A couple of weeks ago, our FIAT®
Backstage correspondents traveled to Miami to enjoy the sights and sounds of the GrindTV Urban Surf Party
held at the Bass Museum of Art
. Fans got a chance to get groovy while they toured the museum and the all-new FIAT 500L thanks to wireless headphones. The event was a blast, and lots of fans were heard commenting on how the FIAT 500 would make a great car for surfers and others with active lifestyles. As evident in our commercials, we’re experienced at traveling the oceans
; however when it comes to using a surfboard to ride the waves, we decided to get a more professional opinion. So we sat down with passionate surfer
and owner of the F1RST Surf Shop Mark Gamez
to get an idea of just what makes the FIAT 500L great for the active lifestyle of the surfer.
– Thanks for taking the time to sit down with us for a chat, Mark. We know you want to get back into the party, so we won’t steal too much of your time.* Let’s dive right in: What first got you interested in surfing?
Mark Gamez (MG) – Skateboarding! I was an avid skateboarder growing up, and around the age of 14 or 15, one of my friends told me I should try surfing because he thought I’d really like it. And since I had already learned how to skateboard, it was a much easier transition into the sport. Plus, I was young and was in the prime time to learn; as you get older, surfing is definitely one skill that takes more and more practice to learn.
– Just like driving a manual transmission. We know you recently filmed a spot for the new 500L
; what was your impression?
MG – I drove it through the whole commercial and immediately was like, this thing’s awesome! When they first approached me about doing the spot, I assumed we’d be dealing with the traditional-size FIAT 500. And I was told, it’s a new 500L, which is bigger. Uh, it’s a lot bigger! When I got in, I had a solid foot of headspace above me, and I felt really comfortable. I was stoked on it when I got the chance to drive it more.
– How do you think the 500L is tailored to active lifestyles, like that of a surfer?
MG – Well, first off, I longboard-tested it and fit a 9 1/2-foot surfboard inside. I can’t even do that in the SUV that I own, so that was very awesome to see. The second thing that I always look for is a car that doesn’t require you to stand on your cooler to rack your surfboard to the top for travel. People think that surfers need these big trucks, but it’s super difficult to rack a board because of their height. With the 500L, it’s at eye level and suddenly a simple task is again a simple task. There’s no production to get your board set and secure once a surf rack has been installed. The 60/40 split seats are very nice to have when it comes to stowing a lot of gear, too, especially surfboards.
– Mark, thanks for taking the time to offer up some surfer insight into the new FIAT 500L and a little bit more about yourself. We’ll let you get back to the party.
MG – My pleasure. Thanks to you guys, GrindTV and all the fans!
We had a great time with Mark and all of the people that made this night at the museum one to remember. Check out some of our favorite shots from the night below:
Thanks to everyone at GrindTV, the Bass Museum of Art and all the fans who made it down to check out the beats, art and the FIAT 500L. For more live FIAT Backstage coverage, check us out on Facebook
What are your favorite features on the 500L? Tell us in the comments below!
*We really wanted to get back to the party too; it was awesome.