Well, being Vans Iberia, we made sure to cover two countries. For our first project “Iberico'' we only did Spain, so for the second one we had Portugal in mind. But all of a sudden Portugal had become the hot spot for everyone. Jesus Christ, companies from the US or even shops from Barcelona were sending their riders to film their videos and of course a lot of Brazilians were there anyway. On one of our trips I went to the airport to pick up riders and ended up picking up four Brazilian guys and taking them to their Airbnb… You could see footage from Portuguese spots on a daily basis. So I was getting a bit worried because we still wanted to film the video there, but who the fuck would be interested in it after seeing the spots get destroyed already? So I contacted all my Portuguese riders and asked them if there are enough unkown spots in Portugal? And luckily there were!
- Roberto Aleman
It’s safe to say you will struggle to find anyone who is more dedicated to anything than Hermann is to skateboarding. Having two older brothers who skate as well, his parents were so committed to their sons’ passion that they would choose Barcelona as a destination for family vacations. With the cards stacked in Hermann’s favor, he was able to keep the skateboarding dream going. After suffering and rehabbing from a couple injuries, Hermann is back on his A game and ready as ever to keep putting out insane parts, and maybe even handle some unfinished business, without much distraction. We would love to see this guy’s name on a board in the future!
Agata has been in this business for a long time now. She is one of those girls who I remember from many years back, before the female skateboarding boom. Back then I didn't have many chances to skate with her, as we were living in different cities, but I remember that she was always good and a few levels higher than other girls at that time. Today, after years, I can tell without any doubt that she is one of the best female skaters in Europe. I like to work with her because apart from being very confident on her board, she has a great style. I am never worried when she is trying tricks, she is always focused and knows exactly what she wants to do. She never gives up, she works really hard and is always super motivated – as a photographer, I greatly appreciate that. Agata is also the coolest person so everybody likes to skate with and spend time with her. I'm stoked that she has joined the Grey Area crew, and I'm sure that you will hear more about her soon!
- Kuba Baczkowski
I first met Charlie earlier this year while we were on skate trips to Gran Canaria with different crews. Much like Portugal over the course of this year, Gran Canaria was an absolute hot spot for skateboarding during the last winter. Charlie’s wrist was freshly put in a cast, the first injury of a couple to come during the year, but it did not slow him down for too long. He was busy with trips and a couple stops of the Monster Energy Euro Tour. So much so that he was barely around London for months. Eventually, during some time back home, we managed to go on some missions around London with his “Boo crew” and I got to know him a little better. You can easily tell that Charlie has a special way with people, he can be very charming and generally makes people around him feel good; but, at the same time, he won’t hold back his thoughts or shy away from confrontation. And while he claims he’s settled down a bit from previous years, you certainly will not be bored in Charlie’s company!
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.
- Robert Christ
You can tell Alexander “Zander” Mitchell likes his home because he has a globe as his profile picture on Instagram with an arrow pointing to a small patch of earth in Canada – a country that has already brought up many pros with a lot of finesse in their skating, one of the most insane contests ever, and a more interesting podcast than its North American brother. The red maple leaf has stood for quality in skateboarding since forever and you can see that virtue again in Zander’s skating – whether he does one of his insane ledge moves just for social media or goes on a mission to get clips for the upcoming Dime video. You should scroll through his Instagram and see that finesse for yourself; and that’s exactly what we did as well before sliding into his DMs for a quick chat.