Tag: PLACE skateboard culture

Lea Isabell – Let’s Talk

“Weeeeeeellllllll.. we are back!” – As Chris Roberts often says when he starts the show. We want to welcome you to a very important column by one of our support columns and we are learning with you here. Lea Isabell, has studied the emotional effects of lockdown and has taken it upon herself to teach us all a bit about how to be better, more in tune with ourselves, and generally more happy. So intead of talking more, LET’S READ. Enjoy.

Illustrations by Lea Isabell
Text by Lea Isabell
Intro by Roland Hoogwater

Have you ever wondered what is going on inside your homie’s head? I mean: besides skateboarding? I realized in the last years as a skateboarder that nobody actually talks about their feelings or in fact, any life stuff that is going on in their day-to-day. I mean, I understand, you don’t really go to a skatepark to talk to your friends about that kind of stuff. You are there to skate. But besides that, the conversations are still mostly focused on skateboarding. It seems like to some degree the skateboarding scene is always focused on the fun that skateboarding brings to our lives. But why is it so hard to admit or to articulate that we are more than just skaters, we are three-dimensional people?

Here are two ideas I had: 
  • The skateboard as an instrument to displace negative emotions: You woke up in a bad mood, you’re stressed about school, work, relationships. Let’s not think about it, or maybe later. Let’s go skate and not think about this shit! Skateboarding offers a good stress relief that allows you to change your mindset positively. The process of learning, practicing, failing, and succeeding in skateboarding is the main reason endorphins* get released into the body, causing you to feel different. (*hormones that cause you to feel happy). 
  • Many people have problems articulating their emotions and feelings. Because of that, it’s not easy for others to become aware of people’s needs. Especially when it comes to asking for help in general or in the form of a conversation (deep talk). Not in the least because in large sections of society it’s still understood as a sign of weakness, even when the need is a simple talk.  

In some sense, it is nice to be able to just forget about things that bother you. But other times, it can also be quite dangerous when you do not give yourself the time and space to be sad or angry. We need to recognize our feelings because, sometimes we are carrying feelings around without us knowing why we feel them in the first place. Maybe skating will help us in the short term, but from a long-term perspective, it is not solving our problems. So instead of going to the skatepark, I will provide you with some theoretical knowledge to help you understand yourself and others in a more efficient way. 

Often we get confronted with a specific situation and mistakenly think this situation is the reason for our feelings, behaviors, and reactions. Some of us also tend to use these situations as an excuse, in case we didn’t behave/ react well. 

We have all been there haven’t we!
Example:
“This guy stood in front of the ledge in the park, so, I pushed him out of the way and told him he’s a jerk.”  

The problem we have with this explanation is, that not everyone would react the same way. It is possible that the same person would react differently, on a different day. 

Example:
“This guy stood in front of the ledge, so, I asked him nicely if he could stand somewhere else.”

So if you are a person, that carries a lot of negativity, anger, and stress, you get provoked more easily and are more likely to act aggressively or rudely. The same goes for people who are trapped in negative thought patterns. If you think the whole world is against you, you tend to think everyone is pissing you off, to piss you off. 

“This guy is standing in front of the ledge just to piss me off, I will let him know he should not start a war he cannot win!’’

But, if you are a person that has a peaceful mind and you have healthy thought patterns, you tend to act in a nicer way. If someone is pissing you off, you find a realistic and efficient solution to deal with the problem. 

“This guy is standing in front of the ledge, maybe he didn’t see that I wanted to skate it!’’

Every situation we experience in our daily life leads us to think about these types of actions. Sometimes we do not even recognize there was a situation. But even when it is the case, it is based on our individual thoughts and experiences. Our feelings, behaviors, and reactions are the result of those individual thought patterns, which are constructed by experiences, emotions, norms, and values. While reading this, you may stumble over two words that are quite similar, but they are not so similar in meaning at all: Emotions and feelings. It’s important to understand the difference, so you can understand your inner workings and patterns: 

Emotions:

Emotions are physical, instinctual, and coded in our genes. They are generally universally, similar across all humans and also other species (you smile, and your dog wags its tail). Because they’re physical, they can be objectively measured by blood flow, brain activity, facial expressions, and body language. 

Feelings:

Feelings are a mental portrayal of what is going on in your body when you have an emotion. They are sparked by feelings and influenced by thoughts, memories, and images that have become subconsciously linked to that particular emotion for you and it even works the other way around too. If you think about something that triggers you, you can provoke specific emotions.

While basic emotions are instinctual and common to us all, the feelings they prompt are individually based on our past and present. Feelings are shaped by a person’s temperament and experience and very different from situation to situation and person to person.

Your emotions and feelings play a powerful role in how you experience and interact with the world because they are the driving force behind many behaviors, helpful and unhelpful.

Reflecting on what we have learned so far, we can sum up the following points: 
  • Treat people with kindness. No one is leaving the house with the intention to make someone else’s life miserable.
  • If someone is acting rude, don’t take it too personally. Most people have a big fight with themselves and just don’t know how to manage things differently.
  • If there is a specific situation that stresses you out, take your time to think about how you want to react and what points you want to make clear. Just ask for a moment, a day, or even longer. Most people will understand. 
  • It is okay to react in the wrong way. We are humans and everyone makes mistakes. But it’s not okay to not apologize for them. 
  • Another really important point is: Be nice to people! You never know what they are struggling with and it is always more satisfying to make someone else smile, instead of bringing them to tears. 

After this little digression, we are now able to understand how complex our thought-patterns are. In the following section, I want to explain why we need to articulate our feelings, so we can understand and healthily deal with them.  

I will, again, provide you with some theoretical input. Maybe at first, the input will sound a little abstract to you. But in the end, it will make a lot of sense – I promise! I want to introduce you to Ernst Cassirer.

Ernst Cassirer was a German-philosopher that lived between 1874 and 1945 and became well known for his main work on cultural-philosophy “The philosophy of symbolic forms’’. I will only present you with the philosophical content, that is relevant to our topic. Cassirer said that the human mind is the unity of consciousness and symbolic forms. The symbolic world of form results from the combination of sense and sensuality. Thus, for Cassirer, the mind cannot seize itself but is dependent on mediation through sensual content. To put that in normal terms: The human is only able to understand itself through symbolic forms which we build into our culture. One important symbolic form is language. Language is not only there to describe reality but is also a transmitter of values. Everything we built up in our mind is constructed through it. Have you ever thought about a situation without using words in your mind? That’s the factor I wanted to point out. 

To understand our feelings and emotions, we have to articulate them through words and that’s not always that easy! So here are some questions that could help you to transmit your feelings into words, so, you can understand them and your past behavior: 

What happened? (who, where, when? -keep it objective.)

What do I think about it? (how did I feel in this situation and how do I feel now? You can also google a list of words that describe feelings with their definition, in case you can’t find the right words.)

Why do I think that way? (what is the reason for my feelings, what kind of experiences have lead me to behave/ feel like that?)

How could the situation be interpreted in another way? (try to change your perspective) 

How do I want to react in the future? (what could I change? – always keep in mind that it has to be something you can change. You will not be able to change the weather or a person, but you can change how you deal with it)

Back to the example: 

What happened? 

I was at the skatepark, a guy stood in front of the ledge. So, I was not able to skate it. I pushed him away and called him a jerk.

What do I think about it? 

I was angry about the situation, I couldn’t skate the ledge, I thought the guy was being ignorant or wanted to piss me off. 

Why do I think that way? 

On this particular day, I was in a bad mood. I often think the whole world is against me when I feel that way. 

How could the situation be interpreted differently?

The guy didn’t see that I wanted to skate the ledge. The person was daydreaming, in his thoughts, etc. 

How do I want to react in the future? 

Next time I will ask him nicely to get out of the way. I don’t want to let my old thought patterns turn me into an unfriendly person. 

Communication Models:

In addition, I will introduce some communication models, some of which I found helpful. Nonviolent-communication and supportive-communication. Nonviolent-communication is a good way to mention problems you experienced with friends and family. It’s a good way to explain yourself and a good way to work out a solution. Supportive communication is something that helps you to talk to someone who is going through a hard time. Lots of people experience fear when someone tells them that they are not fine because they don’t want to make it worse while saying something wrong.

Nonviolent communication has some similarities to the questions I already put together for you. This is the next step after you answered the questions for yourself. The difference is that now, you already thought about your feelings, your needs, and your wishes. You also brought the results of those thoughts to a conversation with someone else. Another difference is, that you describe what you expect from a person or what your needs are in a friendship or in a relationship.

Example: 
“Last week you pushed me and called me a jerk because I stood in front of the ledge. I felt disrespected, attacked and it triggered a lot of fear in me. I need a respectful surrounding. Are you willing to warn me next time in a respectful way?” 

Supportive communication has an easy guiding principle: The feelings of a person should always be respected and never equalized. Every person has his or her truth, so act with kindness and the way you would like other people to treat you. 

Always keep in mind:

Your emotions and feelings are real and have the right to exist, but don’t let them turn you into a jerk. Talk about them! Put your feelings in little packages (words) and let them out of your mouth. When you don’t want to talk to someone, because it is too intimidating for you. Try practicing it in front of the mirror! It can help a lot! And if you have feelings for a person, no matter if it is anger, love, or something else, try to get rid of them through conversation. It is a truly liberating step. Also, remind yourself, you don’t have to do it at the skatepark. Just ask your friends if they have five minutes after the session, I believe most people will take time for you and if it’s not after the session, I bet they will put some time aside for you in the next few days! 

Read more by Lea Isabell by clicking here.
But what do you feel?

The Long Read: Lea Isabell – What’s The Catch.

Welcome back to the long read and return home to one of our favorite voices, Lea Isabell. After her deep dive last time we now get a more entry-level excursion into why skateboarding is so addictive with “What’s The Catch”. You might feel it is self-explanatory but ask yourself: Why do I love skateboarding as much as I do? At the same time with the 2020 COVID-induced skateboard boom as a backdrop, it might be the right time to delve into your nostalgic bag and feel good about what you do and who you do it with.

What Is The Catch?

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you thought: what the heck am I doing here? In many parts of our life, we experience frustration, failures, pain – emotionally as also physically, or even existential crises. It can happen in school, in university, at work, even while you live up to your hobby. And still, we find ourselves trying day by day to fulfill our dreams and expectations.

Related to skateboarding, I think we all went through a crisis or two at some point. Every now and again it just happens. But still, we will find ourselves back on our skateboard day by day. Or, at the very least, once every other week! Today I am trying to answer the question: What Is The Catch? – related to skateboarding.

So, “What Is The Catch?” When I first thought about that question, I felt that it was pretty obvious – it brings us a lot of fun! But after some more thought, I think there are a few other reasons, why skateboarding catches us the way it does. In the following text I will present you with some of these ideas:

Community:

Compared to other subcultures it’s pretty noticeable how many people from completely different walks of life can come together, mostly without having any problems with one another. No matter where you are from, what you look like, which type of interests you have, as long as you are not homophobic, racist, or sexist, people will include you in their skateboard crew and treat you with respect and acceptance.

Check out what Thrasher did about crew stickers for example.

Places:

Next to the Community, which sets the mood, there are places where we meet to skate and hang out. Whether it’s at the skatepark or in the streets, somehow skaters have a specific eye for the way things are built and with that eye, they can find a spot, which suits their character perfectly. It may be a bowl full of graffiti, a clean curb in a new housing estate, or a dirty ditch on the margins of a city, there are spots out there for everyone. Not only do those specific spaces give us a reason to stay or the opportunity to do something we love, but it also makes us move our bodies, which is the perfect transition to my next point.

Traveling:

Not only is skateboarding affecting the place we travel to, for some of us it is also the reason to travel in the first place. Some of us are watching a skate video to check out the spots, instead of watching the individual skater and the tricks. That is not a new thing in general, most of us have found ourselves in a situation where you thought to yourself: ”Wow nice spot, I want to go there!”. And from my personal experience, skateboarding makes traveling easier. Besides the fact, that you’re able to move through a city faster than just walking. Depending on the City you can find spots everywhere or nothing at all. But still, in the end, your glance can delve into the city much deeper than the glance of typical tourists. This doesn’t only work when it comes to architecture but also when it comes to culture. It’s way easier to connect with the locals when you’re with your skateboard. You are connected because you know the feeling of citizens walking by and being excited or angry about skating, or the troubles of trying tricks. In the end, it is often that the locals want to show you the best areas, the best food, and the best people.

Options:

We already summed up that we have a lot of options. We can be wherever we want to be, we can skate wherever we want to, and we can travel including a deeper look into cities, countries, cultures- or at least that is what we believe. But next to that, we also have a few other things. For example, we can skate whenever we want. It may be in the morning before work, a little session during your lunch break, or late in the afternoon when you’ve finished work – even at night. As long as it is dry (or not) or we have a good indoor park we can skate. We are not bounded by other people that engage in team sports like a football team. If our friends are busy, we can still go to the skatepark. Another point which to the novice might conceal a lot of options is the variety and the amount of the combination of tricks you can perform. You will never get bored because the list of tricks is endless. And if you feel extra charged you can go and try to invent a trick, which leads us to the next Section.

Creativity:

For me, the most important part about skateboarding is that it gives me the opportunity to be creative. you can delve into your bag of tricks, you can change the style of skating you are into or combine styles, or even personalize your board by painting, stickering it, or doing grip art. It is all big fun, but to me, the highlight of a skater’s creative output is creating your own video part (now mostly a single part). It takes a lot to build your own, even when it’s just a one-minute part for Instagram! The tricks you use, the spots you choose, the music you are skating to, and so on and so forth. You are always able to skate and create, get input, and give output to others without any visible limits (outside of your physical limits). You can use your wooden toy to show your true self, or you can hide behind it. But in any way, you put yourself out there by doing your skating which gives you your very own creative space and you can share that with others if you like.

Check out Jenkem’s “What Your Griptape Says About You” article.

Sport:

Another important part of skateboarding is the fact, that it is a sport and physical activity makes us happy. If you want to have a closer look at why things like sports or exercise, in general, makes us happier people, click here. It is also important to note, that it is heavily debated but easily forgotten that skateboarding is considered a sport. Whether it is because of the police kicking us out or telling us to wear a mask while skating (during a pandemic) or it is just us forgetting about the physical part because it brings us so much joy. In the end, in my opinion, it is nice to forget that you are practicing sport while you’re doing it.

Challenge:

And where there is a sport, there is also a challenge. No matter how you twist the meaning of the word, whether it is one on one, a team vs another team, or you vs yourself. Skateboarding allows you to identify, choose, and overcome the challenge in front of you. You can go to a skate-contest and compete, your tricks and style versus the others. Or you can compete for likes on social media. Personally, I prefer battling myself instead of competing with others. You can challenge yourself by trying new tricks, repeating them after you land them and you might fail or get frustrated, but these are the same as our daily challenges in life. Try, fail, get up and try again.

Summed up we could say, skateboarding is -for many of us- a metaphor for life and maybe that’s the catch behind it. It helps us to express ourselves and to develop, our bodies as well as our mind. We can do a bunch of shit and fight ourselves through it. A friend once told me, if we learn a new trick, we often want to show it to others, and actually, that is often true for other things in our life as well. We are proud of our achievements and want to show what we achieved to others. If you experience something positive, you want to share it. Whether if it is because you are proud of or if it is because you want to spread positivity and inspire others. I think it’s something deep in our humanity, like a will, that let us get up, trying so we can create or achieve something to share it with our fellow man. And even when we found ourselves in situations where we ask: what the heck am I doing here? It is good to do so because you learn more about yourself and you start focusing on the things you really want in life. And if you see yourself getting up on your board all the time, you can hold on to the fact, that you really want skateboarding!

Read more of Lea’s work here.

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.

All photos by Conny Mirbach.
Film & Edit by Felix Schubert.
Interview by Roland Hoogwater.

I want the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. First question, how are you guys feeling right now?

L: Great!

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.

  1. L: Halfcab down the stairs Wallie Frontside 180.
  2. L: Switch 270 Wallride over the coffin.
  3. L: A toss-up between the line with the Max Palmer Ollie and the Backside Noseblunt.
  1. F: The Ollie at Görlitzer park into the short bank. I like how it looks on tape.
  2. F: The Wallie transfer from stone to stone in Schöneberg. Also not the most common spot.
  3. 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!

Felix’s first full length video, Obstsalat.

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.

Hello and welcome to our very first presentation of our newest three-part project “UNSIGNED HYPE” which is a title some of you might have heard before? It came from the famous THE SOURCE Hip Hop magazine and it was an item in which the focus was turned away from what was happening in the limelight of the culture and towards the up and coming talent, the future of hip hop. It featured rappers like DMX, Common & Biggie early sometimes before or sometimes when they had just signed to a major label. Anyway, long story short we wanted to do the same, keep our ears to the streets and show that we can spot some people that possess the skills to pay their bills (in the future). After we saw Oscars footage we had to reach out to Quartersnacks dot com because the vibes of the part seemed just right. So here it is our first co-promoted part of this new series that we hope will create some future mainstays. First to bat, Oscar Säfström.

All photos by Jacob Hansson.
Film & Edit by Jacob Hansson.
Interview by Roland Hoogwater.

Recording now, so, don’t say anything that can incriminate you guys.So what’s up? How is Malmö, Sweden?

O: Working mayne, got a job in a restaurant making that Pasta. After I finished Bryggeriet (Malmö’s famous skate school), I didn’t want to go back home to Uppsala, Sweden. 

All the homies me and Jacob grew up with skating moved out here to go to Bryggeriet. So there isn’t much left besides some of those spots you see in the video.

Oscar Säfström.

Which spots are those?

J: The spot where Oscar did the Tre Flip and the 50-50, the line with the Switch Crook to regs and the Frontside Blunt pop out…Basically, all the stuff where you can tell it is summer. 

You are both from Uppsala so when did you meet?

J: 2012 I think, when Oscar was 12 years old. I was 15 and we met at the local skate ramp.

O: Actually, I am from a little country town called Almunge outside of the city…But yeah, we met in Uppsala at the skatepark. Günes Özdogan is our hometown hero.

So Jacob you are a bit older than Oscar but you started skating around the same time right?

J: 2008 I got my first setup.

O: 2007 for me, I was 8 years old. But I started going into the city at 11. Me and Axel Berggren are from the same town and we grew up together and ended up both skating. We started skating a little quarterpipe in our schoolyard and ended up trying to build more shit.

Started at 8, how did you get into skating at that age?

O: I started fingerboarding first (laughs), I got gifted some tech decks for Christmas. So when I got some money for my birthday, I went to the skate shop to buy a new set plus some obstacles. I bought that stuff, stood in front of the shop for a minute… went back in, and traded it for a skateboard instead. It was a Pirate skateboard (local Swedish brand), with some black film trucks. My brother got jealous so he got one as well. He got a Bam board with some Destructo trucks with a dope blood-splatter pattern on it. I was jealous of those back in the day.

I guess back then Bam could sell anything to kids. How soon until you did your first kickflip? Were you flipping the first week?

O: Not at all, it took like 2 years (laughs), and then I learned heelflips first but I thought I had learned kickflips. So, I was all stoked trying to show it to Axel and I did a heelflip and he just looked away. When I finally did get kickflips down I just put 1 square meter of wood down on our gravel driveway so I practiced my kickflips there and on one of the tries, I popped a kickflip right in my face and bled all over the place (laughs). A week after that I finally landed my first kickflip.

You grew up skating with Axel, was that competitive? Who did the kickflip first? 

O: We did, we met in daycare, and started hanging out then. We go way back. He currently lives in Malmö too and it is nice to have someone like so close to you. But coming back to the kickflip, I did it first, in 2009-2010. Axel didn’t start flipping his board until 2013 (laughs).

J: There are like 5-6 skaters from Uppsala in Malmö right now so making friends was easy (laughs). 

Switch Noseslide on a tall Hubba.

And how did you end up skating Jacob?

J: My best friend introduced me to it when I was 12. He showed me an ollie and I was like DAMN! I have to try this. It probably wasn’t even that good of an ollie looking back on it but just getting the board in the air was magical. 

O: I remember something similar, someone was ollieing this gap at my school, now looking back on it, it was such a stanky ollie but back then it was special. I also remember Jacob was in this crew called the pineapple crew and I always wanted to be a member of that. Instead, we started our own crew called the tomato crew. We had to stay with food (laughs).

So at what age did you pick up a camera?

J: I have always had a camera with me but in the beginning, I just pointed it at the skaters but around 2015-2016 Oscar, Axel & Josef Norgren all became so good at skating that I felt I had to document what was going down. I bought a VX and made Nolletåtta my first full-length in which Oscar had a part.

Uppsala looks pretty different from other Swedish cities can you describe the vibe there?

J: from a filmers perspective some of the spots in the city look cool but they are rougher compared to Malmö or Stockholm.

O: in 2014 the city built this little plaza and that place was fun they built some ledges in front of one of the hotels and we waxed up the ledges and fucked that place up. People got annoyed but they couldn’t do anything because my auntie was working at the hotel being a boss (laughs).

Besides that Günes helped the city build skateparks and obviously, he knew what we needed so he helped the scene a lot.

Jacob’s first full-length.

Did Günes Özdogan influence you guys?

O: He held it down. 2012 we saw him skating some spots so we skated together for a moment and he liked my skating so he started giving me some old adidas shoes and some old boards from an early age. 

J: Günes motivates you a lot, he is always getting stuff done and that was a good role model for us. Just to see him doing his thing. 

Oscar, was that the first moment you felt like skating could be a thing?

O: Nah…That came later when I moved to Malmö to go to school. I met so many real skaters, and people in skating. So, when I started at Bryggeriet that was when I felt skating started to treat me well. 

You didn’t feel intimidated? Everyone can skate at that school.

O: That actually motivated me a lot and helped me get better. To meet all those skaters you saw on IG. Axel was there too, we always did a lot of things together.

J: He is a session skater. The more the session gets going the more stoked he will get to land tricks.

O: That suited me because I could do my work in the shadows because he would stand in the spotlight. I don’t even look at other skaters that much anymore my crew gives me energy.

How was it seeing Axel get on Nike SB and feature in the last Fri.day video:

It was weird when I saw him in Tokyo with Koston and all those guys. Unreal. 

The first time we saw you was in Malmoe Tape how did that project happen?

J: That was our first summer in Malmö, we were always 10 deep at a spot. That was good for me because I managed to film tricks at every spot. Maybe some of the skaters needed a little more alone time but we tried to do that too.

O: We mostly rolled with a really big crew though.

On to this part, how was it filming for this project?

O: I had a really bad period with filming for this one, it goes up and down a lot. Sometimes I get a lot in a short time but I go through droughts. But it is what it is.

J: We did get some really good tricks at the end of some of those battles. Like the switch crooks down the rail. We spent a whole weekend at that rail (laughs)

O: That is like the favorite thing I got for this part. The rail kept bending when I jumped on, I couldn’t land it. So a homie saw that and figured out a way to stabilize the rail using another board and that helped me make it. That spot sucks though, people screaming at you from the windows and I am just there going crazy trying this trick. 

There was a moment there when you felt that things weren’t happening in Malmö and the trip to Gothenburg and Uppsala seemed to give you some fresh energy.

J: That was also because we started to feel the deadline closing in and that pressure really helped us getting stuff done. 

O: It worked! Plus the spots aren’t as well known to others but to us, they were our local spots.

True! What about the vibe of the part? Did you have a plan going in?

O: Yeah, I had this vision of just cruising doing flat ground trick and then a ledge or curb would appear and I would skate that. But we just don’t have those kinda plaza’s, we still tried to make it work though. 

Sad Grab Frontside 180? Some old head might be fuming with anger reading that trick name right now.

I still think the part has that feel, a little eastern exposure-ish.

O: That is what we tried but the flip tricks weren’t always there (laughs). I still hope people like the part.

What about the song? 50 Cent is not an obvious choice (anymore).

O: I really like to edit, so, to find the right song I tried so many songs I even went into my country bag to find a track but in the end, this song just felt right.

What about the others in this project? I heard you have been talking to Pascal Moelaert a bit.

O: I really like his part, he has everything I want for my part. One of those ledge tech lines in Madrid. But it is also nice look wise to have it all in Sweden. 

Another thing that happened is that you got on Vans (flow).

O: Yeah, Tom (Botwid) who does Poetic Collective and works for Vans just asked me one day at Swampen Plaza and I was down to try some. After I found the Rowan’s I was down that is like the perfect skate shoe. Later on I went to his office and we talked a lot about some projects for 2020 but COVID 19 happened. So I am stuck here but I have shoes so I’m good (laughs).  

Jacob, you also started shooting photos more and more. Are you trying to take Nils Svensson’s job?

J: It has been fun, you have to really look at spots in a different way. It is fun to try something new. You are not as confident on a spot. With filming you can get away with pointing the camera but when it comes to photography you have to get the angle and the timing right. It has changed my long lens filming as well. I focus more on the composition now when documenting tricks.

O:The only thing is that I have to do the trick twice now (laughs). “Yo, can you do it again? I wanna shoot it.”

Hopefully, this project didn’t ruin your friendship and you will be working together again.

J: I think we will be all good, we have been doing this for a while now so keep an eye out for us in 2021.

O: I have been filming with Sean C and Tao as well a bit but me and Jacob will be doing stuff in the future for sure.

Let’s see it then, thanks for you time guys.   

For our #63 issue we traveled to the city of angels to shoot an issue together with an eclectic group of people.

People ranging from Hyun Kummer a.k.a. @Versace_plug, Guy Mariano & Eric Koston, Nyjah Huston, Jim Greco & Mark Appleyard all added their 2 cents to our video and issue.

Kai Hillebrand or Kaio, as most people tend to call him, was one of our main protagonists for this issue and during the shooting, he once took us aside and asked if we could save some of the footage for another project. Well, we said yes, the project didn’t take off and now we decided to ask our filmer, Peter Buikema, to remix to footage.

Whether you are in Los Angeles right now, or his local Ratingen, Germany you should try and enjoy, relax and go skate afterward! We know Kaio would like all of you to follow these instructions to a tee.

Photo by Danny Sommerfeld

Watch the original video by clicking play.

We love John Motta’s skating, we even wrote him a love letter back in the day. In our opinion, he is an early influence on people like Kevin Rodrigues & a son of skaters like Louie Barletta.

Anyway, to conclude, this part is a true return to form with an ender reminiscent of his first AHM part.

The Dorks went and stayed out of the zone but in transition…. Showing us the wonderful world of the Malmö miniramp.

To be honest, when somebody asks you who your favorite skater is you always think about the pro’s. In my case, Brian Anderson would be the most likely answer you would get back.

But if we are really are being honest, your friends are your favorite skaters, the difference being that you don’t get the joy of waiting for their parts because you are out on those missions getting some awkward BGP’s, guest tricks and hugs in for the edit. Right?

After the Lynchian man in white passes Nils catches a flash and put together this backside lipslide shove-it.

Well, when we caught wind that my friends Nils & Daniel started working on this project together, I said:

“Don’t tell me any tricks you did, and don’t ask me to come along for the filming missions.”

Roland Hoogwater, early 2019.
The nickname “The Mule” belongs to a famous pro skater but at times it sure fits Mr. Brauer.

I wanted to have the joy of watching my favorite skaters part exactly when it dropped. And so it happened*, they went out to Hannover, Budapest, Croatia, Lissabon, Potsdam & Israel and made this project a reality and I stayed at my post and did my own thing patiently waiting until today.

When all of a sudden I got a message…rushed over to Free’s website and did like you are about to…Press play! And after that simply wait 2 more years for part 2 to show up.

Remember that Killa Cam’ron song “U’ WASN’T THERE”? Well we actually were here and this is pretty fucking hard.

All photos by Biemer.

Text by Roland Hoogwater.

*I actually cheated the one rule and got some guest tricks.

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.

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.

What do you get when you put our favorite host Lea Isabell together with a very special shoe, THE SHANE? What does the shoe look like, what does it feel like, How does it smell? And do humans actually have a different opinion about footwear than animals do?

Text by Roland Hoogwater.

Photos by Louis Deschamps & Roland Hoogwater.

Denny Pham was blown away by Shane’s new shoe!

Besides that, we get Hyun Kummer, Denny Pham, Sascha Scharf and many others flying through the air onto our little L.A. safe-haven called 7th Street. What do the winners feel after they land their tricks? Well, watch Lea & Louis ask those hard-hitting questions as well.

Hyun Kummer definitely pushed Mr. O’Neill’s shoe to the limit by blasting from the kicker to the bench multiple times.
Another Shane wearing “THE SHANE”.

Last but certainly not least, did you watch Shane’s new part yet? You might have it has only been all over the interwebs but what did the people who got to watch it first, the people who got to go to the world premiere think of the king of the “flip in flip out” newest part?

The Butcher got himself a prime spot for the world premiere of ‘The Extra Bit”
The crowd seemed to love it as well.

Well, find out your doggone self! Press play already and watch Episode 2 of our Place.tv series.

Nike SB thank you for supporting this episode of Place.tv also available through the Nike APP.

What do they say at the end of most movies again? Oh yeah, “FIN”!

Last Saturday something happened, a group of people honored us with their presence, their good spirits & their bowling skills. Today we recap the magic of that night for you.

Photos by Danny Sommerfeld.

Text by Roland Hoogwater.

At the start of the night, there was some confusion about how to bowl.
Love the ball and it will reward you!

What happened? Well, we had one of our best events ever, from a slow start, where basically everyone turned up on time, which was a bit early (not expected at a skate event) to an electric final we have you, the Berlin skate scene to thank for making this what it was!

Some people were not aware of the strengths they possessed.
Valle Cafuk showing some of that skateboard attitude on the lanes.
He managed to reel it in though.
We also had a best strike competition, this was not it though.
The great Mark Nickels in full swing during the finals.

What it was? Well, a night of surprises. For instance, a very drunk Jack Taylor together with a driven Dan Clarke making it all the way to the finals. An amazing performance from Collin McLean who bowls with as much finesse as he skates. Mark Nickels who brought his own bowling ball and wore a bowling shirt (scare tactics) and bowled steadily for the entire night, in the end, coming up short because Berlin local and adidas skater Baswti kept racking them up and knocking them down like he had ice in his veins.

Jack Taylor one half of the aptly named team Jack Daniels.
1up or 10 down? Bowling is full of surprises.
Love is in the air when Paul Röhrs enters the room.

When we shot the trailer he wasn’t bowling like this we tell you! He did use his patented own was of throwing the ball but it seemed like in the 3-weeks between the shoot for the trailer and the actual event he had put in the work and at the end up the night took home the 300€ prize money. Congratulations Bawsti you earned it!

Sitting down, Bänke Life!
Steffen Grap, Grap means joke in Dutch but we don’t think Steffen felt this was funny.
Ruhe means to rest in German but Julian Ruhe means business on the bowling lanes.

adidas Skateboarding thank you for helping us and making this happen, it was a magic evening for all in attendance, skater, and non-skater together knocking down those pins together.

Like Ronaldo or Messi on the field, Bawsti shuts the haters up and takes home the prize!
We can’t all win but at least you had the outfit of the night.
Diptych side 1.
Diptyque side 2.

We are proud to introduce to you two new things. First, Lea Isabell our new intern and host for our Place Television program. Secondly, our new TV program.

Episode one was recorded at the Vans Shop Riot Finals, a contest where the best shops of all of Europe battle each other to win the coveted title.

Lea took a deep-dive into the crowd and tried to find out some answers we have all been wondering about for the longest of times. Things like which rapper do you think could be a good skater or do you like skater boys?

Anyway, enjoy the video because we certainly while we were making it for you.

Hello and welcome.

If you have made it here you are in for a treat, an old skool dish refined to fit today’s tastes.

“What do you mean?!”

Well, this isn’t your normal online video premiere this is an experience created to mirror our childhood experience of gathering your friends, grabbing the DVD cover, getting some popcorn and soda’s, on the couch and finally pressing your hear the disc slowly turning…

But… instead, this is 2019 and your remote has turned into your mouse and your TV into Youtube! So grab some popcorn, gather some friends, airplay this on your big screen, click play first and then the thumbnails by using your mouse or trackpad to navigate yourselves through this wonderful experience. Enjoy!

BTW Start with the main feature first you freak!!!

We had the pleasure to combine the launch of our all-new “Stefan Marx Issue” with the Berlin premiere of Nike SB’s all-women video “GIZMO”. Now you might think, “What do those two things have to do with this article I am about to read?”, well, our trip had Lea Schairer on it and she skates for Nike so when we got the call to ask if we wanted to talk to any of the girls we had a plan.

The plan was this: Lea would integrate and spend some time with her team-mates while they would go through their media rounds, a Pappelplatz skate sesh and finally the premiere of the video. She would then take a moment, regain her thoughts and note them down for us all to read.

I mean what is better than having a woman evaluate a major moment in all of skateboarding but women’s skating in particular. Nothing right?

Well, you better start reading now!

Drawings by Stefan Marx
Intro by Roland Hoogwater
Text by Lea Schairer

Finally, there is a queue

Right before the video started I already tried to fight my way to the toilet but failed, because after three beers I definitely was ready to pee! But I was too busy talking to people and was too excited for GIZMO to start that when I was finally able to go in, the projector was already switched on. Since I didn’t want to miss anything I told my body to hold it back. I actually forgot about it watching the video, also because there were two guys standing next to me who couldn’t stop saying: “Dude! What?!”, literally every trick they saw. I was wondering where they had been in the past five years. It’s not like you wouldn’t expect those girls to blow your mind. Because their level of skating just went through the roof during those years. These people are – with a handful of others – currently the best female skaters out there! Thinking of a new skate video being released featuring any pro there is, you would already expect a certain level of tricks… I think we should definitely be in a time where you should expect the same from female pros.

I was fortunate enough to spend the afternoon with the crew of the GIZMO video, which means Sarah Meurle, Elissa Steamer, Nicole Hause and Ashley Rehfeld, who is a co-producer and athlete coordinate at Nike SB. We met at Civilist, we went skating and we talked a lot. It’s great to see that with skateboarding we had a connection right away – I knew I’d get along with these women, even though I had never met them. All of our experiences and impressions about skateboarding coincided.
It was also great to feel the vibe that gets shown in the video when skating with them in person. It was impressive how the skate park sort of shifted their attention towards these women.
We talked about gender equality, equal or at least adequate prize money at contests, how well women are integrated in the skateboard scene now, that, even though all of us have been skateboarding for 11-17 years (Elissa more like 30 years), it’s just now that some of us have the possibility to live from it – despite the already existing high level in women’s skating many years ago. Having trouble finding a sponsor in earlier ages and now asking yourself: well, is it really the skating that drives the companies to support us or is it just because girls who skate are so marketable?!

Fuck! That is definitely a major downside of female skateboarding becoming more popular.

It’s important to know that GIZMO is NOT the first all-women skate video – there have been a few, all privately financed and produced. It’s the first one a big company has produced and put its name behind; which is amazing and is a big step in the right direction. It probably means that more will follow… already shown by the premier Vans had in London with their Bali skate trip video.
Unfortunately, we didn’t speak much about the video itself and how everything came about. And then again, there is actually no need for that. When you see the video, you see the same things that you see in any other skate video. There are struggles, there is the pressure everyone puts upon themselves because they want to deliver the best part possible. There are the super fun times, going on tour with your friends and just hanging out, there is the hype after landing a tough trick and there are the times of doubt.

SMarx_Place_ReleaseParty_11

With my bladder still filled, a few drops went into my pants when I saw the tricks, where those two guys behind me yelled the loudest. There are nose grinds on handrails, bs tailslides flip out, tre-flips over motorcycles, super high grab less alley-oop bs airs in deep-ends, and much much more you will be impressed with.
Even though it can be a little annoying having guys scream into your ear for 10 minutes straight, I was obviously also flattered by the guys’ comments, because it means they have now realized on what kind of level female skating is. It also shows that men are starting to dig the different styles of those women skating, mentioning things like: ”Damn, I wish I could do this trick like that!”. It’s just that the implicitness is still missing!

There were also several other people who came up to me with different perspectives to the video. For example, two super shy girls saying how much they enjoyed seeing me (and the other girls) skate. This has never happened to me and I found it more than flattering. I can’t imagine how many times this must have happened to the GIZMO team over the past days… the motivation for those who are starting to skate has probably risen to a maximum watching this video. It’s just so cool that now there are female role models (several) in skateboarding and that these are all over the world and not just in some far away place. I think this is a big push for skating in general!
All in all, it was an overwhelming vibe. It was so great to see everyone being hyped about the video. There was a lot of cheering and yelling, clapping and laughing. An honest: “Ouhhhhhhhh” when seeing a bail and the same honest: “Whaaaat?!?! Yeahhh!” when seeing a banger. The place was packed, the drinks were cold and people even started bouncing to the tunes of the video.

When the video was over I remembered what my bladder was telling me, also realizing that it should move right now to let it out! I hurried, in the expectation that at video premiers it’s not a problem for girls to just walk straight into an empty booth. After finally fighting my way to the toilets, I found myself waiting in a super long queue… Fuck! That is definitely a major downside of female skateboarding becoming more popular.

Watch GIZMO again here.

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!

Most of the time in skateboarding events happen because of a product launch, a video premiere or as the continuation of a festival ala CPH open. For this event, we wanted to create 2 pieces that clicked together like lego but would still stand up as separate entities. We teamed up with adidas Skateboarding to present you “JUS KICKIN IT”

All photos by Daan Dam.

Text by Roland Hoogwater.

PIECE 1:

The first piece was this video by Nizan Kasper in which skateboarding and table soccer were connected. The idea being that we as skaters often frequent bars and participate in barroom activities for fun. We found a table soccer bar called “Kickerbar Platzwart” were we could one, record our table soccer adventures and secondly host our event.

PIECE 2:

Our second piece was our first table soccer invitational tournament. We invited some of Berlin’s finest last Saturday, December the 15th, to join us and play in our 16 team – Two VS Two style – tournament. People were excited and thus showed up in high spirits hoping to win the 300€ “winner takes all” prize purse home with them.

The tournament started with all the teams being divided into 4 different groups, like in a world cup every one in the pool played each other which would culminate in the top 2 moving on into the KO phase of the tournament. Hopes were high but so were the skillsets between the teams, certain people found out right away where they stood where others fought to stay in the tournament with mixed results.

At the end of the first KO round we were left with the 4 best teams that then battled it out in the semi-finals: Team Lensing VS Max Obert & Eric Erhardt and Paul Röhrs & Finn VS Sascha Scharf & Philipp Oehmige. Needless to say, the games got more intense, hands got sweaty and nerves got tested as the money got closer to the winner’s pockets.

The finals ended up being the best versus the best, Team Lensing played Paul Röhrs & Finn the number 1 and 2 of their respective groups. Paul and Finn had beaten Team Lensing in the group phase and as such, they were feeling confident as the finals approached. On the other side of the table, Team Lensing was hungry and focused on winning not only to win the money but also because they wanted to restore their damaged pride.

Mirco, the owner of Platzwart elevated the spirits of the crowd by giving out a round of Schnapps minutes before the finals.
Mirco, the owner of Platzwart elevated the spirits of the crowd by giving out a round of Schnapps minutes before the finals.

In the end, Team Lensing got their revenge and beat their competitors 6:0 in a long and hard-fought final game. Both teams shook hands and agreed that the score did not represent the level of competition in the finals but the right team had come out on top.

Radio Baws and Kreuzberg local Arne Krüger then took everybody outside for the ceremonial champaign money shot!

What is left to be said? First off, Thank you to adidas Skatebarding for the continued support!

Platzwart Kickerbar and Mirco in particular for helping us before, during and after the event!

Arne Krüger (announcer) and Daan Dam (photographer) for covering the event together with us.

And last but not the teams and the crowd for showing up and giving your all. We hope to welcome you again for our next tournament in 2019!

 

 

Do you ever get the feeling that you know what you want to write but because you already know it becomes a menial task? The process is what lures you in, the get cliché the journey is the destination. Being 31 I grew up watching Mark, watching him grow to become a very big name. And that is part of the problem because most themes have been talked about over and over. At the same time, all the accolades Mr. Appleyard has collected over time are not to be overlooked. Most people who skate have never been and will never be part of a classic video, or will have at least two classic video parts. Especially in today’s climate, it is hard to tell if new icons like Appleyard’s will even be a part of our culture. The “older” skaters remain iconic while Instagram has created a new playing field which has been slowly changing our game. Anyway, The point was that I knew what I could write but what did I need to write and what did I want to write? So I asked multiple people what they thought I should write.

Yo’ Daniel I am struggling a bit with the text about Mark what did you notice during our time with him?

“What I realized is that he reached this high level of skating and ever since he did that he just stayed that good. When I saw him skating he hadn’t really lost a step and that is something to think about.”

Danny (Sommerfeld) what should I write about Mark? Should I mention that his transworld trick tip taught you how to nollie flip?

“No.. that wouldn’t make any sense, who wants to know that? Just write that he was super nice and really professional! Remember when we pulled up to his house? He was playing ping pong, with Sammy (Montano) in his garage. Remember the huge poster of one of his covers in the garage? The map with all the places he has been? And that was only the garage, in his living room, he had multiple covers up and trophies, a couple of them, amongst which the 2003 SOTY statue.

Mark came up during my time, and because he has been around for multiple years we sometimes forget how crazy good he is on the board.
Being invited to his house reminded me that he is a really good skater and that we shouldn’t forget that.

He showed us his (and his sons) lego collection, which has a Porsche and millennium falcon amongst it. He played on his drumkit, we sat in his garden and played with all the toys.”

So in a sense, we got to see what it is like being Mark?

Exactly!

It is with great pride we present to you our newest video by Nizan Kasper with the support of adidas Skateboarding.

This video is almost entirely shot in the “Park am Gleisdreieck” spread through the district Kreuzberg and Schöneberg, located in the heart of the city. Shot within only a few days, we managed to catch the very last good days of the year to spend outside, just to eventually end up at the bar playing Foosball.

Did we ever tell you guys that we low-key really like Foosball? More about the topic bar sports coming soon.

Featuring: Jun Kummer, Valeri Rosomako, Tjark Thielker & Benny Vogel.

Film and edit by Nizan Kasper.