Rollbrett Salzburg and easygoinc. present The High Black Corner Jam 2017

The High Black Corner Jam by easygoinc. longboards

It has been pretty quiet around the boys and girls from Rollbrett Salzburg. Who is Rollbrett Salzburg you ask? Seriously?

If you have been to at least one of many BigMountainSkate events, you know the drinking team from Austria and Bavaria and their skateboarding problem. So I guess you probably had at least a beer with one of them.

Other than that, you most likely remember the event they host – The High Black Corner Jam – a downhill skateboard slopestyle festival, where everything is just about fun. An extraordinary event that mixes longboarding and skateboarding into one big thing.

Here is a video by Bros before Pros to give you a better picture.

Now guess what, this article is just about that – the High Black Corner Jam 2017 presented by easygoinc. longboards in the middle of the beautiful Bavarian Alps.

This year’s event in Ramsau bei Berchtesgaden is not your usual season opener, but planned right before KnK Longboard Camp (week #1), to loosen your legs if you have a long drive to Slovenia. The event is most likely on everyone’s travel route.

The High Black Corner Jam by easygoinc. longboards
Draw a card – the mini game at High Black Corner Jam. Photo by Paul Bamberger

For the Rollbrett Salzburg crew, the event from the 21st to 23rd of July is just about coming together, hanging around, have a few beers, skating a few ramps, doing a few slides and playing some mini games.

It is also a great opportunity to try something new, like skate with 4 different types of scrubbies, a board without grip, a beer bench and much more craziness while battling for some neat sponsor prizes while playing mini games.

The registration for this year’s event is already open with a registration fee of 50 €, which includes three days of skate fun including camping. Click here to register.

The beer is cheap, the music is good (yes, there will also be a live band) and Rollbrett Salzburg will also offer breakfast and dinner, which is not included in the registration free.

See you on the hill and on the ramps!

The High Black Corner Jam 2016 Recap – Just In Case You Missed It

The High Black Corner Jam 2016 Recap

It was a hell of a weekend for the Team of Rollbrett Salzburg and all the 100 skaters who came up to our home spot in Ramsau bei Berchtesgaden.

The Rollbrett Crew hosted their second Downhill Freeride Slopestyle Festival from the 27th to the 29th of May 2016. It turned out to be the biggest event we threw down to this point. The team built up a badass Slopestyle track for the skaters for all different levels and different styles – perfect conditions for a weekend of pure skateboarding.

High Black Corner Jam 2016 2016

The basic idea of the event was to invite longboarders from all over Austria and Germany but as well to support the local Salzburg skateboard scene. A chance to try some downhill, go nuts on obstacles and also the IOU Miniramp let them up to the event as well.

On Friday most riders arrived and were pretty eager to go skate. Alhtough only a few tried the obstacles around the track, we could look at some serious skating and tricks.

For example Nico Nührig, a well know all-terrain shredder from Austria, went crazy as one of the first guys on the obstacles. Little later, after he broke the ice for the rest of the riders, a few others tried to hit the slopestyle track. Guys like German skater Lukas Voigt as he did a massive tre-flip with his longboard – nice to had you around buddy!

The first day of skating took it’s tall. The day ended with a little miniramp session in front of the beautiful panorama of the german alps, some beers and some skate videos – all in all a successful first day and riders could even expect more for the next day!

Saturday showed us its beautiful sunny side. A full day of skating was on it’s way. The guys just got insanely comfortable on all the obstacles and shit was about to go down!

After noon it was time for some mini-games: Koffer and me, Markus dresses up as traditional german gameshow hosts, figured out 40 challenges and got everyone hyped on the minigames! Check out the list: “Prost Mahlzeit” – skate the beerbank or “Beiboot” – skate a LY Dinghy or “Verpackungskünstler” – skate with a carton around your body or even “zom hoidn” – skate down stand up hand in hand with a friend!

People were hyped and it was tons of fun to watch the guys go nuts, smile and win some nice goodies – a big shoutout to all our sponsors for that!

While the mini games went down, the warm up for the miniramp contest started already. Local shredders from Bavaria and Salzburg showed up and enjoyed the big IOU Miniramp while entertaining the crowed.

Well, and besides all this fun and much runs of skating, people were super eager to party. And party with Rollbrett means something – Rock’n’Roll baby! So the guys invited Ooral Sea from Slovenia to play and have fun!

And yeah, what should I tell you? It was fucking fun and a really sick concert and you better wait and have a look at the upcoming Ooral Sea – High Black Corner Jam video! If you haven’t been here this year, that thing most definitely will convince you, trust me!

Sunday was lazy Sunday. Nah, not quite lazy Sunday, but a few riders left early and missed there chance to participate at the “Pfoten in die Luft” outlaw race. A fun mix of 2,3 and the final 4 riders who where only allowed to skate stand up and with the hands in the air. But, they were allowed to use all obstacles. Check this one out to see what happened, when Nico Nührig took the shortcut through the gras and won the heat of the final four!

So what more is needed to be told, I cant thing of any. You better check out Rollbrett Salzburg and Longboardingmagszine.eu to get the first insight for the next years registration and not miss next years madness! See you on the hill!

[vimeo 170748158 w=300 h=150]

Hawgs Wheels presents High Black Corner Jam 2016 by Rollbrett Salzburg

Patrik Orlainsky & Martin Schræg syncing toesides

The High Black Corner Jam presented by Hawgs Wheels is a downhill skateboarding event with a very special feel – besides going downhill and putting your board sideways, you can also skate ramps, rails, banks and much more to get creative with your skating.

Patrik Orlainsky & Martin Schræg syncing toesides

The Rollbrett Salzburg crew (mixed with some rad dudes from Salzburg and Berchtesgaden) are planing to go bigger and better the last year’s event. From the 27th to 29th May 2016 the little slide-spot in Ramsau bei Berchtesgaden, will be completely rebuild into a big Downhill Slopestyle Freeride track.

The Crew call the High Black Corner Jam a “Longboard Slopestyle Freeride Festival” and when looking at everything, that Rollbrett Salzburg is setting up this year, I guess you understand why.

Here’s some of the hard facts about the High Black Corner Jam presented by Hawgs Wheels:

  • around 200 m2 wood for obstacles
  • party tent, live music and drinks (cheap, but good choice of beer of course)
  • miniramp
  • campground
  • food service
  • small contests & giveaways
  • plus some more funny stuff they don’t even know by themselves by now

I guess this are some convincing informations.

Hawgs Wheels High Black Corner Jam 2016

The riders limit will be set at 100 and the registration fee is 50 Euros with camping included. You can register via Rollbrett Salzburg website and join us for some slopestyle skateboarding fun!

By the way, peep the video from last year, if you aren’t convinced already ;-)

The Root Nymphaea – Lilian Gutsch signature longboard deck for smaller feet and shorter stance

Nymphaea longboard deck by Root Longboards

The good people from Root Longboards are happy to announce a new addition to their longboard decks lineup for 2016. Showed off for the first time at ISPO 2016, one of them is Lilian Gutsch’s signature deck, which finally got baptized and now listens to the sound of Nymphaea.

 

Lilian about the Nymphaea deck

I talked with Lilian to get her insight on the board and to find out what is the idea behind the Nymphaea. Here’s what she shared with us:

Lilian Gutsch
Lilian Gutsch (@lilian.gutsch)

“I’m short, have small feet, and smaller stands than most guys have, but I’m not the only one out there with that measurements. Giving those the chance to ride a more suitable board is the main idea of the Nymphaea.

Having a narrow board, gives me the chance to put more pressure on the edges, without having to change my feet position all the time. I was forced to do that with my former bigger board and honestly don’t really appreciate it at higher speeds.

Furthermore the shorter wheelbase means – standing closer to the trucks – which leads to more control. The Nymphaea is obviously narrower and shorter than most boards available on the market, but even though I’m female, I want to emphasize that it’s not especially made for girls, but also for juniors and everyone who enjoys it.”

~ Lilian Gutsch

Well, that sounds great. So far, Root Longboards teased the industry with some pictures of the Nymphaea, but we are happy to have found out a little bit more about it and super stoked to share with you more info about the board’s specification.

ROOT Nymphaea longboard deck specs

The Root Nymphaea is a 82cm long and 22cm wide top-mount deck, offering the wheelbase options from 58,5 to 62,5cm. It has a similar 4 mm drop like the Root Satyr, a smooth concave at around 12 mm and a mini-kick. For now, these are Lilly’s developing notes.

At the time of writing this post, the price for the Nymphaea is not known yet, but when released, we’ll update this page and let you know. The deck will be available for purchase soon at the Root’s online store.

Lilian will be out in a few weeks to test the Nymphaea to the max and will keep us updated with a little review. Subscribe here and we will let you know when it’s released.

You can also follow Lilians’s trip on Instagram @lilian.gutsch to get a preview.
Stay tuned and get teased!

The Wasser by Hackbrett Longboards – a deck made for soul riding

Hackbrett Wasser collection - a long history of a beautiful longboard

It’s a rare fact that a board is overhauled more then once or twice. As a matter of fact, I talked with the guys from Hackbrett Longboards about their longboard deck Wasser 5.0. The owner of Hackbrett who also shapes the boards, Hartmut “Hack” Olpp redesigned the Wasser for the forth time since its first release. As he says, “For me, the Wasser is by far the board with the highest amount of flow in our lineup”.

And yes. If you take a closer look at this 1.3 meters long monster longboard, you will probably feel the stoke. Hack itself calls the Wasser longboard deck “A board with a big portion of soul riding”, which it surely is. This unique and kind of a special board hardly fits any category and it should probably have one on it’s own.

I caught up with Matt Elver, a shaper at Hackbrett who is also on their team since 2010. He shared with me a really special insight on the “Wasser” history. Read through to find out more.

The Hackbrett Wasser collection - a long history of a beautiful longboard
The Hackbrett Wasser collection – a long history of a beautiful longboard

Matt’s insight into a history of the Wasser

For the reference, see the above photo.

That yellow thing on far left on the photo above was built sometime around 2005. The scuffs on the bottom are from it bottoming out whilst carving and cruising! Concave, no nose or tail –  the “Hacksurfer” :) Not technically a Wasser but a predecessor that spawned the feel and ideals that gave birth to the Wasser as we know it today. Soul surfing!

The Gun was the first WNT (Wiegt Nix Technologie) from Hackbrett build in 2007, with hollow chambers milled into the deck. As you can see on the IGSA stickers, the whole thing weighed less than 4kg, with 130cm length and fat 200mm Crails!

The 200mm Anarchy Crails were Hacks “pro model” truck. He was 5th in the IGSA rankings in 2005. In 2007, he brought the Gun to the World championships when the IGSA rules said that no board could be longer than 120cm.

They changed the rules to allow him to ride the Gun, and the IGSA still allows boards up to 130cm. The IDF changed it back. I might have to see what I can do about that next year though.

It was the first board to have the concave that was later used in many other shapes, the Anarchy for one. The current Semmel also uses the exact same concave. We don’t sell tons of them, but those that ride it all agree that the board has a lot of soul.

The next 2 boards on the photo above are the same and produced in 2008. Wasser 1.0 I think! The painted one belonged to Horstl (Horst Prem, one of Austria’s first sponsored skateboarder, artist and creative mind from Salzburg). I never met him, but just heard crazy stories. He made this too: Skatemountain – so you maybe get the idea of Horstl!

Definitely a funny part of the Hacbkrett and Wasser history, though. The painted board was his and was actually lost for a few years, then found again under the miniramp at the old workshop in Lagerhausstrasse in Freiburg. Now it hangs on our skate history wall. The board itself had the wave graphic, the outline was updated from the Gun to have little wingers on the tail. Concave only, still no nose or tail.

The Hackbrett Wasser in action

The Wasser 2010 also had the wave graphic, seen here as a complete. Probably the 2.0, looking back, but it was called the Wasser 2010 at the time. Many of our teamriders rode this thing for their first introductions to downhill and freeriding – Alfred, Luke and Flu if not more. Dudes who went on to have incredible board feel. The update from the older version was the form, which was the first Wasser to have a kicktail and nose. It’s a slight spoon nose, really nice feeling and balanced for nose manuals. Luke rode this board the most and was widely considered the best/most flowy “dancer” in Germany. I have asked him for some pics of him with it, and will also see if he has any words to go with them, he is a really integral part of the boards development and history. The board is as a complete in the picture because it still gets ridden, 5 years old. Hackbretts last forever baby! Flu learned standup sliding on that exact board, even switch toes, and had his first taste of 80kmh on it too.

The Wasser 2011 is the next one. New construction, new concave, new graphic. Now with some camber and deeper concave plus an upgraded outline. This one had a logo milled in, but you can’t really see it. We did that for a few years before the new logo came. That logo you can see, we put on afterwards with a sticker.

The Wasser 4.0 was the first one with the diagonal Hackbrett burnt graphic that they all get today. Seen here in maple, its pretty rare, we didn’t make many with maple at all. Its not available anymore. The wheelwells were upgraded to fit the new technology and processes that we developed, and the construction was changed to allow the use of each different topsheet that we use today – maple, bamboo, nut, tepa.

The Wasser 5.0 is the one one I used at KnK at this years Cult Wheels Single Surviver Race. Just a few little but important chances where made. So Hack put the flex arrangement a little bit further to the back of the Wasser. Also he put the highest point of the camber a little bit backwards. Another change has been made of the back foot, as Hack broaden the outline for 1cm. He also added some pockets both feet and angeld the truck mounting +/- 3°, because a long wheelbase can handle steep wheel angles.

As you can see, a whole lot of thought went into it! And actually each development, and each Hackbrett shape had a whole thought process equally as long. Thats one of the reasons that we are building better boards than anyone else in the world :) The construction was also updated to our new “KLK” (Koffer’s Leichtbau Kern). It rips. WNT (Wiegt Nix Technologie) variation is also available.

Hackbrett Wasser 5.0 specs

  • Length: 130 cm
  • Width: 26 cm
  • Wheelbase: 91,4 cm
  • Truck mount: Old school / top-mount
  • Concave: Hybrid-High
  • Length axis features: camber, nosekick, tailkick
  • Features: Wheel wells, pockets, gaspedale, truck mounting +3°/-3°, KLK core (Koffer’s Leichtbau Kern)

The Wasser is basically a longboard for thoroughgoing carving and with the truckmounting (+3°/-3°) the board feels really alive. No matter what terrain you are hitting, the Wasser is getting it done for you. Have a look at the official Hackbrett Wasser edit while the team is enjoying the board to their fullest.


The Wasser 5.0 video feature

For more information about Hackbrett and their boards, visit http://hackbrett.info/


Mastering longboard photography – The Christian Kreuter Interview

Christian Kreuter - CK Photography

CK Photography – I guess most of you guys already got shot at least once by this guy. Christian Kreuter, the Kassel (Germany) local is not only a downhill skateboarding addict, but also a passionate photographer.

What’s he up to do next, where does his passion come from and how long does it usually take time for Christian to get that one perfect shot – read through to find out more. Enjoy!

How did you start with the photography and what inspired you to focus on longboarding?

Photography drew my interest when I was a little kid, because my grandpa was one of the first guys in our area that owned a SLR (analog single-lens reflex) camera back in the days. I was embossed by countless old school slide evenings with my grandpa.

I started skating back in 2012 and because I was using my DSLR for two years already, I just gave it a try and shot my first longboard pics with the local scene here in Kassel.

One year later I shot my first downhill event, the I-Berg Freerace. I didn’t skate back then, but I wanted to get a closer look at the “pros”. I attended a few other events in 2013 for skating and shooting.

After attending the Fairytale Freerace 2014, I got some inquiries from different skaters wanting to get a glimpse of my pics. One of them was TD Longboards founder Lennart Thomsen.

He asked me, whether he could get a shot of his teamrider Quirin Ilmer and indicated me to launch a Facebook page, so that all skaters could see my pics. I thought that was a good idea and a few days later I launched the Facebook page “CK Photography”, the feedback of which was really lovely.

KnK Longboard Camp 2014 ~ Facebook gallery by CK Photography
KnK Longboard Camp 2014 ~ Facebook gallery by CK Photography

The KNK Longboard Camp later in the year 2014 was my absolute highlight. Despite poor weather conditions I had some very unique runs with skaters, who I later became good friends with. KNK was pure madness (laughs).

One week later, after I finished my post production work, I uploaded the pictures on my Facebook page and the “likes” went totally crazy. I literally reached the whole world with my work. People love their sport and I can capture those moments, this is just an awesome feeling.

Are you planning to shoot any events in 2016?

Honestly I wish I could attend every BigMountainSkate event in 2016. I really respect all the work the guys do and I wish I could be part of it with my pictures. Almabtrieb, Alpenrauschen and Bela Joyride are definitely on my radar for 2016.

OH Rider Fionn Kraft at KNK 2k15 ~ CK Photography
OH Rider Fionn Kraft at KNK 2k15 ~ CK Photography

There are some big differences between a planned shooting for advertising and shooting at events. I really know this by myself. How about you? Do you shoot “planned” shootings as well?

No, not really. As I often shoot at events, I don’t plan that much, I like to do some extra detail planning on portrait shootings and landscape pictures. Sometimes I plan skate shootings, like a shooting at noon with a flash. Here you tell the skater the exact place where to slide or do a trick, but I am more into the “real” pictures, which are not set-up.

At an event you can’t really tell the skaters how to skate and what kind of shots you would like to get. How does it take to get good shots out of an event?

As you said, as photographer you can’t plan where the skaters skate and slide before a corner. Only when you skate the road by yourself, you know exactly when something is about to happen where and when.

Tech-talk alert! You shoot with a Nikon camera, right?

Oh yes, I am a real Nikon Fanboy :) I shoot with a Nikon D800 Body since 2015 and in previous years I worked with a D7000.

What I want is maximum quality and the Nikon D800 provides me with 7360×4190 pixel photos when shooting raw format (info: raw means, that the photographer has to do the final development of the picture. Shooting with .jpeg files, the camera does the development and you get a finished picture).

Chris' gear for getting awesome shots

Only the burst mode is pretty slow of the D800, but I exclusively shoot with single exposure. This means I only have one chance to get the perfect shot. So if I miss the moment, it’s forever gone.

What lenses are you using for shooting downhill skating?

I am shooting 90% of all my skate pictures with the NIKKOR 70-200 2.8 VRII. When I shoot with a really wide open aperture, the pictures are pin sharp and on point and also the focus speed is really fast. And only for about 10% of my shots I use the Sigma 35mm 1.4 ART for landscape or campground shots.

What about post-production? How do you get the perfect image done?

I don’t make any difference, if it is people, landscape or skateboarding photography – I always check my basic rules, to see if I this is the perfect image.

  • Is the focus on point?
  • Is the exposure right?
  • Did I capture the right moment?

So straight after a skateboarding event, the picture selection can take some days. When shooting a three day event, I mostly have 800-1200 picture to look at, but I learned to keep the rejects small.

And when I know the pictures that suffice my criteria I do some small corrections and put on the “CKP Look”. Right after that, I do the easiest thing, but also the most satisfying part of my work – export the pictures for Facebook, upload them and share them with all the skaters out there.

Would you share some useful tips for all the hobby photographers out there?

Sure! Here are some tips:

  • So firstly don’t focus only on one photography topic. Take a look at the whole spectrum of photography, because you will learn a lot of things from one topic which you could use for another.
  • Secondly I would say, that creativity is the next important thing. Therefore you should look for new angles and try some different camera adjustments like aperture, exposure time, or shooting with flash.
  • Last but not least, I think you should take a look at other photographers and probably try to copy them or adopt stuff you like, to find your own photography style. Also, ask questions – talking with other photographers really helps and I honestly feel happy when I can help others. So contact me anytime you want!
  • Uh, and before I forget, I have some tech-talk information for you guys out there: The lens is way more important than the body of your camera set-up and you should get your hands on fast memory cards. It is really a pity, if the memory card is too slow to capture the right moment!

What other motives do you shoot besides longboarding?

I also shoot people, landscape and travel pictures and therefore I launched a second Facebook page at the end of 2015 for those kind of pictures. As you said, I recently shot a lot of skateboarding, but I want to broaden my mind and learn something new.

The good thing with photography is that you can shoot everything and therefore it is really necessary to look beyond the boundaries.

When shooting with people, I don’t want to catch an orchestration, I am more interested in people and how they live, what they have experienced or what makes him or her special. And when I’m shooting landscapes, I am aiming to capture pictures of touching places and where I can think back in time when looking at them.

Thank you Christian for a great interview and your insight into longboard photography. Any shoutouts?

Of course. I would like to thank everyone out there who support me and follow me on social networks. I’m very proud, that i can work with BigMountainSkate and Longboard Magazine. Special thanks goes out to my family and friends:- Mom and Dad, love you.- of course Grandpa, who has shown me the path to photography- my crew: Arthur, Fionn, Al, Philipp and Elias- the „Sonnenblümchen Racing Team“: haha, if you read this you will know who i mean ;)

If you’re in town, get in touch and we skate some hills together and take some photos. Otherwise, I hope to see you on the hill soon and keep safe. Cheers!

Stick to my ass as close as possible – filming a run with a car

Filming a longboard run with a car

Recently I watched a raw run video featuring Austrian racing machine Quirin “Qui” Ilmer. The Tyrolian beef-cake is really pushing his limits to the max and is always eager to get down the road as fast as possible. Check this raw run to make sure you understand what I’m talking about.

[vimeo 140597286 w=300 h=150]

Watching him hitting the roads in such vicious race mode makes me even more stoked about skating fast. Quirin doesn’t care if he’s racing against three other guys, when he’s on the top of the hill, it’s just a nip-and-tuck race between him and the road.

As I was wathcing the raw run video, I couldn’t overlook how damn close to Quirin the follow car was.

Did you realise how damn close to Quirin the car is as he hits the apex? That’s really close! Both the rider and the car driver are not allowed to make any mistakes in these kind of filming sessions.

This reminds me of all those SkateHouseMedia edits done by Alexander “Bad Decision” Ameen. Everybody knows him for beeing really fearless follwing down the skater as close as possible to catch some good footage.

But who’s the guy that rips down with a car like this over here in Europe? Let’s hear it from Quirin:

The filmer is called Nussi (Gregor Nussbaummüller). The wicked thing working with him is, that if you make a mistake, he knocks you over. And that’s the way it should be! The follow car has to stick to your ass as close as possible. Thats the way a raw run should be filmed these days, because then you get the best footage out of a run! ~ Quirin Ilmer

Nussi, a Salzburg (Austria) DH skater is responsible for this kind of action. As I talked to him about this later, he told me that he was putting his first car sideways all the time.

After he passed his driving license, his first car was a rear-wheel drive BMW and this kind of forced him to drift through corners, especially during winter when he was driving up to the mountains to go snowboarding. “Often I would end up in snow off the road”, said Nussi while laughing out loud.

Nowadays he still drives up to the mountains but mostly during summer. He either skates down or follows a skater with his car and a camera fixed to it as he sticks close to the skater’s ass to get the raddest footage possible.

When it comes down to filming with the car, Nussi has some strict rules.

It is very important to know who is in front of you. Every rider has an unique style and tries to transfer it to the road. Downhill bombing or some stand-up freeriding make a huge impact for filming. So mostly I like to skate a run together, to get to know the skater I am about to film. ~ Nussi

When Nussi and I got together, we decided to hit a fun and fast track somewhere close to Salzburg, to show you how he handles the car. If you pay attention closely, you will notice how he drifts “sideways” in a second corner!

[vimeo 147670334 w=300 h=150]

When going out filming a raw run, Nussi uses a tripod car mount and a Canon DSLR for filming in high resolution and 25 frames per second.
By the way, this raw run was filmed with a VW Polo, which is “small & crispy”, just as Nussi likes a follow car to be. Still, Nussi also has a slightly passion for big old cars ;-)

Skateboarding is fun and always should be – The Jürgen Gritzner Interview

Jürgen Gritzner is a badass and well known downhill skateboarder from Austria. He’s also the first and so far the only Austrian who’s got his pro model deck produced by a non-Austrian company. We’ve met for a chat and talked about how his relationship with Kebbek Skateboards started in the first place, how he ended up on the RAD Wheels and Caliber Trucks flow team as well, about his alter ego “Ill Eagle” and his views on racing. Let’s drop in!

Jürgen Gritzner shredding a bowl. Photo by Markus Knoblechner
Jürgen Gritzner shredding a bowl. Photo by Markus Knoblechner

“Be true to yourself. Skateboarding is fun and always should be.” ~ Jürgen Gritzner

Hey Jürgen! How are you dude?
I’m fine! Thank you for asking. Partying and skating with the homies, you know, the usual business.

Great! To start off, tell us about how you got hooked up with Kebbek Skateboards?
It’s funny how that went down. My buddy, Felix Rupitsch (Bigmountainskate.com) was partying at a local Bastl Boards Bash and met the German distributor for Kebbek. They talked, had fun and in the end he mentioned that Kebbek’s looking for a European skater to represent them. Felix told him some s*** about me, how I love skateboarding, creating music and art, plus all other kinds of things I care about very much. It all ended up with Kebbek being pretty excited to get me on board and the next time I’ve met Felix, he asked if I would like join Kebbek’s team. I said “F*** yeah”, got in touch with them and sealed the deal. Later on, when I was already on their team, I finally got to meet Ian, the founder of Kebbek Skateboards.

That’s great. So, Kebbek was your first sponsor. How did you manage to get involved with your other sponsors? You’re also on a RAD Wheels team, right?
Yes, Kebbek was my first sponsor. Joining their team spiked up my motivation to travel to the USA and get some skate action overseas. I went there by myself and got to know the Skate House Media dudes. We were skating together all days long. A year later, in winter 2012/13, I managed to get back to the States, but this time I went with my homie Flo Wagner (Landyachtz Longboards, Hawgs Wheels) and we stayed there for five weeks. We’ve met Louis Pilloni in San Diego and showed us around the Sector 9 headquarters. That was exciting. He hooked us up with some wheels and a bunch of stickers. Loads of stickers. At some point, he finally turned over to me and asked “You wanna join the RAD crew?”. You can assume what my answer was, haha!

Jürgen Gritzner at Bela Joyride 2015 © CK Photography
Jürgen Gritzner at Bela Joyride 2015 © CK Photography

Of course, your answer was “F*** yeah!”. And you’re repping the Caliber Trucks as well, right?
That’s true, yes. It was not long after we’ve returned back home to Austria when I received a phone call from Dave Tinachi. He told about James Kelly joining the Caliber Trucks, but what really flipped me, was when said how each pro skater on their team gets to choose one “flow team rider” as well and that James chose me! Pretty rad!

What’s expected from you as a team rider for Kebbek and the other sponsors?
Basic stuff, you know. Going out skateboarding, snapping some shots and doing some other media works, like movies and sharing online. Once I mentioned that I would enjoy doing some graphics as well and Ian gave me the chance to do the designs for some flyers, stickers, posters and similar for Kebbek in 2014. Later that year, I also proposed that we could produce a promotion video for my pro model boards. Teammates Katiana Torrebella and Benjamin Dubreuil joined the party and we went on a nice skate trip for filming in a skateboarding heaven, Barcelona. My homies over at Frame Fatale from Vienna did a really good job filming and editing this movie.

That’s a great video. How did you end up with pro model boards?
After ISPO 2013, Ian and I really got to know each other. After we did a promotion tour across Europe he arranged a job for me in a German company where he was working as well. We talked a lot about skateboarding, my visions and other stuff. I guess he enjoyed having me around and wanted to push my skateboarding even further. He kind of mentioned once something about the pro model deck, but it didn’t seem to be so serious at that time. It was as all nice and chilled until at ISPO 2014 he pulled out a catalogue with the new boards. As I had a look at it, I saw my pro model downhill and pool decks in there. A big surprise! F***, Ian just knew that I also love to shred trannies and street. I was very happy about it.

Jürgen Gritzner - Alps by Kebbek Skateboards
Jürgen Gritzner – Alps by Kebbek Skateboards

So, Ian kind of secretly examined your skateboarding mind?
Haha! Well yes, if you want to put it that way. In order to pull that off with the pool deck, he definitely had to sneak into my mind. Regarding the downhill deck, he already knew what I like. I told him that I would love it if the board would feature a kicktail to be able to play around and that a platform has to be wide enough for my big feet. The same goes for a solid concave and a rocker. He did a pretty good job! I got even more stoked about it when he included “Ill Eagle” in the graphics for both boards.

What is “Ill Eagle”?
It’s kind of my alter ego, my artistic name. For example, I build skateboards with old snowboard moulds and create lots of art pieces with my hands. And in the end, it stands a symbol of my rebellious personality and skateboarding style. I’m always flying around! Haha!

Jürgen Gritzner - Ill Eagle
Jürgen Gritzner’s alter ego Ill Eagle
Jürgen Gritzner in his workshop
Jürgen Gritzner in his workshop

Most people know you for your badass freeride style, but probably for some racing as well as you where “flying” at Kozakov back in 2014. Where do you draw a line between racing and freeride?
Phuu, I think those two are hard to separate. Personally, I think in racing there are moments and situations which almost never happen while freeriding. And this is good as it is. Those special moments give me the thrill of racing on a skateboard. Only in racing you push your limits to 110%.
With freeriding it is just all about fun, racing is really serious. I never freeride without my homies. You know, I want to enjoy a good sunny day full of skateboarding without any stress and unhealthy competition.

Jürgen Gritzner at PND 2014 © Dmitri Elson
Jürgen Gritzner leading the pack at PND 2014 © Dmitri Elson

But you are still a competitive skater?
Hm, that’s a hard question. Probably, there are times when I get extra ambitious, especially when racing. But I’m not that eager for winning like some riders out there, who are ready to subordinate everything just to win a heat or a race. I’m definitely not that kind of a skater. I love racing and getting that adrenaline rush, but some people are just going to crazy about winning. You can often see how they f*** each other up. This is not something that I stand for. What we do when racing is still skateboarding. Be true to yourself. Skateboarding is fun and always should be.

Great words and a nice closure for our interview. Any more last words, Jürgen?
Yes, I think so as well. Go out, skate and have fun. And of course big thanks to my sponsors Kebbek Skateboards, RAD Wheels and Caliber Trucks as well as a big shoutout to my homies!


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Also check out The Juergen Gritzner transportation project