Alex killed the last unicorn in his basement, when he’s not being evil and building ”Satanicos and Withcrafts”, he’s getting his beautiful beard stroked. What a lucky guy.
Halo Alex, how are you?
I didn’t have so much sleep last night, but I am fine!
Yes! We are working 7 days a week right now and trying to extend our workshop. New presses, new CNC mill etc. A lot to do and besides, we try to keep up with the regular production AND try to get some time to skate!
When will you get a break?
I already had a break, I was down at the Salsito House in Alicante with the Risch Aerohelmets crew a few weeks ago – so I can’t complain. And next weekend we will have 3 days full of freeriding at the “Swabian Weekend”, that’s an annual skate weekend hosted by our team rider Kevin “Hooligan” Mauch, where some skaters from around Stuttgart / South Germany band together to skate and party… it escalates every time.
Is the Swabian Weekend the first official event of the German calendar?
It’s not an official event, it’s more like a 2-3 days outlaw freeride session with 10-15 riders. There are several good spots in the area Kevin lives – so we pack the cars full of riders and skate as much spots as possible!
The first official event is the “PimpMaiRide” Freeride at the beginning of May. At a crazy small and technical spot somewhere between Stuttgart and Heilbronn.
Where are you from?
I am from Singen, a small industrial town in the Southeast end of Germany, 200 meters from the Swiss border. And I am still here!
Did you enjoy your time there?
Oh yes! Great week full of skating and relaxing. The guys down there are lucky to have so many good roads and less traffic on these roads. On some spots, I felt like I was at a “Freeride” with a closed road. Super fun!
Are you on the Risch team?
No not really, or I don´t know – maybe I should ask Stephan. He is a good friend of mine and we are working together on his helmets. So there will come some new stuff this year. Stay tuned!
How does Gnarlicante compare to Mallorca?
Hard to say, both regions have great spots but the main difference is the traffic. In Mallorca, you have a lot of tourists and bicycles (I hate them.)
For me, Gnarlicante was a bit like California, not that technical but a lot of “flowing” roads where you can enjoy skating, the landscape etc.
I will definitely go there again, but the next trip will be to the canary islands!
What was it like growing up in Singen?
Kind of boring. Singen is just an industrial town with lots of big companies – but not that much culture and a lot of, let´s say “not many legal acting people”.
Most people who visit us here, say that everything seems a bit fucked up. But I am used to it and if you go outside the town – you will find one of the most beautiful landscapes ever.
We have there the Lake of Constance, which is pretty nice during the summer and our region is called “Hegau”. It’s full of old volcanoes and castles – so we have mountains and enough spots to skate and we still discover new spots every month. Also, the Swiss Alps and some fun roads in the black forest are quite close to us. Nothing to complain about the area as a skater.
How did you get into skateboarding?
I started with a short board, when I was 14 or 15, but there weren´t any skate parks in our area and jumping stairs or doing some super technical tricks is not my style. So I quit it and got more into snowboarding. 9 or 10 years ago, a guy saw us bombing a small hill on our regular short boards. He stopped at the top of the hill and gave us an old longboard from the 80’s.
“Use this and bring it back when you get your own” he told us. So we started to longboard, the first weeks we were three guys sharing one board. After a few weeks, we started to build our own boards or ordered the first ones (wasn’t that easy to get the board you wanted, I remember my first DH board was an Evo and I waited over 8 weeks for it).
At this time, nearly 9 years ago, there were no fancy videos on YouTube to show you how to skate, so we taught ourselves. I remember the day, one year after we got the first board from that guy, Dom did the first slide we ever saw and it took us the whole summer to learn it! Later we learned that this slide was called “Coleman Slide”.
What has kept you in it over the years?
My friends, this unique feeling when you bomb a hill and all the good times and friendships I got out of it. I think the most important point was the “Freibrettlauf” in Stuttgart. I think that was 2006/2007. We got a flyer about an outlaw longboard event in the middle of Stuttgart. So we bought a ticket for the train and went there. Was a hard experience for us, it was the first time that we saw someone foot breaking or railing a corner. Also riding in the open traffic was new for us. But after this weekend all of us were addicted.
Who were you the 2 guys skating with you in those early days?
The core of our crew was Dominik Weber (one of the raddest guys out there) and Ben Beger. We still skate together as much as possible. I think that’s a very important thing to me, that I still do this together with the guys I started with.
Was anyone selling longboards in Germany back then?
As far as I can remember, the guys from Pogo sold boards through their online shop (longboardshop.de), as well as Eugen Forschner and Bassi Haller with their shop “Kollektiv Sports” in Stuttgart. And for us, which live close to the swiss border, the Rollladen in Zürich was important to get wheels etc.
What was the first board you built?
The first board I built by myself, was out of Mahogany and Carbon, maybe one of the most beautiful boards I ever built. Did it for my ex girlfriend, so I have to thank her for bringing me into building boards.
Have you made many since?
Hmm… I would say yes. Especially in the last two years… we’ve built a lot of boards.
What do you enjoy about making boards?
The whole process in itself. Having an idea or from talking to the teamriders and after that, implementing all the feedback, imaginations etc. into a mold.
This moment, when you cut a new prototype for the first time, and put it on the street is always a pleasure – at least when you see other people having a good time with product, something you made with your own hands!
And we produce something that makes people happy – that’s one of the most important points.
When did you get to meet other people in the community?
I think the first time we had contact with the community was at the “Freibrettlauf”, hosted by Eugen Forschner and the Down711 Crew. But at this event I didn’t have so much contact with the locals, cause we were shy and deeply impressed with how fast they went.
The first event we really got in contact was at the “Könige der Berge” Cup (King of the Mountains) hosted by Alexander “Tiki” Frischauf in Austria. We met Sebastian Hertler, Stephan Risch etc. for the first time. In this year there were several small races and freeride events in Austria which we attended.
Did meeting guys like Hertler and Stephan change skating for you?
No, not really, I am doing my own thing and skate in my own style and way. But it always fascinates me watching guys like Hertler skating and it inspires me for new molds and shapes.
But concerning the skating itself, I just wanna skate safe and have the chance to do it for some more years, instead of pushing my limits every time!
I pay a lot of respect to the guys who are pushing the limits day after day, but honestly, I am a pussy and more focused on enjoying the feeling of the ride instead of being the first in the pack.
How did you do in the races?
I don’t race bro! Did some smaller races in the beginning. But I don’t like this competition stuff for myself. I started with my friends to have a good time and enjoy life and that’s how I keep it!
What do you enjoy about that feeling of speed?
First of all, there’s nothing in your head when you’re going fast – you are only focused on the road, the riders beside you and how to handle the next corner. Sometimes you have the time to enjoy an epic view while you are flying down a road. All the “problems” are blown away.
And that’s it – it’s like meditation for me. If I don’t get this feeling a minimum two times per week – I get stressed and kind of aggressive.
What setup are you riding?
Right now I am riding a Root Witchcraft, with 44° Calibers (but I will get some new SKOA Vapors next week), Brainfukker Griptape & Slidepucks and a lot of different Wheels.
You know I am a heavy guy, that’s why I prefer big wheels with bigger cores. I love to ride RAD Advantage/Release 78a Wheels or the new Biggie & Boss Hawgs.
Are there any German wheels?
Olsen & Hekmati have their own wheel line up, and Wefunk has / had his own wheels. And I think that Heiko and the other guys behind the Concerete Wave Shop in Cologne are working on a new wheel made in Europe!
Do you enjoy travelling?
For sure, as much as I enjoy coming home again after a trip!
What’s the most important thing to remember when making skateboards?
Don’t forget the epoxy resin! Seriously, laminate every board like it is your own and don’t start reducing the quality of the material for a bigger profit – that makes no sense to me!
How has your board shaping evolved over the years?
It has also become a kind of meditation for me, I love to be in the workshop, listening to loud music and laminating board after board.
It’s gotten easier to shape a board which looks good and performs well. With the all the input I get from other riders and my own rising experience, I have the chance to implement this into new shapes and molds to build more awesome boards!
I was always focused on technical details and new concave concepts and that is what we do here day for day – improve what we have and do it better day after day.
Like my grandmother told me, “keep moving, standing still is death”!
What is a Root board?
You ask me that question about my own boards?
Alright, I would say it’s one of the best things you can create out of wood, fiberglass and carbon in combination with the radest graphics out there!
At this point, I have to thank my good friend Johannes Brückner aka Boggie Arts – he is the guy who is doing all the graphics for our boards and the mastermind behind Makluar Clothing!
Feels good to work together with such a lovely and weird artist and creative head like him!
Who were your first team riders?
Dominik Weber, the guy with which I started longboarding, was our first TMR and is still in the team. He also helps at the factory and pushes me to go faster! You should see him skating, if you get the chance, looks like a cat on the board!
Then there are Simon Kern and Sebastian “Zebo” Bassler, they joined the team before we had a real team and helped me a lot with developing boards and so it grows bit after bit!
I am very thankful for that great team & family that we have today and all the support i got from them! Thanks guys & girls! Everybody is doing their best and helping each other! So we have a very familiar atmosphere in the team, which is pretty important for me.
Do you have anyone from outside Germany on the team?
Annemiekje was our only TMR not living in Germany, but she moved to Stuttgart so right now we just have a “German” team – but we support some young guys in Sweden and are working to support some guys on the Canary Islands. And of course Nadim the organizer of the KNK freeride feels like a TMR!
Are your boards different from others in the market?
A skateboard is a skateboard and we haven’t reinvented gunpowder. But I would say that the shapes, concave concepts and finish of our boards are unique. Sometimes maybe a bit too radical – but that’s how we keep it!
Did you have a fun 2013?
2013 was super fun, it was the first time that building boards felt kind of professional and I did a lot of trips. Was skating in Spain, France, Italy, Slovenia, Swiss, Austria, Germany and California! Had a ton of good times, with my friends and got a lot of new experiences!
WOW! How was Cali?
What can I say? One of the best places in Earth! We were five guys of the Team Kevin Mauch, Yannick Gladow, Domink Weber, Phillipp Meister and I.
We travelled from Las Vegas to LA, had a good time in the Malibu Hills – skated Tuna and the Mulholland Drive (for years I wanted to skate these two roads – so it was something special for me).
After that, we rode up to Santa Cruz where we spent some days at the Caliber Trucks HQ, after that we visited the Sunset Sliders in San Francisco – best City on the whole planet! Thanks to Big Dave, who was the best host we could imagine. On our way back to Vegas, we had some epic mountain runs through the Sierra Mountains!
How is this year going for you?
It is doing good right now – feeling even more “professional”. And I already did my first skate trip and planned already to join as many freerides as possible and want to skate the French Alps (Flix if your reading this, we will do that together this year!) as well as visiting the Canary Islands and a trip trough Slovenia!
Additionally, we are working on two new signature boards for a new TMR – and some other top secret projects. So it won’t get boring in the next months!
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
I am working on doing more filming and editing stuff – we have a small media team and try to get more seriously in producing videos and pictures. So we will see how it goes.
Pick 3 numbers between 1-40.
666 – What’s the most evil thing you’ve done?
I lured the last unicorn to my basement and kept it there!
13 – Do you have a pet?
Besides the unicorn, no – would love to get a dog, but there is no time for one right now!
26- What kind of films do you like?
Kind of Quentin Tarantino films, like Resevoir Dogs – I also like “Brügge sehen und sterben, everything with black humor or some weird endings. There are so many good films out there – hard to say.
Porn is also good!
It’s been so much fun finally doing this buddy. Thanks for being rad. Keep up the bear and skateboards!
Hehe. Bit chaotic, but we did it! Thanks a lot for your time – hope to see you on some events this year! And if you need a new board, give me a call.
Any last words?
Thanks to my Mom, Dad and my sister, which supported me with that crazy idea to make a living out of building skateboards!
And thanks to all the guys, which make every trip unique and help out when I need them!
Root Longboards || http://rootlongboards.com/
Flatspot Shop Stuttgart || https://www.facebook.com/flatspotstuttgart?fref=ts
Brainfukker Products || https://www.facebook.com/BrainfukkerProducts?fref=ts
Caliber Trucks || http://calibertruckco.com/
Makular Clothing || https://www.facebook.com/shredmakular?fref=ts
Risch Aerohelmets || https://www.facebook.com/RischSurfaces?fref=ts
Upindatree || http://www.upindatree.com/
PrioryStudio || http://www.thepriorystudios.com/