MAY JUNE 2017
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MARK APPLEYARD | THE MAHALO SG
Mark Appleyard skating his signature shoe the Mahalo SG. Globeâ€™s Shogun cupsole adds support and flexibility with a deep cushioning footbed for impact control.
@globebrand | GLOBEBRAND.COM | est. Australia 1994
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Tomorrow itâ€™s raining Suntrip with the Doggies Victor Pellegrin Slabs & Pork Galler a Oskar Rozenberg Hallberg Everyone got their Oyster? Michiâ€™s Travels
Cover: Oskar Rozenberg Hallberg Frontside ollie Gran Canaria Ph. Marcel Veldman
Contents: Fred Plocque-Santos Backside smith grind Barcelona Ph. Roger Ferrero
You get the point: I kind of lost my mind a little. I started pranging about all this shit filling up the little storage space I had in my puny French brain. So I did what every right minded modern man would do: I asked Google about my problem. ‘How much space do I have in my brain?’ I typed. And the Internet Gods came through! Apparently ‘the human brain cell can hold five times as much information as the Encyclopaedia Britannica’. I’m not exactly sure how much that is but those encyclopaedias take up like a whole shelf so five times that sounds like a lot. Phew! You know what that means? You can lap all it up! Read every single word in this fucking magazine! Go to the site and binge watch Oski’s part until your eyes bleed! Memorise every outfit on Blondey’s Instagram for all I care, because at the end of the day, you’re not going to run out of space up there any time soon. Doesn’t quite help me remember where I put my keys though… – Arthur Derrien
Editor in Chief: Will Harmon Photo Editor: Sam Ashley Associate Editor: Arthur Derrien Design: Ben Weaver & Seb Howell Interventionist: James Jarvis Printed in the UK Free is published six times a year by FSM Publishing Ltd. freeskatemag.com @freeskatemag firstname.lastname@example.org
‘Have you seen that new First Broadcast link? The quality is insane.’ ‘No but I’ve got direct access to the whole video in my head when I close my eyes so I’m not that fussed…’ As I lay in bed that evening reminding myself of Dom Henry’s rather amusing comment, I thought to myself: ‘What a geek! And I thought I was bad…’ Only the second I closed my eyes to try to go to sleep, it appeared: JB Gillet’s 411 part in all its glory. ‘On est pas du même groupe sanguin, pas du même crew…’ The quality felt even better than the YouTube rip. I forget how old I am after two beers but I remember what colour his fucking t-shirt is on that Santa Monica beach line?! What the fuck is this! That’s when the panic kicked in. I started trying to evaluate just how much useless skate knowledge I’d accumulated and it got scary. Why the hell do I remember every single word of Rodrigo TX’s stupid ’for me it’s crazy like...’ Menikmati intro?! And why the fuck was that thing subtitled anyway?! He was speaking English! They didn’t give McCrank subtitles did they! Wait a sec why am I remembering or even caring about these damn subtitles anyway! Aaaaaaaaah!
Words Miguel Cidraque Vella
Thaynan Costa, quick ollie up then ollie the rail Barcelona. Ph. Gerard Riera
To be born and raised on an island gives you a certain kind of character: you either seem to enjoy life with what you have or, in the case of itchy brain activity, you might feel like drowning inside that little piece of land surrounded by the beautiful deep blue sea... Well, that’s what I thought before meeting these new kind of islanders known as Octavio Barrera and Dani Millan. Once they felt the call of the big city, they went for/to it, got in touch with other like-minded individuals while educating themselves, and evolved their own projects without forgetting where they came from. With all that background and attitude, Octavio and Dani launched Tangram Wheel Co. back in 2012 as an outlet to how they experience skateboarding together: travelling, arts, and roots. In the past year they’ve been working on a video project based on making the biggest experience with the lowest costs known to the human race. So yeah: take some of the most handsome skateboarders from Spain mixed with a hobo and a super-tanned Portuguese lad... No, we’re not talking about the last Marx Brothers joint but the first ever full-length Tangram project.
Thaynan and Blue Turner doubles Barcelona. Ph. Gerard Riera
Thaynan Costa questioned by Dani Millan How did you get on Tangram? It was really natural because all the guys that skate for Tangram are my long-time friends and I was always travelling with them so at the end I was like ‘fuck why not?’ Now we can travel together even more.
How does it feel to be part of a close friend’s company? Why did you choose this instead of being on a bigger brand? It feels like home and you never think twice before giving your opinion on anything because we are more like family. I prefer being here with my friends and growing together instead of being on a big brand that doesn’t give a fuck about what you think.
How did ‘The Negro’ nickname come up? Somebody told me you might be responsible?
(Laughs) I don’t know... Dani always called me ‘The Negro’ because I’m the darkest of the boys. So after a while when we were thinking about the name of the video all the boys said it should be called: ‘The Negro’.
day without any problem, but now it’s not like that anymore. I used to party way more in the past, but since I don’t do that much anymore, every time I stay up ‘til late I’m for sure in bed the whole next day.
What’s the biggest lie you’ve heard on a Tangram trip?
‘Tomorrow it’s raining’ for sure. Every time we go on tour with Quintero, he checks What’s going with your night-life and Tangram? I’ve heard that you’re getting the weather and somehow his forecast always predicts hard older and now you can’t skate the next rain for the next day. So with day... (You good?) that excuse we just end up at Fuck that’s really an the bar and have a good time issue. Before I used to be able to go out all night and skate all every night on our trips.
Thaynan Costa, ollie Barcelona. Ph. Gerard Riera
20 Octavio Barrera, ollie Galicia, Spain. Ph. Dani Millan
Dani Millan questioned by Dani Quintero OK Millan, could you please tell us how old are you and who do you skate for? (Laughs) No, for real... It’s super cool that you’ve filmed and edited the whole video yourself. Has it been hectic to schedule with your real jobs? I don’t know, they were like seven to eight different trips. Believe it or not we all get older and responsibilities tend to accumulate.
If you could choose someone to film a part with who would it be? And why? Bill Murray – why not?
What’s your fondest memory from the filming of this video? If we were already fucked up, now with Thaynan I’m pretty sure we’re gonna fully go bankrupt life wise…
I only remember the best parts (laughs). For me the best part of a project like this is to go back to the feeling of filming with your friends just for the sake of it without schedules or pressure. And about Thaynan, I’m OK with having another hobo on board. He’s like my younger brother and the fact that he rides for Tangram now doesn’t change a thing.
If you had never gotten involved in filmmaking, where would you picture yourself?
I don’t know. To be honest I always had pretty clear idea I wanted to do something audio/ visual related. I don’t and didn’t have a plan b.
Dani Quintero, backside tailslide shuv-it Lisbon. Ph. Dani Millan
22 Octavio Barrera, kickflip Barcelona. Ph. Gerard Riera
Octavio Barrera questioned by Thaynan Costa ‘Sup Chiquillo?’ First things first: tell us how it is to travel with Quintero?
Anyone out there thinking they can handle any type of personality well, they sure haven’t been with Quintero on a trip. Saying so, he’s the best energy you can get for any kind of adventure and he adapts to any situation. The harder part is if you can’t adapt to his adaption or something... (Laughs)
How many bottles do you think we drank while filming for this video?
Water you mean? Probably no more than five litre bottles. Rum and gin: um... forty? Wow, just got scared saying it out loud.
What’s the best thing about going on tour with friends without worrying about anything?
Was that you asking or just assuming? (Laughs) Well you said it: when you’re doing what you want without worrying about anything, things just flow and skate-party adventures happen organically.
What’s the best place that we went to?
Galicia was super cool, even though not all of us could make it. Lisbon was exhausting in every aspect and, even though I’m from the Canaries and couldn’t go on the last trip around carnival I always love to go there. Wait a second, did you bastards plan the trip to be around February because of that!? (Laughs) Love you.
So last question, do you think tomorrow it’s raining? If we’ve already filmed one or two tricks then you can be sure about that.
all day so they’re just more agile than me.
Which one of us would you’ve handcuffed while touring?
David Lougedo questioned by Carlos Cardeñosa
What’s been the worst place you’ve Quintero no doubt. He’s slept during while touring for the video? the best, but sometimes I feel So far I remember sleeping on a rock beach while skating in Cadaqués (Costa Brava), or setting up a tent uphill on a secondary road turn. Sleeping in a tent uphill is not that cool. #costangram trip was awesome though.
How many pigeons have you ‘killed’ with your drone?
Believe it or not just a seagull and she threw herself onto it. I was flying kind of close just to scare them, but the wind pulled my drone onto a roof and you can see how she went for it. The video is on YouTube. I’ve chased some as well but they fly
like drowning him at the bottom of the sea. We love you Dani!
How are you dealing with half of the team being from the Canary Islands?
You are all super easygoing and good people. All hail the Canaries!
What’s more challenging for you: skating a spot or flying a drone?
Physically skating, but if you happen to, let’s say, hit a car with your drone shit can get serious. Every ‘dangerous’ stunt I do with my drone is after some serious practice and choosing the right spot.
Dani Quintero, bump to noseslide Barcelona. Ph. Gerard Riera
Thaynan Costa, frontside boardslide to fakie Badalona. Ph. Gerard Riera
Dani Quintero questioned by David Lougedo Quintero you filthy hobo rat! I’ve known you for a long time now and somehow during the past few months you’ve become a (k)night legend… Tell us more about that. To be honest I think I party the same as other boys my age here in Barcelona. Of course I had this period where it might have been a bit too much but I’m mellower about it now. Let’s say these days I only go out five to seven days a week. (Laughs)
How come you’re so talented imitating people or with music?
I don’t know. I’ve always had somewhat of a good memory. Let’s say if I spend some time with someone, the way they talk, their gestures, and all that, gets stuck into my brain. And with musical instruments even though my parents never took me to music school, they kept buying me all these toy instruments and I became a music lover. I always tried to make the most out of
what I had.
I remember you could barely wallride/ wallie not so long ago. When did you develop those skills?
To be honest I still think I suck pretty bad at them. I’ve always liked to walljam even before it was a trend. I don’t know, I haven’t really figured out the ollie so well to be honest. I’m plain lazy.
What’s been your favourite trip for this project?
Skating wise the #costangram trip around Costa Brava in Cataluña was my favourite because I had no expectations at all. Everything was super improvised and somehow it worked out perfect.
What’s your favourite dish? Do you like to cook? Tortilla de patatas no doubt (my mom’s of course). I’m not that skilled in the kitchen but I sure know how to help myself. (ed. note: Dani’s been working at a restaurant for the past six months. He sure knows more than he likes to admit.)
26 Carlos CardeĂąosa, switch kickflip Gran Canaria. Ph. Fernando Torres
Carlos Cardeñosa questioned by Octavio Barrera Why did you consider joining Tangram even though you know there are no wheels in stock for the most part of the year?
To be honest I always felt I was a part of Tangram even before I got officially involved. We’ve been friends for a long time now and have shared loads of experiences already.
How different was the ‘let’s use whatever we get on the trip’ approach compared to your last ‘real part’ in the SUCUBO video?
Something we all love to do is travel and that’s of course when we share the most experiences and somehow that’s when we are the most productive. So, in my opinion, in order to get something of a ‘vibe’ for a video you need at least three to four trips with everyone involved. It was difficult for me to join Tangram trips for this project, as I was super focused on finishing Mario’s SUCUBO part. Luckily for me the boys where kind enough to come to me instead! (Laughs)
While touring with bigger companies the least you get is some bed & breakfast here and there. Do you think that our low cost approach (sleeping in tents in really random areas) helped strengthen the crew and the project?
That’s some ‘male-bonding’ gasoline for sure! Having just one hot meal a day during a week, sleeping in tents around beaches, caves... setting up fires under shitty weather conditions... In the end this what tightens the crew the most.
What does #thenegro mean to you? What do you think is next for us?
To be honest I wasn’t around for the trip where the concept was born but I got the vibe right away. #thenegro simply means to me that this project keeps growing and that we can do just as well under the lowest money investment ever known to man! (Laughs) I love you guys!
David Lougedo, backside 360 ollie Galicia, Spain. Ph. Dani Millan
dealer enquiries uk – email@example.com – www.dwindle.com spain – firstname.lastname@example.org – www.dwindle.com germany – email@example.com – www.urbansupplies.com
Karsten Kleppan, Stalefish
It’s hard to find a movie as well loved and quoted by the Scandinavian people as the Swedish movie Sällskapsresan. Sällskapsresan was properly slammed by critics when it first aired in 1980, but that surprisingly didn’t stop 2.5 million Swedes from going to watch it at the cinema. This resulted in it becoming the most viewed Swedish film to this date… We may not be able to claim that the film is a
Words: Magnus Kreiberg Photography: Marcel Veldman
David Jakinda, Crooked grind
ground-breaking cinematic masterpiece, but it does deliver an edgy (yet fun) semblance to humour at a nicely digestible pace. The movie was a huge hit even amongst the Russian audience. Apparently, they fell in love with the â€˜drinking brothersâ€™ and the enthusiastic tour guide. SĂ¤llskapsresan also won the Russo Award for the best tourist film in 1981. This was the first time the prize had been awarded to a feature film.
Danijel Stankovic, Frontside kickflip Sällskapsresan is often referred to as the most watched Scandinavian movie of all time and perhaps it is also the most beloved. So what if we fast forwarded 37 years from recording day and tried the same recipe as the good old movie? What if we sent a few Swedes, a few Danes and a Norwegian on a charter trip to the Canary Islands for a week? To spice things up we’d even throw in a few skateboards, a team manager as well as a photographer and a filmer to document the whole thing! It would be interesting to see the reception we would get from the critics… ‘Finns det svenskt kaffe på grisfesten?’ SUNTRIP Scandinavia! A family of three kingdoms in northern Europe full of mythological fairy tales of Vikings, Princes and Princesses! Or just three very
Hugo Boserup, Backside channel ollie
cold countries full of tall blue-eyed blondes… Scandinavia includes Denmark, Norway and Sweden. We all feel connected under the spell of the word ‘Scandinavians’ and even though our languages are by definition different we still converse amongst each other in our own respectable native tongues. For those who have been through Scandinavia it goes without saying that Denmark is simply the best country of the three. That being said I will concede that the breed of women in Norway and Sweden is also breath-taking and that I’m proud to have some good friends scattered throughout those two neighbouring countries. With all that in mind, you see how it would make sense for me to head south with my Scandinavian family in order to escape the cold ass winter to sing, drink and maybe even skate a little. Jugga made sure we dressed the part in honour of Sällskapsresan. Vaughan made sure most of us flew out together from Copenhagen (the capital of Scandinavia) and with all of that being arranged,
Karsten and myself cooked a pre ‘Sun Trip with The Doggies’ dinner for the majority of the squad the night before we took off. I’m not going to bore you with a diary of the trip but maybe you’ll have caught glimpses of our shenanigans through Ville and Karsten’s mixtapes on Instagram or maybe by now, if Tao hasn’t blown it, the
Hugo Boserup, Frontside air
proper edit of our trip will be online. I will add this: the food was good, the island beautiful and the spots shitty; but for these particular Scandinavian boys that wasn’t a problem. Everything got shredded (obviously not by me) and the sun shined enough for everyone to get burnt. We even found ourselves hoping for rain on a couple of days (and we got it) but that had mostly to do with our heavy hangovers. I would like to thank the whole Doggies family for an amazing charter trip to Gran Canaria! The Family includes ‘The Grandparents’: Jugga, Vaughan and Marcel. Jugga has known me since before I got pubes and has always looked after me from across the bridge in Malmö. He’s been killing it on and off his board for the last 14 years we’ve known each other. Vaughan has been taking care of me for quite some time now and beating me in games of s.k.a.t.e. for just
Oskar Rozenberg Hallberg, Frontside ollie
as long! Marcel is a grumpy little Dutchman that kills it with the photos (as seen in this mag) and drives a van better than anyone I know. The fucker drove for the whole trip! Then we have ‘The Daddies’: Karsten and I. Karsten is the fucking best skateboarder, best human being and together ‘we have found love in a hopeless place’. We obviously had to bring ‘The Kids’: Ville, Hugo Tao, Oski and Jaaaaakiiinda. Ville and Hugo I’ve known since they were babies. I used to help them with their math assignments so they were allowed to go skate. I’m proud to say they have grown into two amazing young men I call my friends and their skating blows my mind every day. Jaaaaaaakiiiiinnda I’ve met through Hugo and Ville and like most Swedish people (apart from Tao), he is polite as fuck and a genuine, great guy! Ossssssskkkkkiiiiiiiii I’ve seen almost since I started to come over to Malmö. He used to be a baby in the bowl, now he’s a spicy and good looking young man who eats more than me and whose skateboarding is the most natural thing I’ve ever seen. A favourite! Tao, my ginger little brother, is the most professional unprofessional. We will make a good man out of him some day! His filming is growing with him; he is a fun fuck and I love him together with the rest of the family! – ‘When a maaaaaaann Loooooves a wooooman!’ – Burgerkongen (Magnus Kreiberg)
Magnus Kreiberg, Kickflip
Ville Wester, Backside smith grind
VICTOR PELLEGRIN Skateboarding has introduced me to A LOT of carefree human beings in the past 15 years that it’s taken over my life. To the point where I can’t help but wonder if it attracts them, or if it’s the activity itself that brings it out of us. Probably a bit of both... Either way none of the ‘relaxed’ personalities I’ve come across compare to the Jedi level of insouciance Victor shows on a daily basis. It’s hard to think of anything life could throw at
him that he wouldn’t be able to laugh off after a session the next day. So where is all this positivity coming from? ‘I think I’d just been such a dickhead for so long that it got to a point where I didn’t have a choice. I had to switch things up.’ Well, dickhead or not, what’s certain is that Victor Pellegrin sure crammed enough into his 26 years of existence to grow up a hell of a lot faster than most of us. — Arthur Derrien
Arthur Derrien: Yoooooo! [A mountain of curly hair appears on my screen. Victor’s eyes are nowhere to be seen but he’s already laughing about something.] Victor Pellegrin: Hey! I completely forgot we were supposed to do this ha ha... I literally just woke up!
No worries man, want me to call you back in a few hours?
Nah it’s cool. I’m just going to roll this zoot then I’m good!
Where are you right now?
Well right now I’m at a mate’s place in Biarritz (south of France) but I’ve been living in Hossegor.
What’s it like there? I haven’t been in ages but I remember it being pretty shit for skating… Yeah it definitely sucks for skating but it’s great for partying, ha ha. And surfing!
Oh yeah you’ve been surfing quite a lot recently haven’t you? Yeah man I love it! I’ve been surfing for about three years. We’ve got a really good crew at the moment: Sam (Partaix) is here, Lucas (Puig) is here... Everyone’s super hyped on surfing. It’s sick! Last summer I surfed so much I got proper hench though. Like I put on twelve kilos, ha ha. I looked ridiculous.
I bet it felt weird…
Yeah definitely! Especially for skating. I felt way too heavy. I wasn’t comfortable on my board. And slamming really hurt... I’ve lost it all now though.
I’m not surprised. I bet when winter kicked in the drinking got rid of that excess muscle in no time, ha ha. You’ve always done a lot of other sports as well as skating right? Didn’t you and your brother used to do a lot of Motocross? Yeah I come from a family of Motocross riders. I did that for a bit but I’m sure you can imagine the kind of scene that is... It’s a proper Monster/Red Bull jock kind of vibe so I wasn’t really feeling it.
That’s when you were living in the countryside right?! Livron was it?
Good memory! Yeah that’s just what you do when you grow up in
Ollie over to nosebluntslide Lisbon Ph. DVL
Nosebluntslide Sibiu, Romania Ph. Fabien Ponsero
the countryside: ride motorbikes, BMX, go fishing, build huts, etc...
At what point did you move to Lyon then?
Well I didn’t go straight to Lyon, I went to Nimes first. I got into some beef at home and it escalated to a point where I didn’t really have a choice. I just had to leave.
What do you mean ‘beef’?
Basically I got myself into some pretty shady business and made a lot of money that wasn’t exactly clean... Someone stole the money off me, so I stole it back but had to get the fuck out of there.
How old were you? Fifteen.
Yeah I was fifteen. I’d boyed off school and had shitloads of money so I just went to Nîmes (south of France) where I got myself a flat and stuff. It was pretty mad.
What the fuck! What about your parents? Did they have anything to say about this or were they never really in the picture?
Yeah they never gave a fuck about me.
What were you doing when you were in Nimes then? Just skating?
Yeah I just skated there for like two years then went to Lyon.
How did you find that?
I don’t know if you remember but I wasn’t doing so good when I was out there. I was just staying indoors getting fucked up all the time... It had nothing to do with the place itself though. Now I love going back there and get along really well with everyone. I think it was just me and what I was going through at that point...
That’s when you started to skate for that Blaze company right?
Yeah. Actually no at first I was skating for Jart, ha ha. That company is the fucking worst...
I just think that brand sucks. I don’t like those guys and what they contribute to skating is just stinking.
Where did you go after Lyon? Is this when you went travelling?
No after Lyon I went to Montpellier for a bit first, fell
Kickflip nosegrind Alicante Ph. DVL
in love there, lost my shit when it ended and decided I needed a proper break from everything. I’d made quite a lot from some stupid comps at that point and thought it would be a good idea to use the money to go travelling.
Where did you go again?
Thailand, Malaysia, Borneo and loads of islands around there... I’d been sent to Malaysia a few months before for some weird contest/demo thing and had visited the Langkawi Islands. I fell in love with that place... This was when I’d just started getting into surfing so I thought it would be cool to go away and do that for a bit. I didn’t even bring the skateboard! Best trip of my life: just being alone on the most beautiful Islands surrounded by turquoise water... The food was incredible...
Was it not tough being on your own?
Obviously it was really hard at times, it forced me to face a lot of stuff... I found myself crying my eyes out alone more than once but I learnt so much from it. And I met tons of amazing people out there... Plus I linked up with Kevin Vu (skater from Belgium) when he was living in Phuket. That dude is such a legend...
So I’ve heard! I didn’t realise he was living out there. What did you think of Thailand?
Kevin was there for a bit; he’s back in Brussels now though. Well I loved most aspects of the culture but in the main cities a lot of the people I met were just horrible, really wealthy dudes out there for sex tourism. Especially the French people you meet... It’s pretty depressing.
What would you say was the highlight of your trip?
I don’t know it’s tough. Maybe Borneo... It’s probably the most beautiful place I’ve ever visited. It’s paradise. I found myself swimming with these giant sea turtles, clinging onto their backs... I’ve got so many incredible memories from there.
Sketchiest situation you found yourself in? Again it’s a tough one, I ended up in so many... Maybe this one time on a fishing boat when the
Feeble grind pop-out Athens Ph. DVL
Wallie Athens Ph. DVL
fishermen tried to steal all my shit. You know those ones that look like they’re made of plastic with the little motor at the back? Anyway I was trying to get to an island and I asked these fishermen to take me. We’d agreed on a fee before I got on board but when we got close to the destination they started telling me it was a different price... I told them that the amount we agreed on was all I had but they said they wanted more so they started trying to take my shit.
What did you do?
I’d noticed that they had this big knife on the boat so I quickly grabbed that and threatened to pierce a hole in
the boat. ‘If you don’t give me my shit right now I’m stabbing through the bottom of this boat and none of us will be going anywhere.’
How did they react to that?
They backed away so I took all my shit, jumped into the water and swam to the shore. People on the beach were tripping when they saw me swimming up to them with all my bags balanced on my head!
Sounds insane… And from there you went straight to Barca?
Yeah ha ha. Went from that crazy trip to a month of straight partying in Barca then straight onto a gnarly Volcom tour with all the US guys, even though I was only flow for Volcom in
50-50 Grind Cluj-Napoca, Romania Ph. Fabien Ponsero
France. I was with Colin Provost, Daan, etc. Going from basically no skating to that was pretty interesting believe me... I still remember thinking to myself ‘okay I really need to go all in for this one’ but still having the wobbliest legs, ha ha.
I remember the photos from that trip. You somehow killed it! How come your footage never made it into the video (Holy Stokes)?
Damn that’s a bit of a shame…
Yeah but at least now I’m properly on I guess. And we’re working on a video of some kind for Vans Europe so some of it will probably end up in that.
Do you film much when you aren’t on trips?
Never. I never do Instagram videos or anything like that either. You’ve skated with me, you know that when I’m skating Because I was as flow as you I’m too absorbed to be thinking could possibly be at that point. about taking my phone out to film I’d basically just tagged along and shit. I’m having too much on their trip and went in. A lot of that footage still hasn’t come fun! Although I did learn how to
repost on Instagram the other day since the Internet I’ve just been so I’ve started doing that. less into watching skating. Back in the day I’d watch stuff like I always felt like skateboarding (the Charles (Collet’s) part in Bon activity itself) you love, but everything Appétit so much that I’d fuck up else around it you never really had the VHS. The Flip videos too... much time for. I used to know Sorry and Really Absolutely. Everything else kind Sorry by heart. Now every day of just pisses me off to be there’s a new part that’s insane! honest. I can’t keep up with this You don’t even watch that many skate nonsense! Like that guy that videos do you? jumps down all the kinked Not really no. Although I did handrails... What’s his name? watch that new Welcome video the Martinez or something... other day. It was incredible! But yeah I used to be a bit more David Gonzales? of a geek when it came to that Cole Wilson! stuff... I think for some reason Ah…
Backside tailslide Alicante Ph. DVL
Dude’s barely more than four feet tall with his arms up in the air yet he’s still kickflipping onto kinked rails!
this demo in a cage at the festival and they let the Viking dwarf into the cage. He had long blonde hair, a kilt and a crazy You’re skating for Antiz at the moment hat with horns sticking out and someone frontside flipped over right? How’s that? You been on any of him out of a kicker! It was so those Hellfest trips (skate tour gnarly... Gnarlier than seeing organised around a metal festival)? Motörhead live. The people who Yeah! I actually kind of got on were watching the demo could not Antiz around one of those. I was on a Volcom trip and the plan was believe it! Everyone was going wild, we started smashing all the to meet the Antiz guys at the festival. I partied with them for Red Bull fridges on the copings, focused all the boards, stuffed a few days then decided to jump them into what was left of the in the van with them because I was on a hype and it kind of just Red Bull fridges and set fire to it all... We seriously ripped happened like that. that cage apart. It was madness. But yeah the Hellfest is so fucking messy... I’d end up Sounds like it… And aside from that, not sleeping from Thursday to how’s it been travelling with Antiz? Sunday and having to skate these Riding for Antiz and travelling weird demos in the middle of the with them has been so sick. It’s festival. proper gypsy style. Every night it’s ‘okay I’m drunk enough to go Were you there for the frontside to sleep’; it’s usually freezing flipping of the dwarf? Yeah! We were all fucked, skating in the tents so that’s what
Crailslide Fontenay-le-Comte, France Ph. Fabien Ponsero
Gap to lipslide Alicante Ph. DVL
you’ve got to do if you want to make it through the night! That and making sure you’re not sleeping too far from the person next to you, ha ha. They’re the only trips I’ve been on where during the day you have to keep an eye out for cardboard boxes to sleep on in the evening... If you’re going on a trip and you’re staying in a hotel after the sessions it’s often
each man in his own room, on his Instagram... On Antiz trips you’re all looking for spots to shower and brush your teeth together or helping with the BBQ so you really feel like you’re all on the same mission. Plus you’re 24/7 together so you’re forced to chat and properly get to know each other. The Antiz style of skate trips really brings people together.
Gustav TĂ¸nnesen switch frontside crooked grind into the bank
SOUR in Valencia Words Sami Seppala
SLABS & PORK Photography Sam Ashley
Valencia is a great city. Located 350 kilometres down from Barcelona, it has one of the best climates in Europe, the food is great, the spots are plenty and it’s easy to move around. If the weather turns rainy in the good old Barna – it’s a good idea to head a few hours further down south. This is what Sour did with Smashers taking a quick Brexit to smash glasses and shoot the photos that adorn these pages. Barney, Simon, Nisse, Jack and Gustav drove down from Barci – Bjorn followed later and new rider Martin Sandberg flew in from Sweden on a moments notice. Josef was nursing his broken arm. Spangs, Koffe, EJP and Abbe were detained by life. Sounds civilised? Well – it wasn’t. At least half the crew turned pork on the way down. Countless slabs were drunk. A man with a bat chased ‘em down the street. They got into the usual situations in the evening. They were told they are going nowhere and Simon ate a legendary amount of burritos. But as always on Sour trips – the Gustav Tønnesen skating was on point. frontside noseslide After a week on the transfer to fakie road we are regrouping in the Sour cave in Barcelona. Nisse is cooking one of his famous pasta dishes. A few calming beers are drank. Gustav is looking over the footy on the Sour ping-pong table. He’s starting to throw a rough edit together from his and Jack’s footage. The results you can see soon on the Free site. Barney has just left to catch a plane to the US. It’s been a bit of a blur.
Simon Isaksson ollie from wedge onto block
Gustav Tønnesen frontside kickflip over the hip at ‘not a skatepark’
Barney Page ollie over bar to backside lipslide
Sami Seppala: So what happened on this one?
Jack Thompson: Barney and I went to pick up the van. We got denied. Why?
Jack: ‘Cause we didn’t have the credit card. Nisse Ingemarsson: It cost us €350. We can’t get the money back. Another fuck up in the life of Sour.
Jack: Then a lovely lady at another company gave us one – which just turned out to be a good old blacked out Mercedes. Nisse: On the outside. Jack: Blacked out on the outside – grey in the inside. Then we drove across the country to Valencia ‘cause I claimed I could do it without GPS. How long did it take you?
Jack: Like seven hours.
(Valencia is about three hours straight down the coast from Barcelona)
Nisse: Aux cables were breaking down and we
had to buy beers. Jack: Then we got there and drank tequila shots ‘til seven in the morning on Sunday night, slept for two hours and tried to skate. Nisse: That was not on. Barney and I slept on some spots. I heard from Bjorn there was a bar with 50-cent beers next to where you stayed?
Jack: One-Euro pints. Sam couldn’t stop smashing glasses. Was Sam hating you? Why?
Jack: No. He was all smashing glasses.
Jack: ‘Cause his name is Smashley. Smashley by name, Smashley by nature. Is it true if I claim that there were three human beings and three porks on the trip?
Jack: Ha ha... I’d say there were definitely more than three porks. Who are the humans? Is Martin a pork or a human?
Gustav TĂ¸nnesen frontside bluntslide BenetĂşsser
Martin Sandberg frontside crooked grind to fakie
Nisse Ingemarsson ollie over to smith grind
Jack: He’s a pork.
I think Gus, Simon and Smashley are humans.
Jack: I don’t know. Smashley is a bit of a pork. Nisse: He’s a bit of both Martin Sandberg: I feel like half & half. Jack: He’s on the transformation to become a Nisse: Martin’s on the training program.
What’s up with the pork? How did that come about?
Jack: I don’t know. Ask Barney. Barney Page (via iMessage): Ha ha, well we were at the office one morning after a long couple of nights. Me and a few other guys had stayed in the night before – but Jackass Jack powered through and went to this weed maps party. The next morning Jack rolls in
and someone asks him to do something and he replies with a saggy swollen red face: ‘Come on man all night I danced like pork’. Ha ha, me and Nisse were dying with laughter! So from that moment everything went pork! (Sami sends an iMessage to Sam) What you think of these porks?
Sam Ashley: They might be porks but they’re the best at being porks, which is commendable, I think. On the skating side?
Sam: Highly functioning porks.
Was there something that really stained your mind?
Sam: Ability to locate slabs close (or otherwise) to every spot.
Jack: Oh yeah we’re starting a new app Slab Maps (© Sour Solution 2017). It helps you to find the nearest vendor of slabs worldwide.
What about the Loop Man? Jack: The Loop Man. He’s not a human, but he’s not a pork. Something else. And Gustav – are you tired of these guys?
Gustav Tønnesen: Mmmm…
(Gustav isn’t the best talker. He does all the talking on his board.) Martin, when did you fly in?
Martin: Tuesday, I think.
Barney Page 180 to fakie 5-0 revert
How did that happen?
Martin: I was out partying on Saturday night. Bjorn messaged me: ‘You wanna go to Valencia on Monday?’ Yeah for sure. That was pretty dope, to escape the cold.
What were your first feelings seeing the boys?
Martin: I lost my bag the first thing. So no board... I got it in a few days. Jack: You should mention how many slabs got drunk. What’s a slab?
Jack: a 24-pack of beers.
How many did you guys take down?
Nisse Ingemarsson kickflip backside tailslide
Barney Page frontside boardslide
Jack: At least 200 of ‘em. Nisse: To keep the motivation up. Then we went Radio City (a bar). Jack: A rich old English guy bought us a fuckload of drinks and told us we should lose Barney ‘cause he is going nowhere. He was a fucking bum. An imposter. Who? Barney or the dude? Barney is a bit of a bum.
Jack: Yeah I know – we all are. Nisse: It was a Mexican tour: a lot of burritos – a lot of beer. Jack: Simon is a legend in the burrito spot. He ate three burritos in one night – one for him, two for the tapeworm. Simon, how was the trip?
Simon Isaksson: Yeah they had great burritos in Valencia but nothing compared to Luleå (north Sweden). I’m Happy to be back in Barcelona. Did you find anything fun to skate?
Simon: Yes a lot. But the van didn’t stop at those spots
Simon’s got an appetite for weird shit. How was the skating there? I’ve heard that all the spots are in the centre. Everyone says you just cruise around.
Jack: I don’t know... We drove everywhere. We drove everywhere but everything was in the centre. You were just dumb or what?
Jack: No, we just wanted to drive the van all week and look cool, ha ha. Like an American holiday?
Martin: It was good though. It would have been a complete bust otherwise. Jack: Yeah, everything is like 15-minute drive to every single spot – even if you’re next to it. Because there’s like a ring road and a crazy one-way system – so you go all the way around again and again. Nisse: And then we ate the worst paella. Jack: Don’t ever eat paella in Valencia. They claim it’s from there but it’s a fraud.
(OK – these guys know fuck all about food. But Bjorn (Holmenäs) confirms that meal was shit.)
Jack: Fish was all rubbery in there.
Martin: Paella with rabbit bone in there. Jack: It’s a miracle no one got sick. Martin: But we got the Baileys in the coffee for free though. Nisse: And the man with the bat. Oh yeah the man with the bat. What was that all about?
Martin: That was an adrenaline rush for sure. Jack: It was at the spot where Barney did back lip over the rail and Nisse did back smith. Wherever that is, we got kicked out two times by two different angry cunts. We went back for a 007 stealth mission for a third go. On that one Nisse’s third try got the trick. The dude sneaked onto us, popped out of the garage door with a bat and chased us down the road. Bjorn was sitting in a café looking at us being chased by a guy with a bat. (A lot of laughter). I happened to leave the camera on. Check it. Bjorn, how is it to manage these guys?
Bjorn Holmenäs: It’s a bit tricky for sure – but
I’ve learned not to worry. They are all grown-ups now. I used to be more worried – now they are probably more worried about me. I don’t really understand how it all happens. All the late nights and late mornings, the endless supermarket missions and driving around in circles not knowing where to go – and the end result is almost always amazing. Maybe it’s that they don’t waste time on the spots.
Bjorn: Well yeah the skating always comes first. Looking at the footage you know that slabs or not – business is handled. Any situation or spot there is always something going down. What impresses you the most?
Bjorn: It’s just how well everyone handles tour life while being productive at the same time. Gus, what you say?
Gustav: I don’t know; it’s a nice city.
Are we gonna go again?
Everyone agrees: YEAH!!!
Simon Isaksson backside nosegrind revert
Barney Page ollie out past the window to wallride
Filip Almqvist Backside smith grind London Ph. Alex Pires
Daniel Cardone Lien to tail Arenys de Munt, Spain Ph. Alberto Polo
Jan Hoffmann Frontside wallride grab out Hamburg Ph. Friedjof Feye
Manny Lopez Frontside bluntslide to fakie London Ph. Reece Leung
Sean Hanley frontside nosepick Barcelona Ph. Gerard Riera
Michal Juras Wallie Warsaw Ph. Kuba BÄ…czkowski
Eniz Fazliov Backside tailslide Mallorca Ph. Fabien Ponsero
Didrik Galasso Frontside 50-50 grind Barcelona Ph. Roger Ferrero
85 Kickflip San Francisco Ph. Marcel Veldman
OSKAR ROZENBERG HALLBERG ‘I just did the interview and I don’t know man... I’m not really hyped on it. I don’t know what it is... I think I just don’t like talking about myself.’ It’s two days after the text submission deadline for this issue. Oski’s supposed to have the big interview this month, with possibly some of the best shots we’ll ever print. He doesn’t know this but we’ve chosen one of them for the cover. As it stands we haven’t seen a single word of the text that’s supposed to accompany it. On the phone he sounded worried. I am worried. This is shit. Being good at skating is one thing, being comfortable with how you come across in interviews is a whole other. Think of the thousands of skaters who from these few pages will be forming an opinion about your personality? If I were in Oski’s position, I’d
86 Ollie the gap into the bank Paris Ph. Alex Pires
be stressing about it too. Especially if I’d worked as hard as he did on this. Does that mean that he takes himself too seriously? Of course not. It takes about eight seconds to figure that out when you meet him. He’s as down to earth as they get. All it means is that he actually cares about what we do and not coming across like an asshole. I bet Nyjah and Corey Duffel would have been better off taking a leaf out of his book. So where does that leave us? Well somehow we’ve ended up with not one but two very different interviews. The first was conducted by his former teacher at the Bryggeriet Skate School in Malmö: Gustav Eden. The second by one of his closest friends and Polar teammate: David Stenström. Easy to see how the two of these might complement each other. – Arthur Derrien
87 Frontside 5-0 grind through the kink San Francsico Ph. Marcel Veldman
First interview by Gustav Eden We are sitting in a café in Malmö on a cold April Tuesday, the weekend after Vert Attack XI. John Magnusson, skate godfather of Malmö and filmer/ hypist Tor ‘Tao’ Ström have joined Oski to get this interview logged and ready. Gustav Eden: You’ve been on a few trips with P-Stone lately...
Oskar Rozenberg Hallberg: Yeah I was travelling with him because we were filming for my Thrasher part that came out. You get into a lot of interesting situations when you’re travelling with P-stone. Sometimes it might be tricky to get out of them but we always do. He knows how to have a good time like no one else and he is the best traveller I know. He takes good care of his friends. John Magnusson: So that part – that was sick, obviously, but how much time did you actually spend on that? How many trips?
Well maybe eight during a year and a half. Well most of it was during one year and then I spent all of last July in the US with Nando, Jakko, Grant and Cory as well as P-stone, Pat, Joe and BHD. GE: How is that crew to hang out with?
You get stoked to skate, because that’s all they do. They don’t give a shit about anything else and just shred. They skate a lot. JM: Well that’s different from some people. Some people wait for their spot – Personally I like when they skate everything and don’t hold back. And sometimes you see people in videos that you don’t quite get and then you see them in real life and realise what the hype is about.
Yes well like you told me once – you can’t have a favourite skater unless you’ve seen them in real life. JM: No you can’t – It’s a different thing.
Well both Cory and Grant are better live. They just skate everything and give it all the time. Tao: What about Patlanta?
Yes do you know him – Pat McLain? He is one of the guys behind the Atlanta DIY spot – the one they are tearing down. Tao: Have you signed the petition? (Google: Atlanta DIY petition I-85)
Yeah, they have about 18,000 signatures…
89 Wallride ollie out to fakie Eslöv, Sweden Ph. Nils Svensson
GE: Did you take part in any of the building?
Yep just a little though – maybe for a day or two. JM: Ask Grant’s dad to come to Vert Attack – he’s a vert skater. He can be in the father and son division.
Well he’s got a foot injury, but when we were out there he came down and slashed around. He was really stoked. JM: How is the park at their house?
It’s good – we skated that.
GE: Any good stories?
Some good P-stone stories...
GE: By all means share. Tao: How about the glass bottle story?
One morning in Atlanta we were skating down the street from Grant’s house and I see P-stone and Pat share a board in the sense where Pat would be running for a bit while P-stone was skating and vice versa... When P-stone was running I noticed he had a glass bottle in his back pocket. When it was P-stone’s turn to skate Pat sent the board in his direction and when P-stone landed on the board he lost balance, shot out and fell backwards. He broke the bottle and got cut pretty bad. His pants started getting bloody so we went over to Pat’s house to try and dress the cut in his living room. That did not work out too good so we got in Pat’s car and drove to a friend’s house. The friend that we originally were heading to before P-stone got cut. Out on our friend’s terrace Pat stepped up and cleaned the cut with some Jäger before he tried to sew it up with a bent fishing hook and a wire. That was the best material we had. Pat is not a doctor so he was not used to doing emergency surgeries like that and I could definitely tell by the expression on his face. P-stone calmed him down by assuring Pat that he was in no pain. This went on for what seemed like a long hour and Pat was getting more
and more stressed as the fish-hook was getting stuck in the cut. Luckily the house owner’s neighbour who was a nurse came over to smoke some weed at the terrace. After she smoked her joint she handled the situation with some proper equipment. P-stone’s cut got fixed and he was very thankful to the lady. I would have been too. We could go on with our day thanks to the friendly Georgian lady. This was the day before Thanksgiving and since we had planned a secret mission for early Thanksgiving morning some of us went to bed early.
We were done with the mission as well as an extra mission by lunchtime on Thanksgiving Day. Then we went to Pat’s family house and had Thanksgiving dinner all day. Thanks Pat! JM: So you’ve been travelling a lot then – is it really all it’s made out to be?
(Laughs) It’s the best. Just skating all the time. You camp, skate different spots and see different environments. You might find yourself on a boat, in a van, setting up a tent on top of a hill, sleeping by the fire, swimming in the Columbian river before you get kicked out by the sheriff, meeting 100 new friends, meet up with P-Stone’s friends, crash at theirs, sleep
in a hotel, new day, new city, forests, mountains, BBQs… It’s so much fun but you got to keep it tight!
try and hold anyone else back from what they want to do, I’m just gonna be sleeping instead.
JM: I had another question about your part. You have several people travelling across the There’s a lot of drinking world with you, hotels paid for, and smoking, which is fine with expenses paid, etc. When you think about it, it’s a crazy me. There’s definitely more amount of money to pay for than that but it’s pretty rare I something that I feel like just would say – at least in the drifts by in the feed over three scene that I’m around. I don’t mind it that much, but I like the days. JM: How much drugs are in that scene?
skating part of it more. I know that when I get back home I won’t be able to skate all these different places and the weather will probably be worse too. But it’s not like I’m gonna
Well, for me it’s worth it.
(Everyone laughs) GE: You’ve been travelling and filming with Tao quite a bit – is it good to have a good friend along for the ride?
Yeah for sure we just came back from a three and a half week trip in the States together – it’s nice to have someone you know that well when you are that far away. I’ve been on a lot of trips with Nando too. We know each other really well, obviously, so that’s been good.
(We watch Oski’s new part filmed by Tao. At one point Oski tries to ollie a set of stairs on a ship.) GE: Where is that?!
In Sicily, we skated this boat. The captain wanted
us to skate it, so we asked ‘where?’ and he pointed at the stairs and said ‘there’, so we had to give it a whirl.
Tao: We were having dinner in Sicily and someone at the table behind us asked us where we were from, and when he found out we were all from different
you a ticket?
Yeah he was going to. Right after I landed the trick I told him I didn’t have any ID on me so he asked for my address. I told him my Swedish address. That he did not like. And then he found out we were all from Europe. Tao: He said ‘I’m gonna get Trump to deport your ass!’ GE: So the Polar video came out and was really well received. Have you had good feedback from that? JM: Have you had any major offers from random sponsors?
No not really. The only ‘major offer’ I can think of is when Universal Studios were in touch about doing some music video with ‘Sweden’s biggest rock-band’. I checked out a song they did on YouTube and was like ‘Nope!’. I get a lot of those kinds of things. There are a lot of people on Instagram that want me to do stuff for them.
JM: With these kinds of decisions, do you ever ask anyone for advice or to check to see if it’s OK?
I make those decisions myself. If I don’t feel like it I don’t do it. I just want to do the kind of thing that Tao and I have been working on now. JM: Well that’s all fine now that you have an income but I suppose that may change. What width board do you skate?
GE: Shoe size?
US 7 or 7.5.
Tao: The outfit is more important than the setup.
91 Frontside air Stapelbäddsparken, Malmö Ph. Nils Svensson
countries, he was stoked. In the end he invited us to dinner and to perhaps try skating the boat the next day. We didn’t know what to expect, but when we arrived they served grilled rabbit, freshly brewed beer and let us skate the boat. It’s 104
metres long and 150 people work on it, saving refugees from Syria. GE: Amazing! (We see the last trick, which is... Watch the clip, fools!) GE: Was that cop giving
That’s true. The clothes are more important for the skating than the board. It’s all in my head, but if I feel like my shirt is too tight, or something doesn’t feel right, that’s way worse. I would try and skate most setups, like that kickflip in SF. That was on Nando’s board. If you have a bad board but a good outfit at least you can be like: ‘I’m over it; I’m gonna go do something else.’ GE: So with the Vans Park Series, you have been put under the public spotlight quite a bit. Being one of the fifteen selected riders and a Malmö local, you have been part of the story for the event and set up to be the ‘hometown hero’. How
do you feel about that kind of attention? JM: Be honest – you don’t like it. World Championship final, headlines in the press, people with O.S.K.I. signs in the audience... That’s pressure, that’s not necessarily fun.
True. I don’t like it because I just want to skate. It’s fun with comps if you get to go to places, but when I’m here I am just at home and everyone is expecting me to perform. I feel like I don’t skate because I want to, but because other people expect it. It can be a bit too much. GE: Do your sponsors expect you to do well?
Well of course they would like
me to. They wouldn’t pressure me, but they care about it
GE: At the same time, there are a lot more aspects to a skater than his or her contest results. What do you feel matters more?
skating, seeing friends and having fun, but you realise pretty quickly that not everyone thinks like that. Some people go to wear their cap and win. But then that affects the session. Those guys drop in before and after I do, so it affects the whole vibe and atmosphere in the bowl.
Tao: Well that’s the difference with travelling with P-Stone and people like that...
GE: Well isn’t that what differentiates the people on the good type of trips from some of the other characters in skateboarding?
Well, it’s about being unique, really.
Yeah or with Polar, it’s less pressure and more about the fun. With the big contests, I go for the purpose of travelling somewhere new,
If you’re skating for money then that shines through straight away. People choose to skate with the people they like. There are a lot of factors that weigh in, but in the end the skaters you like are the ones that seem like cool people. GE: Well you’re kind of in the middle of forces within skating pulling in different directions. On the one hand, you ride for Nike and are part of the Park Series’ select riders. On the other hand, you are in the mix with some pretty select credible crew. Do you feel that there is a conflict there at all?
No I don’t feel there is a conflict. Travelling, skating and having fun with people that want to travel, skate and have fun is the point. Travelling to go to comps is an experience and that makes it fun. I’ve never met anyone who had anything negative to say about me being in the Park Series. The first comps I ever went to were the Betongcupen ones, which were kind of the same idea as the Park Series – a tour of different stops and comps. Those are probably still my favourite comps. Cram everyone into a van, skate a bunch of parks on the way to the comp, sleep in some gym hall, skate the comp, meet all your friends from other cities and do the same on the way back. It’s more like a tour. You don’t really care about the comp – you just want to skate and that’s what everyone is there to do. 92 Smith grind pop-over San Francisco Ph. Marcel Veldman
GE: It seems you’ve still got the hunger to skate.
I want to skate right now.
GE: Well we should wind this up soon, then. Are you staying in Malmö for a while?
We’re actually moving to Copenhagen for the summer in a few
93 Wallride melon grab out San Francisco Ph. Marcel Veldman
94 Frontside air to frontside grind Gran Canaria Ph. Marcel Veldman
Tao: We have a flat over summer there.
GE: How is the Copenhagen scene different from the Malmö scene?
In Malmö, there are more organised skateboarding activities, like what you and Bryggeriet do. In Copenhagen it’s more the skaters like Hjalte and those guys that push the day-to-day. And there are more spots in Copenhagen. There are good spots in Malmö too, but Copenhagen is a bigger city. GE: So what do you do besides skating?
Tao: He reads a lot.
I’m reading a book right now called ‘Sapiens’. It’s about the evolution of mankind. It’s good. JM: OK I’m interested in hearing about what it’s like to be on Nike in the way that you are. They are obviously investing in you. Do they just let you go where you want to go, pretty much?
Well, it’s been like that lately when filming for this new part. They really look after me. I’ve been able to tell them I want to go somewhere and they’ve made it happen. Then it’s also been trips where they tell me, ‘Hey – next week this crew is going here, you’re going’, which has been cool as well, because you get thrown into a new mix. GE: And now you have a shoe coming out?
A colourway, yes. It’s a Dunk Elite. I designed it. I wanted a clean shoe with a classic look. GE: Do you have interests besides skating? Do you make sure to check things out when you travel?
Well, you kind of do other things while skating. Like in New York, there’s nothing better than skating around, looking at the people, seeing the city, then hit a spot, meet new people, then someone gets pissed off at you for skating and you talk to that person, then you go somewhere else, jump a fence... It’s an adventure in itself. When we were at the Brooklyn Banks, we saw Gonz there who was out skating on a longboard. It was really cool to see him because he was just
95 Manual Paris Ph. Alex Pires
skating; he didn’t have skate shoes or anything. He tried the same trick for hours, slamming really hard, but just going for it. It was really inspiring to see his approach. Then the cops arrived and we all had to get out of there. GE: So, final words... What’s so good about this whole skating business?
Well it’s the freedom. It’s the part you can’t explain. Looking out the window in the morning, seeing it’s a nice day, going out skating, meeting up with friends, maybe do a trick you thought about two weeks
ago or learn something you never thought of. Improvise. Second Interview by David Stenström David Stenström: How do you feel about living in Malmö?
Oskar Rozenberg Hallberg: I like living in Malmö; I’ve lived here my whole life. It’s a bit small. The summers are good but the winters are a bit heavy on people. What are you doing if you’re not skating?
I sleep a lot. This week I slept 12-13 hours every night since I just came back from a three-week trip. I
also look at a lot of clothes in different stores. What’s your favourite piece of clothing to put on?
This pair of corduroy pants I bought in a second-hand store in NYC two weeks ago. How did it feel to be on Polar when it started and what’s the difference now?
When I first got on I was 13 and you were 15. I remember that I wanted to do more of it, like skate more with you, Hjalte, Jakke, Pontus, Nils and the crew more often. Now we’re doing more of it but I still feel like we’re not doing as much as I would like. It’s coming though. Who is your favourite skater to watch live?
I like watching my friends skate like you, Hjalte or Grant. Emile from Portland is one of my favourites, also Gonz... I would like to see Brent Atchley skate. He’s got one of my favourite styles. If you could choose a new name what would it be?
What’s the most boring trick you can think of?
3-shuv. Sorry Ralph.
Has Pontus given you any good tips throughout the years?
He tipped me about skating for
What do you think about the
96 Ph. Veldman
Scandinavian skate Scene?
It’s a local scene. A lot of people know or know of each other. That’s probably the main difference from the scene in the States. Over there there’s way more skaters and I like that because I like meeting new people. I like being able to just go to my local park in Stockholm and three of my friends will be there without having to arrange anything in advance. What’s your favourite album or song? (Oski takes out his phone and puts on a banging Reggie song on Spotify.)
‘Fire house rock’ is the name of the album. ‘Oh what a feeling’ with ‘Wailing Souls’ is the name of this song. If you could do any trick once what would it be?
Switch heelflip over the Mega Ramp without any grab and a very slow flip.
If you had to say something about yourself what would it be?
That I should try
Who has the best frontside air in the game?
Raven & GT have epic ones but my personal favourite is the one J-Mag does.
This chocolate I’m eating right now ‘Tony’s Chocolonely’. The orange one. Would you be down to skate for Skittles?
I would rather skate for M&M’s.
If you could do something you can’t do what would it be?
Live in a dream and paint paintings all day. Are you seeing a girl at the moment?
There are a few I hang out with sometimes but no one special. I would rather skate and travel. What’s the best place to skate at?
Either Stapelbäddsparken where I’ve always skated or somewhere new I’ve never skated before. Recently on a Polar trip in Puerto Rico I skated a park that was designed by the same guy who designed my local park: Stefan Hauser. That park was epic. How do you feel about Tor Ström?
He has no soul, but apart from that he is a legend. Our last trip to SF and NYC was his first time in the States, so he was embracing it 100% by all means. I thought I was going to be over hanging out with someone 24 hours a day for that long of a period, but we had so much fun and I’m stoked to be able to do it again next week when we move to Copenhagen together. Last question: Would you rather make out with Paul Grund or kiss Neckface on the forehead?
I would have to choose Paul. I know him really well and at least he is What inspires you? French. He would be stoked about it. People who don’t worry He would be like: ‘no maybe a little bit too much about how they come more like dis you know? Like dis wit de across. lips.’ How long have we known each other and how much fun have we had together?
Since I was ten, so ten years. Endless fun. The kind of things you will be thinking about when you’re old lying in bed. How long have you been growing your hair now?
For two years.
What’s your favourite pair of shoes?
Jordan 1 to skate and
What’s your favourite candy?
97 Boardslide yank in San Francisco Ph. Marcel Veldman
Ph. Maxime Verret
Everyone got their Oyster?
London is the focus of their next campaign, which you might have guessed by now. But because there were a few different trips with different groups of riders each time it’s hard to write an article summarising ‘the trip’ as a whole. We decided to write about the skaters themselves or rather, we got Canadian team rider Kevin Lowry to do the writing for us. Kevin’s been on trips and tours with these guys so we thought he’d have something to add. Take it away Kevlar! – Will Harmon
Words Kevin Lowry
Adidas in London
London is the biggest city in the EU (for now that is, don’t even get me started about Brexit!) Being such a large city, of course it’s filled with skate spots. But as many know, they are far from perfect. Rough ground, cracks, and general ruggedness has not really made it the go-to skate destination that say Barcelona is. Also London is so spread out you can easily find yourself stuck on public transport for ages trying to go spot to spot. And lastly, London is expensive! Nevertheless over the past 7–8 months the global adidas team has been to London quite a few times.
Gustav Tønnesen, frontside 180 kickflip, Leyton. Ph. Sam Ashley
Creating mind bending, technical skating that very few people can physically attain, all fairly effortlessly… That’s Gustav for ya. He’s a quiet soul that doesn’t need much but his skateboard. A true magician if you will. If you’re able to get him to say more than three words to you, it means he likes you. The epitome of ‘let the skating do the talking’.
Alec Majerus, backside tailslide, Brixton. Ph. Maxime Verret
Alec Majerus Alec is a maniac on the board. He jumps off so much stuff that he broke his leg not from a specific trick, but simply from the build up of stress placed on the leg through repeated impact. Somehow he’s more comfortable on a round bar than he is lying in bed. London’s handrails are far from perfect but he handled them just fine. He makes the rest of us look like we’re using training wheels, the nerve!
Gunes Özdogan, switch backside nosebluntslide, Fenchurch Street. Ph. Alex Pires
Gunes’ look will make you think he’s part of the Turkish mafia: trackie bottoms, football tops, gold chains, always a fresh new steezy haircut, etc. But underneath that gangsta exterior is the sweetest delicate flower. He’d never hurt a fly nor offend anyone. In fact, he could be in the running for the nicest guy on the team – top five at least.
Ph. Maxime Verret
Rodrigo TX, switch pop shuv-it, Angel. Ph. Maxime Verret
Nestor Judkins, backside tailslide, Clapham Junction. Ph. Sam Muller
I’ve been a fan of Nestor since the Bag of Suck era. His certain eye for spots and ability to make skating them look fun is something I’ve always admired. Unfortunately Nestor had an awkward tumble on a mosaic bump at the Peckham library. After a few hours with no signs of healing up, he went to the hospital to find out he had lacerated his kidney with his elbow. Safe to say this London trip was probably not very memorable for him since he spent most of his time in the hospital. There’s always next time!
Mark Suciu, boardslide pop-over, Peckham. Ph. Sam Ashley
Mark showed up on the trip with more books than boards! Right away I knew he was planning to read me bedtime stories every night. Quickly I found out that those were textbooks. Between buying pens, he laid down some amazing skating with clinical precision. Quite a few manual moves at the Waterloo brick bank hip. By the time this magazine comes out Mark will have just graduated with a degree in French literature. TrĂ¨s bien. Hopefully this means he will be back on the streets 24/7 to grace us with a few parts every second month.
Ph. Maxime Verret
Rodrigo TX, switch frontside 180 kickflip, Tate Britain. Ph. Maxime Verret
TX is a flip trick killer with amazing consistency â€“ kinda assassin style, not to mention his favourite word is ninja. Makes me wonder when he will slow down. Most pros that have been doing it as long as him stay at home and skate when they want. Rodrigo has been in the van and on the road for what seems like 15 years plus; heâ€™s still gracing us with top notch skating every time he puts something out. In his genre of skating I think he is one of the best. Speed and pop being the main components.
Rodrigo TX, switch ollie up then switch heelflip, Canada Water. Ph. Maxime Verret
Blondey McCoy, ollie, Stoke Newington. Ph. Sam Muller
Mark Suciu, nose manual, Covent Garden. Ph. Zander Taketomo
I met Blondey for the first time at South Bank when he was about thirteen years old. He seemed to always be hanging out with the older crowd. I’d bet most of his friends are twice his age. Really hoping to see a full part from him in the upcoming Palace video as most of it will be filmed on his home turf and that’s where he skates best. He’s a true Londoner who loves skating. Come to think of it, he probably should have written this article. :p
Ph. Maxime Verret
Gustav TĂ¸nnesen, ollie up then nollie backside flip, Stratford. Ph. Sam Ashley
Kevin Lowry, ollie up then backside 180, Covent Garden. Ph. Zander Taketomo
Known for his pop and his ability to backside 5-0 anything this Canadian has been through London a lot over the years. He’s hit ledges too high for most and ollied things too tall for the majority of the locals here in the Big Smoke. But often times Kevin’s photos and clips don’t do him justice; you need to see the spots in real life to see how gnarly they are. Kevin doesn’t drink or do drugs, he indulged in that stuff during his teenage years and
decided it wasn’t his thing by the time he became an adult. His vice is coffee though, and he can be seen drinking it all hours of the day. It helps with the night skating he claims, which is his favourite time to roll. Not your average Millennial, Kevin’s not into going on about himself. He didn’t even want to write about himself for this article. He’s more comfortable bigging up his mates and fellow team riders. I wish more would follow his example. – Will Harmon
Frontside lipslide Shanghai, China, 2006. Ph. Lars Gartå
Michael Mackrodt has been all over the world. I would call him ‘The Traveller’, but Kenny Reed nabbed that nickname first. Regardless, Michael’s seen and experienced a hell of lot on his various journeys. We asked Michi to retell some of his stories of dangerous situations, close calls and mayhem from over the years. Put the kettle on and get tucked in to read all about altitude sickness, CIA agents, security guard battles, bar fights, bloodthirsty cabbies and more. – Will Harmon
Shanghai, China, 2006 Ph. Adam Sello Words Michael Mackrodt 113
ha, the look he gave me! OMG!) Jan freaked out! So I went to the hospital, got eight stitches in the middle of my face and was out of order for the next few days. I had two black eyes, a scarf around my head and a crazy headache. A few days later, when I finally felt like skating again, we went to this popular manny to manny spot (two short pads with a gap in between, sharp marble edges). I switch 180ed up the first, missed the pop (ground is really shitty right before), hung up and flew towards the gap. I was so scared to break my neck that I somehow managed to jump as far as I could to clear the gap with (at least) my head. BUT I landed straight on my kidney. Only on my kidney! The edge cut into my body with a deep cut in my right side abdomen muscles. Luckily my kidney wasn’t cut ‘cause this could have been really bad! I lay there in crazy pain and couldn’t really move my left leg anymore. So the others carried me to the street to A few years ago we went to blah… When all of a sudden, Shanghai with the Berlin his friend, standing in my blind stop a cabbie, who, speaking homies. On one of the first spot, hit me from the side. no English, wouldn’t days I got this lipslide on this Bottle in my face! What a understand where we wanted weird railing by the water. That fucking pussy. As a reflex, I to go. I mean it was pretty same night, it was the smashed my bottle on the guy obvious, ha ha. Luckily I had weekend so Flo Bodenhammer in front of me, the one that the hospital address from the and I decided to go to this caused the trouble at first, but week before. shitty club. We found a lonely who had not touched me. So So in Shanghai, cabs bottle of Johnnie Walker on a basically, my face wide open, are fully white inside… They table, so we drank it (maybe a blood pissing, and him, wanna be classy. But after this little too fast!). After awhile, bleeding, too! Blood taxi ride, this one wasn’t white Flo left, a bit too wasted, and I everywhere, everyone just anymore! It was rather red and stayed with a bunch of people punched and kicked all they bloody (he got a nice extra tip we’d met. When the club could, getting hits and kicks in to clean it though). At the closed, some drunk Aussie was from all sides. I just thought hospital the guys thought that standing in the exit way, ‘don’t fall to the ground or I had been stabbed, looking at looking for a fight, pushing you’re fucked’. Soon bouncers my face as well. They asked if random people. Then he came came from everywhere, etc. I this was some mafia revenge… close to me… Drunk with the managed to escape and ran I told them it was just empty bottle still in my hand I back to the hotel. skateboarding. So after two told him to fuck off. We stood The next morning I weeks in China I arrived home closely, staring at each other went to the cafe where we’d bent to one side and I walked and he must have felt that I have breakfast at each day and like this for a week (‘cause the wouldn’t bother smashing my just sat quietly next to Jan stitches on my side were so bottle at him. So he stepped Kliewer. Only after a while he tight) and my face was green, back a little, telling me realised my face! (I hadn’t yellow and blue… My girlfriend everything is fine and blah blah been to the hospital yet. Ha ha looked at me rather shocked!
Backside 180 kickflip Nairobi, Kenya, 2016. Ph. Guillaume Perimony
In Mombasa one night after dinner, we (Jan Kliewer, Guillaume Perimony and myself) started to walk home in the dark. The hotel was only a few blocks away, plus, Mombasa locals are super friendly, so we decided to take another small road for a change but mainly to spot hunt! As a joke, I said: ‘ah maybe this time we’ll get into trouble’, when just a few seconds and a few metres later, out of nowhere, a Tuk-Tuk pulls over. Two armed Kenyan army guys jumped out and stood next to us. Now, there it was, our shitty situation: three white guys in a lonely, dark street in
Africa, two bored army dudes with Kalashnikovs, asking for our passports – which of course we didn’t have. Even if we’d had them, we wouldn’t have shown it right away ’cause it’s the old, classic situation: either they try to rip you off because you don’t have your passport, or they take your passport because you show it, to make you buy it back (well, for girls this situation is way more delicate, ‘cause it might end in rape). It was a lose/lose situation. Luckily for us, we were just a few metres in the dark street, so when Jan pissed them off by telling them: ‘Come on, you just want our money’ etc., the guys got really
pissed. I used this moment to quietly take a few steps back towards the intersection so there would be witnesses to the whole thing. After a moment, they realised that their timing of busting us wasn’t the best. So, luckily they let us go, knowing they hit us just a few metres too early. I wonder what would have happened if they would have seen us just a bit deeper down the dark road? They were up to something for sure. Once more I felt that in many countries, other than what the media or websites of the ministry of foreign affairs say, it’s mostly the cops and army you need to be careful with, not the people.
Kickflip wallride Los Angeles, USA, 2008. Ph. Marcel Veldman 115
This was one of my first Element trips to California with Pirkka (Pollari) to meet everyone at the Element US office and skate to get some footage. Unfortunately, there was no filmer with us and none of the Element US filmers were available. At first I was a bit disappointed, I mean, we went there to get footage on American soil, on some OG spots! But instead of that, it turned out to be one of the chillest trips ever, only shooting some pics with Marcel Veldman to save this trip. So there was no filming stress and, the best bit about it: we had no bad conscience, as it wasn’t our fault at all! One afternoon before sunset, we skated this ditch
spot and somehow skate legend Jeremy Wray showed up, totally randomly with some friends of his. So we skated this wallride and he got me so hyped that I just jumped against the wall and didn’t really realise whether I flipped my board before hitting the wall or not! It wasn’t important in that moment. I was just happy being there and watching Wray skate around. Having Marcel taking the pic to make this moment unforgettable was just the cherry on the top. Jeremy Wray was super rad too, not like many other skaters who don’t even say hey, even though you might be the only other guy on the spot. This alone was worth the whole trip.
ten minutes. Once there, we started again. Knowing that it would take him ten minutes again to be near us. He waved again, this time more frantically. He must have shouted, too, but we couldn’t hear… We just waved back, pretending we didn’t get it, and skated on. Exhausted, he approached us again, this time a bit pissed. Guillaume told him, that considering the size of the building, he’d be better off with a skateboard, too. But he couldn’t laugh! So once this poor guy was back at the entrance, all sweaty (it was around 35°C) a kilometre away, we started again. Fucking tourists! The 3rd or 4th time we asked him why they kept a place like this so dead, without any life. Besides us there was a tiny other group of tourists, no one else. Wouldn’t God or Jesus like to see people enjoying this place? But he really wasn’t feeling us! We got our line and a good laugh and left this holy place!
Frontside rock ‘n’ roll Abidjan, Ivory Coast, 2015. Ph. Guillaume Perimony
Last year we went to the Ivory Coast with Guillaume Perimony to film our ‘fishing lines in West Africa’ episode. Looking for spots all over the place, we decided to rent a cab to drive (3hrs) to the official capital called Yamoussouko. It’s a small city, quite empty and more relaxed than Abidjan. Here they have built the Notre-Dame-de-la-Paix, a replica of the Petresdom in the Vatican, in the middle of nowhere and totally empty. It looks even twice as big as the real one ‘cause nothing’s there to distract you from looking at the church. There’s no life or whatsoever around. It was marble heaven for kilometres… We decided to shoot some B-roll. After awhile, we could see a tiny yellow spot wave at us. It was a security guard in a yellow shirt, but he was so far away, that we had plenty of time ‘til he would be next to us. He told us to stop skateboarding, so we waited until he got back to the entrance of the basilica, like
117 Frontside kickflip Abidjan, Ivory Coast, 2015. Ph. Guillaume Perimony
Frontside ollie Abidjan, Ivory Coast, 2015. Ph. Guillaume Perimony
Tuck knee Irkutsk, Russia, 2009. Ph. Alexey Lapin
On our first ‘Visual Traveling’ trip we took the TransSiberian train from Moscow to Mongolia and then on to Beijing and Hong Kong. (10,000 Kilometers video) So one day after this tuck knee in Irkutsk, by the Lake Baikal, we went to Ulan Bator, where I fucked my ankle really bad. The evening I got hurt was also the day of Patrik Wallner’s birthday. So we went to a club to celebrate and at around five in the morning we left, but being so many guys, we ended up in different cabs. Daniel Hochman and myself were in one hustling the price and getting together 10 Euros (the real price was two Euros max for our distance but with my swollen ankle I didn’t bother). Before we left, two girls jumped in the cab as well: prostitutes, bummer. Now the cab drove to another part of town first. We managed to tell them to get out, but the driver wanted 15 Euros now. We got pissed but what could we do? So we drove near our apartment block near the train station. It was a really fucked up area, no lights and threemetre high fences around all blocks. The driver wanted another five Euros now. In local money it all sounds like huge prices so you feel even more ripped off. Being two Euros short, (like 18 instead of 20 but also 18 instead of two in the first place!) we handed him the money and got off without a word, walking around the block towards home. Thinking all is fine as he made loads of cash, so a couple Euros short wouldn’t matter. HA! Then, all of a sudden, he turned around, wheels burning, coming at us screeching and trying to hit us with his car! We start running taking a shortcut through the grass but he would just run us over on the other side. Our entrance to the apartment was still too far! So we turned
around again, running back (away from home) and jumping several fences. ‘We’re safe now!’ we thought… So we walk, out of breath, looking at each other thinking ‘wow, that was close.’ When all of a sudden, we see a massive guy passing 20 metres from us. A random guy on his way home, we thought, but as soon as he saw us, he started sprinting towards us with a big modified car tool in his hand. He was like a football player about to tackle us! Dany just screamed: ‘RUUUN!’ We ran back to jump another fence onto an electrical box. I helped Dany over, and when it was my turn, I was almost over then I felt something grabbing my shoe, but Dany pulled harder. The moment I fell onto the box on the ‘safe’ side, the tool passed my head only by a few centimetres. It could have killed me! Now we realised how serious the situation had become. The problem was, that on the other side of the fence, there was the taxi again. It immediately took off and tried to hit us, again. He didn’t care to damage his car; he went all in! So we ran for our lives. Dany picked up the tool (we still have it for a memory) and we just ran towards a closed gas station down the road. Avoiding holes and missing manholes in the totally dark night! You trip; you’re done. Once behind the gas station (only one way out) we picked up stones and waited. When all of a sudden, we saw a shadow appearing right next to me. Dany screamed again… Full of adrenaline, we took off again, full speed past the waiting car, and ran towards the high fence we had just jumped, to clear it again. We clear another fence, and a few more, ripping our pants to finally climb onto some ghetto garage rooftop. Quietly lying there, we could here footsteps around and the car driving in circles,
obviously looking for us. I knew nothing better than to call Kirill Korobkov. Luckily I had battery left, and luckily he wasn’t sleeping yet, but was up wondering where we were, knowing how sketchy situations can get quickly. I whispered in the phone to come and rescue us. They all came down: Laurence Keefe,
Patrik, Stas, Alexey Lapin, Kirill and so on. Eight guys with kitchen knives, stones, skateboards and whatever they could find – some topless, some in pyjamas, just screaming and coming to save us, like Vikings, I was sooo happy to hear them! We made it! I’m still so thankful. I don’t know how the story would have
ended without mobile phones and without the other guys. And luckily I had Daniel by my side. The fastest ninja ever! This whole crazy mission over a couple of Euros! Another lesson learned: never fuck with cabdrivers in foreign countries they are the biggest assholes. They are all connected and have no mercy.
Frontside boardslide Lima, Peru, 2011. Ph. Kévin Métallier
A few years ago I went to South America for a couple of months with my girlfriend. We went first to Cuba, then to Peru, Bolivia and then Argentina. Kévin Métallier, Dany Hamard, Phil Zwijsen, Sam Partaix and my friend, Berlin OG skater and hater by nature, aka Krone, joined me on the trip. Skating in Lima for the first week, everybody told us, that before going up in the Andes, we should start drinking a lot of mate de coca. The coca tea would help our bodies and minds with the high altitude. So we drank loads of it, ALL of us but Krone. With his arrogance and big mouth, he considered this as some local bullshit! He didn’t need it. So we started driving from Lima to Cusco (3400 metres above sea level). We passed some of the most beautiful countryside I’ve ever seen: orange valleys, purple stones, yellow mountain ranges, wild lamas and so on, up and down following curvy roads. Everybody was chatting and laughing, tripping on the scenery, getting out of the car to stare at the downhills, etc. Except one of us got unusually quiet: Krone! He started looking more pale and weird each metre we drove higher. When we approached the more than 5000m high passes, to everyone’s joy, Krone wasn’t talking anymore at all! By then he was green and fully quiet. At the highest point, we all got out, ‘cause according to the local tradition (people there are very superstitious), you’ve got to walk around the statue they’ve installed three times for good luck on the sketchy roads. So we all did as said, but Krone, feeling really bad, just rolled himself out of the van an laid on the floor on his back, moaning. I mean, all of us struggled a bit, but Krone was about to pass out! We took advantage of it and made so much fun of him that it drove
him crazy. I mean, this was the only time he would shut up and not add his two cents to everything. Better make the most out of it! It was the most peaceful few hours of the
whole trip! We waited a little longer to make him recognise his arrogance before driving on, which meant down, at least a bit! From that moment on, Krone was in love with the coco! (Mate de coca that is).
So Tura isn’t what I would call a water rat, but I still managed to convince him to try it out with me. Once we jumped in the fast current, his face changed immediately. He was shocked on how cold it was and having a hard time breathing for a moment, he looked at me with this ‘what da fuck did I get into’ look. Inside, I was smiling already… So you float for a while, enjoying the park you cross… USUALLY! Not Tura. Still shocked at the speed of the current, he couldn’t chill AT ALL. Only when the canal turns to the right, the current accelerates even more. So much fun! But I could tell that Tura didn’t like this either, AT ALL! So when it got a little wavy and bumpy in the fast stream, I just couldn’t resist
telling him that a few people have died a couple of hundred metres down the stream, so he’d need to swim fast not to get pulled under. I totally made this up! Sorry Tura! Traces of rigor mortis hit his face (maybe his whole body). Tura started crawling as fast as he could (not that fast, ha ha) to reach the side (the canal is really narrow so no big deal), but holding on to the wall, is a little mission indeed. Grasping the wall with all his power he managed to fight and got out. I was laughing but also with a little bad conscience, I mean he got really fucking scared. I let myself drift away ‘til where you get out via a long ladder; then I walked back through the park to gather up a fully traumatised and exhausted Tura. Backside nosegrind Munich, Germany, 2004. Ph. Cédric Viollet
This photo was taken for my first interview from when I moved to Munich (from Paris, where I grew up) for my studies. David Turakiewicz aka ‘Tura’ (French photographer) came for a visit to write a few words about me. It was during a very hot period in the summer, so each day before or in between skate sessions we tried to cool down a bit: either in the river or in the famous ice-cold canal, also known as the Eisbach. Right behind the famous surfer’s wave, you can just jump in and float with the fast current until the canal meets the river. Once the current slows down, you can make it out of the water again then take the tramway back to your towel. It’s absolutely amazing.
Chicago was really spontaneous… I saw really cheap tickets for next week to go there, so I hit up Perimony, the only filmer who’s always down for some adventures. He was in, so five days later we went there. After exploiting every corner of the city for spots we wouldn’t get kicked out of, we found this sculpture and saw that between four and five pm the light was just perfect. Of course it’s a major bust so we had to come three or four times again and again to shoot the pic. We’d either get busted, it would be too busy or bad weather would give us a hard time. So after a week in Chicago with super hot weather and exhausting days, I went, as I do most evenings, for a drink by myself (Guillaume never goes out). I’m sitting up at the bar, watching tennis, MMA and basketball and listening to a Grateful Dead cover band at the same time. There were only old hippies in their forties and fifties around. I was about to leave, when an African American man in his forties sits next to me, grabbing my arm and telling me quietly: ‘You’re going nowhere; you make one wrong move and you go back home in a coffin!’ Surprised, I look at him when he repeats this again. So I sat down again. He asks me things like: ‘why are you coming to the States for only one week? Why have you lost your passport? (I lost it a year ago on my way to Tunisia; someone stole my backpack in the metro). Why have I been to Afghanistan, to Uzbekistan, to Iran, to Yemen, to Palestine, etc.? Impressed, I tried to explain that it was for skateboarding (Visual Traveling trips), that it’s my job and so on. He asked if I entered
the X-games, I said no, then he replied: ‘Then you’re not a pro skater’ and went on asking question after question. When I asked if he was some sort of James Bond, he laughed briefly: ‘don’t you know who the fuck I am? Have you ever heard of CIA? Why are you coming to this bar by yourself for the second time now?’ He was probably referring to the shooting in the gay club in Florida where the terrorist checked out the place before the shooting. I tried to explain that this is the only bar near Chinatown where our hotel was located. He didn’t really listen. He also asked, and this was weird, why we’ve been to the plaza (naming the address of the sculpture of the frontside wallride, which is in front of a government building) four times in a row around the same time? I stared at him! I was shocked! Wow! He proceeded to tell me that ever since we stepped onto American soil, we’ve been followed. Now it got creepy. I thought about the quiet guy in the hostel we stayed in the first two nights that was always around but wouldn’t talk to us. And now, try explaining the wallride story to someone that has no idea about skateboarding… But what really freaked me out was when he switched to French, to perfect French and shortly after to perfect German! He was talking about Munich, and Paris… This went on for over an hour at the bar. And each time someone approached the bar, he got loud and annoying, so they would stand further away, to focus on me again. He was telling me again and again, that someone with hair like mine, with a face like mine, isn’t welcome in USA. He even asked the bartender: ‘What does he look
like?’ guy.’ from?’
Bartender: ‘Like a nice ‘No! Where is he
Bartender: ‘Maybe South America?’ ‘No, look at the hair, curled… He’s Arab.’ I rolled my eyes, and when he wanted to talk about religion, I told him that I didn’t care! From that moment on that he realised that I was Christian, he, even though being Muslim himself (according to him), got a bit more relaxed. Then, he looked in my eyes with a crazy deep look and told me: ‘In over an hour, you haven’t lied to me one single time!’ I thought how would he know? But he just told me: ‘I KNOW!’ and so on… It was obvious that he had been questioning me many times before from the beginning on. So he ordered another beer. I reached into my pockets to get my cash to pay for mine, but the second I moved my arm he had already tackled me onto the counter! ‘Don’t you ever put your hands in your pockets again!’ He was just making sure I wasn’t pulling a weapon. He told me: ‘It’s a strange world we’re living in!’ What a freak show. Before going home, he made sure to tell me again and again that I should never come back to the States ever again and not to miss my flight back or to extend it. He couldn’t guarantee anything more after that. Whatever that meant? The next day was totally fucked. We felt followed and scared. I mean I knew that I had nothing to hide, but if something had happened while I was in the States, I would have made the perfect scapegoat. Indeed, it’s a strange world we’re living in. 122
Frontside wallride Chicago, USA, 2016. Ph. Guillaume Perimony
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Free Skateboard Magazine issue 12, May/June 2017.