This year we only have two people in our Unsigned Hype series. The first being Jonathan Sjöberg and now secondly Til Schweinitz. Because of the nature of our job it is rare that someone this fun to watch falls under our radar. But at 19 years of age Til, the young Leipziger, has truly flown under it…Until now! Because today we present to you his “Unsigned Hype” something quite lovely, something that our helmet-wearing protagonist – a fact which we love – created together with Bambule’s own Jonas Lieder & Sebastian Weiß…. More on those two in the future, today is all about getting to know Til. So get yourself a beverage, choose to press play or scroll down first to familiarize yourself with this one-of-a-kind type of dude.
Interview and text by Roland Hoogwater.
Film & Edit by Jonas Lieder & Sebastian Weiß.
All photos by Sebastian Adam.
Welcome Jonas, Sebastian & Til just so you guys know, everything you say is being recorded from this point on. So beware!
Sebastian Weiss: Thank you for allowing us to know that we have no privacy (laughs).
So, where are you right now?
S: We are in Leipzig, in the Bambule Skateboards headquarter.
Alright, the right place to be, let me start by asking, why did you guys make certain editing choices? Because there is a lot of “just skating” type of edits out there, which is also good, but you chose differently.
Jonas Lieder: Well, the idea is with not only this but our upcoming full-length project that if you are willing to invest your time into the video you can get to know the person you are watching. Without getting too much into narratives, we wanted to create something fun and entertaining. Skating is not just tricks, it is also about being together, having fun and that is what we want to incorporate into what we make. Sebastian and I have a good dynamic, I am the one who is excited about capturing, I often capture non-makes or hijinx because I feel like I want to “have it” for later.
S: He always wants to capture about ten more tries than I would, if I would be capturing (laughs).
S: Yeah, for sure (laughs)! I think our choices work and we want them to speak to the “right” audience.
Alright, I had some spies in your camp and got some inside info about you Til. But first things first, why are you skating with a helmet on?
TIl Schweinitz: Getting right into it huh? Well, before I actually never wore a helmet, but in June of this year, I took a hard slam and fractured my skull in two places. It put me in the hospital for multiple days. Which was obviously horrible, so they said, you should wear a helmet. It took a while for me to get used to the idea…until I told myself “You are wearing a helmet from now on.”
I think the choice was not only to protect my skull & brain but also as a mental help for my mental state whilst skating.
Rough stuff, maybe it is a bit weird to ask maybe but did they put you in the intensive-care unit?
T: 4 days at the IC and a total of 9 days in the hospital. After that, I could not do anything really for 2-months.
So you can kind of date the footage by the helmet?
J: All the footage with the helmet was filmed after the accident. Before that moment, we filmed mostly street footage, Til is very good at skating ramps, so, we wanted to add that. If we would have just stayed on the streets that would not have been an accurate portrayal of Til’s skating.
Both Daniel Pannemann, and I were really drawn to the fact that you have a helmet on. In a way, it feels very fresh and right for you. At the same time, it is crazy that both our “Unsigned Hype” candidates this year have actually fractured their skulls. Pro-tec might need to hit you guys up. I am not trying to make a joke out of it, but like a lot of the other “effects” in your part, it does draw attention.
S: I still remember the day it happened, about a kilometer away from the office we saw some friends walking with Til’s bike… they told us “Til just dropped in on a giant bridge” It was one of those very steep, and very crusty East-German bridges. They were shook, and I was shook… That whole situation could have ended way worse!
T: That is why I am wearing the helmet.
After taking the time off, how hard was it to start skating and excuse the pun but how stuck in your mind was that situation?
T: It is still there, I actually don’t think of it like “I am wearing a helmet, this can’t happen again.” At the same time, it didn’t influence my skating that much either. At first, I was wobbly but more because of the time off. I was back to normal relatively fast and there were even some tricks that worked better with the helmet on (laughs).
Maybe it was also because, during my time off, I was thinking so much about skating. I would daydream about particular tricks. I was surfing the web for inspiration, I set up and shaped a new board, all while thinking about handplants. And those thoughts actually helped me learn the trick when I was able to get back on the board.
That reminds me of Paul Rodriguez talking about daydreaming in school about certain tricks down a loading dock. he would think about it so much that he felt he had learned them even before trying them down that thing.
Another thing my spies told me is that you always carry a radio with you?
T: Except today (laughs).
S & J: What!
T: But I have a setup on my bike which holds a radio and I have it set on 98.2 R.SA that is where they play the best music in Sachsen. They play 80s and 90s hits and Thursday they have this show called “rock circus” and on Saturdays, you have Maxi’s Maximale and there is nothing wrong with that (laughs).
It is something special, it is not like having a Bluetooth speaker, people experience radio differently. I always thought it helped me when the police would see me because they might think “let it go, it is a pensioner on his bike” because it is so old-school to have a radio on your bike.
T: Jonas actually damaged my little radio when he had too much to drink. It still works though, but ever since then, it has had its special needs.
By the way, I also have a “big radio” the ones they use on building sites. That one is also good for sessions, it has a longer runtime and it is way louder.
Sweet! I also heard you are a superintendent at a block of houses? Do the people living there recognize you because of the sounds coming from your radio?
T: That has happened (laughs). But I haven’t seen that many people there. I once helped an old lady find her dog. It is a nice job, I go past there anyway when I go to the city center, so, I take out the trash, sweep up and I am on my way. I actually have to go there after this interview.
Sounds like a sweet deal. Let’s focus on academics for a moment, what do you study?
T: I am studying sports and I am checking to see if I can switch to art school. I would have loved to have gone to arts directly but I kinda fucked up my entry test.
Will you be showing your custom boards there?
T: I don’t know, but yeah I make my own shapes from “uncuts” and after that is finished, I paint them and do some grip art. I like to have a different shape every time, I want to figure it out, “Where do I need to put my foot to do a kickflip?”. Also, if I look down I want to look at something nice.
Maybe the radio has kinda answered this question but are you the type of skater who likes to skate alone or in groups?
T: I would say I like to skate in groups but when my parents and I go on holiday I will google some stuff and go on an adventure around midday. Because I don’t live directly in the Leipzig city center but a bit outside of town I am used to skating alone. Hit a slappy curb or something, but I prefer to skate with people, you tend to be able to catch your breath a bit more (laughs).
True, skating alone is more like a workout.
You can blast your tunes on your headphones alone but in a crew that really doesn’t work.
That is why you bring the radio out! You also seem like the type of person to get the session started.
J: Til will often contact us to ask if there is a session or who is skating where. But he also will just go around and see what is going on. He likes to switch between crews. He will go to street spots and show people some tricks that aren’t normally done on those types of spots.
T: I might even bust out a tre flip!
S: I like the fact that he is open to it all! And in the bowl, he will stoke everybody to go 3 km/h faster and do better.
Sick, I also heard your mother was in the Olympics?
T: Yes, as a diver, in Atlanta, 1996, but the Russians and the Chinese were too good! She did well in the sport though, 3rd at the world cup. Sports where in our house, I am not the one to go jogging but she taught me to be flexible.
Didn’t you think of asking your mother to help you figure out handplants?
T: (laughs) She did actually teach me handstands. Both my parents support me skating, but they also don’t really know what it is. They did get worried after the slam and said “please don’t forget your helmet”.
That is cool, but they are not thinking, “Yo nice varial!”?
T: No, I think it is like if we would watch diving, we would be amazed by the flips, etc. but they really know what is what. Their level of understanding is comparable to that.
I understand, I would like to take a step back and go to music again, who chose the songs for this video?
T: That was decided by Jonas and myself during many nights where we ground through Youtube.
J: Til would swing by, even though he doesn’t live close by and credit to him, will ride back in the night whatever the weather. We would then drink some beers and play tunes and download the ones we like. I think we played through the entirety of Youtube (laughs).
And what about the spots? You have some cool ones in here. What are your favorites?
S: The huge ditch quarterpipe! That was so hard to find and to skate. It felt like a spot in EA Skate.
T: If the ground was even halfway decent you could do huge airs but because of the ground I needed a cruiser to even have enough speed. On a normal board, you could only get about halfway on the quarter.
S: Luckily I had my cruiser with me.
T: Fun fact is that we changed baseplates because I slid through my regular ones. You know when it is bad when the pivot cup pops out the front. So I forgot about it and did it on that rinky-dink cruiser. I was lucky that nothing popped out.
S: It could have turned out really poorly. By the way, Til is partial to full pipes, if we find one on google maps or something we do go there with Til in mind.
As you can tell by the footage, a good mix between park and street footage.
T: By the way, we want to give a shout-out to Jonathan, we loved his “Unsigned Hype” part! It was nice to see the tricks he did and I enjoyed seeing someone grab his board as much as I do!
That is cool, maybe we get lucky and do a RE-UP 2!
J: He should come to Leipzig and skate the Bambule bowl (laughs)
That would be sick. Well, I think I have asked it all, thank you, guys!
All: Thank you, for the opportunity and all.