Tag: Lea Isabell Uhle

Lea Isabell: The Perks of Falling

This is our first ever article in the Long Read format, a new part of our roll-out which will feature articles from past issues of Place, longer columns, and other things that require that weekend type of time for you to read. The article below is a creation by our very own Lea Isabell. Who noticed some interesting differences between masculine and feminine behavior in their relation to skateboarding as well as life in general. Long story short, she did a deep dive in some gender theory as well as into her own experiences and came out the other end with this very fun and interesting text.

Intro by Roland Hoogwater.

Text & Illustrations by Lea Isabell.

It’s already October and I guess for most people the year 2020 is an intense one. Social distancing and „quarantine“ changes a lot in our daily routine. We are not able to see our friends and families, we are struggling with jobs and paperwork to receive money to pay our rent. But next to all the negative effects, we finally found time to do the things we never had time before and also the opportunity to reflect on ourselves and the society we are living in today.
 
For me, a lot of parts of my life changed and I had to try something new. A few weeks after the lockdown, things slowly started to open up again and I found myself in the position to become a skate trainer, working with kids during the summer holidays. I already had some experience working with kids but never before in the context of skateboarding. Now, all of a sudden, I hosted skate classes every Monday through Friday and also ventured out of Berlin for a skate camp with more than 15 kids together with another trainer. I thought because of the art workshops I did before, I knew a lot about children and because I am a skater myself, the skateboarding part would be easy. But the last weeks have given me a completely new perspective about kids, skateboarding, and society in general.

 
The Fear of Falling
 

When I “really” started to skate I was 18 years old and I always complained about the fact that I didn’t continue skating when I was way younger. I had gotten my first skateboard at the age of twelve. The opinion that kids or younger generations could learn faster because they are less afraid about the consequences, was an idea shared by skaters and skate trainers – and it still is. But the experience I had during the last weeks is, that kids are definitely afraid of a couple of things. Most notably: falling! A lot of the kids were not afraid of physical pain, but more about the social embarrassment, „OMG what will the others think of me when I fall down“. This was especially the case when it came to mixed groups of girls and boys, and… the girls had more fear to fall in front of the boys than in front of other girls.

I wondered what the problem was with falling in front of others? Especially in front of people of the opposite gender? (no one presented as trans or any other gender) Personally, I can’t say that I am fearful of falling in front of boys – or maybe I am no longer? I tried to find an answer to my question.

“It is more important for people to avoid social pain (like shame or embarrassment) than physical pain.”
 

Thomas Haarklau Kleppestø, Department of Psychology, University Of Oslo.

 
The connection between falling and being embarrassed

First of all, I was trying to find out why people feel embarrassed when they fall in front of others. But maybe I should start by stating clearly what embarrassment actually is.

“Embarrassment is an emotional state that is associated with different levels of discomfort and can be compared with shame. While shame is an emotion only known for an act to oneself, embarrassment can be projected on others (known as vicarious embarrassment).”

We have been taught multiple reasons or situations to be embarrassed. Example: sweating, farting, falling, or the classy thing – toilet paper under your shoe. The feeling is one of our social instincts, it is not a learned reaction.

Multiple Psychologists studied the feeling of embarrassment. I shortly want to introduce three of them and their thesis.

Leif Edward Ottesen Kennair, NTNU Professor of Psychology says that people constantly interact in social comparison and competition. We choose friends, lovers, and partners based on our judgment. Showing weakness, the loss of control, acting clumsy, or being helpless can trigger the fear of being negatively judged. [1]
 
Thomas Haarklau Kleppestø, working for the Department of Psychology in Oslo says that it is more important for people to avoid social pain (like shame or embarrassment) than physical pain. Experiments on the brain have also shown that social pain triggers the same regions of the brain as physical pain does. The reason why people feel embarrassed, so Kleppstø says, is that people want to signal good mental and physical conditions as to appear attractive to others as both/either a friend or a possible partner. The reason that you want to avoid losing control or getting hurt is because it can be associated with getting old or sick.

Johanna Katarina Blomster, also working at the University of Oslo underlines the fear of getting negative attention, being vulnerable, needy to strangers, or being the victim of, „Schadenfreude” (the feeling someone has making fun of your failures).

When we refer all this to the act of falling, we possibly grasp why people feel embarrassed. It could be a sign of weakness, losing control, and mostly it can lead to bad health conditions. That is why people are less afraid of physical pain, and more about the judgment of others. 

Jarne Verbruggen knows a thing or two about falling and getting up.


The border of genders 

As we know, there are a lot of differences between people when it comes to skateboarding. We know it’s completely normal to fall and to get hurt but you will always get up again. I think in the skateboard community it is not a way to show weakness, it’s a way to show strength, ambition, and endurance.  Even the fact that rough cuts video edits exist speaks for that. An example: Jarne Verbruggen’s Part, “Never Skatebored“ dropped three years ago and reached about 76.000 clicks on Youtube.[2] The rough cut came out in the same year and, got around 1,25 million clicks. It seems like skaters have a different attitude to failures than the rest of society. It seems like male skaters can also improve their masculinity by taking pain easily while continuing to skate, they get a lot of respect for that. I think a lot of people interpret these things in different ways when it comes to female skaters. 
 
In our society, we grow up with phrases like „don’t cry like a girl“, which represents that girls would cry more often. Crying is linked to emotional instability, pain, or the fact, that something is hurting. This can all be associated with weakness. If you translate that, a lot of boys and girls grow up with the image that girls are weaker and more emotional. The same goes for boys, just the other way around. Because of the prejudice, that girls are seen as emotional and weak, boys can’t identify with these characteristics because they would then be seen as having typical feminine characteristics. They are taught to be perceived as masculine, e.i. act emotionally dulled or “strong”.

Another personal example of outdated gender roles in our society: When I was a kid, my grandma always told me that I should be more careful with my knees or my legs in general. If I would have a lot of bruises on my legs, I would not be able to find myself a man in the future. I should focus on looking pretty! In essence, it would speak against my femininity because bruises are mostly associated with fighting, hard work, or extreme sports. Summed up, we grow up with the expectation that women don’t fight, don’t work hard, and don’t engage in activities like extreme sports, because they should be pretty, a mother, and good a housewive. At the same time, they are emotional and weak, not able to protect themselves. This is because of certain cultural standards, that dictate what a female body should look like. Women also have to be tiny, clean & skinny. People think women are just not made for extreme sports. Because of the images I just laid out. Men are growing up with the expectation to be able to protect their family and put in hard work, and because of that, they have to be strong. To learn how to be strong they can choose to engage in extreme sports.

This is subconsciously creating gender roles in skateboarding. We may have found an answer to “why do some girls feel intimidated to fall in front of boys?” It is an instinctive behavior that women want to please the other gender. Coupled with that, they have this false body image imposed on them by society. This creates pressures that they try to fulfill, at the same time, those images are completely detached from any natural form of the human body and mind.

And there is another factor which influences women in skateboarding. On the one hand, women protest against the prejudice that they are weak and sensitive. They see themselves as strong, independent women who have to push through a male-dominated society. The result is, that a lot of women aren’t able to admit pain and stop listening to their own body which can lead to bad health conditions. When a woman hurts herself, a lot of men tend to underdetermine the pain of the girl. I know this from my own experience. On the other hand, they don’t want to act too strong, because they don’t want to act too masculine. Both ways aren’t healthy for the female body and mind. And in my opinion: What is unhealthy for the female body and mind is also unhealthy for the male body and mind. So when it comes to skateboarding, women find themselves in a contradictory situation, which can lead to uncertainties and stress.

 
When a man gets taught that they always have to act strong, they also stop listening to their own body. Their fear of social embarrassment is higher than the fear of actual pain. When men continue skating because they don’t want to admit that they are in pain to underline their masculinity, injuries can get worse. Also, the oppression of feelings can lead to mental and physical illness.[3]

If this has ever happened to you, you probably felt a slight moment of loss of control and embarrassment.


 

The process of not feeling embarrassed anymore


With all this information laid out, we can begin to understand some of these circumstances. Everyone has their own insecurities and get affected by these gender expectations differently. I see lots of female skaters rejecting these gender expectations. They skate and bail, act strong and show weakness at the same time. They get respected for doing that – by both women and men. It is the same way for male skaters and other gendered people. The love for skateboarding can overcome a lot of borders and it seems like there is a new trend: Girls are strong, and Boys do cry, and I like everything about that. When you grow up in the skateboarding community you get a lot of compassion from friends and other skaters. You shed the feeling of embarrassment when you fall because it is normal, very human, and a big part of skateboarding. You can hurt yourself and you can also lose control every now and then. And thank god, the biggest part of the skateboard community teaches you that it is okay!

Through my own experience, I just want to underline that not everyone has similar experiences to mine. It takes some time to realize and understand the guiding principles of skateboarding and a lot of beginners are still struggling with these outdated gender expectations. A sad situation that could stop them from following their new passion. But on the flip side, we as a community can also pay more attention to how we can include women and beginners more, so they feel less intimidated, embarrassed, and insecure.

 
The Perks of Falling


Now, we have arrived at the best part of the whole article. I went to my local skatepark, skated around, and when I fell for the first time, I didn’t stand up directly but instead, I took some time to take a deep breath. I thought about what it meant to be able to fall and not feel embarrassed about it. About what it means to get rid of those worries and concentrate on your own body. Maybe you feel a little pain, but you can happily admit it – as male, female, and other gendered skaters.

 
I think when you can overcome a social embarrassment, your whole personality starts to grow. Maybe you will stop to see your body as a machine that has to act a certain way to please your surroundings. You start to accept and love yourself – both your body and mind. You are able to overcome unhealthy social gender expectations and will start to listen to yourself, instead of listening to others.

When you and your personality are growing and you find yourself in a positive mindset, your surroundings and your community is growing as well. When you’re able to show weakness or let people help you, the relation with your friends and others can get closer. You can also be a good example for others and help them, motivate them, or inspire them to free themselves from all those unhealthy social images about gender and norms.

Next to the positive effects on yourself and your community, it’s also nice to be ”down to earth”. You should try it out! Next time you fall while skating, just lay down for a moment. Take a breath, feel yourself and your environment, and relax. It can be a liberating feeling – one which I can highly recommend!

Watch Lea Isabell herself fall and laugh in this video.
[1] here and in the following:  https://sciencenorway.no/animal-kingdom-behaviour-psychology/why-are-we-more-concerned-about-someone-seeing-us-fall-on-our-face-than-whether-it-hurt/1562384
[2] Stand 17.08.2020
[3] Lookup: Netflix documentary (health) or the work of Dr. med. Christiane Northrup ‘’women’s bodies and women wisdom’’, 1998, S. 

We made this video as a piece to go together with our very own Daniel Pannemann’s interview in the current issue of Free Skate Mag. It was in fact Free’s own Arthur Derrien that proposed the idea of a sort of takeover/collab.

In the end, Sara Parson Texas did the interview itself and I (Roland Hoogwater) got the chance to create this video together with our staff and some of our close associates/freelancers.

We hope you enjoy the work we put in for you all to enjoy and stay safe out there in these troubling times.

A few weeks ago I went to spend some time in Barcelona with my friends. It was a warm spring day when we went skating and a friend asked me if I knew about Dolores Magazine. I had heard about it vaguely because I was following some girls on IG which were part of the magazine.

My friend then told me we should go to ROOTS Skateshop, a new issue of Dolores was dropping. It was that day on the 29​th​ of February around 6 pm I entered ROOTS and to be honest, I couldn’t believe how many girls were there. Inside they had a small bowl, but they also made some space for other obstacles where they ended up starting a little “Tricks 4 Stuff” session. When I approached the first table with the magazines, I met a nice person who welcomed me warmly. She introduced herself as Raisa Abal, the founder of Dolores, as I came close enough she pressed one of the magazines in my hands. I looked at the magazine, only girls and not too much text. I liked it!

Two weeks later I called Raisa and I talked to her about herself, her work with Dolores Magazine, and some other interesting gender-related topics.

Intro & Interview by Lea Isabell Uhle.

Portraits of Raisa by Miyu Fukada.

All other Photography by Raisa Abal.

Hey Raisa, nice to see you again!

Nice to see you too Lea.

I am really happy everything worked out and we can talk. So if I understand you right, you are located in Barcelona, are the founder of a female skateboarding magazine, a skater by yourself, and lastly also a photographer.

Yes, you got that right (laughs).

That’s so interesting. So how did you come to find skateboarding?

Back in the day, my high school friends were skating the shittiest skatepark all day. At this time they just did kickflips to fakie or front shove it on the mini ramp and to me, that was amazing (laughs). I mean I didn’t even understand those tricks, I was not skating at this time and they just did those tricks! I was 17 years old and my friends were much older than me and already skated for a long time. I was so stoked! A few years later together we started to organize small events. People who skated way better showed up and that was the moment I began to understand skateboarding.

One day, there was a girl at the park, she had a “small” longboard and did kickflips. At that moment I thought to myself, if she can do a fucking kickflip with her longboard, then I can also do a kickflip with a regular skateboard and I don’t mean it in a bad way! It pushed me to try it! So two friends of mine gave me a cruiser, you know, with the big wheels. So I started to do tricks with that one first. After a year I realized that it doesn’t make much sense to try street tricks with such a heavy board (laughs), so I changed the wheels and from then on skated a normal skateboard. I also changed the trucks. And that was so hard (laughs), pushing on a normal board was horrible!

How old were you when you started?

I was already 22 when I started, I’ve been skating now for nearly 7 years.

Do you think it’s more difficult to get into skateboarding when you’re already at that age?

To get into skateboarding could be more difficult, yes. Many people change their minds when they grow up because they have to organize their lives differently. For me, my whole life has been the same (laughs).

So you kind of went from school to school, right? What did you study?

I have a degree in Audiovisual Communication, then a Post Degree in Digital Photography and Digital Design, and then I did my Advertising, Art-direction Master. And I got my driver’s license (laughs).

You are laughing, but in some parts of the world, it’s pretty important to have a driver’s license (laughs). Where did you study?

In Galicia, Bordeaux​ ​and Madrid !

So, when did you move to Barcelona?

I moved here in October 2015, after I finished my master’s.

So you’ve been living in Barcelona for a while now. I noticed that all the pictures in the Dolores Magazine are personally taken by you. When​ ​did you start to take photos?

When I was a kid my grandpa gave me a small compact film camera, a few years later I went to an international surf contest with my parents in my hometown (Galicia) and took some photos. 9 years after that, we developed them, which happened somewhere around the early 2000s. My mom then bought me a digital compact Nikon with 2 megapixels (laughs) when I was 11 and I just started to take photos of everything. Looking back on it, that camera was awful but at that moment it was the best thing that could have happened to me.

I understand, when did you start to take Photos of Skateboarding? Was it before you started to skate or afterward?

It was at the same time I started to hang out with these friends from high school. It was some time before.

I would like to see some of your old photos as well. Do you think your work and photography stands in any relation to your education?

I think my education didn’t have a lot to do with it. But I think photography is something you learn by doing. The time you spend on it has a lot do to with it, but it’s interesting. A lot of people I’ve met asked me: where is your studio? Are you working in a co-working space? It seems professional to them, but actually, I am still working from my bedroom.

Regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, it might not that bad to have your office ready at home (laughs). So, important question, The Dolores Magazine! Where did the name come from?

I was sitting in a Bar with Marina Gasolina, so I just told her the idea of the project with Asiplanchaba, and we started thinking about different names: female names, Spanish ones, about skateboarding: and it just dropped into my mind: Dolores! Which is in fact also my mum’s name.

That’s amazing. I hope one day when I have kids, they also name something after me! I loved how creative you were with the name and I also like that it’s a female one at that. So you found a name, had the photos, and then in June 2019, you dropped your first Issue, right?

No, we dropped one before in February 2019. We did one without advertisements! The story behind the first Magazine was that one day I met Verónica Trillo, the Founder of Asiplanchaba, which is also a version of female skateboard media. She established that together with her friends about 10 years ago and it was successful! Asiplanchaba, for example, is a name that stems from that 80s song that talks about “a girl that was going to play but couldn’t play because she had to iron… ‘’ (and many other things like sweeping, scrubbing, etc.). The platform is focused on skateboarding, surfing, and snowboarding. Different topics than the everyday life of a housewife that the song was talking about. When I arrived on the scene in Barcelona (2015), we started to hang out and skate. At the same time, I shot some photos and so we decided to start some things together (laughs).

At that moment I was working in a big store here in Barcelona, so I only did photos for fun or because I wanted to. One year later in 2016, I ended up twisting my knee, my whole leg was in plaster (laughs) and I was not able to skate. That left me with even more time to take photos. I met Vero and some guys for a coffee and told her, that I wanted to use the pictures we collected the last months and start something together with them. We were hanging out with some friends some of which had high positions at other skateboarding brands and one of the guys just answered my idea with:,” a female skateboarding magazine? Such a 2000 thing.” That was in October 2017. In February 2019 I just looked at Vero and I said: ”Vero, you know what? I don’t give a fuck, I will pay for it myself!”. So we made a 350 piece run of the first issue (31 pages). We printed it at a print shop and it was amazing, I love printers man, they are my heroes! (laughs).

Ride-On 50-50, Andrea Benitez.

So you published your first issue of Dolores Magazine in February 2019, what happened after?

I had luck Lea, at this time the whole Lizzie Armanto hype started and there were a lot of Vans events around the world. The week after the release Vans called me and said they want to have some of my magazines. Other brands then followed.

How has that changed the magazine?

I work with the designers of the specific brands that support the magazine. I send them my layout and they send me the layouts for the pages they want to fill. The content depends on my capacity, who is down to take photos and who can do different tricks, who is around, who is fit to skate, and to shoot with. Some days didn’t work out as we expected and we ended up having super similar tricks at different spots… Or maybe on different spots but from the same person. I will not put every picture in the magazine. But I still use them, for Instagram or advertising or to collaborate with a brand or another magazine.

So, in the end, it is you deciding what each magazine looks like?

Yeah, it’s me and Vero. I work on the computer but Vero is always the voice in the back. But yeah, it’s funny. For me, I do not think I am especially creative. I just put things together, and if it fits, it fits! The most positive part for me is, I can put focus on things I want to show. If I do not want to have text, I do not have too.

Is there any specific reason why you don’t have a lot of text? And when you do have text, who is writing it and how do you decide what the topics should be?

There is no specific reason. Sometimes we write more and sometimes we write less. There are issues where we do interviews with the girls, or we propose them to interview each other. It just depends on the situation.

When I met you at the Magazine Release earlier this year, there was a Skateboardvideo of Asiplanchaba dropping concurrently to the Magazine. Can you underline the relationship between Asiplanchaba and Dolores Magazine?

Dolores Magazine is basically the printed expression of Asiplanchaba. A window for the female scene to the world. We always drop a video together with a magazine. Most of which was shot during the production of the magazine.

Do you think there are a lot of differences when it comes to male vs female magazines?

Yeah definitely. I mean it already starts at the part of getting the photos. For example, a man has an idea in his head and he wants to do a trick and shoot it, he will do it during the next week. In my experience, it is different with women. Maybe they are busy with work, they got their period, maybe they are having a relationship issue or whatever (laughs). It depends on their mood.

Do you think it’s always like that or does it depend on the person?

I think it depends on the day. When the day changes, we also change with it and our moods and personalities follow.

Airwalk, Julia Wilshusen.

And when you go out with girls to shoot pictures, are they always your friends?

I mean, the female scene is super small, that’s why you connect so fast and even if you just want to see it as a shoot, you become friends after anyways (laughs). That is the cool thing about it! I guess it is different from the male skateboarding scene. There are so many more men skating, they do not have to stand together as much as we do. 

That could be a point too. Are there any other big differences between the male and female skateboarding scene you have experienced in the last 7 years?

I think we -as females- just have fun. We do not expect anything to come from our skating, we are just doing it because it makes us happy, while many men expect something more. And of course, I don’t want to say that men all over the world don’t skate for fun, I am just talking out of my experience and here in Barcelona, I can see it a lot.

I don’t know If I am talking bullshit right now, but I think it depends on expectations. If a man is doing a trick, we expect that he performs it perfectly. But if a girl is doing a trick, we accept that she is doing it in a bad way. And when she does it perfect everyone flips out for sure!

That’s interesting Raisa, I never thought about it that way. Do you know where these differences in expectations could come from?

Maybe the differences in expectations come from a different level of tricks, or because skateboarding is currently something young men can do professionally. While it is more common for women to see it as a hobby.​ I don’t remember who said this to me: ‘’We do it for fun!” I mean I wish that any friend of ours can make a living off skating, but at the moment, we just do it because we feel we have to. And because it makes us happy. Especially people like me and you, we started to skate at an age, which is kind of old to get to that level of skateboarding and that’s why we can appreciate it even more. We already lived a life without a skateboard and we know how boring it is (laughs).

So you think people who started to skate at the age of 11 or 12 have a different relationship to skateboarding?

Yeah because when they started to skate, they were super young, it becomes something that is and was always there. You never had to find something that entertains you like skateboarding can.

I don’t know what I did all the years before (laughs), hanging out with friends maybe, drinking coffee? I am very satisfied that I am skating now. How are things in Barcelona? You’re locked in?

I have been locked inside for 13 days now.

What are you doing day to day?

I wake up, have breakfast, maybe watch a film, do my workout, work on Dolores or clean my cameras and Facetime all the time. Like with you right now (laughs). I clean the house. Cleaning is an antidote against boredom (laughs).

Next to being locked in your home for such a long time, does it affect you in your work, especially when it comes to Dolores?

Yes for sure and I am also a little bit scared because of possible changes. But we will roll with the changes and make the magazine thicker or smaller. We don’t know yet!

Raisa outside on a mission.

It’s so great, that you’re always that positive Raisa, I admire that. Something I also wanted your opinion on is: Girls-only projects? Do you think it integrates or separates female skateboarders from the rest of the skate scene?

One thing I learned from experience is that a magazine needs photos of great tricks with interesting people. So when you look at the level of skateboarding, there is a big difference between male and female skateboarding. Of course, some magazines would rather put male skateboarders in the mag. In my opinion, they just should chill (laughs). Also, the male scene moves much more money which binds both brands and content together. The important thing for me is to show the reality, we -as females- exist and we are here. Girls are skating every day, we appreciate it and we love it the same way men do. Maybe they don’t want to put you in the magazine, but I will! I mean I know there are already magazines who support girls, but why not craving for more? 

Okay, maybe that’s a reason why girls-only-projects are popping up that much. When they don’t want to create with us, we create it on our own. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and telling us about your awesome Magazine!

Thank you too, Lea! And hopefully, see you soon ​😊​

Wallride, Jeanne Duval.

By now you will remember Lea Isabell as the host of our wonderful PLACE TELEVISION series. This time she is not in front of the camera but on the phone with a wonderful skater. In a sense, though nothing has changed she is still the one asking all the questions. Rowan seemed happy to oblige and answer all that she wanted to know.

Hey Rowan, how are you?

Hey Lea, I am pretty fine. I just made some coffee between the last interview and this one. And you?

All good, I also have my coffee next to me. But let us not talk about our coffee-drinking behavior. We should start with some new stuff, like your shoe?

Yeah for sure, why not!

Okay nice, so maybe you can tell us: What was the inspiration for the design of your shoe?

When they first told me that I was going to get a shoe I just wanted to make sure that we offer something that is skateable but also something that looks kind of like a classy shoe. I wanted it the same way as the other shoes which came out at any time in the past of Vans, like the originals, so they shouldn’t look too crazy or look like something I wouldn’t skate if they were not mine. I kind of took inspiration from all the shoes I liked in the past. For example the half cab, the Tnt-5 and probably also an old one, which they resell in department stores only, the Bearcat. It was only 30 $ instead of the normal price of a Skateshoe.

The Vans Bearcat.

What was the process from the first sample and your first idea to the final product?

R: Well, we made a lot of different sketches, I also tried a few by myself but it’s hard to draw a shoe that doesn’t exist, especially when you don’t have any experience in that field. But yeah, we sketched like three different options and then we made sample shoes out of them. The one that came out the best was actually not my first pick but when it actually went from a sketch to the form of a shoe I liked that one the best and then we just moved on from there.

I don’t think anything really changed except for like heights of certain kinds of parts or like different stitching ends, but from the first samples, we didn’t change that much.

Were you also hands-on in deciding what kind of colorways will be put out there?

Yeah, We’ve done 12 colorways for 2020 and then I’ve done a few for 2021 already.

And which one is your favorite one so far?

My favorite one that is out right now is a skate shop exclusive one. It’s dark blue/ navy all the way to the floor, The sole is also navy. But there are a lot of other good ones that haven’t come out yet.

The ones on the left are Rowan’s favorites.

Wow, that’s really nice. I am looking forward to seeing your designs. Let me ask you some tech questions. What do you think about the new Pop-Crush-Insole?

Yeah, I mean I like it a lot. It’s really similar to the last one but it might last a little longer. With every shoe, they want to push some sort of technology or some advancement and since I wanted my shoe to look more old school, more classy, they made the advancement through stuff you can’t see. Like a new insole, something you obviously can’t see because it’s the inside of the shoe or something like the new Rubber Sole, which looks the same as the old one but is a little bit more grippy. Those advancements are there, but they do not always have to be that visible.

But we could definitely guess those advancements when we look at the commercial! How long did you film for that mini part?

Actually it was really cool because Vans let me put all my energy and time towards the Baker video, which was cool because I was wearing samples of the shoes the whole time, anyway. So, when Baker 4 came out everyone was wondering what shoe I was wearing and then two months later the shoe dropped. So, they kind of used all the extras and some stuff they didn’t use for the Baker video. So it was more leftover footage (laughs).

I didn’t expect that. Did you decide that Matt Sweeney would be the one producing the music for the commercial of your shoe?

R: Well the original plan for me was to pick a few bands that I like and then to see if they could get any of them to do the same thing he did, but maybe the bands that we picked were either busy at the time or too expensive for this type of project. so, I told them about my friend Matt. And a few people at Vans are also friends with him so it kind of worked out perfectly. And Matt then picked John Theodore to work with him.

Matt Sweeney shot by Imeh Akpanudosen.

So you are friends with Matt?

Yes, I’ve probably known him for five years.

So is there the connection to your Part in the Supreme Video with the Song, “Neighborhood Threat” by Iggy Pop? Because what people might not know is that Matt Sweeney was on Tour with Iggy Pop in 2016!

Actually Matt helped us to get the rights for the song. I don’t know if it would have worked out otherwise. He was the connection that made it possible. I mean obviously Supreme also paid for the song (laughs).

That is so cool, you seem surrounded by Rockstars. But In general, to me, it seems that you’re really interested in music. Is that why you wanted something special for your very own shoe commercial?

When they told me that I will get a pro shoe, I knew, it needed to be this type of music for the commercial. So I was for one-thousand percent behind it, I thought the idea fit perfectly for the commercial.

What other kinds of music influence you?

I have to say I am always bad at on-the-spot type of stuff. It’s hard to pin-point. I mean I can try but it changes day-to-day. First Iggy Pop, Roxy Music, Wutang, right know I like Pop Caan and one more, (laughs)… I don’t know. WITCH, it’s a Zambian psychedelic-rock band, the letters stand for: ,,We Intend To Cause Havoc”, which is pretty sick and they are from the 70s. They also played at my shoe party, so I am now going through loving them all over since I am a little kid.

I will definitely listen to them straight after this interview, thanks for sharing Rowan (laughs)! You already told us that you combined filming for the Baker Video and the commercial. But can you find any differences between working on a part and working on a commercial?

Well, I mean for the commercial we filmed 16 mm, which is obviously different to go out with that stuff. But I don’t know if I go out and I am trying to get some new footage It is sort of always the same. I am just trying to get something that I am proud of for other people to see, I guess.

And how is it when you are just having a normal session with your friends?

Ahh, when I am with my friends I am just fucking around, maybe trying to learn a new trick, maybe not, I might not even Ollie the whole session (laughs). Just trying to have fun.

And what about the SHEP DAWGS? What can you tell us about them?

They are my group of friends from the beginning. At that time none of us was really sponsored, maybe some got some free stuff, but weren’t on teams. So, we just spend our time together and filming. And everyone is still friends, but most of us have become sponsored skaters and have other trips and responsibilities in skating, so we have less time together to make those videos.

I can totally get this point, would you rather go on a trip with the SHEP DAWGS or with one of your sponsors?

I would love to go on a trip with those boys. I think not long ago they did a trip but I was on a company trip. I was a bit sad but maybe we can do another one soon. It would be great to get to travel with those guys. I mean at the same time I like that I get to go on trips with Vans and stuff, it’s great.

And what was your favorite Skatetrip so far?

Man… it’s been so many. I think we went on a, what was called,, SkateRock”, where a few bands came with a ton of skaters, but we also did one a few years ago throughout Mexico, and that was the last trip where Jake Phelps, Mark Hubbard, and P-Stone went on and since they passed away that was the last one that all of them were on. I think that was one of my favorite tours I’ve been on. But also one of my favorite Vans trips I’ve been on was my very first one on a double-decker bus throughout Europe. That was one of my first trips, yeah.

So you were in Europe! Did you also visit Berlin?

Yes, but I was there for only two times, two days each, so I did not really have the time to see what was going on that much. But I’d enjoyed myself for sure.

So maybe you should come back and get to know the city (laughs), it is pretty cool here, I promise!

When you look back to all your trips, do you think a great Skatetrip depends more on the crew or more on the place?

Definitely the people! I mean a place can definitely help but when you’re with the right people you can be at the worst spot in the world and you will still have fun.

Portrait by Anthony Acosta.

I agree with you, I mean, people make places. Can you tell us how you met Andrew Reynolds?

A lot of my older friends were already involved with Baker at this time, like Riley Hawk. At this time I had never met Andrew, but he asked Riley if I wanted to start skating Baker boards. I got free foundation boards at the time and I was like, hell yes! Every kid wants to skate Baker boards. I am not sure how long it took me to meet him but I met him in L.A. and after that, we started skating and hanging around more and more. So we became friends way before I got on the team.

That’s pretty sick. And what is your opinion on the new generation on Baker?

Like myself and everyone my age or younger (laughs)?

Yes (laughs too)!

I love those kids. Tristan and Zach, also Kader. He is going to be one of the best skaters ever! I mean he already is but he is still getting better and better as he grows. I am pretty stoked on Baker right now. I think these kids are the right kids to carry on the traditions that Baker has.

You are also on Supreme. How is that working out with you other sponsors?

So I skate for Vans and Vans apparel, but when supreme told me they wanted me to skate for them I couldn’t really do it because I was under contract with Vans apparel. But when I talked to Vans and they were cool with working something out. The first period Supreme was my shop Sponsor, instead of being my clothing sponsor. But now they worked it out and now it’s both. Supreme accepts that Vans is my primary sponsor and Vans accepts that Supreme is my sponsor as well. It is also like a partnership, cause Vans and Supreme do like a collaboration twice a year so it’s kind of good for them to have someone on both sides.

And are you getting more influenced now in what you want to wear?

I don’t know, but I guess… I mean both companies are producing stuff that I really like. It just gives me more options in what clothing I can wear.

Connecting to your shoe you also had your own Vans clothing collection right?

Well, all the Art on the clothing is done by one of my good friends Mike Gigliotti. He owns and runs the Lotties Skateshop and made all the art, yeah. But there is also one shirt, it’s a blue and white pinstripe shirt, it’s the same shirt I had for years and years actually I still wear it all the time. So it was cool to make that one into a vans shirt.
For the pants, I just wanted to make some double knee jeans… I don’t know (laughs). There was not too much inspiration, I just wanted to make some cool shit that I would enjoy wearing.

View this post on Instagram

Come on down! This will be a shirt soon too

A post shared by Lotties Skateshop (@lottiesskateshop) on

And at the same time make some nice clothing for the homies!

(laughs) Yeah right!

We already know via Transworld Skateboarding that Ali Boulala is your favorite male Skater. The question I want to ask you is: who is your favorite female skater?

At the moment it’s probably Breana Geering, but obviously also Elissa Steamer and Marisa Dal Santo belong to my favorites. Especially because I am friends with them and now since Elissa is on Baker we’re also going on trips together, she is the best!

Is there any difference for you between going on a skate trip with female or male Skater?

I haven’t really been on many trips with Elissa but I mean she is cooler than most of the dudes, she is so fun to skate with and to be around. I met Marisa when I was 14 she was hanging around the Zero offices which where really close to where I grew up. I saw her skating with my older friends all the time. She has known me since I was so small (laughs).

So you were in contact with female skateboarding while you were growing up.

Yeah.

Is the general view on Female skateboarding changing?

Yeah, I think girls are definitely getting the recognition they deserve now. It’s sick to see way more companies hooking up girls and that they have a Pro Contest for Women at Tampa Pro, that’s really sick!

Yeah I think so too. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on that! I think it’s always important to be happy for each other and to see things progressing in the right way.

Now you told me a lot, and I am just wondering, how do you manage all these things? How much does the fact, that skateboarding is not only a hobby for you anymore, affect your perception of skateboarding?

I mean skating has always been fun. For sure things come along with it that can be stressful… But that is also the case with other things I always dreamed of when I was a kid. It’s more a feeling of being overwhelmed in a positive way. It is more like a dream come true, you know. Even though there is stress the actual act of skating is and was always fun and always will remain fun. I do not think any of this other stuff will ever change how I feel about skateboarding.

Oh wow, I think that those words were the right words to end this lovely interview. Thank you so much for answering all of my questions. It was really nice talking with you.

Thank you too, Lea!

Thanks to Vans for the support & Antony Acosta for the photos.

More Rowan? Click Here!

First of all, we want to give a big thanks to Vans for supporting us and assisting in making the project happen. Secondly, thanks to Heiners for being a surefire location where we all feel welcome enough to be ourselves. And lastly, thank you to all the protagonists for not only putting your energy towards the project but also for shooting the recap to your own party. Cheers!

Jon Wolf was actually the very first (non-working) person to arrive.
Steffen & Oli two of the photographers who worked on creating the images for this project.
We are happy you showed up but WRONG MAG guys!
When are they playing the video?
Enough time for a session in between viewings.
Paul and his soon to be wife Ezra, when is the wedding guys?
Dude where’s my car? Where is your car dude? Nils might know but he ain’t saying.
On the right one legend, on the left Legensing and Sommerfeld.
Kalle, Lea & some été BGP’s.
All we have to say is best hair + eyewear combination!
A mayor S/O goes to the people from VANS who drove down from Munich to witness it all as it unfolded.
Bänke life means you represent wherever you go.
Julian Ruhe AKA the main figure on the trigger. It was his big night and he delivered both on and in front and behind the scenes.
SNAP! Valle Cafuk another one of our protagonists caught on film.
SQUAD? I don’t know, maybe.
Kalle Wiehn shoots Julian & Fabian Ruhe for Place Magazine F/W ’19.
Aaaaaand we are out! Thanks to everyone who showed up and helped us to make this an amazing night!

Photos by Julian Ruhe, Moritz Alte, Kalle Wiehn & Valle Cafuk.

Today I want to introduce you to Linda Ritterhoff and an awesome Video project she started in summer. Most people probably haven ́t heard about Linda yet, but the ones who do, know about her big influence in the girl skateboarding scene in Berlin. Linda has lived in Berlin for the last 10 years and skates longer than half of her life. She had an amazing idea at the beginning of the year: a feminine Skateboard video, which includes every active Skategirl in Berlin. Because of that release, I met her a few days ago and asked her a few questions.

Article by Lea Isabell Uhle.

Hey Linda, maybe you want to tell us something about yourself before we start talking about your project?

Hey Lea, for sure I will. So, my name is Linda and I am 36 years old. I am a social worker in the field of integration and family assistance and also the co-founder of the Drop In e.V. here in Berlin. I am also doing a project with skateboarding for people in a wheelchair (WCMX). I ́ve been living in Berlin for the last 10 years and started skating 20 years ago.

20 years is a long time! How did you started skateboarding?

I grew up in a small city with around 250 people in total. Because of that I always hung around in Twistringen (The nearest city) where I started skateboarding. The meeting point was always at a schoolyard, where the boys tried to ollie bicycle stands and stuff and the girls spend their time mostly sitting around and watching the boys. After one summer of watching, I got bored. So, after a party one of the boys forgot his board and I just took it to skate secretly. In 2004 I moved to Bremen and had my first Girl crew. Since 2015 I get support from Ten Skateboards.

So you already skated with a lot of girls in your past. What was the inspiration for a girls-only project?

I am not quite sure what exactly inspired me. I just got the idea at the beginning of the year. After a short phase of overthinking, I got afraid, that I would not find enough time for my own skating. But because of a few other, way smaller projects with GROLL-Girlscrew here in Berlin, I got confident that I would be able to finish a bigger project as well.

And that’s what you did! How long did you work on the video?

I finished it quite fast. We filmed between July and October 2019 and by the end of November we finished the editing (I got some technical help from my boyfriend). It is 20 minutes long and includes 48 active skater girls from Berlin. Basically we only skated in Berlin.

What kind of problems did you run into while filming?

In the beginning, I only wanted to use street-footy. But when we first started filming I realized, that if I would only film in the streets, we would only include half of the people because, for some Girls, it is still a big thing going in the streets and being creative with the skateboard. But I am super happy to present so many good skaters, even when they are skating in a skatepark. The idea to make an all-girl video worked out pretty well. I also decided to use music, in which women have a lead position. All in all, I am really satisfied with the result.

So do you think such videos are important for the girl skateboarding scene or girls in general?

I truly have to say, I am not the biggest fan of “Girls only’’ or “special Girl Sessions’’. I mean it’s an important part to win new girls for the sport, but it shouldn’t be like a closed area. One of the most important things in skateboarding is being in interaction with other skaters – male and female. Also, we are in a world where there are mostly male-dominated Skatevideos. That is what I see as a legitimization to do an all-female skate video, we should not forget that things are not that separated in real life and that it also shouldn’t be. An example, my male friends are super excited about the video because it’s something new! Apart from this, I think videos like these are important because the female Skatescene is growing really fast. I thought I already knew every active Skater girl here in Berlin, but I soon realized it was a lot of work to find them all. I met a few new faces throughout this process.

Do you know any reason for that?

I am not sure if there is one single reason why but I recognized there is something that is changing, especially this last year. So many new faces in the Skateparks! Maybe it’s because of a few international female video parts or because of a few female skaters turned Pro, but really I am not sure. I also see Berlin as a reason because a lot of people are moving here to continue skating. Berlin has become a melting pot for male and more recently female skaters.

Back to your project. The last question, I also saw that you filmed girls who are in wheelchairs. Can you say something about that?

Of course I can. As I said, I am doing some work at the Drop In e.V. doing the wheelchair project. For me it’s also a kind of skateboarding and it should be shown in videos. We need to integrate people with disabilities into videos, so we can also integrate them in the skateparks.

Thanks for your time Linda!

Last Friday Nike SB, Skatehalle Berlin & Skatedeluxe teamed up to put on an event in celebration of women all over the world. This event took place in the city we call home, Berlin. The event’s organizers asked us to document the whole thing and we answered by asking if we could add some karaoke in the mix?

“Karaoke, how? The event is at the skatepark”

“There are these Karaoke caravans you can rent for the day, we can park it in front of the park!”

And sure enough our wish was their command and the celebration was on!

Now meet the women that made the event special.

Meet Sara, she was the host of the PLACE karaoke bus. She also documented International Women's day for us.
Meet Sara, she was the host of the PLACE karaoke bus. She also documented International Women’s day for us & in our opinion is the Gertrude Stein of the skateboard world!

Now meet Moonia, she is Sara's best friend.
Now meet Moonia, she is Sara’s best friend.

Now meet our new favorite up & coming skater! She was shorter than her board but twice as tough, had a need for speed and had the entire skatepark crowd following her every move like a tennisball at the wimbledon finals.
Now meet our new favorite up & coming skater!
She was shorter than her board but twice as tough, had a need for speed and had the entire skatepark crowd following her every move like a tennisball at the wimbledon finals.

Meet Kim, most of the girls that skate know Kim, she has outstanding hair!
Meet Kim, most of the girls that skate know Kim, she has outstanding hair!

She also likes to sing and swing, A LOT! The karaoke bus was like a flytrap, and she was stuck!
She also likes to sing and swing, A LOT!
The karaoke bus was like a flytrap, and she was stuck!

This is Marina, she is from Croatia & she is part of the organization behind the Vladimir film festival. An event you must attend this year.
This is Marina, she is from Croatia & she is part of the organization behind the Vladimir film festival.
An event you must attend this year.

This is Lea Isabell, we once interviewed her and she has a lot of great ideas. Be on the look out, you will see more of her sooner rather than later!
This is Lea Isabell, we once interviewed her and she has a lot of great ideas.
Be on the look out, you will see more of her sooner rather than later!

This is Valerie she might be in the dictionary under "Cool" or "Sweet".
This is Valerie she might be in the dictionary under “Cool” or “Sweet”.

This is Marisa, she has a lot of good stories to tell! She was born in AZ and has traveled the world! We would love for her to start doing stand-up comedy because she is extremely funny!
This is Marisa, she has a lot of good stories to tell!
She was born in AZ and has traveled the world! We would love for her to start doing stand-up comedy because she is extremely funny!

Valeria was one of the first people in the booth and it is safe to say she broke the barrier so that more could follow!
Valeria was one of the first people in the booth and it is safe to say she broke the barrier so that more could follow!

Meet Sara she was DJ'ing the whole night... She also runs things! Eventually though the funk in the van was too strong and even she had to join in song and dance!
Meet Sara she was DJ’ing the whole night… She also runs things!
Eventually though the funk in the van was too strong and even she had to join in song and dance!

Linda didn't come sing with us, not because she didn't want to but because she was to busy ripping! She did a second try Frontside Boardslide 270 right in front of eyes, said hi and had to keep it moving!
Linda didn’t come sing with us, not because she didn’t want to but because she was to busy ripping!
She did a second try Frontside Boardslide 270 right in front of my eyes, said hi and had to keep it moving!

Not much is known about these three, except that they knew all the lyrics to Cardi B's "I Like It" by heart. "Certified, you know I'm gang, gang, gang..."
Not much is known about these three, except that they knew all the lyrics to Cardi B’s “I Like It” by heart.
“Certified, you know I’m gang, gang, gang…”

You could actually follow and almost song to song update via our Instagram Stories!
You could actually follow and almost song to song update via our Instagram Stories!

Power! That is the word that comes to mind when we think of Lea Shairer. Scroll down to see what song was being performed at this exact moment.
Power! That is the word that comes to mind when we think of Lea Shairer.
Scroll down to see what song was being performed at this exact moment.

Rick Ross the boss!
Rick Ross the boss!

Errr day I'm Hustlin'...
Errr day I’m Hustlin’…

Even though it was IWD some longhaired males did manage to skip past security and into the booth....
Even though it was IWD some longhaired males did manage to skip past security and into the booth….

Meet Anna & Joanna both sick skaters, strong singers and now karaoke addicts!
Meet Anna & Joanna both sick skaters, strong singers and now karaoke addicts!

Last year Lea was present at the IWD event and we choose to believe this is a photo of her looking forward to next years event! A sincere THANK YOU to all the women & LGTBQ+ people that came to celebrate with us in the booth we are truly happy to have sung together with you.
Last year Lea was present at the IWD event and we choose to believe this is a photo of her looking forward to next years event!
A sincere THANK YOU to all the women & LGTBQ+ people that came to celebrate with us in the booth we are truly happy to have sung together with you.

A special thank you to Sara Parson-Texas for all the work you put in and Nike SB, Skatedeluxe & Skatehalle Berlin for putting on the event and making people skate and sing their hearts out!

Two weeks ago I got two DM’s, one from Sarah Meurle and a little later one from Josie Millard “I am coming to Berlin with (insert the others name.), want to hang out?”. I did want to hang out, it would be cool seeing them again after our days in Paris at the end of the summer. So I texted the people from the Nike SB Shelter and asked them if I could join the “Girls Night” session, “Of course you can.” they told me. “Would you guys be down to feature it on the site?” “Why not, we want to know more about the girls’ side of the Berlin skate scene.”
Finally, last week I stepped into the skatepark and spent some time with my friends Sarah and Josie but I also found some time to talk to two of the skaters present at the event. They had a lot to say and thus this little feature turned into a full inter
view.

Pictures by Kyra Sophie.
Text and Interview by Roland Hoogwater.

Let’s start off with both of your names:

Pernilla Stadler, like Adler (German for eagle) with the st in front (laughs) and I am Lea Isabell Uhle

Meet Pernilla, wearing glasses and Lea Isabell, stunting the polar hat.
Meet Pernilla, wearing glasses and Lea Isabell, holding a signed RIPNDIP board.

 

Can you tell me why you came to this “Girls Night” tonight?

P:
I have been actively skating for about 4 years now, Skating has been the most important thing in my life for a while now. Two months ago I moved out to Berlin and I wanted to find other Girls in Berlin that skate. So, when I saw the Facebook event I directly went to apply, I really appreciate that they are organizing an event like this.

LI:
I was planning to come here after I finished my day at the University and my boyfriend sent me the Place Mag Instagram story.
He told me, Josie and Sarah, we’re going to be there! He knows how much I like their skating, so I went.

How did you get into them?

I love their skating, I got into it via the Poetic Collective Instagram and it took me a while before I figured out that Sarah skates for them. After that, I liked the brand, even more, cool product, lifestyle, skating and on top of that a girl on the team! I think the fact that they support girl skateboarding is great. Sarah really inspired me.

As far as Josie goes, in England, there are so many girls ripping it is crazy! I fell in love with their style of skating and that is how I found out about Josie. Can I tell you a story? One time at night, my phone lit up on the nightstand and I looked at it and it said @josielorie liked your post! I couldn’t sleep after that, my heart was beating so hard! For me, they are role models.

 

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What about you Pernilla, are they your role models too?

P:
I know a lot of female pro skaters mostly from the USA though but I did not know these two.

Who are the skaters that you look up to then?

P:
I really like Leticia Bufoni and Lizzie Armanto. Female pro skaters have a real influence on the girl skate scene.

Four years ago when you (Pernilla) started those role models were not a prevalent as they are today though.

LI:
A lot of girls saw footage of other girls skating through Instagram and I think it showed them that skating is not only for guys. They can get out there and do it the way they want to do it. I also believe that the attention that some brands put towards female skating inspires a lot of young girls.

P:
It is really motivating to see other girls skating!

 

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So is this event bringing girls together or are there already some crews out here? Are girls skating amongst themselves or are the crews mixed?

LI:
I am from Wuppertal in the Ruhrpott and there I used to skate with the heckmecks (an all-girl crew) and when you skate with girls only you start to see skating in a different way. When you are out with the guys and you see them jumping down 12 stairs it feels like you don’t know where to start. But when you are out with the girls you have more opportunity to learn and support one another.

P:
Yes! There are some crews in Germany, Facebook and Whatsapp groups do exist. But I am still getting to know the Berlin scene, it does seem a bit underground.

What do you think about the fact that Nike SB put out a shoe especially for Women?

P:
I think it is great! Even before that I really like the fact that they put out things in unisex sizes. I really like their shoes and I haven’t seen other brands put out shoes specifically for women yet.

How important is the fact that they did not use any typical “feminine colors”?

P:
Me personally, I am not that into those type of stereotypical colors, a lot of girls that skate don’t wear girly clothes when skating. I don’t want to be boxed in like that.

LI:
I do really like wearing pink and lilac (laughs).

 
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What about the media, are we as a whole covering what is going on in the female skate scene?

LI:
It is coming but in my opinion, it is still not enough. We see female skaters in magazines but it isn’t at the point it could be at.
Also at contests like the German COS Cup (*editors note other contests as well), you see the difference in prize money. Of course, you could argue that at the moment maybe the girls are not bringing in the amount of interest that the guys are but as that changes those things should change too.

P:
I feel the same, you do notice a change though.

Stefani Nurding is featured in our current “Funbox” issue.

LI:
I really like her, she skates in some cool outfits! Of course, I like to wear some baggy dickies from time tot time but Stefani shows that you don’t have to give up your feminine side, you can skate in all different sorts of looks.

Do you agree with that Pernilla?

P:
I do really like baggier clothes, I only buy unisex stuff.

 

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Of course, you don’t have to lose your feminine side by wearing baggy clothes. Is there such a thing as your skate clothes?

P:
I wear what I wear, I don’t really tend to change my style. This is how I look all the time.

LI:
My closet is split in half (laughs). Sometimes I like to wear my skate clothes but sometimes I like to put on something else…… But because I try to skate every day I end up wearing my skate clothes almost every day (laughs).

 

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Both of you are not originally from Berlin Lea Isabell you are from the Ruhrpott area and Pernilla you are from?

P:
I am from Sachsen.

Do you notice a difference between the girl scene there and here?

P:
I come from a small city where I was the only girl skating. So I always skated with guys. In Sachsen, there wasn’t really a scene for girls like here in Berlin.

LI:
In the Rurhpott the scene was bigger, I had my squad of girls. The heckmecks where there, at the same time girls from all over the different Ruhrpott cities would meet up and skate together.
In Berlin it feels like the girls are more dispersed, they skate alone or with a group of guys, a real group of girls that skate together is not something I have seen here. But I haven’t been here for that long, so maybe it is not what it seems, I hope that events like these will change that.

Alright! Thank you so much for talking with us. Enjoy your session.

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