Tag: Unsigned Hype

Film & Edit by Ziggy Schaap.
Interview by Roland Hoogwater.

Our third and last Unsigned Hype, Pascal Moelaert is one of the oldest 19-year-olds I have ever met. And through reading this interview you will see that he hangs around and talks a lot with people that are about 10 years older than him. At the same time, Ziggy Schaap is one of the youngest 29-year-olds I have ever met. Living the life he wants, when he wants, and enjoying it around the way. Pascal is the serious one. Even though he handles everything with humor and irony, he does really care. Ziggy is more of a whatever works type of guy. Together they are the youngest and oldest people in this project and somehow it makes so much sense to close this first series with them. We hope you agree.

So, great first question where did you guys first meet?

P & Z: Tinder! (laughs)

Z: You know it!

Regular like or Super like?

P&Z: Regular like.

Z: I am more of a Bumble guy normally though, the people on there seem a bit more interesting.

P: I liked him on accident.

Who proposed to meet up first?

P: I did. I told him I was going on skate camp and he said he was going there as well, taking photos.

Z: You were still a minor, you were 12 years old, I was 22.

(Laughs) Who made the first move?

P: I did, a Backside Smith grind on a ledge. And he asked me if he could shoot it.

Z: That photo might still exist. But after camp, we kept in touch and saw each other at contests. The next big thing was a skate trip around Europe. The parents and their children just camped and skated around. Again I was taking the photos. I think after that, we did Pascals On the Roll video part. That was at 13.

Ziggy you are single. How is 2020 dating life and what about you Pascal, dating much?

P: No, I was partying a bit much during summer but there hasn’t been much dating going on.

Pascal and his hair, it is like something a Dutch folk singer or Roberto Baggio would rock.

No art school trips?

P: Nah, I had to stop drinking, it was getting too crazy.

Did you feel the pressure growing up, quitting alcohol at 19?

P: Who said anything about stopping, I am having a beer right now (laughs). But the hangovers were pretty heavy so I had to cut down. Less and less is better for me.

Random one, what political party would you guys vote for?

P: Green party (Groen Links)

Z: I don’t really vote.

P: You can’t trust people that say that. They secretly vote rightwing for sure (laughs). But do the people that read Place really care about politics?

Z: (laughs).

Ok, point-taken, let me ask a standard skate question then, who did the best line ever at Paleis van Justitie (Pascal’s favorite ledge plaza in The Hague).

P: Ricardo Paterno, I told him that too. I went to his office recently, he works with Sami El-Hassani who films for POP as well. We watched his Colorblind part together. He was shining, it must have felt good for him to relive that. He did say the last trick in that line was sketchy but he also revealed that he did the first trick about a hundred times. His skating deserves some props in this interview.

Sure, Pascal, your dad was a big factor in your younger skateboard days right?

P: Not really, he was around, he just brought me to all the contests, went to skate-camps with me. But he would just chill.

Z: I saw him on the sidelines at contests screaming “COME ON PASCAL!” (laughs).

Your TM for Spitfire (Niels) wanted to know what happened to you and skating handrails? Nowadays you stay with low-impact tricks.

P: I am not as young as I used to be (laughs). But for real, I always felt like I had this label of being a rail skater. So when I was young, I always would be taken to rail spots, and because of that label, I would also try things that at some point I just wasn’t that stoked on trying anymore. Like when I did that video with Luci (Lucas Jankoshek) we filmed a lot of ledge-lines but I still felt like I needed that ender to be a rail trick. So, I did that, and afterwards, I just knew I didn’t like it anymore. So I faded it out of my skating.

Z: You also stopped skating contests and parks and started street skating more.

P: True.

You also skated for Enjoi (flow) for a bit.

P: That was Ricardo Paterno’s doing. Skatestore had a distribution behind it and they had all of these shops in the Netherlands but they also had their top Dutch skaters on this three-star team. So, Paterno was talking to me and he said: “I am leaving as TM but the last thing I want to do is elevate you to that level and get you some good deals.” So it was a board brand, truck, and wheel sponsor offer. And he asked me who I wanted to ride for. I said Krooked, Thunder, Spitfire. So, I started telling people that I had those sponsors. Like a really stoked little kid, and a week after Ricardo called me and said: “Yo, we thought about it and we feel like Enjoi would be better for you.” I was bummed for a bit, but he explained that back then Dwindle was more open to adding European riders to the actual team. I ended up, saying yes to that deal, and rode for Enjoi for a couple of years. I think I quit when I stopped skating rails.

My taste just changed so much, I got into Alex Olson & Hjalte’s skating. That was right before Bianca Chandon started. So, I just changed and wanted to skate boards I liked. So, instead, I was buying Krooked and Polar boards.

Your last part in “Likkie Wax” was also a joint effort between the two of you. Do you feel that your skating changed again from 2018 to now?

P: I think so, maybe.

Z: I think, that you were doing a lot of the same things but you curate your tricks better now.

I think there are some big differences. You did a lot of combo’s in that part and this part doesn’t have that many.

P: That was Thaynan Costa’s influence on me. He was early with a lot of those things. I went to this DC thing in the Netherlands and Ziggy was the spot guide. He invited me to come along, I already got Nike SB flow at the time but he wanted me to join anyway. Ziggy took us to this ledge spot and Thaynan was doing all of the cool combo’s and I thought that he was so sick. That day I managed to learn noseslide to 50-50.

I think for this part I toned that down because I did it so much and I wanted to show another newer part of my skating in this video part.

It seems like this one has more flip ins or flip outs.

P: I watched Fully Flared and got totally inspired (laughs). Joking, but I did start doing wheelies more for this part.

Z: I see a lot of Hjalte in your skating now. Hjalte’s tricks and Alex Olson’s ironic attitude.

P: I wouldn’t say that but if someone else wants to (laughs). I just like to watch Alex’s footage, I don’t want to copy him. Although I did skate a bowl yesterday and I did have that Alex type of vibe. (doesn’t laugh)

It isn’t cool to imitate people but you can simulate them and have fun.

Ziggy, you started as a photographer but you moved on to also include filming. When did that interest spark?

Z: I started documenting at 11 and I just did photos until 16. After that, I bought a VX1000. So since then, it has been a wave motion of me doing one more than the other, but I never really totally sideline one. Right now I am packing a bag with both video and photo equipment. I just want to keep challenging myself and often after a long time working on a video project I find myself wanting to pack flashes.

Those bags are heavy, so how are you carrying these items? A backpack, or a trolley case?

Z: I have seen some professional photographers slam really hard with those
trolley cases so I prefer fucking up my back with the backpack.

Back to you Pascal, a lot of people know you because of those POP clips, but how did you get on POP?

P: There was this skate-premiere in Rotterdam in 2018. On the day of the premiere, I was skating in my local park. I ended up twisting my ankle pretty bad but I still wanted to go because they had a sick afterparty. But I couldn’t walk so I stayed home.

That evening Ziggy wrote to me and told me Peter Kolks (Who does POP) had given him a big bag of products for me to wear. So the next day I texted Peter and thanked him. He just told me “All good, I hope you like it.”, So I was wearing the gear a lot and I ended up seeing Peter and Ric van Rest (Co-owner of POP) again and they told me I was at the top of their list to get some seeding again. That got me pretty hyped. A week later I get a text from Peter, “Yo, we have this filming weekend with the whole team, and if you want, you can join us.” So I was hyped, A try-out. Chima Chibueze was also on that trip to try out.

I arrived, met the guys, and got a big bag of stuff. But I noticed none of the regular filmers were there because I knew both Jan Maarten Sneep (memory screen) and Sami El Hassani from Rotterdam. So instead of them, Mouse was there (OG filmer from The Netherlands) But instead of a real cam, he had a GoPro on him (laughs). That fucked me up mentally, I just couldn’t really skate because of the GoPro and I didn’t end up doing much.

So the next weekend I see that they are on a filming trip again and Chima is there and I am sitting at home bored. So I was like, damn I didn’t make the cut. Later that week I went filming with Sneep and I told him that story.

About a month later Sneep went to Paris with the POP squad to film. So on the first night, something rare happened. Sneep got really drunk and he went up to Peter and started saying things like “Why isn’t Pascal on, you guys should give him another chance. He would fit.”, which if you know Sneep is not a typical thing for him to do or say.

After that trip, I get a DM from Peter and we get talking and I had asked Ric if I could intern at the store so Peter was like “Oh, so we can go skate together. How long is the internship for, a week?” I told him it was for 4-months and he was like – ok. So I arrive and I get new gear again. So my internship is about to start and I get added to the POP group-chat together with Rob Maatman. We get the whole welcome to the team introduction on Whatsapp but I am still thinking this is because I am about to start my internship (laughs). I thought they were talking about the team that works for the company. So later that week I was talking to Bats and he was like “No man, you are on the team.” So a drunken Sneep and my internship got me there. If it wasn’t for those two things it might have never worked out. This was around the time Jair Gravenberch & Ali Belhadj were working on their 4:3 part and at the time they didn’t have too much footage so they asked me if I wanted to film a little something as well. And I ended up getting a whole bunch of clips. That was all during my internship.

But big up to Sneep for getting really drunk and getting loose (laughs).

Was Pascal on when he filmed this? Don’t ask him he doesn’t know.

That is truly a rare thing. Sneep and you go back a long way.

P: We do, we met by me doing a No-Comply pressure flip when I was 10 and a mutual friend was like “Hold up, wait here.” he fetched Sneep and said “do it again” and I did and Sneep was hyped because that was his trick and I just happen to learn it.

I always looked up to him. Jan was the filmer & editor behind Bombaklats the skate video of my youth (Pascal is 19). So back to Ricardo he put me on the same skate shop Sneep skated for around the time the first Bombaklats video came out. Sneep worked in the shop and I went to get a board and he had made Bombaklats griptape and he asked me if I wanted one. I was so stoked, I was like “Really? can I have one?” He gave me the grip and he made the video. I guess he liked my skating so we ended up filming for the second Bombaklats video.

I met Sneep even before I met Ziggy. I was ten when I did that no-comply pressure flip and freshly sponsored by Left. Luckily Ricardo saved me (laughs). Bombaklats is a big part of me.

Even though your most footage has been with Ziggy & Sneep some of your most fun footage is with Lucas Jankoshek, even dating back to your early days. He is one of two guest filmers on this project. Can you tell us a bit about this Vienna connection?

P: I met him through Ziggy, Luci was studying at KABK in Den Haag, and we went skating in Rotterdam. I think Fabi (Luci’s twin brother) was there too. We didn’t talk much but he ended up inviting me to go skate, so I went down to meet him. We ended up talking the whole day, I think I was like 14. He told me it was his last week in the Netherlands. So he wanted to get some clips with me. So we met up at my favorite spot Paleis van Justitie in Den Haag and we got like 6 clips in one day. That week we met up 2 more times, once in Rotterdam and once in Den Haag again and we filmed that little part in three days.

After he left he invited Ziggy, Justin Wagenaar, and I to visit him in Vienna. So we did that and ever since it has been back and forth. Vienna is the best city. Great people out there.

I like the city to but I never manage to connect with Luci when I was there. Except when we filmed that Eat Your Veggies. We do talk on the text.

P: Damn, so you are more of a Louis (Marschall) guy?

I don’t know, I get along with them all. But Louis seems to have more free time.

The last visit was to get something in Vienna for this part and that was the first time I felt like I wasn’t visiting anymore. I was just doing my own thing. But the fact that you see Luci in my part means a lot to me. He is Vienna for me. He has always been the reason I went there.

Press play and see Luci, Ziggy and Pascal all in succession.

Toni Donau makes an appearance too.

P: True, he is a fan (laughs).

Ziggy, recently you started your own brand Karaoke what is going on with that?

Z: Well, I just was out filming a bunch and I told Rob (Maatman) that I felt it was a shame he never really filmed a real part. So Rob put in some work and I felt like I needed an outlet for my film & photo work so I put that towards a brand. We put out some hardware and some t-shirts together with a video in July and the new video and merch will drop mid-December.

P: A lot of good stuff. Look at me doing a Place Magazine job (laughs).

Z: My problem has always been that I have always had the urge to do everything: filming, editing, photography, and music. Now I wanted to streamline that into one thing. So instead of giving my content to other platforms, I wanted to create a space for myself. We went to Split with a crew and those people formed the basis for the brand.

Can you tell me about your dog Chip to whom this part is dedicated?

P: It started with Ziggy and me planning to film 8 millimeter with the dog and we took Chip for a walk and filmed him doing his thing and about a month later he ended up dying of old age. He was 10 years old and the feeling of losing him was weird because I grew up together with that dog. So to have that documented was special. We have a new dog now, but I will move out soon so you know that bond won’t be the same.

So in some ways, this is also your most personal part to date.

P: Yeah, I mean Likkie wax (a little wax) what does that have to do with me? I never wax, I just go faster (laughs).

(Laughs) True, thanks for the interview guys. And thank you all for supporting our Unsigned Hype series. Don’t forget to watch Oscar Säfström and Leon Charo-Tite‘s parts as well.

If Van Gogh would have lived in 2020 instead of the 1800’s he would have painted this instead of the potato eaters.

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: 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.