Pretty much two years ago, the first issue of Solo came hot off the press and in there was an – up to that day – pretty much unknown guy: Jan Hoffmann moved back to Germany after living in Dubai for ten years and went from nothing to having a 17-page interview, which caused a proper sensation over here. Meanwhile, 24 months have passed and because things are changing so vastly in the fast-paced times we’re living in – especially when you just turned 20 and your cultural environment has changed completely – we wanted to know what has happened to Jan over time and how he managed to adapt. This is why we asked him to comment on some of his statements he made back then.
So far, we’ve featured several brands in the mag, but somehow Sour didn’t make it in there. Maybe it’s because they have been under the radar in Germany for whatever reason although they won Brand of the Year at the BESA this winter and have some of Europe’s heaviest hitters in their roster. You still don’t know them? Well, let’s give you a brief history: They started many years ago as Sweet in Sweden, then investors took over the brand and made it wack. That’s why the then team manager Björn Holmenäs and the rest of the team quit and formed a new company based in Barcelona: Sour was born. But that’s old news. Let Björn do the talking right from his office, where it’s a bit hectic because it’s one day before the order deadline for the summer collection.
There is this home video on YouTube showing the five-year-old Nora getting her first skateboard for Christmas. “Skateboard!” she screams full of excitement after she ripped off the wrapping paper and you can tell that she fell in love right away. There was no turning back from this point. Not much has changed since then. Well, in 2012 she moved from her hometown Pembroke on the East Coast to California and she sure left the naivety of childhood behind and became a young woman with a pretty clarified view on things and a vision that she tries to accomplish with hard work, which got her numerous sponsor deals – but, besides that, when you look into her eyes, you can still see the same shine from Christmas ’97.
We could have talked with Joseph Biais about traveling cause he constantly seems to be in some exotic places like Mongolia or Seoul (he just came back from a trip to Shanghai right before the interview). We also could have talked about how working a full-time job as the European Skateboarding Marketing Manager for Carhartt and still constantly putting out footage is going for him. We could have talked about his several nicknames or his newly found love for food or a thousand other topics cause Joseph is an interesting person with way more facets than your average skaterboy, but in the end, we decided to talk about videoparts with him cause he is the kind of guy that is pretty analytical when it comes to his own skating, and we thought we might get some interesting insights by analyzing the videoparts which inspired him the most. Loosely based on the saying “Tell me which parts you like and I’ll tell you who you are”.
Ben’s got his opinions and style mapped out in concrete. He hates on trees and forests on the regular – at least when we’re skating. “What you wanna get a clip in the forest?” he’d say. Probably just because he’s from Florida and they don’t have trees the same as we do. Amidst his concrete opinions is the serenity of life without excess. He knows what he likes: skating, shooting photos, and more than listening to music. He’s up earlier than most and also to bed probably before most. So when he stays out, it’s sure to be a blast and get goofy. Nick-at-Nite style. He’ll turn into a cartoon character. His dirty south Yosemite Sam is always apparent, ready to fire, but can be subdued by making him touch a dirty birdy doobie. Always stoked to ride this concrete wave towards nowhere in particular with you. Sprinkles my friend! * Zach Chamberlin
I could go back to late ’80s, early ’90s skateboarding, the time when I would even go out at night and terrorize the neighbors by trying to learn no comply variations, quick one foot ollie tailslides on curbs, manual combos, and all that. I could talk about Brian Lotti as one of the originators of this technical street skateboarding, his flow and stunning combination of tricks in long lines he pulled totally at ease. But I won’t open this book. I am about to meet the person Brian Lotti, the artist whose work we’re showing in his first ever solo exhibition in Germany.