a brief glance issue_33

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issue _33

a brief glance


TONY TRUJILLO

©2015 Vans, Inc.

VANS.COM/TNTSG



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daan

van der

Linden fs ollie Photo // DVL

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EDITORIAL // 33

Photo_Davide Biondani.

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NO MATTER WHAT, A SKATEBOARD IS THE BEST TOY EVER! a brief glance


AARON HERRINGTON - OLLIE OVER TO NOSEGRIND • PHOTO: ERIC PALOZZOLO



CONTENTS // 33 Photo_Davide Biondani.

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Fragments A sunny day_Isle Skateboards Daan Van Der Linden_interview We are Brudis_Lakai in Sicily Places_NYC Book_Skate The World_Jonathan Mehring

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kickflip | photo: oliver barton

#ETNIESMARANA

CHRIS JOSLIN - MARANA

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EDITOR and CONCEPT_ Davide Biondani.

(davide@abriefglance.com) ASSOCIATE EDITOR_ Guido Bendotti.

(guido@abriefglance.com) ASSISTANT EDITOR_ Andrew Zolin. TRANSLATIONS_ Jonathan Levin. PHOTOGRAPHERS_

Leo Sharp, Kévin Mètallier, DVL, Fred Mortagne,

Craig Dodds, Brian Gaberman, Marcello Guardigli, Davide Biondani, Oliver Kofler, Friedjof Feye,

Giulia Romano, Bertrand Trichet, Jacob Messex. CONTRIBUTORS_

Oli Buergin, Mario Torre, Francesco Paolo Chielli, Jerome Campbell, Mark Baines, Ale Martoriati, Massimo Bod Ciceri. DESIGN_

Fake Donkey Lab.

GET ALL THE INFOS at: info@abriefglance.com

abrief glance skateboard mag is a bulletin published by fake donkey skateboard asd. No part of this pubblication may be reproduced without the permission of the publisher. All right reserved.

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Photo_Andrew Zolin.

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JON SCIANO O L L I E TO WA L L R I D E


T E A M M O D E L / I N S P I R E D B Y: JOHNSON CARROLL MARIANO HO WARD BIEBEL A LV A R E Z FERNANDEZ HAWK

GILLET BRADY JENSEN ESPINOZA S ANDO VAL TERSHY WALKER PEREZ SCIANO

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Photo_Andrew Zolin.

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Jamie Thomas PHOTO: DOMINICK


FRAGMENTS TjarkThielker, Switch nosegrind revert Photo_Friedjof Feye Berlin, Germany. a brief glance


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FRAGMENTS

Jody Smith, Switch heelflip Photo_ Leo Sharp Cornwall, UK.

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Jacopo Carozzi, Bs smith grind Photo_ Marcello Guardigli Melbourne, Australia.

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FRAGMENTS

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FRAGMENTS

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Davide Holzknecht, Fs feeble grind Photo_ Oliver Kofler Bozen, Italy.

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a sunny day

Nick Jensen - Sylvain Tognelli - Tom Knox

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Photography_Davide Biondani. Interviews_ Mario Torre & Davide Biondani.

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Nick Jensen // Bs 5-0 to bs out.

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The idea of starting Isle Skateboards came about during a skate session at Kings Cross, London, and it was a sunny day. It’s probably not a coincidence that it was born that way, skateboarding, friendship and good taste are three deep peculiarities of Isle. From its beginning the company has always maintained a low profile and now with the new Vase video premiering all over the world

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by the time you read this, it’s ready to explode because Isle is one of the coolest skateboard companies out there! We spent a few days skating in Rome and Naples with Nick Jensen, Sylvain Tognelli, and Tom Knox during the very last days of filming and we had a chat with Nick and Paul Shier, the minds and arms behind Isle. Can’t wait to open the Vase!

artwork by Micheal James Fox // documented by Sam Ashley.

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Tom Knox // Wallie to fakie into the bank.

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Hi Nick, how did Isle start? Well Blueprint was sold to a silent investor when the recession hit. From there things started to go from bad to worse. Dan Magee also left and the structure of the company started to wear away. Everyone was over blueprint and so we all just mass quit. Then Paul asked me if I would be up for starting a new thing. It was a sunny day and we were out skating in King’s Cross. I was excited, it sounded like the way to go... It seems that the end of Blueprint has given a big input to the birth of many new interesting skateboard brands in UK… Yes you’re right, I have never really thought that Blueprint ending was a direct influence. I think Blueprint made the British scene feel proud and has contributed to the standard of British skating and the way it is represented.

I’ve been following the UK scene since the early 90’s and I’ve always thought that the UK has always been one step ahead… and never as during this time what comes out of the UK and London is cool. What do you think about this and why in your opinion? This is a very interesting thought. I believe that the legacy of British skateboarding is mainly responsible. I think it’s to do with the type of spots and the weather conditions. They help to produce persistent and stylish characters such as Geoff Rowley and Tom Penny. I can’t really explain it, there is just something in our culture that keeps us pushing forward and thinking outside of the box.

The Vase video will be out in a few days, what should we expect? What was the idea behind it when you planned it and started filming? We started filming for it around one and a half years ago. We are a new company and so we have to show people what we are about not just on board graphics but in the streets. The idea behind the video’s art direction has always been created out of a dialogue between me and Jake Harris. We want to reflect and elaborate the brand’s graphic identity on film. There have been lots of street installations filmed in 16 mm to produce an atmosphere we feel best represents the brand. How was filming for a project you are 100% involved in compared to other big videos you filmed for like Fully Flared? a brief glance

It has been rad. It’s so fun to feel so close to every aspect of the process. We would all talk about ideas and tricks, see other people’s footage and get hyped. It feels like a crew, and this is the reason I love Isle, we’re like a little family. I know you take care of the visual part of the brand. The concept behind Isle’s graphics is very sophisticated and mature, don’t you think this could be less appealing to younger skaters, and how did you get to this kind of concept for the graphics/image of the brand? Ha ha. Good question. It was literally a case of me not feeling photoshop or illustrator style imagery. I wanted to approach a board graphic in the same way a photographer would document an artist’s work.


Nick Jensen

attention into the culture they are feeling more. I get hyped on the way skateboarding inspires those older feelings and reconnects us with those moments. Is there something from back in the days that you miss (apart from being 20 years old again, ha ha ha!) that you think the new generations of skateboarders hardly will have the privilege of experiencing? The slowness of information... waiting for videos and all the excitement around it. I think you felt more like you were in a gang too. Now everyone seems to skate. Ha ha. We are living in a mad world, and skateboarding is not an exception, where everything becomes “old” the next day… what do you think about this and do you think there will be a point when people (or a part of them) will have had enough and will start to refuse this and slow down a bit? Or will it get worse and worse? Ha ha, worse and worse... I think that there will be a widening divide between the ‘Olympics’ type skating and core creative skating. Of course more technologies are going to develop. However this is not a bad thing because we can’t remain an ancient subculture. What starts to happen is that skateboarders can recognize both forms, and choose to invest more time and

You recently spent some days in Italy with Tom Knox and Sylvain, how was the trip in general and how was filming and shooting after you had just finished your Vase part? Did you enjoy being kicked out by a group of screaming women in Naples? Ha ha ha… We had such a good trip. It was funny because we have been filming so much for Vase it was hard for us not to want to film everything we were doing. It was great to explore Naples and Rome. I love it there and want to come back soon. I must admit Italians can be scary, especially a whole family screaming at you from above. I love this though, super passionate and no nonsense. What’s next for Isle and for you in general? What are your plans for the next year? We’re doing this super cool project with Carhartt, it’s a secret right now, but I guess we want to carry on involving ourselves in projects, going on trips, and making smaller videos.

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Nick Jensen // Bs noseblunt slide.

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Sylvain Tognelli // Nosebonk.

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Hi Paul, the Vase video, which is the very first Isle video project, will be out in a few days, what are your feelings about it now? I am so hyped to see it, as all video projects I have been part of in the past I will not watch it until the premiere night. All the guys have been killing it filming for this and I am excited to see how Jacob Harris and Jensen have put something very special together.

Until now, Isle has maintained a low profile, was this a choice or a start-up need or is this the style of the company? When Isle was started a couple of years ago we wanted to concentrate on putting out good product at the right time. We are growing at our own pace, there is no rush to be some big company, we enjoy the style we do it all with.

Vase is the result of 2 years of work, can it be considered the brand’s first big push in the market? Yes, it’s been about a year and a half of full

I personally can’t wait to watch the video. What should we expect? Rad skateboarding put together by a rad videographer.

focus on Vase. This will be our first full length video featuring the full team and it will open people’s eyes to more of what we are all about at Isle. Is the VX the video camera for the independent skateboard projects and HD the one for big money projects? Ha ha ha… Why did you choose to film the video in VX? Haha! I think the cost of HD ends up being cheaper anyways... no tapes. I have always filmed with a VX as has a lot of the team from being a part of Blueprint with Dan Magee. Jake Harris (videographer) is a master with the VX so it just made sense for this to be the way. The color and raw sound of a VX cannot be beat. How is running a skateboard company and how has it changed your vision about the business compared to when you were just skating? Running a small skate company is all about your love for skateboarding. It is rare you are going to make a lot of money out of this game, I have another job to pay for my life while Isle is my pure passion. I want the skateboarders I enjoy to benefit and be part of something they can be proud of. My vision of skateboarding is still the same as it was when I was 18, that will never change whether I have a business or not.. a brief glance

Goin’ back in time… Blueprint was left to herself at the peak of her popularity, at least judging from the outside. Looking at it now was there no way to keep the brand, maybe under the guide of some of the original members of the team? The Blueprint name was dead when I left, I had tried to fix too many problems and it became obvious that it was impossible for us to ever bring it back to where it once was. I can’t hide to you that I was very surprised (and sad) when I saw that the first OG riders left, and it was clear that something bad was happening. But on the other hand after Blueprint had gone we witnessed the birth of many new skateboard brands in the UK scene. Why do all the most stylish skateboard companies come out of the UK? Good people, good style, good brands. A different approach to looking at what can sometimes be very mundane and run of the mill.


In recent years Isle and other European brands have brought a breath of fresh air into the skateboard market, how are these brands and the ideas behind them perceived in the States, beyond the hype of the moment? Smaller skater owned brands are a strong force in the marketplace all over the U.S. Whether that is from Europe or the U.S. There is a rad movement right now with s ome great brands all over the world. Skaters running skateboarding again. The Isle team is composed (except for Jon Nguyen) by UK and European riders, why did you decide to stay strongly connected to the Euro scene even though you live in California?

These are my friends, I see them as the best skateboarders in my eyes. Europe runs deep in my roots, always has and always will. The scene is like no other and cannot be fucked with. Rawest street skaters in the world and that’s why I stand strong. What’s next for Isle? What are the plans for the next year? Next is the Vase premiere in London followed by a quick U.K tour. Then we have premieres in Paris, NY, LA. New product for Christmas. In 2016, I’d like to film one more part, we have some rad things happening next year, an incredible collaboration with Carhartt and some more surprises up our sleeve. Also Italy trip for sure that I can go on!!

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Tom Knox // Bs lipslide.

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Nick Jensen // Fs noseslide.

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Tom Knox // Fakie kickflip in.

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Nick Jensen // Ollie.

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a sunny day

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Interview_

daan van der linden a brief glance


Interviews_Guido Bendotti & Danny Wainwright.

Photography_DVL

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Smith grind fs out_

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There are set phrases in skateboarding as well: style matters, shut up and skate, actions speaks louder than words. Well... all of them are perfect for Daan’s way of life. He doesn’t talk that much, he’s not a social media addict, he doesn’t have fancy sponsors, and trying to interview him is quite difficult... you know why? Because all that matters to him is skateboarding. Pure and simple. A good kid, with a rare ability in skateboarding, and an even rarer quality in skateboarding: he’s humble, and he doesn’t care about the money or the fame. With solid sponsors like Antihero and Vans, he embrace the purest part of skateboarding, staying true to the “underground “ flag. No Street League contest in the near future for him, and you already know that he could skate in it. Welcome to Daan’s life, described by his team managers, friends, and photographer. Skateboarding can be saved by people like Daan in the game.

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Nollie crooks_

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Boardslide_

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Jeroen Sars [ 100% Skateboardshop, Eindhoven ]

Jeroen, out of all the people we interviewed about Daan, you’re the one who’s known him the longest, can you please introduce yourself and tell us about your first encounter with Daan? My name is Jeroen Sars, I’m 43 years old, I’ve been skateboarding for over 30 years, I’ve been running my own skateshop 100% Skateboardshop since 1996. I first saw Daan (and his brother Job) skate at the old location of Area 51 skatepark in Eindhoven. I think it was around 2003 or something. At first they were just two kids who skated, but then someone pointed out to me, “They’ve only been skating for a couple of weeks!” and I was like, “Whoa, that’s crazy!” When did you realize he had an amazing gift when it came to skateboarding and you thought, “This kid is special”? Very early on, cause he was learning stuff so fast and seemed to adapt to any terrain. Especially his board control was crazy! He was just a little skaterat down for everything! Do you think the fact that Daan has a great mix of old school and new school tricks has something to do with you? How important is it for street skaters to know how to skate transitions… Daan kills it on every terrain... I hope so! Here at the shop we always talk

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about skateboarding, tricks, legendary skaters, what we like, but also what we don’t like. We just showed him a lot of videos of guys we love, and most of the guys we love just skate everything. I don’t really like the term “street skater” or “transition skater”, just try to skate everything and then you realize you can have a lot of fun on any terrain. And of course the way you do a trick is everything, if it doesn’t look good then what’s the point of doing it? Over the years I have known a lot of amazingly talented skateboarders who could have done something in skateboarding but they didn’t believe in their potential enough or made the wrong choices… How important is it for a young skater to have someone explaining how “it works” and giving him the right advice? What is the most important lesson you taught him? I guess I’ve taught him to stick with what you like, don’t change the way you skate or dress, for money or free skate stuff. Try to skate for the brands that you already love and try to stick with that. Over the years Daan has been approached by a lot of brands that offered him free stuff or money, but they just didn’t suit him. Sometimes it’s better to wait it out, keep doing what you do and do it well and then things eventually will happen.


What about his brother Job? Daan always talks about how good he is on a skateboard. His brother is amazingly talented as well. But he’s a different kind of person. He was getting sponsored and going on trips at a certain point, but with that also come expectations from your sponsors, and stuff you have to do that you don’t always enjoy. He also wanted to spend more time in school, so he quit all of his sponsors and went his own way. He still skates now and then, and when he does I always see amazing things. I guess you must be proud of how far he’s already got in skateboarding. He’s got a nice future ahead, and we probably haven’t seen nothing yet of what he’s capable of... I am super proud of him, and also the fact that he hasn’t changed at all. He is still the little skaterat he always was. You’re going to see a lot more of him! How did you feel when you saw him on the cover of The Skateboard Mag? That was great, also because the trick is crazy! I immediately ordered the whole stock at the Dutch distributor once they had it in. Thrasher is next! What’s the best thing about his personality, and what’s the “worst”? The best thing is his honesty, he will say what he thinks and is just a righteous dude. At the same time now that he gets involved in the skateboard business, it’s sometimes wise to not always say what you think, cause it might offend certain people. Do you guys skate together a lot these days? When he is in town and not on tour, we skate together a lot. Either in the park here (Area 51) or we go skate somewhere outside. Skating with him is the best cause I’m always standing there with a big smile on my face. He always

comes up with new stuff that you’ve never seen him even try before and he just does it, it’s crazy! I must say he takes big slams now and then too, a lot of people see him skate and think that he gets away with everything, but if you go for it 100% like he does, sometimes you eat shit too. How is he outside of skateboarding? He just likes to chill and have a good time with his friends. How is he handling all this fame? I guess he handles it pretty well, like I said he is still the same as always. You own 100% Skateshop in Eindhoven, how important is it for the local scene having one of the boys ripping around the world? Have you noticed some changes in terms of motivation and hype among the skaters in the city? That of course is always a good thing, because kids see that this kid from their town is going all over the world and is in these magazines and on the internet with all these great clips. So it’s for sure motivating for the local scene. Although we have seen it before cause Wieger van Wageningen is also from our town and also came into our shop as a little kid. Maybe there’s something in the water here…. What is the funniest story you can tell us about him? The funniest thing was that he bought this little Amica car (a slow 30 km/h car, but it went a lot faster than that!) from some prize money when he was 16 to get around town or to skatespots. He would just park that thing everywhere because it was basically a fourwheel moped. Cops were always trying to give him parking tickets, but they couldn’t find the license plate cause it didn’t have one, then they realized that you were allowed to park it everywhere. He would take that thing on to highways too, crazy times!

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Bs lipslide_

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DVL

[ Photographer ]

How did you discover Daan? Of course people start talking when some really good young kid pops up. After a while we went on some tours together. In the beginning he still had that small kid style, but you could tell he was really good. But over like the last two years and a half he has grown a lot and his style has become more mature. Nowadays it’s a real pleasure to watch him skate! Did you understand at first sight the potential of this kid? Oh yes, if you see him skate in person you will definitely be aware he has a special gift! But the way he keeps evolving is something I might have underestimated a bit. It’s ridiculous! Each time I see him after a few months he’s soo much better. And these days he’s skating with people like Grant Taylor which must be so motivating. Really stoked for him! Is it hard to shoot with him, maybe he lands his tricks before you’ve set up the camera? Yeah, he lands stuff pretty quickly most of the time. But he’s that good I don’t mind asking him to do it again if I’m not satisfied with the photo. Even some hammer tricks he doesn’t mind doing again. And most of the time you don’t even have to ask, he will just do it again because he knows he could have done it way better. Shooting with him is just amazing and super productive! But shooting a portrait of him is a whole different story! He’s not too much of a fan of that! Do you ever seen him give up on some tricks? That’s really rare, but I’ve seen it happen! He’s

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not a robot, the kid is still human as far as I know! He just lands tricks really fast. On some rare occasions I’ve seen him try like almost 40 times to land a trick. If he really wants something he will try to get it! How is he as a person. We all know his skills on a skateboard, but we want to know something about his personality? He’s a pretty rad & funny character! He doesn’t have an attitude as far as I know, both feet on the ground! The way it should be! His mother is also really cool, so I think he was raised right! And Jeroen Sars, an oldskool Dutch ripper who owns the 100% Skateshop in Eindhoven sponsored him at a young age. He’s a good dude, and has been a big influence for Daan! The people you grow up with kinda shape a part of your character I guess. He doesn’t talk a lot right? Maybe if you don’t know him. Ok, sometimes he’s probably too stoned. This might have some influence on his amount of talking, haha... What’s the craziest trick or spot that you’ve seen him skate? It’s hard to mention a single trick. Every time I haven’t seen him for a while he does even crazier stuff. For me it’s more about how easily and naturally he does things, it’s just unbelievable how much board control somebody can have. The body & mind are 200% in harmony with his board. I’ve seen this before with Youness Amrani. But you can’t compare Daan with Youness. Totally different skaters, but same talent and board control.


Indy nosebone_

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Switch fs bluntslide_

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Danny Wainwright [ Vans Europe’s Team Manager ]

Bank to bank 180 fs no comply_

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How did you discover Daan? How did I discover Daan... well I didn’t. I was always hearing about this little dude from Eindhoven that was ripping, from Nassim and Rik Van Dijk from Vans Benelux. He was riding for Vans in Holland so it was a natural thing that in the end we would check him out. We first skated together at a Warp Tour mini ramp demo and I was hyped on him from the first second, not just his skating, he is a good lil’ dude as well!

same clothes for weeks, or living on bags of crisps and Coca Cola, or doing everything on a skateboard first try, or coming on a trip to Copenhagen for 2 weeks and only bringing 1 pair of swimming shorts and no other clothes? Not really.

Did you understand at first sight the potential of this kid? Yes! There was no question! If you can’t then you don’t know anything about skateboarding.

Do you ever feel envious of his skills? He’s from another planet... Envious, no! Stoked for him, yes! I just wish I could still skate hard like the old days so I could skate some of the spots with him, I’m 40 now so it ain’t so easy.

How’s it like to work with him? He is a funny dude, a smart kid who is respectful of what’s being done for him and the support we at Vans offer him. He is a friend, so working with him is easy, he just needs to learn how to reply to his emails and get a computer! Ha ha ha ha ha... Over the years you’ve seen him grow up. Do you ever feel like a father figure for him? Maybe you tell him something like, “Don’t do this, it’s too dangerous, don’t get too wasted, tomorrow we have a demo…” ? Ha ha ha. No way, not a father figure. But we’re mates, so mates look out for mates! He is smart and knows his own limits, so there is no need for me telling him stuff like that, sometimes he scares the shit out of me with his skating but he knows his limits, he knows his body and when to go for something and when not to. He is in control. Well, at least most the time... ha ha ha. Does he have some kind of craziness? You know, rituals and stuff like that? You mean other than going on a 2-week trip and ordering the same spaghetti bolognese every night, or bumping Gucci Mane at every opportunity, or speaking in a made-up German accent, or sleeping in a hotel bed full of cigarette butts and ash, or wearing the

You once told me that he made his “Welcome to Vans” part on a 10-day skate trip? Ha ha ha, yes. Well it was on 2 short trips to Athens, the kid is a machine!

What’s the best part of traveling with him? He is no princess, he is down for the hustle and down to get shit done.. he eats, skates, sleeps, and is not a fussy guy so it makes my life a lot easier. Do you ever get mad at him? Nah, no way! There’s nothing to get mad at him about. We all know how he skates, but maybe not everybody knows him as a person? Retarded! Ha ha ha... nah, he is a lil’ G... In over 25 years of skateboarding, both professional and not, have you often witnessed potential like Daan’s? Yes I have, I grew up skating with Tom Penny remember! It’s not what you have, it’s what you do with it, so I have seen many good skaters and many people with great potential, but some don’t follow that road and go on to do other things. I often see that if someone is a natural at something then there’s not much challenge for them and they move on to other things... What’s next for him?? Learning how to reply to emails!

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Bs ollie_

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Sebastiaan Vijverberg [ TM at Vans Holland ]

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How did you discover Daan? It’s exactly Rik van Dijk, the Vans Benelux Marketing manager that spotted the little man. Back then, Daan was skating Area 51 in his white tennis shoes, he was at least 11 years old. Rik flowed him shoes for a while, usually Vans doesn’t sponsor children that age, but Daan killed it like no other. Later on I became team manager for Vans NL and Daan was under my wing. Did you witness that he was better than the average kid right away? Or was there a moment that he did that stoked you? No, he has this thing, he was wearing tennis shoes and played with his board around the mini ramp. How was he when he was younger? A pain in the ass for the most part, but a gift to skateboarding. Are you proud of him? 100% Do you ever get mad at him? No, it’s like homies, if you raise your voice and talk it over it works out. How’s Daan outside of skateboarding? Still the center of attention. Back in the days, did you ever imagine that he would’ve reached this level of skateboarding? The level of skateboarding changes as fast as time does, I could never imagine his trick-selection these days.

Fs feeble_

Do you still treat him like a kid, or do you treat him like a grown man now that he’s everywhere? I treat him like skankie, Daan is Daan. Do you want to add something else? Big up to his mom, Kathina, and brother Job, for being the best hostel you could ask for.

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Daan Van Der Linden_ Hi Daan, could we just get some basic info? Where are you from and when did you start skateboarding? I’m from Veldhoven, in Holland, I basically started skating after playing Tony Hawk Pro Skater when I was 7 or 8 years old… I thought: “Fuck it, I’m gonna try to skate a little”. Where do you think it’s gonna take you? I don’t have any expectations. You skate for Anti Hero. Aren’t you scared somehow thinking about being in the same van with Cardiel, Grant Taylor, and Julien Stranger? No, not at all. Even if you are a street skater you can ride basically everything and you are really confident on transitions too… I just like to skate, whatever it is... It seems like you’re really into contorted grinds and combo tricks, why do you like them so much? Just blame the weed! Watching your video part, it looks like you prefer more original and unusual spots than big rails or huge sets of stairs. I take the easy way. What do you think about the Street League and the level of skateboarding in these kind of contests? I dunno, I don’t watch them... How do you see your future in skateboarding? Fun! The craziest place where skateboarding has taken you? And the place you wanna go for sure? Australia, because I never imagined going there before, and I would also like to go to Jamaica.

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He is still the little skaterat he always was. You’re going to see a lot more of him! [Jeroen Sars ]

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PLACES_NYC Lifestyle images_Giulia Romano // Panoramic photos_Andrew Zolin.

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PLACES_NYC

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we are brudis

The German & Italian LAKAI teams in Sicily. a brief glance


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The arrival on the island was not the best: flooding, landslides, torrential rains... it seemed like the end of the world. But the following ten days were fantastic: blue sky and perfect temperatures, the best conditions for a skateboard tour with the German and Italian Lakai teams. It’s always good to go on a mission with people coming from different countries because of the international allure the project takes on, both for the skaters’ motivations and also for the chance to make new friends with which to spend good times together. Niklas Speer von Cappeln, Ilja Judizki, Johannes Schoen, Pietro Bontà, Luca Gozzo, Mauro Caruso, and filmer Dom Schneider enjoyed the Sicilian sun for 12 days. TM Johannes rented a modern style villa close to the beach outside Siracusa, so the daily routine was: early wake up, swim in the sea, breakfast, street skating, back to the house, another dive into the sea, home cooked dinner and chill in the garden with a glass of good wine. Not that bad! Everyone was hyped and motivated to skate both old and new spots around Siracusa and Catania, and a lot of footage was collected. Unfortunately Mauro hurt his knee really badly and had to leave the crew. That turned the hype down a bit for the following days. Besides driving the van, skating, organizing the tour, and taking care of everything, Johannes scared the shit out of us while poppin’ out a fs boardslide from a flat rail and literally flew to the ground slamming his back super hard. One day off and he was back in the game. Sicily is a magic place for the weather, the food, and the beauty and roughness of its landscapes, and whenever it is time to leave you already can’t wait to come back again. It was a fun tour, with good people, a few tears, and lots of laughs. Thanks guys, we are brudis!

Click to watch the clips

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Photography and words // Davide Biondani. Video // Dom Schneider.

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Pietro Bontà // Hardflip_ Pietro is a master in color coordination‌ and at doing hardflips too.

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The first time I met Ilja was on another Lakai trip around northern Italy, he was the youngest of the crew and he cracked jokes all the time. Now ten years later, it was fun to go on another mission with him and see him grown up but still with that same spirit and determination on his skateboard. He spent most of the time cruising around the spots wearing just his colored boxers ha ha ha!

Ilja Judizki // Fs kickflip_

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Niklas Speer von Cappeln // Bean plant_ Would you jump from a height of 3 meters into a steep bank with the most skate-unfriendly surface you could ever imagine? Old spot, new trick. Yes Niklas!

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On the fourth day while filming a kickflip over a rail as the last trick of a three-trick line, Mauro hurt his knee really badly and had to leave the spot by ambulance. The mood of the crew went down for the next few days, but when Mauro joined us again, although on crutches, everybody was happy again and we celebrated with a special lunch in a very typical fish restaurant in Catania. Mauro is a force of nature and he will be back stronger than before. Get well soon bro.

Mauro Caruso // Switch nosegrind fs out_

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Pietro BontĂ // Bs kickflip_ We found this spot by chance, it was at the end of a narrow and very steep road in a small village. The owner of the purple house was kind enough to let us skate for a couple of hours and everyone got some footage at this place. Pietro went through a scrub treatment while trying this bs kickflip, ha ha. Nice colors. a brief glance


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Ilja Judizki // Fs lipslide_ When you only have a few minutes available you have to be quick. Ilja knows, fs lip in two tries.

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Johannes Schon // Fs boardslide_ a brief glance


Can a skateboard tour to your own town be considered a real tour? Surely it could sound a bit strange ha ha ha‌ Luca is from Siracusa, and this was his very first skateboard trip with Lakai. He drove us around and was hyped to skate his spots with new people.

Luca Gozzo // Switch ollie_

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On this trip Pietro was literally on fire, he skated all the spots we went to and you couldn’t stop him. The way he did this insane trick is senseless. Watch the clip for confirmation.

Pietro BontĂ // No comply tre flip_

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Niklas Speer von Cappeln // Bs nosegrind overcrooks_ Blue sky, short sleeves, and good friends around, what more could you ask for?

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Book_

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Interview // Davide Biondani. a brief glance


Dylan Rieder // Bs kickflip, La Paz, Bolivia _Photo Jonathan Mehring.

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Now think about The National Geographic, it is the best of the best when we’re talking about photography and the documentation of life. Then think about one of the best photographers out there, who has contributed in divulging skateboarding in the most beautiful way, with great photos of the best pros in the strangest and fascinating places. Put them to work on a book project together and the result can only be great. Jonathan Mehring is a skateboarder and a photographer originally from Virginia and currently based in NYC who started publishing his photos on Slap Magazine and then became staff photographer for Skateboarder Magazine. From 2007 on he produced some of the finest and most interesting articles documenting skateboard tours to exotic locations like the 2 month long trip from Moscow to Beijing along the Trans-Siberian Railway, or the one across Vietnam on board old-school motorbikes, or another one to the Amazon‌just to name a few. Skate The World contains all these amazing features with contributions from other photographers and is divided into different chapters dedicated to different regions of the world. When you mix top quality photographers and media, you end up with something that you can keep on your coffee table forever. Do yourself a favor and go get a copy of this book!

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Michael Mackrodt // Fs blunt, Vietnam _Photo Jonathan Mehring.

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Jonathan Mehring_interview.

Hi Jonathan, how are you? How many interviews about the Skate The World book have you done so far? What’s the question you’re over with? Ha ha ha…

After so many years and thousands of images we see everyday, does it still happen that a skateboard photo really amazes you? When was the last time it happened? And how has

I’m doing great! National Geographic just

your approach to skateboarding photography

published my book! I’ve done a few interviews for

evolved over the years?

sure, but happy to do another one.

Ha ha ha, good question! Yeah, most of it doesn’t, but there are a few guys out there that keep

You are originally from Virginia, but have been

surprising me and making incredible images

living in NYC for many years. NYC has always

that I’m not used to seeing. Lately I think The

had a strong skateboard scene, but in the 90’s

Skateboard Mag has been putting out really good

and early 2000’s the main skateboard mags

content and on super nice paper. I’ve especially

never gave it too much exposure; TWS’s A NY

been enjoying seeing Arto’s photos and Jake

Minute was a solid window into the NY scene,

Darwen’s too.

but let’s say California was the main focus of every media back in the days. Nowadays, NYC seems to be (together with London) the most influential city in skateboarding… the epicenter of the underground scene everybody is looking at. How is living in NYC like in general, and what does the city have to offer to a skateboarding photographer?

Shooting skateboarding is not so “safe”… the trick has to be landed, you risk getting kicked out, the rain, and so on… sometimes it can be a nightmare and really frustrating if you do it as a job. Have you ever thought, “I’m over it” ? And how do you feel about the age-gap with the younger skaters you shoot with?

Yeah, NYC is a great place to be right now in the

There have definitely been times that I’ve been

skate world. It has a good energy and a feeling

completely over it. I’ve been super psyched on

that skating is living and breathing around every

it again lately though. I keep coming back to it

corner. That being said it’s still rugged in some

because I really do love shooting skateboarding.

areas but there are more skaters in NYC now than

As far as the age differences, it’s still fun. The new

ever before.

kids are cool for the most part, and while we’re not hanging out at the bar, it’s still rad to be around

Do you remember the first skate photo you

that young energy and see what gets them stoked.

ever had published in a mag?

It’s different from hanging with my friends my own

Of course! It was in Thrasher. Chris Cole doing a

age, but I get along well with skaters of all ages so

Benihana to fakie on a quarter pipe at an indoor

it’s not a big deal.

skatepark contest. It was in the year 2000.

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Marius Syvanen // Bs kickflip, Madrid _Photo Dave Chami.

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Having a book published by National Geographic is every photographer’s dream, how did this collaboration come about and how long did you work to complete it? Yeah, it’s crazy. Growing up I never thought National Geographic would be a potential outlet, but it’s been a great fit so far. I had a chance conversation in 2008 at a Christmas party with a book editor who works there, Susan Hitchcock. I told her about some recent travels and she was super interested and said she thought I should come in for a meeting. I did and it went pretty well but the project wasn’t quite there yet. I kept in touch and finally after a lot of changes and content being produced, always with the book in the back of my head, it finally came to fruition last year.

Many of the photos published in the book were in different articles in Skateboarder Magazine, Deep in the Amazon, The Killing Season in Vietnam or The Trans Siberian Railway, just to name a few... each of these trips has without a doubt been a fantastic adventure, but if you had to choose “The One” among them all, which would it be and why? The Dark Side of the Moon article you shot on the Slickrock mountain in Utah is one of my top three favorite articles ever. Shoot man, that’s tough. I’d say Vietnam or Trans Siberian were probably my favorites. The Slickrock one too. Those are top three for me.

Kenny Anderson // Bs tailslide, Rotterdam_ Photo Jonathan Mehring.

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Paul Battlay // Boneless, Ordos, China_ Photo Jake Darwen.

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In The Guru in the Ganges article, from which the cover of the book was taken, there is a photo of Nestor, Sebo, and Sean Malto sheltering from torrential rain in a cabin of sheet metal; that was also the place where you slept. The article is a blast and that photo says a lot about your trip… what was the whole adventure like? Judging from the photos it must have been amazing, one of the sickest… It was epic! I actually planned on going to the Kumbh Mela months before. I built the skate aspect of the trip around it. Luckily we found spots too. Delhi was pretty good. What was the most emotionally intense experience in all these trips around the world and what was the scariest moment? I’d say for both questions the Vietnam trip. I’d never ridden a motorbike before and it was super scary and emotionally intense the entire time riding. Everything we had to deal with, from cows and chickens in the road to riding for four days in the rain, to crashing, to trying to skate after riding all day. It was insanely intense. What was the best time in skateboarding in your opinion and which were the most interesting years in skateboarding photography and why? I’d say the last couple years have been pretty good. That or mid 90’s. It seems fresh. Kids are doing new things, thinking in different ways, and skating seems a little underground again. All that makes it feel fresh and good. Is there something you miss about film photography? I definitely miss the excitement of getting film back from the lab. Or working in the darkroom. That was always a cathartic experience. But I never used to have to pay for it.

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Danny Way // Bs air, California_ Photo Mike Blabac.

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Christian Low // Wallride, Ordos, China_ Photo Jake Darwen.

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Omar Hassan // Bs air, Sydney_ Photo Nike O’Meally.

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Three skateboard photographers whose shots have always impressed you? Gaberman, O’Meally, Blabac. More recently, Jake Darwen, Arto, Sam Muller. What were your feelings when Skateboarder Magazine stopped being published? How do you see the future of printed magazines? Everybody wants printed mags but no one wants to buy them. With Skateboarder I saw it coming. It was sad but there was no use dwelling on it. It had a good run. Print in general is having a tough time. I hope it holds on. I love magazines. I don’t know what the future holds though. Is there something from back in the days that you miss in skateboarding that the new generations will never have the privilege of experiencing? No. I think we all have our experiences individually and all the new kids will be having their own similar discoveries no matter when they get into it. You can’t repeat history. If you could imagine a dream skateboard shooting session, how/where/with who would that be? Sage, Dylan, Sean Pablo, Heath Kirchart, Gino Ianucci, Mike Carroll, and Danny Way in New York, with no security or traffic, and perfect ground. Having a book like Skate The World is a great achievement, and also an open door for a lot of new great opportunities, what’s in store for you over the next year? I hope so. I have a lot of ideas, skate and otherwise. We’ll just have to see what happens.

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Joseph Biais // 50 50 grind, Marocco_ Photo Loic Benoit.

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Paris.

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issue _33