"Once you're a skater, you're always a skater. It's a matter of love," that’s the way Louis Taubert sees it – however, he's not skating as frequently as he used to anymore. Which doesn’t necessarily mean that he doesn’t spend as much time doing it, but he’s not killing himself anymore and mostly said goodbye to the world of sponsors. Instead, he discovered his love for surfing and prefers to spend a chill day at the Danish coastline. We accompanied him.
The Welcome team came to Europe with Ryan Lay, Daniel Vargas, Roman Pabich, Aaron Goure, Will Blaty, Ryan Townley, Dakota Hunt, and Rick Fabro for a pretty extensive trip. From the Netherlands, they went to Germany, then UK, and finally, some of the riders also participated at Copenhagen Open, which in the end meant a month on the road – which is pretty insane. Have you ever tried to skate every day for a month while just living out of your bag? You should. If you’ve read the text so far but don’t know what Welcome is, because you might have lived under a rock since Fully Flared was released, here‘s a brief history of the brand: Welcome began as one of these new little companies that came out of nowhere. Jason Celaya started it with barely any contact to the traditional skate industry, put (by then) no-names on the team and his weird drawings on shaped boards. At first, skateboarding wasn’t really ready for a brand like this. A team rider even got kicked off Huf because they didn’t consider Welcome a real board sponsor at that time. But slowly and surely, they gained recognition, grew bigger and bigger, and at one point finally, everybody seemed to skate shaped boards. And this summer, the team went on their first trip to Europe.
The Polar team took a fairly extensive voyage this summer. Paris, Stuttgart, and Cologne were on their list and hence it was the first time the team visited Germany. And you can really consider the team as such. It is a close-knit crew with strong solidarity and the quality of reviving the spirit of skateboarding in very special ways.
The Etnies team combined euro contests and filming for their video (yes, it’s finally coming to an end) and went on street missions between the Street League in Munich – where Conny Mirbach followed their steps for a few days – and the Mystic Cup in Prague. Besides Chris Joslin, Barney Page, Matt Berger, Nick Garcia, and Trevor McClung, there was, of course, also the brand’s German ambassador Willow on the trip. After the contest craziness was over, the footage stacked and his teammates had left again, we grabbed Willow to talk to him. About how it is when the crew comes by for a visit or also, the other way round, when he’s visiting the states. With regard to the theme of this issue and also to his autobiography “The German Hammerking” that was published in July, we asked him about topics like travel anxiety, cultural misunderstandings, or lack of esteem from US companies.
It feels like Michi Mackrodt has already visited every country on the map. In the skateboarding community, he has probably traveled way more than anyone else. But being on the road that much made it difficult to find a suitable date for a trip with photographer Friedjof Feye, which they already had in mind for a while. In the end, they figured out that they could just go during Michi’s holidays, which he spends in the South of France ever since he was a kid. His parents have a house at the beach near Bordeaux and Friedjof found it pretty interesting to cover what it looks like when a traveler is on holidays. No pressure, just see what happens. Cause although traveling to foreign destinations to film a clip is fun, it’s also exhausting and in the end, Michi’s job. But this trip was purely for the good times.
Malmö is basically a fairly manageable Swedish seaport. Although having few spots and not offering special merits for skateboarders in the past, their scene has blossomed now as intensely as almost nowhere else in the world and turned Malmö into a global hotspot. Next to Polar, a company called Poetic Collective, founded by Tom Botwind, calls the city its home by now. Since not only the Swedish but also (almost) every other European knows the hassle of seasons and bad weather, we asked the team to take advantage of the summer time and symbolically exploit it to the fullest on the longest day of the year – called Midsummer Night in Sweden and maybe better known to you as Go Skateboarding Day – in order to spent it skating as much as possible. To hang out and have a good time. At the end of the day, many of it took place on sculptures. Team rider Sarah Meurle captured the results in photos, so we have a bit of sunlight to look back on with winter on the rise.