Earlier this year, Alternative Longboards team riders got together at “So You Can Longboard Dance?” competition in Eindhoven, Netherlands. After the event, they decided to prolong their trip for another day and set off to explore Amsterdam on their longboards.
Riders: Alina Ruess, Mateusz Kodym, Robbert Van Haaften and Mateusz Wiącek.
Due to the economic blockade of Cuba, the Cuban skateboarders do not only have a hard time getting the gear they need, but they are also deprived of visibility in the worldwide community.
In October 2017, the Riding Adventures crew travelled to Cuba to connect with local skaters and help them tie the bonds with the international longboard dancing & freestyle scene.
There are no skate brands present in the country and there are no skateshops. The economic situation is quite bad. That’s why the Cuban skaters mostly rely on getting the skateboards from foreign skaters who visit the country and bring some gear with them. Riding Adventures did the same and also delivered some of the much needed skate gear.
Riding Adventures wants to prove that this sport does not understand what borders mean and also, that the union between riders is a connection that goes over any cultural or political context.
The Riding Adventures did a hell of a good job documenting the Cuban skate scene while maintaining the focus on the positive things and showing how stoked the Cuban skaters are regardless of the many challenges.
Riders: Charlie Disfruta, Daniel Sam, Sergio Evans, Borja Allue, Pablo Nicieza, Luis Creo, Chano Sebastian, Toti, Rafa Ordovas, Jay Alexis and Juanjo Cano.
Fortezza ASD is a sports association that started as a crew from Florence, Italy. Every year they try to bring skateboarding closer to kids by hosting longboarding classes and also organising a few smaller community events for the Italian scene in Florence.
Currently Fortezza is participating in a competition hosted by a local milk brand along with 122 other sports associations. The first 10 winners will be rewarded with funding to contribute to the organisation of their events. Among all the associations in the contest, Fortezza is the only longboard related one.
At the moment they are at 11th place, that is why they need your help to get the funding they need for this year’s events.
Two years ago Fortezza ASD was amongst the winners and that helped them with one of their main events in La Piazza Michelangelo in Florence, shown on the video below.
The voting is simple, follow this link, press the red button and sign in with your Facebook account. Your vote will be confirmed once you get to the message “HAI VOTATO”. The contest is opened only until February 15th, 2018.
Easy Riders is a medium length longboard movie, as the second of its kind, originating straight from the heart of the Polish longboarding scene.
It all started when Leszek Brzozowski, a polish longboarder, started working in the Szopaszopa skate shop and soon after wanted to form a group of individuals with the same passion and drive to promote downhill skateboarding in Poland.
The Szopa team now includes 10 skaters from different disciplines who see longboarding as a way of life rather than just a pass time activity.
And because of this attitude they support the core scene with dedicating their time to sharing their passion and experience with others who want to join in on the fun.
Easy Riders is a collection of hundreds of shots, dozens of tricks, slides and raw runs that Elwira Iwanowska hand picked and organised into an almost 30 minute long edit.
Behind all of the runs and higher speeds, behind tricks that were mastered in hundreds of attempts, stands something far more solid than any bone broken on this path.
It is the passion that liberates, the unlimited freedom that comes from accomplishing each and every goal regardless if it’s a faster, more technical hill or new, more demanding and painful to learn trick. Elwira Iwanowska
Easy Riders is primarily a story about passion, adventure and dedication. It is also a true inspiration for anyone who is just starting his or her longboard adventure. At the same time Elwira describes it as a reminder about what the board really is and what it’s all about.
Although it is not a high end production with 4K imagery and drone shots, Easy Riders presents the soul of longboarding and takes us back to the time when crews were more inviting to newcomers.
To complete the recording of the whole riding season, Szymon Stergiadis (Sterru) provided his original music, which creates a soundtrack that unleashes the unique style of every rider featured in the video.
The #szopateam members are: Wojtek Alfawicki, Leszek Brzozowski, Bartosz Hałasek, Patryk Jakieła, Marcin Piwnik, Mateusz Wiącek, Maciek Wojciechowski, Mateusz Wojciechowski, Wojciech Wojciechowski and Bartosz Zawadka.
For those of you who don’t know SektorF, here’s the short briefing – it’s a longboard crew from the Bavarian forest in Germany which promotes longboarding in their region via skate classes, outlaws and community driven events.
We already covered their activities in our SektorF skating article which you can check out later, but the highlight of this one is their 2017 SektorF Skatefest.
The SektorF Skatefest
Every year the crew comes together and organises a fun two day event at their local tow lift close to the Czech border. This year will be no different. From August 12th to 13th, everybody who likes skateboarding is welcome to join their activities.
The event promises endless loops, a portable pumptrack and a flowy fun track. Here’s what they have to say about it:
The short, but fun track will get spiced up with DIY banked turns and obstacles. There will be many side events during the days like fun races and raffle game with lots of goodies to win. And at night there will be a party with sound system and DJ of course.
Furthermore, the event also offers workshops for beginners and advanced skaters, a beginner’s course with Richie B. Enzmann and a floodlight.
Here’s the official recap to give you a short glimpse of what’s yet to come.
Last week we had the pleasure to host two rad skaters from the Banana Longboarding crew; Jakob Grasmann (Moonshine MFG) and Philip Tankarian (Layback Freiburg Skateshop). Together with our local shredder Benjamin Sabol (KebbeK Skateboards) they spent three days banging some of our sweetest home spots.
Jakob’s and Philip’s original plan was to travel to Italy but for some reason that didn’t work out and they decided to visit us instead. We were stoked to hear that they would like to spend some time with us and discover what else Slovenia has to offer besides the Bear’s Guts.
Only a few days earlier we acquired a new Panasonic Lumix GH5 camera and this was a great opportunity to do a few test shots with some great young talent.
Watching Benjamin skate with Jakob and Philip was really something special and I know that he was extra excited too because usually he doesn’t get to skate with other people that often besides myself. Slovenia has a very small downhill skateboarding scene.
On the first day we hit one of the steepest hills in the area to warm up. Short run with seven corners, the smoothest pavement around and a 22% grade made a great first impression on the guys.
We played it safe and skated with the radio stations. That provided some extra comfort and a sense of security, so the runs were fully sent one after another. The guys totally ripped it.
After a bunch of drops we moved to another spot in the area where we stayed until the sunset. Compared to the first one, this spot has pretty much the same surface but it’s less intense. The guys liked the more relaxed runs as the first spot took its toll.
In the evening, we were pretty smashed; the guys from skating, me from filming and driving, Nadia from taking photos and our dog Era from the heat. It was a great day but we were even more excited about the next day…
The next morning we took off a bit earlier so that the guys could skate a nice mellow run for a couple of times and warm up before hitting the 8 kilometres long mountain road we had scheduled down on the coast.
It’s needless to point out that they enjoyed this spot the most, but I had to anyway. Narrow as f***, smooth surface and top speed close to 70kmh. This track is the No Man’s Land’s “smaller brother from another mother”.
As the traffic started picking up at around 15 p.m., we stopped to film on one section and once we were done we moved to a spot on the other side of the valley.
Steep repaved and banked hairpins with a smooth tarmac were just perfect for getting a couple of shots during the “magic hour”. You can see that in the video as well…
The forecast for the last day was not so great, but we decided to give it a try anyway. We felt lucky as only half of the country had rain, so we just decided to go to a spot which was in the other half, but as soon as we got there it started raining.
Jakob and Philip had to catch a bus in the afternoon and we only had 3 hours left to skate. I took a look at the “rain radar image” and was happy to see that it hasn’t been raining on a spot which was only half-hour drive away.
It was a spot that I had marked to checkout for a while now, but never made it there. Once we arrived, the excitement went off the charts. The road was dry and packed with steep drops into even steeper hairpins with some sweepers in between. A real gem.
The guys had some runs there and I got another chance to tryout some new shots and angles as seen in the video…We couldn’t get enough of it so we ended the session fairly late but we managed to get to the bus just minutes before it left.
So yeah…We had a great time together and it was really nice to hang out with Jakob and Philip…I hope that they will return sometimes soon. If not, we’ll meet at KnK again anyway 😉
Here we are, only few days until the last day of winter and the first day of spring. Six days later, on March 26th, something even better will happen…
We will switch to “standard time” and move our clocks one hour forward. Actually, our digital devices will most probably take care of it on its own, we’re covered 🙂 What matters the most is that we will get in that extra hour for skating in the afternoons, life will be good again.
Team Heckmeck dudes from Germany are ready to move on as well and wave the cold times goodby, at least for the next 6 months or so…
I caught up with Daniel Lenz via Skype the other day…Him and Moritz Dolainsky live near Munich, while the other two Heckmeck guys, Nils Bodenheimer and Jan Brebeck live near Mainz.
That’s like 400 km apart and 3 to 4 hours drive, but the guys get together to skate, film and have fun as often as possible, mostly on weekends.
Heckmeck’s latests videos, including “Winter Gathering”, prove it; As soon as there was a dry spot on their favorite runs, they went out and sent it…
As Daniel said; Italy is a big thing right now…Near the Adriatic sea, it offers nice winter downhill skateboarding conditions, especially down in Tuscany and around Genoa.
In case you get inspired to do a similar trip yourself, make sure to get in touch with the local crews and find out where it’s OK and safe to skate. Hopefully you can meet them and skate together, or even get a place to crash for a night or two…
Community spirit lives on…So good.
When I asked about Team Heckmeck’s plans for this season beside the usual shenanigans, Daniel explained that the crew wants to produce more videos that will show their skateboarding lifestyle as well as to expand the variety of action shot angles.
For the travelling part…Daniel and Moritz plan to hit the KnK Week #2 and then probably do “a small tour” through Italy, Switzerland and France, while Nils plans to skate at Alpenrauschen and race the Red Bull No Paws Down during the first week of KnK.
In June, the French Longboard Girls Crew found themselves filming a new video called French Girls Going Down. The filming took place on Espigoulier Pass, located near Marseille, France.
Anne Poursin, Marjorie Roméo, Lyde Begue and Laure Descloitres took two days off to skate a giant corkscrew road. Meanwhile, Augustin Joan-Montes from AJ Médias captured their motion and me, Alban Pernet documented their adventure with the lens of my camera.
This trip was an opportunity to appreciate the fast and feminine style of the girls riding, who are always happy and smiling. Even after two day of non-stop runs under the hot sun of Southern France.
The new French Girls episode features the following riders:
To survive the winter, a squirrel needs to stack about ten thousand pieces of nuts, acorns and pine-cones before the first snow hits. Tough life.
In general, as skaters living in a country where the weather is seasonal, sometime around the first autumn signs we need to think about charging our batteries to the maximum, just so we can survive winter.
Last year we came up with an idea to visit Spain and guess what, it was a straight bullseye. Without even the slightest hesitation this year early in April we started planning our next trip.
In 2015, Pablo Quiles, a well-known rider from Spain, showed us the ins and outs of Gnarlicante. So basically thanks to him, we now know the spots, local riders and the Spanish way of living.
Getting ready for the trip
When getting ready we tried to plan everything ahead so that nothing would surprise us and we could stay as low profile on the spots as possible. It’s very important for us to respect the spots and local riders that use them on daily basis.
Fortunately when it comes to the whole planning phase, we have a ruthless engineers Bartosz who doesn’t leave anything undone. So by the time we were leaving Poland, our map of roads we wanted to hit looked like a globe used as a shooting target for close range shotgun practice.
We had that covered. To get other things done we got in touch with David Butti from Salsito House. He offered us to stay at his home, helped us with the rentals and overall was an awesome host the whole week once we got to Spain.
I can easily skip the whole ‘omg excitement phase’ with the packing, the flight, the whole clapping after landing and the fact that we could easily throw our jackets to trash because of the 29 degrees in Spain, while in Poland people had to scrub windshields of their cars in the morning.
This year we managed to smuggle into Alicante the whole STWS so there were 7 of us. Next year we probably will bring our families and pets and in two years’ time we will most likely come back with all the crap we own and stay for good.
Skate all day, everyday
All jokes aside Spain has so many beautiful spots and such a unique climate to offer that I myself sometimes didn’t know wheatear I should laugh or cry, so I cried with happiness and enjoyed the trip as much as possible.
We had an ambitious plan to “skate all day, everyday”’ and to test the heck out of the new improved core mounted in LOBO wheels. In fact we calculated that in one week we should be able to pull around 12 skate sessions, counting the Gnarlicante King of the Hill Outlaw Race and Castell de Castells freerides.
The plan was simple…
Wake up, hit the market, eat at the spot (which I really like), skate, lunch somewhere at the beach, skate, dinner, relax, sleep, wake up and repeat.
Sounds a lot but to be honest, if the weather wouldn’t prank us for a day or so, we would most likely pull it off. Nevertheless, we still got tons of riding done and left behind loads of burned urethane.
Alicante is a region that offers hundreds of spots you can skate on.
I literally write hundreds because it’s true. Most likely if you’re a local rider 98% of the spots is invincible for you, but as pure “flatland boyz” we were stoked.
Of course in a weeks’ time we weren’t able to hit all of the spots we saw but we did the best we could playing it smart enough not to burn anything for the locals.
In my eyes Alicante region offers everything. From 30% grade slide spots, through awesome roads with small traffic to pure open road freeride experience with all kinds of other attractions.
So the whole week went by excellent.
During the day we were skating, having fun, stacking clips and snapping photos. Evening on the other hand we spent either relaxing in Salsito or just roaming the small town of Calpe, enjoying the late night life of elderly citizens. I’m telling you, it’s the Miami of Europe.
Fortunately the photographic equipment we took this year for the trip also levelled up, so thanks to the gimbal, a sweet GH4 and a handmade car mount, we were able to record many runs.
King of the Hill Outlaw Race
On the 14th, the Gnarlicante crew organised an outlaw race at on of their local favourites, a spot called “Psychospot“. This name actually comes from the one and only Pablo Quiles, who’s nickname is Psycho, so if you know Pablo or at least seen him skate, you get the drill about the spot.
The road itself does not forgive mistakes and brings genuinely tons of fun. Most of the surface is destroyed in one way or another. From huge cracks and random concrete humps to fairly large holes leaving just a small pass to go through. Add over a dozen degrees of grade plus a few corners and you got yourself a pretty interesting mixture.
I asked the locals why they love the spot so much and heard that the pavement is just perfect where it needs to be and the rest is just details. Frankly, that’s true but I myself think that besides that, Psychospot also offers tons of adrenaline and almost no traffic, plus the guys block the road while bombing.
So, we skated a bit over there. Melvin Herrmann helped us with recording a run of Rafał and we moved on to another road to shot some more footage.
Eventually Melvin Herrmann was declared The King of the Hill by winning the outlaw race, which is well deserved since he is an awesome skater and also by the way has freaking mad driving skills.
Toti Bicileta was second with Adrian Leon Suñol coming in third and Oscar Archibaldo Rodriguez Escoin swooping the fourth position riding on the new LOBO Kraken Downhill series wheels.
During the Friday outlaw race we’ve run across the guys from Netherlands, Robbert and Jordi, with whom we already had a chance to skate at KnK in the past and at Castell de Castells freeride the next day.
Castell de Castells freeride
As I mentioned before, for our last day in the longboard paradise we decided to visit Castell de Castells freeride event organized by the guys from FreeDivision Crew. The freeride was a full weekend event but because of our flight we only attended the first day.
Castell de Castells is located in the mountains of south-east Spain. The town itself is very small and only has around 500 residents, but the freerides were organised on a public road connecting it with the next city.
When you look at the spot on findhills you might not be impressed because it’s only an average 6% grade, nearly 16% steepest point, barely 3 kilometres and just a few corners and sweepers but the point of view changes once you get inside that shuttle bus.
Believe me, it’s awesome. The whole course is not very demanding but you build up speed fast, the road is wide, the pavement is smooth and the corners are crazy-steep. What more could a skater ask for. We took some photos, had lots of fun and went back to Salsito with no losses.
Overall we had a great time!
We did everything we wanted to, including a very hard test of the new and improved cores in all models of LOBO Wheels, which by the way turned out great.
We filmed a lot of clips and snapped some photos to share amongst friends and homies but what is the most important thing, we got to skate with cool people, had a lot of fun and charged our batteries to help us survive the winter break.
Big thanks to David from Salsito House, who once again welcomed us in his home and proved to be a great host and thanks to Melvin for helping us record a sweet run of Rafał on Psychospot.
I’m pretty sure we will come back next year because Gnarlicante still has so much to offer and it only gets better and better.
Ari “The Shark” Chamasmany is a skateboarder, a DJ and a producer. He can’t imagine his life without music or skateboarding and for the past 8 years, he’s been sharing his passions with The Gel Lab group, a creative collective which meets on weekly sessions in Downtown Los Angeles.
In this inspiring video, Ari points out the importance of the community and presents The Gel Lab as a great example of an event where everyone is welcome to join and express their creativity.
Under the glow of street lights and the neon signs of Los Angeles, a highly mobile crew of longboarders take to the deserted streets of Santa Monica and Downtown every Wednesday for a night filled of invading parking garages and darkened descents.
Filmed and edited by Christian Rosillo, Ari’s Gel Lab sessions have been at the heart of the LA scene, known only by word of mouth and those that thrive in the dimly lit avenues of Souther California’s largest concrete expanse. Christian brings these dwellers of the night to light through a unique perspective of what it is like to be part of the Gel Lab collective. More from Christian Rosillo at: www.ChristianRosillo.com
Ari Chamasmany is a man of many passions. With his ever persistent commitment to the Los Angeles longboarding community, he has held his signature weekly sessions for 8 years without fail. Beyond his passion of nighttime skating, he is a master of the turn tables and mixers that encompass the life of his alter ego: DJ Shark.
Check out his killer mixes on SoundCloud, free to download for your grooving pleasure.
If you’ve ever been a participant at a longboard event, especially a freeride, then you had the pleasure of enjoying some quality time with likeminded people with the same passion for our beloved sport. But why do so only on organised events, when you can do it on a day to day basis?
Meet the SektorF Skating Crew
A crew from the Bavarian forest in Germany, SektorF Skating are setting a good example for everybody in our community by promoting and growing the sport in their region. Although the scene there is quite small and involve mostly young people, that doesn’t kill their stoke.
SektorF Skating Crew, from left to right : Markus Penzkofer, Christoph Lipp, Julia Morgenstern, Richard Enzmann, Lukas Nürnberger, Philipp Hastreiter, Stefan Hari John, Moritz Wein and Nikolas Raith.
Their recent adventures involved bringing back a small skate park to their hometown, organising three skate festivals on their local tow lift and an outlaw race.
As that is only the beginning, they also plan on doing skate courses and an outlaw series, similar to the one in Freiburg, this autumn. If everything goes as planned, their agenda for the nearest future involves also a proper race next year or in the years to come.
Check out their latest video with Christoph Lipp, German junior champion for 2015 and team rider for Talwärts Boardshop Zwiesel, G.O.D. and Icone.
We have to give some major kudos to the crew as they are really doing something they love and spread the stoke amongst other skaters or skaters to be. Their mentality is that everybody can do it, so they do it too in their region.
If you wish to get to know them a little better, then visit their Facebook page, give them a like and be on the lookout for their next adventure. Also check out their videos on Vimeo, pics on Instagram and get stoked!