SEPT OCT 2017
@globebrand | GLOBEBRAND.COM | est. Australia 1994
Kickflip noseslide in his signature shoe, the Eagle SG. Globeâ€™s Shogun cupsole provides greater support and flexibility with an added deep footbed for impact control.
DAVID GONZALEZ | THE EAGLE SG
TIAGOLEMOS NOLLIE F\S CROOK BLABAC PHOTO
O L AC
EMERICA.COM / @EMERICA
Flo Mirtain 14
Vans in Vienna 28
Catching Something While Itâ€™s Happening 40
CPH 2017 50
The Unsettable Sun 56
Jan Henrik Kongstein 68 84
Welcome Visit 106
Cover Eniz Fazliov Frontside bluntside Le DĂ´me, Paris Ph. Jelle Keppens Contents Kalle Wiehn Kickflip Paris Ph. Hendrik Herzmann
The filmer may have got caught slippin’ on this one, but thanks to Gerard Riera, Roberto Aleman’s backside 50-50 has been captured for the rest of eternity.
Ever Googled a video part only to discover that every upload of it has been muted? This occurrence seems all too common these days. Back when we were still using VHS tapes and DVDs you knew that if you owned that video you could watch it whenever you wanted in it’s original form. Nowadays the majority of new skate videos are made for online viewing – there are no physical copies. And with all of YouTube and Facebook’s music restrictions, the editor often finds himself in a position where he can’t use what he wants and has to compromise. Over the past 10–15 years this has fundamentally changed the way skate videos are edited. Such is the case with New Balance’s Tri-Color video. As Flo Mirtain mentions in his interview, it took two months from when the video premiered to its online release because they had to do a re-edit due to music issues. Also, what actually happens to all these ‘straight to the Internet’ releases? Will they always be online? Skate videos, with no physical copies, will they always be easily accessible? With older videos as long as there’s a hard copy floating around there tends to
FREE 14 Editor in Chief: Will Harmon Photo Editor: Sam Ashley Cultural attaché to the Lyon skate mafia: Arthur Derrien Design: Ben Weaver & Seb Howell Gallerist: James Jarvis Printed in the UK Free is published six times a year by FSM Publishing Ltd freeskatemag.com @freeskatemag freeskatemag@ gmail.com
always be someone kind enough to upload it. And even if Jeremy Wray’s Plan B Revolution part may not be on the internet with its Led Zeppelin song intact, there’s always the consolation of a friend having the DVD or the VHS still being somewhere at your parent’s house. Are today’s videos less valuable? Are they not worth making physical copies of? Does anyone even actually care about this stuff? So many questions that I don’t have the answer to, but maybe this will encourage a dialogue about skate media’s permanence in 2017. One of the reasons we started Free Skate Mag was that it was a way to archive the incredible skateboard photography that comes out of Europe. By allowing people to look back on it in a few years’ time, we make sure it keeps contributing to our culture. Ever tried finding a skate photo that you saw once on the Internet five years ago? Printing photos in our magazine is our way of preserving Europe’s skateboarding history. We only hope skateboarding’s video history is cherished in the same respect. – Will Harmon
Photography in Lyon by Nikwen Words by Arthur Derrien
People say Flo’s a ‘hater’. I guess he probably is… What does that even mean though? That he’s very critical when it comes to judging this one thing he’s devoted his life to? Fair enough no? He hates because he cares and given he’s a ‘pro skater’, he definitely should. If every pro skater cared as much as he did maybe we wouldn’t be stuck with abominations like ETN. Plus you can tell he’s ten times as harsh when it comes to his own skating. That’s why he goes all Kerry Getz on us every now and then. It’s also part of the reason why everything he puts out is so on point. His clip dissection process is such that only his absolute very best work makes it out there. On that note, here’s what has to be the most positive interview he’s ever given. Which is quite the feat given the topics ranged from the end of Cliché to Lyon’s Hôtel De Ville plaza being under threat... Maybe he’s not such a negative bastard after all.
It’s been almost a year now since Cliché announced that they were closing shop. Can you tell us a little bit about how the whole thing went down for you?
Flo Mirtain: To be honest the end itself I didn’t really see coming. Or at least I didn’t think it was going to go down like it did. Obviously a lot of us out here in Europe weren’t that happy with the direction the brand was taking but yeah I didn’t think we’d just get a phone call out of the blue saying it was done.
What do you mean by the direction?
When I think of Cliché I think Europe. But for the past few years the brand had become increasingly Americanised. American riders, American graphics, American ideas… The brand’s image was really suffering from this. The Cliché I knew and loved was already on the way out. Keep in mind that I say this but I would never have left Cliché. They are the reason I am where I am today so I would have stayed loyal to them - even if I really wanted to see some things change… So who knows, maybe for me Cliché going under was a blessing in disguise…
Jérémie (Daclin) and stuff were aware of this though right? I remember there being talk of trying to steer things back the right direction shortly before it died. Yeah he even wanted to bring back that old Europe logo they used to use. Plus for the twentieth anniversary of the brand the plan was to work on a video exclusively filmed in Europe and only featuring the European riders. Shame their plans were cut short… Basically from the moment Cliché joined Dwindle it felt like Jérémie and Al (Boglio) suddenly no longer had the last word.
Can you think of examples of things Dwindle may
have implemented even though Jérémie maybe didn’t agree?
I’m not 100% on this but if it were entirely up to Jérémie or Al I doubt Cliché would have kicked Charles (Collet) off. What were some of
your fondest memories with the brand?
It’s hard to think of specific ones but I’ll definitely miss those days. We’d always be going on tours and little missions… Being in the van with those guys taught me so much. I loved hearing Jérémie and JB (Gillet) tell us all their stories from ‘back in the day’, having (Andrew) Brophy teach me some English… When you spend that much time with a group of people it has a massive influence on who you are as a person. When I first got on I could really feel the influence those guys had on Lucas (Puig) and Charles and today I realise they’ve had the same on me. It’s had an impact on everything from the way I see skating, to the way I act on trips, to the way I skate.
Did you have something else lined up when you heard the news? Sort of yeah but it didn’t materialise. Jérémie, Al and Eric (who does the Cliché graphics) were planning on starting something new with just us French guys – as in Lucas, Max (Geronzi), JB and me. They just wanted to preserve what they loved about Cliché… Oh yeah and I think there was talk of possibly putting Kyron (Davis) on further down the line as well.
Do you know what it was going to be called? Bonjour.
Were you going to do it? What happened?
Yeah of course I was. Those are my guys. But we all knew that for it to work it had to be all of us…
And in the end not everyone was down. Exactly, which I totally understand as well. Starting
from scratch with a new brand doesn’t seem that appealing when you’re getting really good offers from other brands that are killing it. Especially when they aren’t really asking for that much in return and you’re stoked on what they do. People have such high expectations when it comes to new board brands. It’s what skaters judge the most and it’s the sponsor that influences how you’re perceived the most. It’s a tough call…
So what happened after that? How does a professional skateboarder in that position find a new ‘employer’? It’s not like you can go around handing out CVs… I mean you could ha ha, but yeah obviously you know I’m not really the kind of person to go reaching out to people I don’t know for this sort of stuff. And with board sponsors even more than any other sponsor in my opinion, it’s important for there to be some kind of connection. For ten years my crew was Cliché so I wasn’t about to hit up say Primitive (for example) to ask them if they’d sponsor me. I’d much rather wait a bit longer in hope of something happening organically…
Which is more or less what happened with Habitat?
Yeah… I was going on New Balance trips with Marius when it all went down and he’d ask me the same questions as you are asking me now. Then one day he hit the guy up asking if I could get boards and that was that. I’ve skated with Mark (Suciu) quite a bit as he’s been in Lyon and Paris a lot and I’d hung out with some of the other guys on different occasions so it kind of made sense for me. Plus I’d already met Brennan the TM when I showed the Habitat team around Lyon a couple of years back… It’s not official or anything yet but I’ve been filming quite a lot of stuff for
18 Switch crooked grind their next video so we’ll see what happens...
Were you worried at all in those few months between Cliché ending and this coming together?
Not really actually. These days you can still have a ‘career’ without a board sponsor as they aren’t the ones with the money. Miles Silvas was without a board sponsor for like two years or
something… Same for Oscar (Candon), he wasn’t getting boards from anyone for ages before Sour. Which is weird when you think about it because board sponsors basically define the image you have in skating but aren’t necessary to be ‘professional’ (as in make a living from skating) anymore. That being said there definitely has been times when
I’ve been really worried. Like that period when DVS died and Cliché wasn’t looking too good I was a bit like ‘fuck this could be it for me’.
As in you’d have to get a ‘real’ job? Exactly. For the past ten years I’ve been living from skating but only just getting by day by day. If I lose a shoe sponsor that’s it I need to get a job.
Funnily enough though, I’ve been ‘lucky’ in the sense that, in the last ten years that I’ve been making a living from skating. I’ve somehow pretty much always earned the same amount of money - this regardless of how many sponsors I have and who they were. Even when brands I skated for have gone out of business things have always miraculously evened out.
Like when you got on Supra just as DVS ‘died’ that first time and got kicked off them right when DVS came back ha ha. Yeah exactly. Although I don’t think it actually went out of business that time… To my understanding it was just going through such a massive restructure that they basically couldn’t do anything for a bit. Either way yeah I definitely got pretty lucky with that one.
While we’re on the topic
of DVS, I remember you not really enjoying going out to the US back then, but whenever you talk about being in LA for New Balance you sound really stoked. How is it any different? Well for one actually getting into the country isn’t as stressful…
You’re not getting the special interrogation treatment anymore then?
Man are you talking about that time they took me into that interrogation room? That was fucked. It was back when my English was a lot worse… Let’s say it was five years ago. When the border police asked me what I was doing in LA I said that it was to skateboard and that my sponsors had paid for my ticket. They didn’t like that one bit. For them it meant that I was going to ‘work’ in America even though I only had a tourist Visa. So they took me
Frontside 180 kickflip
into this weird little room, did some research and started asking me all sorts of questions:
‘So… Who’s Tim Gavin?’ ‘Uh… An old pro skater from the nineties?’ Again that wasn’t at all what they wanted to hear.
‘You’re lying we know he’s your boss at DVS Shoes!’ They were asking me the most random questions! Basically they were asking me anything that could lead me to slip up and say something incriminating. It lasted for like three hours, they made me miss connecting flights and they ended up calling up guys at DVS who I’d never even met (like Tim Gavin…) to ask them questions about me. It was ridiculous…
What about once you’re actually in the country? Yeah even once I’m in
20 Backside 180 kickflip
22 the country it’s also way better. This year I’ve been three times for a month at a time to film that Tri-Color part…
started switching to HD prefer seeing VX footage… Funny that JB originally hated the VX ha ha.
Oh yeah what happened with that one? How come it took so long to come out? They actually had a pretty hard time with it.The première was a little while back but when it came to putting it online almost half of the songs couldn’t get cleared so they basically had to re-edit it.
Speaking of JB, what’s going on with Hôtel De Ville then? Can you give people a quick run down of what happened with that whole thing?
But yeah anyway when I went to LA for that it was completely different to when I’d go before. This time they rented out a house for the whole New Balance team and we’d really focus on filming rather than driving around from city to city, hotel to hotel, demo to demo. You’re not spending half the time in the van… It’s a different experience. You can actually get a feel for the area where you stay, get a little routine on the go and most importantly take a day off and chill at the house if you need one. It’s the best kind of mission. Plus it’s a more relaxed environment to meet the guys you skate for a company with…
Another Flo Mirtain HD part then? Have you come to terms with getting filmed on that camera yet?
Yeah I’m not as bad as I used to be… I’m not sure why; maybe just because I see it so much now that I’ve just gotten used to it. JB once told me that him and a lot of skaters from his generation went through the exact same thing when people started using the VX. The vignetting of the death lens looked so different to what they were used to seeing that they just couldn’t handle it, which is why I doubt many kids that discovered skate videos in 2007 when people
Yeah… Let me have a quick think about how it all started… It’s pretty long so I might simplify it a little bit. Basically one of us randomly came across an article explaining that this summer the city was going to tear down and redo the plaza. I’ve been skating it almost every day for the past ten years and others for a lot longer than that so obviously we weren’t going to just let it go. We did a bit of research and it turned out that yeah someone at the council was indeed pushing for this and that their plan was even to skatestop the plaza in the coming months just for the sake of it (so way before the works would have even started). At that point we started a little committee with Jérémie Daclin, Fred Mortagne, shop owners, brands and all the skaters that wanted to be involved. We got a petition going (that got 10,000 signatures in no time) and with that petition a few members of our ‘committee’ went over to meet people from the city council to argue our case. Now by talking to us one of the main things they realised was that skateboarders weren’t actually the primary cause of damage to the plaza (let’s face it, the plaza is pretty fucked). We showed them that the floor was cracked in places that skateboarders couldn’t get to (because this or that was in the way, etc.) and it blew their minds. It made them look into
other reasons why the place was falling apart and it turns out some parts of it are were sinking into the ground. Possibly it was because it was on top of a car park, or possibly for other reasons. But yeah basically the whole place was moving. Which interestingly enough is something that skaters like Fred (Mortagne) had noticed ages ago. You know how you have to ollie up a curb to get onto that second part of the plaza that’s always in the shade in the summer?
Yeah. Well Fred pointed out that fifteen years ago there was no curb. It was flush. People in his old videos rode onto it without lifting their wheels up. Now you need to pop a proper ollie. It’s nuts.
I guess it makes sense that skaters would notice that stuff. Nobody stares at that plaza as much as we do. Think of how many hours of footage Fred must have filmed there! They also weren’t aware of quite how ‘big’ skateboarding was in Lyon right? They just thought it was just ten kids that would use the plaza every now and then and that’s it. So when those guys showed them exactly how many skate shops were in the city, how many companies were based there, approximately how many skaters used the spot etc. they started to take what we had to say a lot more seriously right? Exactly. They also had no idea that people on the other side of the world knew about Lyon and Hôtel De Ville because of skating. They had no idea that people like the Long Live South Bank guys had been fighting for a similar cause.
And what was the result of these discussions?
24 Backside hurricane grind
Fakie kickflip The outcome was that although the plaza will be redone in the not so distant future, we would be consulted so that the new one is also skate-able. So that our ‘needs’ are taken into consideration because we are one of the main groups to use that space.
You and your Lyon (predominantly) crew the Josimards have always been quite publicly outspoken about stuff that you aren’t backing in skating. Do you feel like that is something that’s slowly dying? That skateboarding is becoming too nice? No I think there’s still people out there calling out what needs to be called out (like Jenkem) only skateboarding has grown so much, has become so mainstream, that it’s just
diluted by everything else.
What’s the ethos of the Josimards Crew?
It’s basically all of the guys in the crew coming to terms with the ‘hater within’. Only we’ve decided to laugh at stuff rather than just loathe. Seeing skate coaches run after kids in skateparks to tell them what to do, people that don’t skate mall-grabbing their Penny boards around, someone dabbing as they land a trick… That shit cracks us up. It’s about all these aspects of today’s skateboarding that we just can’t come to terms with… It’s a funny one though, it almost feels like we’re parents realising that the music our kids listen to is terrible but at the same time we know we’ve probably listened to stuff that was just as bad when we were
their age. And people take the piss out of us as well! Some people started calling us the JosiMerde. We loved it! We even made a T-shirt out of it!
What’s their best work in your opinion?
Let me have a quick look through the (@josimards_ crew) Instagram… It’s a classic, but that one where they edited Marcel Desailly’s laugh into an interview with Aurélien Giraud’s manager about coaching him at comps is perfect ha ha.
‘Wake up Mr Pfanner,
Chris Pfanner Ollie frontside 180
you are free to go!’
was the first thing I heard after the loud squeaking noise that resulted from the opening of a heavy steel door that belonged to a drunk tank. ‘Your story checks out by the taxi receipt we found in your wallet that you had on you when you got arrested,’ said the grumpy German police officer. Still a bit tipsy and confused, I stumbled out of the cell, gathered all my belongings, put my shoes on and headed straight for the exit of the police station.
Vans in Vienna Photography by Davy Van Laere Words by Chris Pfanner
I put my sunglasses on, lit a cigarette and followed up the thought of figuring out where exactly I was. Then the events of the past night gradually started coming back to me, bit-by-bit. I remembered leaving a club, which was located in the centre of Stuttgart at around 4:00am in the morning. After a fun night, with a ton of beers and endless shots, I started heading back to my hotel in two separate cabs with Louie Lopez, Kyle Walker, Grant Taylor, Raven Tershy, Cory Kennedy, Oskar Rozenberg and Ishod Wair. Me, Kyle and Louie were sharing a cab and did a quick pit stop at a gas station on our way, so we could keep it lit on the porch of our hotel once we got back. At least that was the plan. Upon arrival at the hotel, I saw Grant in handcuffs circled by eight or nine officers. I headed over to them to ask what was going on and instantly got yelled at by one of the officers, saying that I was interrupting an ongoing investigation. What the hell just happened in the ten minutes between the club and the hotel was the only thing I could ask myself. After I got the chance to explain my involvement with Grant to the police officers, I noticed how three
officers rushed pass me with two dogs. They proceeded to my room to search for drugs. To their surprise, they didn’t find anything except a sleepy Daan Van Der Linden. He instantly got arrested and dragged out of the hotel. You should have seen the confusion on his sleepy face. He saw us and asked what was going on. We couldn’t explain anything ourselves, because we were all clueless as he was, until one of the police officers said, ‘you make robbery’ in his broken English with a German accent. ‘Well, how much did I get then?’ was my drowsy reply and we all instantly burst out into heavy laughter, especially me. The cops felt really provoked by my laughter and before I could even stop, I found myself being wrestled to the ground by five angry officers. Shortly after that and a quick van ride to the nearby police station, I got locked up in that drunk tank where my story began. Before I could finish my cigarette, my phone rang and I saw that it was Davy Van Laere calling me. Then I remembered immediately that the Vans Euro crew, consisting of Nassim Guammaz, Victor Pellegrin, Ross McGouran, Kris Vile, Joseph Biais and Jonathan Thijs had already gotten to Vienna and started the trip that I put
Joseph Biais Frontside 50-50 grind
Nassim Guammaz Backside 180 fakie nosegrind
Victor Pellegrin Frontside feeble grind
together in order to film for our upcoming video project. ‘We already had an amazing first day! The crew is on fire and we got a lot of clips yesterday. Muki Rüstig and Paul Labadie are taking good care of us and they have loads of sick spots. The apartment is really cool too. We all have enough space and feel really comfortable here. The fact that we don’t
have a van is not even an issue, because there is a metro stop right across the street from our house and the public transportation system here is so good…’ rambled Davy on and on, while I had a really hard time paying attention to what he was saying, because of the little man that kept pounding in my head. ‘Good to hear’ I replied briefly.
Ross McGouran Backside lipslide
‘The reason I’m calling you is that I can’t remember how much you told me, that I can spend on dinner for the guys every evening. And when are you joining the trip exactly?’ Davy followed up with. ‘I’ll call you back in a few hours, because I have a little situation going on right now’, I replied and dropped the phone. Wait a minute, how is it, that the team manager is not on the trip he organised? Why is he on the Thrash and Burn trip? Well a few months ago, I got asked by Vans if I would be interested in taking care of the team in Europe and it took me a long time to accept the amazing opportunity which I was given, because of the fact that I still have an ongoing pro career, which I still love and want to continue. I am very grateful for the trust they have in me to be able to
Kris Vile Ollie
manage both tasks. Also the fact that the opportunity might not be there in a few years, when I might be in desperate need of a job to take care of my family – this pushed me into accepting the offer. I’ve always loved putting trips together and being on the road with my friends. Now I’ve been given the opportunity to help my friends in the way I was helped by all the amazing TMs I’ve had and still have. It was a no brainer and I’m really glad I took up the challenge, although it turns out to be a heavy juggle once in a while. I’m learning a lot and it makes me happy when I get good responses from the boys about what I do for them. But as I said, I tend to end up in situations like this one I’m trying to tell you all about. When I got back to the hotel, I saw how relieved everyone was to see that I got released. I had no idea that Grant and Daan were still being held at
Nassim Guammaz Frontside 50-50 grind
the police station. So I headed back there and had to deal with the same angry cops that arrested me the night before. They were not ready to give me any information and explained to me that they would only answer to a lawyer as it was an ongoing investigation about an attempted robbery. After a few phone calls, fuelled with coffee and Advil, I managed to get a hold of a lawyer that was willing to get on the case on a Saturday morning. To make a long story short: the lawyer was able to find out that the cab driver that couldn’t speak English was trying to get his fare, which he didn’t get paid, due to the confusion he’d caused himself. A few hours later we were all packed up, laughing about last night’s
events and in the vans and heading towards Prague for the last stop of the Thrash and Burn trip. We had two great days with the crew in Prague, luckily without any further incidents and ended the trip on a good note. I hopped on the train to Vienna to meet up with Vans Euro crew to check up with them and enjoy the last three days of the trip. All my worries of not being there for most of the trip were instantly set aside whilst we were all sharing our experiences of the past few days at dinner in a traditional schnitzel restaurant in Vienna. I stepped outside for a smoke and watched the crew through the window from the outside.
They were all having a laugh while they peeped all the footage they had gathered in the past few days. I quickly realised what an amazing crew I had together, because if it wasnâ€™t for the effort they all put in individually to make it all happen, then it wouldnâ€™t be possible for me to call
Nassim Guammaz Ollie backside 180
myself their team manager. Iâ€™d like to use this opportunity to thank them all for being such good souls. Enjoy the photos and keep in your mind that they did it exactly like you all would do it. Get your crew together, head out there and make it happen.
Victor Pellegrin 360 flip bag lady
RICH ADLER BS SMITH PHOTO: MULHERN
INSTA: @TRAFFICSKATEBOARDS E-MAIL: MIKE@THEORIESOFATLANTIS.COM
A NEW VIDEO FROM TRAFFIC SKATEBOARDS
Catching Some While Bump up to noseslide Ph. Mike O’Meally
Dan Emmerson Words: Shelley Jones All photography in London, most of it by Samuel Ashley
Frontside 180 kickflip Ph. Daniel ‘Snowy’ Kinloch
I know Dan Emmerson from two different worlds – skateboarding and film – and what always strikes me about the director from Newcastle (who grew up in Brighton with a Basque mum and a fluent Spanish tongue) is that he’s completely the same in both. I’ve seen him walk into silent, quite stressyserious production offices, shout ‘hi’ across five desks, and enter into an IRL conversation at full Dan volume much to the surprise, usually pleasant, of all the rest of the computer squirrels. That is very much Dan’s style and it’s apparent in full work mode or Gillett Square mode or pub mode or party mode (which are a few of Dan’s favourite modes FYI). I’m sure Dan would be the same at court or in a church, which is great because that’s what makes his work and outlook specifically his. As a skateboarder he terrorises the capital with the Wayward London gang of reprobates Snowy, Edson, Charlie Allen and Josh Jennings, and recently had a kickflip backtail pic in Thrasher from the GX tour. As a filmmaker he’s been going from strength to strength in the last year or so, making quite a loud entrance (characteristically) into the shorts world with i_shotta, a hilarious and inspired Dazed commission about the way young people are buying their drugs via new digital technology, narrated by D Double E.
Soon after came Cardiff Bike Life – a three-anda-half minute doc, supported by his producers at Somesuch, on a group of bike kids from Cardiff who mobilise around a specific Instagram account to cause mayhem in the neighbourhood. In that film traits of the Dan genre started to emerge: access to interesting communities, authenticity, 16mm, the old’s opinion of the young, a trophy drone shot. Since then Dan’s made music videos for the likes of Skream (amazing shuffling dancing in perfectly composed London locales) and Actress (a surreal cast of futurists set against brutal and space-like architecture), and he’s got a frenetic doc on whippet racing coming out soon. Dan’s really established himself as a fierce voice within the film world and the ideas keep getting louder and weirder as he goes, which has made him a director to watch and hire and follow and fan on. He loves his dog Jeff and he’s got a big tattoo of him on his ribs. This is Dan in his own words.
How did you get into filmmaking?
I was born In Newcastle and grew up in Brighton. I started skating when I was eleven after getting a setup from one of my brother’s mates for my birthday – it was a Julien Stranger AntiHero board, with a giant squid grabbing a woman. I got into filmmaking after school. I don’t know, I think through skating you are always around cameras. It obviously lends itself to being creative and I just became interested in cameras more
and more as I got older.
What were the early films that inspired you?
I got given a load of VHS tapes as well as that setup from a mate of my older brother’s, – Scouse Macca! I used to watch Transworld’s Greatest Hits all the time, the one with the kid that breaks into a guy’s house and finds a jukebox with skate sections instead of records! So sick. The NYC section was banging. The Cardona brothers and all that New York lot were the shit! I don’t really watch many films to be honest; I don’t have the
patience to sit through a film most of the time! I can’t sit still LOL. I appreciate good filmmaking though. I love Werner Herzog’s take on life and his films are so good and make you think about stuff differently.
Who are your favourite directors making work now and why?
I try not to watch too much new stuff. There is so much utter shite that gets put out these days! But Daniel Wolfe is a director I really respect. Go and watch his film Catch Me Daddy.
You’ve got a distinct aesthetic that is quite collage-y (using lots of different types of footage) – why are you drawn to that approach?
I’d say my style and approach differs from project to project. The multi-format approach comes from a necessity to have enough content to make a film work on the often small budgets we get given. I would always prefer to shoot everything on 16mm film, but usually end up shooting on digital as well so that I can get enough material. I like introducing iPhone clips and social media footage because it’s relevant to the world we live in. I think the Internet and social media is a big influence on my subject matter. That’s why some of my films look like a collage of multi-formats.
What do you think is the thread that runs through all your work? I think the voice that runs through my films basically boils down to being interested in people. The subject matter is almost secondary. I try to find humour in the everyday, or in lesser-seen subcultures. The UK is full of amazing cultures. I keep hearing people say that
Ollie up to 50 stall
subcultures are dead now – that grime was the last subculture – but that’s bollocks, we just aren’t aware of them as much anymore. Every group of youths around the country have their own way of doing things; of slang, of rolling zoots, skating, whatever. They just live and die before they get a chance to be cultures, that’s why they are called SUB-cultures.
Where do your ideas for films come from?
Like I said I’m interested in people, but obviously I’m always looking for new scenes or whatever to make films about. I think it’s important to document everything. One day people might look back and be stoked to watch a film about the way people sell drugs on their smart-phones through social media. I’m interested in catching something while it’s happening and showing it to people who may not have
heard about it.
How does music influence the direction and feel of a film for you?
I think music makes or breaks a film. If the music is jarring I can’t watch it. For me I always shoot first, and then decide what music I want afterwards. Shout out to TTT meister Will Bankhead for helping me out with music when I couldn’t afford to pay for tracks from record labels. Obviously when I’m directing a
music video the opposite applies, your ideas stem from the sound. I usually need to be really zooted to think of stuff in that way LOL.
A lot of your work involves real people and locations. How difficult is it to rally support and get people on board?
When you approach a subject, or contributor of a film, you’ve got to let them know your intentions are honest and you aren’t trying to hot them up on camera, or make them look stupid or whatever. It’s just about being respectful and reassuring people that you aren’t gonna fuck them over somehow. I like to approach people myself first, on a human level. But
basically people either are up for it, or they tell you to do one.
How much do you embrace happy accidents and the unexpected into your work? Happy accidents happen all the time! I guess you put yourself into the places where you know/think you will get good results. But sometimes you can’t predict the shit people will say or do.
Are you self-taught? How much has that influenced your practice?
I did a filmmaking degree in Kingston but basically spent about ten hours at uni over three years because I was skating all the time and doing my own shit. Still blagged a 2:1 though! But yeah
I basically taught myself to edit, etc. Working as an assistant to a photographer called Ewen Spencer helped me learn shitloads about light and lighting. But also he has been a massive influence on my work. He’s been photographing youths and youth cultures around the world for years and his pictures are always inspiring.
What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I’m busy making a couple of docs and I’ve got some music videos
coming up too.
Would you ever want to make a feature? What does the future hold?
I would love to make a feature film one day, but that’s not likely to happen unless someone gives me a few milli’ ha. I’m happy doing what I do and making the type of stuff I do. Be nice to do some bigbudget commercials so I can buy more stuff and pay rent without stressing. Less is more though! Stay up :)
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This was Bobby Dekeyzer’s first time in Malmö but with his pale Canadian complexion and slight accent (no one outside of the US can recognise a Canadian accent) it looked like he’d spent his whole life there. This backside
50-50 was no exception, Bobby rifled it off like he was born on a flat bar. Malmö, Toronto… Same shit right?
Converse in Malmö
Words Lee Berman
Photography Alex Pires
Unset table Malmö, Sweden, could possibility be the ideal place for a mid-summer skate trip. Due to its geographic location, during the summer months the sun doesn’t set until 10:00pm and, arguably due to global warming, the temperature lingers between 18 and 21 degrees Celsius, a perfect combination for an all-day skate party. Malmö might also be the most skate friendly city in the world, incorporating skate-able structures in all their public spaces and building multiple skateparks throughout the city. Malmö is even in the process of shipping the Love Park ledges overseas and redesigning an old plaza to house and preserve some of skateboarding’s greatest artefacts. I could stop there but I wouldn’t be doing it justice if I
didn’t mention the Team Managers dream, yet skate photographers nightmare, of being able to ditch the classic tour van lifestyle in lieu of buying cheap beater bikes to cruise around, and spending the duration of the trip cycling from one end of the city to another avoiding traffic, parking, gas prices, and the general heinous unavoidable stench of rotting skateboarders. All things considered, with Copenhagen Open across the bridge and around the corner, combined with a footwear and apparel collaboration days away from launching with Malmö based Polar Skate Co., it made perfect sense for the Converse boys to embark on a Swedish journey to the sun.
Sun Some people may be a bit confused by this roll-in photo of Sylvain (Tognelli). Yes, he properly rolled into this wall and was able to powerslide out and stay on his board without taking a Scandi’ plunge… It must have been fun because he did it about three times in a row but no one else in the crew was interested in trying their luck.
When looking back through our time spent in Malmö it seems many of the spots we skated were on the way to or from one of Malmö’s great restaurants. The problem with the sun staying out until 10:00pm is that businesses still shut down at a regular time, so often we found ourselves rushing from one end of town to another to catch some food before everything shut down for the evening. On this particular night we were on the other side of town when the boys decided they wanted to try and have dinner at an Italian restaurant they ate at the night before. While speeding across town to make the cut off we stumbled on this electrical box. While Aaron started to feel it out the owner of the property drove by, paused, gave us an extra long mean stare and continued on his way. Thirty seconds later he was coming through the bushes trying to swat Aaron like a fly in mid air. After a close call (pretty sure the old man would have gotten the shit end
of the stick had they made contact), photographer Alex Pires talked the old man into a few more tries and said he’d ‘even let him be in the photo’. Well, here’s the old man in Aaron’s photo, the power stayed on, and we all made it to dinner on time.
Sylvain joined our crew a few days into the trip and was a great addition. Soft spoken and always down to skate, Sylvain views skating through a different lens. On a rainy day Sylvain stepped up and was the only one to skate this four inch wide curb bump to rail. Wet feet and all he was able to 5-0 to 180 out and bomb the slick parking garage switch straight into the rain.
This was Aaron Herrington’s sixth time in Malmö, which made him a local. Instantly upon hitting the ground Aaron knew where to eat, where to skate, where to fulfil his vices and was dodging old Tinder flames like he had lived there for years. On his last trip Aaron had skated this ‘over rail onto the windowsill’, which he wanted to skate again and was claiming he was going to step to the rail when he was through. As a warm up he
banged out the ollie within a handful of tries. I’d like to give you a more interesting story but when Aaron wants something, he wants it, and with confidence and precise calculation he slid the curved rail to regular and fakie within the blink of an eye.
Watching Sage (Elsesser) skate tall obstacles is always a treat. Sage has the ability to turn one manâ€™s wallride into his everyday ledge. This electrical box is only about 100 metres from the giant skatepark in MalmĂś yet only a handful of tricks have gone down on it. Sage had no difficulty getting up on top of
this piece and noseblunted it while we waited for the rest of the crew to pack their stuff up and catch up.
Our first full day of the trip we met local legend Pontus Alv for dinner at his favourite Italian restaurant. After hours of catching up over bottles of red wine accompanied by pizza and pasta of all kinds Pontus insisted we check out some spots in the neighbourhood. Moments later, as the rest of the crew sat in a food coma in the dark on the side lines, Tom Remillard grabbed filmer Ben Chadourneâ€™s board and proceeded to blast ollies across the rugged channel of this apartment courtyard flower bed.
Cut from a different cloth you never know what you’re going to get from Ben Kadow. Whether or not he’s going to show up in the morning, or disappear at some point during the day is always a roll of the dice. Sometimes it seems he’s never skating at the best of times, yet always the last one standing on his board at the worst of times. Here is Ben the first time he set foot on his board in Malmö, after his
brand new set up was just run over by a car, switch frontside flipping a road gap while everyone else was still trying to shake off the jet-lag. After he landed this Ben disappeared and we didn’t see him until the next day.
The living breathing Enjoi panda known as Ben Raemers had a serious game of cat and mouse with the harbourmaster to get this ollie. Ben really only needed one good try to put it down but every time he jumped on his board a modern day version of a Scandi’ Viking was there to block his line. Eventually we told the Viking to call the police, which gave Ben the minute he needed to get a
good try in and roll away. It’s worth mentioning that in over a week of skating Malmö this is the only time we were ever kicked out of a spot.
6 9 Ph. Lars GartĂĽ
Jan Henrik Kongstein
Last spring I was really broke, so Janno said I could come work with him a couple of days at the moving company he works for. The first job was to help a couple move from their fifth-floor apartment to a house outside the city. The job took fourteen hours, it snowed and we even had to put chains on the truckâ€™s tires. I was wrecked afterwards. Janno does jobs like this regularly, and then goes out and gets a clip after. I have no idea how
Interview by Eirik Ballo
7 0 Frontside bluntslide to fakie Ph. Lars Gartå All photos in Oslo
he manages, but like he says himself ‘he makes it work’, without complaining. Maybe it is true that his fluffy slippers actually keep his feet healthy? Somehow he still describes himself as lazy, while working a full-time job and filming two parts a year. In an attempt to figure out his ways I invited him to the park to discuss smooth fabrics, questing and why he enjoys living in Oslo’s certified skate house despite his cleaning obsession.
7 2 Wallie Ph. Vittorio Brisigotti
Backside 5-0/willy grind Ph. Vittorio Brisigotti
For the past few years you’ve been living in Osten, And then you just moved in… which has become the go-to hang out and party spot for I was living with a couple in a really nice many of the skaters in Oslo. Can you describe what it is? apartment before and didn’t want to deal with the Jan Henrik Kongstein: Basically it’s the small four bedroom apartment I live in with Fartein (Bjørge), P-Jew (Petter Fredriksen) and Vittorio (Brisigotti). We don’t have a living room so everyone just hangs out in the kitchen. We have probably managed to squeeze in like 40–50 people there before, so we make good use of the space in that kitchen, ha ha. It has an anarchy sort of vibe, where everyone does what he or she likes.
How did it end up as the hub for many of the Oslo skaters?
My friends moved into the apartment two years ago, I wasn’t living there at first. They just loved that it was in the middle of downtown Oslo – and most important of all – really close to all the clubs. All our group of friends would just naturally end up there before and after skate sessions, as it’s located in the middle of the city. There would always be someone hanging around, so it just evolved into the go-to place to chill.
hassle of finding a new place when we had to move out. At first I just slept on the couch at my friends’ place, and then gradually I just ended up in Osten staying in Vittorio’s room since he was always at his girlfriend’s place. I got lazy, so I’ve just been staying ever since.
I spoke to Oskar (Galewicz), who you used to live with, about your need to keep the space around you clean at all times. How does that work now, living in a skate house?
I’m actually a huge fan of staying in nicer apartments. So I have this view of how I ultimately want to be living. But right now I’m content with trading that need in so I can keep having all my best friends around the house all the time. I like to think of it as a period where I can let my cleaning obsessions go and just chill with the homies. Plus, my girlfriend Ane just bought a really nice apartment with a friend so I stay there a lot of the time.
Oskar also said you find it uncomfortable not
Can you explain what Herotic is?
Herotic is just a group of boys that are too fond of each other, ha ha. It really started many years ago with a group on Facebook a bunch of us had where we would share photos, videos, and just generally shoot the shit. Then we figured it would be fun to do something more. It’s still just naturally taking form, but at least now we have some t-shirts and sweaters with dolphins on
Why did we put dolphins on there?
I have no idea where the dolphins came from. We’re more of a horse-loving group of people actually…
Yeah, should probably do some clothes with horses on them. Definitely need some horse-related gear. I also want to do some stuff with smooth fabrics, maybe silk. I just really like clothing with smooth fabrics; I’m a smooth fabric kind of guy. I was with Ane at this sample sale for a clothing designer the other day and that place had some amazing fabrics, expensive as fuck though.
One should never underestimate smooth fabric. What was the motivation behind doing Herotic?
I think these days a lot of the skate scenes in cities like Copenhagen and Paris are really based around crews. The skate scene in Oslo really merged together
Frontside 50-50 grind Ph. Vittorio Brisigotti
I can’t, under any circumstances, not use slippers indoors. It has to do with getting heel bruises so many times though. My feet really hurt walking on hard flooring without my slippers. Right now I have three pairs: a fluffy pair that were actually quite expensive, a pair of Birkenstocks and a pair of standard Nike beach slippers.
Frontside boardslide Ph. Lars Gartå
using slippers on hard flooring, is that also because you wanna keep your feet clean?
7 5 around four years ago and it’s just been a growing group ever since. Everyone just really likes hanging out with each other, on and off the board. From that it just felt natural to establish the crew a bit in Oslo as well and just say ‘this is us’.
And who would ‘us’ be?
That’s really difficult question to answer. Our group of friends are really open to meeting new people, skaters or non-skaters alike. As long as you’re a kind person and can chill and play enspretten (One Touch, One Bounce football game that’s been a staple in the Oslo skate scene for years), you’re more than welcome in my eyes.
I agree. I think anyone who follows any of the skaters from Oslo on Instagram have seen Møllapop up again and again. From the outside it must seem strange why we spend so much time there. Mølla has been there for so long; I skated there for the first time like ten years ago. At that time the concrete was really rugged with a bunch of crusty wooden obstacles. Then around two years ago the city refurbished it by adding a new layer of fresh concrete plus some ledges. It’s probably the biggest thing to happen to the Oslo skate scene in recent years.
Which is kind of ironic seeing as it’s just a 45 × 5 metre piece of flat concrete. It’s so small. I hated it at first. I honestly think one of the biggest reasons why we always end up hanging there is that we can do whatever we want. We
can skate and do our second favourite hobby: play enspretten… and barbecue and drink beer. Plus, all our non-skater friends can chill with us at the same time. It just makes it the best place to go, especially in the summer. I don’t think anyone has ever gotten a complaint or had the cops come there. It feels like home.
As a skate city in Scandinavia, Oslo has always been in the shadow compared to, say Malmö and Copenhagen. Why do you think that is?
First of all I think Oslo is just a bit further away from everything. And there haven’t been too many skaters that have blown up outside of Norway. It’s also more expensive than a lot of the other Scandinavian cities. I feel like Oslo is being put more on the map these days, which probably also has a lot to do with Instagram and stuff.
Do you think it will be put more on the map now with Karsten (Kleppan) bringing more international skaters to town?
Absolutely. M agnus (Bordewick) also does a great job of it, as he’s always been great at finding spots that look insanely dope. Pekka of course deserves a lot of cred’ for continuously putting out footage mainly from Oslo.
In all of your latest parts you have been skating to electronic music. Was that a conscious decision? It’s probably not more than a couple of years ago since I started getting really into more House,
7 6 Which tracks get rotation these days?
After watching this documentary on the emergence of Norwegian electronic music that came out last year, Nordic Disco Lights, I’ve been listening to a lot of older Norwegian tracks by Erot like ‘Song for Annie’, some Bjørn Torske releases and also the guys that I skate to in my part in Firetre, Those Norwegians.
You weren’t always a big fan of electronic music, though? I distinctly remember your tie-dye and Bob Dylan days. Growing up in the small town where I’m from all the skaters were into seventies stuff like Hendrix, Bowie, Pink Floyd and then later I got really into Radiohead. I think I first got really inspired by that French skate video called Megamix. There were a bunch of different tracks in there that I got really hyped on. Coming from listening to a lot of gloomy Radiohead tracks it was really refreshing to listen to more electronic music that got you hyped.
I remember we were all really into that Brodinski
Ollie out to ride on the ledge Ph. Lars Gartå
Caballerial one-foot Ph. Lars Gartå Techno and other electronic music. For my part, I think I was initially just following the trend at the time as it was really growing in Norway, and then got stoked on that. I feel like that branch of music really lives and you can really get into it, and it just gets you up.
track ‘Nobody Rules the Streets’. That was like 2013 or something. I also feel like that was around the time that our group of friends in Oslo got really merged and connected. Before that a lot of the crews in Oslo were sort of based on which city you grew up skating, there was the Hamar crew, Asker crew and Larvik crew to name a few. But then all that sort of merged into one big crew and the energy from that was just really ‘aaaaaaaah!’
The parts you put out before F iretre were really different from how your F iretre, Tigerstaden and Karsto and Janno parts were. From mostly doing tech ledge tricks, big stairs and rails to mostly focusing on funky street lines is quite the transformation. My attitude towards filming completely changed filming for Firetre. When I was younger I didn’t think too much about what I filmed, I just wanted to film the best possible tricks. Looking back, I wasn’t having a lot of fun filming like that.
At the same time, we would see you doing all this amazing stuff off-camera just dorking around. Did you make a conscious decision to change it up, or did Pekka persuade you?
Pekka should definitely get a lot of credit for pushing me in the right direction. He’s been really good
Ollie over to smith grind Ph. Ane Isungset
7 9 Backside nosegrind revert Ph. Vittorio Brisigotti
with helping a lot of the skaters he films with coming up with spicy ideas for lines. Pekka is amazing in that way.
I like that he takes the role as the director sometimes. For sure, as a skater you need that sometimes. It helps to have someone to bounce ideas off with. Sometimes he’ll suggest something I should do that I had never thought of and then it ends up working out really well. I try to keep it more fun now. These days I’d rather backside flip indy a six-stair than backside flip a twelve-stair.
You can still skate stairs and rails, I’ve seen you cabflip a ten-stair first try. You don’t forget how to ride a bike, right? Ha ha!
How do you approach filming and getting photos, do you have a list or do you just go out and wing it?
A little bit… I really just like to spend time with my friends; we usually end up doing something fun anyways. Just quest really; I’m always down for a quest. If anyone tells me about a project or something they got going I’m always down. Questing is good.
It’s important. Questing is extremely important.
A lot of your friends in Oslo are students or have been students at the University. You also enrolled last fall, can you tell us a bit about that? I think it is really easy for skaters to just get caught up in the now and not think about what you will do when you get older. Last fall I entered a Bachelor in Cultural History course at the University of Oslo to see what it was like studying at the University.
But then you dropped out.
Usually I like to have a certain trick in mind before going to a spot. I can’t scroll through photos of spots on my phone and then just go there without having thought of a trick. For me, it’s best if I can prepare and get hyped up on a trick beforehand. I spend a lot of time thinking about tricks I want to do.
The programme I was admitted to wasn’t my top choice when I applied, and then I didn’t end up getting to take the courses that I wanted to. On top of that I noticed that it required a lot of self-discipline as there was no one pushing you to hand in anything. So after two months or something I chose to drop out.
Do you watch a lot of skateboard videos to get inspired?
Are you tempted to give it another go on a different programme?
I’m not the biggest skate nerd, but I follow a lot of Instagram videos.
So what inspires you the most?
Honestly I mostly get inspired and hyped by watching my friends skate and get footage. That’s definitely the most inspiring for me.
What about when you’re not skating?
I don’t really have anything else that I’m really into apart from skating a little bit.
I’m going to work for a while and try to focus more on what I want to be doing in the future, just check out the different possibilities. Lately I’ve been thinking that working as an ambulance driver seems really interesting.
I didn’t know that you had been looking into that. I love driving and that fine line between life and death where you as a driver really matter is intriguing. But we’ll see. I sort of wish I had focused more on stuff
8 0 Ollie. Ph. Lars Gartå
Switch backside powerslide. Ph. Lars Gartå like this when I was younger.
to work overtime and sometimes I’ll get off early, it all depends on how big the job is.
I don’t know, maybe not. We’re quite lucky to be living in Norway where education is free so those possibilities are still open. I definitely want to do some sort of higher education in the future.
When we go skating after your work, you almost seem unaffected by that amount of manual labour.
Do you think that matters though?
How did you end up on Nike?
After Firetre, Karsten sent my part to Colin (Kennedy) at Nike and they wanted to start giving me shoes… I was obviously stoked on that.
Do they pay you?
They don’t pay me at the moment. I don’t spend too much energy thinking about that. I don’t feel like getting money from skating should be a motivation to skate.
But you have to make ends meet somehow. I work in the moving company now.
So how would roughly a day in Janno’s life go?
Get up between six and eight in the morning then go to work not knowing when you’ll be done, ha ha. The job just needs to get done, so sometimes I have
It can be tough to go skate after carrying refrigerators, pianos and boxes to the fourth floor for twelve hours...You just need to plan a little bit ahead. But I make it work.
Anyone you’d like to thank?
I would like to thank my family, my girlfriend Ane and her family, all my friends, Session Skateshop, Anders Sollie at (Spitfire & Thunder Norway), Vaughan and Colin at Nike, Mike and Pontus (Polar Skateboards), my chiropractor Eirik Skarholt, Herotic, Tunco for the best food, Karsten for all the help. All the people I’ve met and everyone I forgot.
PATRICK ROGALSKI, FS SHOVE-IT • PHOTO: DENNIS SCHOLZ
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op Arthur Derrien
When we got in contact with Hugo and Romain about working on a video part/interview this isn’t exactly what we had in mind. Hugo had been floating under the radar for way too long and all we wanted was for him to produce something that would finally do his skateboarding justice. It was never the plan to print full-page photos of him hippie-jumping his filmer’s leg. So what happened along the way? Has he completely lost it? Have we? I’m not sure the following interview really answers those questions but what it should do is at least give you an idea of what goes through two people’s heads when they come up with a concept as unorthodox as this one. And who knows, there might even be enough reason behind it for you to want to head over to our site and watch the end result…
You two have been filming for ages right? When did you meet?
Romain: Yeah we’ve known each other for years… Hugo: Since 2005/2006 maybe. And you’ve been filming together on and off since then right?
RB: I’d say it started a few years after we met. This is the first project we’ve worked on just the two of us though. Usually I film him when he’s out skating with everyone and he just has a few tricks in my clips. We’ve never done anything one on one like this. It’s usually a lot more spontaneous. How did this skater/filmer interaction idea come about?
RB: It was Hugo’s idea. HM: OK obviously we were both really flattered when you approached us about filming a part/working on
an interview but I’m in a period where I’m finding it harder and harder to watch ‘regular’ parts. I’m a bit bored of them. I don’t like how they have to be so esoteric… We wanted to do something a bit different. I’d also just come back from Berlin where I’d been filming a little part for Place Mag and my girlfriend asked me: ‘So is it always just you or one person in a part? Why is it always the same thing?’. And she’s right; the concept of a part is a bit selfish. It shouldn’t be all about the skater. Everyone knows that the way a video is filmed is just as important as the skating. I guess this was about showing that the filmer and the skater need each other. It is quite rare that you have a video part/clip that presents the filmer and the skater’s efforts on the same level. Maybe having Romain in there helping you pop out of your nosegrind in a way symbolises that it’s a two way street?
HM: Exactly. We need filmers as much as they need us. When I grew up skating, the filmers from Rennes (France) played a huge role in putting my relatively small scene on the map. Coming back to what you were saying earlier about having a hard time watching ‘normal’ video parts recently, it’s something you can kind of tell from your skating as well. It went from being relatively ‘conventional’ to quite unique in a short space of time. What do you think happened and what do you watch now?
HM: I think my skateboarding was almost hypernormalised. Like you could tell who my influences were the second you looked at my skating. Maybe it’s my attempt to break away from this. Maybe it’s linked to me being pushed to think about similar stuff in the context of art when I started university. When you’ve watched a lot of skating for a long time it’s normal to become a bit more ‘picky’ and stick to what excites you. So what would that be now then?
HM: Mainly just videos that get posted on the YouTube channels I subscribe to. I love the Fancy Lad videos. Also these guys called Unusual Protocol that made a video called Beez 2. Discovering those videos a few years back really made me feel like I’d been going
around in circles with everything I was doing before. But yeah I don’t really go on regular skate websites or anything anymore.
What is it exactly that you dislike about more conventional skate videos then?
HM: It’s hard to explain. Part of it is linked to the fact that although there is innovation it feels tiny to me. And not even particularly significant as all it does is show a group of already initiated people that you can add a kickflip or a shove-it somewhere. I’d like to see innovation that opens up skateboarding to people outside of skateboarding. And I’m not talking about jumping further or higher than the next man. It’s rare that skateboarders care about opening up what they do to people that don’t skate… Why do you think you do?
HM: Yes it’s rare and it might be because of that. Maybe I felt uncomfortable explaining what we do with my skateboarding friends to my non-skateboarding friends or loved ones. I think it can only be good to open it up and have non-initiated people’s feedback. That’s the sort of thing that could lead you to try something else and then say something else. But I know it’s always hard to try to do something different to what we think skateboarding is. That’s why I sometimes think that for me skateboarding is not a good medium to produce the things I want to do. RB: It’s a shame though because as you said, when you do show videos to people that don’t skate and they are able to appreciate them (to some degree at least), they often make very interesting points. Comments about stuff you wouldn’t necessarily notice – probably because they have a distance to them that we don’t have. Like Hugo’s girlfriend… Coming back to this concept: once you guys had agreed that you were going to focus on interactions between the skater and the
filmer, how did you go about it? Did you just come up with ideas on the spot?
HM: Romain showed up to Brussels (where Hugo lives) with a list! Romain later sent over the list. Here are some examples from it: – Board thrown towards me so I flip with hand – He goes through my legs – Wallie my foot – Boardslide, tailslide or noseslide where I hold his nose and throw a shove-it/kickflip
RB: Yeah we knew our time together in Brussels was limited so why not plan things a little bit? If we hadn’t been as organised we probably wouldn’t have gotten as much stuff. HM: Yeah it was useful. We did come up with quite a few ideas on the spot though.
RB: Davy (DVL who met them to shoot this article) also helped out a lot. Once he was on board with the concept he helped loads with the spots. Although he was definitely pretty sceptical about this whole thing when we first explained it to him… I bet he was. Trying to shoot this stuff isn’t exactly the easiest task. Especially when you’re used to shooting with dudes like Daan Van Der Linden who skate massive shit.
HM: Yeah but because of the fact that it was so different from what he usually does, once he was on board he seemed to really enjoy it. I’m glad we did it with Davy. RB: He was definitely very confused at times though ha ha. At one point he even came out with ‘I feel like Alex Pires shooting the Blobys’ whatever that means ha ha. HM: I also really like how linked the article is to the video, with Romain and his VX actually being in the photos. Getting the shot didn’t just rely on the skater landing the trick, or the photographer capturing the right moment (and angle, light, etc.), it also involved the filmer being in the right position to show that he himself was part of the trick. It was interesting having that third variable. It certainly seemed more choreographed than your average skate session.
RB: Absolutely. It felt like I was choreographing the act of filming skateboarding. I wouldn’t usually do epic slides down slopes to film Hugo doing a line. The good thing is that Hugo’s skating tends to feel spontaneous regardless of what he does. If it were someone that moved even just a little bit slower it would have looked way too staged.
RB: It’s because usually his skating isn’t thought out like that at all. He kind of just improvises. What’s the deal with the paintings you go
through at the beginning and at the end of the edit?
HM: They are paintings by my girlfriend. We wanted to express the idea that when you start the part you are entering something and when you are finishing it you are exiting it. We also thought it would be interesting to revert back to a simpler form of info-graphic, one that wasn’t digitised. RB: It’s a part of your personality that’s shown through that as well no? It’s Victoria (Hugo’s girlfriend) that painted these but you also paint a lot yourself and it’s a huge part of your life. HM: Yeah maybe… I don’t think that was the reason for it though. It also adds another dimension to the whole thing. On top of having the filmer and the skater interacting together on screen you also have both of them interacting with the titles that are on the painting.
HM: Yeah exactly. RB: Can we say something about the music?
Go for it.
RB: Just that the song is by Arthur Chambry
who’s a close friend of Hugo’s. I’ve always wanted to use one of his songs and this one fits perfectly. So the song’s by your mate, the painting by your girlfriend, Romain who filmed this you’ve known for over ten years…
HM: Yeah I like to keep my family close ha ha. I love that everyone that’s contributed to this is tight. I think that’s quite a significant trait of my personality… I can’t really film skating or anything like that unless I’m with people I’m really close to. That’s why with Romain it was perfect; we’re completely on the same page when it comes to this sort of stuff. It’s a lot easier to exchange ideas. Bonus question: What’s Tonic and do you skate for Tonic or Magenta?
HM: Tonic is a small board company that was started by my friend Louis Deschamps. The answer to your question is that I skate for both of them. Tonic and Magenta. Okay…
HM: And they’re both completely fine with it. Am I the first skater to have two board sponsors? We even asked Vivien (Feil) for advice about how to set things up when Louis was starting Tonic. He was really helpful! He just asked if I’d still be down to skate for Magenta and I was. We’re all very happy with the arrangement. Louis’ goal was never to make something massive. It’s more like a collective that makes products. He’s not chasing sales or anything like that. It’s just something small he does with his friends. Damn, can’t wait for that collab’ pro model… Nice one, thanks boys!
breaking rad enjoi
uk – email@example.com – www.dwindle.com spain – firstname.lastname@example.org – www.dwindle.com germany – email@example.com – www.urbansupplies.com
Ryan Townley Ollie out to the pad Leyton
Photography Alex Papke
Words Dom Henry
Dakota Hunt Roll-in Rotterdam
Roman Pabich Backside noseblunt backside revert Basildon
When you’re embarking on a week-long skate trip in a major city, it usually helps to start afresh, with a wellrested body and mind in preparation for your adventure. This was not a luxury afforded to the Welcome team upon their arrival in London however – by the time I met them at Paddington station on a Sunday night in early June, their travels had already taken them throughout the
Netherlands and Germany, followed by a long weekend at the NASS Festival. Almost three weeks into their trip skating every single day, and straight off the back of camping at a party-heavy music event which included a scheduled demo appearance, any rational skateboarder would be forgiven to be yearning for home comforts and a few days off. The next morning, whilst waiting for everyone to get themselves together for their first day skating the streets of London, Ryan Lay jokingly and
apologetically warned me that I was likely to be getting the worst version of all of them on this leg of the trip. The line-up he cast this prediction upon consisted of himself, Will Blaty, Ryan Townley, Daniel Vargas, Rick Fabro, Aaron Goure, Roman Pabich and Dakota Hunt alongside TM, filmer and trip mastermind Richie Valdez and photographer Alex Papke. Thankfully, this worrying prophecy did not come to pass, and I was in fact amazed by the entire team’s relentlessly positive vibes and ability to gear
seemingly spearheaded by Aaron Goure, which had already produced two hefty posse cuts on their travels prior to the UK and who were now working on a Londonspecific club banger which was eventually released under the title ‘Pounds and Pounds’. This lead to numerous
discussions regarding British slang, not to mention requests for writing paper and pens during rush-hour underground travel when D-Vargs realised he’d concocted a bar that he simply needed to document before it could be forgotten. The results of these unique
Ryan Townley Ollie Clapham
up their aching bodies to make something happen each and every day of that week. I quickly discovered that the team’s electric dynamic had led to the formation of a formidable Trap music outfit known collectively as the Bakery Boyz – a group
Daniel Vargas Boneless Rotterdam
0 compositions can be found in the ‘Three Piece Overseas EP’, available to stream at soundcloud.com/ ajgpro.
A hell of a lot went down within the space of a week, but one of the gnarliest tricks by far was Roman’s tail drop ollie
from the second-storey outer wall of a car park into a brick bank far below on a day where we ventured out of central London to
Ryan Townley 360 flip Rotterdam
Roman Pabich No-comply Tottenham DIY
Aaron Goure Ride-on grind London
check out a couple of burly spots in glorious Basildon, Essex. He’d already dropped the jaws of the team and locals alike by finding two consecutively higher points around the building from which to do this, and taken those two tail drops down with ease. But as
he stood atop this final, third and highest point, I don’t think anyone could really believe what they were seeing. No-one spoke as Roman made minor foot adjustments metres up above our heads, and when he finally attempted it, it felt as though he was
falling for about eight seconds. Thankfully he rolled out enough on the first try to get away with nothing more than a hearty tumble, and after just one more go he was riding off the curb into the street. Speechless… Ryan Townley went to town on pretty
Tottenham DIY park was a real treat for the eyeballs. Our final day featured a stop-off at the almighty Slam City Skates where the team kicked it with the kids and locals before we headed off for a session at Stockwell Skatepark. Not even a severe downpour minutes after our arrival could dampen the mood, and we waited it out before getting the roll on properly. Will kept the octane pumping with numerous boosted manoeuvres over the Shier steps in the bank, and the tight mini quarter got a severe seeing to from the likes of Daniel, Rick and
Roman Pabich Tail drop Basildon
Dakota may just take the award for most enthusiastic on the trip, and when he wasn’t finding perilous obstacles to roll into or asking questions about the age of Big Ben, he could normally be spotted tight-rope walking across train bridge walls or meditating beside main roads with his shoes off. Rick Fabro meanwhile kept the hype alive with a bottomless pit of tunes on his portable speaker, and when the time came he was always ready to charge the transition and take slams to get his tricks. Watching Rick, Roman and Daniel fly at both Victoria Park and the
Ryan Townley Fast plant Clapham
much every spot we went to, and besides having unbelievable pop and waist high flip tricks, one of his most remarkable attributes is an almost infallible consistency of foot placement when it comes to fast plants – I don’t think he ever failed to get the pop right and connect his foot to his target whilst simultaneously catching the board, be it on the perilously skinny backboard of a bump-to-bench-topavement, over the wall at Stockwell, or even just on suitable street debris en route to spots. I’m pretty sure he could fastplant in his sleep. Top marks for accuracy.
1 Roman. Aaron strapped on a glamorous white do-rag which gave him the power to bring the house down with an almighty early-grab back three from a small quarter-to-wall and out over the pavement to the street, tweaking the
grab on some serious Hosoi shit! For most of the team this session was the final chapter of their Euro odyssey, although a few were going onwards to Copenhagen. Our afternoon mucking around in the south London drizzle served
1 as a perfect warmdown to a productive week in London. Hopefully this selection of photos gives you a taste of the spontaneity of the Welcome crew along with a flavour of the adventures they had on this side of the Atlantic.
Ryan Lay Backside 50-50 pop-out Rotterdam
8 Rick Fabro Invert Stockwell skatepark London
Will Blaty Switch wallride fakie ollie out Rotterdam
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