Christian Hemmer came into the MBU scene around 2013/2014 if I’m not mistaken and the first few times we had seen him we didn’t know his name, where he came from, and who he is usually rolling with.
Christian is a very calm, kind and careful person when you first meet him but his Skateboarding and the way he is using the whole park and his whole body speaks volumes.
We gave him the nickname “The Janitor” because he was always at the park (MBU) and he constantly fixed things up and brought new obstacles or ideas to the park. Christian Hemmer is the reason skateboarding keeps on being diverse and he is a big inspiration to us and a lot of other people.
Watching this video got us excited and we immediately gave it another watch.
Some would say it was bad luck and some would say that it was meant to be this way. Here is an explanation by Dan himself why the new video is called unfinished:
“Due to harddrive issues in the past, a lot of the corresponding footage got lost. This is the fragment of THE UNFINISHED VIDEO from 2017.”
Featuring Manuel Mayr, Johannes Schirrmeister, Tabo Löchelt, Stephan Weimar, Sascha Scharf, Niklas Stube, Juan Carlos Aliste, Kerem Elver, Roland Hirsch, Banden B, Molly, Valle Ott, Kanya Spani & Quirin Staudt.
Leon Charo-Tite is our next "Unsigned Hype" and he is from Freiburg/Germany and that part of his heritage can be an issue. Many have gotten stamped and sidelined as the "German Skater". To our U.S. audience, that's kind of like being stamped Canadian or Brazillian in the early 2000's.
The Crackers are back but instead of Crackers 5 we get a short but very sweet road trip video. We are not going to lie, vibe, and skating wise the path they followed is amongst the best in Europe. From Berlin, Warsaw, Budapest, and finally, to Vienna the spots to skate and camp are plenty and the grilling is good.
If you want more Chima check out his Place Remix part here:
Damn, that is # 3 already? Yes. Our third Converse “Push Berlin” session earlier this year went down successfully and we can’t wait to reopen the doors of YAAM next Tuesday. Here is what went down, who was there and what you have missed out on:
Together with Converse, we are proudly hosting a session for everyone to join on the 03.03 (Tuesday) at YAAM Berlin, after Give Something Back To Berlin took over the park, build by Yamato Living Ramps.
Learn more about GSBTB HERE and watch our Converse CONS team session HERE.
It wasn’t the first time that Converse decided to help the Berlin Skateboarding scene with an indoor facility during those dark days of the Winter. Meet “Push Berlin” – a project in cooperation with Converse.
In this video, a few Converse CONS ambassadors took a look at the park to show you around, which ended up in a session for everybody.
Featuring.: Danny Sommerfeld, Daniel Pannemann, Vladik Scholz, Jonas Hess & more.
Globe and Pantone came together to celebrate the release of the “Color Of The Year”. 19-4052 aka “Classic Blue” is the color to be exact.
Now for those of you that are not familiar with Pantone, they are a company that is dedicated to documenting color, the specifying, and management of color in industrial work. Basically they created a system that allows product designers to create and match the colors on the screen with the colors on the eventual product.
Often times, we get to see new people move to Berlin but not often do they catch your eye and captivate you for a period of time. Carolina Gamboa a Chilean born skater did just that when she moved to Berlin.
If you have been paying attention to our IG she has been popping up here and there. So, when we got the invite to weartest this collab we immediately thought of her. As such here she is performing a 2-day test on the “Color Of The Year” board.
Herzlich Willkommen to the video that goes with PLACE YOUR FLAG a special publication of Place Skateboard Culture (in finer shops now). This project is special, not only because it deviates from our “regular” numbered editions in size, because it has animation or the number of pages but because somebody proposed it to us.
You see, normally our we come up with the ideas but this time the credit for the “Startschuss” has to go to Moritz Alte. Moritz or Mo came to us because he felt we needed to do something that included Vans team rider, Julian Ruhe.
“He felt we needed to do something that included Vans team rider, Julian Ruhe.”
After a short pitch, he presented us with a plan, which we then together finetuned into the thing you hold today. A series of papers with ink on it about young people, leaving their “Heimat” and finding their place in Berlin.
It all sounds great, skating in Berlin, following 4 people and a dog as they find their place in their new surroundings but the thing is that Mo proposed to do all this during the winter and early spring months. Puffy jackets, low light, grey skies, and snowy Berlin, not sunny, hip, drinking beer and hanging out until 23:00 at a Späti Berlin.
Moritz proposed a young crew consisting of Steffen Grap, 21 (photographer), Peter Buikema, 23 (filmer) and himself, 22 as (an overseer and writer) we liked the idea but felt we needed something more so we added a Brittish ex-pat Jack Taylor, (26) to do a part of the graphic work.
The question we had was: “Is a 22-year-old ready to do the heavy lifting it takes to make a print issue work?” Well the results speak for themselves don’t they, it took some time, it took a lot of energy but it came out great, different and that was what we were looking for. because Berlin can be a lot of things but in the cold it is mostly a beast of burden, whereas in summer it can feel like a balloon, lifting you up. Working the beast, might not be easy but it can be rewarding. There are clear benefits like the lack of tourist people around, fewer skaters at the more famous spots and fewer distractions all around by open airs, protests, and kick-outs because winter is mostly about staying in.
“Is a 22-year-old ready to do the heavy lifting it takes to make a special issue work?”
To wrap it up, a lot of people talk a good game about moving to Berlin but you haven’t truly been here unless you have been through a winter so look at what we together created and make up your mind firmly if you really want to Place your flag in Berlin soil.
Special thanks go out to Vans “OFF THE WALL” for supporting this project.
Editorial lifted and adapted from the print issue of the new PLACE YOUR FLAG issue of Place Magazine. Text by Roland Hoogwater.
PUNK! That is what Mobina and Melika are. why, you might ask? Well, first of all, they are DIY people. Coming to Germany together with their whole family and finding a new way in a country, a society & a city that bares at best small resemblances to where you were born. That said, they took on that challenge and are well on their way of knocking it out of the park. All while staying humble but not shy and they are certainly not shy! HIGH ENERGY, that is what they bring, jokes for days, a lust for life that in all honesty, we haven’t seen that often. Mobina (18) is a wild child, dancing at parties, skating with the pros, finding out about all that Berlin has to offer while still maintaining a serious attitude to her education. Melika (15) is a bit more relaxed, strong-willed on the board, not afraid to take a slam or even go back to get what she feels she can land. All while putting great value into people treating each other with kindness and respect, she doesn’t suffer fools lightly either and will let her opinion be known. At the same time, they both like to pull pranks on one another, pretend like they hate each other saying things like “You make me want to vomit!”. But in all honesty, it is a game and they are playing the game well and have fun doing it together!
Text by Roland Hoogwater / Photography by Tina Willim.
We first met Melika Nazari one and a half years ago at Heidelberger skatepark in Berlin, a random skatepark to be at, if you are a young upstarting skater in the German capital. The transitions are steep, the ledge and the flatbar are pretty high & the flat ground is not the most fun but Melika found her way.
We all skated for about an hour after which our crew sat down, immediately Melika introduced herself and started asking questions:
“Who are you? What are your names? Where are you from? Do you skate here often? What are your IG handles?”
Needless to say, we where a bit overwhelmed but at the same time she was nice to us and obviously so interested in skateboarding that we obliged her and she made a real impression on us. It was only when we fired some questions back at her that we found out she wasn’t German, she was a refugee from Afghanistan. That fact almost seemed unreal to us because she was fluent in German (no real accent) and dressed like a skater no shyness either, it just showed us not to judge a book by its cover.
I met Melika a couple more times and each time she showed a lot of improvement, she had found a new home at the better-suited skatepark DOG SHIT SPOT. And that is where they really became a part of the Berlin skate scene. People have opened their arms and welcomed them in, helping them with boards, shoes and all the little things so that they could continue to skate.
Fast forward to November the 10th, at the Nike SB Shelter in Berlin to be exact. That Sunday we first saw the girls in their natural form… together. It was at the Skate For More Session that was part of the then-new Just Do It Campaign of which both sisters were a big part. That day hosted best tricks, a race, a potential to vote for a new Bowl section but most of all they stood out by co-hosting the workshops, investing their energy into giving back to new often young skaters from all walks of life.
How does a person that flees Afghanistan via Iran ending up in Berlin find skateboarding? Drop-In that is how! DROP-IN is a foundation that hosts projects for Refugees and as the founder Joest Schmidt explained uses sporting activities to engage in education and integration of new-comers into German society. Mobina & Melika entered a summer program that helped teach German, showed them the city and introduced them to their first love Skateboarding.
They were hooked from day one, we offered other sporting activities but they were only interested in one thing. If we would go swimming they would ask if they could go skate instead.
Joest Schmidt, Drop-In Founder.
Joest being a skateboarder himself obviously obliged them and so their journey began. Their German language skills developed at least as fast as their skating did, that is in part due to the fact that Drop-In’s courses involve mixing local Berlin kids in with the Refugees creating the necessity for both to find a way to get out of their comfort zone and talk to each other.
“That and the fact that we where hanging out at the skatepark a lot, really helped us learn German fast! We had to try and talk on a daily basis we couldn’t stay in our own language bubble.” Melika tells us.
Now within three years, they don’t only still attend skate classes, they are able to host them and teach new people, in a sense closing the circle that Drop-In created.
Imagine this, they came to Germany 3 years ago, found a new hobby, sport, art… whatever you want to call skateboarding and within 2 years they were not only fluent in German but also good enough at skating that they could stand in front of a group of native speakers and teach them their new hobby, their new lifestyle.
Joest Schmidt, Drop-In Founder.
As I said in the intro they are PUNK, they might not dress like PUNKS did in the ’80s but they are “Do It Yourself” people taking their own route and not following the mold that other refugees, skaters or teens have followed in the past. For a lot of girls with Muslim backgrounds, a lot of activity can be forbidden depending on the strictness of their religion. Riding a bike is one of those activities but skateboarding is so new that it is not Haram so it can be practiced freely. And even though skateboarding is an activity that you perform alone it is something that you do together with your friends, culture, heritage, age, ethnicity all fall to the side the only thing that counts is “are you a real skater?” and if you can fulfill that requirement you can hang.
So to close it off, this is, of course, a story about two young women who through hard work and having an open attitude managed to find their way into Berlin. But more than that it is a story about skateboarding, social work and that special mix that can help people from all walks of life.
This was the best event since your last event together.
London Lee, Wassertorplatz, 2019
And with that introduction, we would like to welcome you to the recap video for our Wassertorplatz invitational table tennis tournament. The idea started last year after /// teamed up with us for our first ever non-skate tournament, in fact, it was a table-soccer or Fooßbal competition.
Now, ever since they changed our famous skate spot into a playground area we have been veiled in black and to be honest the “Platz” has changed a lot as well. When we went to shoot the trailer for the event it was literally riddled with weeds. Needless to say, the new locals had not shown it the love we had :(…
So what better to do than to return and give the place “a years worth of love” in one day! And even though the city and some of the people didn’t seem to want us there they accepted us showing up this day to celebrate the place we love.
Of course, we adapted to the changed plaza and organized a Table Tennis tournament as well as 2 best trick sessions, recreating the rooftop ledge especially for this occasion.
The people came out and celebrate we did and truth be told the platz, the cops and the people living around wtp the place all showed up (the cops blessed us by not showing up) and celebrated with us.
A very special thank you goes out to adidas Skateboarding!
Enjoy the video and we hope to all see you at our next competition.
Anyone who is following what we are doing on our website knows that we are suckers for videos from Berlin, for many obvious reasons. This one is another gem from the Kreuzberg / Neukölln locals straight to the rest of the world. All filmed between fall 2017 and summer 2019.