Tag: Shajen Willems

Shajen Willems from Dordrecht, The Netherlands. You don’t know where that is? Don’t worry, Shajen just put it on the map.

It is always good to keep your eye out for upcoming talent, Dylan is working hard at making videos and his friends are definitely not unskilled. Don’t be surprised if you start to see some of the lesse known names more often.

One of the many benefits of being from a small country is that it doesn’t take a long time before you are in another country. Belgium, Luxemburg, France, and even Denmark are all relatively short drives away. But even though countries like Germany are close, crossing the border makes everything look and feel slightly different. From the colour and build of the houses up to the food, everything is similar but not the same. Me being from The Netherlands but residing in Germany noticed these things when I first came here. But as time goes by, we start to accept our surroundings as they are and stop seeing things we were fascinated by a year before. So it was great to see this video pop up and notice the excitement Wouter, Pascal, Robbin and the rest of the Skatestore team must have felt at times.

Intro Roland Hoogwater.
Text Wouter Molenaar.
Photos Thomas Wieringa.
Video Marc Bolhuis.

During this Skatestore tour through Germany, we drove around, skated lots of spots, travelled to new places and drank lots of beer… A trip like this sounds like an ideal skateboard vacation doesn’t it? It was my first trip with this group of people, and we travelled to the German “Ruhr Area”, which was a pretty new place for us all. The Ruhrpott consists of a couple of old industrial cities like Dortmund, Essen and Köln. We had some excellent spot guides in the friendly folks of the Obtain Company, and they served up one spot after another. During the trip, all eleven of us stayed together bunched up in an Air BnB located in Bochum (one of Nordhrein-Westfalen biggest cities). Even though things where tight we ended up giving Sebastiaan Vijverberg his very own room because he snored too loud and we needed our beauty sleep.

We started most of our days quite early and chose a daily diet consisting of iced coffee, beer and pizza. Because of the proximity to one another, we picked a new city to skate every day, and to our surprise, we got to skate many well-variated spots in all of the cities.

As far as the skating goes, I remember some pretty crazy tricks going down pretty fast! For instance, Wouter de Jong jumped on this kinked rail that no one else wanted to touch and Shajen 360-flipped a rather large set first try. Every day we all tried our best to stack some clips. Another great thing was that we didn’t stress, sometimes we stayed at a spot for hours just because we could, other times we got kicked out tremendously fast. Either way, fun was being had the whole time. To answer my first, only and most important question; Yes, it was the ideal skateboard vacation.

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?

Farid
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?

Vince
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?

Vince
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.

Farid
Ah… Do you mean those people with track suits and shaved heads?

Yes! (illustrates dance)

Vince
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?

Farid
We sit together to edit, smoke and try and make the best of the footage. Two heads have more ideas than one.

Vince
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?

Farid
The first Hack video we did was Hackelona, after that, we released CopenHacken and Hack Hack is our third video.

Vince
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.

Vince
That is exactly what we wanted, documenting our lives in Berlin and by our I mean all that cross our path.

Farid
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.

Vince
In the end, we turned it into one big Hack family.

Farid
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.

Farid
Yes, plus the people that visited the City.

Did you show Hack Hack to people in South America?

Farid
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?

Farid
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.

Vince
The next Hack will be a video focused on South and North America, that will take us some time, with editing and all.

Farid
International Hack

Or Hackernational

Vince
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.

Farid
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.

Farid
That is exactly how I filmed my last trick. I was playing around and got the idea to manual over the tracks.

Vince
Just a Smoked out idea!

Farid
And an hour later it was done.

Vince
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.

Thank you guys and HACKHACK!

These are the two sequel parts of the Skatestore Team traveling through Europe by train only. Certainly a lot of exhausting fun!

Featuring: Shajen Willems, Sebastiaan Vijverberg, Robbin de Wit, Wouter de Jong, Lex van der Does & Jeremy van der Eijk.

Watch part #1 here.

Holland’s Skatestore team went on a trip through Europe for two weeks. From Amsterdam to Berlin, to Warsaw, to Budapest, to Vienna, to Prague, using only trains. Watch these Dutch guys skate in Berlin and Warsaw in part one of their Station 2 Station Tour video.

Featuring: Shajen Willems, Sebastiaan Vijverberg, Robbin de Wit, Wouter de Jong, Lex van der Does & Jeremy van der Eijk.

Photo by Thomas Wieringa