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?
I’ve never seriously hurt myself on a skateboard. And as chance would have it, it didn’t happen skating either. I was playing soccer.
Back in the days, I played in a legit team. I used to be really good though and now I still thought I could pull it off. I come from a family that has a high affinity for soccer. My brother played for a long time and also made some money coaching. My dad played professional soccer for twelve years in Romania. And he coached as well.
It was his full-time job. He lived off of it. Although it wasn’t as much as they earn here of course.
My brother called me and asked if I wanted to go and kick with them. And I was wondering, “Should I really go, man? I might just go skating straight away…” But I thought it would be cool to kick it with my brother. We were playing against a couple of guys who practice there almost every day, and I was going head to head with this one guy. We were gunning it and I didn’t see that we were getting too close to the wall. Because of the mishmash of sand on the artificial lawn, the ground was already really slippery and, of course, I would only be wearing sneakers. So, I tried to prevent myself from slamming into the wall while falling and my elbow snapped back and I tore all my ligaments.
I got that one after my surgery. It was actually pretty cool… Well, not really cool, because I was hurt, but whatever. It wasn’t too bad, because I accepted it and had time to do some other stuff.
[laughs] For sure, but also just wrapping your head around different things. Basically, I had my surgery at a special clinic in Tübingen. I was out of there after two days and then had the RoboCop arm for four weeks. I am supposed to wear that thing for some more weeks, but I took it off because I felt better without it.
Yeah, and just cruising around was still fine. And then I started the physical therapy at the Olympic Center in Stuttgart. Physio-Paul took good care of me. Phil [Anderson] introduced me to Paul and he did amazing work. It was crazy to be among athletes who train for the Olympic Games.
The feeling is coming back and I’m starving for some good sessions. But it’s already getting cold by now.
For sure, it’s always fun skating over there. Although I have to admit that I prefer cruising down the streets. During wintertime, I can start pushing my mini ramp and bowl skills though. It’s crazy to see how Oski and David [Stenström] are just these crazy all-round monsters. Their skating is really spontaneous.
"It was crazy to be among athletes who train for the Olympic Games."
The contact came through Oli [Merkelbach] from Beast Distribution. We’ve always fantasized about what brand would be a good match, and Polar has been the company I’ve liked a lot for the past couple of years. What Pontus does has always been cool because he’s true to himself and sticking to his original style. The family-like connection and all the other team riders have always been sick. It’s the only company that I consider completely honest about itself. The whole story about how it started and got bigger and bigger is great… It didn’t start over night, but a series of events lead to Polar being born.
Right, like a natural process. I told Oli all this and I think he might have skyped with Pontus the same day. Then the guys came here for a couple of days. We had a blast and got along really well. The vibe was cool and they even did this art show with Fabian Fuchs called 90 minutes of summer. Afterwards, we went to Cologne.
Completely nuts. And it was really early that day. We only went to the marble pad before and then went straight to this double kinker that’s right against a wall. We already looked at it the night before because I showed Aaron and Oski around. He was like, “That rail is sick, I’m gonna skate it, like, first thing the next day.” I mean, I knew that guy could skate rails, but him making that call straight away still stoked me.
I was born in the west of Romania, really close to Hungary. In that area, you speak both Romanian and Hungarian. We moved to Germany when I was around two. My dad has German roots even though he was also born in Romania. So was my mom even though her family comes from Hungary. They rather consider themselves Hungarian. I can speak Hungarian too, but when I’m visiting my parents, they usually talk Hungarian and I answer in German because it’s hard to remember the vocabulary and I’m lazy.
No, we moved to Mudau, a tiny city with 5,000 inhabitants between Würzburg and Heidelberg. Nothing really going on, but it was a nice town to grow up in. I started skating there with two of my homies. But yeah, my gipsy genes are still activated. It’s a cool country. It’s poor, but the landscapes are beautiful… The mountains, the black sea, cool forests, the castle of count Dracula. Everything a gipsy heart desires.
Sick, the people there are really welcoming. Not too long ago, I went to a Romanian wedding because my uncle got married. You arrive in the morning and get a couple of shots of homemade liquor for the warm-up. It’s messed up, you can’t handle it, because the alcohol goes straight to your head. And it goes on like that for the whole day. The atmosphere is really great, everybody’s dancing and so on. Good vibes.
Right, I started my training to become a child educator. Before that, I started going to college, but I didn’t feel it, so I dropped out to do something more socially relevant. I was able to do the training in two rather than three years because of the degree I got in school, and now I’m working half days at an elementary school, which is sweet. We have a good team and I have my own class right now. The kids and I get along really well and I try to tell them what’s cool and what’s not from my own perspective.
They think it’s cool. I mean, I’m not the typical educator to them, but they know that I’m always down for some jokes and that I’m cool with them. But they still realize that I have the authority. From time to time, we go skating too. On Mondays, I offer workshops with Kaba. He is a real legend by now and I thought I’d ask him because he just got done with his apprenticeship as well and now he’s with us. It’s a good balance between skating and working. But I still need more things to do to be satisfied with life. If I was only skating, I’d probably be bored.
Yes, when I met Sergej Vutuc while studying in Heilbronn he influenced me a lot. We are still close and he still puts out amazing stuff. Really sick personality. He comes from Heilbronn but has been in Berlin for a while by now, where I met him again.
I took some time off during the summer. But when you don’t have a job, you get sucked into that party mode really easy. I think that happens to a lot of people who move to Berlin without any concrete plans. But it’s not like I messed up my life and didn’t do anything but partying.
"You arrive in the morning and get a couple of shots of homemade liquor for the warm-up."
I was. And I also did a lot of photography and other things on the sideline. I think I really experienced a lot of different aspects of the city because I also visited a lot of museums and did other cultural activities. It was a good time, but at one point, I realized how much I really wanted to come back to Stuttgart. All the homies are here, I feel comfortable. It’s a good base to reach out from. You can always go somewhere else for a bit. Of course, it’s smaller, but that makes it more informal and familiar. Plus, we have our skateshop, we have Beast Distribution, the indoor park.
You could say that Stuttgart is back on the map. It started with Primitive, then Spitfire, we already mentioned Polar, and then there were also Wayward and Magenta. It just makes sense to come and skate here because all the spots are close, you can just push through, and skate the whole city with all its downhills. You just have a blast doing it and if you feel like it, you can catch a train to Ludwigsburg, Esslingen, Böblingen. They all have sick spots. But this area has always been representing skateboarding. Back in the days with Jascha Muller, Torsten Frank, all the Hello21 videos… And now with the younger generation coming up, chances are good that it will stay like this.
Paddy is the raddest anyways. He’s down with everyone and has such a cool way of approaching people.
It was so funny to visit him in Krefeld with Kamil [Krzesniak] and Sandro [Trovato]. The first thing we saw when we arrived was a huge brawl at the main station. All the kebab shop owners came out of their stores and started to fight those other guys. It was a wild first impression.
I guess he’s going to film down there with the Primitive guys. He’s making it and he deserves it. It’s always great to see how things pan out for people who are putting a lot of effort into it. Not like he’s been frantically looking for new sponsors, he’s just motivated doing his thing, and has a lot of fun. Today’s world feels so serious, it just makes sense to have more fun skating.
For sure. It’s always good times with my sauna buddy Phil. He’s the one who introduced me to the world of sauna infusions. We already knew each other but never really hung out, and after some while, we started to become really good friends. I visited him and we started talking openly about some relationship or girlfriend related problems and we’ve been inseparable ever since. [laughs]
Coach T! For sure, he’s coming there a lot as well. It has kind of turned into a meeting point. At first, you might think that it’s weird to go to the fucking sauna, but after all, it’s a cool ritual and you feel super relaxed afterwards.
I mean, you get older and you have to pay more attention to your body. You eat differently and more nutritious.
Paddy is a wicked cook. He always has good ideas. A lot of meat, pulled pork, and stuff like that. Paddy does the sickest Bolognese with French fries. That’s his signature move.
I can’t remember who gave me that nickname. It feels like I’ve had thousand nicknames already. Mark Terenzi stuck to me though. But once the fucking Jungle Camp with Marc Terenzi in it aired, I started getting more and more followers. And that dude even became the jungle king and I suddenly got like 200 new followers and kept on getting DM’s. One guy sent a photo of him, his wife, and their three Chihuahuas congratulating me. And I was like, “What the fuck is going on?” Maybe I should hit up his PR manager for some collabo shit. Nah, but after some time, it got too crazy and I had to change my name.