THE ATHLETES

Every other week we spotlight athletes who are making waves in action sports. Check back here to meet the shredders who are pushing the boundaries of human potential.

Tunnel Shredder

Nico Gonzalez, 28, is a competitive indoor skydiver and iFly instructor who recently competed in the United States Indoor Skydiving (USIS) Open National Championship for Team Icaro. The two-way dynamic team, comprised of Nico and Chris Andrade, who both recently moved to Southern California from New York, placed third.

 

The performance earned them a spot to compete in the 4th FAI World Cup of Indoor Skydiving taking place in Belgium this April. Nico says it was the first competition in which they “flew perfectly,” adding: “that was huge for us.” 

 

Nico is from Caracas, Venezuela. Prior to moving to the golden state, he spent three years in New York City, flying at iFly Westchester and Skydive the Ranch. 

 

Follow him on Instagram @icaro_d2w 

 

Shredders, meet Nico!

 

What sports do you do and when did you start shredding?

I have always been in love with anything involving a board (surfing, wakeboarding, snowboarding, kitesurfing) but my main thing is indoor skydiving. I started flying in wind tunnels almost 6 years ago but I have been shredding my whole life ;)

 

What draws you to action sports?

I love the feeling of being in flow. When the activity becomes almost automatic and you think of nothing else. Most action sports force this state because of the danger and that's what draws me to them.

What’s your favorite trick, move etc. and why?

I would say that my favorite trick is breakers. Basically it's a move in which you spin while being in a horizontal position where you have the most power in the wind. It's really tricky to get them perfect but they feel really really cool when you do. 

 

Where’s your favorite place in the world to shred?

Any wind tunnel is my jam but if I had to pick one I would say the Atlanta iFly is the best tunnel I've flown in. 

Who or what has been your biggest inspiration and why?

Drew Steele. He was my mentor when I first started flying and he's a great dude and a fantastic flier.

 

What do you think it is about action sports that drives participants to continuously raise the bar of human potential?

That flow state is definitely a big part of it. I think that the process of creating and executing the next level in their sport is a really big driving force as well. 

Tell us about your podcast: what’s it called, why did you start it, what’s it about? 

It's called On The Air with Nico & Bavs. We started it because there's so many people in this sport that have really cool stories and outlooks and we thought it was a waste to not have the conversations recorded. We usually invite a guest on and just talk for about an hour about tunnel flying.

If you could meet anyone in history, who would it be and why?

Houdini. He was amazing.

 

What haven’t you tried in action sports yet but would be interested in exploring?

I'd like to learn how to surf really really well. It seems like the ultimate dance with nature.

 

What’s the next big thing on your agenda? 

We're going to train extremely hard for the next national indoor skydiving competition and hopefully place at the Wind Games next year, which is a huge comp in Europe.

 

Is there anything else you think would be rad to mention?

Avocados are pretty rad. And there's nothing more rad than pursuing what you love to do, no matter what it is. Unless it's eating babies, don't do that.

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