What do you do when you have walked through your city over a million times? You are probably trying to find new roads around the good old town. Stanley WE & Lobby Skateshop went a bit further, took the old concept of Hamburg’s famous Labskaus Jam format and got everyone on a boat cruise through the Hanseatic city. Hamburg knows how to throw a party!
It is no secret that Alex Ullmann is a good skater right? If it was a secret his cover has now been blown. We have been out skating with Alex on more than one occasion and he is the type that gets something at every spot… Ok so now that we did the sweet talk, we can tell you that Alex can also be the strong silent type, he has a wallflower type of quality without actually being one. We thought it would be nice to launch his new part in conjunction with a little questionnaire so you, me and everybody can get to know a bit more about Mr. Ullmann.
Hey, Alex let’s start this thing… Where have you been?
One second ago?
I just started eating my freshly fried pasta with pesto.
…one minute ago?
I was staying in the kitchen preparing my meal.
…one hour ago?
I was at a tutoring class for business accounting. I force myself to go there two times a week because in May I have my final exam. By then I have to see trough this.
…one day ago?
My roommates and I cleaned up the apartment. It was really necessary. After that my girlfriend Nina and I went billposting on cruisers in Marburg. It’s a good secondary income.
…one week ago?
I had to work till 3 o’clock p.m. and afterwards I met up with Iwan (Martaller) and David (Perez) at the indoor skate park in Giessen. We had a few beers while we were replacing the old stair set with a bank – so you can ride the straight rail from the left side now, too. It’s really awesome!
…one month ago?
On New Year’s Eve, I had a small party with my roomies. We just hung out playing some board games and went downtown for some beers later on.
…one year ago?
I have been to Spain for the most legendary tour ever – The Hell Ride. Paul Zenner, Fabian Lang, Maxi Schaible, Niklas Speer von Kappeln, Mario Ungerer, Dominik Schneider, Leo Preisinger and myself we rented a minibus and drove all the way from Almeria to Lisbon. Unfortunately, I had to fly back home 2 days earlier for my midterm exams, so I missed skating in Lisbon. But it still was one a one-of-a-kind trip.
…five years ago?
After my volunteer social year, I started working at a community for handicapped people for two years, which was a really interesting and valuable experience that lastingly shaped me.
…ten years ago?
I was living at home with my family in Echzell and after school, I always went skating with my homies Sven, Steffen, Henne, Matthias and Felix at the local funbox.
…15 years ago?
I moved from Wölfersheim to Echzell with my mom and three sisters. Three years later I started skating after always seeing some skaters while grocery shopping with my mom. Some day I just went there with my board and waited for them to show up. We hung out ever since.
…20 years ago?
At that point, I was five years old and living with my family in Wölfersheim where I also went to preschool.
…25 years ago?
25 years ago on the 12 February 1991, I was born in Bad Nauheim. It was an uncomplicated singleton breech pregnancy.
The German Huf team flew out to Bangkok to what they thought would be a nice Airbnb apartment and some good weather and some nice looking spots. Things turned out slightly different, first they were thrown out of their apartment, second the weather was so hot that they had to pick their battles and only skate the spots they really wanted, and thirdly the spots looked great but they were quite rough making you wonder how the guys still managed to produce so much footy in such difficult conditions.
The Guys over at Mob Skateboards were kind enough to send uns this audivisual Prostcard from their latest trip to Alicante. Expect a lot of funny clips and excellent skateboarding by Danny Sommerfeld, Laif Draasch, Alex Denkiewicz, Kerem Elver and Alex Ullmann. Good times over bangers. BBQs over ABDs. Enjoy!
I’ve literally been going on skateboard tours for half of my life now. Ever since I got my drivers license back in 1990, I have constantly been on the road in search of skateable terrain, regularly leaving my hometown with a trunk full of equal-minded skateboard folk.
The first tour I remember saw me and two local homies going North in my tiny Fiat Uno. Not only did we put many miles on the Uno during our adventurous three-day stint into the unknown, we also slept and cooked in it. That kind of road life was absolutely normal to us back then; mostly because we didn’t even think about it. We were inexperienced, hyped on riding Canadian maple boards, and still healthily ignorant. The entire tour had nothing “professional” about it. No strings attached. No trick-manual or to-do-list.
Laif Draasch – FS Boardslide
Nevertheless, I did bring my camera on tour to cover our 50-50s, boneless-ones and early grabs for an upcoming issue of the Zine I was publishing at that time, called Read and have Fun. That was not only the name of my DIY-magazine, but our overall motto back then: To “have fun” skateboarding. We still knew nothing about the concept of ABDs (“Already Been Done” tricks) and other media politics – probably because they just didn’t exist back then. We were just a couple of Freebirds. Absolutely.
Many years, and several ”Freebird Tours” later, I gave up some of my freedom for voluntary captivity by starting my own skateboard company. Of course, I didn’t know at the time that I was about to get my wings clipped. In the early days of company ownership, everything still seemed to be just fun and games. Nothing ”professional” about it. All sessions – no meetings. No pre-book line catalogues. No Fall/Winter collections. No Spring/Summer season – to us, that was just ”Skateboard Season“.
Now fast forward 15 years. Fast forward to today. I still make a fly-by-night living by selling skateboards, but after 15 years of doing this professionally, I know which way most of the cookies crumble in the skateboard marketplace. They crumble mostly at the thin line between caring and not caring. As a skate company, you have to be in the peoples’ eyes, ears and brains – which ultimately will lead you into the comfort of their open wallet. That’s how you make a living selling almost anything – including yourself if you’re a sponsored skateboarder. You need to show off your brand. You have to get people hyped. And one way to reach your target group is by going on a skateboard tour with your teammates.
As opposed to Freebird-style touring, there is actually something professional about it. Here’s the set formula behind how skateboard company tours work: Travel to exotic destinations and get the adrenalin-fueled action covered. Bring home still and moving images. The bigger the stunts, the better. Then get your tour featured in a major magazine. Ten pages. No less.
Simultaneously, blog, post and Instagram the shit out of the footage you and your team gathered. Edit some video clips. Make sure to keep them under three minutes. Release them within the next two months in conjunction with blogging the second tries and alternative angles on tumblr. Then wait a month – and do it again. And again. And again. It’s like you gotta stir ‘em good if you wanna move ‘em!
People know me as Captain Cracker, and I have never have been a captain known to exploit his own crew. I’m not out there pushing the performance of my team overboard for the sake of publicity. Probably because I’m still clinging to that feeling I had back when I went on those early Freebird trips. Good times over bangers. BBQs over ABDs. But for a skateboard company owner in the digital age, that kind of sentiment is quite romantic. Nothing but an analog luxury, if you look at it from the modern business perspective of things. The omnipresent Internet of today is a multi-headed Hydra always ready to toss its wireless tongue relentlessly at the potential customer. The Internet is the major player in almost every business now – and in order to stay in the Game of Skate you, as a brand or branded skateboarder, have to feed this hunger.
Alex Ullmann – FS Wallride
You have to supply for the demand for anything by everyone. Your brand has to stay afloat in those social timelines, blogs, posts and Google rankings – otherwise you’ll be sinking to the bottom of the digital quicksand and, ultimately, slip into digital oblivion. Millions have already become hooked, so millions of us are feeding that beautiful beast on a daily basis trying to stay within the highest favor of its audience. We all want “Likes” by the thousands, let’s admit it…
Alex Ullmann – FS 5-O
The online world is the Golden Calf of the digital age. Most of us just haven’t yet realized that we have begun to worship it almost above all else. This ignorance of reality is what puts the pressure on us all to perform in the digital realm. We put on a performance, an act, trying to stoke the wireless masses. And in the process, we tend to forget all about just having a good time exclusively by and for ourselves; at least every once in a while. Myself included. In 2013, after a King of the Road-style tour for a major skateboard magazine, I found myself feeling that this had definitely been my last skateboard tour.
The ”Mission Manual”, the book containing our daily challenges for this tour, was the essence of what I had begun to dislike about the status-quo of skateboarding. Always try for the impossible. Not because it’s so much fun but because the gnarlier it gets, the more “likes” and followers your content will be generating. Until ultimately, it will go absolutely viral – get insanely hyped throughout cyberspace – and satisfy millions of people momentarily with a little bit of something.
So when Archie, our team manager, mentioned organizing another skate tour, I wasn’t exactly all gung-ho about it. I even had doubts about going at all. I didn’t want to see the boys smashing themselves to pieces again for hours on end trying to land that one trick – the one that had never been done before at this spot. ”Can’t we just have stupid fun for once?” I asked myself and then thought: “Yeah! We could, but it would NOT go over so well in the magazine feature of the tour if we didn’t even try to stoke the shit out of the skateboarding world with our performance.”
”Why not?” the Freebird twittered in response from the left half of my brain. ”We’re fucking skateboarders. We can do whatever we like!”
So that’s what we did! The team and I agreed on going on another tour under the premise that we would keep this tour strictly about having a good time. Thus the title, “Good Times in the Front, Kicktail in the Back!” That was our motto, all the way to Alicante, Spain. And look at us now: Here we are! Full tour feature in a major magazine! Ten pages! No less! And all we did was have some simple stupid fun, just for once in a while.
Watch out for the footage of this trip – edit dropping tomorrow!
I was drunk last night. Drunk and high. It wasn’t too crazy, but enough to make me talk shit about my boss to one of his closest assistants. I’m sure this won’t cause any trouble for me, but it’ll definitely make me feel a bit uncomfortable at the lunch meeting later on today. A wall of six screens, various desks, neatly arranged in a room the size of a swimming pool. 12 people in dark suits competing over today’s biggest deal. I’m here to put them in their places.
I like my job, I really do. I couldn’t see myself working anywhere else right now. I work as a banking administrator in the Corporate Finance Department of a big bank that’s based in Frankfurt am Main. Born and raised in London, I’ve always been able to hold my liquor. My siblings and I were born drinking, my whole family drinks. What is a hangover anyways? Isn’t that a city in Germany? I usually wake up early, I need to be in the office at around 7 a.m.
The first meeting is on at 7:15 and the last one usually around 8:30-ish. That’s normal. I’m not complaining. I love it! If I could, I’d probably sleep less and drink more. Having a successful career is a family tradition. When I look out of my office window I can see the “Silberturm”, also known as the DB Tower, and its marble entrance plaza. Some days you can watch the most fucked up things happening down there. Pure entertainment!
Although I have a pretty terrific car collection back home in London, I never really use my own car out here. Frankfurt is small, and I can take a cab in less than a minute if I really need a ride. Since my new apartment is only a block away from my office, I often take a quick walk instead. Probably the only time I actually spend outside. I’m sure I’d catch the flu if someone threw me into the woods, or even just close to a tree. I rather smoke a cigarette; they do me better anyway. Life is what you make of it, right? Nature only makes me nervous.
As a kid you have a different view on things; I always thought of myself as someone who goes on a journey to discover the planet. I wanted to plant a seed on every single mainland, help people, feed those in need, maybe become a doctor or a professor, just to do some good. That was before I went to college and everything. Before girls, money, drugs. I was wet behind the ears, a real virgin. So after I discovered my strengths, I slowly started to forget about all that good-will bull crap and became a businessman. I do business!
So, today I arrived pretty late. It must have been around 7:14. That means not much time to actually prepare a meeting, although that’s something I usually don’t do anyways. My job is to chair the meeting and talk about yesterday’s numbers and today’s forecasts. My secretary is this 23-year-old German girl, born and raised in Frankfurt. Married to a policeman. No kids. So, why not? I mean I would, and maybe I will at one point.
I saw her once, at an office party, making out with the younger brother of my boss. They left the room for a good 15 minutes. Whatever it takes, I always try to get what I want. Since I was a young kid, I walked my own path in my very own shoes. My father was a cold-hearted man and I taught myself how to take a shit on the toilet, ride a bike and smoke a cigarette. My mum died when I was two years old and I never really learned to love my stepmother. What I’m trying to say is, I’m good.
Sometimes, when I look out of the window, down to the DB entrance plaza I see grown men on skateboards. Guys around 20, 25. Playing with a toy for kids, in the streets. I always wonder what their parents might think about that. Do they still have a parent that tells them to get a life? Skater-punks, prostitutes, drug-dealers, all kinds of crooked people and in between you have us: good-looking men in suits. What a contrast! Like there is only black and white. Rich and poor. Clean and dirty. Day and night. Call me whatever you want, but this is pretty fucked up and I kind of like it. I feel like I belong in a situation like that. I was born for this. Give me more of that.
This meeting is useless. Every single banker in this room is looking at me as if they really care, as if they like what I’m saying… they want to know, they want to get a raise and I am the one in charge. Bullshit. Don’t look at me like that and stop kissing my ass. You pricks don’t know shit. My mood is on a low. This might be the closest I ever get to a “hangover”.
All these thoughts come to mind as I sit here and I talk about millions of Euros. It’s easy for me. After ten years in the business and three years in a position like this, it’s a fucking breeze. God, how I love it. Actually, I do three things at once. 1: Talk about yesterday’s Indonesian stock market. 2: Make fun of my colleagues. 3: Picture my secretary butt naked while screaming at me – maybe that makes it even four. This place is like hell and I seem to be the devil.
Dass Christian Roth immer voll Bock hat, wisst ihr ja allerspätestens seit unserem “Behind the scenes” mit ihm – und er macht einfach immer weiter: Heute kredenzt uns der Cracker einen amüsanten Clip mit dem kompletten Mob Team und wir fragen uns… Ach, fragen wir ihn doch einfach selbst:
Bist du eigentlich reich, Cpt. Cracker?
Ja. Ich bin so reich, mir reicht’s quasi. Um ehrlich gesagt zu sein und finanziell konnotiert: nein. Kohlemäßig bin ich weit entfernt von einem Vieraugengespräch mit meinem Bankkundenberater. Mein Leben ist reich an Erfahrungen, Freunden, Kindern, Schallplatten, Büchern, Inspirationen und psychsomatischen Krankheiten. Ich bin glücklich und zufrieden mit meinem Dasein, meinem Dispokredit und einem Fahrrad für jeden Tag. Skateboarding war und ist für mich das passende Spiegelbild zu meinem Lebensentwurf: mach’ was du willst, so wie du es kannst und versuche immer besser darin zu werden. Für mich reicht das meistens zum überleben. Schliesslich habe ich Sinnvolleres zu tun als Geld zu zählen – nämlich Skateboards verkaufen.
Francisco Saco did it again. Ein fast 15 Minuten langer Trailer für sein neustes Werk Homo Pop Gun, welches am 10. Oktober in der Villa Neukölln, Berlin Premiere feiern wird. Mit dabei sind unter anderem: Konstantin Rutschmann, Eniz Fazilov, Dallas Rockvam, Steve Forstner, Daniel Pannemann, Malte Spitz und viele, viele mehr.
Vergangenen Samstag fand in mittlerweile vierter Edition und in Kooperation mit Nike SB der Contest “Battle At The Bänke” statt. Auch am diesjährigen Go Skateboarding Day kamen eine Menge Skateboarder und Zuschauer an den beliebten Spot direkt an der Warschauer Straße. Zu sehen gab es unzählige Lines in allen Variationen, so dass die Judges alle Hände voll zu tun hatten. Im Starterfeld fanden sich neben den Locals einige Gesichter der deutschen Szene und sogar aus Chile und Mexiko waren ein paar Jungs angereist. Aus all dem bunten Line-Allerlei stachen am Ende eine handvoll Starter besonders hervor und auch der Wolkenbruch samt Platzregen ließ sich bis zur Siegerehrung auf sich warten, so dass “Battle At The Bänke” am Ende wortwörtlich feuchtfröhlich zu Ende ging. Vielen Dank an alle Beteiligten – es war uns ein Fest!
Louis Taubert, FS Crooks
Whitey, BS Tailslide
Farid Ulrich, fakie 5-0 Flip out
Christopher Schübel, Nollie BS Nosebluntslide
Juan Carlos Aliste aka Goma aus Chile, BS Flip fakie Nosegrind
Michel Funke, FS Bluntslide
Alex Ullmann, SW FS Tailslide 270 Flip out
Best Trick: Patrick Rogalski, FS Bluntslide Flip out
1. Christopher Schübel
3. Hugo, Louis Taubert & Farid Ulrich
Zum Release von #Crackhouseholiday Part 001 aus dem Hause Mob Skateboards überlassen wir ungeschönt Captn. Cracker das Wort, der euch nun ganz im Sinne der Freigeisterei mitteilt, was euch erwartet:
“Zum Osterfest gibt es von euren MOB Skateboards Lieblings-Bernds billige Unterhaltung vom Feinsten. Seht was passiert wenn der MOB zu einem “produktiven Team Treffen” in Cpt. Crackers CRACK HOUSE nach MOBCITY einlädt: Kirmes, Kickflips und Konsorten- gefilmt mit fünf Telefonen. Nobodycannacrossit. Featuring The Ullmann, Sammy Donnerfeld, Archiewicz, Martallica & Cpt. Cracker – and introducing Laura Klemke. GoPro Operator: Flowy Schimke.”
Neues vom Mob: Cpt. Cracker verkündet Alex Ullmann als ultimativen Neuzugang in der Squad aus Gießen. Alex ist bereits seit geraumer Zeit ein Garant für kompaktes und präzises Skateboarding, so dass eine Berufung in ein solch Spitzenteam nur eine Frage der Zeit gewesen ist. Wir wünschen dem neuen deutschen Traumpaar viel Erfolg und eine tolle Zeit miteinander.
Die deutschen Teamfahrer von HUF Footwear haben zusammen ein Wochenende im Rhein-Main-Gebiet verbracht und herausgekommen ist folgender Videoclip. Mit dabei sind Erik Groß, Alex Ullmann, Stephan Pöhlmann, Felix Lensing und Pat Lindenberger.