Nice conversation with our bro from Poland about his travels around Eastern Europe, partying in Berlin and the longboard scene in Warsaw.
Hey Maciej, where are you from?
Hi. I’m from Warsaw.
When did you start skating?
Oh, that was a long time ago. My mom bought me one when I was a little child, but it does not count. I bought my first skateboard when I was 12/13. That was a Santa Cruz on independent trucks and element wheels – I remember till now that it was a big experience. But I bought my first longboard 5 years ago.
What was your first longboard?
That was a Lush… oh shit, I forgot the name! He died under a car. After him I’ve had a few boards. Now I’m riding on Bastl Boards Walzer on Bear Trucks and ABEC11 wheels, and Fish Skateboards. Oh! I forgot about my travel board. It is a Loaded Dervish on Paris trucks but he will die soon because he’s broken in a few spots.
You ride the dervish even though it is broken?
Yes, like I said, this is my travel board, so I take her everywhere and if I lose her or kill her I wont be sorry for her.
What’s her name?
I called her (and my other boards) “maleńka” – it’s similar to when you say to your girlfriend – ”baby”. They are my babies!
Are Bastl & Fish local brands?
Yes. The Bastl Boards is a brand from Germany, they produce awesome boards for freeriding, dancing and crusing. Walzer is the longest board in their range, something like the Loaded Bhangra. And Fish Skateboards is a Polish product. It is a plastic skateboard. When I was a little child, there was a factory in Poland ( Mysłowice city) which produced plastic boards. That board was horrible, but It was the only product in our market, so everyone had them. Now a few guys from Poland reactivated the idea from past times and produce this boards, with similar shape and better quality.
Like a Polish Penny?
Something like that. But we have our own history and guys want to recall these old school times. They bought an old school polish car called NYSA and now it’s in a workshop and when it’s ready we go on tour with this car All Around Europe (if he survives)
Who are the old school skaters of Poland?
Now they are businessmen, lots of these guys quit skateboarding, others are still in business, now they are fathers and husbands and the priority of life has changed – that is life.
Where did skateboarding start in Poland?
I think in the 70′s and 80′s. But I have never looked into the history of skateboarding in Poland so I can’t be certain. I promise that I’ll find it out and tell you.
What got you into longboarding?
Now that’s a hard question to answer. I can tell you a few things, I don’t know if it is just one thing. There are so many reasons why I ride on longboard. First is fun! Because when you put headphones into your ears, play your favourite music and go cruising in the city – there’s nothing better than this. Other reason is flexibility. When you want to go somewhere in your city you can use a bike, tram, bus or longboard. And longboarding is the fastest and the most convenient transport.
Is your city easy to skate around?
Earlier I thought yes, but now when I go abroad I think we don’t have many spots to ride, and people still look at us like weirdos. But it changes, slowly it changes. The biggest problem is the surface – with holes and other stuff, which is not good to ride. The good aspect of Warsaw is, that police don’t chase you, so we can ride on streets – sometimes.
What do you like to listen to when you skate?
Everything, Dubstep, Glicht, rock, punkrock. It depend what I want to do. when I wanna do a little bit of dancing I play Bonobo or Glicht Mobb, but when I start in contest I listen to Deftones or Dope D.O.D. , Deez Nuts or polish bands like LipaLi or Illusion and few more.
And when I’m cruising I listen to dubstep. It is a great feeling when you pass walking people at high speed.
Does the kind of music affect the ride?
I think yes. For me, my music is very important. It put me in a good atmosphere.
Apart from Fish, are there other Polish board builders?
Yes. We’ve got big brands in our market like HOAX or Antidote. They are existing for few years and produce really good boards. Now a new brand is born like Alternative longboards or Labirynt. Guys want to put some heart in our longboard scene.
Where are they based?
In biggest cities of Poland. The HOAX is from Gdańsk and Bydgoszcz, these boards are best on flat- this brand was created by Michał Roethel- one off best guys I ever meet. We feel the same vibes. The Antidote is from Kraków, it is the production of the fastest Polish guy – David Pabian. He is an awesome rider and the polish DH father. Last year I was with him on Nova Seninka in Czech Republic. He gives me so much advise… He has great style and riding with him is pure fun.
I know about Sennika! It is on the Polish and Czech border! Vit from 3 heads and Milan from longboard.cz had great things to say about it!
Si Senior. This is a good hill. 3.5 km max of speed is 50/60 km/h and it is wide and great to learn technique. Few 180 corners, great views. Really good hill.
Is there a crew in the city?
It is called Warsaw Asphalt Surfers and probably it was the first longboard crew in Poland. Now every city has one crew. It is great because when you meet with other peoples with the same passion and you ride with them, talk about stuff and make progress on your board, it is really cool.
When was it founded?
About 3 years ago. Then we are few guys on longboards and we were an attraction for people. Now it is a big community.
What is your role in the community?
I don’t know what people think about me now. Now I can tell that a year ago I went to a new level to support the polish scene. I invented an event called Longboardowy Tłusty Czwartek (Longboard Fat Thursday). I put a lot of my heart into polish longboard scene.
In this event we meet on every thursday on one spot and a specified time and we ride, talk and basically – share the stoke with other longboarders. Now this event is spread around all of Poland and Longboardowy Tłusty Czwartek is in the biggest cities in PL.
And now I open an online shop called golongboard.pl and with this project I put lot of attention on the polish longboard scene, because now I have the opportunity to connect job and passion. This is great.
Backing to your question. The father of Warsaw Asphalt Surfers is Marcin Eckert. He created this crew on facebook and now this is the crew with the biggest number of members.
Congratulations on the shop! How is it going?
Thanks. It is really great to connect passion and job. I share my passion, I meet new people and talk about longboard, I travel and party with longboarders – my work is the best in whole world. And about the shop – I want to give people the best products. I don’t want to sell shit. You know, when somebody wants to buy their first longboard and they buy a cheap and bad board he can get disgusted with this sport. And I don’t want to allow this. Everyone is different and every client need something unique, so I try to talk with them and give them the best stuff. And it’s really great when someone came on Fat Thursday and have new board and big smile on face. Its a good feeling.
Apart from Fat Thursday, what other local events are there?
This year will be the third edition of Longboard Doping. This is a little downhill contest in the centre in Warsaw. They close the street and we ride. Probably this is the famous longboard event in Poland.
In first edition was only 32 contestant, last year 100! So the longboard scene is growing.
You’ve been skating abroad?
Everything began 2 years ago when I accidentally met Tom Steiguber. We met on a street in Warsaw. He came here with two guys Gunja and Matze. My friend Paweł and I decided to show them the city and we rode all day with good ending at a party, we spoke and had a lot of fun and of course became friends. It later dawned me that Tom is the owner of Lassrollen (lassrollen.de) shop in Berlin. The first stationary longboard shop in the capital of Germany.
He invited me to the shop birthday party in Berlin. That was the begining of golongboard.pl – my own shop. We were talking about Polish scene and how small it is, the problems with longboard parts we have and other things. He decide to support me in the begining. Now we are partners and we hang together. We cooperate and we connect these two scenes Berlin- Warsaw.
Tom invented rollrunde – that was my inspiration to make Fat Thursday. The idea of these meetings is the same – longboarders meet and ride together. This is the 4th year since the rollrunde started.
Thanks to Tom I met awesome peoples from Germany . Now I want to visit them more often than I can.
Besides Berlin I’ve been in Lepizig in Bastl Boards new factory and Chech Republic.. I think that longboarders are one big family, because everyone greets you with open heart. And back to Tom – this guy is like my longboard father. He helped me with my shop, gave me tons of advice and.. woooow he’s a really good guy and he truly has the heart for longboarding. Thanks to him I meet Sebastian Muhlbauer from Bastl Boards, Bastl team riders: Peter, Janko, Wolf, Matze, guys from Olson&Hekmati, Albin & Albin from Sweden, Guna, Awesome Gloria and many many more.
Now this year I want to make a golongboard team and we want to travel around Europe. First stop is a party in Berlin in Frank Sommer’s shop, then we want to be at KNK in April and later? We will see. I hope that I find sponsors to help realise my dreams. We will see.
Bear guts! It will be awesome. Did you go last year?
No, unfortunately.. problems with cash.. so … You know ..But in this year I wanna be in April and August. Want to be on IGSA and everywhere where people invite us. This works both ways, so be my guest and come to Warsaw.
Of course! A golongboard polish team?
I wanna make the Polish team first. You must know that longboarding in Poland is newly born so we don’t have many riders, but the guys who ride do everything to be the best, so I think that soon we’ll be noticeable on Europe scene.
What kind of sponsors are you looking for?
With a lot of money! But seriously, I don’t think about longboard top brands, but who knows.. never say never – I ask them. You know, in January I was at the Bright tradeshow and met many people from top brands, and These guys are great, for them longboard is still passion and they put lot of work and a lot of heart in their products –When I got back from there and the past few days I am still feeling the big impression of this people. Really cool experience.
What disciplines do the Polish riders practice?
The first riders (Dawid Pabian, Piotr Bogdanowicz, Michał Machura or Dawid Herman) rides on DH but now people make everything. Some flat, some downhill, some freeride. We don’t have slalom, but I change this – this is my priority. I think that my friends want to taste everything – this is good because we discovered new talents. We have a young guy in Warsaw names Hubert. I guess he’s 15 and he got big DH potential – great kid.
How do you plan to introduce Slalom to Poland?
Simple – I will buy a slalom board and show people how awesome is slalom – in short time many peoples follows to my steps. Clear and simple plan – almost genius!
Is there a Polish Slalom Skateboarding Association?
No, Like I said – slalom in Poland doesn’t exist. Maybe few people ride on slalom boards, but no- it doesn’t exists. Yet.
Any reason why nobody practices this?
I have no idea why. One of the world’s best slalomers is from Poland - Dominik Kowalski - he lives in Germany, but in Poland – I don’t know?
Tell us more about NYSA!
Nysa is an oldschool polish van. He was born in 1952 but our model is from 1969. You don’t see many restored Nysas on streets. This car is forgotten. But we had an idea.
Like I mentioned earlier about Fishskateboards. We want to go back to oldschool polish skateboarding, and we’ve got an idea to have a trip car. In first we thought about WV van, but everyone got this car – it’s really great, but for us was little bit stranger. So we think that the Fishskateboards and Nysa match perfect. And now Nysa is in workshop and his virgin trip will be in March – to Berlin. I hope it survives.
Will you be making the Polish version of Greener Pastures?
Something like that, but I don’t want to compare this. I want to record on tape our emotions and new experience, show people what the Polish longboard community is.
Who are the polish film-makers?
My friends – they are professional film makers and they are longboarders too so they will know and feel what they want to say in these movies.
Funny guy! What is your relationship like with other crews in Poland?
Great. We are one big family. I think that longboarders community is similar everywhere – opened and friendly.
What do you do in the harsh winters?
Sitting in pubs, drinking beer and waiting for new season. Last year we rode in few underground garages but security was so angry with us and now we don’t have a good spot for winter time. But we meet in pubs and party together. Wacky – isn’t it? Now I have a lot work to do with golongboard.pl so its better for me that the weather is bad.
Is there a registered Polish Longboard Association?
Nope. No such thing exists.
Are there any plans for one?
I do not know about that. Now I talk with friend about reactivating the idea of registering the first gravity sports association, but for now – probably no.
What are your other plans for the future?
First of all I want to open a stationary shop and watch how my dreams come true. And this season – not to have have any contusions, because last season was full of contusions. I want to break 100km/h on longboard and I have few more funny dreams to do. But the biggest plan is like I said – open golongboard.pl stationary shop. It will be the best shop in the whole of Poland. I know that and I believe that it will happen. And you must be at the opening ceremony.
Of course! We’ll bring the beers.
Choose 3 questions between 1-22
5,6, & 7
5 – Who is the best skater you’ve met ?
Everyone is the greatest, my friends from Warsaw, from Poland and from Berlin, I like to ride with different people, but the best skater – definitely Mike Vallely.
6 – Do you like lemons ?
With gin and tonic
7 – What is your favourite cheese ?
Gouda, edamski and oscypek.
Wish you all the best bro!