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Kevin Baekkel & Gabriel Fortunato's "YOU CAN'T WIN" – The Weigh In


For their new video parts, skate heavyweights Kevin Bækkel and Gabriel Fortunato are taking it to the ring. Both recently started skating for Beyond Medals, a brand formerly exclusive to the snowboarding world. YOU CAN’T WIN features parts by the first two skaters on the roster and thus will be a massive showdown in the manner of Rocky vs. Drago. Prior to the face-off, welterweight Fortunato, as classified by boxing standards, and super welterweight Bækkel sparred it out on a filming trip to Lisbon. Despite taking some hits on the way, neither one was on the ropes. Here’s the official weigh-in:

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Portrait by Griffiths

Kevin Bækkel

Rank: Pro

Nationality: Norwegian

Height: 1.79 m / 5′ 11″

Weight: 71 kg / 157 lbs

KOs: 0

Parts: 12

Years in the ring: 19

Signature style: Speed

Sticking with the boxing theme of the video, where did you first meet your opponent?

Must have been a Monster trip a couple years ago, we’ve been going on trips ever since. He’s a good traveling companion.

Are you still working on the part as we speak?

Pretty much done, just need to get one last little clip!

Did you see Gabriel’s part yet?

Kind of. He’s still filming shit, but they sent over a preview. I think it’s going to come together pretty fucking sick!

You had a trip where it was just the two of you “sparring” for the project. How did that go in terms of spot selection?

We did a trip to Portugal, just me, him, and [Daniel] Galli. We pretty much sat down and planned out what we wanted to skate. He has his stuff he wants to skate and I have mine. Then we pretty much tried shit and got sparked up on each other’s spots as well, so we actually both skated each other’s spots.

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Ride on Feeble – Photo: Griffiths

So you do take some inspiration from each other?

Definitely! It’s always fun to skate with Gabriel because he gets my brain thinking a little differently. He has such a unique style of finding lines and doing different stuff. It’s always inspirational to skate with him!

What’s his strongest suit?

He’s just straight speed and power – he skates so fast – and he has so much pop and the craziest tricks. He has the biggest trick selection ever. Compared to me, I only have certain things I can do. He can do anything.

What do you think was his toughest personal battle on the project?

Maybe not the toughest, but when I was skating this pretty decent-sized rail in Portugal, he was debating about trying it the whole time, and in the end, he started trying and he ended up doing it. A feeble down this 20 stair. Sick to watch!

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Frontside Smith – Photo: Griffiths

What trick was your hardest battle?

The grind in Portugal with a quick curb and cobblestones in the landing, that was a shit show. A two-day battle and it fucked my feet up pretty good. I got a stress fracture from that and all kinds of other shit. That one took a toll on my body. I tried it for so long and I didn’t really know how it’d work out, going so fast through that curb. My body was smoked for a while after that one: good six weeks of no skating, crutches and everything.

Was there ever a point where you felt some actual competition?

No, it’s all good, fun skating. I just always try to do my best for a video part. Always want to try to make it better! When skating with Gabriel, we just hype each other up. The boxing theme is pretty funny, but there’s definitely no competition between us, really.

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Fs 5050 – Photo: Adler

How did the intro shot for the video go down?

That shit was fucking crazy. I’ve never been to a movie set or anything. Bunch of takes for every clip, dressing in all sorts of costumes, changing locations, green screen, and all that. Definitely a crazy but very fun experience!

How did you end up on a snowboarding brand?

I always knew about Beyond Medals because a bunch of my friends who snowboard ride for them. I finally got to meet Kevin [Backstrom] and Tor [Lundstrom] for the first time in Innsbruck for the Monster premiere. We clicked really quickly and became friends overnight, party style. They hit me up and asked if I wanted to be a part of it and make this into a cool thing. Those dudes are so sick, they’re just like us skaters, just snowboard style.

If it was an actual boxing match between the two of you, who would win?

I’ll smoke that dude. [laughs] No, really, I just always believe in myself. I never go into a fight to lose!

Kevin Gap On Gap Off

Gap On Gap Off – Photo: Griffiths

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Portrait – Photo: Adler

Gabriel Fortunato

Rank: Pro

Nationality: Brazilian

Height: 1.74 m / 5’ 8’’

Weight: 68 kg / 150 lbs

KOs: 0

Parts: 5

Years in the ring: 15

Signature Style: Allround

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Backside Feeble – Photo: Griffiths

You’re still working on getting a few last clips for the part?

I’m trying to get some more clips. I’m not 100% percent good to skate though. I was in LA skating in between trips and hurt my foot. I went to the doctor yesterday to get an MRI again.

Lisbon was the main filming trip with just you and Kevin. How did that go?

To be honest, that trip basically saved my part. One week of skating with Kevin, only us, a filmer, and a photographer. Me and Kev would go out and get four or five clips every day. Kevin skates hard and makes me want to skate. For me, that was the best skate trip I’ve been on.

Do you take inspiration from Kevin?

Yeah, for sure, especially skating rails! I did a trick on a rail with him. When he skates, he seems so chill and sometimes he does stuff first try that makes you feel like, “Damn, that’s too easy!” I know everything he does is big and dangerous, so you need to focus. I like to listen to music on my sessions, but I stop everything, stop talking, stop using my phone, and just focus on what he’s going to do. He does everything so easy and it makes me want to try it as well. Skating with him makes me want to go big!

What was the toughest thing for him to get?

The first thing I saw him trying for a long time was the hardflip down the stairs. I usually don’t see him jumping at all. It made me feel good to see him try for a while because we don’t really see him skate gaps or stairs. He took so long, but as soon as he landed that, we went to another spot and he did the gap to gap and he did it chill.

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Hardflip – Photo: Griffiths

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Hippie Jump – Photo: Griffiths

What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen him try?

I’ve seen a lot of gnarly rails, but the one where I thought “This is unreal!” was the big green one in Portugal. I saw that live. I saw the slam. I saw the process. It was crazy.

When did you guys first meet?

In 2019 on the first Monster tour. He was really quiet and didn’t talk too much, and I was like, “Bro, is this guy not going to skate?” because I didn’t know him. We went to some ledge spots and he never skated them, but at one point, he saw a rail he wanted to check out. He started skating this big rail and I started to look at him differently like, “Wow, what’s going on here?”

Seeing that Beyond Medals is based in snowboarding, how did your first experience with a snowboard go and do you want to try it again?

Bro, I hope so! My first experience was terrible. I was kind of hurt from skating, so it was sketchy to try for the first time, but it was my only opportunity. I hope I can try it again, I kind of like it. I want to learn how it works step-by-step, trying to do some tricks and, maybe in a few years, do a video part with snow- and skateboarding together. Who knows?

Have you ever tried boxing?

I have never tried it, but I respect it. It’s really hard. To be honest, I don’t know how to fight.

So if Kevin and you had a boxing match, who would win?

I mean I would say I work out and make sure my body is strong, so I can skate big things, but I don’t know man, you never know. Kevin could win, he could give you the “Pop!” and then that’s it. I know he’s strong, but I could bag him too.

Gabriel Switchtre

Switch 360flip – Photo: Griffiths