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André Gerlich spotted something

With his eyes open to discover the unusual, André is driven to search for new spots almost every day, whether by bike in his hometown of Braunschweig, with the help of Google Maps in the surrounding towns and villages, or with friends at upcoming travel destinations. When working on projects, he looks for the missing spots rather than the missing tricks, keeping an eye out for interesting shapes, peculiar formations, and sometimes, simply, rough ground. Not even the last corner of the spot is spared but instead checked for every possible angle of skate suitability. It is not about the most blatant skateboard stunt but more about interpreting the various architectural possibilities of the places in their own way, choosing a trick that fits aesthetically to the spot, or leaving his mark on something previously unridden. Quite often, you stand in front of his “spots” with a grin on your face and wonder where he dug that one up again. This approach and motivation to find spots make for a perfect match between photographer and skater. After all, there are also those who prefer their spots to be served on a silver plate instead of getting their hands dirty. In some cases, these same people stand in front of André’s spots with a question mark over their heads and wonder why the perfect spot around the corner was left out. Others, however, are inspired and recognize the attraction of it. Personally, I can also say that André has already expanded my skate spot horizon by a few spots.

Backside 50-50

During my last visit, André told me about a bump to rail spot that he had found a few days earlier. In my mind, I kind of had fantasized about something like a two-meter-long kicker. When I arrived there, a run-up of cobblestones awaited me, which formed the mentioned “bump” in front of a sidewalk and was not longer than half a board. It basically consisted of two stones, which were pushed upwards by the roots of the adjacent tree. I looked at the “bump” questioningly and then at André and we both started laughing. Normally, the heavily intoxicated fans of the soccer club Eintracht Braunschweig hang around here on weekends. André was happy to breathe a different life into the spot with this trick. He actually also did a 5-0 there, but we both agreed that the “easier” 50-50 is the better trick because of how hard it is to lock in both trucks on this short rail.

Frontside Lipslide

Funny enough, André found this spot by chance while shopping with his father. For both of us, this structure had something of a UFO that accidentally landed in a parking lot look. It was important for André to choose a trick that leaves its mark, like a sprayer who chooses a special place or object for his tag instead of an ordinary wall. Besides his skate marks, he probably also left one or two question marks in the minds of supermarket visitors, who walk past this spot every day.

Roof Ollie

A skateable roof is always something of a little adventure. How do you get up? Even more importantly, how do you not fall down involuntarily? And how much time do you have until a resident complains? In this case, André had four helping hands and a lot of luck with the neighbors. On top of that, he was probably the first to enjoy skating this wonderfully shaped roof; and he didn’t fall down either.

Frontside Nosegrind

When André showed me a photo of this spot for the first time, I was immediately thrilled. However, the original purpose of this oven-like device is still a mystery to us to this day. Maybe that’s what makes it so special. Once there, I realized that the wobble from which you pop out was even rougher than I had thought and the shape made it even more difficult as well. In addition, André had to place the pop out in the slope exactly between two metal handles. This trick is definitely one of my favorites.

Backside 360

Just watching André prepare this spot, as he tried to make this slope a little bit more rideable with just a hand brush, put a smile on my face. The run-up, which was only half a push long, carried André with his backside 360 tries over and over again into the same landing spot until at some point his rear truck just dug itself deeper into a hole with each attempt. Somehow, it had a bit of a comedic performance watching him doing the same thing over and over again, getting stuck and not going any further. To be honest, I almost didn’t believe that the trick was even possible anymore, but André didn’t want to admit defeat and when he suddenly arrived at the bottom, we were all stoked. I love the moment when he breaks through the sand wall at the end.