so much because of traveling. Thank you! Daddies Board Shop, Rayne Longboards, Predator Helments, Volante Wheels.
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