There’s a Moroccan proverb that says, “Only when you have broken your bones, do you become a rider.” At least, that’s what Google claims. Nassim didn’t break his foot, but he twisted it so badly on a photo mission for this interview that he came back from the hospital in a cast and on crutches, prematurely ending his collecting photos for this interview. Luckily, though, he had already bagged enough bangers in just a few days. This either means that skaters tick differently than riders or that Nassim had broken enough bones already. The latter is probably more accurate because Nassim skates all day, every day and doesn’t spare himself when it comes to the size of the spots. Another Moroccan proverb says, “Entrust your camel to the omnipotence of God, but tie it tightly to a tree first.” No idea how to relate that to Nassim, so we’d better leave the proverbs be and let Nassim’s friends and family have their say.
The approach of not just assuming Munich is crap but of actually looking for where it can be cool is what he instantly liked about the Bonzensport crew, says photographer Conny Mirbach. Normally, especially as a young person, you think the folksy bourgeoisie simply sucks and just move to Berlin. These guys, on the other hand, have made themselves comfortable in their homeland. Although, “comfortable” is not quite the right adjective and the statement is not completely true. After all, during our joint video call, only Tomke and Julian (whom everyone just calls Shreddy) are sitting in the Bavarian capital while Jakob joins us from Mexico, where he recently moved with his parents. Nevertheless, the boys’ connection remains strong – just as strong as the will to search for something new. Along with Conny, we set out on their heels.
We’re as tired as everyone else of talking about the pandemic, but unfortunately, it’s a fact that it has brought us restrictions that changed all our lives quite a bit. Although we’re able – thanks to the digital age – to connect to almost any place in the world at any time via FaceTime, Skype, WhatsApp, or Insta, it doesn’t quite replace a personal visit. How does the surface of a spot feel when you roll over it? What gossip is there to learn at the local skate shop? Do you vibe with that new crew when you have a session together? You can’t really experience any of this in front of a screen, and since skateboarding is thankfully not standardized but open, the scene in your neighboring city might already be completely different than the one you know – and you probably haven’t even been there the last months.
Therefore, we tried to gather some folks who have recently caught our attention or of whom we’ve been excited to see something new for a while. Like when Friedjof told us that he would be down to shoot something with Niklas, we were just like, “Hell yeah!” Gelek was pointed out to us by three different people, all telling us how interesting his skating is, and in Axel Bergen’s case, we saw his clips in Tor Ström’s Until Then (if you haven’t watched it yet, do it now!) and his skating just screams out loud: I don’t care about injuries – which we instantly liked. Everything came together pretty naturally, and we finally sent out smoke signals around the globe to see what they and their scenes have been up to lately.
Cher Strauberry has quickly evolved into a role model for an ever-growing LGBTQ+ community within skateboarding while still figuring out her own journey. When asked, Yann Horowitz, a self-proclaimed Cher fan, did not hesitate a second to jump on the opportunity to conduct an interview with her for us. Against all odds and most likely due to the pandemic, the two staples of the LGBTQ+ community had not previously met, leaving us (and you) to be a fly on the wall for the first encounter of what turns out to be an explosive duo!