Featured Rider: Juergen Gritzner


Juergen, the ill eagle, is a rad lad from Austria who loves to have fun on boards, especially those with trucks. He tells us about Loralo, his pro model with Kebbek and his favourite meal.
Hey Juergen, how are you?
Super stoked right now, thank you. I’ve been working on a lot lately and it’s so much fun.

What have you been working on?
Filming in Barcelona, Ads. for Kebbek Skateboards, writing an article about the Barcelona trip for concrete wave right now. Board graphics, shapes for 2015, constantly working on my pro-models for 2015. The 2014’s are getting released in April. Also drawing, music. So much stuff!

What is kebbek?
KebbeK Skateboards from Montreal. Some of the nicest people in this universe.

How long have you been in the family?
Since october 2012.

Where are you from?
Graz, Austria!

Nice place to grow up?
Defenetly! It’s called the Toscana of Austria, which means it’s full of smooth hills and drunk people that love to produce wine and good food. We have big mountains one hour this way; the sea, two hours the other. It’s perfect for skating.

How did you get into skating?
My 9 year older brother, Christian, inspired me at an early age with a lot of stuff. I think I was around 6 when my mum bought me my first plastic tank kinda skateboard UFO thing.

Have you been skating ever since then?
Almost. I took it easy on the skateboard while I was competitive downhill mountainbiking between the age of 16 and 18 but never really stopped.

What brought you back?
The love man, the love! I grew up on a board and I wanna die on a board. Whatever it will be; snowboard, skateboard, surfboard. Hope it’s a surfboard though and at 83 I’m getting a heart attack because the wave is too beautiful. Word!

What do you love about boards?
The simplicity and how it connects and creates. Man, it’s just a board and whether you put trucks on it or not, you can feel something so powerful and magical when you ride it. You need all your senses focused though if you wanna survive. You can see art and sport and personality in the way people move on a board.

Which is your favourite board?
Right now it’s the skateboard.

Is the stoke from snow, wave and asphalt different?
Just the life between is very different. I love being surrounded by nature so I prefer snow or water waves since you can dive into them. The stoke that I get from diving into a corner at full speed on a skateboard is not a minor fascination! Also, I am still addicted to urban areas, cultural wise. I think I’ll stick to concrete for a little longer till I peace out to the beach.

What is your favourite thing to do on your skateboard?
Exploring! I love to skate everything as much as I can. Super fast as well as technical street skating. I’ve skated a lot of street lately since it’s cold in Austria

When did you first go fast?
Around 5 years ago. When I was 14, I started my little underground label called ”ill eagle longboards”. I shapes longboards out of old snowboards; relaminating them, painting them, skating them. Sold them for 7 years till I first got in contact with serious downhill skating.

Why did you make your own board?
I just love to shape boards. It’s great to create something with your hands that you can ride. I wanna learn how to shape surfboards one day.

Are you an artist?
Aren’t we all? Let’s say this; I would love to keep on working on projects including art as long as I can and be an inspiration for those who can see.

How did you find DH skating.?
I was mostly inspired by my good friend Mathias Mögele aka Cannonballman who just got hooked up by landyachtz family! stoked for him. And of course Senior Florian Wagner!

Is there a history of DH skating in Austria?
Yes there is. There was a handful of DH skaters back in the days that also organized the Hot Heels, Kaunertal Race (World Downhill Championships 2003) but there was no scene left at all when we started.

Are any of the OG’s still around?
Max Stammler from Salzburg. I have to say, he is my favourite OG.

Is important to learn from the OG’s?
Downhill skating wise, it’s hard to say since I have not, but in life, YES!

Do you remember the first run you went fast on?
Yes, I shit my pants after I realized that open traffic is no joke especially if you can’t handle basic slides!

How did it feel?
SKETCHY but awesome. But more sketchy than awesome.

What were you riding then?
Madrid Dave Price, Gullwing Charger, Orangatang InHeats.

Are there many fun runs around you?
Oh we have tons around my hometown Graz, not so many in Vienna unfortunately but still.

How has the community grown since then?
It exploded. You can find kids with longboards all over Austria for the last 2-3 years. After we organized Loralo in 2012 and 2013, the first Austrian Longboard Festival; my OG crew Team High Five from Graz set the start for a new era of skating hills in Austria.

Who do you ride with these days?
My friends that i share an apartment with, in Vienna. Mostly street skaters, but since I travel a lot I always get the chance to skate with lots of awesome people from everywhere.

SkateHouse Vienna?
No, just 4 friends that skate, draw, film and play music.

What led to the organisation of LoRaLo?
The perfect place and the motivation to create something new. We had a race, freerides, night slide jam with slopestyle elements, miniramp contest and lots of djs rounding up the whole event.

What was the track like?
Playful, technical, not too fast, around 70-75k. Just perfect for easy racing.

What was the hardest thing about organising the event?
Felix Rupitsch and Florian Wagner were the main organizers. I helped out getting sponsors, DJs and realizing the slide/slopestyle contest. Most of the unpleasent work was managed by them. I can just say, making an event this sick takes time and lots of commitment.

Will it be back this year?
Yes, definetly! Keep your eyes and ears open for updates on Facebook.

Who else is in Team High Five?
Florian Wagner, Mathias Moegele, Felix Rupitsch, Benedikt Minutillo, Georg Mekkisch, Dana Schitler, Verena Stein.

Had there been any other fun events in those years in Austria?
Some smaller freerides here and there but not too many.

What has been your favourite year of skating?
The last three years have been the most fun and interesting ever. I had the chance to meet so many nice people from all around the world that are all connected through the love for skateboarding. I am thankful to call some of them my friends today.

When did you first skate outside Austria?
2010 in Slovenia.

Have you done the tour?
Yes, I did the whole euro tour 2013. One of my best experiences ever and I am definetly going for the 2014 euro tour as well.

Which events did you go to last year?
After I came back from California, Ian Comishin took me on a KebbeK promo tour from Stuttgart to Stuben (Austria) to Lichtenstein to Zürich to Milan back up to Stuttgart. That was in March.

April: “24hours of Großerlach” in Bavaria, Germany

May: “Häldenrennen”, German Championships 2013

Sometime around May/June we also went to Zagreb, Slovenia for a race that couldn’t get finished because of false information from the government concerning traffic. A big traffic jam was the result of the race. Too bad for the organizers cause they did everything right.

July: Sector 9 “Almabtrieb” in Bavaria, German; “Kozakov Challenge” , Czech Republic
August: “KnK Freeride”.

Followed by travelling with the sector 9 / R.A.D Wheels team and friends from Slovenia through the Italian and French Alps to get some freerides in before “Peyragudes Never Dies”, the last stop of the euro tour.

After Peyragudes, we went to the West coast of France for two days and then to Barcelona, Spain, to hang out and calm down from the euro tour.

September: We organized “LORALO” again. Austrian Championships 2013.

Dude! Cali! First time?
No, second time. Winter 2011-2012 was my first time there. I spent three month traveling up and down the coast skating and exploring with friends from Skatehouse, Loaded, Sunset Sliders, PDX Crew and much more. It was the most beautiful trip ever.

What was the highlight of that first trip?
No highlights just results.
Every day was so amazing! I had the pleasure to meet so many awesome people, but if I had to point something out, I would say getting printed in concrete wave magazine doing a boardslide down a handrail in Venice Beach Skatepark on my self shaped longboard was wicked!

What took you out there last year?
Friends, skating and escaping the cold Austrian winter.

Where did you have the most fun on the tour?
Freeriding some of the best spots on earth with some of the most talented riders from all around the planet. Pure Love!

Who is Ian Comishin?
Good friend and owner of KebbeK Skateboards.

How did you joinKebbek?
I got a phone call from a friend from Germany telling me that Kebbek wants to hook me up.

Who are the other Europeans riding for Kebbek?
Katiana Torrebella from Mallorca, Spain. and Isac Printz from Sweden.

What is your role in the family?
Right now; pro-team rider, graphic designer, bit of creative director, bit of team manager, bit of project manager. Lots of stuff man!

How has your relationship with Kebbek evolved over the years?
Ian took me up in this family like a son. He has been doing a freaking lot for the sport in general and for me. He has a great attitude and he gives me the chance to skate as much as I can as well as being active on the creative side of things! That’s just what I always wanted to do. He is awesome!

What setup were you riding last year?
KebbeK, Top Mount 36
Caliber Precission Trucks,
R.A.D Wheels

Are any of those your sponsors?
Yes, I am stoked to say they are! KebbeK is releasing my pro models in August. I am on flow for Caliber right now and psyched to be on the R.A.D team! BIG SHOUT OUTS to all of them and the love they share!

Congratulations on the pro models, tell me all about it!
Thank you very much! The Juergen Gritzner Alps, is gonna be a top mount with a little kick tail and a super slight kick nose. It’s made for big mountains but you can explore whatever you want since there is nose and tail. Its going to be an awesome start in an awesome direction. The Juergen Gritzner City, is an old school oriented street skateboard adopted to speed.

How has this year gone for you?
Extraordinary! Ian surprised me with the city version of my promodel at the ISPO 2014. I didn’t know about his plan till I opened the 2014 KebbeK catalogue. So it’s a dream that I am living right now.

Did you have fun at ISPO?
Oh yeah!

What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Main focus is the Euro-Tour. Besides that, I’ll travel around Europe for smaller events with my crew and if there is time left I will fly to Montreal to work on boards for Kebbek. In winter 2014, I ll go to California for a year.

What do you do when you’re not skating?
Drawing, music; electronic and acoustic. Girls!

Pick 3 numbers between 1-37.

1 – What would you do if you were President?
Ban the President to an Island with waves around.

3 – What impact has longboarding had on your life?
A huge one! A great one.

7 – What is your favourite meal?

Buddy! Thank you so much for all your time this afternoon, it’s been fun talking to you and hearing your story. Hopefully catch you again somewhere!
Thanks for having me.

Any last words?
Thanks to Skateboarding for having us.


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