Strictly speaking, Michi Mackrodt is too old for the diminutive, but if you want to utter the word “Michael”, a lump immediately starts forming in your throat. He just belongs to this type of people that have managed to grow up, and at the same time, preserved a young, curly-haired charm beyond the age of 30. For example, we had to postpone the interview because Michi texted me last-minute that he unfortunately couldn’t make it today because he’s in the delivery room right now and his second daughter had just been born. He added, however, that he would have time on the next day, between being in the clinic and taking care of his oldest daughter. Where “real” adults live in a state of emergency for at least two weeks, he faces the challenges of life in a rather relaxed manner. Even when you look at his old parts, hardly any differences to today become apparent. Michi has always been an extremely stylish skateboarder, and style never goes out of fashion. His desire to travel has not diminished either, but by now, he is more often on the road as a team manager – even there, he is still known as “Michi” and not as “Mr. Mackrodt”.
Yeah, what happened to the Workshop was really sad, but in the end, it turned out that the new team has some damn good riders as well, and one of them is Yaje Popson. We thought about doing an interview with him for a while now but somehow didn’t manage to reach out. Then this March, all of a sudden, Instagram showed me that he was in Berlin. So I wrote him a message and it turned out that he was just a ten-minute push away at the Bänke. I came over, and he told me that he was on a spontaneous trip to Europe because of a girl in Gothenburg. We hung out a bit before he went on to shoot some photos but planned to meet again in the evening. He hit me up after skating, saying that he was in a temporary art space that he visits regularly in New York. I didn’t really get what it was when he was telling me about it on the phone but was blown away when I got there. It was a huge open space with free food, free drinks, and a free jazz band flown in from NYC specifically for the occasion. There was also all the stuff you needed for doing artworks, and you could just hang there, create stuff, and have a good time – which we had. Messing around with colors, drinking, chatting about life and whatnot. We shared a lot of thoughts, but after spending just a few hours together, it would be presumptuous to say that I really know this Brazilian-born, whose skateboarding career nearly ended early because of problems with his knees. All I can say is that he’s a very thoughtful and colorful character and definitely one of a kind, and he really likes art. After we drove back, he jumped out of the Uber to find some spots for graffiti to continue painting through the night.
Deep in the strategy room of their headquarters in Münster, the Titus guys recently thought about how they could develop further as a brand in 2019. The result was to bring reinforcements on board. Filmer Dennis Ludwig became the new team manager and Dutchman Jelle Maatman the first team rider to reside outside of Germany. Wanting to integrate them right away, the team went straight to Lyon and immediately afterwards to Vienna – well, at least those who weren’t injured or on other tours. In the end, Patrick Rogalski, Markus Blessing, Jeremy Reinhard, Ludi, Jelle, and photographer Dennis Scholz were the ones ready to go.
When the Greek tragedy was established 2500 years ago, it was characterized by several features. One of them: masks. Using those, actors were able to slip into different roles and embody archetypical figures instead of bringing their own personality into the role. However, sometimes using different masks is actually making your own personality all the more apparent. That’s, for example, the case with Malmö local and newest addition to Polar, Filip Almqvist. He really likes to slip into different roles and characters and has now used those countless alter egos to invite himself for a chat for this article. One person – multiple angles, a self-reflection of a different kind. Jesus Christ has the floor.
London, Brussels, Paris, and then Copenhagen: for three weeks, the Pass~Port team was recently on the road in Europe. Apparently, that was enough time to miss each other. Despite all our efforts, we didn’t manage to meet in person. I ended up connecting with Trent Evan, the guy who founded the company almost ten years ago in Brisbane, a few days later by cell phone while we were on different sides of the world. A lot has happened since the launch of Pass~Port: moving to Sydney, various video projects, some collaborations, own shop, etc. What connects all these different things is the vibe behind them. You can tell that they take the things they do 100% seriously without ever really being serious. It’s like having a deep talk with your homie at the bar, only to end up talking trash and playing pool after a couple of pints anyway. You don’t have to overthink everything, you can also just have fun, hopefully sometime soon and with friends – no matter whether it’s in Europe or Australia.
Jack O'Grady – Kickflip | Photo: Thomas Robinson
Felipe got these photos on a San Francisco trip. He’s generally down to travel at any time. You can find out what else is up with Felipe by looking at these words of his friend Juan Virues and with a little word-association game.