Leticia Bufoni On Posing Nude For ESPN's The Body Issue: 'I Was Really Scared'

Leticia Bufoni says she was scared when she posed nude for ESPN’s “The Body Issue” last month. 

“I was really scared when they asked me to do it,” she told RollingStone.com’s Eric Herndrikx on Aug. 25. “I didn’t know if people were going to like it. There are so many haters in skateboarding.” 

Bufoni revealed to Hendrikx her shoot didn’t go smoothly as planned: 

“ESPN approached us last year, asking me to pose naked for ‘The Body Issue.’ I love the concept. At first, you think the photos come off as sexy. But it’s really about what each sport does to the body of a top athlete. 

“It still took me a couple of months to decide if I should do it. I talked about it with my family, managers and sponsors before I decided to go for it. It was a huge honor to appear with so many of the world’s top athletes.

“We tried to shoot something while I was doing a trick on my board. But skateboarding is hard to show naked because when you’re doing a trick, your legs are wide open and they can’t show that. 

“They brought in a quarter pipe and I was doing back disasters when I still had my clothes on. Then I got naked, tried it again and I ate sh-t. I fell super hard and I scraped my back and shoulders. 

“I was fine, but I guess they weren’t used to seeing someone slam like that, so they changed the setting to show me jumping on a trampoline with my board in my hands.”

Bufoni has lived on her own in Los Angeles since 2007. She was just 14 years old at the time. She told RollingStone.com she moved to California with her father. She left Brazil to compete in the X Games. 

That year, she filmed at Element Skate Camp. Her father told her,”If you land this trick, I will let you stay here.” She did. She’s been independent ever since, per RollingStone.com. 

Bufoni is actually staying with friends. Her father trusted these people, per Hendrikx. 

She enrolled at Hollywood High School. Her busy skating schedule forced her to miss too many classes. The school informed her she was about to get kicked out. She left on her own terms.

Her father told her she can just go back to school at the opportune moment, per RollingStone.com.  

Bufoni told Hendrikx her father was “very strict” during her childhood. He didn’t support her passion for skateboarding at first. Her friends teased her, thinking she was a lesbian. Her father broke her skateboard out of frustration. 

The next day, Bufoni built another skateboard. Her dad realized he can’t stop her anymore, per RollingStone.com. 

Bufoni won first place in her first skateboarding contest. Sao Paulo was the venue. Since then, her father has traveled with her every time she competes, per Hendrikx. 

She also told RollingStone.com what she does in her spare time:

“I just got a tattoo on my hand that says ‘trouble.’ I was traveling in Barcelona and Prague, to film and skate a couple of contests. When I got home, I went with my girlfriends to Las Vegas for a week.

“We went to pool parties, played blackjack, got tattoos and raced Ferraris on a track. It was super fun and I won the race. I really needed a break because I was super sore and tired.

“I like to be scared and do scary things. I love skydiving. A couple years ago I was in Brazil to shoot a video for GoPro. It was a tandem jump with a skydiving instructor. After that I wanted to jump by myself.

“It’s hard to describe the feeling — it’s the best. I got my license a year-and-a-half ago. I have my own parachute and all my gear. Now, we go all the time. I jump with Bob (Burnquist) a lot.”

Taking breaks is a necessity for skateboarders. Bufoni told Hendrikx she has had a lot of injuries.

She said she broke three bones in her foot during a shoot with Nike. When she filmed with Berrics, she cut her hip muscle. In a separate incident, Bufoni broke her nose. This happened after she did a stunt on a vertical ramp, per RollingStone.com.

“That’s skateboarding,” Bufoni said. “It hurts a lot.”

Bufoni just finished fiming a Brazilian lifestyle series entitled “Leticia Let’s Go.” Filming took three months to finish. She also plans to finish doing 30 stunts for The Berrics. As if these weren’t enough, she is a character in the new Tony Hawk video game, per Hendrikx.

The title of the video game is “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5.” Polygon.com’s Michael McWhertor reported on the development on May 7.

Aside from Bufoni, other skating pros featured in the game are Nyjah Huston, Riley Hawk, Aaron “Jaws” Homoki, Ishod Wair, Chris Cole, David Gonzalez, Andrew Reynolds and Lizzie Armanto.

Activision will release the game’s Playstation 4 and XboX One versions this year.


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