Yes, Kaio! We have been skating with him a lot but finally we get to see his skating in a more diverse form. You probably wouldn’t expect it from him but he can by shy like that and he rather does what feels right than to show you what he actually can do on a skateboard. He’s got it all!
For our #63 issue we traveled to the city of angels to shoot an issue together with an eclectic group of people.
People ranging from Hyun Kummer a.k.a. @Versace_plug, Guy Mariano & Eric Koston, Nyjah Huston, Jim Greco & Mark Appleyard all added their 2 cents to our video and issue.
Kai Hillebrand or Kaio, as most people tend to call him, was one of our main protagonists for this issue and during the shooting, he once took us aside and asked if we could save some of the footage for another project. Well, we said yes, the project didn’t take off and now we decided to ask our filmer, Peter Buikema, to remix to footage.
Whether you are in Los Angeles right now, or his local Ratingen, Germany you should try and enjoy, relax and go skate afterward! We know Kaio would like all of you to follow these instructions to a tee.
So, a little earlier this month Nike hosted a day where the Skatehalle Berlin was opened up to the public and as you have come to expect from us we were there to show you, the public, what went down. A video recap is something we do quite often but because this was a special event we chose a different route, we chose you, the skaters, to document the event for us.
What was so special about this event? Well, it was part of the new “Just Do It” campaign which focusses on getting skaters skating, skaters talking and mainly skaters just being active, together.
Besides that, two local skaters are part of the campaign, Melika & Mobina Nazari, two girls who came to Berlin from Afganistan and are now a strong fixture in the Berlin skate scene. They became a part of skating through workshops and now they took the role of giving them, a proud moment.
Furthermore, we also gathered to session the Bowl in the Skatehalle. A bowl that has been there for the longest and is worth celebrating but is also worth updating and with people like Fernando Bramsmark, Farid Ulrich & David Bachl it is easy to see why an update is needed to raise the stakes.
So in the end, a temporary extension was brought in and Nando rang the bell which signaled a new day for the transition part of the Skatehalle. Now press play and see people race, fly, skate, DJ but most of all enjoy themselves.
adidas Skateboarding is closing their year of strong with this Paris video, To be honest, they have just the right balance when it comes to Euro – US team mates for a feat like this. Enjoy this little gem!
Heitor looks amazing in this but where is Dennis Busenitz, haven’t seem him in a minute.
Los Angeles is a town based on movie and television money, Hollywood is right there, it says so on the sign! So for us to present you with still photography only, would be a wasted opportunity. So we packed our cameras and filmed our own little video and here it is.
Featuring: Kai Hillebrand, Hyun “Versace_plug” Kummer, Michal Juraś, Kuba Brniak, Jonte Klahr and David Jakinda skating in and around LA LA Land.
It almost feels like the whole year the echo of the adidas Away Days video did not fall completely silent. Now as it finally went online on youtube also the remaining small group of people that might not have seen it yet (if there are still any) have the chance to watch it. We talked with Patrick Zentgraf about how he together with his friends Kai Hillebrand and Sandro Trovato got the honor to play a small part in such a big project and what it meant to him personally.
Interview by Roland Hoogwater
Photos by Danny Sommerfeld
How did it happen that you and three of your German Adidas teammates got tricks in the Away Days video?
About a half a year ago Torsten Frank got a message from the people over at Adidas, the idea was that Kai (Hillebrand), Sandro (Trovato) and me would all film one trick for the Away Days video.
Do you know why did they choose you guys?
Some of the american guys over at Adidas had heard about us and I guess they liked what they saw.
Basically we often skate, tour and chill together so they wanted to catch that vibe by including us in his part. On the other hand it could be that it is because of Adidas’s German roots and they needed some Germans to show that (laughs)
Do you know in what part of the video you will be in?
Well as I said we all skate together so our tricks will be in Lem Villemin’s part, not to fill the timeline but to show the kind of flavour we have together. It is not just a trick though we also landed in Lem’s intro, you see us pushing through downtown Frankfurt together. Lem really liked the idea as well so we started filming some tricks and along the way Torsten would comment on our trick and as the video progressed he basically started to give us more of an idea what kind of tricks would fit well with Lem’s footage.
So what direction did Torsten give you?
Go tech (laughs).
I heard that you also met some of the higher ups.
Yeah! I met some of the higher ups at Adidas we talked for a bit and they told me you get what you deserve if you put the work in so to then be given such a golden opportunity is something I wanted to give my all for.
So did this opportunity change your attitude and motivate you?
I am just really thankful to have this chance and I feel really good about being able to have a trick in a major video but at the same time I don’t think my expectations changed, I mean it would be nice to turn am but in the end I’ll just take it as it comes and keep it moving.
Since I wanted to write this article as authentic as possible, I decided to travel to the town of Essen in order to get to know every single one of the guys behind Europe Co. and also get an idea of their everyday lives. Essen is part of the so-called Ruhr Valley, a region situated in the west of Germany that consists of several larger cities located really close to one another; including towns such as Dortmund, Bochum, Duisburg and more. Thanks to their close proximity, you can easily switch between the cities in a minimal amount of time via train, which in turn unlocks an almost unlimited abundance of spots. The urban areas all have this rather modern architectural character with high-rise buildings, strict geometrical forms, and lots of concrete, steel, and glass. The cityscape tends to change at every street corner from snug to rough, from rich to poor, from vibrant green to gloomy gray. As I learned on my visit, this is exactly the environment the Europe Co. is rooted in.
The main man behind Europe Co. is Niels Reimann. He designs all the graphics for the clothes, films and edits all the clips, and takes care of the daily business. During my three-day visit, I stayed with him and Deo Katunga. The two share an apartment in Rüttenscheid, a really pleasant district of Essen with smaller houses, parks, cafes, and restaurants. What really struck me was the fact that Niels has been doing all the Europe Co. stuff and all the filming for only a mere one-and-a-half years at this point. Before that, he was producing beats and also released a cassette on a French label called Cindys Tapes. As we were sitting in Niels’ room watching some snippets of the upcoming Europe Co. video called autobahn – and Niels also showing me some of the music he made years ago – I understood that he has a certain intuition to know what fits well together and what doesn’t. This is actually reflected in all of his creative work.
What I really enjoyed about the Europe Co. guys is that they all seem to be one big family that I also quickly felt belonging to in a way. Most of the guys have been friends and skating together for many years already. It was also great to see how a motivated group of ten to 15 people would go out skating every day trying to get some clips. I personally have not filmed anything for almost three years now and suddenly got super hyped to try a guest line for their video as well. Unfortunately, I did not manage to roll away but still they brought back a feeling, which I thought I had lost some time ago – the joy of going out there and producing something. Which, of course, can be the most fun you can have with the right people around you. Speaking of people, almost everybody in the Europe gang goes by one or sometimes several nicknames, which made it really hard for me to learn all their names and sometimes almost impossible to follow their conversations. Luckily, Niels helped me out with this cheat sheet:
The G (Georg Anders), P Body (Philipp Bieronski), Pablo (André De Matos), Kicki (Yannick Skornik), Kaio (Kai Hillebrand), Pichl/Krishna/Skkinz (Matthias Pichl), Milky (Deo Katunga), The Coach (Timo Meiselbach), Bifi (Stefan Granitza), Kuyt (Florian Nass), Biber (Marius Paradies), Vman/Vitzke (Kevin Vietzke), Zyllek (Marcel Zylka), and Ching Chong (David Czichon).
Philipp Bieronski – Crooked
Don’t Fuck With The G!
On the day I arrived in Essen, Niels and Kuyt picked me up at the central station and we took the train to Dortmund – only half an hour in the same direction I came from – to meet with the rest of the gang. Nothing unusual really happened, until a character known as The G appeared at the spot. Without greeting anyone he went straight over to some guy and snapped his board, which resulted in a short verbal fight with heavy insults while everyone else was just watching the show. A few seconds later, The G introduced himself to me with a big friendly smile as if nothing of what just transpired had really happened. It turned out that the other guy had cheated him out of a serious amount of money, wrecked the door of his car, and did several other uncool things. Since then, The G snaps his board whenever he sees him at a spot. A little later, the other guy came back with his gang trying to raise a quarrel. But in the end, nothing happened because nobody really wants to have a fistfight with The G, I guess…
Deo Katunga – BS 360
Kevin Vietzke – Crooked
The First-Try Guy
The Europe Co. definitely, has a strong crew that truly never goes home unless somebody gets a serious trick. I was really surprised by how much footage they produced within the few days I stayed with them. But still, one guy stuck out the most during the time I have been with them: Deo Katunga. I don’t want to waste your time with all the empty phrases that could be doled out at this point. But just believe me, this kid definitely has something special going on. Whatever spot we went to, he was like: “Yo, first try!” And even if he never really got a trick first try, he still made almost every trick within the first five or six tries. So after he piqued my interest, I soon began to like this weirdo and we naturally started talking about his roots, life, and dreams. Which is, at least to my mind, reason enough to bring a little conversation I had with him into this article more on that later today.
“Ruhrpott” is in the building! The Europe Co. just released their brandnew and highly anticipated full length called autobahn, which is absolutely one of the top videos this year. Niels Reimann’s creative mind did a great job and the soundtrack choices are on point as well. So be ready to get sparked!
Featuring Kevin Vietzke, Timo Meiselbach, Max Matthias, Matthias Pichl, Kai Hillebrand, Florian Nass, André De Matos, Philipp Bieronski, David Czichon, Georg Anders, Stefan Granitza, Marcel Zylka, Deo Katunga, Tim Thomas, Sasha Gro, Dennis Laaß, Filip Labovic and Danny Goodman.
…And you should. There is a thin line between plagerizing and drawing inspiration. Generally, you should ask yourself if you’ve already crossed that line, but rather focus on what is best for your work by naturally developing content, material, and ideas in the process of production. But even if you take an abstract idea and articulate it, putting it in your on words, you will always find people that will see what other work or artist your piece is inspired by.
Our very own Danny Sommerfeld took the idea of David Hockney’s photographic collages and brought it into our world, which is that of skateboarding. While some seem to lose themselves in the photograph, others will always think of hockney’s famous works of classical L.A.: Backyard pools, open roads and cars. As such, in every image you encounter over the next few pages, you’ll also find a little Hockney. And like any other idea you have, there is always someone who might have thought the same, though one way or another, somewhat differently. Even your masters have found their inspiration in other works, just as Hockney sought inspiration from Picasso’s early cubism pieces. He took this idea and brought it into the world of photography.
Take your time to find the beauty in every shot and maybe you’ll find some little hints here and there – odes to photographic masters of yesterday, perhaps some pieces of inspiration for the artists of tomorrow. Nothing is absolutely perfect or unique. Here is to David Hockney:
by Daniel Pannemann
Photos: Danny Sommerfeld
Friends – Bremen, 2016
Farid Ulrich – Betonhausen Berlin, 2016
Johannes Schirrmeister – Alexanderplatz Berlin, 2016
Adidas Skateboarding recently introduced the new Lucas Premiere ADV. As Lucas is injured pretty bad at the moment, he decided to invite the whole European Adidas riders to his hometown Toulouse to have a good time, which then resulted in some impressive skateboarding as well. We wish Lucas a quick recovery!
I guess if you call your company Europe Co. you can’t just hang out in Germany, right? A possible motivation for the guys to make this little trip to the French capital. Even though the footy in this clip is good, we are pretty sure that the best of the best was saved for Europe’s upcoming release Autobahn, so check the vibe and get ready for their next big project.
adidas is a company with German roots, so it is only logical that the German guys made their own clip for the Berlin Away Days premiere. This clip definitely has its highlights, with people like Sandro performing a very nice tech-gnar move. All in all Tjark Thielker, Paddy Zentgraf, Valeri Rosomako, Kai Hillebrand, Phil Anderson and some new talent all come through!
This summer PLACE and adidas Skateboarding proudly present the international #3stripesatnight video contest. So set your alarm clock, get out your camera light and go cruise the empty night streets. All you need to do to enter this contest is to produce a clip at night, your clip can be 30 seconds long (maximum) and can consist of either lines, single tricks and some other nightly scenes. The night time is the right time, so try to create and capture the atmosphere of the night. Upload the video to your Instagram account, using #3stripesatnight while also tagging @placemag and @adidasskateboarding That’s it – all entries get the chance to win amazing prices. We’ll choose the 3 winners and repost your video in the PLACE Instagram channel.
Part 1: Kai Hillebrand
Stuttgart’s brand new and pretty nice looking indoor skatepark got inaugurated with the premiere of the Adidas Away Days video followed by an open skate session with the German team riders Kai Hillebrand, Patrick Zentgraf, Daniel Ledermann and Sandro Trovato.
After several premieres all across Germany finally the new TPDG 2016 video is also online accessible now!
I know Danny Sommerfeld for quite some time now and I can tell that he is a perfectionist in the purest manner. Everything he dedicates himself to has to go through a long lasting process of re-thinking over and over again.
Having said that, it is not surprising that he left the edit in the talented hands of his long-time confidant, Gerrit Piechowski, and chose Figub Brazlevic, who is one of Berlin’s finest producers, for the musical accompaniment. Eventually, TPDG 2016 is a skateboard video that provides a very own vibe – the Top Dog Vibe – which one could already have experienced in the previous video, Street Jazz.
You have heard enough! So gather the homies, put your smart phone away, turn on your boombox, and hit the play button!