Peter Markgraf: Dancing Pahn

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In this second chapter of pirate/longboarder’s Peter’s story, on the eve of the Hamburg Longboard Open, we talk about the usefulness of beards, his October trip to America and his forays into freeriding.

Good morning Peter, how are you?
Ahoy Gbemi, pretty good. Enjoying my day off and can’t wait to go out for a skate. How are you?

Good. Are you a pirate? Nobody else says Ahoy!
Aye! Just came back from capturing ships. ARRRRRRRRR!!!!

Is this why you have a hearty beard?
That is one reason. They other is that I’m really lazy when it comes to shaving. And it looks pretty manly, right?

Portrait  by Kristoffer Schwetje
Portrait by Kristoffer Schwetje

What advantages does your inverted afro offer?
My beard keeps me warm in winter, cools me down on hot days and hides a lot of emotions.

Did you have a pleasant weekend?
Yeah it was pretty chillaxed. I went skating, had some beer and I slept long. What more can  you wish for on a weekend?

Where will you be skating today?
I do not know yet. Somewhere in the heart of Leipzig. Maybe some flatland dancing/freestyle in a park or some chilled freeride or I’ll try to pop some ollies.

Last time we spoke, you were knee deep in Berlin. When did you move?
I moved to Leipzig pretty much 2 years ago. My girl, Svantje, got offered a place to study here and I got the chance to work for Bastl Boards.

You’ve been with Bastl for a long time, how is the relationship evolving?
I’ve been riding for Bastl Boards for more than 4 years now. I started as a team rider and for the past 2 years I’ve been something like a Brand Manager. Helping Bastl with everything I can to keep things going. From bookkeeping to shaping and marketing issues. We are a strong team and work hand in hand together.

Bleed organic clothing
Bleed organic clothing

I wake up and think about skating, I skate to work. My job is totally skate related and, afterwards, I skate. My evenings are full of thoughts about new skate videos, possible new combos/variations and, if the weather sucks, I play SKATE on my XBOX. So skate, skate and skate.

You’re a full time skater?
I think so. I wake up and think about skating, I skate to work. My job is totally skate related and afterwards I skate. My evenings are full of thoughts about new skate videos, possible new combos/variations and, if the weather sucks, I play SKATE on my XBOX. So skate, skate and skate.

What do you enjoy about your work?
We make people happy. We put a lot of work into new shapes, graphics and media to make people, who are into skating, happy. And there is no better feeling to see the big smiles on peoples faces who bought one of our decks or see people from around the world skating them.

sun push pic by David Weckert
sun push pic by David Weckert

Is Bastl different from any other skate brand?
What I can say is that Bastl Boards stands for innovation, progression and a strong bond to the core scene. We were and always are with progressive riders who want to push their limits in freestyle or tripping how it’s called nowadays. Another fact is that we produce our boards in Germany, keeping the quality high and supporting local businesses. This year we’ve produced our decks again in Leipzig – all on our own. When you buy a deck, you can be sure that our long time team rider Janko Lehmann built your deck, Bastl cut it out and I packed and shipped to you. All with Love.

What is your typical day?
I wake up at around 9 am and have some coffee. After having breakfast with my girl, I take a shower and skate to work. At 11 am I drink another coffee, check emails and orders from our new online shop and pack the things together. Around 1pm, we open our shop and I’m ready to counsel customers and sell just the best skate stuff. This goes on until 7 pm when we close the shop and go skating with the crew and friends until it’s dark. Then maybe watch some skate videos and go to bed.

Where do you hope to take the brand in the future?
I think our goal is to keep Bastl Boards strong. That we can live from and for the thing we love – Skateboarding! We do have potential and I would love to see people around the world riding our decks.

push_pic_by_benjamin_pohle
push_pic_by_benjamin_pohle

“…our goal is to keep Bastl Boards strong, so we can live from and for the thing we love – Skateboarding!

Is the family growing?
Yes it is! Bastl just became a father some months ago, with a cute little boy. Also our riding team is growing. There is one guy I want to mention. His name is Do Young and he is a very talented and down to earth whole-blood Dancer from South Korea. Man he is fast as hell. Awesome stepping!

Have you skated with many Koreans?
Well, I have met some Koreans, but I didn’t have the possibility to skate a lot with them because most of the time I had to work. So in fact I was skating with Do Young and Jongbin Jo a bit in front of the Shredderei, which I enjoyed a lot.

When will you visit Asia?
I have no idea so far. I would like to visit Asia, but my budget is low. That’s why I haven’t planned anything yet.

Do you miss anything about Berlin?
For sure I miss the people and especially some spots. You could skate all year long because there are a lot of dry and lightened up places which are perfect for skating at night and in winter. In Leipzig it’s hard to skate during winter time. There are no comparative places like in Berlin.

pic by Paul_Wilke
pic by Paul_Wilke

What is Leipzig like?
Leipzig is a nice mixture between a big city and a village in the heart of Saxony. It offers a lot of parks, lakes and a lot of beautiful places to discover. It’s more relaxed than Berlin. I like Leipzig a lot. Because though the city offers a lot of possibilities to be creative, to enjoy night life and just being a kid while hopping around the park.

Last time we spoke you were about to go off to a competition in Eindhoven, how was that?
Eindhoven is always a super fun competition. I love the atmosphere and seeing all these talented skaters there. At the moment, this contest is the unofficial world championship in dancing / freestyle. So it’s also the best way to meet all my European friends, hang out and skate with them because everybody goes there.

Have you been to every one since inception?
Unfortunately I missed the last one. I had too much work to do. Still regretting it.

How has the event evolved?
It is getting bigger and bigger. More and more people are visiting Eindhoven for this contest. And I’m talking about skaters all over the world. From South Korea, Canada and also from the States not to forget about the European countries (Spain, France, England, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany etc.).

What has made it grow so fast?
I do not know. The atmosphere and organisation is just fantastic. You have the possibility to meet all the “stars” and to skate and chat with them. Super chilled and fun event.

Gordon Timpen photo
Gordon Timpen photo

Who have you been stoked to skate with there?
Basically with all of them. Everybody has got a different style, a variety of tricks to offer – in fact it’s awesome to hang out with all of them to help improving and learn from each other.

Also, that summer, you were stoked for the Euro Dance championships. Fun?
Sure, but it was more about the people then the contest itself. I had 14 dutch guys sleeping in my 40m2 apartment. We had a bunch of fun. I love these guys. Can’t wait to visit them later this year.

Did anyone sleep in the shower?
I’m not sure but 3 people in the kitchen underneath the table and the rest of them in the living/bedroom. What a horrible smell the next morning! Don’t even think about the smell in the bathroom, haha! And besides that I won’t forget about the socks and smelly shoes lying on the balcony… terrific!

Why do you love the Dutch skaters so much?
Because they are real pirates in my eyes. These people are really down to earth. Do you know these type of people, who can make you smile at any time? That’s what they are. Awesome and creative skaters, who just do not give a fuck about anything. Moreover, they are funny and good drinkers. Although we don’t see each other that often, we feel related to each other – as if we’ve know each another for a very long time. They just spread a good vibe and I love to hang out with them, because I always have an amazing time being with these dudes. You need to meet them, man.

If you check this video, you might know, what I mean

How come we didn’t get a second edition of this event?
I really do not know.

Did you have many adventures last year?
More or less. Last year was my first summer in Leipzig. So there was a lot to discover; from new skate spots over the awesome landscape with its beautiful lakes to the night-life, of course. I also had an unbelievable trip with my girl Svantje to the Baltic sea in a VW Bulli. You know these old buses from Volkswagen. It was fantastic.

How does the Leipzig community compare to Berlin?
Well, the community here in Leipzig is way smaller than in Berlin. Nevertheless the attitude is the same and the people from Leipzig are also stoked on skating like the “Berliners” are.

How is your skating evolving?
I try to skate more different disciplines now. Not just freestyle/ dancing but also freeride and street skating. This gives me more ideas for combos and also improves my overall skating.

On the one hand I enjoy the thrill of speed and pushing my personal limits forward and on the other hand I shit my pants.

Miguel Glez photo
Miguel Glez photo

Are you enjoying freeriding?
Yes and no. On the one hand I enjoy the thrill of speed and pushing my personal limits forward and on the other hand I shit my pants.

Made any new tricks?
Sure! I’m doing some no comply variations at the moment and also some new combos and of course I have a lot of tricks in mind I really want to do. So I try to practise them as much as I can.

Still riding the same setup?
Still on Bastl Boards Walzer and Caliber trucks – just the best combination I can think of but I’m not riding for Orangatang Wheels any longer. Long story, but I’m very happy to support and be supported by Blood Orange Wheels. I ride the Liam Morgan 65mm 80a. Super all around wheel for freestyle, dancing and freeriding of course.

Calibers work for the kind of skating you do?
Yes, they definitely do. They are one of the strongest, most durable and turny trucks I have ever ridden. Although I try to skate everything, like freeride, freestyle and street skating, they offer any kind of truck, you are looking for no matter what you are into.

When are we going to see a Dancing Pahn from Bastl?
Puh, good question. I probably will pass this question to Bastl.

Gordon Timpen photo
Gordon Timpen photo

How is your year going?
The first half of the year was pretty busy. A lot of stress at work but it is getting better and better. I just got the message that I have the opportunity to fly to California in October and I’m more than stoked about it.

What’s happening in California?
First of all meeting up with the guys from Caliber Trucks and Blood Orange of course. I would also like to talk about freestyle in the US and on tip of the iceberg I would wish to make a video with the guys over there. I hope I can collect a lot of new experiences and see how things are going in the birthplace of skating.

What’s your plan for the rest of 2015?
In first place – to skate more and to learn new tricks. And beyond that I’d love to spread the stoke about longboard freestyle in the US and hopefully doing a nice video in Cali and some epic pictures.

Miguel Glez photo
Miguel Glez photo

Who will you be working/skating with out there?
Cali is going to be a big adventure. I am going to decide spontaneously.

Who should we interview next?
Do Young, Maarten Frouws and Kim Klunder.

Beardy bro! Nice to do this again. Stay rad and see you around!
Thanks man. It has been a pleasure as always. Hope to see you again soon.

Any last words?
Go out there – skate and explore. Thanks to all the people who are supporting me in the things I do.

GORDON photography
GORDON photography

Links.

www.facebook.com/peter.markgraf.longboarder

www.instagram.com/petermarkgraf

www.bastlboards.com

www.bleed-clothing.com

www.calibertruckco.com

www.skatebloodorange.com

www.macbeth.com

www.sys-grip.com

www.takeashot.de

Miguel Glez photo
Miguel Glez photo

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