Tag: Theworldofskateboarding

Place Presents: Mauro Ruberto Part and Interview

I have known Mauro Ruberto for a long time now, possibly ten years or more even. When he came on the scene he was known as a little ripper that liked to jump on rails. But he was also known as someone with good style and a nice trick selection. Now all those years later skating has changed, Mauro has grown older, he doesn’t really jump on rails like he used to but his style and trick selection has aged well. It is for me personally at Place always great to see people you know do well. And to see Mauro and the type of person and the type of skater he has become, it makes me happy and it makes me proud that we can present this part, this article and Mauro to a new group of people.

Video by Dylan van der Laan

Interview by Roland Hoogwater

Photo by Ruben Noorman

Yo Man, What’s up?

Not much man, kinda tired still, I just woke up and went down to the park. I like to go early nowadays because of the skateboard boom the park is filled to the brim with kids. So, instead of going “normal” hours, I go early so I can really cruise around.

Chilling at Wezelande skatepark (Zwolle, The Netherlands), the homespot, has it changed much?

Not really, same old, they installed a speed bump to the park but that is it (laughs). 

Ok, still loving it like back in the day. So, tell me a bit about this part we are dropping.

So it started with me meeting Dylan van der Laan (the filmer)…well, it actually started with Kadir Küçük, who I met when we were filming for this Chocolate promo. We linked through Martijn (van Hemmen), he told me that Kadir lived in Arnhem, which is close to Zwolle, where I live. I didn’t know Kadir at first, but we connected through IG, and we started working together on that promo. 

After that project, he moved to Turkey…well, he just went on holiday there and never came back (laughs)*. So again I was without a filmer but willing to go out and produce stuff and that is when I heard about Dylan. Like with Kadir, we connected through IG. We are about the same age and he filmed well so, we just started stacking clips. Not for anything particular, we were out there having fun. So after a while, we had enough clips and we decided to make this.

*Kadir returned after a year.

Filmed by Kadir Kadir Küçük.

So how long were you saving footage for, a year?

On this part… well at first there was talk of doing it for Lakai because they were giving me shoes. But I quit, I wasn’t feeling the shoes anymore. So I told Dylan, “let’s start from scratch” and from there it took us about 6 months to put this together.

Dylan doesn’t live in the same city, so how did you guys manage to travel?

Dylan lives in Dordrecht, so we would meet at different places. Most of it is in Rotterdam, Schiedam, Amsterdam, Arnhem, and S’Heerenbroek which is a small place near the German border. Kadir lives there so that is how we found that spot. Most of it is Rotterdam and Schiedam though.

Whatever happened to all that stuff you filmed with Kadir though? Is it sitting on a hard drive in Turkey?

Well, the chocolate stuff came out but we did more things, we visited my family in Milan and we managed to get more stuff done, so we should see some of that his full-length project when it drops.

And what about Dylan? This project is HD but I saw you skating in his VX projects, around the same time you worked on this.

Working with Dylan is super nice, he is a quiet person, but if you want to try and film a line for 4-hours he is down to do that as well. We are a good match. 

Funny story, Dylan always had 2 cameras with him at all times. The HD for this project and the VX for these fun little edits that he does for himself. So he would sometimes ask me if I wanted to film for that other project. So the VX became the fun cam and the HD was serious, I have high standards when it comes to my tricks so for a while it felt good to film with the fun cam and just chill and try things.

He changed the context, he kind of tricked you.

It worked though, it helped me do other things and have fun while filming.

Dylan’s work with the VX AKA the fun cam.

So what are the tricks in this part you worked the hardest for?

The one that took the longest was the Frontside Feeble Frontside shove it out. That was fucked up, I tried it for 3 hours and I kept landing on it but I couldn’t roll away, it was super weird. So the last try I hit me big toe and it totally fucked up my shit. The whole thing was blue and I could barely walk but I was really mad. So instead of going home, I slept over at Dylan’s. The next morning I put on 2 pairs of socks and went back, tried it again for 2 hours, and each try before I popped my toe would hurt like hell. I think that was the one trick I worked hardest for! The funny thing is I normally have that trick on lock as well. 

Street spots always challenge you differently right? You used to be a big rail skater but this part has now handrails in it was that a conscious choice?

I did go and look at some rails, but I wasn’t feeling it. As a kid, I would just jump on those things, no problem. I had a crazy bail years ago in Arnhem. on this long rail with weird legs, I front boarded it no problem so I jumped into a Frontside Feeble and I hooked into those legs and flew down. I remember that the car was far away but I don’t remember if I walked all the way there or whatever. So after that, I became more cautious.  

So it changed you in a lot of good ways as well. A shock to the system.

Yeah, I got really into wheelies and other types of tricks. Especially wheelies, I don’t even think people know I can do those (laughs).

My favorite trick in the part is the Impossible Nose Wheelie, I learned that a year back in the park. Finding the right Manual-Pad was hard though, popping Impossibles is hard so it had to be the right one. Good Manual-Pads are hard to find, especially in Holland (laughs).

Check out the slam that changed Mauro’s skating (or not).

You have been a Zwolle local for a while now, the city isn’t totally remote but to go to those places you talked about is still a train journey away. Did you ever consider moving to a more central city?

Not really, I like the Randstad but if I stay in those busy places too much I go crazy. I like nature, peace and quiet moments and those are hard to find in cities like the ones mentioned. For now, Zwolle is where I want to be, I got my OV-card which allows me to travel for free during the weekends so things are good as they are. Plus our country is small so it isn’t like I am traveling multiple hours from A to B.

So more healthy living, seems like it is a new trend in skating? I bet your dad still would have like to see you join a soccer team instead.

Well just to get some context, in the beginning, my father was a bit skeptical about me skating. He is from the south of Italy, deep in the mountains so he was more into football. He didn’t know much about skating and figured it was more of a drug scene. A bad influence.

It took him some years to see that it wasn’t like that for me. At the moment I don’t do drugs I barely drink and I don’t smoke weed anymore.

Besides that, those changes are also great for your mental health. Those substances come at a cost. Especially since we as men and especially young men are prone to struggle with depression it is important to talk about things like this.  

I used to smoke weed and drink beer for almost every day for 2 years, and at the end of that stretch, I was just super unhappy. And when I stopped, my confidence grew, more peace of mind I just felt better. It works for some people but I found out it didn’t work for myself.

Example:

When I used to light up a joint I would get a dopamine rush to my brain and I would feel happy but I realized that I would have less of these moments in general during the day. So when I stopped I started to feel more genuine moments of happiness and those are tangible because you worked to create those moments. I had a lot of negative role models that taught me those lessons and I learned from their actions.

They say a smart man learns from his mistakes but a wise man learns from the mistakes of others. 

True, that works.

Mauro that was a good closer, thank you for the interview and we are excited to see what the future holds for you!    

What happens when you open an account on Instagram and it happens to become big? People want to be featured by you, companies want to work with you, do you say yes, or do you say no and what are the dangers? We spoke with Hans Smit who started @theworldofskateboarding about how he lost his account and more importantly how he got it back in the end.

Interview by Roland Hoogwater.

So Hans, tell me how it all started, why did you start @theworldofskateboarding?

I started the account in Feb 2016. I was sick at home for a few days, I was super bored and that’s when I came up with the idea to create the Instagram. And it went pretty well. I just thought of a name and made the account on Instagram, and in the first week, it already hit a thousand followers. And that just continued, week by week it gained thousands of followers. I’m on my phone a lot so I’m very quick with reposting. Sometimes Joel from Metro Skateboarding reposts clips via me because I’m first, and then he tags me which also gave me a boost. Apparently, I repost the right clips and it just grew really fast. And it’s still growing, monthly I gain like 15K followers, it’s crazy.

Alright, that is a lot of responsibility.

Yes, it is, and then all of a sudden I got hacked. Someone wanted to make a promotion deal. Sometimes I earn a bit of money by doing some promotion. But it has to seem legit, there are daily people asking me to promote their stuff of which I think: “Nah, I’m not doing that”.

So this guy wanted me to promote “his app”, some kind of skateboard game. But he wanted to see some statistics on my account, it was an Android app so he wanted to know how many of my followers use android. He told me to go to a certain website, it was called “Iconosquare”. I’m always a bit skeptical about these kinds of things so first I just checked the website out and it’s a legit company, they had millions of users. So, I logged in, got all my statistics except the ones he was asking for. I wrote the guy and told him that I could not find the statistics he wanted and then he sent me a link, also from Iconosquare. I opened it and it seemed like I was just on the Iconosquare website, so I just logged in. At this moment I was about to bike home, I got on my bike and two minutes later I was home and found out the password was changed. I searched for the account on Instagram, but he changed the name to “Thatskateboardingpage” which later turned in to “Skateboardinghome”. The hacker sold the account very quickly. Now I have it back I can read some of his DM’s, he removed most of them though. I read this one DM of the guy who bought it and it was something like: “I bought this account for $600 because it was jacked, LOL!”, he was talking about it like one big joke. He bought it for $600, which is way too less for an account this big, so he got a good deal, except he lost the account now and his $600.

So when I saw I got hacked I instantly contacted Instagram, but they’re not very easy to talk to. They send one email a day. But I made a big mistake. I have two email addresses which I both already used for my personal Instagram and another one. I thought I made a new email address for this account, but apparently, I didn’t. There was only my phone number linked to the account, which the hacker changed immediately, of course. So in order to get your account back, you have to give your registration data, like email address and phone number. I gave them all my data, my phone number, my email addresses but then they told me that they can’t verify me based on this data. Then I panicked a bit, what should I do? You know? Then I reached out to Fred van Schie, he works for Instagram. But he told me the same, without the email address that’s linked to the account, it’s gonna be very tough to get it back. But he gave me some tips. Then I just wrote a super long email to Instagram with all kinds of evidence that the account belongs to me. Like screenshots from statistics, contacts I had, screenshots of DM’s, a screenshot from one time in Copenhagen where Rob Meronek, from The Boardr, took a picture of me and put it on his website and it said something like: “This is Hans, he runs Theworldofskateboarding on Instagram”, just all kinds of stuff that should convince Instagram that it’s my account. It took so long, they just kept on sending maximum one email a day. After a few days, I received a mail which said that they verified that the account was mine. They told me I can change my password again but that didn’t work because they didn’t update the phone number I gave them. So that took another three days. Then last Friday it finally worked, they sent me a security code to the right phone number, I changed the password. There was this guy, @pactskateboarding, he also has an Instagram page like mine. He recently got hacked too and when he saw that I got hacked, he immediately made a new page and claimed the name “Theworldofskateboarding” to reserve it for me. So I could change my name back to what it was, that was super nice. Now I finally have it back. Changed the data, put on two-step verification to protect it.

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Did they post stuff on the account?

Yeah, the guy who bought the account just continued posting skateboard clips. Everywhere where it said Theworldofskateboarding, he just replaced it with his new name, Skateboardinghome. I always add a bit of text in the description like:”Tag us to get featured” and “Follow us @Theworldofskateboarding”, and he just changed all of that for the last 30 posts or something. He just started posting skateboard clips, maybe just stuff he saw on other pages, or maybe he did skate himself, I don’t know. I can’t really imagine that this guy skates himself, I can’t imagine a skateboarder doing this to another skateboarder, you know? I find that hard to believe. But yeah, he just kept on posting skateboarding and he sent messages to like 50 company’s, asking if they need any promotion. But also to like electric longboard company’s and such, which are big company’s who could pay good money. But it’s not that easy, the company’s kind of want to know who they’re dealing with. I could read all of his DM’s and he was kind of rude to all these company’s, so I don’t think any of them did business with him. Now I sent a message to all these company’s, telling them I was hacked, the person you were talking to was not me.So I don’t think he earned anything, except for the hacked who sold it to him for $600, I guess this guy does this a lot. This whole thing didn’t really cost me anything, except time of course. But he only lost around 600 followers, but that’s what you can gain in a day.

Did you find out who was behind the hack?

I have no idea who did this to me. When it happened I just sent DM’s with my personal account to my hacked account, I told him I want it back of course, but he didn’t reply. I tried to change the password but he gets notified when I do this, so at one point I got a message from him which said something like:”If you continue trying to get your account back, I will hack your phone, I will hack your bank account, I will destroy your life”. Which was just bluff, I’m pretty sure he’s not able to do that. But yeah, no idea who it was.

Who it was I don’t know, I can’t find out, you know? Maybe Instagram can, maybe they can check the IP address or something, I don’t know. But it would be such a hassle to find out. And then what, you know. I reached my goal, I got my account back and now I put more effort into keeping it secure. I don’t really feel like putting lots of time into it anymore.

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Did they post any good clips?

(laughs) Yeah kind of, some of which I was like: ”Oh yeah, I probably would’ve posted that too!” (laughs). They posted this clip from @versace_plug, it actually had a lot of views, too.

Actually, what was kind of sick, I made a backup page, on which I told people that my account got hacked. And this friend of mine tagged a lot of pro’s in that post, amongst them was Steve Berra, he actually commented, asking if it was my page so I DM’ed him. He was super compassionate, he gave me his email address and told me to send him the whole story. He then offered to help me, they’ve had some Instagram troubles in the past, so he had some contacts. Which is super cool, I mean he doesn’t have to do this, he’s probably super busy and I’m just a random guy. I still have some ideas laying around which I now maybe could propose to Berra, maybe we can work together. That’s pretty cool.

What about mainstream media, did they cover this?

It made it to the newspaper. A guy I know who used to work in the same skate shop as me, now has this job, something with social media, so I thought maybe he can help me, so I wrote him. This guy also works for this television/news channel. He thought it was an interesting story so he pitched it to them. And they wrote an article about it. At this point it didn’t look that promising with Instagram so I thought maybe if I get some publicity, it might help me. Then some newspaper called me and wrote about it. There was also an article about it on the website of a magazine that targets middle-aged woman, (laughs).

So how did you end up getting your account back?

I don’t know what at the end made Instagram decide to give me the account back, maybe it was just a combination of things. I sent all of this “evidence”, you know. And going to the media might have helped. I was super stressed out, it felt so terrible. I put a lot of time and effort on this page. Of course, I like to do it, I wouldn’t have started it if I didn’t, but it takes so much time. Now it’s pretty big and I’m very happy with it, it brings me a lot of nice things, like good contacts and opportunities, like for example go to events and such, and I earn some money with it. It’s super cool! Would’ve been so sad if it would’ve been gone, but yeah, it’s back!

But you’re not doing that much promotion, right?

No, not that much. And I want to keep it that way, I don’t want my account to be like a Nascar sports-car which has advertisement all over, you know? That just doesn’t look good. It’s a way to earn a lot of money, I could do promo every day for like €50. But I think you can do that only for a few months maybe, but after that no-one will take your page seriously anymore, after that it’s over. I do some promo every now and then but only if it’s legit. Sometimes I promote stuff from my local Skateshop, Sparky (the Netherlands) and sometimes I do giveaways, those are cool to do.

If you did not get back your account, you could probably build it up again. I would think these followers came to you because of your “taste” in clips.

Yeah, maybe. But still, that would take like a year and a half for something you already accomplished once.

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True, and then you would constantly compare it, like you would be thinking: “Now I’m halfway the followers I had” or “Now I have this many compared to what I had”, that would probably feel like it takes so much time.

Yeah, exactly. And nowadays there are so many of these pages, I think that I started at the right time. I mean all these pages have a good amount of followers but there’s not really need for another one of these pages anymore. There are also pages that literally repost everything that I’m posting, including the text. That’s just weird.

Happy you got it back, thanks, Hans!

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