From creating G.I. Joe helmets out of nuts to jumping into pictures with Mary Poppins, a love for Bob Ross to colorful surrealistic space drawings and black and grey tattoos, and from skating street in Nice to skating backyard bowls in Colorado – Chloé Bernard likes to express herself in many ways. With her studio in Marseille and her skateboard as a travel companion, she has everything she needs to do that, and maybe some sunsets and Tarantino movies for inspiration.
The fact that Ilja Judizki looks a bit off track on the opener photo may be because he and his travel companions Tjark Thielker and Friedjof Feye had right at that moment gotten out of the taxi that brought them back from a two-hour interrogation in the stronghold of the terrorist organization Hezbollah. The three of them only wanted to search for a few spots in Beirut, but they almost had to have a search party sent out after themselves. Also, Ilja had just reappeared on the board a few weeks before, after he had to take a three-year break and almost didn’t believe that skateboarding would be possible for him anymore. Sounds gnarly? Yep, there is a lot to tell and catch up on.
Jacopo Picozza – Ollie up to Frontside Flip | Photo: Ramon Zuliani
What’s the best part of skateboarding life? I think that most of us will answer: landing a new trick. I agree with this one, but what’s the second reason why we love skateboarding? It’s traveling! Going on tour, discovering new spots – especially if you don’t know much about the city that you are going to. In this case, Istanbul was a question mark for all of us. To my eyes, the city with over 15 million inhabitants on two continents is an Oriental version of NYC. Maybe the expression “melting pot” was invented there. Eleven skaters squeezed in a van for nine people, five days in the traffic jam in between beautiful spots.
When the African and European continent collided 40 million years ago, the much older African plate was thrust over the European plate and this collision zone was pushed upwards, creating an alpine plateau. Wind, water, and erosion carved valleys out of this plateau, creating the region of Sardona. Sardona was the third chapter of the Doodah crew’s ongoing project The Valleys of Helvetia. Secluded valleys like Glarus, seemingly unskateable to many, are full of hidden gems to us. While most skateboarders dream of marble curbs and fresh asphalt, we cherish riding spots hidden in nature, far from the urban jungle. The missions are rough, raw, and full of adventures. Getting to the spots often is the first one, cleaning them and making them skateable a hustle, but getting a trick on those crusted spots makes the struggle worthwhile.
The photos in this interview are from last summer when Samarria visited Berlin with the enjoi crew. You can tell she’s up for bigger spots, but you already saw that when she first entered the global skate world’s perception during 2016’s King of the Road. Handrails, hubbas, gaps – all of these are included in her CV. She also goes into contests with full power, which is why she almost broke her back in Street League; it sounds just as rough as the slam looked. At the time of this interview, however, she’s chilling at home in Rancho Cucamonga, 60 km east of Los Angeles. The 26-year-old still has to walk her dog, but first comes the interview for breakfast. Good morning, Samarria.