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Andrew Allen

Switch-skating, surfstyle, pelicanes and boring parties at pro skaters houses – we talked to Andrew Allen in a beach cafe.

It was a perfect match to meet Andrew Allen at the Beach of Riccione since he grew up at the beach. There was an immediate easy-going-surf-atmosphere in the air as soon as he appeared at the seaside café. He still is a little worn out by the flight and doesn’t exactly know, what is going to happen in Europe, but everything is relaxed. At least as relaxed as his style, that you can gaze at in “Propeller”.

[Interview & Photos: Stefan Schwinghammer]

Hi Andrew, you are here with Anti Hero – what are you doing here?

I’m not totally sure, but I know that we are out here at the Vans Spring Classic for the weekend and then we are meeting Chris Pfanner in Vienna. He has something lined up for us, but I don’t know exactly what it is.

He was in Israel too, how was it there anyways?

Israel was super cool. It was my second time going there and I really like it there. The food, the people, the skateboarding – everything is really good. There is tons of spots and also just the whole skateboard-community has grown enormously within the past seven years. There is just all sorts of skateparks in the towns and DIY-spots. Skateboarding is growing there and that’s cool to see.

Andrew Allen

The Anti Hero Videos always seem like a lot of fun – what was your best tour experience?

Each trip always has it’s moments and they are always entertaining – the good, the bad and the ugly. Probably the funnest trip would be the first Beauty and the Beast trip, just because at that point of time it was really cool for myself in particular to meet all those Girl guys and have them come on a kind of our style of a trip. Meeting up those two different type of crews was super cool and super fun. We had a really good time and we skated so much.

And now you are here in Italy at the beach. You lived at the beach for a long time. What are the benefits?

I grew up at the beach so I definitely enjoy spending time in the ocean. I haven’t swim in here yet, but someone just told me that the water is nice so I’m anxious to get in there, but there’s no waves out there. No surfing.

"I go through phases where I surf when I’m frustrated with skating"

Do you surf a lot?

Sometimes. I go through phases where I surf when I’m frustrated with skating and I need a little break. Either that, or if I’m skating a lot and things are good then I also take a break and go surfing. It’s just something that I enjoy doing, but it also takes my mind away from skating. Temporarily.

Did surfing influence your style of skating? Because it looks so effortless like you are surfing on the street.

Definitely. I think so. I like watching surf videos. It’s all parallel with how skating originated and stuff so I guess I would be lying if I say I wasn’t influenced by surfing. When I grew up my dream was to be a pro-surfer, but then I just realized that that wasn’t going to happen but it’s still my dream. But yea, I like to pretend that I’m surfing when I’m skating.

Did you start surfing before you started skating?

Yea, but I lived like four miles from the beach and my parents worked and I couldn’t get a ride to the beach every day. So I would pretend like I would be surfing on my skateboard going down the street. One day I was like: “I like skating way more”, because I realized there was way more you could do. Something clicked and I fell in love with it.

So it happened by accident that you are a skateboard pro?

Yea, totally.

But you’r not bummed that you “only” became a pro skateboarder are you?

No, not at all. I’m super proud and fortunate to be where I’m at and I wouldn’t change anything even if I could.

What’s the secret behind your switch skills?

I don’t know. I have been skating switch forever and I guess when I got into skating a lot of people that I looked up to were skating switch. Skating switch was a difficult thing so that was something that I strive for, because I think it is cool to be able to challenge yourself. There are some tricks that I can do switch but not regular. I guess it’s just meant to be more of a challenge, but after you done it for so long it’s just a thing. You just have more options and that’s my thing about skating too. Some days I want to do kickflips and other days I don’t even want to flip my board. I want to grind, or 50-50 a flatbar or just go and bomb a hill. That’s the best thing about skating. There’s no rules and you can choose to do whatever you want to do, so however you’re feeling you can just go ahead and do that.

Andrew Allen

I heard you are filming for a video called “Boys of Summer” which is an iPhone video as far as I know – can you tell us something about that?

Next to filming for the Vans video me and some of my friends just thought that it would be fun. If we weren’t filming for Vans, we could be filming with the iPhone, just because it is way more casual. Then the quality of the phone got pretty good and you could get a fisheye and it kind of became a funny thing. We also thought with that format people could send their footage in, because everybody has a phone. The video is pretty much almost done and it should be out soon. There is like 100 different people in the video. We got footage of people like Jason Jesse to Paulo Diaz. There’s movie clips and the music has a good feel. It captures the idea of you having fun skating with your friends. That’s the whole objective behind the video.

What’s your point on putting your iPhone footage on Instagram or social media in general?

I mean I don’t have an Instagram, but I don’t see anything wrong with it. It’s just not something I necessarily tapped into. For some people it really works, but for me… I don’t know…

"I felt liberated in the sense of not waking up in the morning and being bombarded with new commercials or a new video parts"

I asked, because I heard that you had no internet for eight month and it was the best time of your life.

Yea I didn’t and it was kinda. I moved into this new house and we kept lagging on getting internet. More time passed and I felt liberated in the sense of not waking up in the morning and being bombarded with new commercials or a new video parts every day. It was just too much and I couldn’t even think for myself, because I was seeing too much stuff. I’d still look at the magazines, but I guess I get more stoked on like old things. Timeless classic stuff.

You have pretty good knowledge if it comes to stuff like that – is there a scene from one part in particular that always stood out to you?

In Rick Howards Part in „Virtual Reality“ he does this line at the burl bank where he does the switch 360 flip. I think that that is my favorite line ever in a skatevideo, because that bank is so steep. I’ve been there and it’s so crazy. The way he came down and did all those fliptricks after and was kinda just joking around, but at the same time it was so gnarly.

Our intern is a big fan of yours and he had some questions for you. He wanted to know what’s so great about pelicans?

Oh pelicans? [laughs] Yea I have a pelican tattoo on my stomach. The way you watch that bird fish is really something special. They go up really high and drop straight down, their mouth opens up so big and they just catch the fish and go back up in the air. I think they are really strong, oceanic birds.

He also heard, that you were partying at a particular pro skateboarders house and that it was pretty lame. He guessed that it was Sheckler and wanted to know if it was him and if you were there for a better party again?

[Laughs] Yea it was Sheckler's house and I have never been back. But I have been to a lot of other ones, that were really good, at others people houses, that I’m not gonna say…

Andrew Allen

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