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Krak report: 5T X Vans @ Republique

Last Saturday the boys from the “Cinquième terrasse” (also known as 5T) held a hectic best trick contest at republique. With the help of Vans they set up a kicker next to a picnic table and blasted some music for one of the best Saturday afternoon at Republique!

 

Here is the video report of the contest. As for the afterparty, you’ll excuse us for the lack of media but just know that it was intense, and that what happens in a Vans X 5T party stays at the party.

Risto Petkov
Interview

Founders Interview: Risto Petkov of Stinky Socks

What‘s the story behind the company? When did you start?
Everything started from our Ninja Squad crew, a bunch of us that would hang and ride together. That started around 2002. Then around 2008, we started NS Distribution, just because we couldn’t find brands that related to us on the market here in Bulgaria. We had a bunch of sponsors, but they were just making us rep stuff that we didn’t like. So we started to distribute a couple brands like Ashbury Eyewear and Airblaster outerwear from US to Bulgaria and it was fun. So in 2011, we thought that we might as well just start something that is ours and that represents how we see snowboarding and skateboarding, and that’s how Stinky Socks was born.

Why did you focus on snowboarding/skateboarding?
I would say because it’s what we know, and it’s what makes us feel alive. I don’t know anything about golf or basketball, and really don’t want to mess with fields that don’t relate to us. When we work on Stinky we get inspired by what we do in our actual life. It represents us and what we are.

Why socks?
Well we were poor kids and we wanted to have a brand that’s related to snowboarding and skateboarding. So pressing boards or making trucks wouldn’t work for us, ‘cause we didn’t have the funds. Making t-shirts and hats also wasn’t an option, because everyone does that and we weren’t as good as the rest of the competition. So that is how we ended up with socks. Also, we wanted to be a global brand, and shipping around the world can be quite expensive, so we needed something really small and cool.

What inspired the name?
We wanted to have a name that is both related to the product and has meaning in Bulgarian and English. It does sound pretty impossible. We all know what Stinky means in English which relates to the product, but in Bulgarian, “stinky” is a slang word for change (quarters and dimes), so we thought that’d be cool.

Socks are so important for skateboarders/snowboarders. What makes Stinky Socks good for riders?
Stinky is good for everyone! We do have a unique treatment of the yarn that makes the sock softer and at the same time keeps your feet fresh for longer. We also have a special anti-moisture treatment that removes the moisture from your feet if you are an active person.

What’s more important, function or fashion?
I’m not much of a fashion person, I prefer the word ‘style’. It’s perfect when there is a good mix; good function and still stylish.

Do you have plans to expand to underwear or are you only focused on socks for now?
We will stay a sock only brand, we don’t want to lose focus on our one product. We are always down to run collabs with other brands, so that will give us some experience with other products. But that’s it for now.

As a brand, what does Stinky Socks value?
We value the people that support us, and the people that are part of our family. We would do everything for them. It doesn’t matter if the brand gains any profit as long as we are able to help a friend.

You use the term ‘family’ often. What does it mean to you?
It means a lot, as cheesy as it may sound, but we are family with the people that are part of Stinky. I care about everyone that’s involved in Stinky and I really want them to know that. And I for sure hate the word “team” and I really wanted to use something else. Teams are in basketball, soccer, or at the Olympics.

Speaking of the Olympics, do you think that skateboarding is ready for the world stage?
The Olympics was a good idea initially when it was created, but that was centuries ago. Now it’s just a bunch of corruption and trying to make money. I don’t back the Olympics at all, never been a competition guy and I don’t think skateboarding has a spot at this event. I’d rather watch a game of S.K.A.T.E at the plaza, that’s for sure a better show for me.

I hear you and Lucas Beaufort are friends.. how did you meet?
I actually met him at a trade show in Berlin, 5 or 6 years ago. But I think we were emailing a couple of years before that. One of my friends introduced me to his art and then I think I bought one of Lucas’ first books. He personally sent me a “thank you” email and I got stoked, and that’s how it started I guess.

How do you relate to the DEVOTED documentary?
I was contributing with a few of my friends here in Bulgaria a while ago, helping them with some stuff while they were producing a snowboarding print magazine. So I know what it takes to make a good magazine and how much effort it takes. On the other side, I still remember the mid 90s when the only information that we were able to get from the snowboarding/skateboarding industry was through the magazines. And believe me, those days there would only be one copy of a magazine in my town, and if you are the last one to get it, it was likely that all the pages would be ripped off already and hung on someone’s wall. So definitely the magazines and the VHS tapes were our source of inspiration and that was what formed us. Not only as snowboarders, but as people.

Devoted x Stinky Socks

Devoted x Stinky Socks

What are your thoughts on printed media in skateboarding?
Honestly, it was hard in 90s to get a magazine out here in Bulgaria. Right now, it’s still not so easy to get a copy of a magazine here. We are just nowhere for the skateboarding scene, and that sucks. That’s what we are trying to change with Stinky; trying to put Bulgaria on the map, at least for snowboarding.  

Is it any different in snowboarding? Is snowboarding media in the same position?
Unfortunately, it is in the same position. Since last Summer, NS distribution is the company that distributes the oldest snowboarding magazine (Method Mag) in Europe to Europe, Asia and North America. I really hope we can help out that industry and make sure the mag gets in the hands of more kids. It’s free at local shops; you just need to go and grab it, and that’s really good.

As a brand founder, what do you think about printed media? Would you be ready to pay for a full ad tomorrow? Why?
It means a lot to me, ‘cause I grew up with magazines and that’s part of me. Nowadays, everything has changed. I would pay for sure if my brand can afford it, I won’t hesitate at all. But I would love to see the magazines push themselves a step further to create unique, meaningful content with value in it, for sure. We all need to adapt to the current way of consuming and I don’t think that’s a bad thing, as long as we can create stuff and stay true to what we believe in.

Strange Brew, Yawgoons, Trash League, Gremlinz, Ninja Squad, Too Hard.. I’m going to put you on the spot here: Which crew has the best style? Last to leave the party?
That’s a tough one! We had most of those dudes here in Bulgaria this winter. We invited a lot of them to join us here and film for our first Stinky snowboarding movie, so we spent two weeks traveling and partying around the country. It was a blast, because pretty much none of them had ever been in Bulgaria before. So they all party way too hard, and snowboard way too good.

What would be your biggest advice for the readers who’d want to start a brand/company?
Be yourself, don’t feel bad to be different and be constant in that.

We are posted up in Boulder, Colorado for the next few months. What is your relationship with this town?
I used to live close to Boulder when I spent a season in Breckenridge ten years ago, and it was fun for sure. I think it’s a good spot; really good nature, I think 99% of the population there is into outdoor sports so that’s really good. They also have cool bars, the Satellite Skate Shop looks good too. I hope we can sell Stinky there one day.

Who would you be more stoked to see wearing your socks, Shaun White or Danny Way?
I’ll get stoked on both as long as they go to a local skate shop and buy them. Justin Mayer, who’s the greatest producer/filmer in snowboarding in my opinion, said once “I like poor snowboarders”. This is what I think as well. I don’t necessarily dislike them but I don’t really care about “athletes” and don’t really know much about those kinds of  “extreme sports famous people”. Does that make any sense?

It sure does.

 

Are you a subscriber of KrakBox? Sign up your friends and they will receive a free DEVOTED KrakBox Capsule with a special pair of Stinky Socks (SS ’18 Line out now!). Sign up 3 friends and get a free Krak deck! Want to get your hands on a copy of the next printed KrakMag? Want to receive epic skateboarding product every two months? Check out the KrakBox now!

Nomad Skateboards -Jeff Luque
Interview

Founder’s Interview: Ivan of Nomad Skateboards

The following interview was originally featured in the printed KrakMag issue 15 that shipped with KrakBox in August 2017. Want to get your hands on a copy of the next printed KrakMag? Want to receive epic skateboarding product every two months? Check out the KrakBox now!

I’m not sure everyone knows where Zaragoza is actually, and how big it is too. Could you give us some quick/general background info about your city please?
Zaragoza is the fifth biggest city in Spain, with nearby 800,000 inhabitants and with a strategic location (3 hours from Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Bilbao), represents one of the Spanish main capitals. We have a huge ecclesiastic tradition, which means tons of marble spots but unfortunately they are surrounded by cops daily. We have huge heat in summer, and crazy wind in winter!

Are you from there originally? If yes, how was it growing up there? If no, where are you from initially and when and why did you move in Zaragoza?
I come from a small town up in the north of the mountains called Les. 600 people live there and it is the closest place from paradise… It’s just 4km far from France, so basically I grew up half in Spain, and half in the French school, where I started skating with my friends. When I was 18 I just wanted to visit bigger cities and skate, I decided to fly out from my parents house and I met some friends from the skate scene from Zaragoza. At that time the skateboarding scene from Zaragoza was GREAT… f_ck that was 21 years ago!

How do we call people from Zaragoza?
Maños! Greatest Spanish hearts, really nice people.

Nomad Skateboards -Jeff Luque

Jeff Luque, switch heelflip. Photo: Antonio Castillejo

How would you describe the skate scene in Zaragoza?
Early 2000 the scene was boiling, we were sticking all together and we used to travel around other cities, by bus, by train, squatting on ATM´s, under the mini ramp, picnic, wherever… just focused on skating and parties. Unfortunately the town hall from our city decided to kick out the skaters from the spots and skateboarding suddenly became almost “forbidden”. Anyone who has been in our city understands what I mean… Actually the scene is smaller, there is a big gap between my generation and the newcomers, nowadays once kids are able to move they just goes to Barcelona or Madrid, so it does not help to keep the hype in our spots.

We’re talking about Spain after all so my guess is, weather wise, you’re pretty much able to skate all year long is that right?
Yeah, if you compare to other countries we are really lucky weather wise, however in August you want to take your nap till 6pm cause with over 40 degrees it’s not recommended to go out! In our cold and windy winter you can always find a spot to get covered.

That being said, when is the best period of the year to come and experience your city?
From April to July. Perfect weather. The perfect complement will be the best beer in the region. Let me know when you guys land so I can fill half of my fridge with Ambar 😉

First plaza and/or street spot no one should miss when in the city?
The Auditorium. It has perfect marble benches, perfect marble floor, it’s covered and has street lamps for your night sesh. The only issue is that it’s a “russian roulette”. You can spend two days skating non stop or be kicked out in five minutes.

Nomad Skateboards - Vladimir Ivanov

Vladimir Ivanov, b/s nosegrind nollie b/s heel out. Photo: Ivaylo Donchev

I should have started with this maybe but who are you, Ivan?
I am the orchestra man on the back of Nomad!

When did you start skateboarding and how? Do you have any early-days type of anecdote?
Around ‘92 there was a skate boom in my hometown. My best friends bought their first skateboards and I was always sneaking on their tricks to catch their boards and cruise or try something. I have 5 brothers so after pressing my parents they could just afford to buy a “Holy Sport” skateboard I made it to mix some other parts with friends and I ended having something proper! Just a few VHS videos were within the community and we were meeting after the school to see the videos and then go out and skate. That was hella fun…

Now that you manage a brand, do you still take time to skate as much as you’d like?
With 39 years unfortunately not. I run also my skate shop and work on a real estate company from UK, but I keep playin’ flat and cruising with my 7 years old kid as much as I can, he’s my motivation and my best ever session mate.

Nomad Skateboards - Miguel Sanchez

Miguel Sanchez, switch f/s flip. Photo: Ian Paulo Rodriguez

You launched Nomad in 2001!!! Wow, I have to say it man: I’m really impressed, big up! We were happy to celebrate our 2 years a little while ago but still, 16 years, that’s another level haha! Much respect.
There was a long road! Good periods and also really bad moments, but I have learned so much from everyone. “Stars can’t shine without darkness.”

How was it in Spain skateboarding wise back then? Everyone only bought the US brands, I guess? Cliché was already around in France for sure, but I don’t know about Spain actually…
Yup, we were buying all US brands, which were landing after several distributors at unaffordable prices. Cliché was there pretty quick, for sure my reference number one, MUCH RESPECT to them. Still cannot believe what happened…

And how was it to be the first brand in Spain? Did you benefit from much love and support from the community? Were people were stoked to have a local brand or not really, in fact?
I must say that we had total support from the community and skate shops. We grew up really quick within the first years, I would say even too quick for a young kid as I was!

Nomad Skateboards - Cristian Delgado

Cristian Delgado, b/s tailslide flip to fakie. Photo: Ian Paulo Rodriguez

Tell us some early anecdotes around Nomad, we love these kinda stories.
I started buying a few tees and 50 decks in the states. I was going out with my VW van selling the boards from the back of my van to the skate shops, and with the cash we were replacing orders. That was funky business! Our first tour was supposed to be the North of Spain with that van. We were my 40kg dog, 5 guys and my ex wife. In the middle of the journey we ran out of money already and the tour was over! But those days were unforgettable: great sessions, flamenco music at night and tons of laughs 24/7…

Where does the name come from?
From all the nomad souls we all have inside, the necessity to move and travel around seeking for new spots.

Who’s on the team?
Actually newcomers/killers from Europe, a few from our OG´s, and the best of all: good friends. OG Jeff Luque (SP), OG Shinichi Yamada (JP), OG Sasha Tushev (RU), Miguel Sánchez (SP), Cristian Delgado (SP), Niki Diaz (SP), Vladimir Ivanov (BG).

Nomad Team in Tenerife

Nomad Team in Tenerife

What do you think about the current Spanish scene, both on the brands/business angle and on the riders/skaters one?
In terms of skateboarding, Spain is blowing up. The level is growing exponentially and soon it will be reflected internationally. Business wise, the industry is suffering a lot, but that’s also a reflection of our economy. We’re still struggling after the financial crisis which destroyed, literally, the country. We were almost out of business in 2012, but we had distribution internationally and thanks to this, my friends at MDCN who hook me up, and four jobs at once that I was running, I was able to get back on board. Nowadays we keep pushing and we are living a great #rebirth. I feel really lucky and proud of my fam who always trusted on me.

About the European scene?
Well I would say the same… on both.

Typically are you happy to see more and more European brands popping up pretty much everywhere across the continent?
Yes! It helps to keep the scene alive, but I believe that there should be some “rules” that should be respected, concurrence is good, always. That is healthy…

Do you have a favorite top 3?
Cliché 4ever, Isle and Sour.

Nomad Skateboards - Jeff Luque

Jeff Luque, nollie b/s heel. Photo: Victor Calvo

We mainly see videos from Barcelona; is it hard for the other cities in Spain to exist next to such a big hub? Or is it an opportunity, in fact?
Honestly, I prefer that other cities stay off the radar… if you ever come to Spain, visit Madrid, Málaga or Valencia, and be welcome to heaven.

At what time did you start to expand outside Spain? Europe first I guess, but how did you choose the countries?
Our first export was France, that was 2003 or something like that… BIG UP TO THE GUYS AT BUD Skateshop; they were running a core distribution company and we started selling there. After some trips to ISPO Munich and meeting some friends, the rest came organically.

What was the process for a brand like yours when you decided to expand?
QUALITY / PASSION / SERVICE / FRIENDSHIP, then let it flow.

Nomad Skateboards- Cristian Delgado

Cristian Delgado, 360 Flip. Photo: Sergio Del Rey

We were freaking proud to be the first one to introduce your decks in the US and Canada; you will then launch Nomad in May, is that right?
Yeah! We have been so hyped to land under your wings. We love the Krak concept and it always helps to work and support a skate operated business.
In May we will have a distribution platform with my good friend Justin from Generator Distribution, which will deliver to USA and South America. And in Canada soon under Control MFG wings also. Sean from control saw the potential of Nomad and we will be crossing North America soon!

Why have you waited 16 years before expanding in North America?
We were trying to cover Europe and Russia, and honestly USA was too big for us. After we made it out of the crisis, let’s say we broke lot’s of mental barriers we had and now we want to share #thenomadfamily vibes worldwide and we found great friends to share that path so, what else!?

From another angle: was it really necessary to expand there? Did you hesitate, honestly? Could you share the rationale behind this move?
We have a great connection with South America, we have got distribution in Chile, Peru, Venezuela, but export taxes and shipping were always a break to keep growing. Our friends at Generator gave us the solution, and as I said, the rest just flowed.

Beyond Europe & now North America, is Nomad available somewhere else in the world?
We have been distributed in Japan for more than a decade. Hideo Sakuragi, who was one of the first Japanese sponsored skaters in USA after making the American skate dream, went back home and settled his own distribution company. He has been pro on Nomad for 5 years, and he kept supporting us since day one. Russia also since 2007, and in 2008 we did our first tour which was so fun in St Pete and Moscow. China for 3 years already. My friends Luke and David run a great company there and are doing amazing things to grow the scene there.

Nomad Skateboards - Vladimir Ivanov

Vladimir Ivanov, kickflip. Photo: Ivaylo Donchev

What are the plans for the near future?
Have fun and learn daily.

And the next 16 years, tell us…
See my kid having fun skating and keep Nomad alive!

You can’t imagine how happy and proud we are to partner with such brands like Nomad that literally contributed and wrote our skateboarding story here in Europe. Long live Nomad 😉
THANKS Krakbox for keeping the good vibes within that marvellous world, and THANKS for being the first ones trusting in our dreams! NOMAD X KRAK CONSPIRACY!

Nomad Skateboards - Miguel Sanchez

Miguel Sanchez, tail drop. Photo: Antonio Castillejo

Cover image: Jeff Luque, crooked. Photo: Astur

SKRAP Sunglasses
Interview

Founder’s Interview: SKRAP’s Chris Anderson

The following interview was originally featured in the printed KrakMag issue 14 that shipped with the July 2017 KrakBox. Want to get your hands on a copy of the next printed KrakMag? Want to receive epic skateboarding product every two months? Check out the KrakBox now!

Could you introduce yourself briefly?
Sure thing, my name’s Chris Anderson and I’m the owner of SKRAP. I live in Ottawa Ontario Canada with my wife and 4 year old daughter. Love to be in nature, camping on a river and paddling white water rapids in the summer or having some fun skiing and snowboarding in our Canadian winters!

What is Skrap? How was it born? I heard this deck recycling thing came up during a trip with your wife in beautiful Nova Scotia; tell us more about it!
This all started when I was on a little vacation years ago, found a great little skate shop that was selling rings made from recycled skateboards. I thought this was such a cool idea from an artist perspective as well as environmentally. I love the idea of reusing something that would otherwise end up in a landfill. So when I got home I decided to see if I could make one, and I did. At the time I was a front-end web developer and an idea to build an online marketplace specifically for artist creating their work from recycled skateboards became all I could think about and I started trying to build one. In the end it proved to be way too much work for just me around all the rest of the things in life, but what came out of it was a lot of notice and I was introduced to a few very important people including Kevin Harris from Ultimate Distribution and Bones Brigade. After many discussion with Kevin along with many other very helpful folks I was persuaded to see if instead of a marketplace could we come up with a recycled skateboard brand that could see top quality products to a large North American market. This is where SKRAP was born! We spent the next couple years sourcing broken/recycled skateboard decks in volume and creating the best products that we could all created here in North America!

SKRAP wallet

Who else works on Skrap?
I have a great team here in Ottawa!

Where do you collect the damaged boards from?
We create products out of skateboards as well as snowboards and have partnered with local skate shops, distribution companies, ski hills (like Banff, Fernie etc.) and manufacturers across the US and Canada.

What products do you make today?
Our top selling products are our skateboard sunglasses and our snowboard wallets! We also make coasters, keychains, bottle openers, cufflinks, belts, rings and earrings! We also have an amazingly exciting new product coming in August but I can’t reveal it just yet, so stay tuned!

What’s the process?
Collecting the material (skateboards and snowboards) is a large part of the process, the next step is to degrip the skateboards. After that we have a CNC machine as well as laser engraving machines to cut and brand our products. The biggest step to finishing any of our products is the sanding! There’s just no way around it, there is a tonne of sanding 🙂

Could you share a picture of what your workshop looks like? We’re damn curious!

SKRAP workshop

What’s the craziest creation you’ve made out of a skateboard?
Again, coming in August but I can’t reveal it just yet, so stay tuned! 🙂

That coffee table was insanely cool! Was it yours?
No, amazing though isn’t it! This was created by another great Canadian shop called adrianmartinus, check them out on Instagram.

What has been your biggest challenge since you started?
Our goal was always a lofty one. We wanted to build a brand that could be sold around the world but always staying true to the original goal of using 100% recycled/used or broken skateboards and snowboards. This is a huge challenge, but so rewarding. Of course it would be much easier to have products created overseas that might claim ‘reclaimed’ but in reality they are just taking good skateboard veneer or boards off the line and turning them straight into a new product. So long story short, our biggest challenge is creating strong relationships with great people and businesses that will help build our recycle program with their old boards.

The most exciting moment/The proud moment?
Every time you create something new! Every piece is unique and that makes it a constant joy.

What are the things you enjoy most in life?
Being with my family in the bush. Just finding time to get into the woods and get away from everything is so important for me.

What are your ambitions for SKRAP?
We hope to keep building our recycle programs and perfecting our line of products as we grow.

What can we wish you?
Fun it the sun this summer! 😉

Liked this interview? Check out the print KrakMag in each KrakBox for more great content!

 

 

cOLLAPSe – Greg Poissonnier
Interview

Founder’s Interview: Greg Poissonnier of cOLLAPSe

If you don’t know Greg Poissonnier yet, here’s your chance to fix it. We’d include him easily in the French OG list.

Pro-snowboarder first, he now lives in Hossegor (South West part of France) and his pool-skills are still on point. No question he’s truly in love with skateboarding. Judge for yourself: he founded cOLLAPSe Skateboards few years ago; he’s in charge of the Red Bull Skateboarding content for France & Benelux; he’s the editor of the french skateboarding website Dammn.fr; he’s involved (and still commentates) a lot of skateboarding events; he distributes Muckefuck Urethane wheels in France… and the list goes on!

Greg was the first one to introduce the KrakBox concept in France and now we’re psyched to partner with him and include some very special cOLLAPSe products. Big up. k.

cOLLAPSe – Matt Débauché

Matt Débauché, B/S nosebluntslide. Photo: Clément Le Gall

When did you launch cOLLAPSe?
cOLLAPSe skateboards saw the light on the 12th of august 2011 (the day we received the first batch of boards). We created it with my friend Boul Rostan (he’s not involved anymore…), he’s an artist, a video maker, photographer, tattoo artist, and he skates a bit. He was really into the idea of expressing his art on boards and as I’m working in the skate industry (Gravis/Analog marketing manager back then), we thought we could try to launch our own little company with no other goal than making something we like. To this day, I’m still running it for the fun with no expectations of making a living out of it!

What’s the story behind the name?
We were looking for a name that would sound cool in different languages, that was available and which possibly had a meaning. Us being around 40 years old when creating the brand and still playing on the wooden toy, we thought, “yeah it makes sense cause it looks like we’ll be skating until we collapse…”

cOLLAPSe – Romain Covolan

Romain Covolan, F/S rock. Photo: Clément Le Gall

Is it the first time you’ve played with your own logo?
In such an obvious way, yes.

What was the main reason behind that game?
Coming up with something different than we’d been doing so far. We’ve always had a logo deck in the range but I was getting tired of it and I wanted to come up with another logo. As I’m not creative enough I thought it’d be easier to steal an existing one 😉

cOLLAPSe – Pauliana Laffabrier

Pauliana Laffabrier, B/S smith. Photo: Clément Le Gall

How did you get the idea of the ‘tribute to Cliché’ one?
I was in the morning office (the one with the white pierced seat and no desk) reading a skate mag when i saw the Cliché “merci” sticker and thought it’d be awesome to use the same font for the next cOLLAPSe logo deck. And of course at the same time it would be a tribute to a brand (and crew/team) I have a massive respect for. These guys put French and European skateboarding on the map, which wasn’t really an easy task when you think about it! Unfortunately Dwindle decided to shut it down before its 20th anniversary but the legacy remains 😉

And how did it come to life then? who designed it? Was the original Cliché team involved?
So that same morning when I got to the office (the real one) I gave a call to Jérémie Daclin straight away explaining the idea I had in mind. I also told him that he should feel free to shut me down if he thought the idea sucked, but he liked it and gave me Rico’s contact (Eric Frenay) so he could help me with the design. I called him straight away and he also thought it was a rad idea so he basically created the board for us, just like it was a Cliché deck but with the cOLLAPSe word instead…thanks a lot guys!

What about your other logo, the ‘badaboum’ one? who designed it?
The artist behind the “badaboum” logo is a London based artist called Tom Guilmard, I got to meet him through my snowboarder friend Niels Schack. He took Tom to my office as he needed a board, he liked the deck and the brand imagery so he offered to work on some graphics. To be honest I wasn’t a super fan of the first graphics I saw and had a hard time visualizing them on decks, but then the graphics became more complete and when showing them to riders and friends they all thought the were super cool! The only guideline I gave him was to try finding something that would illustrate the cOLLAPSe word, that’s how he came up with that graphic and logo. Then when it came to find a name for the series, it reminded me a lot of that game called “Badaboum” that was around when i was a kid, as simple as that!

What’s your opinion about the logo diversion as a whole?
I’ve always liked it, I like logos – the skate industry always played with corporate companies logos, I think it’s cool. What makes me smile is when the skate industry feels offended when a corporate company does the same with a well known skate related logo, if you see what I mean!?


What are your future plans for the year?

We’ll be celebrating cOLLAPSe 6th anniversary in August, and as with every year, we’ll put an event together. The last couple years we had street events on the main beach and in the center of Hossegor (birth place of the brand). This year should be more transition driven, most probably in Biarritz’s “cité de l’ocean” rooftop bowl…then there’s a little video project based around Matt Débauché and a picnic table but he’s injured at the moment. And after that possibly our annual tour somewhere sunny and with a skateboarding friendly architecture!

Any must-do / -think for someone who wants to launch his/her own skateboarding brand?
Don’t think you’ll make a living out of it!

Thanks a lot for your time Greg. And your dedication to skateboarding for so long. I can tell you: you’re an inspiration for us. 

The following interview was originally featured in the printed KrakMag issue 14 that shipped with the Euopean KrakBox in July 2017. Want to get your hands on a copy of the next printed KrakMag? Want to receive epic skateboarding product every two months? Check out the KrakBox now!

Charles Collet. Photo: French Fred
Box

Behind the lens with French Fred

Fred Mortagne is a self ­taught french director and photographer, with his work focused mostly on skateboarding. His graphical and geometrical photography is almost exclusively shot in b&w, and focuses more on the aesthetics and style of the sport, rather than the performance, without leaving on the side the tasty action… and playing around a lot with architecture. Spending so much time out in the streets, Fred keeps a curious eye open for other interesting things in life’s happenings, and stands ready to capture those unique moments. His pictures are a feast of lines and angles, and his specific compositions, blending the skateboarders with their environment, make his skateboarding photography accessible to non-­skateboarders. As a result, in 2007, he won the first Red Bull Illume competition. For the last year and a half, Fred has been shooting a lot with the M Monochrome camera, and he is showing some of these pictures only on his Fotopark stream. But as a responsible photographer, he also makes sure to keep shooting with film, to maintain analogue’s photography and keep it’s magic alive.

Andrew Brophy. Photo: French Fred

Andrew Brophy, tre flip. Photo: French Fred

“This is one of my most significant pictures although it was shot when I had just started out as a photographer, back in 2004 during Cliché’s first Gypsy Tour for which I was the filmer. Back then, I seldom unpacked my camera from my bag. On that day in Geneva, I had noticed the graphic facade of this building, with these outside stairs. During a short break in our session, I quickly went up to see how it looked from above. It was cool, but I knew I only had a couple of minutes to try to shoot something. Based on my feeling and experience, I asked Andrew Brophy to try a flatground tre flip…. While Brophy has huge pop, shooting from above tends to flatten everything. So my focus was to capture his style with this photo, and I knew he was the perfect skater for such a shot. In less than 5 minutes, we got the shot. With this picture, I won the first edition of the Red Bull Illume contest. It was worth taking those few minutes to shoot a flatground trick!”

Charles Collet. Photo: French Fred

Charles Collet. Photo: French Fred

“This picture of Charles Collet is actually “linked” to the one of Andrew Brophy as Leica (partner at the Red Bull Illume edition back in 2012), had lent me the M Monochrom camera to shoot and participate in this contest, and these very pictures were my entries. I only had a couple of weeks to shoot pictures with enough character and personality for the contest. I had planned a session on that beautiful Sunday in May, but almost everyone ended up bailing on me. Only Charles was still down, but he was alone, which is never ideal when you go skate and shoot photos. We didn’t really know what to do, where to go… I thought again of this spot 35 minutes away from Lyon. We both said to each other “come on, let’s go, we’ll see…” And the sesh turned out to be magical. The light was beautiful, the spot was quiet, and despite it being a bust, we still managed to shoot 3 great pictures that I am really proud of. Two out of these three ended up in the semi-final, and in the top 250 (out of over 50 000 pictures!!!). Here again, sixth sense and experience played a big part in the game!”

This article was originally featured in the printed KrakMag issue 1 that shipped with our very first KrakBox. Want to get your hands on a copy of the next printed KrakMag? Want to receive epic skateboarding product every two months? Check out the KrakBox now!

Interview

Happy Shit: Danny Duncan’s Interview

A resume of the following interview was originally featured in the print Krak Mag issue 5 that shipped with KrakBox #5 in December 2015. Don’t want to miss the next issue of the print Krak Mag? Want to receive epic skateboarding product every two months? Check out the KrakBox now!

I firstly discovered Danny through his youtube channel. His enthusiasm and energy instantly caught my attention. Then I was amazed by his personal story and hard dedication. As we launched the KrakBox we quickly decided to send one to him in order to benefit from his feedback. Danny has always been responsive, kind, and was hungry to help. Below is a funny unboxing video he made with the first KrakBox we sent.

I’m super happy he took the time to talk with me on the phone (at 2am haha!) and told us a little bit more about his life. And made us laugh obviously. k.

K: Hey Dan, thanks for doing this. I’ve noticed you’re in LA for a couple of months. Where are you based?
I just couch-surf. I leave my clothes at one of my friend’s place; leave everything there; so I usually stay there or like I stay with girls. I use Tinder to meet a bunch of girls and stay at girls’ houses; I stay at Chris’ house every once in a while too.

Sounds cool. Tinder as a free Airbnb. That’s a smart tactic.
Yeah exactly. I wanna try to do a documentary style video about it. Could be pretty cool.

Definitely. Can you tell our readers more about yourself?
I’m Danny Duncan. I like to skate, have fun, make jokes and laugh. I guess that’s pretty about it. In short: I like to fuck around and laugh a lot haha!

Dan_bike

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Englewood, FL.

How was it?
Fun. It was amazing. I have more like a redneck family so I got to do a lot of cool shit that most kids don’t get to do. I was always outside fucking around, climbing in trees, grabbing the neighbors titties and playing sports. I got to ride four wheelers, dirt bikes, go karts, go fishing, camping, shoot guns, paintballing, and I had the freedom to do whatever I wanted because my mom trusted me so much it was awesome. I was involved in athletics my whole life, try to be a good athlete.

Based on where you come from, how actually did you get into skateboarding?
One of my friend started skating and gave me one of his board. He gave me a free complete when I was like 13. And he was like my best friend at this time so I started skating with him a little bit. And then a kid my age that I knew, I saw him skating and he was like really fucking good. So he inspired me I was like “oh shit man you’re really good” and so then I wanted to get better so that’s what got me started. And then I was hyped by the freedom of it. Like I said I was a big athlete so all my life I was like training in sports, like “practice practice practice” all the time since I was young and the instructors were like “let’s do it again” which didn’t bother me but when I started skating I was like “shit no one is yelling and I can do whatever I want” so it was kinda cool you know.

I guess you didn’t benefit from a huge support from your parents. How did they react?
My dad didn’t like it at all because for him it was dangerous you know. I was primarily an athlete so he wanted me to focus on that and not getting hurt. But then he always wanted me to be happy so eventually he was kind of “yeah it’s ok” you know, supporting me at the end.

Were you a bunch of kids skating in town at that time or was it only you and your friends?
Yeah there was a group you know. Like 10 or 20 kids skating. And then we got a skatepark built in my hometown like a year after I started skating. So that helped. Once the park has opened we like gathered there everyday. It’s a nice park I still go there when I’m in my hometown, still feels good.

Do you have any favorite spots in your hometown or was it mainly around the park?
Yeah the park was great. There is a manual pad I used to skate a lot: Winn Dixie. It’s fun as hell to skate and you never get busted. There is one of this grocery store just down the street nearby. I still skate that. It’s pretty fun. I remember when I manual it the first time I was really hyped.

Now that you travel much more, do you have any favorite spots outside of your hometown?
Not really I guess. I like manual pads a lot. Actually I like going to different places and trying some new shit because there is always something you know.

Is there any place in the world you haven’t been to yet that you want to skate or to visit?
Yeah. I think probably New Zealand. I heard it’s like one of the oldest places and most natural so that sounds really neat to see. I heard it’s like really natural. So I’d like to check that out. And actually Canada. I don’t know why but I’d say Canada. I guess they have a lot of hot girls. Actually I’ve talked to a ton of hot girls that live in Canada and I really want to meet some of them.

These are good choices. I haven’t been there neither but would love to check them out. Mandatory questions time: favorite tricks? videos? parts? skateboarders?
My favorite trick is the treflip for sure. I like treflip a lot. Oh and half cab is really fun too.

Video part: I used to watch a lot of Justin Eldridge. In the eSpecial mostly. I used to watch it everyday. That was like my favorite video of all time. Watched it all the time. And now I like watching Jason Lee back in the day like his old stuff is pretty fun to watch.

My favorite skateboarders? I’d say Pat Schaefer, Zion Wright & Jason Lee. Zion isn’t pro, actually he’s in Florida. I like them a lot. They’re kind of AMs now; everybody will know them one day.

Skateboarding is fun ❤️

A video posted by Danny Duncan (@dannyduncan69) on

Tell us more about your Youtube channel. How would you describe it?
I like to post videos that make people laugh. I love making these videos and laughing my ass off. Some of my own vids kill me and I love that shit haha. I’ve always loved making people laugh so it feels good to be able to make people happy and to know I have so many fans supporting me. I’ve done pranks, comedy sketches, eating challenges, motorboated some titties, kissed a GILF, and tons of other random shit.

How did you get into it? When was it? I mean: how one day you were like “hey let’s make some youtube videos and make people laugh”? It’s not the usual idea for sure.
I used to stretch skateboarders and I was working with a lot of pros and stuff and then I got referred to Jason Lee so worked with him and was like his personal trainer to try to help him with the muscles. He thought I was funny and he was like “dude you should get into acting, you’re funny”. I just said “why” and he said “because you’re really funny and I know you would do well, I can help you too. It’s easy dude” and I said “ok”. I kept it casual haha (even though deep down I was like wtf this is crazy haha) and I just remember leaving his house that day like “fuck ya I know I can do this shit”. It was cool because everything made sense to me at that point. Meeting Jason was meant to be and that was the spark I needed, a badass actor like him to tell me I’m funny and that I could do well in acting. It was an amazing feeling. I always wanted to do acting or stand-up but I’m from a small ass town. Never thought I’d end up in LA. Life’s crazy. Thanks Jason! Still can’t believe where I’m at right now it’s insane. So happy with everything.

So it all started like this?
Ya just started filming random ideas haha. I remember I filmed my first video and sent it to Jason. It’s this funny video of me boxing and it’s motivational and then the music cuts out and it pans out and I’m naked hitting the speed bag it’s funny as shit. I texted that to Jason and he replied “THIS IS AMAZING” in all caps. I was so hyped haha. He’s like my trigger whether or not something is actually funny or not. The dude is a comedic genius.

I just want to add more on Jason while I’m on the topic it’s kind of cool.

So I remember when I was younger I always wanted to be rich as fuck and have all this fancy shit, like cars, shoes, jewelry etc just dumb shit no one needs. When I met Jason I realized none of that shit mattered. He’s a very successful guy obviously who could get whatever he wants. He has motorcycles and a bunch of cool shit but we used to drive around LA in a van it was so fuckin funny and awesome. Like this movie star driving around in a van. It was epic. I loved that shit haha. But he just made me realize a lot of things. I pretty much completely figured out my life when I met him. I decided I was gonna pursue acting and all of this full time and it really helped because he was backing me and giving me advice. I realized none of that fancy shit matters and to just be yourself. And he never went out of his way to say these things. This is just random things I noticed and came to realize throughout meeting him. Great guy and one of the funniest people I’ve ever met.

Dan_Jason

He definitely sounds like a great guy! How do you get the inspiration for a new video? You just got an idea, you find it funny and you’re like “ok let’s film it”?
Yeah exactly. I’m just like “oh shit that would be fucking funny” and I’m gonna try that you know. Or anything like that. That’s usually how it is. Like I come up with something or a friend comes up with something and we’re like “yeah yeah that could be funny let’s do it” and we end up posting it.

Chris does some youtube also and he’s one of my best friend so we end up making a lot of videos together also.

How many subscribers do you have right now?
Hmmm I’m not sure let me check. 53,500.

[NB: remember this discussion between Dan and I happened last December. I checked today and he’s around 103,786 subscribers. Big up dawg. That’s a great trend!]

Do you know what kind of person they are?
I guess I’ve a lot of young fans. I’d say like probably 16 years old kid, probably around 15 or something. A lot of younger kids and girls. Yeah mainly kids follow me.

What’s a typical day like for you?
You want a realistic story?

Haha yeah man I want it real.
Like in depth you mean or what?

Yeah let’s do the in depth one.
All right. I wake up, probably like 10 O’clock because I go to sleep late. First thing I do is like I play on my phone, send some texts, phone calls.

Then I go to the bathroom. I take a shower and I usually jerk off in the shower. And then I get ready. And then I eat a bowl of cereals, like some Lucky Charms. Then I usually go out. And try some bunch of shit.

And then I go to college campus like UCLA or USC where I go to a couple of friends, like 2-3 friends and we just fuck around until we get a funny idea to fuck with people. Sometimes we do an interview, or a prank, or a social experiment.

And then once we’re done filming, some days, we’ll go skating to a skatepark like Sheldon or Lake Street and skate and then get a dinner or something.

Then once the work’s done you come home, I usually take a shower again and then go hang out with a girl and do whatever you need to do, like watching a movie and then stay at the girl’s place and wake up again and back to my daily routine.

You realize how that day will become a ritual for people right?
Haha! Yeah yeah. That’d be funny. I’m gonna film a day in my life and it’s gonna be with more shit.

What else in the works? Do you focus on your channel or do you have further plans for the future? Tell us your secrets?
I plan to get a lot bigger on YouTube, I’m also gonna start working to get into some movies in the next few years, and I’m planning to do stand-up comedy in 2016. I am really looking forward to it! That’s sort of the big plan.

Is that the main reason you came in LA? To give you a better chance at acting?
It’s kind of like a mixture. I came in LA because of Chris Chann also. It’s fun to be here. But it’s also like when you’re here you just make a bunch of progress. Because everybody here you know want to succeed, expand, make more money, get more followers, have more fun, post more videos. Like everybody here is doing the same shit. So you’re able to work with the people you wanna work with. And you get shit done. I also wanna get into the movie. In this case it’s better to be here you know what I mean.

Dan_Chris

How do you like the city actually? Do you like it more for business motivation?
Yeah it’s like a love / hate relationship you know. I also hate being in LA you know, I wanna be in Florida. But I love being here for the progress, the opportunity, the people here. There is certain people here that I wanna be with and who help you improve and become better. But there are also a lot of fake people here, probably like everywhere else.

Do you like coming back and forth between LA and Florida? Like you could find your own balance between both these lifestyles?
I will be full time in LA at one point. I have to be. Yeah I definitely want to be full time in LA eventually. In the next year I’ll be there. I’m gonna start making some stand up comedy as well and I think I can do very well at that so that could definitely help me to be there, being an entertainer you know. So I could get some acting, youtube, stand up comedy and shit like that. It’s gonna all come together and it’s gonna work out pretty well.

What was the funniest thing you had to do in a video? the craziest? scariest?
The craziest I think was climbing the Hollywood sign. Yeah I climbed at the very top and then the LAPD came that was pretty sick.

Were they angry at you? Or they were cool?
Yeah they like yell at you but that was pretty fun. You have to watch the video.

And then I did another video, pretty funny, like a crazy video, fucked up. I had to kiss that very old baby and it’s fucking nasty.

That was for the craziest and the funniest. What about the scariest?
Yeah. Shit that might also be the scariest. Let me see. Yeah I would say scariest and funniest were kissing the gilf haha.

One thing you haven’t done yet but are dreaming of?
One thing I haven’t done yet but dream of would be – to buy my mom a house and pay it off in full. We lost our house when I was like 15 and it was the house I grew up in and the one she had built, so one day I will buy it for sure. I just hope I’ll buy it before she passes away. That’s a big reason why I’m grinding so hard right now because I know she won’t be here for ever.

I also want to add to that. One of the biggest fears I have is becoming extremely successful but after my mom has passed away. It’s always been a huge worry of mine. Because I know 100% I’ll be rich and I’ve always known that. I’m not gonna stop until I achieve everything I’ve wanted to achieve. I don’t need a lot of money, I don’t blow it on anything except food, I don’t buy fancy clothes, shoes and shit but I want to give a lot back to my mom & family for helping me so much especially for their support with me chasing my dreams.

Would you have any advice for people who would want to give it a try on Youtube?
I think it’s important to be original and to know what you want your channel to be about. For me I just want random videos that make people laugh. So I try to always mix it up because I want to be able to always have fun filming and never get burned out. So for me that’s important, for others it may be something else but it’s good to have a goal in mind and then focus on being consistent, posting good content, don’t ever steal content, don’t lie to fans, don’t be a try hard, be yourself and if you do pranks don’t fuckin post fake prank videos. No one likes them. And you’re a pussy if you post them haha.

Any message or words you want to pass on to our readers?
My mom raised me to never lie to her about anything at all. So me and my mom have this amazing relationship. We never argue or anything it’s great. She taught me a lot and not lying or stealing were very basic things but so important. I know so many people that just make up bullshit and lie about the most random stuff. Like you don’t need to fuckin lie hahaha. So as far as my advice I say basically, don’t lie, don’t steal, be a good person, do the right thing & smile. Just live life and have fun. Don’t worry about shit that doesn’t matter and don’t worry what people think about you. We are all gonna die so just live your life and have fun. I’m not gonna sit here with the time I have on earth and be a pussy and worry about people who judge me because of the shoes I wear. None of it fuckin matters. Spend time with the people you love and who you care about and do what makes you happy. And chase your dreams. Don’t give up.

These are like great words Dan! To wrap things up, who do you want to thank?
A big thank you to my Mom, Dad, John Russell, Amanda Russell, Kristy Russell, Chris Chann, Andrew Hales & Jason Lee. Justin Williams & Conrad Thai too.

Thanks Dan! All the best for 2016 and keep up the great work.

Make yourself a favor and subscribe / follow Danny ==>
Youtube: +DuncanStrength
Instagram: @dannyduncan69

Facebook: /dannyduncan69
Twitter: @dannyduncan69

Liked this interview? Check out the print KrakMag in each KrakBox for more great content!

Interview

Artist Profile – Lucas Beaufort

The following interview was originally featured in the print Krak Mag issue 3 that shipped with KrakBox #3 in August 2015. Don’t want to miss the next issue of the print Krak Mag? Want to receive epic skateboarding product every two months? Check out the KrakBox now!

KrakMag3_cover

 

 

 

 

 

Tom Asta backside noseblunt shot by Chad Foreman, cover of our print Krak Mag #3.

 

You may have seen Lucas Beaufort’s beautiful painted monsters gracing the covers of some of your favorite skateboard magazines over the past few years. Nothing short of prolific, Lucas has quickly carved a niche for himself through his unique artistic perspective, giving a new twist to each photo by juxtaposing each photo’s reality with his vibrantly colored fantastical monsters. We got the chance to interview Lucas about all things art when he worked on the special piece that graces the cover of the Krak Mag you’re now holding in your hands.  Read on to find out more about Lucas and his beautiful monsters. – HK

HK: Hi Lucas, thanks for doing this! We’re hyped to have you work on Krak Mag #3’s cover. First up, for the benefit of those of our readers who may not be familiar with your work, tell us a little bit about yourself?

Lucas: Lucas Beaufort, 34 year old French dreamer from Cannes, crazy about painting skate magazine covers and hanging with my little pug.

This Krak Mag cover you worked on features your signature monsters chilling on the stairs by the hubba where Tom Asta backside noseblunts. Can you tell us a little bit about the process you go through when you work on each cover? Do you spend time sketching out possibilities for the photo or just go for it?

When I paint on a photo, it’s either I feel it or not. It means that I can’t force myself to paint on anything. When I feel the pic, as was the case with Tom Asta, I don’t even need to sketch anything. I know in a second where to go, it’s like obvious to me. My little creatures are chilling on the stairs, it’s like you and me watching the homie kill it.

How long did this piece take you? What medium did you use to paint in your monsters?

It supposed to be a secret but I can tell you what medium I used for sure. So I use acrylic paint and a black marker.

Turning now to the monsters themselves, I understand that the monsters are actually from your nightmares. Do you mind telling us a little more about these monsters? Do you have specific characters?

Yeah man, my monsters are living in my head. They have a big apartment with a beautiful lake view. Sometimes I feel I am their puppet, their thing. I would like to control them but they can do anything with me.

Dave Bachinsky shot by Liam Annis

 

 

 

Dave Bachinsky hardflip shot by Liam Annis.

 

 

When was the first time you got the idea to modify photographs from skateboarding with your art and specifically your monster characters?

They actually had the idea, not me. They wanted to exist in our world so they asked me if I could paint them on a cover. Did I have a choice? No! As I remember, it was 5 years ago.

I think it’s an amazing idea, your art completely changes the feel of each photo as well, giving each piece a fresh new twist. What prompted you to experiment with such an approach to start with?

Now I feel totally different. When I started to do it I felt controlled by them. Now, I feel it’s pretty awesome and I love doing it.

shot by Denis Martin Dee Ostrander frontside 5-0 shot by Dennis Martin.

Let’s turn to your skateboarding background. I understand you actually refer to yourself as a skate rat. I back that! When did you start skateboarding? And what got you into skateboarding in the first place?

It’s big indeed. I think I was 7 or 8. My mum bought me this plastic skateboard with a strange shape hahah. I was sitting on my knee and I was stoked on it. Even if I was small it was already big on my head.

It’s strange to say but I knew that skateboarding would be something special in my life. I had a real skateboard at 13 and I’m still doing it even if I’m 34. Big ups Mariano, Daewon, Koston, Reynolds!

What was your first setup?

It was a New Deal Matt Milligan I think.

New Deal? Damn, haven’t heard that name in a long while. I had a 9-ply New Deal Kenny Reed back in the day! Who were your favorite pros growing up?

I think my favorite pro back in the day was Donny Barley or Ricky Oyola.

That’s some East Coast influences for sure! What do you normally skate? Street or tranny? What’s your favorite skate spot?

Street man! I’ve never really enjoyed transitions. I went to San Francisco a couple of years ago so you can imagine how stoked I was to see Pier 7.

Pier 7 during the late 90s early 2000s was an amazing era in skateboarding. I know you’re a big fan of 90s skate videos, what are your favorite skate videos from the 90s?

I am a big fan of 90s skate videos ! I remember I was 15 in 1996 and at that time a skate video was a real event. My friend and I were so excited to see new stuff from the US. Eastern Exposure Zero was probably my biggest memory.

Eastern Exposure is definitely among my favorites. I still love Jahmal’s part in Underachievers with his kickflip back tail stall on that volcano at Mass General Hospital. How about today, what’s your favorite video in the last 5 years? Favorite video part?

Dude, there are so many! I really loved the Cinematographer project (TWS video) / Alien part. To me it’s probably the sickest video part ever.

That section was epic! Did you skate during the small wheels, big pants era?

Yeah I used to skate baggy pants and not so tiny 51 mm wheels, but the boards were really narrow, 7.5” or something.

Haha, yeah I remember those days, those tiny boards, 7.625” was all I rode back then. Who’s skateboarding hypes you up right now?

Tyler Bledsoe without the sunglasses and Jordan Trahan.

Yeah, they’re both super underrated. Jordan’s got one of the most amazing kickflips on flat. Turning to skateboard graphics, it’s almost like there’s a new resurgence in deck graphic art again now with more companies focusing on stronger art direction as opposed to purely logo driven graphics. What are some of your favorite skateboard graphics from the 90s?

In the 90s I remember this deck from 101, it was a pro model Clyde Singleton, I was so stoked to have it.

What about today?

Today I have to say that Jacob Ovgren is doing good shit with Polar.

Yeah, Polar is killing it in the graphics department,  definitely pushing the boundaries with their graphic direction. In your opinion, which company had the best graphics, during the 90s?

101.

Yeah, that’s a good answer. Natas was killing it with those graphics! So who are your favorite artists in skateboarding?

Michael Sieben, Jacob Ovgren, Todd Bratrud.

Kingpin João Allen gap to frontboard shot by João Mascherenas.

What made you decide to get more into art?

I think that it was in me for ages but unfortunately I only realized it when I was 25. Please, give me a magic wand to change that.

Haha, we all wish we had a magic wand or a time machine sometimes. Outside of skateboarding, who influences your art?

Nature, trees, and horror movies. The first Freddy Krueger “A nightmare on Elm Street” is still in my head!

I guess that explains the monsters in your nightmares. How did you get involved in working on covers for skate magazines?

I’m a big collector of skateboard mags. I have the first TWS, Thrasher and Slap at home. My collection 5 years ago was insane, with more than 300 mags. When I started to paint on skate mags I used to send it to each publication. Now I feel lucky because I have a subscription to all the skate mags you can imagine.

Europe, Asia, US even South Africa. Big up Brendan Body over at Session Skateboarding Magazine!

What’s the favorite cover you’ve worked on? And aside from covers, where can we view your other work?

I don’t have a favorite one, they are all different and represent a different part of myself. You can see my stuff on my Instagram (@lucas_beaufort).

What would you say influences your art?

My mum but especially my wife. She always pushes me to keep it up!

How did your art gain a following in skateboarding? Was there a particular piece that really got things going for you?

I’m just a normal dude passionate about it. I guess people realized it.

Jon Consentino shot by Micael Kazimierczuk

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jon Cosentino kickflip shifty shot by Micael Kazimierczuk

 

Can you tell us a bit more about the LB project you’re doing in the US?

I launched The LB Project in Europe first. The idea was to bring artists together to support Skateistan.

The US edition is gonna start on September 25 at Escapist and will end in June 2016 at The Berrics.

This new edition will support the Harold Hunter Foundation. Check out www.the-lbproject.com for more details.

What about your role as an art ambassador for Filament? How’d that come about?

A year ago, Tim Gavin (Filament’s co-founder) contacted me about becoming an art ambassador.

I felt honored so of course I accepted. The shoes are good and the future promises to be even better.

What exactly do you do in that role?

We are talking about a special line with a shoe, tee, and a hat.

Lucas_Beaufort_Profile

What advice do you have for budding artists in skateboarding?

Stay true to yourself and work hard.

Thanks for doing this interview, Lucas! Looking forward to seeing more of your amazing work in the future.

Liked this interview? Check out the print Krak Mag in each KrakBox  for more great content!

Interview

Youngblood: Alexander Loren

The following interview was originally featured in the print Krak Mag issue 2 that shipped with KrakBox #2 in June 2015. Don’t want to miss the next issue of the print Krak Mag? Want to receive some epic skateboarding product every two months? Check out the KrakBox now!

AlexanderLoren_Youngblood

Tall 50-50 in Santa Barbara. Photo: Will Fisher (@willfisherphoto)

One of the best things about skateboarding is meeting the coolest, chillest people who share your love for riding this little four-wheeled plank of wood. You might speak different languages, but as long as you skate, you can always relate. Alexander has always been super friendly and hella nice, quick to come up to you to say what up, and ever ready to give anyone a high five. Alexander also definitely rips, he’s an ATV that skates everything amazingly, from ledges, tall-ass rails, stairs and gaps to flatground. Generous, well spoken and with a really positive attitude and thankful for everything, he’s the kind of person you’d want to kick it with both on and off the board. He has a pretty interesting story too, coming to the US from Sweden, and having attended Malmo’s Bryggeriets Gynmansium. He tells us about growing up in Sweden, skateboarding through cold winters, and finally moving to Los Angeles. This is a good one! – HK

What up Alexander, thanks for doing this. First up, tell us a little bit about yourself?

Thank you man! I’m Alexander Loren and I’m from Sweden, south Sweden actually, a small town called Kristianstad, it’s 1 hour outside of Malmo. I just turned 20. And I moved here in August last year and I’ve just been skating and going to school at Santa Monica College. I got to know so many people here and I’m just enjoying my LA trip.

What’s it like over there in Kristianstad? What’s the skate scene like?

It’s not like here of course but it’s actually getting really big, like last year. It’s getting really big. Especially Malmo, because it has a really good skate scene. I don’t know if you’ve heard about Ultrabowl and Vert Attack.

Yeah those are big contests! Pros from all over would go, like Pedro Barros, all the guys like Rune Glifberg and all the big names would be there.

Legends too! Tony Hawk was at Vert Attack.

Stevie Cab?

Yeah Stevie Cab, Hosoi, they were all there.

So how many skaters are there in your hometown?

How many skaters? Like where I’m from? In my small city, it’s not many at all. It’s like me and my crew and maybe some more that skate, but it’s not many at all, because we don’t really have anywhere… Actually last summer we got our first skatepark, an outdoor skatepark.

You guys didn’t have anything before that?

I just skated the streets and DIY spots before that. And the funny thing is, in the winter it’d get super cold. Sometimes it gets snowy and rainy, zero degrees, even colder than zero degrees. We had this indoor park but it’s got no heat. It’s the same cold on the outside as the inside. I don’t understand how I grew up like this. I went back this winter after I’d been here for half a year, and I went, wow, I can’t even skate in here anymore.

But you don’t even skate much in the wintertime because it’s so damn cold right?

But my whole life I did. I just put on gloves, actually the warm up was running in the park for 15 minutes. 10-15 minutes just running and after you’ve warmed up you just have to skate non-stop because if you sit down, you got stiff. Your body cools down immediately, your fingers can’t even text because it’s so cold. Crazy, I don’t even understand how I did that my whole life.

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Damn, that’s definitely dedication dude.

Yeah, every day after school I went there, even when it was super cold.

So if it’s just you and your crew, it’s a really small scene, and you basically know everyone in your hometown that skates?

Yeah, we knew everyone that skates. But the cool thing is that our city is not that far from Malmo, and I always go there, it’s just an hour away by train. That’s where I went to school too, Bryggeriets Gymnasium.

I was actually going to ask you about that, you went to Bryggeriets? That’s a skater’s dream school! When I heard about it, I saw a documentary about it on the Berrics…

I had a trick in it too.

You had a trick in it?

I did a nollie flip down this four block, this four stair block.

Wait, that was you? They didn’t put your name up did they?

Yeah, they did.

Alright I watched it some time ago, I need to re-watch it again.

(laughs) That’s two long episodes, you probably don’t remember, there’s a lot of tricks in it.

I met Fernando Bramsmark when he was out here.

Yeah he’s my homie.

He skates really good. Transition? Shit. He’s ridiculous.

He’s the best, dude! He’s such a cool dude too.

Oskar “Oski” Rozenberg (Hallberg) is your homie too right?

Yeah yeah. They’re all my homies, we went to the same school. Everyone.

Everyone went to Bryggeriets?

Oski actually just graduated this year, this summer. Yeah and Fernando is like 2 years older than me.

Wow dude, you guys all kill it, I’ve seen footage of you guys skating. Tranny skills are so good, street skills are so good, that place must be crazy to go to school. Ok, I’ll ask you a little bit more about that later. So how did you even start skating while living in a small city like Kristianstad?

It’s actually my brother who got me into skating, my older brother, he still skates, not so much anymore but he’s been skateboarding his whole life you know?

Daniel?

Yeah, my brother Daniel. And I remember I was super small and he tried to get me into skateboarding but I was like, it’s boring, I want to hang out with my friends, I wanna be cool with my friends and hang out in the street. And then one Christmas, I got a board for my Christmas present.

Did your brother give you the board?

Yeah, it was a Santa Cruz. I don’t remember what pro model it was, all I remember is that it had a face on it, like Halloween. It was kinda like a face with a little bit of blood.

Is there a legendary spot in your hometown that you all skated?

Legendary spot? They actually took the roof out, there’s no more roof. It’s an old train station, an abandoned train station and all the homies that used to skate before built their own stuff like ledges, banks, kickers, flatbars. They put everything there, so it’s just like a skatepark kind of. But then after the company next door bought the land and wanted to do something else and they just took the roof off so we couldn’t skate when it was raining anymore. They took all the obstacles off. After a while, they actually went out of business, and they left everything like that.

That sucks. You guys basically built the spot and then they took it away.

One concrete ledge though, that’ll never be gone. It’s too heavy to move. My brother and his homies built it, like way back. So that’ll always be there. And that’s one of my favorite ledges too.

And you just got your first outdoor skatepark last summer? Wow.

It’s actually not like a normal park, they wanted to do like a street plaza. So it’s for skating but they want it to look like a spot. So it doesn’t have metal ledges, it’s got real street ledges like JKwon.

I remember seeing some footage of one spot in Malmo with so many ledges that looked so perfect that you’d think they designed it for skateboarding. But it’s not?

They call it Riverside. It’s literally 30 ledges, 30 manny pads you can skate in a row. It’s just like skatepark concrete, everything. You can say it’s a skatepark, but sometimes there’s stuff going on, and you can’t skate all the time, but most of the time you can.

So when you went to Bryggeriets? It’s got a full high school curriculum but with an emphasis on skateboarding. It’s basically a sports school. How did you convince your parents to let you move to Malmo to go to Bryggeriets? It’s got great academics as well, the curriculum is first class.

I know exactly what you mean, it took me a while to convince them. I had to ask them a lot. They didn’t want to let me go there at first. I was like, I don’t know what I want to do you know? I don’t even know what I want to study so I just want to study there. All my friends were about to go there too and Malmo is a bigger city. I’m from a really small city and that’s so boring you know.

What’s the population in your city?

Like 70,000. Like the whole county you know. For the actual city center, I don’t even know, half of that? It’s really small. So I had to convince my parents, but they were cool. They were like, yeah alright, you can go there.

It’s not what a lot of people expect because when I watched the Bryggeriets documentary, I thought to myself, if I were a teacher and if I could teach somewhere, I want to teach somewhere like that, so that I could be close to skateboarding.

That’s exactly what I was thinking when I got here. I’m going to Santa Monica College, why not you know? Make a change in my life, I’ve been in Sweden my whole life and in the same part so why not try something new. And yeah, I’m kind of focused on school, I still want to get my degree. I want to finish school but at the same time I wanna skate too. Like as much as I can.

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How about in LA? What’s your favorite spot to skate?

Favorite spot? LA has so many good spots, it’s crazy. Like street spots or park?

Both, what’s your favorite park and what’s your favorite street spot?

That’s a hard one. It’s hard to say one but I like Stoner a lot, because it’s my local park, the good homies are always there, a good vibe. And the Berrics is always a fun time. I like skating Westchester at night too. Just have a fun session at night, I never really go there in the day though.

Yeah me neither, that’s why I always see you there on those night sessions.

I don’t know why but, it’s always at night. I have a good sesh and just wherever you go, whenever you stack some footy you have a good time, it’s a good spot. You have good memories of that spot. So I’m always hyped to go everywhere.

Which part of LA are you living in?

Santa Monica.

You like living out here in LA?

Yeah I’ve been around the whole city but I kind of like this part the best. Santa Monica, the West LA area. Everything because it’s kind of mellow here, it’s not that stressful. The beach, it’s close to everywhere.

From what I’ve heard, in Sweden it’s cold all winter. But on the East Coast, it can warm up and then get cold all over again.

Actually, where I’m from it’s like kind of the same. Sometimes it’s hotter, sometimes it’s colder, when you go to the north of Sweden, it’ll be like snow up till like May. You know? That’s like very cold all year, unless the summer comes. Summer’s really nice out in Sweden though, that’s what I’m really looking forward to going home to right now.

Is that the best time of the year for you?

Yeah, like from June, July and August is the best. If you want to go to Sweden it’s the best. And don’t go there if it’s not during that time.

In Sweden, who’s in your crew? Your brother back in the day?

My brother’s always been older, so I never really skated with him. Sometimes when I was out shooting, I went with his crew. We never really like… He’s been living out here, he’s been living out in Barcelona, I’ve been living in Sweden. So it’s been like we haven’t been able to be with each other that much. But my crew, there’s some homies I went to the same school with as well. Bryggeriets, we all went to the same class. My roomie that lives here too, Mo.

He moved out here with you?

Yeah that’s my homie Mo. He’s called Alexander (Hedeya) but we call him Mo. Yeah, and we live together too. He’s from my hometown too, I skated with him my whole life. My homie called Billy that films, he filmed like all my footage back in Sweden and like yeah, a couple more homies. It was always different you know. Sometimes it was people from Malmo.

And Mo went to Bryggeriets too?

Yeah, same class. So we’re kind of like a family, it’s me, him, my brother, and my brother’s girlfriend. And I’m so hyped to live with them. Rather than living with random, crazy people you know? Sometimes you have bad luck.

It must be nice when you move out here and have your “family” here too?

Exactly. I’ve been to LA a couple of times before moving here so I knew what I was coming to.

Which is the best city in Sweden to skate? We don’t know too much about the scene out there.

I don’t know, it’s either the cities like Malmo or it’s Stockholm. It’s different types of skating because Malmo is more like, you know Polar, Pontus, that type of style. It’s a lot of DIY spots, like Pontus’ spot, which is really sick. Like harder type spots, it’s harder to skate but it’s sick on the footy.

They have that spot right by the railway line, TBS?

Yeah yeah, TBS!

That spot looks so hard to skate man!

Yeah, I’ve been there a couple of times, it’s really hard to skate. Like all the guys are wallriding over and ollieing over, respect to them. So hard!

Are there a lot of brands out there? Board brands? Obviously we only tend to know the ones that make it out here to the States, the one’s like Polar.

Yeah, there are a lot of brands and everyone is trying to get their new brand. Like the biggest Swedish brands are like Polar of course, that’s really big in the whole world. It used to be Sweet. You know about Sweet skateboards?

Yeah, of course I do. What happened to Sweet? It’s kind of low key right now.

I don’t know what happened, they changed the name or like changed the whole thing to Sour now. So it’s Sour Skateboards.

Who’s your favorite skater?

That’s a hard one. Since I grew up, I always, as a little kid I always liked P-Rod. I always looked up to him, his clips. I like Koston too. They were like my childhood heroes you know? And now lately it’s hard, there are so many good skaters.

Have you skated with P-Rod?

I skated his park a couple of times, but I’ve never seen him there. Yeah, he’s pretty busy I think. He’s always travelling and stuff.  But yeah, now I don’t know, there’s so many good ones. I really like Luan.

Luan? Dude skates with so much power.

Yeah, and respect for Nyjah too. He’s a boss.

Super consistent.

No one skates like that. His mentality too, I don’t understand how you can just go with the mindset to win everything. Like it’s pressure too, sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t. But he’s just taking everything. I was like wow, that’s a different level of skateboarding. Now I have a lot of respect for that, that’s crazy.

Favorite video part?

I think I got to say P-Rod in the City Stars video, Street Cinema. That’s an oldie and goldie dude. I feel like lately, the parts they put up I don’t know, it’s like different quality and stuff. It’s not VX anymore, it’s HD. It’s still really sick but I grew up with the old stuff. I can’t really say the old stuff because I’m pretty young but the older, it’s always each generation, I’m hyped on my generation as I grew up. And that’s always gonna be the case for sure.

Did you see the remake of P-Rod’s video part? He re-filmed all his tricks from Street Cinema.

Yeah, that was sick. I really loved that Street Cinema part, because he was so young. I love the song too, because I don’t know if you know that Guy Mariano used that same song when he was a little kid, and then P-Rod used it too. Because they are both my favorite skaters. Wonder child.

Yeah of course, that Jackson 5 song was in Guy’s Blind Video Days part. Do you have a favorite Swedish skater?

I always liked Josef Scott, you know about this guy? There’s so many good skaters in Sweden. Josef, I like Albert Nyberg, Erik J Petterson, Pontus is sick. I like Oski, Nando too. And my homie, I don’t know if you know him, David Jakinda? He’s from Stockholm and he won the Swedish skater of the year. And that’s like my homie from years back. And I’m hyped for him you know. Making moves and stuff. He’s one of my favorite skaters too. Like a super cool guy, always having fun and his style is so sick. He’s a really good homie.

How long were you at Bryggeriets?

It’s a 3 year high school. I don’t know about the rest of the world, but in Sweden we go to high school for 3 years. And we don’t really call it high school, we call it, Gymnasium.

It’s like the European system, Germany has the same thing right?

And we went there for 3 years and it’s still like a regular school, we have Math and English classes but instead of gymnastics and stuff we had like skateboarding instead. We had gymnastics too but we had skateboarding twice a week. So it was two skateboarding classes a week.

How long would each class be?

Yeah, two-and-a-half hours, something like that.

Five hours a week of classes in skateboarding? That’s incredible.

That was super fun, and the skatepark, indoor park is in the same building as the school. So like every break, you can just go down and skate. And yeah like you can skate it whenever it’s not class time and then like after school’s done, it’s like a park for everyone. So everyone can go there and skate. And the students get free entry for three years. So I was hyped on that, I saved a lot of money from that.

So coming back to the skateboarding questions, what’s your favorite trick?

I don’t know… like on rails, I think my favorite trick is 50-50 on round rails. I could do that for days. 50-50s, long pop in pop out, the whole thing you know. It’s always fun because it always feels good especially when you wax it too. Otherwise, I do treflips a lot in my life. I can do it so many different ways, I just love messing around with it. I think it’s fun. But yeah, like I don’t really have one special trick I always do, I always try to skate ledges, skate rails, skate flatground.

Yeah, that’s one thing I noticed. When you skate you don’t do just one single trick, you try and vary it up. And you skate everything. That one day I saw you trying back smith 180 out on the C-ledge, and I thought, wow, you’ve got pretty sick back smiths.

Yeah I was trying back smith backside flip out for 3 days. I remember trying it again and again, I finally got it though.

Yeah. How did you get so good at skating rails? You skate the JKwon rail, which isn’t even that long, which makes it harder and it’s kind of narrow, it’s not round. It’s a thin, flat rail.

Super thin. I don’t know it’s like I always thought rail skating was cool, since I was a kid, like even before I could skate rails, before I jumped on rails. I always thought it was cool. And I just started practicing it. I wanted to learn. And that’s the thing with rails, because even though you can do a 50-50, and you go to a 15 stair, and it’s like, even though I have 50-50s, every try I’m not sure if I’m gonna do this you know. That’s kind of what I like with rails, it’s a different fear, from like ledges and stairs and stuff because you can always kick out. So I kind of like that fear because either you do it or you don’t and if you stay up there and think about it, the more you think, the more scared you get. So it’s more like a struggle, just have to do it right here.

Do you think you want to try and do something with skateboarding?

Yeah, I love skateboarding so I’d love to skate as much as I can. That’d be sick, that’d be really sick. But yeah.

What’s it like having your brother run Bliss Wheels? Must be pretty cool.

Yeah, I’m super hyped on that. He hooked me up with wheels. And I really like the wheels too so I’m really hyped on that. I just like seeing how he’s progressed. How he’s working hard too, he always has something like, “hey, I got this, we’re putting this out soon, we’re releasing this soon. “ I’m like damn! Yeah, I’d like to see that.

The company’s vibe is sick. I like the vibe, and the graphics are clean, the visuals are really on point and the wheels are good. All the homies ride it, like Daniel Lebron and Brian Gille. I talked to Dani about Bliss and he’s so hyped on the wheels.

Yeah, I’m hyped on the team, all of them. Chaz Ortiz, Manny Santiago, Larelle Gray, all the guys over here in the States. Dani Lebron, Michael Sommer, Mark Baines.

Yeah Mark Baines is on Bliss. Mark is super OG.

That’s what I mean, it’s like a super good team, we got Daniel Grönwall. Dude, he’s from Stockholm, Sweden and lives in Malmo now though, but he’s so good like a lot of people don’t know about him but he’s so good. He won’t skate for maybe 2 months, a month, and he’ll come to the park and front blunt helicopter flip on the ledge like in a couple of tries.

No way. Are you serious?

He’s like damn, I didn’t know I could do that. I was like bro, that’s crazy, like nollie flip backtail handrails in the park and stuff and he hasn’t been skating for like 2 months. It’s like shut up man, you’re like still the best dog, you know. Don’t complain. Yeah, he rides for Bliss too, he’s super sick.

You’ve also been getting some stuff from DGK? Is that through the Swedish distributors? HOEP Skate?

I got some stuff before I moved here, I’m still riding for this distributor called HOEP. It stands for House of Elite Products or something. And they have all the brands like Diamond, Grizzly, Primitive, Primitive boards, the whole Kayo stuff, and a bunch of other stuff like Brixton. And they were hooking me up with Diamond and Grizzly and all that stuff for a while in Sweden, but Ante Ossianson, he’s like the team manager, hooked it up because he knows the guys here because he goes back and forth. So he hooked it up over here, I started to get some stuff over here and I’m hyped to get it going.

Yeah, gotta make it happen!

Yeah, I started getting some DGK stuff. I got a DGK box.

That’s sick man. And in LA I know you told me that you usually skate with Mo, the Seattle guys, Will Fisher.

Mo’s my roomie, he’s always down to skate. I skate a lot with Oscar Meza. He used to live in this building here too actually.

No way, he lived here too?

He used to live here, he moved downtown though. But yeah, we skate a lot, he’s like my older brother. He’s super cool. We’re really good friends.

His new part is unreal dude.

He’s a beast. I kind of got inspired by him actually with rails, because in Sweden I skated smaller rails, but then when I started skating with him, he took me to some gnarly ass rails. I was like damn, is this what you guys are skating over here? I was like damn. I gotta keep up! (laughs) So he got me inspired to do that. I love his skating, he does everything first try and that’s what I like to see.

How often do you skate with him?

Like recently, the last month, it hasn’t been that much because he was filming for his part and I’ve been like in the streets skating with other people and stuff so we haven’t really been skating together the last month. Yeah, but like before that it was almost everyday. I was actually at his house today. We kicked it by his pool and stuff.

How did you meet him? Through skating?

My brother knew him before I knew him. So I met him through my brother.

And your brother actually moved out here first right?

Yeah, 3 years before me. He’s been here for a while. So that’s how I got to know Oscar, through my brother and yeah, we started skating.

You push each other to progress. You go to spots and I’m sure you get amped off of each other.

And we’re like really good friends too, so it’s not like we only skate. We hang out, we joke with each other. It’s always fun you know. And he’s super cool.

How about Will Fisher? How’d you end up shooting photos with him?

This was… I don’t even know. Oh yeah, it was, I don’t know if you know Sammy Perales? He’s a super good skater too. He’s from Seattle, he just moved here not that long ago. So I got to know Will through Sammy. And after that I just got his number and we’ve just been out shooting.

Will takes some sick photos. When you showed me the photos he took, I was thinking damn, these are amazing.

Yeah he’s super good. He’s got the eye for it for sure.

He obviously skates, he’s got the eye for it. He knows what looks good in a photo.

And he’s such a cool dude too. He’s always hyped, he’s always down to go shoot. He doesn’t even care if it’s far. He’s like, let’s just get the gas and we’ll get the footy. I’m always down for that. Because LA is kind of a bust to skate.

Santa Monica is a bust because they know so many people skate here.  All the businesses go “No, you can’t skate here, or we’ll call the cops on you right now.” It’s harsh. Are you filming for any video parts?

Yeah, I’m actually just filming right now. I haven’t really a full part but I have some footy. I’m trying to get more. So I’m just trying to do like a full part while I’m out here. It’s hard dude, like it’s such a bust and driving and you know all that but I can do it. It just takes time. Yeah, next month I have an interview in a Swedish magazine called Transition.

How long are you headed back this summer for?

I’m just going back for a month in July. I’m not trying to stay out there for too long but it’s sick to be around family during the summer and stuff, all the homies.

Do you have any video parts online the readers can check out?

I have one video part from 2012, but it’s a bit old now. It’s not new but it’s got my full part. That one part, and I have this clip you saw too, the 2014 clips (10qs with Alexander Loren). But it’s not like a part, it’s just a couple of clips. So I’ve never had this full part to be stoked on. So that’s what I’m trying to do right now. Of course I’m stoked on my old part, but I want to put out something with my skating right now, because that part’s already going to be old. I put my stuff on Instagram (@alexanderloren).

Last question, what’s your current setup?

I ride a DGK board 8” or 8.1”, I like 8.1”, I think it’s perfect. It depends, sometimes 8”, sometimes 8.1” and I ride 147 High Thunder Light Trucks, Diamond Hardware, Diamond bearings, Grizzly Griptape. Oh yeah, and 52mm Bliss Wheels. I ride Bliss 51s/52s.

Who are your sponsors?

I ride for the distributor HOEP, I ride for this skate shop in my hometown called Street Lab. I ride for DGK, Diamond and Grizzly through HOEP Distribution and Bliss Wheel Co.

Lastly, thank you and shout outs?

It’s a lot of people man. Thank you first of all, for doing this with me. And of course, all my sponsors that help me out with stuff, my family for supporting me out here. My brother Daniel, he helped me a lot, like all my homies you know. All the people that give me a positive energy, I’d like to thank them because that’s where they keep me going. That’s what I feel like, I just want to thank everyone that’s hyped on what I do and let’s do it together.

That’s it, we’re done. Thanks Alexander!

Thank you man!

Liked this interview? Check out the print Krak Mag in each KrakBox  for more great content!

Interview

Artist Interview – Alfonso de Anda

The following interview was originally featured in the print Krak Mag issue 2 that shipped with KrakBox #2 that shipped in June 2015. Don’t want to miss the next issue of the print Krak Mag? Want to receive some epic skateboarding product every two months? Check out the KrakBox now!

Read on.

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Artist Profile – Alfonso de Anda

For this second KrakBox, we are thrilled to be working with Alfonso, an amazing artist who has been skateboarding for a long time and whose work has been strongly influenced by his background as a skateboarder. We sat down with him to have a little conversation about how he got started doing art, and to hear how skateboarding factors into his work, and his decision to become an artist. Without further ado, may we present, Alfonso de Anda.- HK

HK: What up Alfonso! Tell us a little about yourself?

ALFONSO: Hey! I’m Alfonso de Anda. I’m 26 years old and have been living in Los Angeles, California since 2014. I was born and grew up in Guadalajara, México.

You’re from Guadalajara? Wow. Why did you move to Los Angeles?

It felt like the place I had to be, you know? Because of the type of work that I do.

By type of work you do, I suppose you’re referring to art. How long have you been involved with art?

I’ve been making stuff since I was a little kid. Probably since I was 6 or 7. I used to build things to make my room cooler and shit, record cartoons on VHS to then re-watch and pause at certain scenes that I liked, to draw the characters on poster boards. At school, daydreaming and drawing was far more interesting to me than paying attention in class.

How did you link up with Krak?

Through a mutual friend. We met once to talk about the project and then things just started from there.

That’s cool. So tell us a little more about the kind of mediums you work with?

I try to use “tangible” materials as much as I can. I work with acrylics, ink, spray paint, watercolor, colored pencils and regular pencils, for the most part. I also use my computer. And for photography I’ve been mostly shooting film with a Canonet QL17, an Olympus XA and an Olympus Stylus Epic.

Wow, that’s a pretty broad range of mediums! Have you got a formal background in art?

I’ve done some art classes but I consider myself self-taught. I started taking art seriously when I was about 16, so I’ve been doing the “same” thing everyday and dedicating a lot of brain energy and thought to art for the past 10 years. Also, reading books and learning things by making them via trial and error, you know? You know, it’s along the lines of “Man I want to make some screen prints. I´ll just read about it, get the materials, experiment and mess things up and then eventually get it right.”

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That’s a lot like how skateboarding is, we learn tricks via trial and error. Which brings me to my next question, when did you start skateboarding?

I started skating when I was around 11 years old. I had some years inbetween where I hardly skated though, when the skateboarding trend died and all my friends stopped skating. Don’t get me wrong, skating by yourself is fun but you know… Anyhow I used to pretty much just skate street but for the last couple of years I’ve been skating mostly transition.

So what got you into skateboarding?

Back when I was in middle school, some friends started doing it and I was like, cool! I want to do it too. The trend died a couple of months after that and I’m the only one who continued skating.

How often do you skate? What keeps you skating?

I ride my board as part of my commute every day but, in terms of actual skating (doing tricks), probably between 1 to 4 days a week, It’s a little bit hard to balance it with work. The idea of becoming a professional or even getting paid for skating died pretty quickly for me, I’ve never been that good. But as I saw that idea die I also realized that there are a whole bunch of other things in skateboarding besides skating that I could do so I was like yup, that’s my spot.

That’s so true, we’re all on the weekend warriors program. So who’s your favorite skateboarder?

I like what Gilbert Crocket and Pedro Barros have been up to, I’ve also always liked the way Jerry Hsu skates.

Jerry Hsu! Hell yeah!! What about favorite videos?

As far as videos, I really like “In search of the miraculous” by Pontus Alv, Habitat’s “Origins”, Toy Machine’s “Brainwash”, Ambig’s “Modern art” is pretty cool too and Foundation’s “That’s Life.” Oh and “Bag of Suck” from Enjoi, I could go on…
Those are some good choices. So what’s your current setup like?

I am currently riding an 8.5” Welcome board, Independent 149 trucks and some 54mm wheels. I can’t remember what bearings I have. (laughs)

Going back to the art questions, when did you start to combine your love for skateboarding and your love for art?

I don’t think that was a conscious decision. It would’ve been weird if it didn’t happen actually. As soon as I started skateboarding my work was influenced by it.

But was there something specific that prompted you to meld art and skateboarding? Or did it happen gradually and organically? 

It just happened. Like I said, there is so much visual stimuli in skateboarding that I would have to be a robot to keep it from happening.

Have you ever made your own board graphics? Can you tell us more about the process? What type of paint did you use? Was it screened?

I painted my board once back in the day, It was pretty lame though. (laughs) I just used spray-paint and made some stencils. I guess I always knew it was going to get scratched super quick so I didn’t even make the effort to manually make it look pretty. Plus most of the time I’m stoked on the graphics already. Now, making board graphics for production, that’s another story.

Tell us about this art piece you’ve worked on for the KrakBox? How did you get the idea?

Re-heat is the name of the piece I did for the KrakBox. The idea came one night when I was out eating pizza, I must have had around 10 slices if not 14. My stomach was hurting like crazy and I ended up passing out in the alley behind the pizza place, I don’t remember much, my last visual memory from the night is laying down on the floor and seeing a rat eat a slice of pizza that they had thrown out the back door. That pizza place is quite rat-friendly. I woke up the next morning inside the pizza place and they fed me re-heated pizza from the night before. That’s how the idea came about.

Krak riso

Interesting. Each of these pieces is pretty unusual, can you tell us about the printing process you used?

The printing process is called Risograph printing which is like a hybrid between screen-printing and photocopying. It’s such a beautiful process because it’s not perfect, those little imperfections give each print a special flavor and uniqueness.

So that makes each piece unique and limited in a way. How does the piece you did for the KrakBox relate to skateboarding?

The piece I did for the KrakBox, how it relates to skateboarding is that it was an adventure that happened on a night that I was out skating, you know? Like we went to the pizza shop after having a good sesh and it was one of those things that happens because of skateboarding, because skateboarding is a catalyst for a bunch of other things and this was one of them. It was like a little adventure that wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t go out skating.

What other skate related work have you done?

I’ve done some work for Vans (México), and two cartoon mini-series for Supra México as well. I’ve also had the chance to work with Premier Skateshop and Ambig clothing, just to name a few.

How did you get to work with Vans, Supra and Ambig?
By knocking on doors and talking to people who worked for those brands, pretty much. And putting work out there I guess.

In terms of skateboard aesthetics, which skate company’s artistic direction are you most excited about right now?

I’ve always been a fan of Ed Templeton’s work and thus Toy machine, Tired skateboards is coming up with really cool stuff, and also Friendship skateboards. I feel that these brands are paying attention to art, kind of like how it used to be. Protopositive graphics.

Toy Machine has definitely always stood out in terms of their graphic direction. Who’s your favorite skateboard artist?
It’s hard for me to pick one favorite for everything, if you haven’t noticed. (laughs) I’m more of a “group of favorites” kind of guy. I grew up looking at stuff from Michael Sieben, Andrew Pommier, and Ed Templeton. Those genres and styles of graphics and art are going to stay in my heart forever.

Yeah, I know this is a tough one but what is your all time favorite skateboard graphic?

There are too many, I really like the Toy Machine graphic that has the words “Toy Machine” written on the fingers of two clenched fists (the Toy Machine fist graphic). Even though it’s almost a logo board, it blew my mind the first time I saw it.

Since you’re obviously deeply into art, who’s your favorite non-skateboard artist?
I’m a big fan of ‘90s cartoons. I also really like the work from Barry McGee, Jim Houser, Raúl Pardo, Nathan Russell, David Rocha, Mike Brodie, Oliver Jeffers to name a few. A bunch of artists from the kids section of your local bookstore. I’ve also been obsessing on Efterklang’s music lately.

That’s a list! I need to check out some of their work. Tell us a bit about the projects you are working on now?
I’m very exited on the work I’m doing right now, there are a couple of projects that are blowing my mind. Sadly I can’t say too much. On the other hand I’ve been continuously working on my zine “CALL ME A FOOL”, which is a quarterly zine with photos, illustrations, sketches, essays and stuff.
My instagram is a good way to see what I’m up to (@aldeanda).

Alright, we’ll look forward to seeing more of your work in that. What plans do you have for the rest of the year?
I’m still getting settled here in Los Angeles, so we’ll see what that brings. And like I said, I have a couple of projects aligned but can’t talk about them. In a nutshell, I’m skating and making stuff.

Any skateboard related art projects that you are working on or plan on working on in the future?

Can’t talk about it. (laughs)

All right, thanks for doing this Alfonso, who do you want to thank as we wrap this up?

Well, thank you guys! And I would like to give a shout out to all the dogs on earth, you guys rule, every single one of you. Cats too.

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