When Nature calls you better pick up. Element Skateboards brought their team into the wild and they came back with this video. Proud to see LEON up in their as well.
Featuring Phil Zwijsen, Jaakko Ojanen, Madars Apse, Nick Garcia, Rafa Cort, Leon Charo-Tite, Vinicius Costa, Vitoria Mendonça, Victor Cascarigny, Cesar Dubroca & Alex Amor. Concept by Phil and filming by Clément Legall.
Let’s give credit where credit is due, this is a work of art more than it is just a skate video. We don’t mean this in a museum type of way but in the same way that Strongest Of The Strange & In Search Of The Miraculousboth are works of art that transcend the norm.
Credit has to go not only to Maité but also to the many GG’s and Guillaume Perimony who’s last projects have all hit the mark in their own way. Chapeau!
Belgium is a small but great nation, there something is in the water there and we are not talking about piss, beer or grease from the many places where you can get great fries.
No…look at the talent ratio, Phil Zwijsen, Jonathan Thijs, Youness Amrani, Maité Steenhoudt, Geoffrey van Hove and arguably at the top Jarne.
He has come back from a lot and it is safe to say that it has made him better! This is his best part yet and we are happy that we are getting more in the future. But for now, CONGRATS Jarne & Guillaume on a great job done!
Together we are stronger! One good example: Jarne & Phil. Meet the two outstanding characters (insert the word “Legends”) from Belgium in this so called B-Sides video, where Phils is behind the camera and Jarne is doing the tricks. Afterwards you can read all about it in this catch-up interview with the two.
What is Jacky:
Good question. In French, it would be Johny or Jock which is pretty funny.
But, I guess for us it is the way we started calling our first video.
Why did you start Jacky?
I got injured and couldn’t skate for a while so I thought it would be a good idea to get more into filming.
And also to kind of help other people that wanted to try to film for a part or something.
Jarne seems to be at the core of the main videos, how did that happen?
Well, when we started I was just filming Jarne. I love how he skates so it fun to film someone you like to see skate. But from there I started filming more of our friends and this is kind of how the first video came bout. Just me not skating and filming Jarne a lot and our other friends.
How do they get that good? What do they eat ? What do they drink?
You do feature some heavy Belgian legends like Hans Claessens how did those skaters influence you?
I always loved Hans skating and still do. I think he influenced me the most in my attitude, he taught me that it is not really about tricks. It is more about style creativity good looking spots.
He is really fun to go skate with he always finds his own approach to certain spots and I really like that.
Do you have an idea why a small country like Belgium with a relatively small population produces a lot of talent?
Hmmm, I am not really sure. I always think that about Finland. There’s so Manny amazing skaters from there and it is cold for more than half the year. How do they get that good? What do they eat ? What do they drink (laughs)?
Which young skater from Belgium are you most excited about?
Definitely Maité Steenhoudt. I have seen her skate since she was really young and I’m very proud of how she is killing it right now. She from my hometown as well.
You moved to France some time ago. Why?
I was living in London and broke up with my girl. And I had been in the Basque Country a few times before and my best friend from Belgium had just moved there as well. So I ended up living with him and his girlfriend. I have been in France for two years now but I’m not really here that often so…
music is most importantly in a video.
Music is a big part of these videos can you tell me a bit about your music selection process?
For the first one, we really wanted to stick with Belgian songs. Because everything was filmed in Belgium I was trying to only use Belgian songs.
Same for the second one. But we ended up using music from everywhere. I don’t know but music is most importantly in a video. Finding songs is a lot of work. Probably the hardest thing to do the best.
You sing Karaoke a lot and are somewhat known for the golden mic, have you ever edited a section to one of your karaoke Go-To’s?
(Laughs) I wish! Maybe that is a good idea for my next part. Just not sure if I can afford music rights for Adele.
You had some troubles with music which resulted in Thrasher not putting the video on youtube can you talk about that?
I mean not really trouble but yeah we didn’t have the budget for the music so we couldn’t put it on youtube so it streams via Thrashers video player only.
Last couple of questions. Will there be another Jacky video?
I hope so, but let us see how things turn out. Maybe under a different name, or filmed by someone else. Maybe a surprise!?
Seeing that you are no longer in Belgium and are mostly focussed on Karaoke and Surfing (shaka bra) who would you prefer to film the next jacky video.
Guillaume Perimony or Romain Batard would be great. So please guys, if you read this let’s do it!
Your career has somewhat been linked to Jarne’s with you guys doing a double part and working together on the video. Do you remember when you met Jarne and what your first impression was?
I can’t really remember the exact day but I used to see him in the skatepark in the local village. He is like 8 years younger than me. So he was tiny when I was skating there.
I would skate there all the time and would see him there.
Back then I got on Globe and he was on Globe as well and from there we kind of started hanging out more.
I always liked him a lot. He is a great person to hang out with and a very unique skateboarder!!
So Jarne, watching these raw files, we see you often trying a trick before the “real” trick with the best example being the boneless off the roof into the bank. Is there a reason you do that or is that spur of the moment?
I don’t really know which boneless you mean but I know what you mean with the trick before. For me, it is like a motivation to go for it. if I don’t do it, it feels like there is some kind of emptiness and I’m wondering why I should go and try to hurt myself right now because often I don’t feel like I will succeed. So, if I do something before the scary trick, it kind of gives me a “I don’t give a fuck!” feeling and at the same time my concentration is off the actual trick. I get a similar feeling if I have a long runup, I am just thinking about the trick I am rolling up to and thinking too much and that’s never good for me cause I’m not thinking the way I should to actually land the trick.
Do you remember when you met Phil & what your first impression was?
I always saw him skate at a skatepark that was somewhere in the middle of the places where we both lived. After a while, we actually started linking up via Davy (van Laere). then we got on Globe together and started to become good friends. That’s maybe ten or twelve years ago now, pretty crazy!
Did you ever sing Karaoke with Phil and if yes what is your Go-To?
I wasn’t really involved in the karaoke sessions except for maybe once or twice in a bar but it is not a part of my life. (laughs) My go-to would be any Lana Del Rey song.
Phil has moved away from Belgium have you ever considered moving away?
Yeah man, I am so sick of it there! A lot of my friends moved away so if I’m home I’m kind off lost so I would end up drinking cause that’s what people do here. Skateboarding saved me from a lot of that bullshit kind of although it is a strong magnet for me. Actually, I have to move away, I am probably moving to the south of France.
Jacky features a lot of Belgian spots but your other parts don’t per se. Is that an accident or do you like to film for these “at home” more?
Well, the first one was made when Phil was still living in Belgium. We filmed that during the winter months (laughs) but it worked out. I guess Belgian’s don’t complain that fast. I mean 3/4 of the year we have shit wheater so maybe that’s a bit long to keep complaining.
For the second video we did some trips to Belgium because it is cool to have some homeland footage. There are plenty of spots if you are not afraid of a crack or 20, haha. We also wanted to feature mostly Belgian skaters so it’s not the easiest to get everyone ready at the same time for a trip.
I love to explore Belgium tough. We Have Geoffrey (van Hove) and Hans (Claessens) who did this before us so they helped with spots. It is always cool to skate some legendary Belgian spot, whether marble or cobblestones.
What is your favorite trick from the second Jacky and what is your favorite trick in all of the Jacky’s?
Phil’s lipslide and Gianni’s kickflip and maybe my own wallie because it took two and a half hours. Because you can see the whole crew being super hyped! I think that is what skateboarding is all about, keep supporting each other although you are waiting around in the cold or heat for 3 hours without food, just cigarettes.
You feel and feed your homies fire, and support them wanting to do that trick. In the end, you are never alone in this and that’s the beauty of it. That is what these Jacky videos are all about!
Yes, I am saying there is a wrong mindset in skateboarding these days, fuck that shit!
Which young skater from Belgium are you most excited about?
Yannick Goris is blowing my mind now. You will see more of him soon.
Maité Steenhoudt of course. She has the best personality and you can see that in the way she skates. That is what we need now with skating being so all over the place these days. Yes, I am saying there is a wrong mindset in skateboarding these days fuck that shit!
Then Pieter de Clus and Jeroen Bruggeman are killing it as well and they have the right mindset I love to skate with them. Jens Pepermans is a Mechelen skatepark local and he’s been my favorites since he started stepping on a skateboard. I hope we see a lot more of him but he’s doing it all his way and doesn’t let anybody tell him what to do. Wich is rad but I hope he doesn’t stop with what he’s doing because we need these kinds of kids. I hate to write these phrases but he’s really amazing on and off the board. I look up to him really and he could be my son, haha. He is a youngster and got a lot to offer, this little maniac!
What is in the future for you?
My motto is “Don’t look forward always look back.” that’s why my life sucks you know (laughs). I’m just joking! We maybe want to work on “Double Impact” 2 or maybe a sequel that could be funny. Right now though Phil and myself are working on separate parts.
Guillaume (Perimony) is hyped so I’m sure we will be making something together soon.
A new Giddy is upon us and with all other episodes of this series, this has a concept, a very simple form follows function type of concept. You view stuff on your phone, you film stuff on your phone so this one is sized for viewing on your phone.
You might have heard that we are big fans of the Absurd Skateboards videos from Moscow. For the latest one, they went to Sochi, a city that isn’t strange to us either. This time they brought Phil Zwijsen along as a special guest.
“It was closer than Barcelona and cheaper than California.”
Feat.: Gosha Konyshev, Pasha Kuznetsov, Dima Rodionov, Phillpp and Dilip Kharel, Vova Pavlov, Victor Terentyev, Tolya Titaev, Phil Zwijsen and Leo Lukin.
Remember that song by John Lennon, “Working Class Hero?” It is possible you don’t, after all. I won’t assume that most of you reading this were alive when Lennon was a thing. Have you Googled the song? If so, does the chorus sound familiar? I personally think the overall song is a bit of a downer, but the chorus really hits home. “A working class hero is something to be!” Now let’s talk about who these people might be.
Photos by Danny Sommerfeld.
Text By Roland Hoogwater.
This story started in Barcelona, circa one year ago. Nike invited a group of employee’s from some of Europe’s finest skate shops on a trip. It must have been a surprise to most, not particularly the owners of the shops, but to you and I, that they were invited out to Barcelona. Having worked in a skate shop myself for seven years in the past, I can only imagine what that must have felt like.
“I got an invite to Barcelona and when I arrived I saw a shitload of people from other shops!”
Once everyone arrived, most didn’t know what to expect. I imagine it took some time to process everything. As things progressed, it became clear that they had the opportunity to do something that most employees could only dream of.
Skip this part if you work at a shop because it will sound all too familiar.
Before we get to the Barcelona story, let me explain something about the mechanics of working at a shop. First off, what the customer wants, the customer gets. If a 12-year-old kid wants to skate a canvas boat shoe, they will, in fact, convince their mother to buy them just that. Even if you explain to the parent that they should spend their money on a rubber/suede/leather or that new synthetic stuff that the Nyjah shoe is made of.
You cannot win, but over time a good skate shop can and will educate you. Not only is it the meet-up spot for you and your friends, it is also where you go to compare the graphics of a sheet of Grizzly grip tape to one of Shake Junt grip tape. In some sense, it is a place that helps build our culture.
The more a kid visits a shop, the more he/she will be open to suggestions. They might even ask you about your favorite shoe to skate. When you are honest, they listen to your suggestions, and in a way look up to you for other skate advice.
Being surrounded by skate product all day can drive you mad after a week in the shop. The conversations you have amongst your colleagues might sound something like this:
“I like the graphic, but the shape is a bit too mellow for me.” or “I love the shoe but why didn’t they make it in color X or out of material Y?”
Random skate shop employee.
“It was cool to meet other people, to skate with them, and exchange ideas together. It was very insightful.”
Some may like to nag, but at the same time, these kinds of talks can also spark a fire. You may have a friend who can screen print something, and before you know it, you are putting a painting by Giorgio de Chirico on a board or a t-shirt. Some might even have a lot of success and are now selling to the same retailers that once employed them.
So basically, in Barcelona, it was time to show and prove. Nike created a game and put four people from different skate shops together with a designer. Together they brainstormed for an hour, taking shop talk into the design of an actual shoe. A Nike shoe made for skateboarding to be exact. Just to put it into perspective, imagine if you could take the stitching off the toe of a Janoski shoe. Remove the three stripes of a superstar, or take the rubber toe cap off a Chuck Taylor and replace it with whatever material you like. That is what we are talking about here.
“We wanted a 90’s vibe for our shoe and skateboarding has this classic tie to hip-hop, look at videos like Zoo York’s Mixtape.”
After their 60 minutes were up, all the teams had 5 minutes to present their idea for a shoe. In the end, Charlie O’Donnell from Note in Manchester, Erik Westman from Streetlab in Malmo, Grant Dawson from Supreme in London, and Yann Felixain from Riot, Bordeaux’s were the winners.
That was a year ago now, and this is where we, PLACE, come in. Because before your Nike shoe is ready to roll off the shelves, you need to celebrate by going on a trip together to test it out! And since Malmö, London and Manchester are not places known for having great weather conditions, Bordeaux was by far the best option.
“I love the way they look, both when you look down or see them on someone other peoples feet!
Remember when I said the weather conditions were best in Bordeaux, well the moment we arrived it felt like we had flown into Manchester. Grey, rainy, and cold. Most of us didn’t pack a hoody or a real jacket. It only lasted for about two hours though, but I guess May has its way.
Bordeaux is an excellent place to be. An old town close to the sea with lots and lots to offer young people. Skaters in particular. We have all seen it in videos; marble floors, endless ledges, banks and for some of us concrete surfers, can transfer to real waves roughly an hour away. I feel like we all know the things the region is famous for, so no need to mention the wine or the fact that the town is a UNESCO world heritage site. It all sounds beautiful, but with all that beauty, we still pushed over some pretty rough concrete from time to time.
Once in the city, we had a strong crew with a common goal; to celebrate a moment in time and to test the new Nike shoe on the streets.
And as we all know, a special event can create a good vibe. Conversations flow like wine, and the more time we spent together, the more we became a unit. On top of that, Phil Zwijsen was invited to join us and to be honest, he never stopped talking. From his upcoming debut in Street League to surfing, and Grant Taylor getting on Monster, he truly had all the bases covered.
“To me, this is like a present for my 30th birthday!”
In the end, it was easy to see why the shoe came out the way it did. A couple of guys in love with 90’s culture got together and turned banter into a product that they can be proud of. It is genuinely a great shoe, in a lovely color. Something to remember and instead of saying to the locals “This is a nice shoe.” They can all say, ”This is our shoe, I designed it with my friends!” I imagine some kids won’t believe it until they Google it.
Last year they made a movie about CPH Open and so this year they needed to step it up with this little miracle. And when we say miracle we mean it, imagine the amount of tries it took to create this lovely piece of cinema, miraculous.
At the same time, we love the fact that it celebrates the Danish language and it celebrates Copenhagen’s legendary skaters. History was not forgotten and next week will be one to remember.