Swag, steez, style, whatever people call it, you either have it or you don't. No amount of color coordinating your bike with a matching outfit, or whatever goofy shit people do in the name of style is going to help. Whatever 'it' is, Edwin has it. Always has, always will. His riding is always well thought out and done effortlessly. Edwin stays in his own lane, never hopping on the latest trend or cool grind and well over a decade later still remains one of the worlds most influential street riders. Mention that to him and you'll hear an obnoxious laugh. He's as humble and down to earth as they come.
– Vinnie Sammon
What's up Ed, Hows things?
Chilling, things are good.
Ok…first things first. If my ability to put 2 & 2 together serves me well, than your pug Jerry might be named after Seinfeld. True or false ?
That is true. And a little bit of inspiration came from my homie Jerry aka Launchpad.
Do you have any funny stories involving Jerry that you'd like to share before we get into it?
Me and my girl went up to my mothers house this past Christmas. When we left, my mom hooked it up with a whole bunch of food, everything was separated in different Tupperware's. When we got back to the house, we dropped the bag of food off then went to the store to grab a couple of things we needed. When we got back, Jerry somehow took one of the Tupperware's out of the bag that was full of pork without even tipping the bag over. He somehow snapped the lid off and ate the entire thing. His stomach was huge. I couldn't blame him since we left it on the floor. We didn't feed him for like 2 days.
When I think of Edwin De La Rosa, I naturally think of New York. What can you tell us about growing up in Brooklyn?
Growing up in Brooklyn was cool, I moved around a lot and lived in a lot of shitty neighborhoods. To me it was normal, to everyone else it would seem a little crazy. You'd see shootings, drug vials on the ground, robberies, everything. That was back in the 90's but New York is changing a lot.
What kind of stuff did you do when you were younger, before riding?
I played a lot of sports when I was younger and I was really into drawing. I used to love rolling with my Moms all around the city taking the train everywhere, learning the train lines and seeing different parts of the city.
I desperately try to stay away from questions like this, but I'm honestly interested in finding out how you got into riding. How did it start?
I always liked to ride bikes when I was younger, but what got me into wanting to learn tricks was when I was 12 years old, channel surfing and came across the Xtrails on ESPN. I watched the whole show and ended up really hyped on it and it just so happened that my birthday was coming up in a couple of weeks. So I pretty much became the best son doing all the chores around the house trying to get a bike. My mom bought me a bike the day before my 13th birthday and it was on and poppin after that.
Who is the first rider you remember having an influence on you and why?
It wasn't just one person that influenced me, a lot of the heads I was rolling with back then influenced me like Will Taubin, Wormz, Tyrone Williams and Vic Ayala. But I remember when I first saw “DQYDJ,” I was laid up for a while cause I rolled my ankle real bad so I watched that video constantly. That's the first video that I really connected with cause they were riding just how I wanted to ride. They were right across the river in Jersey, Will had a part in the video and I could really relate to the video. Animal started a little bit after that and everybody that was in that video made up the Animal team. So to get on Animal a little while later was the biggest honor ever, to go from looking up to those guys and then being on the same team with them and becoming real good friends. I said this before but Animal is not just a company I ride for, they're like my family now. (So thanks Ralph for starting Animal.)
On the flipside, I think you're responsible for influencing a whole generation of street riders. I know that people in your position rarely like to accept and elaborate on praise this heavy, but what is your take on that?
It's hard to even answer that question, I am humbled about it. I don't like talking about myself in that sense.
Is there anyone you would pass the “influence a whole generation” title onto?
Nigel and Garrett Reynolds.