“He’s studying art history,” a text message I got said, just to get another one five minutes later saying, “Sorry, it’s business administration.” When I was researching for this interview, it turned out that even some of his close friends don’t know too much about who Paul is. And also in his interviews so far, you only get to know the skateboarder Paul Zenner but barely anything about the person behind the skateboard. When he’s out in the streets with his friends, skateboarding is mostly the one and only thing to talk about. And after the session, he’s heading back to Moosach, a part of town on the outer edge of Munich, to live his private life apart from skateboarding. Nobody really knows how it looks like. So, it was about time to get to know who Paul Zenner really is. Talking about life is way more interesting anyway than just talking about kickflips.
If you’re not that much into everyday skateboarding content, which conveniently appears on your smartphone when you hit YouTube, Instagram, or Snapchat, and rather get your kicks from rare Japanese DVDs, xeroxed zines you got from a guy in Russia, or limited photobooks from Australia, it’s very likely you know Nick Sharratt. In his online shop Palomino (which, by the way, is named after a bar from an old Burt Reynolds movie), he maybe has to offer the biggest selection of independent skate videos, zines, and magazines you can find anywhere in the world. More than five years ago, he started his adventure to bring all the nerdy skate stuff to the people who really love it. So, it was about time to visit him in his little office, which he shares with the Lovenskate guys in the north of London.
Conrad Bauer’s ongoing series “We about us” is about documenting a/his generation, about the now and forever, about fun and failure, and about the transitory and contrary nature of things. Casually and unobtrusively, he has captured those moments that portray his friends without skateboards and how they escape their everyday life. Their searching for autonomy, and what holds skateboarding together at its heart: their little freedom.
Michał Juraś has finally put the most difficult time a skater can probably have behind him. After his ender part in Grey Area in 2012, he had to deal with two severe injuries and, on top of that, lost Polar – the company that finally felt like a good fit – as his board sponsor. In a situation like that, others would have given up and chosen a different approach to skateboarding. But Michał is a fighter that will always keep getting up after being knocked down. That’s why we are looking forward to watching his first full part after five years in the upcoming video of his friend and filmer Kuba Kaczmarczyk.
A grinning Nikola Racan approaches me with light feet at the parking lot in front of Pula Airport, cigarette in one hand, old-school cellphone in the other. So far, the status of our friendship only said “Skype calls”, but he greets me with open arms in such a way as if we had enjoyed countless sessions together in the past. I put my baggage in the trunk and climb into the back seat of his old Kia that has Aymeric [Nocus] and Vantte [Lindevall] already waiting inside. Aymeric has returned here for the fifth time already, which makes him the longest-serving foreign visitor, and Vantte filmed a video with which the festival will conclude. By now, we’re rolling gently towards Fažana. The past couple of days were stressful, but right in that moment, I realize that I’m among friends and lean back in relaxation.
Right after CPH Open, the New Balance team went on a trip straight through Europe, from the north down to the south, from Denmark to Italy. There wasn’t much time to be spent in every city, but it was strictly street missions all day long and no matter where they went, it didn’t take too long till somebody yelled, “Spot’s done!” A team as diverse as this one gets footage wherever it goes. Here’s what the guys did in Germany.
Franky Villani is just the nicest guy, you can’t put it any other way. If you’ve met him and you don’t like him, there might be something wrong with you cause it can’t be his fault. He’s an easy-going, mellow guy. He’s carrying a stuffed animal in his pocket, catches rare Pokémon, and pumps “Don’t worry, be happy” on his boombox. He mumbles a few funny phrases, lies down to chill in the middle of a station forecourt, and all of a sudden, takes his board and attacks the biggest spots. He’s that guy whose name gets called when there is a spot that nobody else in the team dares to skate. But Franky has no problem with it. Even if he most of the times has to take some hard slams before landing the trick, he won’t lose his good mood and he’ll be even happier afterwards. As soon as he can skate, everything is good.