Luutse tells us about his preference of riding with no grip tape, and for men with long decks. Throw in 80s movie references and you have a very funny interview with a crazy opinionated fellow who likes to dance.
Hey Luutse, where are you from?
Hey Gbemi! Originally I’m from 2037. But we’ve got time machines, so I travelled back to 1988 (using a home-made flux capacitor) to end up in Wageningen, the Netherlands.
The future is pretty amazing actually! The only downside is that there are now over 12,000 kinds of Pokemon. It’s just getting ridiculous!
What’s the skating like in 2037?
It’s so cool. We’ve all got pink hoverboards and we all wear self-lacing Nike’s! Although downhill skating is really old-fashioned! Also sliding is a lot easier when you don’t have wheels to worry about!
In your current timeline, when did you start skating?
I started longboarding on the 7th of September 2010. Before that I skated on a skateboard for over a decade. Before that I was a goalkeeper for about 7 years. Before that, I could play for hours with toy cars and transformers!
How come you remember the day?
The date is in my e-mail inbox. My brother in-law said: “Oi! If you cut your hair and beard, I’ll buy you a longboard!”. 20 minutes later we were in the car, picking up my first board! Changed my life in so many ways! Plus, I look good with clean cheeks! If I say so myself!
Ah! Does he longboard?
No. At the time I felt like the floor of a taxi cab. So he thought it would cheer me up! And it did!
Hugs! Do you still ride a tiny board?
Yes! I still ride a skateboard. It’s just too much fun! It’s an addiction!
Does it influence how you longboard?
Definitely! Riding a skateboard and a longboard are two completely different worlds. Both physically and mentally. I still have the mindset of a skateboarder. The “I-will-land-this-goddamned-trick-today” mentality. I started doing pirouettes on my skateboard, and kickflips on my longboard. Also when you’re used to riding a skateboard, making the transition to longboard so much easier.
I’ve definitely never seen a pirouette on a skateboard before! You’re into dancing then?
Yes. I like dancing! It’s about the only thing I do. I never skated for the rush, or the adrenaline. It’s more like a puzzle. A puzzle that keeps challenging me to learn new things. To create something out of very simple tricks.
A puzzle that will soon be solved?
Never. That’s the beauty of it. Every time you lay down a piece, you expand the puzzle. Unlocking so many new combinations. So many new tricks. That’s what makes it so amazing! If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything!
Did you start skating in Wageningen?
Yep! I started longboarding on my own. For the first 3 months I almost never skated with others. After that I started meeting people in my area, and we skated together. In the beginning I would skate a lot with Marleen. I don’t say this very often, but I owe a lot to her! Especially in the beginning. I was completely new to longboarding and she really showed me what was possible on a longboard. Or at least, she gave me an understanding on how longboarding should be like.
And the funny thing is. The roles are now reversed
Do you prefer skating with others now?
It highly depends on the people. To me, skating has always been a thing that I did for myself. Not to be around others and having fun with them. I really like it when you can build on the energy of others. Form a kind of synergy with them. To do things you’ve never even thought about. But it’s not the thing that gets me outside in the first place. That will always be that absolute freedom of skating.
You’ll never see me sitting down on the side. That’s just not my thing. And sometimes it’s a little bit frustrating that this mentality isn’t the standard in the longboard scene. Or at least, that’s what I think.
What do you think is the longboard-mentality?
I don’t want to stereotype a whole scene. But the longboard-mentality is so much more layed-back. Skateboarders are much more focused on progression. Getting better than you were. Trying tricks 42 times in a row, just so you can land it once! That’s what I like! Because that’s what I do.
I try not to sit around and talk about my gear. I don’t go out skating with a beer in my hand. I just skate. And I just try to get better, and better. That’s what drives me, and sometimes it’s not really fun. But it’s the thing I do.
But of course! Everybody should do what feels good! Who am I to judge! We be nice to them, if they be nice to us!
Competition with yourself?
Definitely. You’ll never see me competing in any contest, because I have nothing to prove to anyone. Just myself. And it’s just how my head works. Finishing the puzzle.
Not even when the prize is cake?
The cake will always be a lie!
How about for a spoon?
Maybe if I can spoon with you! Just maybe!
Alas I only have cutlery to offer.
Would you enter a comp for fun?
Isn’t that the only reason you should enter a contest? If you start skating just to be better than someone else, you’re doing something wrong. Again. Skating should be something to challenge yourself. Who cares what others are doing?
No. I don’t like competitions.
Where do you skate now?
I still skate with my friends in Wageningen. But I travel all over Holland to see (and skate with) the friends I’ve made! I don’t really care about spots or anything. Just give me a smooth piece of asphalt and I’m happy!
What was your first board?
My first board was from Xtensionboards. It was a dropthrough deck and it was quite nice. It broke after three weeks,- got a new one, which broke after 3 months. After that I got a LongboardLarry Komodo, and that started everything!
What did the Komodo start?
The Komodo started everything. It started getting me hooked on dancing. The making of videos! It started the ideas for my own board, The Simple Platypus. Without that board I probably would still be into sliding or something.
Is there a crew in your city?
A crew? I don’t know. I guess not. Usually I just ring someone up, asking them if they want to skate. If so, awesome! If not, I’ll skate alone. Crews are just an abstract thing, are they not?
You don’t have a favourite spot?
No. I’m not that picky. If I really want to practice something, I’ll go to a place which is very quiet, where I can do my own thing. But just give me some asphalt.. I’ll manage!
What sort of riding do the rest of the people in the city do?
A lot of different things. My city, as small as it is, is awesome! We all do a lot of dancing. We have some nice hills, so people also do some serious downhill! Lennart van de Peppel, the current number 10 on the Ultraskate world list is from Wageningen. So we really push each other. Synergy, remember.
Hills! In Holland?
Yes. It’s not much in comparison to any other country, but we’re happy with it. I say “we”, I mean “they”.
What is the Ultraskate?
The ultraskate is a 24 hour distance-race. Basically you go to a place and start skating laps for 24 hours. Whoever gets the furthest is the ‘winner’, but it’s more a competition against yourself. I danced for 50 km at my first ultraskate. That was really fun! (and exhausting)
What other disciplines do you practice?
I do a little freeride, but not much. And I also try to ride at a few long distance events, and I also want to visit Flavio’s slalom school more often. That shit is awesome! But dancing is my comfort zone. And that will be the thing that will always be my number 1 thing!
What’s the difference between dancing and freestyle?
Whenever I see Freestyle. I think about Freestyle skateboarding. That’s a whole other discipline than dancing. The tricks, the flow, the combo’s. You can’t really compare them, except for the oldskool flips and the shove-its.
Or if you’re talking about freestyle as in Tiger-Claws and etc. Don’t do those…
You don’t do grabs?
No. I refuse them. You’ll also never see me wearing slide gloves or something. I skate with my feet.
Haha. Will you be at more distance events this year?
Yes. I will be at the Ultraskate this year. Untrained and probably without a proper board. But I will ride the damn thing!
You know. An ultra-turbo-doubledropdown board with massive wheels and uberlight trucks! I’ll probably just ride the thing on a Schlongboard or my Platypus.
I don’t want to invest in an expensive board just for those 24 hours. Maybe I’ll just borrow one. Or not.
Where is the Ultraskate?
The Ultraskate is near Amsterdam. It’s a 3 km circle around a lake. I’ll take you to it some day! It’s very romantic in the evening!
Who organises it?
Basically, Edwin Drommel from Bakaboards will make a new topic on the Dutch longboard forum. It will have a date and a place. That’s all the organisation you’ll get. No prizes, no complementary drinks. Just a date and a place. It’s so cool!
Is this different from the rabbit race?
Very different! Although I liked the Rabbit Race. It’s the only ‘competition’ I ever entered. I skated ¾ of the marathon on a Penny’ish board. I think I got 8th place or something.
That is silly. Well done. Will you do it again this year?
Maybe! I don’t plan too many things ahead. We’ll see how things go this year.
How is it different?
The Rabbit Race is well organised in advance. It’s awesome in it’s own way. But I like the rag-tag way the Ultraskate is organised. You’re responsible for your own things.
What is the Dutch longboard forum?
It’s http://www.longboarden.nl. It’s somewhat like the Dutch version of Silverfish.
Would you say this is the home of the Dutch community?
I know a lot of the skaters from the forum. So for me, definitely!
When did you get the inspiration to make your own board?
Basically I used the Komodo as a template. I loved the wheelbase and the fact it just couldn’t get wheel bite. It skates really well with my ultra-loose trucks!
But being a skateboarder and a scientist after all. I missed a kicknose and a kicktail. And also the concave was very minimal. So, I added that on the Platypus and I narrowed the waist so you can lock your foot for oldskoolflips etc.
I also watch a lot of Animal Planet, and once I saw documentary about the Platypus. I thought, that would skate SO awesome!
You’re a scientist?
Yes. One of the big advantages of being from the future is that you know a lot facts that are currently not-known. So basically, I just play dumb the whole time, and invent something old now and then.
Is the platypus the first board you built?
Yes. It started out as my own board. But I’m a skater, not a builder. So when I saw that there was general interest in the deck, I decided to contact Edwin Drommel from Bakaboards. We started a collaboration and we named it Simple Longboards. I design the decks, make the videos, spread the word and do all the things. He builds the boards. It’s the best of both worlds!
And next the hoverboard?
Hoverboards are made with traces of unobtainium. So, they won’t be around for about eight years. Sigh…
The other components being?
Lies and illusions.
In longboarding, the Freeride/Downhill community is very active and highly visible. Is there a dancing community?
In Holland, the dancing ´community´ is pretty big. Although I won´t really call it a community. Let´s just say… A lot of people dance in Holland.
A couple of months ago I started the Facebook page: Longboard Dancing (https://www.facebook.com/longboarddancing). It has 230 followers, so it’s really really small. But I like it! Communities are overrated anyway.
You don’t think they work? Or you don’t like them?
Again. To me, skating is very simple. Just go out, maybe call a couple of friends, try to challenge yourself and have fun. That’s it. Or how we say it: “Skaten, kneus” (Just skate, idiot).
Would you skate in a big gathering?
Yes. I regularly skate in ‘big’ groups. But even then I mostly keep to myself. You’ll never see me at the sideline, chilling or something. I just like to skate.
What is the dancing community like in the rest of Europe?
I have no idea. I never skated abroad. But I will be visiting Berlin this March, and England in July. I’m really excited about it and I have high expectations!
Are you taking your Platypus?
Of course! It’s the only deck I have at the moment! It’s kind of hard to skate without a deck you know; I mean, in this timeline it is!
Visiting for skating purposes?
Berlin will be a weekend of pure skating! I believe it was the 6th anniversary of longboardz.de. We’re going there with the team from The Boardfather and spread the Dutch style!
What is the Boardfather?
It’s a local skateshop in Zwolle. I have incriminating information about them, so they agreed to sponsor me. Plus the guys on the team are probably the most awesome people you will ever meet! Skating with those guys will always end up in chaos!
Congratulations. Where is Zwolle?
It’s a city somewhere in Holland! Look it up.
How long have you been riding for them?
I have no idea. Less than a year I think. They are my friends, and they are awesome people! So I really don’t consider them ‘my sponsor’. I just get a discount on the things in the shop.
I was going to ask how it would work seeing as you made your own board!
There seems to be a lot of dutch riders building boards, how come?
I have no idea. But I understand it. It’s fun to create something out of nothing. To truly make something of your own. In a way building a longboard is just like skating a longboard. Having fun and challenging yourself to do new things.
What are you looking forward to this year?
I’m really excited about a lot of things this year:
- I’m gonna film a proper trick tip series, with the focus laying on (the basics of) dancing. It’s gonna be so cool!
- I can’t wait to see how things with Simple and the Platypus will go. Stoked about that too!
- Going to Berlin and England.
- Finishing my study!
- Making more movies
- Meeting new people and etc.
- Stuff and things!
Why are you going to England?
To skate, what did you expect?! I’m going to meet up with Gary Ewans (from Smile Longboards). After that I’ll be travelling to London and check out the local scene! It’s gonna be fantastic!
You’re going all the way to England for a date?
You do know he has all those fancy LongboardLarry decks right?! I mean.. Come on.. A one night stand with Gary for a LongboardLarry. Who can say no to that!?!
So you like your men with long decks eh?
Hahaha… Is that a metaphor for something?
I don’t know what you’re on about mate.
Short girls on long decks. That’s the shit! At least, that’s what I hear everybody say!
I hear it’s always raining in London!
Even though I skate without griptape… I love skating in the rain.
I only have griptape on the nose and tail of my deck. The rest is gripless. I’m very light on my feet you know!
You’re crazy. You’ll love London in June. I hear they have the best crew in the Universe.
The Universe! Wow!
What do you do when you’re not skating?
EVERYTHING! I play drums and guitar. I love origami. I try to read a lot of books. And by the number of references in this interview, you probably figured out I like movies from the ‘80s. When I’m not on my longboard or skateboard, I like to make videos about them as well.
You’re a film-maker?
Well. I make a lot of short, little movies of me and my friends skating. It’s something I do for a long time! It’s nothing fancy, there is no story involved. Just skating!
Ah. We like skate films with narrative. We don’t have enough.
Pfsh. Needs moar cross-steps!
Ha! Choose 3 numbers between 1-22
42. That’s all you’re gonna get from me.
Life the universe and everything?
Do you read manga?
No. Never. No. Never did!
21 – Would you pick the red or green pill?
The pills are actually red and blue. But nice try!
haha you’re a big nerd
Says the guy who writes longboard-interviews.
12 – What’s your favourite band.
I listen to so much music. But If I have to choose one band/person that truly inspires me it’s Jonsi. He’s probably the only guy I would go gay for! No homo.
Haha. Puto Luutse! Thanks a lot for giving up your Friday night to talk to me. It was fun. See you when you get to London!
Right on man! See you later! And for now… Second star to the right and straight on till morning!