A car in a parking lot somewhere in the Netherlands: in the driver’s seat, we have Bob Zevenbergen, a one-of-a-kind guy I met in Cape Town last year and a part of the Rambo Crew – the crew in which Jelle Maatman, who sits in the passenger seat, is also a member. Then, there’s Ewoud Breukink in the backseat, for some reason in some sort of a role as a manager. At one point, the interview nearly stopped because the guys couldn’t find the lighter for a while. Fortunately, they managed to overcome this problem and kept on with their original mission: introducing Jelle Maatman to a wider audience outside of the Netherlands – and if you think, “Well, I already I know about that Maatman guy,” it might be his older brother you’re confusing him with.
Featuring: Jelle Maatman, Patrick Rogalski, Markus Blessing, Vladik Scholz, Jeremy Reinhard, Jost Arens, Reece Knobloch, Yannick Schall, Gustavo dos Anjos
Edit by: Dennis Ludwig
I just came back from a Titus trip to Lyon and Vienna. It was a lot of fun.
“Ich spreche ein bisschen German. Ja, man.” I used to be better, but after a week or two, I was already able to follow the conversations better and better.
It was through Mathijs [Tromp] from Flatspot. He works there as well. They told him that they wanted me to get on the team. I hesitated for a long time because I had to leave my local skate shop, for which I had been skating for 15 years. So it was a pretty hard decision.
I think a lot of them stopped drinking by now, but back then, some of them partied pretty good.
Chris Joslin got hurt and drank coke and red wine all trip long and called it the Joslin Juice.
It doesn’t taste too bad though. I drank it for a week when I came home, but then I got sick of it and never drank it again. It’s stupid. No mixing red wine with coke anymore.
"He got mad at me and started whipping me with the fucking rope and called me a skinny Romanian dog"
I’m the bigger but younger brother. I’ll never get older than him – unless he dies sooner, and we don’t hope for that.
Well, not anymore. We both used to live in the same city. I came back to my parents much more, but they got divorced and so there’s not really a home for me. I’m more often in Arnhem and he’s living in Rotterdam with his girlfriend, so I don’t see him too often.
[laughs] No, I think it is good that he moved to Rotterdam.
I do have a girlfriend.
She is very cute.
That’s something I came up with when we took a train and we took a photo of me saying like, “Good luck on your world trip!” and blah blah blah. It had the hashtag #crustlife, making fun of all the guys with dreads who go on world trips to discover themselves and blah blah blah. It just became this joke that I used to do fake photos as if I was on a world trip. I always used this hashtag, and for some reason, it stuck to me. Now, everyone in the Netherlands says that I’m a crust with dreads and a skinny dog and good at diaboloing and shit.
I tried it once, but I’m not on psychedelics. I’m not the European Evan Smith either.
That means skinny dog. That started with Douwe Macaré, thanks to him for my nicknames. Once, he was jumping a rope and he couldn’t do it at all, and I was laughing at him. I wasn’t wearing a shirt and he got mad at me and started whipping me with the fucking rope and called me a skinny Romanian dog – and I’m a wet dog when I’m sweating. All kinds of fucking dogs.
They asked me to join the Dutch team, but I declined. I don’t know, I wasn’t really feeling it. I started skating because I didn’t want to have a coach, I didn’t want to be forced to be at a match at a certain time. I didn’t start skating because I wanted to score points. In my opinion, skateboarding doesn’t have much to do with the Olympics, but the upcoming generation really likes training, and I think it’s just a different form of skating – together with Street League. I just like street skating way more and didn’t want to get involved with all that stuff.
Jelle Maatman – Kickflip Fifty-Fifty
Yes, I hold the record for the highest ollie in the Netherlands – from flat and out of the jump ramp. The thing was called Olympic Experience and it was a little bit weird to go there because I just declined the offer, but I ended up getting 1,500 Euros from it, which I spent pretty quickly – as always.
I went to the bar and bought a bunch of stupid shit.
"Yes, I hold the record for the highest ollie in the Netherlands."
It was like 1 meter and 5 cm [41.3 in] and 2 meters and 80 cm [110.2 in] from the jump ramp.
No, I’m a free man. I’m going to the Euro SB. I gotta do a premiere for the welcome to Titus clip. I’m just gonna have fun there. I’m gonna skate the contest and I’ll try my best, but I can’t promise that I’m not hungover on Sunday or being the best on Saturday either. I’m not the best contest skater in general. Sometimes it goes well though.
Oh, I fucking hate the finals. Most of the time, I’m already a bit tipsy when it comes to the finals. I think that’s how it is for most skaters in Dutch contests. The further you go into the contest, the drunker everyone gets. It’s just getting later and later, everybody is drinking more and more beer.
To me, it is. I just hang out with my friends, drink some beer, and have a good time together. I do like skating contests and I like to try my best. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t.
It is a contest and they always have this crazy rail. It used to be a hot dog or banana shaped, then it looked like a joint with lamps at the end with smoke coming out of it. That contest is really about drinking. Normal contests are about skating and drinking, this one is about drinking and skating. Skateboarding is secondary, really. I think I was a little bit too drunk once, tried to lipslide it, and just jumped off my board at the beginning and sacked it at the very end of the rail.
My balls were pretty fine, but I had a big mark on the inside of my leg for three weeks. It hurt. My garbagemen co-workers loved it when I showed them the video.
I’m not really a kind of skater that goes in and out of the hospital to have surgery. I think I’m pretty lucky with my ankles and knees.
And I’m super stretchy.
I really want to go to yoga class, but I think it’s not that good for skateboarding.
No, I stretch a lot, but it’s not that good if your muscles are too long. You want them to be a little bit shorter because you make a lot of explosive movements. I think too much doesn’t really work out. I just like stretching. Actually, I slammed pretty hard in Lyon. I tried to 50-50 a flatrail and then ollie over a fence. It was super sketchy because it was this tiny little rail. My wheel went onto the rail and I just jumped off the board, so my upper legs hit the fence that I tried to ollie over. I tumbled head down and grabbed the fence with my legs up, and I was holding it like, “Fuck, what do I do now?” and then I just dropped to the flat. At least, I managed to roll over on my back, so I didn’t hit my head. That was a fucked-up trick.
Next year. I think I gotta do my internship in September, and after that, I’ll do a minor for half a year. After that, I hope to be done. I’m fucking over it.
I want to thank you for doing this interview in English. I know it started off quite awkward. I want to thank Ewoud Breukink for managing me from the back of the car, telling me what I can say and what I can’t or shouldn’t. Nice job. No, just my friends, sponsors, and everyone who has helped me.
I have no goals in life. That’s probably why my studies aren’t going too well. I don’t want to become this or that. I don’t have the motivation. It comes as it goes. I just live my life and try to make the best out of it. I don’t know what will happen in the future. We will see. The future will tell us.
It’s a very YOLO lifestyle.