NOV DECâ€‰ 2016
KYL E WALKER
F E AT U R I NG VA NS WA F F L E C U P â„¢, U NR E A L S U P P ORT A ND B OA R DF E E L . VANS . C OM
T H E P L A Z A TC
TIAGO LEMOS \ SWITCH B/S SMITH \ BLABAC PHOTO
DAVID GONZALEZ | THE EAGLE SG
Introducing David Gonzalez’s signature shoe the Eagle SG Fall colorways. Globe’s Shogun cupsole adds greater support and flexibility with an added deep footbed for impact control.
@globebrand | GLOBEBRAND.COM | est. Australia 1994
Cover: Kevin Rodrigues, wallride nollie out in NYC. Ph. Alex Pires
Sylvain Tognelli, hippie jump in Nablus, Palestine. Ph. Sam Ashley
Word Life: Will Harmon Tofu Pho-to Editor: Sam Ashley Beige Ambassador: Arthur Derrien The Golden Section Never Lies: Ben Weaver & Seb Howell Back from Lunch: James Jarvis
Printed in the UK Free is published six times a year by FSM Publishing Ltd freeskatemag.com @freeskatemag email@example.com
He closed the show in the V Nice edit, and is about to wrap another part for Palaceâ€™s debut full-length video, but what keeps Rory Milanes in the groove? I find the rookie pro in a candid mood to talk deep fried biscuits, saving the dance floor, and Southbankâ€™s enduring legacy.
Interview Olly Todd, portrait Will Bankhead
It’s banging, I don’t have to work anymore. Yeah, life just got infinitely better.
Palace threw a surprise party for your board release. What went through your mind when you walked in the shop to see everyone there popping champagne, surrounded by all your pro boards on the wall? I was overwhelmed! There was so much attention on me. It was quite gnarly at first, but it gradually began to sink in and I just got more and more stoked. All of my close friends were there so that felt good. Mate, I was so stoked! I’ll never forget it.
Did you honestly have no idea? How did Lev manage to keep you away from the proceedings until you went to the shop?
Nope! Dunno, but he smashed it. Everyone did in fact. You know what though? I just remembered Toby (Shuall) actually mentioned to me a little while ago that he saw my graphic – two robots passing a nugget of weed – but I didn’t clock it. I must have been zooted. Or I was doing that thing that I tend to do sometimes when someone’s talking to me, and absolutely nothing is going in.
Filming’s well underway for the Palace video. How’s that been going? Yeah great, mostly. I’ve been injured a lot these last two years, but that’s skating, and skating will always be there, so it’s fine. The video though, yeah, it’s happening. It’s gonna be
so sick; people ain’t ready.
The video will be London-based, but in filming for some of the smaller video projects you’ve been on a bunch of trips. Do you have a favourite trip, and why?
Hmm, easily LA. Palace trips are just the one! It’s family. I don’t even rate LA that much as a city (maybe because I just don’t see myself living there) but the most recent trip there, I had stupid fun! The skating was banging, the yard we were staying at was a joke, DJing that party in Chateau Marmont, everyone we met and hung out with was friendly, smoking the gnarliest dank... Ah it was too good! The food was nuts too. Anyone who’s been to LA knows that the food’s insane. I just love trying bonkers shit when I’m in a different country even if it’s proper stinking. You just gotta do it, innit? In ’n’ Out Burger, Roscoe’s (House of Chicken & Waffles), Philippe’s (French Dip Sandwiches), all those diners, and going in on Mexican food. I remember some of the orders that Lev made to the house: ‘What’s the difference between the $250 deal and the $350 deal? Yeah the $350 one... What, deep fried Oreos? Yeah, two portions of those please.’
But growing up skating in London I guess it’s rad to have the opportunity to film a part wholly in your home city?
Yeah it’s good that the video is just in London. I’m stoked on that. And yeah, it always stokes me out to have footage here in London.
Tailslide, secret spot Ph. Sam Ashley
Rozzer, you’re pro, congrats mate! How does it feel?
Revisiting old spots, or some new ones popping up? Yeah, old spots in town mainly. No new spots really.
What was Southbank like when you first went there as a kid?
It was amazing. I hate to say it, but it was better. Blatantly better! I still love the place though. It was just great before because we all skated there religiously
everyday. It was all open too, so flat ground was better, skating freely. The little banks were banging and there was that weird wooden beam which was fun. The tricks people were doing there when I was a kid used to stoke me out so much! That’s when I started getting properly gassed on skating, street skating. The place, the people, the whole vibe, I loved it.
Do you still skate Southbank much?
Yeah man, defo. I still like it. Amazing that it managed to stay there – I still cannot believe that. There’s always new things to try, endless possibilities ‘n’ that. Everyone skates that shit differently and that’s always really interesting to see. I prefer skating Stockwell, or the Ritzy (plaza in Brixton) though.
There’s the blocks that skaters put there. The people that used to skate there don’t anymore or rarely do. I guess people get old. Also though, I think some people out of our crew don’t like it as much as before. It’s WAY smaller and there is a railing that separates the spot from the pedestrians. I know some people think that’s a bit
bone, and it is in a way; you feel like you’re in a zoo or something, but that never really bothered me. The whole of the Southbank area is much busier with tourists and people from out of town now, but I remember that whole zone used to be dead. It was empty. Then loads of bait restaurants started popping up and now the place is full of them, which really upsets me when I walk down there. I think the graff looks shite too, and I like
graff. I love it in fact! But listen, I’m not slagging the place off. It’s still a wonderful skate spot and I value it enormously. It’s an OG spot. It’s legit as fuck. I’m just saying that it has changed over the years. As for the London skate scene I don’t know really; I don’t care.
What’s your day-to-day routine these days?
Tea in bed, jam for a bit, make a nice breakfast, try to start the day nice. Go filming with Brooks and whoever
Nollie flip, Westminster Ph. Sam Ashley
How has it changed over the years, both Southbank, and the wider London skate scene in general?
Up the stairs, nosegrind pop-out, Pimlico Ph. Sam Ashley
is on it or, if I’m not filming, I’ll go skate Stockwell or something. Then go home, jam for a bit, make dinner, go to the pub or go out or chill, watch some shit... Dunno, have a mix?
I know you find time to balance skating with other things. Can you talk a bit about music, DJing and stuff?
Yeah, sure, but skating has always been the main one. But definitely, I like having other things in my life. It’s healthier and it makes life better I think. When skating’s done, I don’t want to be slumped because I didn’t take an interest in other shit.
Also, when you’re hurt, what you gonna do? Yeah, I buy records; I got decks. I love playing them. I play out sometimes and I’ve started doing nights, but mainly I enjoy it at home.
Who are you most stoked on right now music-wise?
As far as current tunes go: Robert Hood and Jeff Mills. They’re still making good music. I always get their latest tunes. Busy Signal, the Roots & Chalice mix, Chronixx is wicked! It’s mostly older music that I find myself listening to these days. There’s still new stuff about and
that’s great but they don’t make ‘em like they used to.
What track would you play to get a waning dance floor on its feet? Greg Cash, Party Chat.
What track would you play to me in the car on way back from Glasto avec gnarly hangover?
Glasto, ha ha, I remember that! The state of people there – fuckin’ hell! That was when we first proper hung out innit. OK sorry, tune to sort us out coming back from Glastonbury: Neil Young, On The Beach.
What else floats your boat off the board?
Not a huge amount, but I like reading books and I
Social media ain’t your bag. Props. But do you have an opinion about its place in skating? I heard the other day about someone getting sponsored solely off the back of Instagram and I almost spat out my tea.
Almost spat your tea out, lolz. Yep, that’s bonkers. That’s how it is now, is it? Wow! Social media’s place in skating, hmm, are we talking about Instagram? I don’t have a clue what goes on in that world. Am I missing out? I’m tempted to say ‘Hmm, no?’ I heard that some people get upset if they don’t get enough ‘likes’. That’s one of the most depressing things I’ve ever heard! ‘Why doesn’t Rory have Instagram?’ That cracks me up! I really don’t want to get addicted to that shit and it doesn’t really interest me. I like my shit Nokia! I guess
Switch crooked grind in Helsinki Ph. Justus Hirvi
like watching films or documentaries when they’re good. Going out for dinner. I love to cook also. Checking galleries sometimes. Definitely checking music – there’s always lots on in London. Taking care of the garden. I really like ‘pinting’; I’m really good at it. Been doing it for a while. Going away is always nice too.
social media’s good from a business aspect. I totally understand that. I don’t have a business though, and I don’t want to promote my personal life.
Any plans for the future? Do you see yourself staying living in London for the foreseeable?
Nosebluntslide to lower ledge, Hyde Park Ph. Sam Ashley
Who knows? I’m open to
living outside of London, but at the same time I feel like I’d find it hard to leave. I’m comfortable here, and I get to go away quite a lot with skating, so that helps to not get over being in the same place. I’d like to live in the country when I’m older.
Any sunny skate sojourns lined up now
the dark nights are drawing in?
‘Sojourns’, never heard that word before. Holidays? Hell yeah motherfucker! I’m gonna go back to Yard (Jamaica) because I love the place, and I’m going to Colombia.
Shout outs, big ups, holla atcha boys etc… No thanks!
Ph: Jean-Claude Zarka
P a v i n g S p a c e s
a special Sylvain
Sylvain Tognelli Wallie lipslide Musée Sainte Croix, in Poitiers, France
Interview by Will Harmon Photography by Maxime Verret
Can you tell us how you came upon the idea pave space. You can fill the space without to make these wooden sculptures? leaving any gaps. If you do it right, you’ll Raphaël Zarka: OK there’s a whole process to this... First I was working with wood already and modular structures. I was making sculptures and that didn’t have anything to do with skateboarding. I was interested in prismatics and also geometry and geometry in abstract art. Within this research I went to the museum of mathematics in Göttingen, Germany and that’s where I discovered the modules of this Jewish, German mathematician from the end of the 19th century called Arthur Schoenflies. And then I went back to France and I started to investigate the possibilities of turning these modules into my own sculptures.
And the year before, through another project involving the replica of a Tony Smith sculpture from the sixties in Rome, I met Sylvain Tognelli. Sylvain was there with another skater to skate this sculpture, this replica, and it’s probably because of this connection that Sylvain had the idea to come back to me when Isle and Carhartt started to work on collaboration. So when I encountered these forms in Göttingen, I knew I wanted to work with them, but first of all I didn’t think it could be in any way related to skateboarding. Schoenflies was interested in filling space with geometric modules. He was interested in doing this, but in three dimensions. He was trying to find 3D forms that were geometrical, identical and with only one form you can assemble them like a jigsaw puzzle in three dimensions and you can
never leave any gaps – for him that was the point.
Ah I see.
So I was playing around with these models when Sylvain and Nick (Jensen) came around to my studio. And they asked me to do a collaboration with them, but they put it in a very nice way: they said that ‘it has to be exactly what you are doing at the moment.’ And I told them that what I’m doing right now is working with these geometrical objects. So we had a look at them together and we found one that could be skate-able if built or replicated at the right scale. So what the guys are skating on is a large-scale replica of modules created by a mathematician in Germany in the 19th century.
So were you already planning to make these sculptures before Sylvain and Nick approached you? Yes. I was going to make something of them, but I didn’t know what material, what scale, and I didn’t know what the process would be.
So meeting with Sylvain and Nick helped shape your decision as to what scale the sculptures would be?
Yes, because I had skateboarding in mind, suddenly that decided the scale. One module should be more or less the scale of a bench, which is around 42 or 45 centimetres high. So after we had the scale the next thing was to choose a material that was strong enough to skate on.
And what material did you choose?
Solid oak. And that was also the material of
Josh Pall Backside smith grind Institute of Contemporary Arts, Singapore the For the the and
series of sculptures I was doing before. me it was really important to build it way I would build a sculpture rather than way you would build a jump-ramp (plywood completely hollow).
So the sculptures must be quite heavy huh? Yeah, very heavy! Like 150 kilograms per module.
So how did each exhibition work in regards to constructing the different configurations of the sculptures? Was it a collaborative process between you and the skaters?
Yes, at first I was investigating by myself in the studio and being a skater myself I could see some configurations that would be very interesting to skate on. So I already had things in mind, but then at the Palais de Tokyo exhibition in Paris I had some little mock-up models and there were configurations that I was interested in. Then Sylvain, Nick and all the skaters there were also playing around with the little models, and when they found something they were interested in making, we would build it. So it was a mixture of my configuration ideas I had come up with before and the random configurations we came up with on site.
There must be thousands of different ways
these sculptures can be put together. How many different combinations do you think you’ve put together so far with these fullsize sculptures? At the beginning we had only eight modules and I think during the first three days we did maybe 15 different configurations. You have to bear in mind that first you have to invent them with the small models, then you have to build them, and as you said yourself they are very heavy and then also sometimes it’s a question of gravity. You think you’ve found a nice way to put them together and then you realise it’s not physically possible, it’s moving too much because of gravity. It’s always gravity that holds the sculptures together, you don’t drill or glue them; they have to stand together by themselves.
How many different exhibitions have the sculptures been constructed at?
Three that were skated (Paris, Singapore, Poitiers) and one more where the sculptures were displayed but not skated (Toulouse).
And have you gotten a chance to skate the sculptures yourself?
Yes I have, but my level only allows me to do simple wallies on them. When you see what Sylvain is capable of doing on them it’s
incredible. But you know it’s a really wallie-based spot.
with Sylvain, being close friends with Nick and involved with Isle, they are both very Yeah I noticed most of the tricks are wallie curious people besides being great skaters. related. They are going to see art shows and they You can do slides, but most of the time you understood the complexity of the project as have to wallie first to slide or grind them. it is a skate spot and it is a sculpture at A skateboarder might see a piece of modern the same time.
art sculpture and only think of it in a ‘is it skate-able?’ sense, but an artist will appreciate a sculpture for different reasons. What has the response in the art world been to people skateboarding on your sculptures? The books I have written and the projects I’ve done involving skateboarding have helped me become recognised as an artist. What I mean is that through skateboarding related projects I might have been noticed as an artist and with that people may have noticed I do things that are not related to skateboarding.
I see, so a lot of people were initially brought to your work through skateboarding.
I don’t think my work is about skateboarding, but it uses some aspects of skateboarding to investigate some forms and strategies that I’m interested in.
Like yourself, Nick Jensen is a skateboarder and an artist. What was it like working with him? Nick being an artist, it made it very easy for me... He sees this project from two different angles. He could appreciate my structures and configurations as a skateboarder but also as independent sculptures. Also I think that was the case
I suppose an artist has to be pretty openminded to let a skater skate on their work. What would you say to other artists that might be offended by this?
For me it’s like a multi-sided reality. From the artist’s side, if he puts a piece of work in a public space and if skaters are using the sculpture, I think most of them would be interested by the fact that there is a reaction by the public. The skateboarders being the public, and like you said they are interested in sculptures for other types of reasons, but there is a reaction. So I think artists most of the time would be interested in this reaction. But having said that, you have to bear in mind that skaters leave marks, so in a way they damage sculptures and this could be an issue. Like if an artist made a strong decision that his or her sculpture should be painted grey, pink or whatever, and if the skaters come around and grind it then you have the metal from the sculpture that starts to become visible from the scratches. It’s almost one hundred per cent sure that the artist would say: ‘well if I have a choice, I prefer the sculpture when it is pristine.’
Yeah I understand.
For me I’m not trying to decide who is right or who is wrong, but there is something about
public spaces, which makes it a complicated space. Because there are things that you put in this space like artworks and there are also practices of this space, like skateboarders do, or alternative uses of spaces. It’s not only skateboarders that do this; homeless people take part in alternative uses of space. And they are not looking for the same type of elements as skaters; they shift the purpose of this public object.
Different people have different interpretations of public space.
Yes, and usage is a type of interpretation.
Or in skateboarding the term re-appropriation is often used.
Yes that’s a common term and in a way it’s a strategy, which is very strong in modern and contemporary art. Through these types of terms or strategies, as I like to call them, there is a strong connection with the history of modern and contemporary art and the quite short history of skateboarding.
Your work must really open the public’s eyes to skateboarding and also open
Nick Jensen Frontside bluntslide fakie Palais de Tokyo, Paris
skateboarder’s eyes to art.
Yeah what I always loved about skateboarding is that it really made me curious. So first I would say the usual path is you skate some spots and you then understand that they are sculptures or pieces of architecture and then you get interested in this type of architecture. And then you get interested in forms or architecture even though they are not related to the shapes or forms that would be skate-able. So in the end I think you can put distance between the skating and the thing that you can observe, read or become interested in. I think that’s a normal process, but it’s really skateboarding that helps us access these things.
Raphaël Zarka’s sculptures are currently being exhibited at Les Abattoirs / Modern and Contemporary Art Museum in Toulouse, France until 8 January 2017.
WWW.CARHARTT-WIP.COM SYLVAIN TOGNELLI – OLLIE UP 5-0 • PHOTO: MAXIME VERRET
A COLLABORATION BETWEEN
ISLE SKATEBOARDS RAPHAÃ‹L ZARKA CARHARTT WIP
Tim Zom, Kickflip, Berlin, Germany. Ph. Hendrik Herzmann
Oskar Rosenberg-Hallberg, Frontside ollie, Paris, France. Ph. Alex Pires
Remco Stolze, Wallride grab out, Arnhem, The Netherlands. Ph. Hendrik Herzmann
Thaynan Costa, Crooked grind tailgrab pop-over, Oakland, USA. Ph. Dave Chami
Eniz Fazliov, Frontside 180 kickflip, Vantaa, Finland. Ph. Justus Hirvi
Dom Henry, switch backside smith grind, Salford, UK. Ph. Sam Ashley
Max Mathias, Frontside 50-50 grind, Dortmund, Germany. Ph. Hendrik Herzmann
Ben Dillinger, Kickflip, Munich, Germany. Ph. Florian Hopfensperger
Photography Roger Ferrero in Barcelona
Fred Plocque-Santos (@yeahleyeah) frontside boardslide
FREE WIFI FREE WIFI FREE WIFI FREE WIFI FREE WIFI FREE WIFI FREE WIFI FREE WIFI FREE WIFI FREE WIFI FREE WIFI FREE WIFI FREE WIFI
WIFI FREE WIFI FREE WIFI FREE WIFI FREE
WIFI Jose Vivero Diaz (@sixsas) ollie
FREE WIFI FREE WIF
Interview Julio Arnau Translation Miguel Cidraque
FREE WIFI FREE WIFI
We live in a world where your average skate hero drops more footage in a week than guys like Gino, Kenny Anderson or any classic low key professional have in the last five years. Not saying that this is my favourite scenario, but that’s what it is in 2016. I’m not bringing anything new to the discussion here, but thanks to the growth of this new social media the number of people or crews gaining worldwide recognition has been crazy in the past few years. The story of the Free-Wifi guys is one of those. Coming from the so called ‘skate Mecca’ that is MACBA we sat down with David de los Santos and Raul Valencia to check how they feel about all of this. What was that password again sorry? – Miguel Cidraque
How did the Free Wifi thing come about?
Raul Valencia: It all started around the time I was working at FTC and all the skaters were coming to the shop just to use the internet. I spent most of my days saying: ‘just use the FREE WIFI network’. One day I wrote it down on my grip tape as a joke and David started to mess around with the name. After a couple of beers at the bar and we were already thinking about doing some t-shirts, but just for the fun of it – nothing serious in mind.
I always thought it all started with some Instagram videos…
Maxime Géronzi (@gronze) frontside boardslide
David de los Santos: During the summer of 2015 some friends were in town and we started to post stuff as if we were some kind of crew or whatever. R: The first thing we put out was some Instagram edits and a remix for FTC with all the footage from the first clips. But the idea always was to make some stuff around the name.
Yeah, I still remember that – the first stickers and everything. But I guess definitely you’re better known for the Instagram edits in the beginning. Who’s in charge of that?
R: David came up with the first edits but nowadays it’s a shared job mostly
between him, Jose ‘Sixsas’, and myself.
And who is part of the crew?
R: Max Geronzi and the French guys, Jose ‘Sixsas’, David, Deniz Yilmaz... I don’t know, basically everyone you can see in the edits. We’re not a hermetic gang or something.
Didn’t Max somehow start the snowball for the t-shirts?
D: For sure! A lot of people knew us already from the city and everything, but it was this clip of him slaying the bump to postbox next to MACBA that made everyone crazy for the t-shirts. It wasn’t some sort of evil marketing move or anything. We were already skating with him on the daily and the day before he filmed that clip the first t-shirts had arrived so we gave him one and the next day: boom! The clip goes viral.
So random, love it. And well, what about your phone bill? Is it very big or you do you not actually spend that much time online? D: If I’m home I’m definitely lurking, but not that much if I’m out in the streets. R: Well I do... Not to the point to consider myself an addict but I love it (Laughs). I’d say that maybe 90% of the news I see these days is through Instagram.
And are you still going from Instagram to check out a full clip?
R: Of course man, haven’t you heard about the ‘link in bio’ thing? (Laughs)
In general, what’s your opinion on all this? R: Well I think it’s a great idea. Too bad I didn’t come up with it.
Antoine Volle (@la_toins) frontside 50-50 grind
You’d be mad loaded. We’d really be talking about some free-wifi for everyone (Laughs). But what I’m really trying to say is that it has really changed skateboarding, at least the way it is promoted. Do you think in a good way?
D: It’s a double-edged sword I guess. The times of watching a full-length video on repeat for days, weeks or a year are gone. A lot of people use it for self-promotion too much in my opinion. I hardly ever use my personal account to share my own skating. If it’s skate related I’m definitely sharing a clip
with the homies.
thing. We can be maybe two weeks straight without posting a new video and stuff like that. We don’t have a schedule and definitely we don’t want to bore people with constant updates. D: Some people are posting like two or more videos a day and I think that’s a little too much.
I think it’s a little bad for people who still work on video parts. They’re putting in all this effort to gather footage and it’s more likely to get lost in the mix…
D: Of course, but nowadays most brands are ‘recruiting’ people through this platform. R: It’s a like digital CV you know? I can’t really tell you if it’s a good or a bad thing because maybe it’s just the new way to come up.
True, but what I mean is that back in the day you could be really low key and still make a living from skating and right now you need to be on everyone’s feed to stay relevant somehow. Guess it must be tiring for the professional skaters. R: Probably, but for us it is more of a natural
Juan Virues (@by.viru) switch frontside bigspin
Sure but what really impresses me is that none of you had studied anything related to marketing and still you’ve succeeded with it. I know a lot of people in the industry who use tools to know when it’s more effective to upload something, where the visits are coming from and so on. R: To be honest we don’t pay any attention to that. With the clothing it’s different because we really want people to dig it and it’s a bit more of
a thought process.
I think we haven’t had anything like this, Barcelona based, and I’m really happy it’s so popular to be honest. There’s a lot of skating
Julian Kimura (@kimurajulian) smith grind
happening in the city but not so many local projects in my opinion. OK boys, now let’s talk a little about the clothing. Who’s working on the designs?
R: Mainly David and I. We do have similar tastes and he’s really into fashion. D: We’re surrounded by it all day in a way. Sometimes we start an idea from scratch and sometimes we try to do our own version of something we already like. I’m studying ‘Fashion Business’ in Paris at the moment, but Free-Wifi started before
David de los Santos (@ddelossantos29) switch lipslide
that. It’ll definitely help us with all the logistics involved in having a brand such as distribution and everything.
Did you expect it to be somewhat successful when you started?
Both: Not at all! R: Once we saw people were so into it that’s when we decided to expand the idea a little bit. We want people to identify
in a way with the idea and to be excited about buying some of the gear. Like when we were little kids going to the skate shop and tripping on the stuff we were buying you know? I remember growing up being all about World Industries and I can’t put into words the feeling of walking out of the shop with some fresh Flame Boy gear, seriously! (Laughs)
And what about the shops, where can we find some of your stuff so far?
R: After we had released a couple t-shirt designs and some caps, some shops started to hit us up. I was really impressed to be honest. D: We’re not calling shops. We’d rather the shops call us if they’re interested in what we do. Even with some shop owners we know, we’ve never been like ‘hey man,
buy some of our shit!’
I see, so what you’re saying is that the yacht is already paid for?
Deniz Yilmaz (@denizyilmaz9) frontside crooked grind
R: Sure, it’s waiting for us right around the corner. (Laughs) D: Here in Spain we’re only selling at FTC Barcelona, but just because it’s the only shop who asked to carry the stuff. For the web-shop we have more orders coming from out of the country. R: Besides FTC the second shop who contacted us was Lockwood in Antwerp, then some shops in Japan, Palomino and Parlour in the UK and then in the US you can find us in Select (Houston) and Humidity (New Orleans).
OK, now back to skating. Do you think it’s easier again to skate in Barcelona? Do you think it has something to do with the current mayor (Ada Colau)?
D: Apparently the new mayor in town is really cool with the skaters. She once told one of the newspapers how a skater had defended her from some dude trying to harass her one night in the streets. Don’t know how true that is but there is definitely less police pressure these days. R: I’ve been skating the city for many years now and yes: there was a time not so long ago when you could get a 1600 Euro fine for skating MACBA.
Raul Valencia (@valencia_raul) nollie front crook pop-over
Oh yeah that’s true, it was €1200 for destroying public property, then an extra €200 for actually skateboarding and the another €200 for running away from the police…
R: Yeah, but there would always be some spots where you could really skate all day. Maybe it’s different now but back then it was just downtown you’d get those fines.
I don’t want to kiss the mayor’s ass or anything but it feels like less pressure these days for sure. OK guys, I guess this is it. Now to finish the thing give us a quick list of your favourite Instagram accounts out there. R: Sure, just follow @drpimplepopper; it is definitely the best account out there! D: Yeah, that must be a dream job for sure. Peace!
David de Los Santos Photo: Roger Ferrero
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A R T: N AT H A N I E L R U S S E L L - P H OTO: D V L
Ph. Lars Gartå Kickflip Oslo Ph. Jørn Aagaard
I knew Magnus through friends way before I moved to Oslo, but we never really kicked it. One of his homies lived in the same apartment as my girlfriend (at the time) so I kinda got to know him personally through always hanging out at that apartment. The first time we went skating together (just the two of us), I will never forget... I’m a pretty shy and awkward guy, and he’s the polar opposite – I remember he was just blazing down the street while I tried my best to follow him, hitting every curb cut in sight, dodging old ladies, grinding unwaxed ledges, all going mach10. All of a sudden he tried to back 50-50 this way-too-tall flatbar against a wall, got onto it, kinda slipped out, his cellphone and iPod smashed on the ground and he just picked them up, put them back in his cargo pockets without even looking to see if they had survived and just continued cruising like nothing happened. I remember thinking ‘this guy is out of his mind!’ I still think he’s out of his mind from time to time, but in the best possible way. – Pekka
easiest and best way for sure. I’ve been going to Barca every winter for a while now, staying with Gustav and the boys, but hopefully I’ll be there even more this winter! It’s already getting cold and rainy here (Oslo) and come November the proper winter kicks in. That’s when there’s really no point being here anymore.
Interview by Arthur Derrien
Let’s just hope the weather holds until you get enough photos to finish this interview… How exactly did you end up skating for Sour?
I’ve known Gustav (Tønnesen) since I was a kid... Him, Spengan, Nisse and Lomar used to live together in this apartment near Paral-lel, when they were still riding for Sweet. So I got to know them and all the other Sour boys through Gustav when I was visiting. This summer I was skating with Gustav in Stavanger in Norway, during the Norwegian championship contest and he asked me if I wanted to ride for Sour. I’m hyped!
Pekka (who Magnus films with) was telling me it was a lot harder for you to get photos than to get clips, mainly because the nature of your skating is so spontaneous. Would you agree with him?
Yeah but I mean it’s probably like that with most skaters that aren’t from California right? It’s so much more fun and so much easier to cruise around, find a spot and take it on the go. I don’t know how they do the whole drive for a long time then get out of the car, immediately try a gnarly trick and then move on. But maybe that’s something you just get used to liking...
Magnus: Hey man where are you?
At home in London…
I thought you lived in Barca?
Not really, when I last saw you out there I was just subletting this room to get away for the winter.
That’s really smart! I was considering doing something like that...
I mean you kind of have to now that you skate for Sour, that’s what they do!
Ha ha, yeah, I do really want to escape as much of this winter as possible, and Barca is the
50-50 grind Oslo Ph. Lars Gartå
I guess that’s why shooting photos somehow feels even more rehearsed than filming.
Yeah it’s true, but it shouldn’t necessarily have to be like that though, right? If you have a mate that shoots photos and is down to cruise around for the session there’s no reason why that couldn’t work.
I guess most of the top photographers are just in high demand and can’t allocate as much time to one person, which makes it harder to do this…
That’s true... And the probability of ending up with nothing at the end of the day is maybe also higher for a
photographer than it is for a filmer. Like you don’t necessarily need a specific plan to get a funky line or pretty much anything when it comes to filming a video part, but for a good photo a lot more things have to be in check for it to work out both for the photographer and the skater. Then again, I feel you always end up with a better result when you don’t plan out everything and expect too much to happen.
Yeah, I’m always out with him. We are hanging out or skating together every day anyhow so it’s very natural and easy filming parts with him. We always have the same opinion about spots and generally how we want everything to look too, so it works out perfectly. Unless
Is the centre of the city alright to skate during the week? Do you not get kicked out?
Fakie heelflip Oslo Ph. Krzystof Godek
And if you are filming, are you always out with Pekka? (Pekka is the Norwegian VX filmer who amongst other things made the new Nike SB Karsten Kleppan/Jan Kongstein part and has been working on a Magnus part we’ll be releasing later this year.)
someone in the crew has a specific plan in some other area, we mostly cruise around the centre of Oslo as we both live there. We usually try to come up with a couple of loose ideas and go with the flow from there.
It’s usually fine... And if you get kicked out it’s usually just by people that are passing by or working/living at the place we are skating so you don’t really have to listen all the time. The worst thing they’ll do is stand in the way of the spot in which case you just have to be a little patient. You never get tickets or anything like that.
So if they call the police it’s not that big of a deal?
The police in Norway are really friendly, like super polite – way more than the security guards. The security guards are mostly pretty rude but that’s kind of a good thing because we don’t have to feel like assholes
when we decide to keep on trying tricks after they’ve told us to leave. The police usually don’t have time or they don’t see the point in driving to the spot to kick us out. The few times they actually show up we know we have to give up and leave, but they always do it in a friendly way and never give out tickets.
Yeah but most of the city isn’t like that, that’s really just when we skate the spots around the big shopping centres and stuff.
Someone told me that a lot of the time when you go on these missions you take a backpack with a whole new change of clothes… Can you explain that one? Ha ha, yeah sometimes I do. Or,
Crooked grind Oslo Ph. Jørn Aagaard
In some of the clips from Pekka’s video it looks like you guys are swerving through groups of people. The city centre looks super busy, it kind of makes sense that it would be the pedestrians that get annoyed.
when I do I usually just bring another sweater or jacket or something. I guess it’s just that if I get one clip early in the day I want to look different in the next clip so all the clips stand out from each other.
What happens if you get more than two clips? Do you have to start mixing the tops and the bottoms?
Yeah then I’m fucked ha ha. I’ll have to go and buy some new clothes then, ha ha.
You joke about it but I know you must spend a lot of money/time on clothes… I’ve seen all that Polo, Nautica and Helly Hansen…
Ha ha, I don’t want this whole interview to be about my clothes, but I guess I always just end up spending a lot of time on eBay during the winters. Winter is the internet season! It’s too easy to fall into that whole cycle of buying loads of stuff, selling what you don’t
Apart for hunting down clothes what else do you get up to in the winter?
I don’t know, I guess you just kind of end up doing stuff normal people do: going to parties, watching movies and hanging out... I also walk more in the woods and in the parks with my dog during the winter. In the summer I usually just bring her to the skate session. I used to snowboard a lot when I was younger but I always ended up injuring myself because I thought I had the same control as if I was skating you know. It’s going to be better this year though because we’ll have three indoor parks as opposed to one outside of the city. A lot more skating this winter!
Do you have a job on the side or do you only skate? I do have a job. You know that
Backside 50-50 transfer Oslo Ph. Vi Duc Truong
kind of American New Era hat shop called Lids? I work at this similar store called Lokk in Oslo, doing embroidery and stuff. Like I did the embroidery for these Sour hats (shows me his hat). Although I started getting paid by adidas so hopefully I’ll be able to work a bit less...
I heard before that job you had a pretty interesting way of getting by…
I have kind of always tried to work as little as possible so I could skate more. I used to have a very low rent for some time and during that time I was living off picking up people’s old furniture and selling it. We have this internet page where you can get rid of your old furniture and stuff for free if for example you’re moving out and don’t want to deal with it. One day I just went to Ikea,
Fakie varial flip Oslo City Hall Ph. Lars GartĂĽ
picked up a shopping cart to stack the furniture and started bringing what people would give away back to my apartment and resell it on the same page.
in their society is pretty crazy. Regardless of if they involve skateboarding or not I don’t know if I back it as an institution.
Would you ever consider living anywhere else than Oslo?
So you are more anti- ‘The Olympics’ than you are anti- ‘skateboarding in the Olympics.’
I don’t know, to me it’s the best city in the world!
But it’s so expensive! Like how much is a beer in a bar? Usually almost 10 Euros...
But you get used to it you know. When I was younger we used to get really drunk at home and then slowly sober up during the night. Now we just go to the cheaper bars or try to drink more slowly. It’s not actually that bad. Plus, you know whenever you go away everything is going to be way cheaper anywhere else. You can live like a king no matter where you travel to!
With everything going on in Copenhagen and Malmö people tend to see Scandinavians as rather supportive of skateboarding. Would you say it’s also the case in Norway?
I think the Oslo X-Games definitely had a positive effect and helped change people’s mentalities towards skateboarding. As a whole since the X-Games it seems like people are mostly stoked when they see us out in the streets. Before that it definitely wasn’t the case...
Wait until they see skateboarding in the Olympics! They’re going to love you guys! What’s your thoughts on that whole situation?
I honestly don’t really care what people that don’t skate think about skateboarding and if there’s money in it for the skateboarders that want to be in it, then I think that’s good. I’ve heard that the Olympics as an institution is pretty corrupt and fucked up. I don’t know too much about this but just the way they did it in Brazil is enough to get an idea of what they are about... Agreeing to build walls around the ghetto and letting Brazil use all these resources they for sure should have used to fix some of the many other problems
Ollie Oslo Ph. Lars Gartå
Yeah basically I don’t want to be that guy that’s all ‘fuck everything that’s not core skateboarding!’ The skateboarding they’ll be showing isn’t necessarily the skateboarding I personally like the best, but skateboarding is (and should be) a lot of different things, we shouldn’t try to limit it. If people can enjoy it that way, that’s great!
So if you were asked to represent Norway in the Olympics you’d say yes then? I don’t know, but I probably wouldn’t, ha ha.
I’ll probably stay here in Oslo filming for Pekka’s video until the end of October then go to Barcelona to skate with the Sour guys. I also really want to go to New York this spring, so I hope that works out!
Sick, have you been to America before?
Yeah I went to LA on an Etnies trip when I was younger but I didn’t really like it that much though. Maybe we were in the wrong place or something. We did way too much driving to go from spot to spot and a lot of the times we just got kicked out before the session even started. I remember having the feeling that the place was really dead too, like if you’d step out of the house these huge roads would be empty and all look the same. Then again we weren’t staying downtown, it’s probably quite different there.
What’s the deal with Pekka’s new video then? Is it going to be only filmed in Norway and edited to Norwegian music again?
Yep. It’s gonna be called Tigerstaden. That translates to ‘the tiger city’. It’s an old nickname for Oslo because people thought of the city as dangerous place. The first thing you see when you walk out the doors at the central station in Oslo is a huge tiger statue.
Really? But I heard you were the world record holder for the most back to back kickflips! How many was it? 508 in about an hour and a half am I right?
Ha ha, yeah something like that.
How did that come about?
I entered this thing called the Krux Kickflip Challenge and when I’d done more than the other kids the organiser was like ‘More! More! More’ until I’d completely kickflipped through my shoe. I remember being supposed to just win a pair of Krux trucks but they felt so sorry for me when they saw my shoes that I also got a free pair. I was like 13...
What have you got lined up for the rest of
Frontside wallride to 5-0 grind Oslo Ph. Lars Gartå
Sick. His last one (Firetre) was incredible. Can you tell us who else is going to be in this one?
Yeah I agree. It’s so good for the Norwegian skate scene that Pekka started making full length videos! The scene here is so strong, it’s great to see it showcased properly! Hermann Stene, Eirik Ballo, Jan Henrik Kongstein and Heitor Da Silva will all have full parts and then there will be a few split ones from Henrik Lund, Marcus Shaw, Jonatan Drab and a few others. Karsten Kleppan was supposed to share a part with Jan Henrik Kongstein in the video as well, but recovering from the shoulder injury is unfortunately taking a little too long a time. He will definitely have some tricks though!
Thanks, that’s one to look forward to then!
Switch 50-50 Oslo Ph. Lars Gartå
Photography Sam Ashley
and it was completely different to how I imagined. I didn’t know that Palestinians were as oppressed as they are and I didn’t really know how the oppression worked before I witnessed it and heard the locals’ stories. So rather than having it given to you by the media, when you actually meet people and hear about what they’ve had to go through it makes you really understand how tough it is. I also found out how lovely and friendly everyone there is and how
For those who are not already aware, SkatePal is a charity that aims to spread the love of skateboarding in Palestine. Since 2013 they have been building skateparks and providing skateboarding lessons to young people across the West Bank. The charity works with local communities to help provide access to new equipment and tools, as local skateboarders currently rely on donations from outside the country. Earlier this year, Isle Skateboards teamed up with SkatePal and arranged one of the first ever skate trips to Palestine. The plan was to run a skate workshop and perform a demo for the kids at SkatePal’s park in Asira Al-Shamaliya. Alongside this, we aimed to skate around various cities and towns in the West Bank with some of the local skaters. To help provide a comprehensive insight to the trip, I interviewed the Isle team, cinematographer Jacob Harris, Charlie Davis and Theo Krish from SkatePal and some of the local Palestinian skaters that joined us during our time there. I will let their answers tell the story of our visit to the West Bank…
going on… They were really vibrant. Bethlehem seemed to have some sort of magical power to it because it has so much history… Some of the architecture is breathtaking. Asira is a really remote mountainous place with people riding donkeys; it’s more rural and suburban. Tom Knox: Although Nablus and Ramallah were both very busy, the attitude towards us from the locals seemed different. In Nablus they didn’t seem used to seeing skaters I guess… They might not see as many foreigners travelling there too much. In Bethlehem there seemed to be so many more tourists and Christians travelling there on their pilgrimage to the church. Asira was more in the countryside so it was a lot quieter.
What were the spots like?
Where did you visit in the West Bank and what were the differences in the places you visited?
Nick: We went to Ramallah, Bethlehem, Nablus and Asira Al-Shamaliya. Nablus and Ramallah were quite similar, they were both really busy market kind of cities, so there was a lot of stuff going on. It all seemed kind of market-led so it felt like I was in a giant Portobello Market with lots of different things
Nick Jensen: To be honest, I didn’t know that much other than the scary stories I had seen in the media. So it was a bit nerve wracking at first as I didn’t know the place we were going to be in Palestine was not Gaza, it was the West Bank, which is safe. That reassured my girlfriend and me so I went there
Words Chris Jones
What were your preconceptions of Palestine beforehand and did your ideas change during the course of the trip?
they’ve got a really positive attitude towards doing things and keep going forward to do it – that just shines through so much.
Tom: The spots were amazing. When I was going there I thought there wouldn’t be that much and we would just try and skate whatever we could, but it turned out that the spots were better than some other skate trips I’ve been on. I’m sure if we would have stayed there for longer we would’ve found more stuff to skate. Especially in Ramallah, there seemed to be loads of spots there.
What memories stand out from the trip?
Asira Al-Shamaliya locals
Nick: When we were in that bar in Bethlehem we were with a Palestinian guy called Ala and he was telling us so many fascinating stories about things you take for granted… Like the fact you can’t use PayPal to pay for things out there. It was interesting to learn that if you wanted to get a skateboard in Palestine you would have to either know a contact in Jerusalem or go through to Jordan to get it. Just these little everyday things we have access to and take for granted that they don’t… Instead they have to come up with inventive ways to get stuff. Like when they built the wall people built tunnels under it… Like families were divided literally… Like one person’s house was on one side and the other person’s on the other. So just learning all about that stuff, which you wouldn’t necessary learn in some news resources, that was very interesting. Also, another memory, which was amazing, was Sylvain hippie jumping a donkey.
What is your favourite clip from the trip? Jacob Harris:
Probably one of my favourite clips is some footage of Sylvain skating a flat bar at the park in Asira. He was just messing around going really slowly doing 50-50 variations but I really like it because Asira felt like a bit of a focal point for the trip; we were going there to see what SkatePal had been up to. It felt really warm and nice and it was a really fun place to be. We were around all the kids who were really
excited by skateboarding and that clip sort of embodies how we spent our time in that place. It was kind of billed as a demo but it was just a bunch of us skating this park on top of a hill
with the kids where you can see for miles around. The park is still quite a special thing in this small village where obviously quite a few things have changed since the skatepark has been
Chris Jones, nosegrind, Ramallah built there. This is perhaps seen in the fact that girls are able to come up and skate with the boys and in social terms for that village it has changed things in quite a nice way.
Could you say a little about the film formats you used for the trip and what your reasons were for using these? Jacob: I used a
VX1000 because that’s my favourite way to capture skateboarding. I also
used 16mm on a Bolex and sound recordings on a Zoom because I think that it’s a really nice way to try and convey an atmosphere from a place… 16mm just captures things in its own significant
things didactic in that way, so will probably let things flow out through a couple of phrases.
This was the first time a skate company has done a trip to the West Bank, what kind of reception did the Isle team get?
Sylvain Tognelli: Something that I really enjoyed was that sometimes when you visit some countries people can be like ‘the pro skaters are in town’, which leads to the kids just sitting down and watching you… But I feel like the whole time we were there the skaters just wanted to skate with us and also show us how they skate. I hate the idea of having a unilateral relation with the skaters… Like for us just to come and show
Casper Brooker, 50-50 to bar hop, Bethlehem
way that, if not delivers you exactly to the place, then it certainly captures an atmosphere. The places we visited would be a mixture of either really busy and hectic or slow and quiet. Always there would be so much to look at and sounds dominated the cities: the call to prayer, car horns, ‘what’s your name?’ and ‘welcome welcome’. My approach is to try to give a sort of experience that claims less to be reality but hopefully transmits something authentic through the mishmash of things you end up recording. I conducted a few interviews but I don’t really like to make
them things… I prefer the idea of giving as much as you take. People were happy to see us, have a good time skating, to show us their country and ask us questions about our countries. We were all on the same level so it wasn’t that we are the pro skaters in town kind of feeling.
What do you think about the work of SkatePal and its impact for the people in the West Bank? Tom: The work they’re doing is amazing… The skatepark they built is
really great and skateboarding is just a good activity for kids… It seemed like all the kids were enjoying it. They have lessons going on all the time there, which is good and they have free boards for kids to use if they don’t have one and if they want to buy them they are trying to have cheap set-ups to sell. It just seems like a really good thing to be doing and they are not trying to push it on anyone, they’re not
trying to say ‘this is our culture you should accept it’, they just have a skatepark and if the kids want to come and do that activity they can… Just like playing football or whatever. It was really nice the way they are doing it.
Why do you think it’s useful for skate teams to visit Palestine?
SkatePal: There’s several reasons why it’s great for teams to visit Palestine: the main thing is that it helps the local skaters feel
connected to the wider skate community. The skate scene in Palestine is quite isolated from the rest of the world; there aren’t any skate shops, it’s difficult to import equipment, there aren’t any demos from visiting pro skaters and it’s quite hard for people to travel. So the scene is confined to a few skateparks, which are great, but you need other things to help keep a scene alive. It’s great to give local skaters the
Casper Brooker, impossible, Bethlehem
Sylvain Tognelli, wallride nollie out, Bethlehem
Tom Knox, heelflip, Ramallah
chance to watch and skate with professionals… We want to give them that same buzz that other kids around the world get when they see their favourite skater in real life. If you live in London for instance, you have this option all the time, just pop down to Southbank on a Saturday or go to a demo at your local park. Palestinian skaters only get to experience pro teams through YouTube. It also helps to show the international (skate) community that it’s a fun and safe place to visit. Lots of big skate teams visit Israel, but hardly any come to the West Bank. We want people to know that the option is there, it’s just a bus ride away, there are loads of spots that look really sick in photos, and most of them have
never been skated before! Outside of skateboarding, trips like this boost tourism in the West Bank and help to raise awareness of Palestine and the situation around the world. Through these trips we can help people understand what life is like on the other side of the wall. Majd Ramadan (18 year old skater from Ramallah): I think that skateboarding is a positive tool for kids in Palestine. Abdullah Milhem (17 year old skater from Qalqilya): For the skate scene it makes people more interested in skateboarding after seeing the bangers you guys were doing; it proves that skating is not just a game but rather a life style.
What were people’s reactions to the Isle team visiting?
SkatePal: Everyone was stoked for sure! It was obviously a bigger deal for the slightly older skaters like Abdullah Milhem and Majd Ramadan, as they were able to travel with us to different towns and see the guys shred. The older guys follow the international skate scene a bit closer than the kids who are just starting out, so for them it was a bigger deal to have pro skaters visiting. Majd said that skating with the Isle guys at the plaza (in Ramallah) was one of the best sessions of his life in an Instagram post! I think once the video drops, the skaters that didn’t manage to see you guys skate in person are going to be amazed!
How was it having the Isle team visit the West Bank?
Majd: I was so happy
Sylvain Tognelli, backside nosebluntslide, Bethlehem
Rosa Park, Asira Al-Shamaliya
to have a team like the Isle crew here, it was amazing. Also, I have never seen anyone skating like them… I mean I’m always watching videos online but it’s so different seeing someone skating in front of you. Abdullah: Having you guys was amazing and inspiring for skaters in Palestine. You guys inspired us to keep skating in order to be like you guys one day. We had a really fun session; I saw a lot of things that blew my mind and it was really fun to hang out with them. Coming here gives us power and motivation… It proves that we are not alone and it shows the world how skating is important to Palestinians because we are denied so many rights. It gives us a feeling of freedom and when you guys come here people start to understand that. Fahmi Sawalma (14 year old skater from Asira): It was very exciting to see a professional team in our village. I asked them to teach me something. I was very happy!
Would you like to see more teams visit in the future?
Majd: It would be amazing for us Palestinians to have more teams visit here in Palestine.
Do you have any plans on going back?
Tom: I would love to go back… I would really enjoy going out there for a build at some point if the opportunity came up. I was also a bit hurt so I didn’t get to skate all of the spots and there were so many more spots to go to. I felt near the end of the week I was really starting to
Nick Jensen, backside nosegrind revert, Nablus
Sylvain Tognelli, frontside 50-50, Ramallah
they personally try and make you feel kind of guilty for going there and this has inspired me to want to go back even more. The lack of open mindedness makes me think ‘fuck man you need to go there and hang out with people and have fun’.
What recommendations/ advice do you have for any skate teams that plan on visiting?
Sylvain: I don’t know if it’s possible, but my recommendation would be to forget any preconceptions before going there. Just try to meet people and see them as human beings rather than Palestinian or Israeli and just enjoy it, going as you would go anywhere.
Casper Brooker, ollie, Nablus
understand and learn a lot more so I’d like to go back and see how it has developed since. Sylvain: No plans at the moment, but it would be really cool to go back in a few years and do the same thing again, meeting the same people and seeing how everything went… To go back there and see how the kids have developed and how skateboarding has developed. I think it would put things in perspective a bit more. Jacob: If the opportunity came up, I would definitely like to go back. Nick: Yeah I do definitely. Going through customs on the way back
SkatePal: Do it! It’s a fun place: friendly people, good spots, interesting history and great food! Plus it’s really cheap.
What are SkatePal’s future plans?
SkatePal: In 2017 we’ll have more volunteers teaching from March to October. We’re trying to get more female skaters involved – we’d love to reach a stage where we have an even split between male and female volunteers. We are currently planning our next skatepark project
and hope to start it next September. We’re trying to promote Palestine as a skate destination to more teams and we’d like to have the first female skate team to visit the country. The general long-term goals are to find a way to get skate equipment into the country – so that the scene can become selfsustainable and eventually won’t need the input of a foreign charity like us. We also want to try and find a way to pay ourselves, haha!
If you’d like to volunteer, make a donation or are interested in doing a trip, head to: www.skatepal.co.uk or contact info@ skatepal.co.uk. If you’re interested in learning more about the skate scene check out the short documentary: Epicly Palestine’d.
while your favorite pro was filming for snapchat
new enjoi video coming later than sooner
uk firstname.lastname@example.org spain email@example.com â€“ www.dwindle.com germany firstname.lastname@example.org â€“ www.urbansupplies.com
Photography by Sam Clark
Interview by Will Harmon
The maid one was gnarly, but there’s more... Once I got mugged in broad daylight coming home from the beach at a bus stop. It was 2 o’clock in the afternoon and three guys came up to me and two guys put a knife in my back saying ‘give me your shit!’ One dude was like ‘gimme your watch,’ and the other dude’s like ‘give me your jeans!’ So I had to take my jeans off and give them to this dude! So I’m standing there in boxers with 20 people around and no one is helping. People just don’t want to get involved. But I actually got my stuff back though, which is kinda ‘Yoh! I got stories!’ Is what Shaun Witherup said to me when I fucked up. I ended up calling my mum and her told him I needed to interview him for the mag – and indeed boyfriend was this gnarly Hells Angel dude, he does! Leaving behind the muggings and mayhem of South he had bought me the watch. So I told him Africa more than a decade ago, Shaun now calls London home, what area it was and somehow he found they but the hi-jinx hasn’t stopped. Without giving too much away guy, asked him what time it was, and then in this intro, let’s just get right to it. sparked him one (punched him) and robbed the Shaun, you grew up skating in South Africa, whereabouts? dude back. Strange one...
Who did you skate with?
I grew up in Durban, SA. And back then the crew was Mike Sutcliffe, George Van Blerk and some other guys.
And when did you start skating?
I started my first year of Durban High School. I don’t know if you remember Snoopy?
No, ha, George Van Blerk, he used to be a pro on Death Skateboards and he moved from South Africa to England. So I ended up buying some trucks off of him. And then yeah I started skating and then we became nemeses. I got good and it would be me against him in the comps and stuff and he just wasn’t stoked anymore. (Laughs) You could say we kind of fell out.
So when and why did you move to the UK?
Because shit was just fucked up... Before I was 16 I had been mugged more than ten times at gunpoint, stabbed, house broken into numerous times, etc. But the final straw was I came home from school and found our maid tied up and our whole house was empty and she had been beaten. So my mum was like: ‘this is it! There’s no point.’ We had British passports so it didn’t make sense to stay there anymore. It’s just not safe. So we ended up moving to Liverpool.
Just you and your mum?
No she sent me over first as my aunt and uncle were there in Liverpool so she sent me up there and then I ended up skating for Lost Art back in the day.
Ah sick! Was that your first sponsor?
No no, I got hooked up in SA as I was skating the comps and shit. I used to ride for an SA company called Island Style. But Lost Art was the first in the UK. Mackey is a G!
All of my friends from South Africa have a crazy SA story of something sketchy that has happened to them… Got any more aside from the burglary one?
Whoa! That is crazy. So what was it like when you first moved to Liverpool? A bit of a culture shock man! Durban is kind of like a beach city and I rocked up in Liverpool wearing a Hawaiian shirt and blonde hair... I got put into this really tough public school there with tons of scallies and scousers... All the dudes wanted to fight me and all the chicks wanted to go have a drink with me. (Laughs) Guys just wanted to fight me all day long. It was a bit of a fucking shock for sure...
And then how did you move to London?
Liverpool was cool; it was a bit small and you know a lot of my friends were getting into the wrong shit like doing too many drugs and going down the wrong path and I just didn’t want to get stuck in that kind of way. So I just decided to move down to London and see what was up and give it a go.
Can you tell me about skating for King Clothing and being in an ad with Dan Clarke and Skepta being chased by a dinosaur?
Yeah that was a strange one... Ha ha. How did you see that? They said it was just going to be a photo of us wearing the clothes or whatever; we were just in a studio. But then it turns out in the ad there’s a dinosaur or some crazy shit. It turned out to be something I didn’t want to be involved with.
So you met Skepta back then? I guess this was before he was big…
Yeah that was before he was big... I met this Wretch 32 dude too. He was on King as well. He was a grime artist. It was a cool company that helped me out with flights and stuff, but I don’t know... It just wasn’t for me in the end.
You studied shoe design at London College of Fashion, took a few years off, and now you study menswear fashion at Central Saint Martin’s. How did you get in to CSM? It’s one of the most respected fashion universities in the world, can you tell us a little bit about studying there?
I think I blagged it to be honest dude... I guess because I designed shoes from before, but it didn’t really go the way I expected it to; I had a few job opportunities, but it didn’t really pan out the way I thought it would. So I just skated for bit then I decided that I wanted to learn more about garments so I could maybe start something later or work with somebody like that. So yeah I just applied to CSM and I got in after a few interviews and showing them my portfolio. I think the guy just liked me because I was a skater and not the usual fashion school type.
And you got a scholarship?
Yeah I got a special scholarship for mature students. They are more lenient to help you out and stuff. Yeah so I just finished the first year.
So I know you were down at Southbank one day, and you made a statement, and this statement has forever changed the vernacular of a lot of London skateboarders… Do you know what I’m talking about? Sission! (Laughs) I was down at SB one day and I speaking to Lev (Tanju) and I guess not many people had heard it before and Lev asked me what I had gotten up to last night and I was like: ‘Ah I was sissioning this chick for hours and hours man.’ And then he just started laughing and then it just started
going everywhere and everyone started using it: sission! So that’s how it all started, just mainly because of Lev telling everyone about that story. Sission this; sission that!
And I remember you had a job as a lifeguard at Shoreditch House… How the hell did you get that job and did you ever save anyone? Dude I just used to chill there and drink Mojitos on the side. I pretty much did nothing. The only thing I saved was a few iPads and iPhones when people dropped them into the pool. I just took them out and put them in some rice... Oh wait I did save a kid once... Some mum was on the side drinking or whatever and her kid just went under and was swallowing water so I jumped in and dragged him out. There were times when there were kids and shit, but most of the time you are just chilling there getting tanned, speaking to people and meeting hot chicks...
The pre-Tinder days…
Yeah... Ha ha. I had to quit Tinder. It was just too much. Too many matches... (Laughs)
You must have some good stories though… Care to share any?
Well this wasn’t through Tinder, but it’s a dating story... OK so I was with Tomek (Lipiec), and we ended up going drinking at some bars and we meet these chicks and bring them back to Tomek’s place. Anyway, these chicks leave, whatever, and Tomek and I crash out in the bed. Then like two hours into our sleep we get woken up... I get smacked in the face like two or three times... I’m like ‘what the fuck?’ So I open my eyes and there’s three big Lithuanian dudes that Tomek lived with that are kinda like on a gangster vibe. They were like: ‘Ah you brought prostitutes here! What the fuck!’ And we’re like: ‘No dude!’ So they are shouting at us in Lithuanian and one of the guys starts laying punches into me. I’m sleeping in my boxers and then I go down to put my sock on and he gives me an uppercut!
Frontside 180 Cape Town
Yeah, so I land on the bed and then this one dude who had just gotten out of prison picks up a Stanley blade that was used to grip boards and Tomek and I are just stood on the bed against the wall and they’re like: ‘You gotta go! Grab your shit!’ And one of the guys is still laying into me and punching me, and he tells me to leave out the window. Three of them began pushing me towards the window, and it’s like a two and a half storey drop into the garden, and they chucked me out. Then as I’m laid out in the garden, two minutes later Tomek comes out with a bag of shit, he’s been beaten up as well, they just kicked him out. That’s one of the gnarlier stories.
So where did you guys go from there?
We just sat in the park for two hours. Tomek
had to go to work that day! That was a mad one.
Indeed! Speaking of stories, I feel like you have some injury ones. You get injured a lot not even skating right?
Yeah mostly out partying. I just have a few beers then end up not giving a fuck. Yoh! OK yeah there’s a good one about having to get stitches in my hand. So I was at the Macbeth I think, and shit got wild. I ended up having a fight with the bouncer and he ended up cracking me one. So I had a split eye because we were skating outside like a ton of us... Anyway I had borrowed my friend’s bike that night and after all that shit started kicking off I realised someone had stolen his bike. So all my friends started to cycle home so I decided to just follow them skating real fast. So on the way home, after having a fight and my eye was bleeding, I come around a corner and put my hand on a fence. A spike just goes straight into my hand, and I didn’t know it at the time, I just keep skating down the road like ‘where is all this blood coming
from?’ So I check my hand and it’s ripped to shreds. Anyways I go home and see Tomek and I ask him: ‘Dude, do you think I need stitches?’ He’s like: ‘Yo! What the fuck!’ My hand is nearly spewing it’s so bad. It’s super deep and to the bone. ‘I’m gonna call you an ambulance,’ Tomek says. So he’s calling 911 for like half an hour and it’s engaged. Every time he tried to call the number was busy so he’s like: ‘I don’t know what fuck we are gonna do! We need an ambulance!’ So we finally go online and realise the number for an ambulance is 999. (Laughs)
No way! Ha ha!
Yeah so finally the ambulance comes and they took me to the hospital. I’m super-drunk at this point so they drop me off at the hospital and they tell me: ‘Sit down here and somebody will come and get you.’ Ten minutes later I fall asleep, it’s like five in the morning and then I wake up at 10am. ‘Why the fuck am I in the hospital?’ I think when I
Backside nosegrind pop-out Cape Town
wake up so I stand up look around and guess that I must have been super-drunk. So I leave and I walk up to the bus stop. I put up my hand to flag the bus down and I suddenly realise my hand and how fucked it is. So I went back to the hospital and stayed there another six hours and they stitched me up and shit; thirty-two stitches in my hand.
Yeah that was heavy. I ended up going skating on a Big Push a week later with all these stitches in my hand.
What a story! So I know you went back to South Africa for the photos for this interview. Where did you go to and what did you get up to? I just stayed around Cape Town and travelled around there. Cape Town has good spots and everyone I pretty much know from South Africa has moved there. We had a few near misses with police and fights and shit like that. I ended up losing like three set-ups when I was there... Just through madness. Cape Town is wild.
I know you spent some time there, but why not move to Barcelona?
Kickflip to fakie Ysterfontein
I was living there last year for like six months, which was a crazy ordeal... I think I nearly died by being eaten alive by bed bugs. Yeah it was this homie’s place... I was there six months and then I came back to start uni. That’s why I’m here in London. Once I finish uni I’ll see what’s up then.
Backside lipslide Cape Town
How did you link up with Familia Skateboards?
Basically Gav (Gavin Morgan) hit me up. I’ve known his brother Steph since we were young; we used to skate together in South Africa. I film with their other brother Andy and Gav pretty much runs the company. So Gav just hit me up and asked if I wanted to be involved. At the time I was riding for Girl through the UK distro so I decided I’d rather be involved with something small, closer to home, with SA dudes and people I’ve known for a long time. Yeah it’s a good vibe; I’ve been riding for them for maybe like eight years.
What are you working on at the moment?
Yeah I’ve been trying to film every single place I go to, but the majority of the footage we want to have for the video. We are working on the Familia video so we want it to be really strong.
Congrats on the recent pro board! Cheers dude.
Anyone you want to thank?
Big thanks and love to my friends, family and sponsors. Special thanks to Gavin Morgan, Dan Lawrence, Justin Biddle, Ivan the Great, Andy Morgan, Tom Beever, Ryder Nel, Bryce Campbell, Carl Richardson, Phil Brown, Yann Horowitz, Loucas Polydorou, Ann Sophie, Sam Clark and Henry Kingsford! Much love to you guys at Free Skate, Parlour Skate Store, adidas, Hélas, Familia, Levi’s, Riders of the Zol and my amazing mum! Sission!
Santiago Sasson Mus Bennacer — Joseph Biais — Oscar Candon — Akim Cherif — Hugo Corbin Grégoire Cuadrado — Lionel Dominoni — Roman Gonzalez — Lisa Jacob Martin Keller — Jon Monié — Samuel Partaix — Kevin Rodrigues — Karl Salah Rémy Taveira — Sylvain Tognelli — Vincent Touzery OG Team : Bertrand Soubrier — Yann Garin — Franck Barattiero — Luidgi Gaydu Nozbone skateboard boutique. 295, rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine / 75011 Paris / T. 01 43 67 59 67 www.nozbone.com Pop Shove it — Photo : Alexandre Pires
HUF Europe Words by Steve Forstner Photos by Justus Hirvi
Where to begin? Well this HUF mission up to the land of Finntarts was the Euro team’s side mission of the HUF US ‘Tour de Stoops’. So first we were in London for a few days together with the lads from the States and on the last night of it all it was Rory’s (Milanes) surprise going pro for Palace Skateboards party. Now I don’t have to tell you all how awesome we felt on the train at 7:30am towards Gatwick Airport the next morning… It was sublime to say the least. Once we checked in our bags Simo (Makelä) realised that he had left his passport in his checked bag. Obviously we were on the up and up on this lovely day… In the end we managed to all board the plane, with a slight delay of course and fly to Helsinki. It was the HELride
comp weekend, so everything was set perfectly to just keep the good times rolling. Now the weekend of HELride was obviously full of all kinds of amazing events on and off the board. There was karaoke, full speed downhill line shredding, DIY Suvilahti rippage and a death race. There was even a vert event at some point but it all becomes a blur eventually. A friend of ours had to spend a few hours in the drunk tank as well due to some issues with a bouncer’s car but I won’t get into the details. Some things that go on tour should stay there after all, right? To say the least it was a great weekend. After all the madness had come to an end, it was time to officially start the tour mission proceedings. Obviously we did our best to also skate some street over the weekend but that was no easy task. Our designated filmer had decided to not use his camera during HELride and instead test out some mind-altering substances. As far as I could tell he was successful and most likely had more fun than any of the rest of us those days. But that was all done now and it was go time. It was Monday though and apparently Monday is long lens day. Filming fish eye with the VX1000 on a Monday is dangerous due to the hangover impairing reaction times. We gave it a shot anyway and of course hit the camera twice at the first spot. Luckily by giving it some sweet soft love taps it kept working and all was well. Tuesday and Wednesday passed in a flash. It’s never easy when you are just three people skating on a trip because one person is almost always out of commission. Luckily we were coming up on Thursday because Thursday is the day my friends. We had been working on a new theory all week and it turned out we were right. Basically the Thursday theory goes like this: Monday, Tuesday are there for getting back on track after a heavy weekend. Obviously Monday will be really rough and then Tuesday a bit better. By Wednesday you might possibly get some decent clips since you are past the worst, but nothing compares to Thursday. On Thursday you are ready for anything: rails, gaps, DIY’s, you name it, anything in your path with be shredded and tossed aside once you got your tricks. On Friday you will be sore but also very happy with your accomplishments from the day before, hence you might still get a clip or two and after that move on to the weekend celebrations. So Thursday worked out perfect and we all got what we wanted and were still very happy until we had to change the tape on the VX. At that moment the camera decided not to spit out the tape. Obviously that was a bit of a problem but we all stayed positive about it, perhaps due to the high from that great day on the board. Our filmer wanted to smash the shit out of the camera and was losing his mind obviously… I can’t blame him since it was a tape full of amazing skating not just by us, but also the rest of the SLP and MFT crew
â€“ who by the way were amazing to us as always. Kitos again to all the Finntarts for taking us in and hooking us up. By the next morning we still had not managed to get the tape out and the VX was also not able to read the timeline of the tape. So we could not capture the amazing stunts that had been performed. There was talk about sending it to the States, but luckily, through some friends, we managed to find a place in the town of Tampare that claimed to know how to handle the problem. Tampare is about a 2-hour drive from Helsinki so this had to be done once the tour was over. We only had two days left to film. Just like any experienced VX filmer our man had a second one on hand since you never know what will happen with these relics of skateboard cinematography.
So we skated and enjoyed our beers and all said our goodbyes once it was time to go home. Luckily the place in Tampare came through and saved our footage. So you will be able to enjoy it together with the rest of the madness somewhere on the inter-web. In case you ever have time to visit Helsinki in the summer then I can only recommend it highly. Don’t go in the winter unless you wanna hang out in dark places drinking with depressed Finntart alcoholics. In the summer they are happy alcoholics at least… Can’t wait for the next visit. Kippis and vitu satana!!!
JAKE ANDERSON IN THE NEW BOYD
F G IN
Ju Interview Arthur Derrien
Photography Roger Ferrero
Spain has been at the forefront of ‘plaza skating’ for years now but since Jesus, Lebron and Enrique’s L.A. County days, how many Spaniards have actually made it out to the US to make one of its legendary plaza’s their own? We caught up with Madrid’s Juan ‘Jura’ Algora to chat about his obsession with Philly, becoming a ‘local’ at Love Park and how he managed to score a part in the latest Sabotage video.
ra What’s up Jura?
I’m good man! We’ve been skating since like eight in the morning because of the jet lag...
Oh shit you just arrived in Philly! How is it? Yeah Viru good than
I’m out here with (Juan Virues)! It’s man, a bit colder I expected, but I
love it out here.
Where are you staying and for how long?
I’m going to be here for about a month. Do you know Skate Jawn (Philly based zine/crew/edits)? I’m friends with that whole crew and one of my homies is letting us stay at his house. It’s a
pretty big place... Not quite like Ishod’s house or anything, but still really sick.
How did the whole Philly connection come about?
I met Marcus, the guy who started Skate Jawn, about seven years ago at my local spot when he was
nosegrind Obviously you had a part in the last Sabotage video. How
but we’d never really talked and one time he hit me up saying I With Pane (Brian should come out and Panebianco) I think we film some shit with kind of just met him. So I did and once through following each we had like 30 seconds other on Instagram ha he asked me if I wanted ha. I mean I’d seen him to have a full part. I out here a few times was like: ‘for sure
did you meet those guys? Just from skating Love?
living in Madrid. When he went back to the States he invited me to come visit him and I’ve basically been going back once a year since... I love it.
man!’ So I came back for another month and then he came to stay with me in Madrid and we managed to get enough for a short part.
How do you afford to go out there every year? Does Nike pay for the ticket?
The last two times when I was working on the Sabotage part Nike got my ticket because it was quite a big video and this year they’ve helped me out again because they know I’ll be out there filming every day, even if I haven’t decided how I’ll use the footage.
How is it out there now that Love Park is gone? It’s so weird man... We
went there last night to look at what they’d done to it. We were just there really sad, looking at piles of rubble and thinking ‘that’s where the out ledge used to be, that’s where the stairs used to be... and now it’s all gone.’ It’s such a fucking harsh thing to witness.
Sounds so depressing.
Yeah, especially since they tore down City Hall only a couple of years ago... Good thing they still have Muni (the Municipal Services plaza with all the ledges), which is really sick.
don’t really care as much if you skate there for some reason. Last year when I came you could only skate there at night but these days people seem to be skating it every day.
So it’s become their MACBA…
Definitely not, you still need to run as fast as you can if you see a bike cop because they will chase you.
Have you had to do that before?
Of course! You have to run like a motherfucker. I’ve never been caught but if they see you, run What’s the deal with that after you, and catch you, place? Is it not a bust? they can use the taser on I heard now cops just you. They’ll handcuff you
and of course give you a ticket and take your board.
Damn Stevie wasn’t exaggerating then.
Of course not! Over there it actually is ‘run, skate, chill’. When I used to go to Love I’d usually only get about ten minutes at a time to skate before I’d have to run. When you get used to it, it actually becomes quite fun but when I first arrived I was like ‘dude how the hell am I supposed to try a line? I have no idea how these guys do it...’
I can imagine… No warm up, camera out as soon as you get to the spot, constantly having to look over your shoulder… What about the locals? How was the vibe at that place?
It definitely took a long time for me to properly meet the locals. They are all nice people but they can definitely be cold at first. It’s not like in Madrid or Barca where anytime you’d go to a plaza you’d talk to everyone. In Philly there’s definitely more of a ‘locals only’ mentality. And if someone with a bike shows up he’s getting kicked the fuck out of there, straight up. At first I really wasn’t comfortable, it felt like they were all mean mugging me and shit, but now I know everyone so it’s cool.
Does Philly feel sketchier than Madrid?
Yeah definitely, I mean Spain and particularly Madrid is pretty mellow man... There’s a lot more crack-heads and homeless people out here and it feels like people just like to fight more in general. I can’t say I ever feel 100% safe. I’ve
never seen anything really bad happen but if you walk through the wrong neighbourhoods you know that if you step out of line shit could pop off. But you know how it is, if you have your skateboard you’re always going to be okay, you can just skate off. Plus they know you’re a skater and not a gang member or anything...
Do you enjoy skating in Philly or Madrid more? Philly! I love the place I don’t know why... It’s grimy and all fucked up but for some reason that looks nice to me. Like I love watching footage from the place... I’d love to move here.
I bet you’re really into the old Eastern Exposure videos and stuff. Yeah that’s the best shit. Them and the Traffic videos, they’re the best ones.
Who are the best dudes in Philly right now?
Fuck that’s a tough one, there’s so many good skaters out here and none of them really get paid or anything. Sourbeer (Dylan Sourbeer) is probably my favourite to watch, in fact all the Sabotage guys are gnarly and then there’s Nik Stain, but he just moved to New York.
What about that Kyle Nicholson guy?
Fuck man I forgot about him but yeah he’s definitely one of the best out here. So underrated, so much power...
Are you actually planning on moving out there for real at some point?
It’s one of those things I’d love to do but haven’t properly considered. Moving out
here is so complicated... Plus I feel like I’d maybe lose my Nike contract. Nike already have all the best skateboarders in America, they wouldn’t need me out here...
Are you still doing your hat/clothing company Damage?
well but I feel like I should take it more seriously and have proper collections coming out every season rather than just drop some hats when I feel like it.
Yeah and it’s going quite
Coming to Philly... When I came out here with Felix Bollain (filmer from Madrid) a few years back we saw that our mates were doing Skate Jawn, the clothing, the magazine and thought to ourselves that it would
What made you decide to start your own brand?
be sick to do our own thing back home.
Oh yeah didn’t you do your ACL recently?
We’ve got a video in the works and I guess just keep putting out cool stuff... But it’s tough, all I want to do is skate, I don’t want to be stuck behind my laptop.
Have you ever thought
Have you got anything lined up with the brand?
It’s nice to have something else going on aside from skateboarding though. Do you never overdose on skating? Not really, no. I just want to do it all the time. And even if I’m not 100% feeling it I still end up going out. I’m a bit of a maniac when it comes to skating, I’m just obsessed.
Do you skate every single day?
When I’m not injured yes. But I get injured quite often...
Yeah. It was terrible, it fucked with my head so much. I become another person when I can’t skate. I wish I could handle it but I can’t. Those nine months without skating really made me lose my mind.
of getting into other stuff so that the injury periods are a little more bearable? Yeah I think about that all the time but my mind doesn’t let me do anything else, like I can’t enjoy something different, I get bored. It’s like everything else doesn’t make sense to me.
The only thing that makes sense is backtails…
Exactly. I know I shouldn’t be that way but that’s how I am.
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