Throwing Shane O’Neill out of a contest before even having any facial hair, skating a lot of contests, probably becoming German champion at some point – maybe even several times – that’s what people usually have on their radar when they think about Jost Arens. Red Bull cap, team Titus, and born somewhere in the middle of nowhere around Münster (Warendorf, to be exact, the city with the stallions), that’s also pretty well-known and has been rehashed enough times already. So why talk about it again? Why blow up this interview with question after question if Jost’s skating leaves none of them unanswered? Exactly! That’s why we present some short and concise information here and the rest can be seen in the photos. Or in the Claudius Therme…
I actually don’t watch that many skate videos, but as a kid, I watched Baker 3 every day before skating and it’s still my favorite video. I can name every trick in it. It has become a tradition that my brother and I watch it every year on Christmas Eve and drink while doing it. Herman has my favorite part and he is also my favorite skater. Style! If he does a hardflip, I could jerk off! Ellington, Antwuan Dixon... there are so many good parts. Did you notice that Antwuan smoked crack on Instagram in a livestream the other day? At that time, I thought that their skating was rad, but the lifestyle of jumping on handrails drunk every day was not my thing. If I drink two beers, I can’t skate at all, but they had something completely different and that inspired me.
Extremely rad guy, one of my best friends. Skating five hours with him every day is the best. We go to Kap 686 and skate until evening without sitting down, drinking, or eating. Six years ago, we met at a Red Bull event. Then we went on a tour to Lyon together and, at some point, we decided to move to Cologne, even though we didn’t look for an apartment together. It definitely pushes me because I never had anyone in Warendorf who wanted to skate so much. They skated the little skate park ledge for half an hour and then smoked cigarettes and drank beer for three hours. Jan skates a lot of transition and I do some mannies, so we push each other quite well. If I want to try something big, I also call Jan to come along. When we play a game of skate, it’s fifty-fifty, depending on whether Jan is riding a 9.5 or a 9 board – although he can actually do every trick and even manage to land a switch tre with a 9.5. We also have to learn a new trick every day, and if one of us does learn a new trick the other one has to try as long as he can do it too.
This is important because my whole day is all about skating. I get up and think about skating. It’s exciting to talk about other topics with someone who doesn’t know what a kickflip nosegrind is. I was never aware of this, but it came over the years. I only noticed it when Ludi [Dennis Ludwig] told me that he has no friends outside of skateboarding. I already know a lot of them from school or met them somewhere by chance. Especially in Cologne, it often happens that you sit with friends in the park, someone comes and needs a lighter, and you get into conversation, have a beer together, and then see each other more often. Through my girlfriend, I also got to know many people.
I like to go to the spa in Cologne, the Claudius Therme, for a whole day to relax after a tour and get rid of sore muscles. Then you come out thinking you won’t even make the two-minute drive home, but after that, you have the best sleep of your life. I don’t smoke pot, but I imagine that it feels similar. After sharing ten square meters for two weeks with three people, it feels pretty good. Sauna, swimming, steam bath – the complete program. I don’t do massages, because I have a physiotherapist through the Olympic team.
Nassim Lachhab’s brother is a magician and also knows hypnosis. On a trip to Morocco, we were invited to their parents for dinner and then he did some tests with us and knew directly that it would work for me. If you don’t believe in it, then it won’t work cause you have to hypnotize yourself in the end and he just helps you with it. Then he flicked and I was gone right away. He said you can’t stop laughing and I laughed my ass off. You hear what he says and could also work against it. At some point he said, “Forget your name,” and that was too much for me and I woke up. Being hypnotized feels so weird, as if you are floating in the hand of God – it feels ultimately good, like when you nod off on the couch. He also hypnotized a girl and said, “If you wake up, you think Ludi is the king of Morocco,” and she woke up and couldn’t believe that the king is here – and then he made her forget the number four. However, he also said that there are many people in Morocco who do black magic and try to rip you off. They make you transfer money to them or sign contracts.
I think if I tried it once, I’d cross the inhibition threshold and would do it again and again. Many people say that you can try it once, but I know that I would like it and that is why I don’t do it. I know that I would like coke because I am such a party guy anyway. I love to go to parties and already stay there until six o’clock without drugs anyway. I drink Vodka Red Bull to stay awake. [laughs] A lot of people have said that if you move to Cologne, you will take drugs, but I swear on my life that I would never do that. Maybe when I’m old and it doesn’t matter anymore, [laughs] but I would screw up way too much with it. Skating, friendships, money, I drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes, but I don’t smoke every day and I don’t smoke when I’m skating, because I’m probably a role model for some kids. I had my lungs and liver and everything checked during an Olympic check-up and the doctor said, “I haven’t seen such a good liver in a long time.” So I said, “Nice, that means I can get drunk tonight!”
You can’t skate much more than me and that’s my training. Apart from that, the Olympics don’t change anything for me except that I have the possibility to travel to cool countries and do contests, which I always did anyway. However, I already have a strike on the doping tests and after three, you’re out. I went to Warendorf before a tour to apply for a new passport, quickly visited my parents, picked up a package in Münster, and on the way back, my roommate calls me and says that two anti-doping officials are here and want to do a test. I just forgot to give notice. There is an app for always telling where you are, but you don’t always think about that.
I try to be on the phone as little as possible. That’s why I probably have the worst Insta account in Germany. Ludi sometimes says, “You haven’t posted anything for four months again.” Even if it might be important, I don’t want to ask my friends to film me for an hour – and I know that it always takes a long time with me. [laughs] Sponsors are actually very keen on Insta postings and sometimes think that I could post a little more, but since I have a lot of output through other media that are much more important to me than Insta, it’s okay for them. For the doping tests, I should be reachable all the time, but I often forget my phone at home. They also call me with an anonymous number and I don’t answer anonymous calls anyway... [laughs]
When I was 14, Benni Markstein (then Titus TM, editor’s note) called me and said, “Now you get 100€ per month.” I didn’t even know at that time that you can earn money with skating. Then everything came at once: Matze Dondorf from Red Bull helped me a lot as well as Joni Wronn from fine lines who is still my person to contact in these things. I also had an inquiry from another energy drink brand a week before Red Bull made the inquiry, and I mentioned it to Joni, who already knew about the Red Bull interest, and he just said, “Reject it.” And now I’ve been there for seven or eight years. The contract is renegotiated every year, whereas Titus simply renews it automatically. I was actually always satisfied with the offer they made me anyway and Red Bull Germany is really cool. In other countries, riders have to wear some ugly caps with huge logos, but in Germany, people who know skateboarding run it and you just send in your beanie and they’ll put a little logo on it.
I met Wilko in the skate park at the time when he lived in Münster. I was ten and he was 20, and we were still communicating through e-mails about going to skate because I didn’t even have Facebook. He already said, “I’ll get you on Titus and Converse,” and that worked out fine. Wilko was almost like a dad. When I was a minor, he had a certificate from my parents that he was allowed to take care of me on tour as a parent, come to the hospital in case and stuff. Normally, he’d always party well on tour, but when I was there, he didn’t drink a single drop and didn’t go partying. He said, “I promised your parents that I would stay with you.” When I was in Cologne, I stayed overnight at his place and was allowed to sleep in his bed while he slept on the floor. He also taught me a lot of important things and gave me some shit, e.g. for throwing the board when you are filming. That’s why I have never focused my board. Maybe only out of joy, after I’ve done the trick.