This year, we haven’t really seen too many tour edits. We all know why. The Independent team went to Paris in between the first and the second Lockdown and took things serious. Maybe that has something to do with their TM Steve Forstner!? I heard he is a really serious man.
Featuring Vincent Milou, Nassim Lachhab, Barney Page, Robin Fournier, Justin Sommer, Blake Johnson, Charlie Munro, Doobie, Daan Van Der Linden, Tim Debauche & Marius Syvanen.
For us here at Place Magazine it is important to keep our connection to our city alive and kicking. Berlin has multiple hubs, places where our culture lives and from time to time those hubs change, get updated, or in the worst cases disappear. 2020 has been a tumultuous year with a lot of changes a lot of bad ones but also some good ones. One of the ones that are most relevant to us as a skate scene is the change of hands when it comes to our beloved indoor park, The Skatehalle Berlin. Yesterday we had an interview with Roberto Cuellar, who worked on the art in the park. Today we have Sara Plagemann one of the fixtures in the Berlin and one of the people now helping run the park talk about what these changes mean both long and short term. So, put on your reading glasses and inform yourself about one of the most important pieces of the Berlin skate scene.
Intro by Roland Hoogwater.
Text by Sara Plagemann, Marketing, Skatehalle Berlin.
Photos by Dennis Scholz.
2020 has been a year of many changes. We had to say farewell to life as we once knew it. But since endings also make room for new beginnings- what better time is there to take over the Skatehalle in Germany’s capital and change it into a non-profit company run by the skateboarding scene itself? Democratic structures through the association of Drop In e.V., the 1. Berliner Skateboardverein, the Cassiopeia Club, and, for a limited transition phase, the previous owner, paved the way for a sustainable concept for many decades to come.
“After a little more than three months of operation we see our ideas slowly but surely coming to life”, says Joest Schmidt, CEO of Skate RAW GmbH. “Despite the challenging circumstances of the reset at Skatehalle Berlin we have started necessary repairs and improvements, managed the bureaucratic challenges, found new partners and sponsors, and gave the building a new look. First and foremost, we already succeeded in quickly reopening the park for all skaters and made it safe to use during the COVID-crisis. It is very reassuring that the skateboard community in Berlin seems to take us up on the offer to get actively involved. Their requests, comments, advice, and constructive criticism genuinely helped us plan the next steps.” But in order to fully explain what we stand for at the new Skatehalle Berlin,it is essential to first take a look at the cultural meaning of skateboarding itself.
“After a little more than three months of operation we see our ideas slowly but surely coming to life.“
Joest Schmidt, CEO of Skate RAW gGmbH
Most people are aware of the fact that skateboarding is a sport. But, as you guys all know, there is more to the story. Traditionally, certain cultural aspects have had strong ties to the skate world. For instance graffiti art, punk rock and later rap music. Recent years have shown that subculture is no longer constrained by fixed signifiers but diversified to such an extent that it is no longer valid to paint a one-sided picture of a male pot-smoking -skater, who doesn’t shower and listens to trap music. This imagery is outdated as exemplified by a rapidly growing number of female skaters, who are taking their rightful place within the skateboarding scene in a very liberating way.
At the Skatehalle Berlin, located within the capital’s most progressive district, Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, it does not matter what country you are from or what social class you were born into. Your gender does not define who you are, nor does your age. All of these things do nothing but add value to the great melting pot that is skateboarding. None of it matters when you hit the streets or, in particular during the long cold Berlin winter, the Skatehalle. We are all unified in diverse difference and we live by this notion. Everyday.
A metaphor of unity resonates vastly in a world exceedingly divided by invisible borders between humans. Our power comes through our unity and creates a potent political component revealing the inherent subversive nature of the skateboard community around the globe.
So for a Skatehalle that brings all those astonishing groups of people together under one roof, it is important to make all of those feel at home.
Hence, our mission is to create a space for all things significant within the realm of skateboarding. Music and art form a bond with youth and community work and frequent exchange is accompanied by an ever growing range of food and drinks at the SHB-Café. Whilst naturally providing the best possible skate experience for every single one of our visitors from around the globe.
Being the only central indoor skatepark in Berlin, expectations are high. So in all of our attempts, we are being fully aware of the fact that, no matter how hard we try, we will never be able to make everyone happy (only Tony Hawk can do that). However, we will continue to think outside the box and value our history without ever feeling restricted by it. We will face logistic and financial challenges during a worldwide pandemic “head-on” with the help of our sponsors VANS and Blue Tomato, our partners, and the community. And we will include and protect groups that need a little more of a “safe space” as long as we possibly can.
We offer regular slots for skaters on boards and in wheelchairs, a vast variety of kids classes, an adult “After-Work-Session” for those, who no longer want to compete with the youngsters and not one but, due to popular demand, two “Girls Nights” a week, alongside a lot of educational projects for local and refugee kids topped by numerous events for the local skate scene.
It is important to us to provide artists, such as, very recently in the cooperation with Roberto Cuellar, a one of a kind “canvas” and give them the opportunity to create their own habitat within their Skatehalle. Replacing dominant corporate vibes with a more artistic one seems appealing to guests and skate-coaches alike. Thus, we aim to manufacture this change continuously throughout the whole area, which entails a huge yard, home of the open-air cinema “Freiluftkino Insel” and the SHB-bar, which will soon come back to life. One thing is certain, things are moving fast around here and you guys can be sure that we will host a hell of a lot of fun skate video premieres, contests, and music acts of any genre in these upgraded surroundings.
However, times are tough and entry fees, in particular during Corona, don’t come close to covering the costs of running and renovating the big area. Previously, a lot of the Hall’s profit was made through subleases, which since July 2020, are no longer possible. So as idealistic as we might be, we depend on other sources of income. Renting out the Skatehalle for movie shoots is one way to generate those.
We will proceed to grow and progress and develop new concepts that do not exclude but fully involve everyone. In a city that has been hit hard by gentrification we are not scared to be one of the last subcultural bastions if you will.
Rapidly, our thoughts have become words, and now is the time to turn those words into action. For years, certain parts of the Skatehalle, such as the Bowl and Miniramp area, have been neglected. Rain has been pouring through holes in the wall and has rendered the indoor park unskateable in certain weather conditions. So we are using the vacuum caused by the government lockdown for intense renovation work and simultaneously enable our staff to keep their jobs. Like all sport & cultural sites, we are heavily affected by the current restrictions and the partial shutdown. All the more reason to unite our power and let the Skatehalle Berlin “feels like a home” for everyone.
Does Drop In e.v. sound familiar? They feature pretty heavily in our Mobina & Melika mini-doc that you can check out below.
This was the best event since your last event together.
London Lee, Wassertorplatz, 2019
And with that introduction, we would like to welcome you to the recap video for our Wassertorplatz invitational table tennis tournament. The idea started last year after /// teamed up with us for our first ever non-skate tournament, in fact, it was a table-soccer or Fooßbal competition.
Now, ever since they changed our famous skate spot into a playground area we have been veiled in black and to be honest the “Platz” has changed a lot as well. When we went to shoot the trailer for the event it was literally riddled with weeds. Needless to say, the new locals had not shown it the love we had :(…
So what better to do than to return and give the place “a years worth of love” in one day! And even though the city and some of the people didn’t seem to want us there they accepted us showing up this day to celebrate the place we love.
Of course, we adapted to the changed plaza and organized a Table Tennis tournament as well as 2 best trick sessions, recreating the rooftop ledge especially for this occasion.
The people came out and celebrate we did and truth be told the platz, the cops and the people living around wtp the place all showed up (the cops blessed us by not showing up) and celebrated with us.
A very special thank you goes out to adidas Skateboarding!
Enjoy the video and we hope to all see you at our next competition.
During the second edition of SKTWK we had the honor of hosting a very special contest as part of the whole event. Now you might want to know what kind of games we chose to play and the answer is BINGO! a geriatric favorite must likely currently being played in a nursing home near you!
There where multiple prizes, things like a professional full body massage, trinkets but the most valuable prize was by far the honor to shoot a Place Magazine – Snapshot Recap! That prize and in turn duty fell on the shoulders of Simon Klinkertz.
Simon turned out to have a capable eye and some strong shoulders that allowed him to get the job done in style! So, here it is our very special SKTWK Recap.
Simon would like you to know:
A very big thank you to SKTWK, Place Magazine and all the people that attended the event in Düsseldorf.
Paul Herrmann gets the honor of closing off our year with his best of 2018 montage. The video features some of Berlin’s finest and some of Germany’s best.
To be honest, it is nice to see that young filmers still wait to “build” montages instead of filming for a couple of weekends and then “just putting it out” in a sub-par fashion.
Surprises are nice and we believe in the fact that every skater can have something to add to a montage. To draw a parallel, in a band not everybody can be the lead singer, some people might be drummers or they might not even play any instrument but still, they are an important element of the band.
In “bestof2k18” Herrmann manages to show us all the bits and bobs behind his “band” andwe hope you enjoy the results.
Last Saturday marked the start of a new series of skateboard events throughout Europe, the Snipes Squad Up competition kicked off in Berlin.
From all over Germany, they came, groups of skaters ready to compete for the 10.000 prize purse. And to everybody’s excitement, it wasn’t just your usual suspects, Crews like Seoul2k and Europe Co. competed as well. Together with the locals from Märkisches Viertel Snipes managed to create an eclectic atmosphere that made for a good day of skating.
If you have ever been to Berlin chances are you have heard somebody scream HACK HACK! But what is Hack Hack and what does it mean? What are those videos popping up with Hack in the title, and who is behind them? The answers to those and many other questions were answered when we connected with Farid Ulrich and Vincent Heller.
Interview by Roland Hoogwater.
What is Hack Hack?
That is hard to define! While we were traveling through South America people often asked us the same question… How did we explain it again?
It is a vibe Hack Hack is the moment that you get hyped to do something. It originated in Bar 25 it where we were looking for motivation to do something. Along the way, the word trickled out of the bar, onto the streets and into skateboarding. It was a joke and it has turned into somewhat of a saying.
What was the first Hack moment you can remember?
Bar 25… that must have been 2010, I think… That is when the first Hack happened.
It made me think of Hakken a high energy Dutch dance style from the 90’s.
Ah… Do you mean those people with track suits and shaved heads?
Yes! (illustrates dance)
That suits the meaning of Hack too! Those guys were certainly hyped!
Back to Hack Hack, how did you guys get the idea to make videos?
We sit together to edit, smoke and try and make the best of the footage. Two heads have more ideas than one.
I film more than I edit because I noticed I don’t have the patience to just sit there. At the same time, Farid has a good feeling for what works.
What was the first Hack video?
The first Hack video we did was Hackelona, after that, we released CopenHacken and Hack Hack is our third video.
I started filming during our travels, I always carried a camera and I started playing around with it more and more. So the video happened when we started taking the camera along for our Berlin sessions. So instead of documenting our travels, it became more of a day to day thing.
The funny thing is we did not plan to make a full length, we just started to edit footage, linking certain things together. After a while, we watched the result and thought ” Oh..this works maybe we should create an actual video.”.
So then we made parts, separate from one another and then we tried to fit those parts together. It was kind of like a puzzle.
I got a flashback to Radio Skateboards “Radioactive Kids” when I watched the video. It showed me a kind of Berlin that I did not think existed anymore.
That is exactly what we wanted, documenting our lives in Berlin and by our I mean all that cross our path.
When you see the video you have to keep in mind the fact that these people are not all in the same crew. Vince and I just move in between crews and documented what we saw.
In the end, we turned it into one big Hack family.
We did not want to compromise, we wanted to show the people we liked and have them skate to the music we liked!
Often I work with people when I make a video part so it was important for our project to reflect us.
So, It is not like watching a homie video, it is a scene being documented.
Yes, plus the people that visited the City.
Did you show Hack Hack to people in South America?
We did, we watched it multiple times and it took me back in time, back to these places. It was a real good feeling! Hack Hack!
What about the footage from that trip, Will there be another Hack?
It took me some time but yesterday I started checking the footage from that tour and there will be something. At the same time Joscha Aicher and Daniel Ledermann are staying with us so maybe one of them will jump down a building or something.
The next Hack will be a video focused on South and North America, that will take us some time, with editing and all.
It will be called something like that. First I want to focus on editing and summer in Berlin, I will pack my camera in my backpack and we will see what happens. Maybe this winter we will make the final Hack videos but who knows.
I just want to say we are not interested in being clean or great filming we want to show our lives and if there is a glitch somewhere we will include it, watch it and laugh about it.
That is exactly how I filmed my last trick. I was playing around and got the idea to manual over the tracks.
Just a Smoked out idea!
And an hour later it was done.
I think for a lot of people the Hack experience feels like a break from sponsored life. No main spots just hanging out and looking for the next spot. With a high chance of drinking a beer at the end of the day.
This video part shows you the fruits of the shelter, a place to evolve your skateboarding to the next level. The difference is most kids can’t take that next step and take those tricks to some of those imperfect streets spots. These guys obviously transcended that and did some of their best stuff to date.
Thus we want to give a little shout out to Max Obert for his tre-flip down the double set and Justin Sommer’s Rewe line and fs flip over the Warschauer tracks, great stuff guys!
I met Justin Sommer the first time when he just started skating. So due to we both always have shared the same local spots in Berlin, I had the chance to kind of follow each and every step of his career in which taking part in the Tampa AM contest might be the biggest step up to now. Moreover, Snipes organized a little sort of documentary to give an insight of how this whole one-of-a-kind experience might have felt like for Justin.
A while back we premiered Paul Herrmann’s video “Welcome to Franki”, at the same time we introduced his video column for PLACE. These raw cuts are a part of that series and they provide you with a great behind the scenes look.
Featuring highlights by Philipp Oehmige, Justin Sommer, Timo Meiselbach, Kalle Wiehn and much more
Finally, Dan Schulz’s Berlin based independent skate film Oh Snap is going to be premiered on December 3rd. Here is the official trailer, which provides a good foretaste of what is to come! Oh Snap!
Featuring Pascal Reif, Justin Sommer, Joscha Aicher, André Gerlich, Tim Bornemeier, Quirin Staudt, Valentin Ott, Patrick Rogalski, Ilja Judizki, Michel Funke, Philipp Oehmige, Farid Ulrich, Danny Goodman, Roland Hirsch and Daniel Ledermann.
The colder days are just around the corner in Northern Europe, and thus, the same applies to Berlin. So shortly before we are switching our clocks to daylight saving time, Nike SB, in wise foresight, called together their Europe team to have a last session at Project DSS.
Featuring Hugo Boserup, Casper Brooker, David Jakinda, Jacopo Carozzi, Julia Brückler, Joscha Aicher, Hyun Kummer, Farid Ulrich, Sami Harithi, Justin Sommer, Giorgi Balkhamishvili and Jan Kliewer.
Valencia is one of the most beautiful cities of Spain and next to Barcelona and Madrid it has always been a popular destination for skateboarders from all over the globe. Thus, also for the REELL gang that had flown in their global and German team: Cristian Sanchez, Julian Lorenzo, Herique Goncalves, Samuel Beyer, Justin Sommer, Lenni Janssen, Jakob Dohse and Sebi Hartung.
While we are still waiting for the release announcement of Dan Schulz’s full length video called “Oh Snap”, he frequently delivers some little appetizers for our amusement to shorten the waiting time. Thank you Dan!
The Nike SB Shelter is especially influencing the younger generation of Berlin’s rippers. Emerging talents like Giorgi Balkhamishvili and Justin Sommer could improve their skating to a whole nother level there. During the very harsh and frosty winter they both met up at the Shelter every day and astonished everyone with their impressive skills, which is the reason why Nike SB lastly decided to let them enjoy the honor of filming a Spot On clip together with cameraman Mark Nickels.
Here’s the highlight edit of this year’s Nike SB Berlin Open Contest, which went down a couple of days ago. See Carlos Ribeiro, Kevin Baekkel, Alex Mizurov, Justin Sommer, Aurelien Giraud and many more…
As we said before, we had a great day on this year’s Battle At The Bänke 5 during Go Skateboarding Day in Berlin. Here’s the video featuring amazing lines by Louis Taubert, Denny Pham, Alex Mizurov and many more. Speed kills, see you next year!
Let’s call it a day! Go Skateboarding Day 2015 in Berlin was a blast. The crowd met at Civilist store in Mitte to get their goodie bags while Nike SB donated money towards a new local Skate-Spot-Project for every kilometer that was pushed on a skateboard through the streets. The route took us to the “Bänke”, the famous street spot at Warschauerstr. where another issue of Battle At The Bänke was about to go down.
This 5th issue of BATB went to the history books as Alex Mizurov and Denny Pham did so many lines, they could have filmed a whole Bänke-part on one day. It was just stunning! Also the homies like Louis Taubert, Patrick Rogalski, Sylvain Tognelli (and many more) did their best to show amazing skateboarding at a fully crowded spot. Thanks to everyone who came along to join this epic Go Skateboarding Day!
Here’s our photo recap, shot by Burny.
Kids loving goodies.
Sylvain did one of the best lines of the day. Unfortunately he disappeared during the final.
Always a pleasure to watch Sami Harithi skating.
To give you an idea of this still image – Louis` fs bluntlside was fast as hell.
Joscha, Mario & Farid
Probably Denny couldn’t believe how many lines he filmed in one day.
Patrick was on point, flippin’ into fs crooks.
Bänke-legend Jan Kliewer hanging with Topdog Danny Sommerfeld.
Alex, Michi, Vladik and Patrik checking the news.
Michel Funky, Andre and friend.
Alex Mizurov filmed 13 lines – just in the final!
Justin, Denny, Colin, Sami
Best Trick winner Louis going for the long way.
Kerem Elver likes this a lot.
In total 3850 Euro got donated for the realization of the new skatepark project. Cheers Bo!
Happy winners with cash – Denny got 2nd, Alex 1st and Louis 3rd, he also won the Best Trick.
Watch out for the final video dropping this week!