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.
Today we have a new exclusive for you featuring Sören Fischer. Now instead of talking to the man himself we talked to the man behind the lens Julian Lopez and asked him all about Sören, how this part was made and if it is important for the filmer to be able to skate. He answered and we laughed a lot in the process. So press play, get to know Sören, and stay for Julian.
Photos by Chris Hartl & Frederik Ludwigs.
Film & Edit by Julian Lopez.
Interview by Roland Hoogwater.
Julian Lopez, welcome to this interview, today we are talking about a part you filmed together with your friend Sören Fischer. First, where are you right now?
I am in my apartment in Berlin.
Funny, we haven’t met before haven’t we?
No, we have not, Wedding is a bit outside of the main skate spaces in Berlin. Neukölln, Kreuzberg, Mitte, and Friedrichshain are not super close. But I like it here and some of my friends moved down here with me so, it is this little community where we skate together and are slowly making a spot map of Berlin.
I will give you a little tip, head east and stay outside of the ring (bahn). Start with taking the U8 all the way to Wittenau.
Thanks, I haven’t been out there, and the U8 is not far from my house!
So where are you from originally?
I am from Munich.
Many people from Munich are moving down here. Is there a problem in Munich?
It isn’t a relaxed city, plus I don’t want to stay in the same place my whole life.
But Berlin is quite a change, isn’t it? You could have moved to Frankfurt, Stuttgart, or Vienna?
Noooooo, I mean I always said Vienna or Berlin but the other two were not really places I was drawn to. It just felt like the best decision was to come to Berlin.
Well, it seems like Munich is losing a lot of cool people to Berlin. Maybe if you are young, Vienna or Berlin has more to offer.
I like the fact that you can live in Berlin and you don’t have to have the most amount of money to do it. In Munich, it can feel like the survival of the richest.
So, tell me a bit about the part. It didn’t scream Munich at first glance.
Why do you say that? Is it his style of skating or is it about the spots?
Mostly the spots and the style of skating it seems to stand alone.
Well, a big influence on Sören’s skating was that he lived in Berlin for a while. He studied there for 4 years and during those years his level of skating went up drastically. So when he came back to Munich 2 years ago he took those skills to the streets. He also wasn’t shy about calling out tricks and spots. He told me what he wanted to do and when. Which I really like.
A filmers dream! You can tell that both of you had an idea of what you wanted. Some of the filming on the lines isn’t easy and you did quite well.
Thank you, we worked on it for 2-years, traveled to Tenerife and Barca for it and in 2020 we managed to squeeze in some trips through Germany. We really gathered some clips.
Funnily enough, this part was first planned to be part of a crew video “The Rulfgang” but we all became older and some people just didn’t have the time to put in the work. Sören did the most and was about to move to Canada so he wanted his footage to come out instead of it turning old. So we decided to hit you guys up. We felt that our project fit into the image of Place.
That is something we are happy about! But back to your filming for a minute, can you tell me about your role models in filming?
For me that Strobeck style is good but it has been done to death. So I wanted to do something different. I looked to people like Dennis Ludwig, I like his work and he has his own style. I grew up on Girl videos and liked the storytelling in those videos like Pretty Sweet, I think that has had a solid effect on the way I look and make videos.
Sounds like a proper OG SHRN education.
For sure, Soo Hot Right Now is THE shop in Munich and it is the place where you learn about skateboarding as a kid.
When did you actually meet Sören?
In 2011, I went on my first skate trip. The trip was to Berlin and Sören was on that trip as well. But, the real friendship came when he moved to Berlin and we visited him multiple times. That is how he became part of our crew. Fun fact, Sören is also one of the biggest skate nerds that I know. We often write to each other and talk about videos or articles.
I grew up on Girl videos and liked the storytelling in those videos like Pretty Sweet, I think that has had a solid effect on the way I look and make videos.
Julian Lopez about the videos that formed him as a filmer.
Nerdy! So, when did you start filming?
At some point, you look up and you see people ripping and you look at your own skating and feel like someone should document their skating. So that lead me to pick up a camera. I wanted to find my role in the group around me and I found it when I picked up the camera.
People also gather around filmers.
True, I started with a DSLR and once I got a camcorder I felt really stoked to do more. I also became more critical of filming in general, your eye just changes. I had to stop watching certain clips just because the footy was too shaky (laughs).
What about the level of skating of a filmer? Do you feel like if a filmer can skate well that it influences the way he films?
I think it does. look at Jacob Harris or Gustav Tønnessen their filming is so smooth because they feel so comfy on the board.
So, do you prefer Gustav’s filming over his skating?
No, his skating is still #1. But the filming does add to the reason I like him. I also want to give a shoutout to Max Pack and Paul Labadie because their edits for Vans Europe have been really inspiring. A great mix between fun, skating and lifestyle.
So would you say you prefer great skating with bad filming or good filming with medium level skating?
Good filming and medium level skating, because you have to watch the whole thing and bad filming just hurts the eyes. For me the most important thing is that you get to know the people that are in the video. Like in Godspeed, you really felt part of the crew. A connection through video.
Back to Sören, what is your favorite moment in the part?
The Backside Disaster Revert. It is not the best-filmed trick in the part but it is my favorite trick in the part. I like that he loses the hat, that makes you pay attention. Filming wise I like the line with the big 50-50 at the end, I also like the placement in the part. It worked well with the song.
Was the song hard to find?
Well, we did struggle with the music but we found the song quite early on. Deedz skated to a song by the same artist and Sören just played it in the car. It just took us a while to realize that was it. I look for music quite a lot, I often think “Wow, this could work really well for an edit.” But then I try it and it doesn’t work and you have to keep going. The skater also needs to be happy with it and I am lucky that Sören himself presented the song to me.
I feel ya’! Thank you for this talk Julian and I hope we see each other soon!
Peter has been a busy boy this last summer! His “What The Heck” video came out less than a week ago and now we are already getting his next video. Creature and OJ Wheels came to town and somebody named ULPH put his Swedish foot down on multiple spots in a time span of 6-days. JAKE and JOAO backed him up and DAVE came along for a day too. Pretty amazing, and because you might not be aware of how fun these guys are we asked a BGP legend & team manager Steve Forstner to casually introduce Berlin to the guys and the guys to you.
LOVE is just a 4 letter word but so is FUCK! A lot of GOOD things are described by just FOUR simple letters. 4 is the number of people in this edit and the liquid they drank most is 4 letters long as well.
Back to the feature of the day. Get ready for something new, something fresh, some weird new Creature. Press play on the above first, but stay here and get into podcast mode for a second with our audio below.
We at Place are very proud to present to you a video by someone close to our hearts. Peter Buikema is a big part of what makes us, us. From FUNBOX, Shimmy, The Place Roadtrip video, and many more he has plowed through 2020 and came out the other end. The result being, this new video “What The Heck” together with Lousy Livin. We asked Peter to talk and explain a bit about this video, the meaning behind the title, amongst other things. He reluctantly agreed but added that his talents lie behind the lens. Which is a part of why we love him so much. So here is a modest talk with the creator for those that want to know more after pressing play.
Welcome Peter are you ready for your close up? I hope you are here we go, some hard hitting questions: What The Heck is a fun title for the project but for those in the know it has a somewhat personal flavor, care to explain?
Well, I live in an apartment at the Heckmannufer, a skate house would be the appropriate term. So, last year we had friends over all the time. And on one of those nights, the idea was born to make a Heckmannufer video with all the homies and we came up with the name “What The Heck”. The street itself and our apartment feature throughout the whole video.
In what way did this idea then come to be a project connected to Lousy Livin?
The Idea for the Heckmannufer video came before Lousy Livin asked me to do a video. Actually, we had already started filming. I then came back to them with the idea to combine the two and they liked that very much. The process of working together was quite nice in general, they gave me artistic license to make the video I wanted to create.
The music in your projects always plays a big role, on past projects we have been sending songs back and forth. Can you tell us a bit about your music selection process?
Sometimes I spend days and days browsing Youtube, Spotify, Soundcloud or whatever for music. Every now and then, I manage to find things I like, which I then add to one of my playlists. Funnily enough, I often find the best music, the things I end up using, when I am not looking for it (laughs). And then when editing I check if I have something that matches the vibe of the footage. Sometimes I just use a song I’ve been listening to for ages, but then after editing I can’t hear it anymore (laughs).
Music is obviously important, but the skaters you choose are at least as important. How did you pick the people for this video, did they just wander into your apartment?
(laughs) They are all the homies. I like an open vibe and I feel that skaters work well in groups.
What do you want people to take away from watching this video?
I can’t really answer that, maybe that it was really fun making this project. I hope that shines through in the video.
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. Not all Germans suffered this fate obviously, Jan Kliewer, Michi Mackrodt, Sami Harithi to name a few have escaped this treatment. And let’s be fair it is a bullshit stamp. Leon is also Kenyan and once he found out that David Jakinda is also of Kenyan heritage he got very excited and asked if I could introduce him but Covid happened. Still, these kinds of things are important to Leon. Imagine a double part between the two of them! 2021, David were you at? Anyway, Felix Schubert and Leon did the work! while being the two most humble, relaxed, and kind people you could work with. I haven’t heard any bad words about the two of them ever and you know as well as I do that people love to hate (the comments after this will be the true judge of that statement). But through this process they remained hungry, hard working and with good results. You will be seeing a lot more from them after this moment. Mark my words.
I want the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. First question, how are you guys feeling right now?
F: Nervous, I want to know what people think of the video.
Are you afraid that people won’t like the video?
L: I am pretty confident with the stuff we got and I am happy with the way the edit came together. At some point, I was thinking that people would think it was lame or that it wasn’t good enough. But I think it turned out pretty well.
F: I am happy too, but I am curious what the comments will be.
I think it will be fine, you are young and coming into your prime. So, how did you guys get to know each other?
L: It was here in Berlin, a friend of mine from down south in Germany had moved up here and he introduced me to Felix. I think we skated that park in Moabit together. We clicked and started filming clips. That was in 2018.
F: Nope, that was 2019, you moved in January.
L: We filmed that “Obstsalat” video in a few months, that happened fast.
F: I’m more introverted and usually need some time to open up to people but with Leon I clicked from the beginning. I had the feeling with Leon I just can talk about everything. That’s what makes working on projects with him so easy.
Leon, you moved here from the South of Germany close to Freiburg and the Swiss border. Berlin has its very own vibe, how was it to make that change?
L: It changed me a lot. Down there we have cool parks, cool spots and I went to Basel a lot. Basel is cool, the scene is great but things are a bit sleepy there at the same time. I wanted to move to Basel but it is really hard for German people to move down there. The Swiss want to keep the circle tight (laughs). I felt a bit stuck, and last minute I thought about Berlin, some of my friends had moved before me. So in the last 3 weeks of 2018, I managed to pack my stuff, rent a car, one way, and arrived in Berlin. It has been a bit over 1.5 years now and time in Berlin moves fast!
You established yourself fast as well.
L: Berlin just has a lot of people and a lot of the right people for me!
F: I guess your skating helped too. (laughs)
Are you from Berlin, Felix?
F: I moved up from Koblenz about 5 years ago to do my vocational training. I stuck to my friends at first but I found myself hanging out with a crew of people from the Freiburg area quite soon. People like Domi & Michi welcomed me in.
Dominik is a ripper, I didn’t know that about him.
L: They are from Offenburg, the next city over. I know him from back in the day. Him and his little brother were the contest rippers. His little brother always won the kids division. Domi was exciting to watch, when it was contest season I always got excited like “Here comes that nice Back Smith on the hubba.”
You guys live together now, how did that happen?
F: It was kinda random, I had a friend living with me and he built a bunk bed in the hallway. So after Leon lost his flat, I told him he could move into our hallway (laughs). So after a while one of the rooms became available and he moved in there and that is our current status.
L: It is at Frankfurter Allee really close to the famous stair that people skate.
Did you ever kick people out or throw down eggs if the skaters didn’t want to leave?
L: (laughs) Not as much as the people living right above it. I also never skated the spot myself, I think I am too heavy to go up like that.
They kept that on the low for sure (laughs). Felix back to you when did you start filming?
F: Well, me and the hometown crew put the money together to buy a camera. Soon I noticed that I was filming better than they were and I wanted the footage to look good so I took on the role of filmer. We dropped a full length in 2016 after 4-years of filming (laughs).
You can get hooked on filming and editing quite easily. And I think filming motivates people to do their best tricks and I like that. I think I became a filmer because I was interested in showing people that were better than me. I just felt like I wanted to show those peoples skating.
“Obstsalat” is actually the first video I fully did on my own. I guess I just kept filming stuff when I moved to Berlin, without having a project in mind, but when I got to know Michi, I was so stoked about his skating that I figured it’s about time to make my own videos with the guys I like to see skate.
People are at a higher level here. I remember going to one of the skateparks here and just looking around like?! It seems like every cities local hero is just ripping up the park. How did you deal with that coming here, Leon?
L: What shocked me more than seeing some of the skaters that I had seen before in videos is the fact that their ripping looked so casual in real life. I remember going to Skatehalle for the first time and I felt like “What!! Is this a demo or something?”
So I adjusted and thought like “Ok this seems to be the level, let’s see if I can play. Not in a competitive way but I just wanted to see if I could hang.
I definitely saw a “Before & After” effect. Because when we first met at the Kindle Banks I was impressed but after the 2019/2020 winter there was a difference.
F: There was, but even back when we filmed Obstsalat he would always get like one or two good clips each session.
L: I got better except for my wheelie skills, wheelies get me depressed. I want to do them but I don’t know how.
It seems like you just take it to bigger spots and transition more naturally.
L: I don’t even skate transition for that long, I started 3 years ago and I just started learning transition faster than I did any other type of skating. I was into it because it is fast, you can grind long and you go high and because it came naturally to me I stuck with it.
That is kind of crazy because it really seems like you have that level of confidence that comes with growing up on transition. When we did that “Eat Your Veggies” you skated that ramp with ease.
L: That ramp is sketchy but I have this idea that helps me with transition skating. So, on higher ramps, I feel like the basic calculation of the quarter is kind of the same. So whether it is a high ramp or a small one you just need to figure out how to land in the middle of the transition and you can walk or slide out of a bail easily. Also, I look at cats and how they do things and try to emulate that (laughs).
To be honest it kind of shocked me to hear that you have been skating transition for only 3 years and did an ender like that. Could you share a little bit about that process?
That day was crazy, we woke up had breakfast and we just said let’s go to Kreuzberg and we happened to pass the spot. We looked at each other and thought, why not go here. So I warmed up with those Frontside Oski’s, then did a stall on the top to drop in and after that, I wanted to Nose pick. But I landed in a Noseblunt a couple of times and I kind of started believing it might be possible. So I kept going, had a blackout moment and woke up rolling away from it like “What The Fuck”.
How many tries did it take total?
F: Maybe 20, that was before we even met up with the crew. We kept skating and got more clips that day.
L: I filmed that ollie up, Front board fakie line like right after. You can tell in my part I wear a lot of the same outfits because a lot of stuff happened in sequence.
What was the biggest challenge for this part?
L & F: THE MUSIC!
L: We tried everything, from funk, soul, whatever, and we would come home and try to edit it, and either it didn’t work or we got less psyched after we saw the results. Also, the trick selection was hard, we struggled a bit with that.
F: I am happy that a lot of things got leftover and that will go forward to my next project.
Continuing, did you guys carefully select the spots you wanted to skate? Because some of these spots are not typical berlin spots.
F: I am just not interested in filming the same old spots, I am not interested in filming too many lines at Bänke. Berlin has so much to offer and looking for spots by bike is a big part of that experience.
L: I remember Felix would come into my room really stoked saying that he had found a spot on google maps. We would then go there on the weekend and use the spot as a Geiger meter. On the way, we would find things and skate them. That was probably the most productive method for us, sometimes being too prepared and stuck on the idea of doing a certain trick at a certain spot can be detrimental to being productive. I feel if you keep an open mind you approach the spot differently and you often get a better result.
Who is the leader when it comes to picking directions.
L: It is a group thing but Felix knows a lot of spots.
F: And Leon can skate a lot of them so the combination really works.
Except, you never seemed to land at any wheelie pads.
L: (laughs) No he never brought me to any of those luckily.
F: He doesn’t like to try them and I don’t like capturing them on my vx.
What is your personal top 3 when it comes to things in this part.
L: Halfcab down the stairs Wallie Frontside 180.
L: Switch 270 Wallride over the coffin.
L: A toss-up between the line with the Max Palmer Ollie and the Backside Noseblunt.
F: The Ollie at Görlitzer park into the short bank. I like how it looks on tape.
F: The Wallie transfer from stone to stone in Schöneberg. Also not the most common spot.
F: The Ollie over the rail into the bank and dropdown into the next bank.
Funnily enough, there is a lot of Barcelona in there and I remember that after seeing that footage calling you (Leon) and saying that I felt you could do better.
L: Pfffff, I was scared after you said that, I had an “Aaah I don’t know if I am good enough!” type of moment. At the same time, I did have some tricks to hold on to. I felt like some tricks had a good level and all I had to do was get slightly better than that and I felt that motivated me to get better day after day.
F: I was surprised. But I also felt that you said it to keep Leon motivated and not chill too much. Because we all know those tricks were good tricks.
My goal with that was to get you to keep the same newfound confidence you had inside of the park and I wanted you to take that to the streets. I mean some of those Barcelona tricks are in the ender section of the video but I felt like all-round the possibilities were greater.
F: It worked because most of the footage we got happened in the weeks after our Barcelona trip. We also had a lot of time because of the lockdown.
L: I think we never felt that we could sit and chill with the footy we had, I always felt like we should keep it going.
Even after you did the Backside Noseblunt and showed me the clip? my reaction was pretty reassuring.
F: (laughs) I remember you instantly took out your phone and texted Daniel (Pannemann). And he texted back “Damn @streetquarter on a street quarter.”
Looking back you tried some gnarly stuff in Barcelona too. You tried that big kink rail.
L: That was crazy, you had to gap over a 3 stair, into a flatbar, that changes into a 10 stair rail.
F: You had it though!
L: Almost, I think if I could go back I would try it again. That could have been the ender. I know I can do it though!
Compared to “Obstsalat” you don’t have too many rail tricks in your part. This feels like a part where you shifted focus.
L: You think? Maybe that’s true but at the same time, there weren’t too many good rails around.
Instead of that you just did gnarly drop-ins instead. How many boards did that one under the Prinzenbrücke (bridge) take you?
L: It took like three tries and it didn’t cost a board. I thought I was going to eat shit though! That little slappy wedge at the bottom was scary but I was trying to be mentally prepared for it.
It was the same day as the DDR museum line where I broke the sign. The whole museum area was closed so we could skate some spots that are normally hard to hit. Did anyone ever hit you guys up after seeing something like that and wanted to get the information of the skater?
No, Not really, I received an e-mail once about our stickers being found somewhere but nothing came of it. Random question but what about the frontside flip over the rail? How did that happen?
L: That is in Potsdam, I went there and skated with Justin Sommer and Jose was there as well and we just tried to skate the rail. I tried to Backside Smith it and the rail kept catching my kingpin so I just tried to Reynolds it instead. I got lucky in the end and managed to roll away.
The other line with the Max Palmer Ollie was also in Potsdam but not on the same day.
F: You had learned the Max Palmer Ollie that day. And I made you do it twice because I didn’t like the filming on the first one.
L: I was like, NOOOO PLEASE! (laughs).
In a way, that line is important because it shows you something quite different from the rest of the footage.
L: It was to pay homage to one of my favorite skaters Max Palmer. That guy has it figured out.
I think your part feels a bit more Ishod, to be honest. Except for the fact that you don’t have any ledge lines.
L: I get that a lot. As far as the ledge lines go I will leave those to Pascal Moellaert.
What do you like to see in other people’s parts?
L: I think it is important to stay true to yourself. A lot of parts want to convince you of their quality by going gnarly but in my opinion that only really works if the skater feels like he wants to do it. Like Hyun’s part, you can tell that he skates the way he wants and likes to skate. Or even Shin Sanbongi’s /// part, a lot of people could do a lot of those tricks but you can see that they are true to themselves.
F: I like to see that the skater had ideas and thought about the way he wanted to skate for the part and what he wanted to skate.
L: And in a way, you can’t train street skating. The spot forces you to make choices or it allows you to create combinations that are almost exclusive to the spot.
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:
With the recent passing of legendary skater, businessman, influencer, and family man Keith Hufnagel we decided to delve into the archives and found this interview from 2012. Obviously, this was before he became sick, and even before Dylan’s passing so the tone of the talk is actually quite upbeat and happy. He touches on things that inspire him which is nice to hear from a person that managed to touch and inspire us. So take a trip, go down memory lane and enjoy Keith’s words in this Classic.
Originally by Benni Markstein. / Photos by Erik Gross.
Added intro by Roland Hoogwater.
Keith Hufnagel is originally from New York but moved to San Franciso in 1992 for College and to follow his passion for skateboarding. Ten years and a well-done pro career later he opened the HUF store in 2002 to give back what he got from the scene so far. Although the shop closed in 2008 the longtime Real Skateboards Pro established HUF as a brand with worldwide success. We present an interview about inspiration, influencing skateboarders, and his view on Germany.
What did change the most within the skate market in the last 15 years? How did the brands change that have been in the business for that long?
It is crazy just how much the skateboarding market has changed in that amount of time. This is really the biggest skateboarding has ever been, and this is the most accepted skateboarding has ever been. I mean, skateboarding these days is on TV, in advertisements, in the news— it’s absolutely huge right now. In many ways this is good because we are finally listened to, we are invested in, we’re even sort of taken seriously, haha. There is money in skateboarding now that allows us to actually make a living and survive, even prosper, doing what we love. But then again there is the downside to all of this as well. Because of the state of skateboarding now, we are seen as something “profitable,” something worth being “invested into.” Yes, it is awesome we have financial backing, but in the end, in the eyes of the major corporations and big businessmen buying into our “sport,” we really are just another dollar. Where were these corporations 15 years ago when skateboarders were despised and laughed at? Where will they be if skateboarding falls from public acceptance as we have seen it repeatedly do in the past? I think the most important thing for brands nowadays is to make absolutely sure that they keep enough of skateboarding for skateboarders. This means holding on to enough of the brands and industry to ensure that we as skateboarders are the ones profiting most, as we are doing all the work.
As we’ve seen over the past 15 years, a lot has changed for a lot of skate companies—some for better, some for worse. And then there are those that have not changed much at all, and those are the brands that I think are doing it right, the brands who keep doing the same shit that has always worked for them. I think something like the DELUXE camp (Real, Spitfire, Thunder, Anti-Hero, Krooked) has it all figured out—they’ve been sticking to the same thing for a long time now. They are really a “for skateboarders by skateboarders” crew over there, and make sure that every one that is working hard for them is taken care of in return. I could be a bit biased ’cause I’ve been with them for so long, haha, but they are really like a family over there. They make skateboards for skateboarders, simple as that.
Name three skateboarders that had and are having a massive influence on what’s happening in skateboarding right now.
Hands down, Mark Gonzales. He absolutely changed the way people looked at street skateboarding and opened everyone’s eyes to a whole new way of skating. He didn’t invent the ollie, but he took it to the streets and applied it in a way no one had ever seen it done before. There are those few people in this world that can turn water into wine and he is one of them, haha. You can watch Mark skate down the street and be completely stoked.
Danny Way. He essentially invented the mega-ramp, which is seriously one of the craziest things ever. I honestly don’t understand it. Danny Way completely killed gnarly street skateboarding, and as if that wasn’t enough, he is now pushing boundaries with the mega-ramp that are just beyond comprehension. I mean, he has both acid-dropped off out of a helicopter and ollied over the Great Wall of China, haha. I feel like we are going to be seeing a lot of progression on the mega-ramp over the next 10 years.
Rodney Mullen. He probably invented every street skateboarding trick there is today, he was just doing them as a freestyler. He has undoubtedly had a huge influence on why street skateboarding tricks are the way they are today.
Can you give us some info about why you think these guys are so important.
Well, for one thing, I have the utmost respect for individuality. One of the most important things in this world is to have a vision, a dream, a goal, and just go for it no matter what. All three of these guys had that vision and just went with it. It’s insane to think that everything they did on a skateboard simply did not exist before. They literally invented new forms of skateboarding. Nothing was copied– these were original minds taking skateboarding to a new level… that, to me, is what trendsetting and innovation is all about, which is the only thing that advances this world.
What did you inspire most for your actual collection? What is different than before and what do you see coming next year?
Well for our current HUF Fall ’12 collection we took a lot of inspiration from that sort of “do-it-yourself” skate style of the ’90s. Over here at HUF, we’re heavily influenced by the 90s skate scene… that’s the environment I grew up skating in, so that’s what’s closest to home for me. Back in the 90s, you didn’t have the variety of brands you get today. A lot of the style that emerged at that time was just totally DIY, you know, piecing together gear from all over the place. For Fall ’12, we wanted to return to those roots, so we took inspiration from both the DIY and hip hop scene of the 90s, and just added a modern 2012 twist.
Looking forward to Fall ’13, I would say it’s not necessarily about what is different in comparison to this current season, but more so just where we have added on. We look at each season as a new layer as we build our vision, so are always feeding off our collection as a whole as we adapt and develop as a brand. For Fall ’13 we continue to pull a lot of influence from our 90s NYC roots, so you can expect to see a lot of saturated, bold colors, sitting alongside the classics that people have come to expect from HUF. If I had to find one difference, it’s that our Fall ’13 season is merchandised really well, so you can expect to see overarching color stories as well as mini capsules within the line, which can be put together in so many ways. I guess all in all it’s going to be a really versatile collection, but still on some “we don’t give a fuck” kind of shit, (laughs).
Where do you see HUF as a brand in 5 years? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
As a brand, I see HUF evolving more and more into a larger and more solid footwear company. I love where we are at right now, but see a huge amount of potential for growth in footwear. We are still relatively new to the footwear game, but I feel we have the originality, creativity, and authenticity that can really drive us into becoming one of the most solid footwear companies in the industry, a footwear brand that is able to compete with the major corporations out there. I am really stoked on our skate team right now and feel honored to be a part of such a genuine crew. I plan to continue to remain completely involved in the company, and definitely see myself playing such a part as long as HUF is around—I plan on being here forever, haha. I may not always be the person doing creative, but I’ll always be here to guide the brand along with that same original vision we had when we first started.
What’s your most favorite place in the world?
Oh man, that’s always a tough question. I feel very fortunate to have traveled all over the world because of skateboarding and have fallen in love with many places. What’s awesome about skateboarding is that it takes you to places that “normal” people really don’t ever end up seeing, simply because it is completely out of their radar—a hubba behind some centuries-old European church, a ledge behind an abandoned American grocery store, a set of stairs on top of some mountain in Mexico, haha… Every place has its unique qualities, it’s own vibe. I guess one place I wouldn’t mind settling down at might be something like Hawaii, for when I’m a bit older. I really enjoy the whole beach life out there.
What do you like about Germany? Cars, beers, Nurnberger Bratwurst?
Germany is awesome. I’m a big fan of German-engineered cars, beers, and sausages, haha. I haven’t spent too much time in Nuremberg specifically, but do know the city saw some gnarly times during the war. I’d definitely have to say that Berlin has become one of my favorite cities out of everywhere I’ve visited. It has such a crazy history, and it’s awesome to me to see how it has developed into this huge hub for the art world. I really liked all the different artist areas there, and the whole creative vibe that is going on there… lots of good times out there!
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.
Our friends from Naïve are back with their fourth video in series. All captured in 2019 it gives you a good example of how skateboarding in Berlin can look like. It’s rough, rainy and pretty bumpy. Loving it!
June the 21st has many names “Midsummer Night”, the longest day of the year or “Go Skateboarding day 2019”.
This year Berlin was the city, MBU the location and Vans & Radio skateboards the supporting brands but most importantly Valentin Cafuk was the MVP!
Valle told us the day before, “Either I am going home with a lot of cash or I am going home hurt but either way, I am putting it on the line!” and he did just that. The next day though, he spent it all on art supplies…
So now since GSD is over and the sun on the longest day has set. It is all downhill from here but at least we can relive the moment with this video!
We would like to thank both Vans & Radio Skateboards for their support and we will see you all next year. Let’s hope that these obstacles will stay at MBU until then!