Tom is a rad German bro, son of 2 of our dear friends. He tells us about how he got into skating, his adventures around Europe, New Zealand and Germany… and Kaspressknedel.
Halo Tom, how are you?
I am fine now, I made the heating work!you
How cold is it?
The night was really cold and wet. I think it was like zero degrees.
Where are you from?
I am now located in Berchtesgaden, a small village in the middle of the German Alps, next to the Austrian border and cities like Salzburg but I was born in Regensburg.
What did you do this weekend?
I came straight from the Freiburg Season Opening to Munich and partied with my sister. She booked a club and we celebrated the new ski flying world champ (her boy friend ) it was good fun! The day after, we all slept long and later, I went to the Hirschgarten Bowl.
How are mom and dad?
They are quite busy and don’t have much time for their son. But dad took the time and we went skating. I hope we can make a family holiday soon!
What’s the skating in Freiburg like?
It is the most relaxing thing any skater can imagine. The ctiy it self is just so cool. Thousands of students cruising around at the local river and you see pretty women everywhere. Apart from this, the hills around Freiburg in the Blackforest are so rad. The streets are a little raw sometimes but we never cared.
Does Blackforest cake come from Freiburg?
Yes the Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte is from Freiburg I guess.
When did you start skating?
I think I am now an 8 year old skate dude on a Longboard and a bit longer at my street board. I skated a bit street in Hamburg and when my parents moved with us to Berchtesgaden, I picked up a Longboard.
Why did you move to longer boards?
I was lucky that my parents sent me to the winter sport school in Berchtesgaden, so I went snowboarding a lot during school lessons. After I quit snowboarding, I needed something to do but there is literally no street skate scene in Berchtesgaden and every road is really steep, so I thought I’d give longboarding a try and fell in love.
What did you love about longboarding?
When I went to my first event 2008 in Thalgau, I called Alex the organizer to hear if he needed a helping hand. He said I was most welcome to help, so I worked as a course marshal the first few days. Later, I made friends with Max Stamler, he organized me a freeride ticket. So I guess I really like our close scene and how easy it is to get in touch with new faces around the world. Also, I like to go fast and to feel the wind in my hair haha.
Had you skated with anyone before you went to the event?
Not really, I skated with a friend Torsten Balkow he gave me his board for some weeks! Thank you Torsten, you are awesome! The RockenRoll in 2008 was my first contact with other dudes and my first time bombing a track in a group. On my last run, I found myself skating down with 20 people including dudes like Patrick Rizo, Mischo etc.
Wow. Were you ready for that?
I was stoked enough to conquer the world. And I longboarded for a year or so before in Berchtesgaden and roads are steep here.
What did you learn from that first event?
That I should wear a helmet and to skate softer wheels! I had the loudest wheel among all competitors.
Who were your skate gang then?
I skated a lot with Max and a bit with my good friend Horst Prem who was one of Austria’s first skate pros in the 70’s and then I had my iPod which was my best friend while skating. At the same time I tried to get as much free time to go to events.
What do you listen to when you skate?
Right now I listen to Iggy Pop and the stooges and of course the Rolling Stones – sympathy for the devil.
What other events did you attend in those early days?
There was the Fluderer Jam at the Ramsau am Dachstein (a ski roller track), the Jochpass Freeride and some other World Cup Races.
What do you enjoy about competing?
To get inspired by riders from around the world and to go really fucking fast and to see how fast styles of riding change every year.
What was your first World Cup race?
I think it was Kozakov or m8 the Graveyard in 2008.
What setup did you ride in your first Kozakov?
I’d won a Hackbrett Erde at the RockenRoll as a newcomer prize, that was my shit for quite a while and some Crail trucks and Hawgs Wheels.
How much training did you need to get ready for it?
I used to bomb hills on my local spots every day, I guess that was my training and I tried to bring some visitors to my hood.
Had you skated outside Germany before that graveyard call?
Not much, I skated a bit in Morocco when I was surfing.
Are there any longboarders in Morocco?
They have a great street skate scene and some good waves but I didn’t see any longboarders. I am sure there a few longboarders you could meet now. We should check it out!
When the graveyard calls, how do you answer?
”Hell yeah I’ll come”. The crew is rad and the track is great fun for standup shit and they have this tasty green beer! All in all I have good memories.
Haha wtf is that?
That’s a Kramperlmasken, an old traditional thing here! They are protecting the Nikolaus and beating people.
Looks like skatan’s cat.
I still have three lives left.
What were you up to in 2011?
I was in New Zealand the land of the long white cloud. I did this work and holliday thing but mostly I stayed in the water and met up with downhill skaters from all over the north and the south island. Max joined for the trip for two months and we were driving across the north island. For now, it was the best trip of my life.
We stopped at every skate park and made friends with the young groms! Before Max arrived, I bought us a funky van and a few hours before Max landed in Auckland, I fucked up the van while driving 20 dudes up the hill at the turbine outlaw in Wellington… I crashed hard cause of a massive oil leak from my own van haha. When the race and the party were over, I drove for eight hours straight to Auckland to pick him up but I was 3 hours late and Max punched me hard.
Is Max your favourite skater?
He stills inspires me because of his style and his commitment for the scene in Salzburg and there is Mr. Horst Prem, a living skate legend and a true rebel and crazy skate artist.
What’s the community in New Zealand like?
They were really young mostly between 14 and 21. David Price and I we were one of the oldest. But all in all a really enthusiasm crew they have a skatehouse in Wellington and they were hosting a couple of outlaws. Now I hear they are hosting a freeride at Mount rapeyou, a vulcano and they want a World Cup. Also, they now have some fast riders like Api Ihaia and Olly Symes.
Is there anything from there you wish you could bring back?
Oh Yeah! The way they live. I mean the attitude and their surf vibes and a proper leg!
Were you still riding your Hackbrett?
No I am now with Landyachtz Longboards and we are building up a crew. I am really thankful for the opportunities Hack gave but it was time for me.
How long were you with HB?
From 2008. We had a lot of fun and I worked for a year for the Layback in Freiburg.
Were they your first sponsors?
Yes, we shaped Boards together like the SpeedWeed a twin tip board back in 2009.
Are you the dad?
Sure I take care of my little groms!
How did you hook up with landy?
I always skated Hawgs Wheels and last year I skated with the DH-Crew in Austria and Berchtesgaden. Also Landyachtz is a company I can stand behind. Owned by true skaters for skaters with rad Boards for every need.
Did you have a fun 2012?
It wasn’t really my year; walked on crutches again for a few weeks.
Jep, had a surgery to pull out the metal which was stuck in my knee for over a year.
How did you celebrate your return?
I didn’t make a party. I just continued my skate life as before and moved to Freiburg.
Are you as good as you were before the crash?
Yeah everything is at the right place, I did a lot of physiotherapy during and after my healing. I was so buff that my titties were so huge that I couldn’t see my… feet.
How was 2013?
I studied massively for my exams until July and then I was simply cruising around in Freiburg for some time. I went to different freerides like Marchaux, Jungholz, Kaffe Schnaps. In August, Felix picked up the Landyachtz Crew from the airport and we had some nice days in Berchtesgaden and Salzburg. In October I decided to make the move back to the Alps.
Are you having a fun year so far?
Yes, it is awesome! Winter was poor and after we met at the IPSO we were out skating every day. When I went skating back in the days I stayed most of the time at the same spots in Berchtesgaden basin. Now we have a crew and we already explored tons of new spots at the Austrian counterpart. I really enjoy life in the Alps again.
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
My personal plans are always changing, but I definitely want to freeride as much as I can and I want to compete in some World Cups and tons of freerides. If I am lucky enough, I would love to go to Giants Head and to do some road trip with the Landyachtz Europe Team.
Furthermore we (Makus Knoblechner, Gregor Nußbaummüller, Max S. and Tom Kriwalij) re-established the Rollbrett association and we are hosting some events in Berchtesgaden and around Salzburg. Our first Jam is this weekend! And I am going to support the Landyachtz Downhill Academy at the Koffee Schnapps track from the 7 th to the 14 of July.
Who are the other instructors?
So far, some of the Landyachtz Europe team and the Landyachtz Canada crew.
Why should people visit?
The Koffe Schnaps freeride is well known for it’s hospitality and fun atmosphere. Thought the Alsace Crew has done freerides now for nearly a decade. Furthermore, I had always the best enjoyable time with the best Flammkuchen you can eat in France. This Crew made it happen that the local authority rebuilt the road. That track is our Giant’s head, a place where anybody can explore his limits even if he or she is a beginner or an experienced rider.
What do you do when you’re not skating?
I clean up the mess skaters leave in my home or in my car. Also I study and do a lot of other outdoor activities.
Pick 3 numbers between 1-40.
6, 12, 14.
6 – What is the strangest food you’ve eaten?
12 – What’s your least favourite movie?
Planet of the Apes
Tom tom! It’s been awesome chatting with you, hope we get to skate together sometime.
Thank you for the interview
Any last words?
Yep thank you Gbemi for the rad interview and to my Team Manager Mr Druschel and props to all your new and old supporters out there!
Photographer: Markus Knoblechner