“The best of both worlds” might be the best way to describe the people involved in this one. On the one hand, there is the Frog Skateboards crew around Microsoft Paint guru and skate maniac Chris Milic and his homie Jesse Alba, carrying one of the most renowned last names in the skateboard world. And on the other hand, there is one of Europe’s most traveled and well-connected powerhouses, going by the name of Hjalte Halberg of Polar fame. After being melted into a crew for a couple of weeks, the outcome is not only a guest board for Hjalte but endless good times, empty beer bottles, and digital photos on Colin Sussingham’s memory card that are to be enjoyed on the following pages.
Whether it’s Mark, Jeff, or Terenzi – you’ll melt away. Mark isn’t called “smelter” for no reason. He’s the definition of l’art pour l’art not only when it comes to the qualities of his life but also concerning his skating. You just get the feeling that he has found the perfect balance for everything and that he knows exactly what he wants. And usually, he always gets what he wants in the end. That, in turn, shows his determination that enables him to lead a smooth and slick life whether it’s regarding his job or his no complies. Being extremely motivated and always looking for new spots, allowed him to set up Polar boards by now and put up his feet in the sauna after the session. Typical l’art pour l’art – a connoisseur that wallies through life gipsy style. Is there even a wall left that Mark hasn’t wallied yet?
Although it was Dennis Scholz’s second trip to New York City, it was the first time he actually went there to skate. Maxi Schaible, however, entered uncharted territory. He visited the Big Apple for the first time, ended up at party in Manhattan straight away, and fell immediately under the spell of the city.
Mark Frölich is well-known for a number of things: living in Barcelona, having a bunch of food intolerances, delivering more hammers and upholding a more substantial work ethic than most people in the biz, which makes him deserve even more sponsor support than he already got during his career. But all of the above topics have been rehashed countless times in a dozen of interviews, which is why I wanted to take a different approach this time. Recently, I accidentally discovered a questionnaire by US psychologist Dr. Arthur Aron, who claimed that two strangers could fall in love by simply going through those questions, and I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to test it in the field. It’s not like I was trying to start a love affair with Mark, but the questionnaire aims at people being open to very personal questions within a short span of time – and that was exactly what I wanted to accomplish. Although, I was very skeptical about whether or not Mark would play along or end the interview after two minutes. But without taking too much time to think, he answered all of the questions with full sincerity. I have to admit that I’ve discovered a side of him that I didn’t expect and even felt like jetting to Barca for a beer or two after we were done. Whatever the doc has come up with, it seems to work.
If you look at the work of Olivier “Tavu” Ente, an artist from Lille, who’s now living and working in Paris, you could go like, “Okay great, someone is scribbling portraits on old maps.” For Tavu, who belongs to the Magenta family, on the other hand, it’s nothing less than trying to understand humanity, the universe, life, and all the rest. It was a rainy Friday afternoon when we first met via Skype. The time prior to that wasn’t exactly the best in my life, but the conversation with Tavu was more beneficial to my mental condition than anything a therapist could’ve ever said to me and left me looking at the world in a more positive light than before. He basically shows you the way with his maps. Let him and his universe enter your mind.
We all got tickets to hit up Paris and we all eagerly counted down the days until our flight. Kevin Tierney wouldn’t shut up about how he was going to switch laser flip the Le Dome double set even though it had already been done 15 years ago. We got a terrible XL Airways flight to Paris, but once we landed, hey, I couldn’t complain, we were in Paris. I couldn’t wait to dunk my baguette into my beer as I skated down the street with assorted meats in my jacket pocket. In fact, the first thing we saw once we got out of the cab to the Airbnb was Dustin Dollin chilling on the corner. He looked at us and said, “Nice day for skateboarding, eh?” It sure is, Dustin! We stayed right across the street from the République ledges that have been murdered by the locals. But one of the reasons I like traveling a lot is because it gives you an excuse to film ABDs on spots that have already been killed. It was dope to see all the classic suburb spots from back in the day. All we did was watch the Flip Sorry video and old Cliché videos to get us hyped. At one point, the song “Venus in Furs” by the Velvet Underground was played so many times that I didn’t know if someone was playing it on their phone or if I was just hearing it in my head.
I’ve first been to Morocco on a tour in 2013. But I have already met Austin Stephens, the RVCA team manager, on a previous trip. I thought that Morocco would make a great destination for the team and when we got back from the tour, I reached out and offered him to help with planning the trip in case that he ever wanted to visit this country in the north of Africa. After that, nothing happened for four years till he recently texted me out of nowhere. He said that I told him about Morocco a while ago and that they were actually doing a trip there in a bit and asked if I’d want to join them. Let me put it this way: nobody would turn down the chance to go traveling with Andrew Reynolds.