Tag: Placemag

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.

Next Wednesday during the BRIGHT Tradeshow we would like to invite you all to our 10 Years Of PLACE Birthday Party at Strausberger Platz 19 in Berlin, Friedrichshain. But before we will raise the glass, we have a little teasing and quite special column for you guys. As a real flower child, Danny Sommerfeld unintentionally documented a few situations during a few more or less blurry party nights of the past year where every time not least the power of colorful plants made him hit the shutter release.

Photos by Danny Sommerfeld









I clearly remember when this project started, I was talking to Leon Rudolph and I asked: “Why don’t you do full-length videos anymore?” He answered: “Right now, I just don’t want to wait to put something out.” Leon did do a lot this year, he did some stuff for Converse Cons, Cleptomanicx and a couple of independent short videos. So an idea crept into our mind, what if we ask Leon to remix his 2016 work into one longer project? He loved the idea, and from that moment we started to talk regularly about the project, Leon would bring up ideas and started working on the project, he even found a date and a location to premiere the project. Yesterday the video had its premiere in Kassel it premiered together with Jonathon the Dog’s new project. So with, that out the way we are proud to introduce to you Leon Rudolph’s newest project “U Already Know” for PLACE, Enjoy!

Featuring: Danny Sommerfeld, Jonas Hess, Jan Hoffmann, Daniel Pannemann, Hyun Kummer (Versace_Germany), Jun Kummer (Seoul_air), Steffen Grap, Franz Grimm, Max Sand, Moritz Alte and much more.

Back in the old days and still relevant today, the handshake is a synonym for an agreement, which is not official until both hands are parted. In this issue, we shake hands with people behind five brands from all over the world that are, in our eyes, totally different from each other and all pretty much rookies in the game. To transport the vibe of each brand we needed to get real insights. So were spending time with the founders, their cliques, and social environments, which, once again, makes the work we do and thus our product very personal.

LO-RES BILDER_amsterdam_pop-trading-company_august_2016_highres-223
Bastiaan van Zadelhoff – BS 360 No Comply – Photo: Danny Sommerfeld

Pop – Low Country Aesthetics
“Now, if you hang out with this crew you might start believing that Pop is an acronym for People Owning Personality. Why? Because everybody has a strong personality and when they get together, everything gets amplified. It brought out the best in all of us and everyday was full of laughter mixed with “real talk” type of conversations…”

Photo: Danny Sommerfeld

Hotel Blue – A Chat with Nick von Werssowetz
“Sometimes, a few missed connections can still lead where you need to be. The story behind this interview started when I got a text from a friend who was out in Montreal at the time. He sent me a photo of him together with Ayo (Alex O’Donahoel), who unfortunately happened to leave Montreal right before we got there. But as it turned out, Ayo sent a DM letting me know he would be in NYC for the next few days. So we connected when we got to the Big Apple…”

Alex_Olson_ (2)_LORes
Photo: Conny Mirbach

Alex Olson – Leave a Message
“That is what I heard when I tried to call (917) 692-2706, which we all know is the full phone number behind Alex Olson’s enigmatic board brand. I didn’t leave a message but I wanted to. Just to see if anybody would listen to what I had to say and maybe “they” would even call back…”

Photo: Laura Kaczmarek

Europe Co. – A Ruhr Valley Continent
“The urban areas all have this rather modern architectural character with high-rise buildings, strict geometrical forms, and lots of concrete, steel, and glass. The cityscape tends to change at every street corner from snug to rough, from rich to poor, from vibrant green to gloomy grey. As I learned on my visit, this is exactly the environment the Europe Co. is rooted in.”

Remy Taveira – Fs Wallride – Photo: Maxime Verret

Öctagon – Die Maschine
Following the Öctagon members on a visual adventure through the greatest machinery of humankind, the city.

The brand new PLACE issue 58 “The Handshake” will be available through skateshops, selected retailers and newsstands – some of the shops got the issue already, just ask!

Those of you that know us have seen us popping up in Leon Rudolph’s latest edit s/o, now if you don’t know what s/o stands for it is short for shout out. I guess that is what Danny Sommerfeld is giving Leon with this behind the scenes style gallery!


Shout out to the end of summer.


Shout out to ignoring the rules of photography.


Shout out to all the cars that passed by and made Franz lose his focus.


Shout out to the next man on the come up.


Shout out to all the teachers that told me I would never amount to something


Shout out to all the people that lived above the buildings that I was hustling in front of.


Shout out to all the places we travel to only to pass by in a second.


Shout out to JJ for bringing a mic to a skate session.


Shout out to ankle braces and smiling faces.


Shout out to all the prayers that were written down by sprayers.


And finally, shout out to all the people that skate second-hand grip and own a first class pet.

Check out Leon’s edit by clicking here and to see more of kaffeezigarette click here.

All photos by Danny Sommerfeld

Text by Roland Hoogwater

Very recently, we had not one but two Placemag sympathizers for a visit in Berlin, Leon Rudolph and Franz Grimm. As Leon is always down to film something, the guys cruised through the city and produced this, naturally, nice edit. And, of course, shout out back to you Leon!

Featuring: Franz Grimm, Danny Sommerfeld, Roland Hoogwater and Steffen Grap.

Well, for those who do not know, my name is Paul and I am working for PLACE since nine months now. So one might say I am still pretty new to the game. Nevertheless, I got my nickname “Placemagpaule” right at my first day at the office and it even developed to a frequently used hashtag on Instagram.

The coolest thing about my job is that I need to travel from time to time and as I have not really been around a lot before, most of the time, I go to see places I have never been before. This also applies for Copenhagen. So as Benni told me that one of us got invited by Levis Skateboarding to join the CPH Open series and asked me if I would like to go there, I of course did not hesitate.


I stayed in Copenhagen for four days and I can say it is indeed a very beautiful city, which is not well-known for its quality of life for no reason. Besides the great architectural mix between old and new, the proximity to the sea, the good food and the friendly and open-minded mentality of the local residents Copenhagen also offers an uncountable number of skate spots. Moreover, most of the people in Copenhagen seem to enjoy or at least to tolerate skateboarding. The best example therefor is that one of the CPH Open events took place inside the historical city hall of Copenhagen, which would just be unthinkable in any other country I have ever been to.

Evan Smith – Bs 540 Nosegrab

Unfortunately, I had bad luck with the weather conditions, which is why I could not be outside as much as I would have liked to. But still, there were enough moments I took off the lens cover of my Canon AE-1 and hit the shutter release. So welcome to the first episode of my personal Placemagpaule travel recaps!

Text & Photos by Paul Röhrs
On top: Brad Cromer – Fs Flip

One day in 2014, I was writing a letter to Daniel and I was complaining that he didn‘t tell me about that great trick he did close to Alexanderplatz. I was referring to that other video of him that hit the web out of the blue that day, which he also didn’t tell me that he had filmed nor when it was going to be released. He is such a mystery-monger and I was confused about it. I‘ve been working in the skateboard industry for 15 years and have had a lot to do with skateboarders and until today I‘m not used to such a modest understatement of someone’s own skills. I tried my best to learn how to handle his approach. Daniel really inspired me during the years and because of his calm attitude, he had a major influence on where PLACE Magazine is these days. Right now, we‘re really enjoying where we are. It‘s at a point that totally reflects how we see the great culture of skateboarding.

On this day I would love to proudly announce Daniel as the new Editor-in-Chief – because I guess by his own he wouldn‘t like to tell you at all. He‘s not the type of guy to put himself in the spotlight, but furthermore, he likes his talents to speak for themselves and he has a lot of those on and off the board. Expect a little wind of change, a fresh look, and a true expression of the PLACE gang‘s point of view. Dear Daniel, the word is yours.

Benni Markstein

Photo: Sommerfeld

#3stripes3cities – the final chapter. This summer, Hamburg marked the final destination of adidas Skateboarding’s tour across Germany. See Valerie Rosomako, Lem Villemin, Patrick Zentgraf and Sandro Trovato hitting the streets once again as well as footage from the demo in the famous i-Punkt Skateland. We had a lot of fun following these guys around. Press play!

Filmed and edited by Torsten Frank

Aaron Herrington was on flow for Plan B and Silver before he decided to change direction and become part of the Polar Skate Co. As rumor has it, he already churned up a big amount of footage for the upcoming Polar video. But that seems only logical, especially if you see him skating in person. We met Aaron to find about that one little secret he has…

Aaron, is it true that you have a white lighter phobia?

I do have a white lighter phobia! I was told by a friend to never light a smoke with a white lighter… There wasn’t much of a story behind why you don’t use them other than he said it was “bad luck”. I never knew that a bunch of people in the “27 Club” died with a white lighter in their possession, pretty crazy. Ever since then, I’ve refrained from using a white lighter for about 6-7 years until I used one of the Converse boys’ white lighter. It was either that, or not smoke. And I’d rather smoke. 

by Danny Sommerfeld

During the tradeshow days we hosted a couple of events: The first one was to celebrate the launch of our latest issue 53. But we also wanted to organize a skate contest. We thought about where to host the contest and ended up choosing our local skatepark at the Maybachufer, which is home to one of the coolest, but hard to skate obstacles: The volcano.

We teamed up with Vans, Electric and Becks Beer and put down some price money. There even was free chili con carne – everything set for a nice evening!

We expected about 200 people to show up but when it started to rain about an hour before the contest we where getting a tad bit nervous, but the sun came in and saved our day, drying up the the skatepark in just a few minutes. Luckily the people were not impressed by the weather and when the contest was about to start, 400 to 500 people were around. What an impressive setting!

With both the Bright and the Nike SB Open taking place last week, there were lots of people in town. Skaters like Ville Wester, who I had never heard of, but he and his crew turned out to be the surprise of the evening. Combining technical and creative tricks Ville took home some cash.

We also planned a surprise and asked Vulcanos the fire breather to perform his fire show to make the jam a bit more hot and spicy! Needless to say this created a special atmosphere: Louis Taubert who was ripping hard the entire time captured this atmosphere perfectly by popping a huge kickflip over the entire vulcano just moments after Vulcanos spit an enormous fire ball from the top of the vulcano! Guess who was crowned as the king of Volcano that evening? Right! Congratulations Louis – that was one for the books!

Enjoy the edit by Julius Krabbe and some pictures by Danny Sommerfeld and below:

PLACE_vulcano-jam-2 Kopie














Special thanks to Vans & Electric for making this happen!

Dear friends,
it’s time to celebrate again! We would like to cordially invite you to the release of issue 53, which will take place at the Our/Berlin distillery next to BRIGHT tradeshow in Berlin. For this occasion we teamed up with our beloved friends and created a limited edition collabo, which will be presented during the launch event at Our/Berlin. Spin the wheel of fortune, enjoy some tasty drinks and celebrate with us!

PLACE & Our/Berlin


PLACE x Our/Berlin – Issue 53 Launch
July 8th, 5PM
Am Flutgraben 2

Dear friends,

it’s time to party again! PLACE presents the official Nike SB Berlin Open Aftershowparty at Cassiopeia.

After a long day of amazing skateboarding by the best Pro- and Amateur Skateboarders from all over Europe and the rest of the world, it’s time to grab some cold ones and enjoy an exciting night. Our beloved DJs will make sure to get you dance on three floors until the sun sets – you’re cordially invited! This is the official Line-Up:

Main Floor:
DJ Keen One (Miami)

Bass Floor:
A MILLION (Berlin)

PLACE Love Floor:
Sex & Emotions by Lee Stuart (Berlin)
Hariku (New York City / Tokyo)

See you on the dancefloor!


Dear friends,

for the first time we’re crowning the King Of Volcano during The Hot & Spicy Jam presented by Electric and Vans at the world famous MBU skatepark in Berlin Neukölln. Expect hot tricks, hot tunes, hot drinks, hot food and hot eruptions! Take your chance to win 500€ cash and watch some spectacular skateboarding that will happen over Berlin’s most active volcano. Looking forward to see you at the BRIGHT Tradeshow Electric booth from 5 – 7pm before we all go together to MBU, starting the action on 7.30pm. Hell yeah!



King Of Volcano – The Hot & Spicy Jam presented by Electric & Vans
July 9th / 7.30PM
MBU Skatepark / Weichselstraße 34

This summer, PLACE and adidas Skateboarding proudly present the 3Stripes3Tricks video contest. It’s all about dynamic skateboarding – easy but stylish, fast and light-footed. This is Pt.2 feat. the skateboard-magician Valeri Rosomako:

In order to enter, all you need to do is film three tricks – either in a line or three single tricks in a clip – and upload the video to your Instagram account, using #3stripes3tricks while also tagging @placemag and @adidasskateboarding. That’s it – all entries get the chance to win amazing prices. We’ll choose three winners and repost your videos on the PLACE Instagram channel.

And there’s more: the winning footage will also take part in the Big Final Edit featuring the German adidas team with riders like Sandro Trovato, Lem Villemin, Patrick Zentgraf, Kai Hillebrand, and more. Last but not least, all three winners will receive a big adidas surprise stuff package delivered straight to their front door. Whether it’s stripes or tricks – three is the magic number and we hope to see your footage soon. Good luck!

I was drunk last night. Drunk and high. It wasn’t too crazy, but enough to make me talk shit about my boss to one of his closest assistants. I’m sure this won’t cause any trouble for me, but it’ll definitely make me feel a bit uncomfortable at the lunch meeting later on today. A wall of six screens, various desks, neatly arranged in a room the size of a swimming pool. 12 people in dark suits competing over today’s biggest deal. I’m here to put them in their places.


I like my job, I really do. I couldn’t see myself working anywhere else right now. I work as a banking administrator in the Corporate Finance Department of a big bank that’s based in Frankfurt am Main. Born and raised in London, I’ve always been able to hold my liquor. My siblings and I were born drinking, my whole family drinks. What is a hangover anyways? Isn’t that a city in Germany? I usually wake up early, I need to be in the office at around 7 a.m.


The first meeting is on at 7:15 and the last one usually around 8:30-ish. That’s normal. I’m not complaining. I love it! If I could, I’d probably sleep less and drink more. Having a successful career is a family tradition. When I look out of my office window I can see the “Silberturm”, also known as the DB Tower, and its marble entrance plaza. Some days you can watch the most fucked up things happening down there. Pure entertainment!


Although I have a pretty terrific car collection back home in London, I never really use my own car out here. Frankfurt is small, and I can take a cab in less than a minute if I really need a ride. Since my new apartment is only a block away from my office, I often take a quick walk instead. Probably the only time I actually spend outside. I’m sure I’d catch the flu if someone threw me into the woods, or even just close to a tree. I rather smoke a cigarette; they do me better anyway. Life is what you make of it, right? Nature only makes me nervous.


As a kid you have a different view on things; I always thought of myself as someone who goes on a journey to discover the planet. I wanted to plant a seed on every single mainland, help people, feed those in need, maybe become a doctor or a professor, just to do some good. That was before I went to college and everything. Before girls, money, drugs. I was wet behind the ears, a real virgin. So after I discovered my strengths, I slowly started to forget about all that good-will bull crap and became a businessman. I do business!


So, today I arrived pretty late. It must have been around 7:14. That means not much time to actually prepare a meeting, although that’s something I usually don’t do anyways. My job is to chair the meeting and talk about yesterday’s numbers and today’s forecasts. My secretary is this 23-year-old German girl, born and raised in Frankfurt. Married to a policeman. No kids. So, why not? I mean I would, and maybe I will at one point.


I saw her once, at an office party, making out with the younger brother of my boss. They left the room for a good 15 minutes. Whatever it takes, I always try to get what I want. Since I was a young kid, I walked my own path in my very own shoes. My father was a cold-hearted man and I taught myself how to take a shit on the toilet, ride a bike and smoke a cigarette. My mum died when I was two years old and I never really learned to love my stepmother. What I’m trying to say is, I’m good.


Sometimes, when I look out of the window, down to the DB entrance plaza I see grown men on skateboards. Guys around 20, 25. Playing with a toy for kids, in the streets. I always wonder what their parents might think about that. Do they still have a parent that tells them to get a life? Skater-punks, prostitutes, drug-dealers, all kinds of crooked people and in between you have us: good-looking men in suits. What a contrast! Like there is only black and white. Rich and poor. Clean and dirty. Day and night. Call me whatever you want, but this is pretty fucked up and I kind of like it. I feel like I belong in a situation like that. I was born for this. Give me more of that.


This meeting is useless. Every single banker in this room is looking at me as if they really care, as if they like what I’m saying… they want to know, they want to get a raise and I am the one in charge. Bullshit. Don’t look at me like that and stop kissing my ass. You pricks don’t know shit. My mood is on a low. This might be the closest I ever get to a “hangover”.


All these thoughts come to mind as I sit here and I talk about millions of Euros. It’s easy for me. After ten years in the business and three years in a position like this, it’s a fucking breeze. God, how I love it. Actually, I do three things at once. 1: Talk about yesterday’s Indonesian stock market. 2: Make fun of my colleagues. 3: Picture my secretary butt naked while screaming at me – maybe that makes it even four. This place is like hell and I seem to be the devil.

Words: Daniel Pannemann
Photos: Danny Sommerfeld

Skaters: Valentin Cafuk, Jonas Hess, Alex Ullmann

3 Gangs, Beers, Boards und Brezn – so lautete das Motto unseres Ausflugs in die bayrische Landeshauptstadt. Treffpunkt sollte der SHRN Skateshop sein, der zur geselligen Cornerei geladen hatte, um die neue PLACE Ausgabe 049 zu präsentieren, dazu gab es eine Liveperformance des Topdogs im Schaufenster und die Videopremiere des neuen enjoi Videos “Oververt”. Die Münchener sind hervoragende Gastgeber und so wurde über drei Tage lang geschlemmt, getrunken, gelacht und Münchener Luxus-Lifestyle zelebriert. Nichts anderes hatten wir erwartet, also folgt nun die ungeschönte Wahrheit aus den Snapshot Kameras von Danny Sommerfeld und Benni Markstein.

Familienportrait is forever.

Gang love is forever ever.

Esel, Hund und Haas.

Party in the front. Business in the back.

Quit Playin’ Games With My Heart! Die Backstreet Boys in town.
Von Links nach Rechts: Brian, Kevin, A.J., Howie und Nick.

OH SHIT! The roof is on fire.

Robinson’s Restaurant heisst “Attentat Griechischer Salat”, das Dressing wird separat geliefert.

Salz und Pfeffer sind wichtige Bestandteile bei Gerichten, aber obacht: Zu viel der Gewürze können schnell das Essen vermiesen. Wie der Handwerker so schön sagt: Nach fest kommt ab.

Griechische Doppelbelichtung.
Ben Wesstein

Besel. Halb Ben, halb Esel.

Ohne jedes Fotowissen – sind Bilder meist beschissen. Ansonsten ist fast schon Nacht – da geht auch Blende 2,8

An der Kippe ziehen: Das neue Duckface!

Geile Karre…

…die wir haben. Läuft bei uns.

Sprit leer. Schluckt ganz schön viel.

Abschleppdienst zur nächsten Tankstelle.

Die Münchener sind ein hilfsbereites Völkchen und wir konnten von Glück reden, dass wir bis zur nächsten Tankstelle mitgenommen wurden.

E10, Diesel und Super Plus. Alles vorhanden, was man braucht.

Nur weil er den schwarzen Gürtel hat.


Ein Mann schweigt und genießt.

2 Salatdressings und ein Attentäter.

Ghettonavi 2.0 (Promille).

Matt Burger hatte leider zwecks Street League Verpflichtungen keine Zeit. Dafür konnten wir aber seinen kleinen Bruder, Bett Burger für uns begeistern. Good night. Sleep tight.

Der Fernsehturm von München.

(Verstecktes Gewinnspiel) Wem fällt die beste Bildunterschrift ein? Der Gewinner bekommt eine Flasche Salatdressing „greekstyle“.




3 Gang – 2 Gang = Eingang.

Epische Verfehlung. #Instamom #Instamoment



…und das Geld

Mehr Snapshot Recaps

Da glaubt man, dass es dem norddeutschen Raum an Talent mangelt – und wie aus dem Nichts zeigen sich auf einmal ein paar Kandidaten, mit denen man durchaus rechnen kann. Einer davon hört auf den Namen Jan Hoffmann. Welcher uns bis dato völlig unbekannt war. Das Foto haben wir tatsächlich auf Facebook entdeckt und im Anschluss den Fotografen Timo Müller binnen weniger Minuten gebeten, dieses doch bitte umgehend wieder zu entfernen. Es gibt theoretisch also schon ein paar Leute, denen das Foto eventuell bekannt vorkommen könnte, wenn sie es tatsächlich in den sieben Minuten World-Wide-Web-Veröffentlichung irgendwie erspäht haben sollten. Acht Likes, ein Share, so die bisherige Erfolgsstory, welche wir hier nun etwas ausbreiten möchten.

Die neue Generation zeigt definitiv Gespür für zeitgenössische Kleidung und Tricks. Was aber bekanntlich für Anerkennung in der Szene nicht ausreicht. Es muss knistern und knallen, und außergewöhnliche Herangehensweisen sind sicherlich auch ein Vorteil, erzielen diese womöglich Wiedererkennungswerte. Du sollst nicht gleich das Rad neu erfinden, das geht auch gar nicht mehr, aber vielleicht ab und zu aus der Comfort-Zone steigen. Jan hat dies bewiesen und uns überzeugen können. Heutzutage wird Talent früh erkannt und auch genauso früh abgefangen, da durch soziale Medien jedes noch so kleine aufblitzen gelobt wird. Wir sind gespannt, wie sich das in Zukunft bemerkbar machen wird. So weit, so gut. Vielen Dank, Jan, wir finden dich toll.

Boneless, Foto: Timo Müller

“When you go to Franken it’s a one way ticket.”

No doubt that Austyn Gillette is one of the most respected professional skateboarders out there, but for this one he’s not “out there” but came “in here” – visiting our home turf. Together with his HUF mate Dylan Rieder, one cinematographer and one photographer, the little group spent a full month in Berlin to go skate and film – of course! But people, and especially visitors who’ve been to this city, know about the difficulties of having a mission, wanting be productive vs. also wanting to have a “good time”. Most of them like to go out at night, that’s for sure. So we’ve been wondering how Austyn managed to find that balance, and what he experienced between all those new spots, old bars and major obligations to his sponsors. We sat down in a little park at Gipsdreieck in Mitte to have coffee three days before his departure…

Hi Austyn, how’s it going?
It’s good today, it’s great today. It’s a sunny day, we got two weeks of rain and now it’s starting to clear up, it’s nice now.

You’ve been here for a while now, and your stay is nearly over. What’s the reason that you’ve been here for almost four weeks?
Well, the plan was made probably about six months ago, when we knew that we wanted to come back here. It was last summer when we came here, but it was only for a few days. I’ve been here quite a few times in the past, filming with some of the guys at Habitat. Now we’re filming for HUF, this is a desirable city for the few of us that are here. As far as skate spots and lifestyle, we’re sitting in a park right now, it’s beautiful! You can drink here, you can smoke here, you can do whatever you want.

So the plan was to shoot footage for a new HUF video?
Yeah, kind of, there’s two projects going on. Dylan has to film here for his shoe that comes out in July, I believe, and then I have to film for a full video part for December; my shoe comes out in January. It’s kind of crunch time.

Crunch time?
Like cracking the whip, you know? We’ve only got six months, so it’s like, “Alright, we need to produce some stuff.” This trip’s been good.

Do you feel a lot of pressure while you’re here?
For me, yes. Not like pressure that everyday I wake up not at ease or that I don’t feel, like, happy, it’s not like that. Just who I am, skating outside here, filming for another video part, so your expectations for yourself are really high. Because you don’t want to do the same things you’ve done in the past. So it’s a little bit of pressure, but more on myself.

I heard you’re on more than just one photo mission.
It actually is kinda like that. We had to shoot photos for magazines. I basically have to get two ads and an interview kind of thing. That worked out, and as far as the footage goes, we’ve been able to film lines and some cool stuff.

Do you prefer filming or shooting photos?
I prefer just filming and if it’s needed: going back to shoot the photo. I think that’s more preferable to me but it’s not how it always works. I like filming.

Please describe the vibe in Berlin from you personal experiences.
One of the last free cities. For us you can’t do half of the shit we’ve been doing. You can’t do that in a certain time or you’re limited. In the States there’s so many laws and restrictions, and I guess when you come here that’s not the case with anything. I realize I found myself, like when I would go peeing in the bush over here in this park, no one would think anything about it, you’re just peeing on a bush. In the States, if there’s kids and you’re peeing in a bush, you’re going to jail. You would be considered a sex offender. You know, just things like that, small things. I came to this city five years ago for the first time and within in the first week I knew that this was probably one of the few places that I can potentially live; or cities like that. So for me it’s appealing, the food, the people…

Are you interested in other stuff apart from skating? Cultural stuff, German history, art shows?
I am, I’ve read some little things about Berlin on this trip. I think over time, if I wasn’t skating and had more time, I would’ve been digesting more things. I’ve been reading a little bit.

You’ve been on your bikes every day, it’s good, isn’t it?
Oh yeah, it’s way better by bike. You’re working on your own pace, you don’t have to worry about traffic. That’s pretty nice. This time around we bought the bikes of some place called “Bikepark” or something. Since the first day we got in we’ve been on our own bikes instead of renting them. I want to be able to throw my bike down some stairs at, like, four in the morning and not feel bad about it. So that has happened.

So the bike is broken now?
No! Somehow it’s “German made” so it’s still in good condition. I think I’m going to give the bike to Simo (Mäkelä) actually, as a gift, as a token to my appreciation for Finnish people.

Speaking of Simo, did you get to know some of the Berlin skaters from the scene and did you hang out?
I guess with Steve (Forstner), ha-ha. When we got out we tried to keep it small and packed. So when we do see people, it’s nice to see local skaters and what people are up to. But I never really experienced that, I think that is something you do when you’re not filming or you’re not shooting photos, because either way no one wants to come and skate the spot because there’s photographers or filmers. It’s a separation, but it’s out of, like, a respect thing. If someone else, someone from here is shooting a photo, it somehow means that we’re not going to go and skate the spot. But I don’t think I really know any native skaters besides Steve and a few other ones who are all transplants who ended up in Berlin.

What are your favorite top-3 spots in Berlin?
Number one: Burgermeister! Then I like the green little bumps in this new park area (Gleisdreieck, A.d.R.) not only for skating, but because it’s really nice there. And there’s one spot we didn’t go on this trip, it’s in Kreuzberg with this pyramid ledge, I like the flat ground there.

Wassertorplatz. The place you always get stuck trying to film a trick although you just went there to warm up…
Yeah, that place but that’s good though. You always know what you’re getting into when you go there. You know, you can plan ahead.

Were there some situations when you came to a spot and kids recognized you guys?
Kind of. We’ve seen a lot of kids wearing HUF out here, wearing the socks and shoes but not too crazy.

I’ve heard there were two kids coming from Poland, who tracked you down after they heard that you’re in town.
Oh shit, there he is up in the tree, right here! But really? That’s weird. That’s awesome. I guess they have a hard time finding me – fuck, yeah, I’m running!

What about girls out here?
I like them, but I haven’t had much motivation. It’s been purely skating for the most part which is kind of weird. I mean we went out and met chicks and stuff but I got out of a relationship not too long ago, so I don’t have much motivation towards women right now. I’m trying to stay away from them. This is the first trip this hasn’t happened here!

What does your apartment in Mitte look like? How do you live here?
It’s a nice little flat, which the guys at HUF rented for us through Airbnb. I think it’s good, it would have been nice to be a little closer to Kreuzberg, but it’s good that we could come here and find some solitude. We can go back home and relax and on a bike it’s ten minutes to anywhere. I guess it’s comparable to what I do back home, to where I live in LA. I don’t live in Hollywood, I live in East LA, which is the opposite of the center, so it’s really relaxed. Not like clubs when you walk out of your door. It’s like neighbors and dogs and trees, you know. Calm down, that’s cool. The last times we always stayed at Falckensteinstrasse in Kreuzberg, and that was productive in the evening, but not so much during the day. But it was fun.

Tell me about your daily routine over here.
I guess that was the routine: Basically wake up, drink coffee, skate, drink, skate, drink some more, and then go eat a Falafel around two or three in the morning, and then do the same thing the next day.

The last time I met you guys at a spot you were pretty wasted from the night before. When I asked you what you’d done, you just said: “Dirty things.” What kind of dirty things are we talking here?
Oh, did I say that? Dirty things? That was probably bullshitting, but I guess dirty things probably would have consisted of Franken Bar, and there were, like, many Mexicana shots, we probably had a bunch of those. I don’t know what we did after that, it’s kind of blurry. When you go to Franken it’s a one way ticket.

Do you have a crazy story of something that happened to you in Berlin?
Not this trip, I really can’t say that, and that’s really embarrassing but I guess we haven’t been in that mode to doing that. But I can tell you about that one time a few years ago: I was doing a full makeover to get into Berghain, and I cut out my nipple holes in my shirt. I looked like a complete psycho waiting in the line for like an hour and a half, and then I ended up getting to the front and they just went: No. And that was it. All in all we got some good photos out of that, ha-ha… I would say in the past I had different experiences compared to this one. Steve and I like to call ourselves losers, because we’re just skating and nothing else really.

Skateboard losers?
Just losers, just nerds, which I guess is cool because you don’t find yourself doing that back home too often. You get in your comfort zone, this time it’s just everyday skating.

What do you think about the fact that Alien Workshop is done now?
It’s very sad. A lot of people over there are really talented. Maybe it’s for the best, some of the people are so talented that I’m sure plenty of other companies either inside or outside of skateboarding, the people behind the desk, maybe they’ll open up new doors for them. I mean, it sucks but this has been going on for so long. It was really influential for everybody and now it’s a weird time. You wouldn’t think that DNA would close their doors ever, you know. I felt that they had, like, a solid backbone in the industry. The people always loved it and supported it. I guess it just gets into like money and people buying companies out, then things start to get dirty businesswise. It’s sad but that’s how things go. If you want to go on trips or if you want to travel or to produce more, you have to work with people that want to fund that.

How are things going for you with 3D?
It’s progressing. Surprisingly – I mean it’s just Brian and I on the team, and my dog is on the team too. We’re getting good feedback, people are liking it, and I’ve seen kids riding the boards and they’re constantly asking about it. It’s all nice because all of it’s just Brian’s vision. He’s got a motor mind, constantly thinking on ideas, even when you’re just hanging out he’s drawing or making potential graphics or things like that. It’s easy as far as, like, for us. We get to do whatever we want, I call him and tell him whatever I like.

What’s next on your map?
New York for about five months, filming. Trying not to go back to LA. When I’m back home I just don’t do this much as far as skating goes by myself. Just playing music and hanging out with friends. I don’t have that much motivation just because LA is exactly what it seems like to everybody: Same spots, same people, same things. You go to a new city and it’s more exciting, and especially New York is always exciting. That’s on the horizon in three days.

So, looking back on your time over here, was it a success all in all?
Yeah, of course, it’s been good. It’s been productive up until I got hurt a week ago. Maybe I can get some more stories squeezed in in the next few days, who knows.

Did you learn some German besides the word “Scheiße”?
“Natürlich” – naturally. “Kuscheln”, something like cuddling, ha-ha…

Are you planning to come back to Berlin?
I hope so. It’s been successful; I had a great time! You guys know how to cook up some quality tunes on the dance floor! That makes a good party, when the music is not so serious. Stay away from this fancy shit, you guys did it successfully. Place mag parties? I will be there. And if I’m not there, I’ll be there in spirit.

That’s a great final statement. Thank you very much!

by Benni Markstein