It’s 10:30 p.m. and after stealing some fries from Markus Blessing Denny sits down for this interview on a bench in front of a burger joint in the Spanish spot paradise of Vigo where he went on a spontaneous trip with a couple of friends. The filming for his part has to be finished, with which he will rise to the pro ranks for Flip. That’s what it looks like when you earn your living with skateboarding: always on the road, no regular working hours, and having meals in passing. There are, however, worse things in life. Or on the contrary, there is hardly anything better. In fact, Denny says that this is what he considers “living the dream.”
Mika Germond – just skate
The beauty of skateboarding is that there are no set guidelines and that you have room for individual development. Everyone can do their own thing and do whatever they want. It’s a meeting place for free spirits – at least ideally. In reality, however, there are just as many codes of conducts, guidelines, and no-go’s as in other scenes or social groups. The range of what shit flies and what shit absolutely doesn’t fly is usually linked to seemingly arbitrary trends, but it nonetheless unfolds a strong normative effect. Wear the wrong outfit, do the wrong tricks, be interested in the wrong things apart from skating and you can quickly feel like nobody invited you to the party. Mika Germond, however, does not care about such a narrow-mindedness. Whether it’s the fact that he enjoys the despised competitive just as much as the highly regarded creative side of skateboarding, that he’s using his hands by doing a caveman in or a yank out, or even that he recently started learning jazz dance, his thought patterns are more open. All this helps to bring out his approach to skating from the masses of the mainstream.
Freedom – Psychedelic
Freedom is a German board company that Bartosz Ciesielski has operated out of the tranquil city of Iserlohn with a lot of passion, lifeblood, and rock and roll spirit since 2002. Whereas skateboarding has put on a more art school-ish flavor over the last couple of years, the guys over at Freedom have always stayed true to themselves and continue to tackle the meanest rails and gaps that can be found in their faithful working-class style. Their soon-to-be released full-length “Psychedelic Penetration” will be no exception and certainly keep the stair count at a high level.
There are a lot of weird YouTube videos from Russia, there are a lot of oligarchs in Russia, and a lot of great, melancholy books have been released by Russian authors – but you hardly find any skate brands in this huge country. Absurd is one of the few and maybe the most well-known one internationally. Gosha Konyshev in the Moscow winter, the road trip through the country to Siberia, or the visit in Abkhazia – you probably saw at least one of those videos. About a year ago, Absurd team manager Kirill Korobkov invited Belgium photographer Davy van Laere to an exhibition in Moscow, but Moscow was cold at that time, so they decided to go on another one of these absurd Absurd trips to avoid the winter. The destination: Sochi. The city in Russia with a subtropical climate and the same latitude as Nice.
Nike "Autobahn 58" Tour
This tour began in Berlin and continued via Hamburg, Frankfurt, Würzburg, and Stuttgart until it finally ended at the SKTWK in Düsseldorf. It was a nice little cross-country road trip from east to west and from north to south. In the van, there was a German Nike squad consisting of Giorgi Balkhamishvili, Hyun Kummer, Farid Ulrich, and Kanya Spani plus Michał Juraś as Polish ambassador and Michi Mackrodt as ripping TM. By just reading the names, you can already tell that there was not too much “Tschörmäännnny” in this crew. It was more like a crew of international smooth operators. Even filmer and photographer – Russian jurist Anton Beliaev and English gentleman Joel Peck – had migration backgrounds. Erik Müller, who joined us on the way, was the only true German potato in the colorfully mixed ratatouille.