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Spotlight on Austria:
Tim Helbock Martin Walchshofer
Stefan Brandow H.S. Knucklehead Dan Lambert
In this issue... pages 1 - 13 Spotlight on Austria: Tim Helbock............................ pages 2 - 8 Martin Walchshofer........... pages 9 - 13 Stefan Brandow............................ pages 14 - 23 Artwork of Dan Lambert........... pages 24 - 31 H.S. Knucklehead vs. Science.. page 32 Contributing photographers... Dave DiNuzzoWorkaholics...
Editor & Art Director
Pittsburgh, PA 9 years involved with skating 3 years involved with photography
This Issue’s Writers
Dave DiNuzzo H.S. Knucklehead Vincent Morretino Lui Summer
Lauterach, Austria 13 years involved with skating 1 1/2 years involved with photography
On the cover: Stefan Brandow - Plant more trees! photo by Dave DiNuzzo
Interview, photos & translation - Lui Summer Layout - Vincent Morretino
Wie heißt du, woher kommst du, wie lange skatest du schon und wer sind deine Sponsoren? Also, ich heiße mit ganzem Namen Tim Dominik Helbock, ich komme aus Bregenz und skate seit ca. 7-8 Jahren. Meine Sponsoren sind X-World Skateshop und Infernal-Clothing. What’s your name, where do you come from, how long have you been skating for and who are your sponsors? Well, my full name is Tim Dominik Helbock, I come from Bregenz, Austria and I have been skating for about seven to eight years now. My sponsors are X-World Skateshop and Infernal-Clothing. Wie schaut es mit deinem Familienleben und der Unterstützung deiner Familie aus? Was sagen sie zu dem ganzen Lifestyle und zu der Kultur die mit dem Rollerbladen einhergeht? In Meiner Familie sieht’s so aus, dass ich eigentlich durch meinen großen Bruder angefangen habe zu skaten und seit dem eigentlich fast immer dabei war. Mein kleiner Bruder skatete früher auch öfters, nur jetzt leider weniger obwohl er eigentlich sehr talentiert dafür wäre … Was die Unterstützung angeht sind meine Mum und mein Dad eigentlich sehr froh darüber das ich soviel skaten gehe und nicht wie viele nur zuhause vor dem Computer sitze. Darum “sponsern” sie mich auch immer ein wenig wenn ich irgendwo hinfahre. What about your family life? Is your family supporting you? What do they say about the whole lifestyle and culture that goes along with rollerblading? I started to skate because of my older brother and since then I have always been a part of rollerblading. My smaller brother used to skate a lot, but he does not really skate anymore even though he has got a lot of talent for it… Concerning the support I have to say that my mum and my dad like it that I go skating a lot and that I don’t hang around at home in front of a computer. Because of this they always sponsor me when I travel somewhere.
Wie geht es dir dabei mit Verletzungen und deinen Sponsoren klar zu kommen? Gab es schon größere Schwierigkeiten? Also Verletzungen sind natürlich immer scheiße ich wurde vor kurzem am linken Knie operiert, da ich es einfach nicht lassen konnte zu skaten. Das ist so passiert das ich eigentlich schon leicht verletzt war am Knie und keine pause machen wollte bzw. immer so motiviert war das ich trotzdem Skaten gegangen bin und die Schmerzen unterdrückte. Durch zu viel Belastung bekam ich einen Riss im Außenmeniskus. Mit den Sponsoren bin ich echt mehr als zufrieden. Der Jonas (Infernal-Clothing) und der Marco (X-World Skateshop) supporten mich soweit es geht und ich versuche sie natürlich auch soweit es geht zu representen. Was eigentlich seht gut funktioniert da ich den besten Fotographen (Lui Summer) als einer meiner besten Freunde habe und vor kurzem eine Panasonic DVX gekauft habe. Mit der ich sobald ich wieder Fit bin einiges an Clips filmen werde. How do you deal with injuries and your sponsors? Have there been any major problems so far? Injuries are always bad. I had to have surgery on my left knee recently. It happened because I simply couldn’t stop skating. I had a minor injury on my knee but didn’t want to stop skating for a week and I was sooo ueber motivated. I went skating anyways and just suppressed the pain. Due to too much pressure and strain I got a tear in my outer meniscus. I’m really more than happy with my sponsors. Jonas (Infernal-Clothing) and Marco (X-World Skateshop) support me as much as they can and I do my best to represent them. This works really fine because I call the best photographer (Lui Summer) one of my best friends and I just recently bought a Panasonic DVX. As soon as I’m fit again I will film loads of clips. Wie sieht es mit deiner Krankenversicherung aus? Hast du so etwas? Wie gut fühlst du dich versorgt undabgesichert bei dem was du machst? Da ich zum Glück in einem Land wohne in dem jeder versichert ist mach ich mir über so etwas keine Sorgen und fühle mich gut abgesichert.
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What about insurance? Are you covered? How do you feel you are taken care of and how secure do you feel? As I live in a country where everybody has got insurance, I haven’t really worried about it so far. Was weißt du im groben über die Wurzeln des Rollerbladens? Was ist dein Lieblings Old School Video und deinen Lieblings Old School Company die es nicht mehr gibt? Gibt es irgendeinen Skater von früher der dich extrem motiviert? Einer meiner Favorits ist auf jeden fall Coup De Tat weil ich mit dem Video eigentlich angefangen habe zu skaten. Meine Lieblings Old School Company ist auf jeden fall Medium die es ja leider nicht mehr gibt … Skater von früher die mich immer wider motivieren und begeistern sind Randy Spizer und Dustin Halleran! What do you know about rollerblading’s roots? What’s your favorite old school video, skater or company that is not around any more? Are there any skaters from earlier days that inspire and motivate you? One of my favorite videos is Coup De Tat because this got me started on rollerblading. My favorite old school company would have to be Mindgame… Skaters that still motivate and amaze me are Randy Spizer and Dustin Halleran! Wie entwickelt sich Rollerbladen in der Gegend in der du lebst und was denkst du wie es weitergehen wird? Hmm bis vor kurzem war’s eigentlich so das wir vielleicht zu dritt skaten gegangen sind oder ich öfters mal mit nur Skateboardern am skaten war, weil kein anderer da war. Aber so in den letzten zwei Jahren hat sich einiges getan. Wenn ich zum Beispiel den Skatepark in Götzis nehme. Es ist ein kleines Dorf und es sind jedes Mal wenn ich dort hingehe mindestens 10 Leute am skaten. Meistens sogar welche die ich zuvor noch nie gesehen habe. Von dem her denke ich das es wider richtig fett wird bei uns da die meisten auch schon ziemlich die sau raus lassen! 4
How is rollerblading developing in your area? What do you think will the future bring? Until recently we were skating in groups up to three people. Or I was skating with skateboarders as there was no one else around. But during the last two years it got a boost… A perfect example is the skatepark in Goetzis. It is a small village but there are at least ten people there at any given day. Most of the times there are also people around I have never seen before. Because of this I think rollerblading is rapidly growing in our area and the now kids already start to get pretty crazy with their tricks. Wer sind deiner Meinung nach die Firmen und Personen die in Europa/Österreich Rollerblading pushen und die unterstützt werden sollten? Meiner Meinung nach sollte Infernal und X-World mehr supportet werden, da sie nicht nur jemand sponsern indem deren Teamrider Sachen von ihnen bekommen, sondern sie auch versuchen so gut es geht die Rider höher zu bringen in der Szene und ein paar der nettesten Leute sind die ich je getroffen habe! Wer sonst auf jeden Fall noch mehr supported werden sollte sind die Leute die versuchen aus dem Skaten wieder was rauszuholen, welche die die fetten Contests oder Sessions organisieren und einfach dazu schauen das etwas vorwärts geht. z.B. Oli Nermerich, Jojo Jacobi etc... Who are, in your opinion, the companies and people in Europe/Austria that really push rollerblading and that should be supported? I think in Infernal and X-World should get more support because they don’t only sponsor their riders with stuff. They also try their best to get their riders’ names out there and to promote them which may lead to more sponsors in the future. And they really are some of the nicest people I ever got to know. Also people that try to get the best out of rollerblading, that organise the dope contests or sessions and that take care of pushing the whole thing forward… people like Oli Nemerich, Jojo Jacobi and others…
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Soyale Rankwell, Austria
Where did you already travel to just because of being a rollerblader? Unfortunately I didn’t really get out of Austria Germany and Switzerland so far. But that will for sure change this next year as I’m getting my license very soon. I have some big plans together with Miro Kolb and Lukas Merkle. Welche skater bewunderst du, ohne jetzt unbedingt nur auf das Können anzusprechen? Da gibt es einige die ich bewundere, aber am meisten bewundere ich den Luki (Merkle) und den Miro (Kolb) da ich sie einfach schon seit Ewigkeiten kenne immer den größten Spaß habe mit ihnen, wir eigentlich so gut wie jeden Trick zusammen gelernt haben und es einfach die besten Jungs sind mit denen man nicht nur Hammer Sessions haben kann, sondern immer ein Spaß hat, egal bei was. Danke dafür, ihr seit die Besten. Which skaters do you admire, without only talking about talent?
Backside Backslide Lustenau, Austria
Was sind deine Interessen außerhalb des Skatens? Also wenn ich nicht am skaten bin mach ich entweder was mit meiner Freundin, gehe aus mit Freunden, baden im Sommer da wir ja den schönsten See Österreichs haben, Familie oder einfach chillen. What are your interests outside of skating? When I’m not skating I do things with my girlfriend. I go out with my friends, I go swimming in the nicest lake of Austria, do something with my family or just chill. Wohin bist du bereits gereist und was hast du bereits erlebt aufgrund weil du Rollerbalder bist? Also weiter weg als Österreich, Deutschland oder die Schweiz bin ich eigentlich bis jetzt leider noch nicht gereist was sich aber im nächsten Jahr drastisch ändern wird da ich dann selber einen Führerschein habe und zusammen mit Lukas Merkle und Miro Kolb große Pläne habe. 6
There are quite a few, but most of all I admire Lukas Merkle und Miro Kolb because I have known them for ages and we always have so much fun together. We practically learned every trick together and they are the best guys around. You can not only have killer sessions with them you will have great fun whatever you do together with them. Thank you for this, you are the best. Jaja Lui und an eine Dankensrede hast du nicht gedacht haha… Wenn’s nichts ausmacht möchte ich noch meiner Familie, all meinen Freunden, Meiner Freundin, Infernal, X-World und allen die mich kennen Hallo und Danke sagen dafür das ich immer so einen Spaß mit euch haben darf. So Lui, you did not think about thank yous… If it’s not too much of a problem I would like to say hello and thank you to my family, to all my friends, my girlfriend, Infernal, X-World and everybody that knows me. Thank you for letting me have some fun with you.
Topsoul to Truspin Soul Bludenz, Austria
Mute 180 Goetzis, Austria
Interview, photos & translation - Lui Summer Layout - Vincent Morretino
Wie heißt du, woher kommst du, wie lange skatest du schon und wer sind deine Sponsoren? Ich heiße Martin Walchshofer, komme aus Linz und skate in etwa 5 Jahre. Meine Sponsoren sind Nimh und Twelve-Forty. What’s your name, where do you come from, how long have you been skating for and who are your sponsors? My name is Martin Walchshofer, I’m from Linz and I have been skating for five years now. My sponsors are Nimh and Twelve-Forty. Wie schaut es mit deinem Familienleben und der Unterstützung deiner Familie aus? Was sagen sie zu dem ganzen Lifestyle und zu der Kultur die mit dem Rollerbladen einhergeht? Grundsätzlich unterstützen mich meine Eltern schon beim Skaten. Aufgrund des hohen Risikos ist meine Mutter zwar ziemlich besorgt, aber im Grunde unterstützt sie den ganzen Lifestyle. What about your family life? Is your family supporting you? What do they say about the whole lifestyle and culture that goes along with rollerblading? My parents support my skating. Due to the high risk of getting injured my mum is a bit worried, but still shot is supporting the whole lifestyle. Hast du deinen Zivildienst schon geleistet und wenn ja, hat es dir etwas gebracht? Was musstest du tun? Ich habe vor 2 Monaten mit meinem Zivildienst im Krankenhaus begonnen. Im Moment muss ich dort im Ausbildungszentrum dienen, ab nächsten Monat dann im Krankentransport. Bis jetzt hat es mir noch nicht sonderlich viel gebracht, aber ich bekomme zumindest einen Eindruck vom Arbeitsalltag und sehe was sich hinter den Fassaden des Krankenhauses so abspielt. Did you already do your civil service? If yes, what did it include and what were the benefits for you? I started to do my civil service in a hospital two months ago. Right now I’m serving in the training 10
center, but next month I will be transporting ill and injured people. Until now there were no real benefits, but I could get some insight into what a 9 – 5 job is and what really happens in a hospital. Wie geht es dir dabei mit Verletzungen und deinen Sponsoren klar zu kommen? Gab es schon größere Schwierigkeiten? Nein bis jetzt gab es noch keine größeren Schwierigkeiten. Mit kleineren Verletzungen kann ich immerhin arbeiten. Problematisch würde es jedoch werden wenn ich mich einmal gröber Verletzen sollte. Bis jetzt gab es auch noch keine Probleme mit den Sponsoren. How do you deal with injuries and your sponsors? Have there been any major problems so far? No, there have been no real problems so far. With minor injuries I’m still able to work. It would get a little bit complicated if I had a serious injury. Until now I also didn’t have any problems with my sponsors. Wie sieht es mit deiner Krankenversicherung aus? Hast du so etwas? Wie gut fühlst du dich versorgt und abgesichert bei dem was du machst? Ja, ich habe eine Grundversicherung und zusätzlich eine Unfallversicherung. Da das Gesundheitssystem in Österreich relativ gut ist fühle ich mich auch ganz gut versorgt. Außerdem habe ich durch meine Eltern auch noch gute Connections im Krankenhaus. What about insurance? Are you covered? How do you feel you are taken care of and how secure do you feel? Yes, I have basic health insurance and an additional insurance in case of an accident. The health care system in Austria is pretty good and I feel taken care of very well. I also have very good connections to the hospital due to my parents’ job. Was weißt du im Groben über die Wurzeln des Rollerbladens? Was ist dein Lieblings Old School Video und deinen Lieblings Old School Company die es nicht mehr gibt? Gibt es irgendeinen Skater von früher der dich extrem motiviert?
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AO Unity Wolfurt, Austria
Da ich erst seit ein paar Jahren skate weiß ich nicht sonderlich viel über die Wurzeln des Rollerbladens. Ich weiß nicht inwiefern man das Video als Old School bezeichnen kann aber Noir finde ich ziemlich cool. Es ist auf jeden Fall eines der ältesten Videos die ich gesehen habe. Eine ziemlich coole Company, die es leider nicht mehr gibt, war meiner Meinung nach Mindgame. Skater von früher, deren skaten mich motiviert, sind zum Beispiel Aaron Feinberg und Dustin Latimer. What do you know about rollerblading’s roots? What’s your favourite old school video, skater or company that is not around any more? Are there any skaters from earlier days that inspire and motivate you? Because of the fact that I have only been skating for a few years I don’t know very much about the roots of rollerblading. I don’t know if you could call it old school, but I really think that Noir is pretty cool. It for sure is one of the oldest videos I have seen so far. A great company – which is not around anymore- was Mindgame. Skaters from earlier days, who’s skating still motivates me are for example Aaron Feinberg and Dustin Latimer. Wie entwickelt sich Rollerbladen in der Gegend in der du lebst und was denkst du wie es weitergehen wird? Vor allem in den letzten 2 Jahren lässt sich ein enormer Zuwachs unserer Szene beobachten. Gerade bei den jungen Skatern bekomme ich ständig neue Gesichter zu sehen. Ich denke und hoffe, dass sich dieser Trend auch weiterhin fortsetzt. How is rollerblading developing in your area? What do you think will the future bring? Especially during the last two years there was huge growth with our scene. I saw a lot of young skaters all the time. I think and hope that the trend will continue like this. Wer sind deiner Meinung nach die Firmen und Personen die in Europa/Österreich Rollerblading pushen und die unterstützt werden sollten?
Meiner Meinung nach pusht Ignition die Szene In Österreich enorm, indem sie immer wieder Touren, Contests und Sessions organisieren und unterstützen und nebenbei auch die Szeneseite Austrianinline betreiben. Weiters sollten meiner Meinung nach auch Be-Mag und The Conference unterstützt werden. Who are, in your opinion, the companies and people in Europe/Austria that really push rollerblading and that should be supported? In my opinion Ignition is really pushing the Austrian scene in a great scale. They are doing tours, contests and sessions and they also run Austrianinline. Also Be-mag and The Conference should be getting a lot of support. Was sind deine Interessen außerhalb des Skatens? Wenn ich nicht am Skaten bin vertreibe ich mir die Zeit mit Freunden, am PC, höre Musik oder beschäftige mich anderweitig. Ab nächstem Jahr habe ich dann vor einen Großteil meiner Zeit in ein Studium zu investieren. What are your interests outside of skating? When I’m not skating I spend time with my friends, in front of the PC, I listen to music or I do something else. Next year I will start to invest most of my time into studying at a university. Wohin bist du bereits gereist und was hast du bereits erlebt aufgrund weil du Rollerbalder bist? Ich bin ein bisschen in Deutschland herumgekommen, in der Schweiz und war beim Winterclash in Belgien. In den letzten 5 Jahren hab ich auf jeden Fall eine Menge interessante Menschen kennen gelernt und viele gute Erfahrungen gemacht. Where did you already travel to just because of being a rollerblader? I have been travelling in Germany a little bit, I have been to Switzerland and to Belgium for the Winterclash. During the last five years I got to meet a lot of interesting people, and I had tons of nice experiences.
Backside Backslide Frauenfeld, Austria
Welche Skater bewunderst du, ohne jetzt unbedingt nur auf das Können anzusprechen? Ich habe eine Menge Vorbilder. Zu meinen größten zählen unter anderen Andreas Wagenblast, Jojo Jacobi, Gabriel Hyden, Dominik Wagner, Chris Farmer, Chris Haffey, Mark Wojda und viele mehr. Which skaters do you admire, without only talking about talent? I have lots of role models. My biggest favorites are Andreas Wagenblast, Jojo Jacobi, Gabriel Hyden, Dominik Wagner, Chris Farmer, Chris Haffey, Mark Wojda and many more.
Topsoul Dornbirn, Austria
Introduction - Kaitlyn Carr
Interview & photos - Dave DiNuzzo
Layout - Vincent Morretino
Many people merely exist without any ambition to pursue and fulfill their dreams. Not a whole lot of us can honestly say that the position we are in at this moment is the one that is providing us with an insatiable amount of self-gratification. Why is this? It’s because from the moment we are born, we are criticized; we are taught that unconventionality is bad and conformity is good. In an industry, and society, that allows little room for diversity, Stefan Brandow stands out like an anorexic teen at a fat camp. Stefan is a truly unique individual; you don’t see a whole lot of people walking around the streets of Pittsburgh wearing silver Supras and listening to La Roux during the day and cess-sliding down a busted up pipe at night. Because of this, Stefan has received massive criticism on everything from his taste in music to his skating style. However, he has always preserved through the bullshit and continued to be a wonderful human being while following his dream of being the best rollerblader that he can be.
How did you get into skating, and what was the local scene like when you were growing up, and how has it affected your skating today? I grew up in a small town in Upstate New York called Bath. It currently has about 5,500 people and my graduating class had a little over 100 kids. When I first started skating I had a pair of skates along with a bike and a skateboard. They were all the same to us when we were little. We had a homemade skatepark at our old high school’s run down basketball courts that was built by rollerbladers. It was during rollerblading’s heyday and everyone in town skated. Fast-forward three years later when I really get into rollerblading, and there’s about six rollerbladers in my town, half of which never skated. I went to my friend’s house and they were watching VG19 and it was on Mike Elias’s section. I was the only one out of everyone there that wasn’t into sweatpants and hip-hop, so seeing someone skate differently was awesome. Then Underestimated came out. I saw Mike’s section in that and was just blown away by all the different things you could do on skates, not just grind. By the time I got into 10th grade I was the only one in my town. The closest place with anything at all to skate was half an hour away, and the only place with decent spots was Rochester, which was an hour away.
The way I skate now is a direct result of where I grew up. We had nothing to skate in my hometown so I had to get creative. Curb cuts, fences, jumping over things, jumping off things, creating spots. When I went to Rochester everyone would only skate handicaps and do switch ups, and neither of those were things I enjoyed so I just skated around looking for things to do. Having to get creative and find spots where they’re not has made rollerblading constantly fun for me. I can go anywhere and find something to skate. Now that you have been a Pittsburgh resident for a few years, how would you compare the two? Since my hometown had no scene, the only thing I could compare Pittsburgh to is Rochester’s scene. I was lucky enough to skate there just about every weekend for 3 years straight. Pittsburgh has a lot more rollerbladers and a lot of absolutely amazing spots. But Rochester has dudes that straight up love rollerblading and they are a tight-nit crew. Pittsburgh is filled with lazy, selfish, and false-hearted rollerbladers, and it really gets on my nerves. We had a local skateboard shop that wanted to also have a rollerblading shop. They ended up going out of business because people here were too lazy to drive 15 minutes to the shop to buy wheels. That was a great opportunity for us and no one gave a shit. Same with Mr. Small’s skatepark. Chris Edwards holds local contests, skate camps and brings in people like Montre Livingston to teach and skate with kids, and no one goes because they don’t feel like paying an extra few dollars to skate outside. We had a contest this summer with just about every WRS Pro, and people didn’t show because they didn’t feel like paying to watch or get a ride. It’s bullshit. If I had had anything close to this growing up I would have been the happiest kid in the world. The Pittsburgh scene has a lot of growing up to do and I doubt I’m going to be around by the time it becomes more mature. Unfortunately, we have some of the best skate spots and skate parks I’ve ever had the pleasure to skate and no one will skate them. I’m lucky enough to have met a few dope guys here that are down to skate, whenever they get the chance.
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How supportive of your skating has your family and friends been? Without my parents I wouldn’t be skating still. On my 16th birthday they said I could either have a car or go to Bitter Cold Showdown. My Dad and I drove to Vertigo together that year. My Dad also drove me to Rochester every single weekend until I got my license so I had good places and good people to skate with. Without him doing that I never would have continued skating. One of my best memories dealing with skating is having my Dad call me from back home in NY just to ask if I had a new edit he could watch. Sure, there were times they both probably wanted me to be more focused on school or other things, but they know that my life has always revolved around rollerblading. The rest of my family has always thought skating has been cool and love looking at pictures, but they don’t know as much as my parents. My Dad always asks if Haffey or Broskow won the last contest, who’s got new clothes coming out, how all the dudes I grew up skating with and looked up to are doing. In the past 18 months or so you have gone through some serious life changes like graduating college, moving in with a new girlfriend and losing one of your best friends. How has this impacted your views on life as well as skating? Graduating college was the best thing I ever could have done. It got me a good job that I love, with benefits! Did it affect my skating? Sure did. I skated one park all summer, and really didn’t start skating hard again until about 2 months ago. I lost a lot of tricks and a lot of confidence that will probably start getting lost again because it’s about to be indoor park season, but I don’t regret it for a second. I loved my school and I love what I do. Moving in with Kaitlyn was probably the smartest decision I could have made. I’ve never met someone that I connect with so easily. Not just in a “lovey-dovey, perfect for each other” way, but she’s my absolute best friend. What I lack in my personality she has in hers, and vice versa. Coming home to a house that’s comfortable, and clean, with food and someone waiting that loves you makes every day better and easier. Losing James was the hardest thing that has ever happened to me. I’ve lost a grandma and a grandpa, but to lose your best friend, someone you spent so 16
much time with and confided so much in, it’s different. It’s an indescribable feeling knowing that someone that was around you everyday in one way or another isn’t there. It just doesn’t feel right at all. We had been trying to get together for about a month straight and just couldn’t get it to work with our schedules. He was in his accident on a Wednesday. That weekend I was supposed to go stay with him and film him on his new skates that he was so excited about. Instead it was spent in a hospital not knowing whether my best friend would wake up or not. The hardest part for me was seeing him and knowing he didn’t know I was there. But I think the hardest part for everyone was that they never really got to say goodbye. If you could hang out with James one more time, how would you spend the day? As much as I would like to say we would do something epic, or go to some crazy concert with our favorite bands, I know exactly what we’d do. We’d go to the New Philly skatepark and do some toe rolls, learn new cess-slides. Try and think of wacky new tricks while Kaitlyn and Ethan sit and watch us be retards, laughing and making jokes. We’d go get food. Maybe Jesana’s Pizza, where he worked. We’d bring it back to his garage/room and he’d show me music that he thinks I would like. He’d play guitar. Then we’d all go over to the Ray House and hang out with all of our friends. I just wish I could actually have one more day with him just to tell him how much of an influence he was on me. There’s so much that has happened to me that I’m grateful for and it’s because of James. I wouldn’t have as much fun and finally be happy with my skating if it wasn’t for James. He was a lot of peoples best friends, but James and I were inseparable for so long. I would go places and people would ask where he was. It’s all just really unfair. I miss him every day. You spoke in the past about working on some projects to commemorate James. Are you moving forward with anything? The only thing I ever wanted to have happen was to get James local skatepark that he actually helped design and build named after him. Right now it’s looking like that will happen soon!
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Ledge roll to Savannah
Riding for Remz is one of the craziest and most unexpected things that has ever happened to me. I never thought that I would ever skate Remz let alone ride for them. I’m so proud to be a part of something so great in rollerblading. I had been skating the skates for a few months and was absolutely loving them. At the time I was working at Mr. Smalls skatepark so I was really only skating there. Chris Edwards had just started skating Remz as well so he was in contact with Kato a lot. One day we were all just sitting around talking and putting skates together and he asked me how much I liked my skates. I told him I never thought I’d like them this much, that I had finally found a pair of skates that allowed me to skate the way I wanted to skate, and that I was going to be sticking with these skates as long as I skated. Chris then said “Alright, you know the deal already, I don’t have to tell you anything. You’re good with kids, you’re a good promoter. Just keep doing what you’re doing.” Then he pulled out his phone. My friend Jay looked at me and I remember him whispering, “No way. No he isn’t.” Chris called Kato right there and told him he thought I should ride for Remz. Kato said all I had to do was send in an edit and he would watch it. About two weeks later Kato was in town for the “Summer Xtravaganza” contest at the park. I introduced myself, we talked for a bit, and he told me he wanted to put me on the team. I was absolutely floored. As a rollreblader, to have someone like Kato tell you something like that to your face is one of best things that could happen to you. Riding for Remz so far has been nothing short of perfect. If anything happens to my skates Kato is right there ready to send new parts no questions asked. He’s what our industry needs more of. I’ve been filming for a Flowfile for awhile. Don’t know when it will be done but I’ve been busting my ass for it. I’d rather make it perfect then just get it done so it can be online quicker. I’m also filming a little edit for Bakerized Skateshop, and hopefully getting a project started with a few people that will be out in the summer. Why do you see yourself as a valuable asset to your sponsors? When it comes to a company like Remz I feel like I am, mostly for the fact that everyone I know was blown
Mute 180 over the chain and rocks
On September 19th, we had a memorial session at the same skatepark. We will be doing that every year from now on and hope that it’s a must stop for people during all the summer contests/events. We’re going to have bands, BBQs, toe roll and cess-slide contests, and hopefully some prizes for a product toss from sponsors. I’ve also been working on an online documentary about James. I have over 120 tapes from the past 2 years to upload and go through and find everything of him. It’s going to have a ton of unseen skating footage, a few live performances with his old band, and ton of our dumb antics. It’s going to be a while before it’s done, but I want to make it perfect and really show who he was. You recently picked up a sponsorship from Remz. How did that come about and are you currently working on anything in terms or promotional material? 18
away when they first saw me skating on a Remz skate, let alone one that wasn’t an OS. After that a lot of people I knew who never tried the skates out tested them and ended up really liking them. I know a few of my friends who were very loyal to other companies that ended up buying a pair of Remz because they liked them so much. If someone enjoys my blading enough to support me, I’m going to work my ass off for them 150% all day, every day. What motivates your skating? Fun and creativity. My Dad is a motocross rider and my Mom is a glass-blower who is also very good at other artistic things. I got the best of both of them. My Dad loves having fun, and my Mom is one of the smartest creatives I know. Growing up in a town like mine, I never wanted to be like anyone else. And that mentality of doing what I wanted, how I wanted, and not compromising has folded over into my skating. I don’t find rails fun, so why skate them? I’m not going to push myself to do something I don’t want to do. In rollerblading, people like Mathieu Ledoux, Oli Short, Kevin Yee, and Dustin Werbeski have really
been making me think about skating in different ways and it’s been very enjoyable. Lately I’ve really been inspired by other sports, especially snowboarding and BMX. Seeing something cool in another sport, and trying to translate that to rollerblading is a very enjoyable act to me. There’s so many things we can do as rollerbladers that we don’t because we feel that there are rules or it will be looked at wrongly or criticized because it deviates from the normal trick set of grinding and spinning. Do you ever get burnt-out and how do you deal with it? I think everyone does with skating at one point. The way I deal with it is to watch other sports like I mentioned earlier, or to go find a big pool, bowl or snake run to just pump as fast as I can. Skating park to me is what going to the gym is to most people. It’s my exercise and excuse to clear my head. I just try to go as fast and high as I can. Just listening to some music and skating hard is the best release.
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What’s your take on people hating on the way you blade? I really honestly used to take it to heart. I’m the type of person that hates holding grudges or being un-liked by anyone. I want to be friends with everyone I meet, so I didn’t understand how someone could hate me so much just for skating the way I wanted to skate. But unfortunately most of the world isn’t trying to be friends with everyone, and on top of that I think we’re at a very fickle time in the rollerblading industry. So, to be honest, I couldn’t give a fuck what anyone feels about my skating. I like it and it’s continuing to grow in a direction that is making skating enjoyable for me every day. Thats all that matters. What’s a typical day in the life of Stefan Brandow? Wake up at 5:45 am to go to work. I design t-shirts for a place called Excel Sportswear. It’s the number one print shop in the U.S. I’ve done shirts for Mercedes dealerships, logos for high schools and other sports teams. It’s pretty dope. Usually get out at 3 or 3:30. If Kaitlyn is working I go straight to blading. Come home, eat some dinner, hang out, get in bed, wake up and do it all over again. Tuesday’s are designated Date Nights for us. We get dressed up and go to a really nice restaurant and just spend time together doing things normal couples do. Our schedules are completely opposite so when we get to spend time together it’s something we really appreciate. Weekends are all skating. I like to wake up early and try to go out, but no one is ever up around here, hahaha. What type of things do you do in your non-blading free time? Hang out with Kaitlyn and maybe design some shirts or logos, but even that most times is skating related. Kait and I travel back to New York and North Carolina a lot to visit our families, and that’s something I really love doing. We’re both extremely close to our families and spending time with them means a lot to us. Basketball used to be my life for mostly all of my childhood right up until I started skating. I’ve really gotten back into it and I love watching games. Designing sports logos is something I’ve been getting into lately, too.
Where do you see yourself as a skater in the next 5 years? That’s one thing I really don’t have an answer for. I never thought I’d be where I’m at now. What I’m doing, what I enjoy, what I’m skating on, but I really enjoy skating right now. All I can hope for in 5 years is that I’m skating hard, if not harder than I am now. Maybe in a different city? Chicago seems dope. Rochester always has a place in my heart. You never know what’s going to happen, all you can do is take things as they come and make the best out of the situation. Making a career out of rollerblading is quite difficult, if at all even possible. Where do you see yourself after skating? After I can’t skate hard anymore, I’d still like to be involved with skating. Owning a company, helping kids, anything. I see guys like Chris Edwards and Tracy White still doing their thing after having families and it’s really cool. If I’m not going to be involved with skating, I’d like to have my own design firm or something involved with fashion/clothing. Both things have always been other passions of mine. I really would like to have a nice house and a family. Being a basketball coach for my kids. Have parties at my house when a big game is on. I know that you spent the majority of the summer without health insurance. What’s your take on the major lack of money as well as health insurance that comes with being a pro blader? Even going to the skatepark was extremely scary for me because I knew I didn’t have enough money to pay for any kind of bills if I got hurt. I can’t even begin to think what Pro’s have to go through. Imagine that your job, the one thing you’ve put everything into, is extremely dangerous yet your employer gives you no help if you’re injured. Not only can you not do your job, but you also can’t pay for your bills. It’s a double edge sword. How influential do you think that you are to the up-and-coming skaters in the Pittsburgh scene? I would hope that I can show kids around here that
you don’t have to come up skating shitty rails on the side of roads and the same 5 spots that this city is unfortunately known for. This summer I had so much fun opening up kid’s minds and trying to teach them new tricks while helping them find their style of skating. The only thing I ever wanted from skating was to inspire one kid to either start skating or continue skating. I’ve had my best friends tell me they would have quit if I hadn’t taken them skating so much, and I’ve had kids I’ve never met tell me that my skating inspired them to continue rollerblading and do it how they want. I never thought that would ever happen, so the only place to go is up! Anything can happen if you want it to. If you could change one thing about your life to make it easier, what would it be? Not work as much and still get paid the same amount. I think everyone would like that, but honestly there’s not much I’d change. I’m a very happy person and not a lot gets me down. Your day is what you make it. You can wake up and decide to have a bad day and be pissed and stressed, or wake up and have a smile on
your face all day and not let anything get to you. Do you have anyone you would like to thank? First and foremost, I would like to thank both of my parents and my girlfriend. Without you three, I wouldn’t have accomplished any of the things that I have accomplished and am so proud of. Thank you, I owe you all. Thank you to James Short for always believing in me and my skating, and teaching me everything you did. Thank you to Kato, Sam Baker and anyone past and present that feel my skating is good enough to be supported. I wish I could thank every friend and person I’ve met through skating in just one interview but I can’t. Maybe I will some other way, because so many deserve it. Thanks to everyone.
Royale to cross-grab Rocket
For the sake of historical record, please state your name, residence and number of years on skates. My name is Daniel Lambert from Reading England (RDG), I’m 21 years old and I’ve been skating for about 7 years. What university are you attending, and what degree are you going after? I’m at the University of Bolton (near Manchester), in my third year of an Illustration degree. How does your family feel about both your skating and your artwork? Both my younger brothers skate as well so whether they like it or not my parents have pretty much had to accept it, luckily it’s never really been an issue. I think they’re still expecting me to grow out of it though. In terms of art, my mum and uncle in particular have always been really supportive of me wanting to do it as
Interview & layout Vincent Morretino
a career. Had lot’s of help paying for school and supplies and things, it’s been pretty great. Although I don’t think they have any idea of the kind of art I actually do. They’ve seen all my high-school work, but nothing I’ve done in the last few years. I’ve been working on the computer a lot more so it’s not as easy as just handing over a sketchbook anymore. Have you always been artistic? What sparked your interest? I would say so, yeah. I can’t really remember a time when I didn’t draw. I don’t think I really drew more than any other kid; I just never stopped. My interest was sparked when I realized that the fridge door looked way better with crayon scribbles all over it. Haha, that’s why I have a black fridge. When I have kids, I’m safe until they discover White Out. When you create a new piece, from where do you draw your satisfaction?
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Right now my satisfaction comes at the end of the process when I can look at my outcome and hopefully say, “Yeah, that’s better than the last one”. It’s all about progression. I’m really only creating for myself at the moment so as long as I’m improving I’m happy. When I start getting clients it all becomes about what they want, so it’s good that I’m not all that precious about my work. But to be honest a lot of the time the satisfaction comes from just getting it done, it means I can start on something new. What are some mediums you prefer to use when creating art? Is there an aspect of art that you would like to do, but find it to be cost-prohibitive? I’m all about the traditional pencil and paper; if I could make money off it I’d do nothing else. Unfortunately that’s pretty much impossible so I’ve been getting more into digital drawing and painting recently. I don’t end up with an ‘original’ at the end which takes some of the fun out of it, but it’s much easier to change stuff for tutors and clients so it’s worth it. I would love to do more oil painting, but that shit is not cheap. Plus, nobody wants to hang around with the guy who smells of oil and solvent all the time! When you’re looking for subjects to draw, what are some characteristics that may draw your eye to them? Subject kind of depends on what I want to do, if I want to challenge myself then I’ll find someone beautiful. You really need to have your shit together to draw a pretty girl well. If I’m just drawing for fun though, I usually look for haggard old people. They always have such weird faces. Loads of interesting shapes and lines everywhere, you can be much more loose with how you approach it and that’s usually way more fun, plus you can get away with a lot more. Also old people are really slow so if I’m doing a sketch snipe in the street or something I’ve got more time to draw them. Have you had any awkward moments when the subjects notice your sketch snipes? Any sketch snipes of pretty girls work in your favor, nudge nudge, wink wink? The other week some dick head wearing too many polo shirts came over and gave me some shit because he thought I was eyeing up his girlfriend, but that’s prob26
ably the worst I’ve gotten. Most of the time it’s either a dirty look, or they smile and come over to see what I’m doing. People are usually genuinely interested. Haha, yeah I’ve met a few nice girls that way, definitely a perk of the job. What aspect of art are you best at, and which are you worst at? I usually get the best responses from my portrait work. I’d say I have a pretty solid eye for detail as well. I’m not very good at the really dynamic, action filled stuff. To do it well is really difficult and I usually end up with something pretty static. I’m working on it though. I tend to like to keep my work a bit quieter, subtler. Maybe slip some humor in if I can, although my jokes are rubbish so add that to the worst list. Do you mostly work with references, or can you also create something out of nothing? My personal work is almost entirely from my head; it’s more challenging but definitely more satisfying. However for illustration assignments and stuff I want to be producing the best image I can so I use references where I need them. I think it’s important to get the balance right when it comes to references, if you use them too much or in the wrong way, they can easily become a crutch. How do you handle negative criticism? Has it always been that way? Is it different when the criticism comes from non-artistic folk? I’d say I’m pretty good at taking negative criticism; hell most of the time I seek it out. Getting told that your work is good is nice, but it’s not going to help you improve. I used to ignore criticism altogether, then I grew up and realized I wasn’t God’s gift to art and had a whole lot left to learn. It doesn’t really matter to me who says it. You don’t really need to know about art to know that an arm is too long or a nose looks too big. People who draw or paint can usually give more detailed criticism though, so I usually look to them first. When I’m older I’m going to ruin my kids childhoods by telling how them crap their painting really are.
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Peter Pan & Wendy
“Little Red Riding Hood - 1st Encounter”
“Little Red Riding Hood - Hiding”
Who are some notable companies or artists that you feel have put a better face on rollerblading culture? I don’t know about a better face, but I’d say Arlo has helped liven things up a fair bit with his illustrations. I think Street Artist will do good things over the next few years. They seem to want to try out lots of different styles, which will be cool. AJ seems to know what he’s doing so I’m sure he’ll help push us in the right direction. Also pretty excited for Create Originals and the whole concept behind that. There seems to be more of a creative element to rolling these days and I think it’s long overdue. Are you comfortable enough with your abilities to accept commissions yet? Haha, if I have to wait until I’m comfortable with my abilities, I’ll never make any money. I’m too much of a perfectionist. But if people have seen my work and want to hire me, I’m all for it! Do you work well under pressure? Has art school crafted you into a master procrastinator? I suck under pressure. I always make the wrong decisions and spend half my time fixing things instead of finishing them. If a client ever gives me a rush job, I’m going to be screwed. What do you see yourself doing with your art after university? Hopefully the same as I’m doing at university, except people will be paying me to do it instead of the other way around. Ideally I’d like to do book covers or illustrate stories. Getting to read books then create pictures for them would be an awesome career. Although if some rich guy wants to stick my stuff in a gallery and make me rich that’s cool, too. Would you like to thank anyone for helping you get to where you are today? Thanks to my family for the continued support, thanks to my tutors for not bullshitting me, the conceptart.org community for all the help, Kit for drawing with me, and thanks to you for the free publicity! Oh, and big shout out to the RDG, I’ll be back soon. 30
The graph shows that sinking the Titanic will lead to a meteoric rise in popularity, which will result in cash money millionaires. Which brings me to my next point. I’d like to present a pie chart:
A Throughly Scientific Theory of All Things Rollerblading: As proposed by a Knucklehead There’s no easy way to explain this. This is an idea fueled by a lack of sleep and accelerated by a drug and alcohol bender. So you might have to bear with me here. It starts with an iceberg with a destiny. There’s only been one in the history of the world so far. It sunk the unsinkable and it was a giant block of fucking ice. Rollerblading is the world’s next great iceberg. So here’s how this works. An iceberg shows something like 10% if it’s mass above water. Similarly with rollerblading’s current state of affairs, the general non-rollerblading public only sees 10% of rollerblading’s mass. That 10% contains the YouTube videos of rollerblading failures, idea-starved comedians with recycled jokes, and that one time a dude with an Senate shirt was in the background of an MTV show. If you’re reading this then it is safe to say that you’re in the iceberg’s underwater 90%. Welcome to the club. We’re the below water body mass that’s growing in size unnoticed, and that’s why were so dangerous. Right now, skateboarding is the Titanic. This unsinkable industry, out for a cruise in the North Atlantic. Chugging along with its tuxedo parties, crystal chandeliers, and fine dining. Happily oblivious of its crash course with destiny. We’re that crafty iceberg that’s waiting to tear into skateboarding’s hull, spilling energy drink and corporate sponsorship into our isolated industry. At last, alone no longer, but in the company of snakes. So we’re an iceberg with a destiny. Cool. The story is in the science. My field research1 has led to the data points presented in this graph:
Look at that slice showing that rollerblading is an iceberg. It’s fucking huge. Evidence-supported conclusions are all I deal in. That’s science, everybody. Then there all these environmental assholes who say all the icebergs are melting. Meaning rollerblading is dead and dying, unable to pull a zombie Jesus. Don’t listen to these people, because they are the ultimate buzzkill. “Hey isn’t this party fun?” “Maybe, but what does that matter? We’re all going to die in 2012 like the Mayans predicted” “Dude, fuck you”. I’m looking at you Al Gore. Like it or not, we’re all on this lonely iceberg together. Digging around and sliding on our bellies. We’re like penguins, or polar bears, or Eskimos, or...I don’t know, whoever rides along on icebergs. The point is that this iceberg needs to do something that gets it some respect and remind everyone how relevant icebergs are. Otherwise we’re just a big block of floating ice bobbing around at the mercy of the current and all of our mass underwater, hidden from the world. While all of you try to figure how to accomplish that, I’ll be training my polar bear.
This has no basis in fact. No research of any sort was done on this topic. Unless investigating internet porn counts, then it’s safe to say that extensive research has been done. In fact, my hard drives are full of research.
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