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EDITO J’étais encore parti pour faire un édito tout plein de haine, parlant de pantalons trop courts, d’ourlets, de drônes, de HD, de Lil Wayne, d’overdose de ralentis, de Jaws vs 25 vs Ali, de musique “ é m o t i o n s - d r a m a t i q u e s - g a r a n t i e s ”, d’chaussures de football, de wallies tous les 2 tricks, de clips Instagram en guise de vidéopart, de la Street-League, de filmer du “street” en skatepark, des anciens Piss Drunk devenus straight-edge, des Jeux Olympiques, des wallrides en tout genre, des pros qui ne font que de cruiser, des amateurs qui font des cascades, d’la fin possible du Soma Skaterock, (?) etc... et puis en fait, Non. Je suis parti à Bâle à la place, donner un coup de main, à Oli Bürgin et son équipe, à monter le nouveau park indoor de la ville (juste à côté de Port-Land). Il n’y a pas à dire, c’est quand même vachement plus constructif et enrichissant comme activité. Voilà, va falloir vous contenter de ça, et de l’interview d’un gars qui ne fait même pas de skate, Joe Webb, et d’un autre, qui lui, fait du fingerskate. Bref, n’importe quoi! Quand j’vous dis que ça ne me réussi pas d’travailler! Allez si, quand même une dose de haine avant de boucler ce texte ridicule: Star Wars... C’est vraiment de la merde!

JOE WEBB interview

it might be a bit strange for you to be asked for an interview in a skatezine, but actually, I saw in your art, a lot of common points with the skateboard-art-culture. That’s why I asked if you would be interested in doing this! And I’m stocked you are! Yeah, as I said previously, you’re doing posters, using only “old - school” technics. Totally DIY, which is also an important aspect in the skateboard - scene. Why? Are you anti-technology? Well technology is everywhere now. We all spend a lot of our time looking at screens. I think its important to find ways of being ‘offline’. That’s why I chose an analogue way of working, There’s no real challenge in finding images online to make collages from. Theirs more an element of serendipity when you find an image in a found newspaper on the train or bus.

The ‘Zine scene is also using those technics since years. Do you have anything to do with fanzines? I sometimes allow my images to be used in fanzines. I like the DIY approach of them. The messages in your art are strong, and really critical, against a lot of aspect of modern society. Do you think art, and yours especially can change anything? I mean, do you think people will waste less water, or won’t buy a Gucci bag for example after seing your stuff? I hope the art will make people think, do I really need all this stuff… and where does it come from, whats the impact of it on the world, who’s making these… a sweatshop somewhere? I’m not here to preach though, it’s up to the individual to make up their own mind.

Can you live from your art? Or you also have to do some crap sidejobs, like shitty flyers-ads for huge corporated companies, using Photoshop and all?! I live from it. Making prints of the works helps‌plus the support of some good galleries who help sell my stuff. Alright, what’s next for you? I have a new solo exhibition at Jealous Gallery, London in February and March.

Hey that’s it. Thanks for your time. Wish you all the best. DIY or die! Cool, thanks for the interview. Check out more of my work here:

Hannes / fs 5-0 / fabio Stoll

boris / sw heelflip / fabio Stoll

samir / get fucked / fabio Stoll

charlie & miro / drop that shit / g.i.jey

eddy / drop that shit / g.i.jey


boulal / kickflip fakie / g.i.jey

flo / kickflip rocks / g.i.jey

manu / wallride / g.i.jey

Does size really matter?

FS Smith / Murat

Hi Martin, what’s up? Busy dealing with all your fans and new sponsors since you became a star after your interview at Jenkem?! Hi Jey, oh yeah, I´ve been super busy since then! TV shows, interviews, press meetings etc., I barely have time to breathe anymore. Joking aside, the interview was a really great opportunity to give a little deeper insight in the fingerboard universe. In general I´m about to prepare the fingerboard world championship “Fast Fingers 19“, which will take place here in Schwarzenbach at the end of May, and much more stuff like tradeshows etc.. Busy days in 2016! Just kidding. No seriously, this interview was sick. I realised, I really had no idea at all about fingerboarding. Sorry to say that, but in my mind, it was just a toy, which I had fun with a while ago, in school-class, at home during a rainy day, while being hurt, etc... I even thought TechDecks were the first and only thing you could get! But actually, fingerboarding started way before I was even born, you guys built a whole scene, amazing parks, great fingerboards, etc... Could you tell us a bit more about how it all started for you? When I started to discover fingerboarding, I was eager to have fingerboard ramps with perfectly fitting copings, perfect radiuses. I´d been building skateboard ramps for a long time back then and when I couldn´t find anything to buy on the internet, the idea of blackriver-ramps was born. Starting to organize contests and demos around 2000, led to the development of the fingerboard scene. Basically we were the first ones who took fingerboarding seriously and saw more than a little toy on the supermarket shelf. Since you sent me this box full of products, I realised, that, actually, the only good thing about TechDecks, is, the price... Because, in fact, it’s like riding Wallmart kind of crap boards! How does it feel to see companies selling shit, taking over the business, while you are struggling, eventhrough, your products are 100 times better?

Kickflip 5-0

I don´t care how much money they make with their toys, it´s just a pity that they do not sustainably invest in the fingerboard scene. So much more could be possible, for example event sponsoring like it is common in skateboarding. Years ago we had requests from big supermarket chains, which wanted to distribute our products. We ´ve always denied that since I don´t want to see my products on their shelves. Our main drive has always been to make great stuff for ourselves and the fingerboard scene. Money has never been in the foreground. It´s the same in skateboarding, you don´t want to see your favorite brand in the supermarket. That´s good for the short-term cash flow of a brand, but that´s it. It might sound trite but we make stuff by skate-/fingerboarders for skate-/fingerboarders and until now the customers have appreciated that. You said in your interview, that “fingerboarding feels real”. I can understand, ‘cause, that’s how I actually understood how I had to put my weight to have the righ balance for a smithgrind! Did fingerboarding helped your skating as well and/or the opposite? I think I can say that fingerboarding contributes a lot to a better understanding of skateboarding. When I see folks like Luan Oliveira or Torey Pudwell, I can´t help but think, that those dudes fingerboard with a skateboard :-) If you can pop an ollie with a fingerboard you´ll automatically understand how it works with a skateboard. And that applies for all technical tricks on a skateboard. So all those fingerboard kids will naturally gain a better understanding of skateboard tricks. Just compare it to Tony Hawk´s pro skater although it´s a poor comparison since it´s just about pushing buttons. Still - everyone can do it and gets a glimpse of the fascination of skateboarding. Fingerboarding is similar, just that it´s a real physical act doing tricks with your fingers. You can definetely feel the tricks. Due to that I think the quality of fingerboarding has a bigger impact on skateboarding and is more, so to say, “real“.

FS Wallride / Hies

FS 5-0 / Assmuth

FS Invert / Beckmann

To me, it’s also a great way to get over my frustration of not being able to land anything technical on my skateboard! (laugh) I mean, with your fingerboard, for example, I did land some - nollie flip noseblunt - (on the slappy curbs you sent me)! Something I can’t even dream about trying on my “real” board! I can totally hear you, especially when you get older the motivation is often bigger than your physical capacity. I love doing kickflips on rails with the fingerboard - i´m always excited and it´s extreme fun, although I´d never do that with my skateboard. I have a big respect for skaters who have this kind of stuff on their trick list. What about Blackriver-ramps? You guys also built some “real” skateparks and stuff; You seem to be really active in the local scene! Skateboarding has gone hand in hand with building ramps since my very first days on a board. I´m from a small town in the Bavarian outback, we didn´t have great streetspots and mostly we skated curbstones. That was the main reason why I started building ramps at a young age. My first big project was the „Ass Hall“ in Hof in the early 90s, I was 19 back then. In the last 20 years more than 10 parks and spots have been built within a radius of 15 km. Is the DIY movement important for you? Because the design of your parks seems to be similar to the Blackcross bowl, or Port-Land in Basel for example... Tight transitions everywhere! The DIY movement is great, it reflects what skaters actually want to skate – small playful spots. In fact the big commercial skatepark companies should learn a lesson from the DIY scene. Though, I think, you can´t really compare our parks to the Port-Land or Black Cross Bowl since for us the gnarly factor doesn´t play a role at all. Single spots have tight transitions in our parks/bowls, but they are definetely the exception. Maybe the heights are similar, but apart from that every spot is easily accessible, i.e. most spots are smooth and the copings

Layback FS Rock’n’roll / Assmuth

do not stick out that much. Skating itself is hard so why should one build parks/ramps, which are hard to skate? If you have relaxed spots every skill level will develop in opposite to what will happen in a “standard” park. I know very few skaters who are keen on skating 3-4 meter transitions or jumping down a 10-stair set. Those measurements are out-dated and my experience has proved that these kinds of parks are mostly unused since just exceptionally talented skaters have fun there. Seeing that is a stabbing pain in my skater heart. You told me you love ‘zines right? How’s the scene near you? Because overall, skatemags seem to be slowly dying... I love zines - they show skateboarding in it´s purest form without a lot of glamour and without having the back up of big corporations. Unfortunately I don´t know any people who make zines here. I grew up with skate mags and it´s a pity how they developed. I hope though that more and more small zine editions will be published in the coming years, because printing has got cheaper and more accessible than ever before. Zines will never die. Time for a classical Top 3 shizzle... Top 3 Spot - Blackriver Space Bowl - All parks around Malmö - Selb “Wavegarden” skatepark Top 3 Magazine - Boardsteine (RIP) - Thrasher - Fingerboarder Magazin Top 3 Skateboarder - CJ Collins - Daan Van Der Linden - Elias Assmuth

Wallride nosegrab to fakie / Prager

Pivot to fakie / Herzog

Wallride / Hopfensberger

So in the end Martin, does size really matter? (laugh) Apart from the actual size I do not think there´s a difference. Skateboarding happens first of all on a mental level and both in fingerboarding and skateboarding, you visualize and feel the tricks in your head first. Referring to the physical aspect it´s different and not different at the same .me. The feeling of doing the trick is the same just that you use your fingers. The main difference is the physical ac.vity though and the involved release of adrenaline. Some people need that, others don´t. If you refer to the size of the equipment, there´s a difference indeed, since physics play a role. The very first fingerboards were plas.c boards and they were just 24mm wide and really lightweight. Over the years we discovered that wider boards as well as wider trucks are way be5er to control. So, nowadays our fingerboards are 33.3 mm wide and that´s an en.rely different world. The same in skateboarding, slowly people start recognizing that wider boards and trucks have certain advantages like more stability and thus more board control. The whole grind performance changes and you land tricks be5er, too, since you literally have more wood under your feet. Back in 2009 we started to sell 9’’ new-­school street-­shape boards and our manufacturer thought we had gone crazy. At that .me 8.5’’ boards were s.ll considered to be ships. Regarding the development of board sizes, it´s way more common to skate a board over 8’’ now. Alright, that’s pretty much it... Wanna add something?... What are your plan in 2016? Any last words? Mostly I´m not able to plan that much in advance, as I pioneer you never know where the road will lead you. In any case my plans include a lot of skate- and fingerboarding, building one or another concrete skate park, spending time with my son and if everything goes well travelling to the US and going on vacation to Portugal. I think that´s it for 2016. Thank you very much for the interview, it was a pleasure.

Versus Skatezine & Plus #116  

Joe Webb interview - Martin Ehrenberger interview

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