Portrait by Joao Goncalves

Portrait by Joao Goncalves

I have been trying to secure an interview with Eugen Enin for years, literally. The last time I contacted him was over a year ago after his exceptional Shaolin Sessions section, but he never responded. Imagine my surprise when, a week after the release of his first VOD, Zoo Revolution, arguably the strongest VOD of the year so far, he gets in touch to ask if I would be interested in working on a feature. His intentions behind it were fairly transparent: The guy has a video to promote and he wants to use the interview as a marketing tool. It makes perfect sense and it’s just good business on his part, and I was delighted at the opportunity to pick the brain of someone who has the potential to be one of the most influential bladers of this generation.

Eugen Enin may have burst into the blading spotlight in recent years with his fantastic video parts, but his desire for attention does not extend beyond showing the world his startlingly progressive take on street skating. He doesn’t do many interviews, which cannot be for lack of opportunity, and the only reason we are seeing so much of him on sites like Be-Mag and Themgoods recently is because the man has a product to sell and he understands you cannot do this by hiding in the shadows. Enin’s social media presence rarely extends beyond sharing videos he enjoys and his frequent use of the prayer emoji to thank people for kind words they have said about his skating. It is pretty obvious that he is someone who prefers to let his feet do the talking and not become entangled in the various ongoing debates that are taking place within the community.

After several years of repeatedly stunning us with videos packed full of technical switch-ups, bizarre and confusing rail transfers, the occasional lofty bio down big stair sets and now those quirky opinion-dividing channel grinds, Eugen Enin has reached the forefront of the sport and is now on the pro team for USD, Kizer, Undercover and Ennui. His first pro wheel has just been released and his debut pro skate is not too far away. He produces just the right amount of sections each year; enough to keep us excited about his flourishing talent but not too much that we become over familiar or complacent about his ability. In other words, he has mastered the art of making his admirers want more. His videos with local crew Borklyn Zoo show that he isn’t in any danger of taking himself too seriously, which, in addition to his blading skills, is likely one of the reasons he has become a lot of skaters’ favourite skater in recent years.

Until the release of his forthcoming USD pro skate, it is fairly likely that Eugen Enin will resume his role as a silent but deadly street assassin while he quietly works away on another groundbreaking video with his film-making brother, so I seized this opportunity to interrogate him about as many topics as possible. He may have been born in Ukraine and raised in Germany, but his self-deprecating sense of humour is remarkably British. Warning: Eugen likes to swear – a lot – but there are a lot worse things in the world than bad language, so fuck it.

Trick two of a slick triple combo that is simply one of many in Eugen Enin's VOD.

Trick two of a slick triple combo that is simply one of many in Eugen Enin’s VOD.

Wheel Scene: Hey. How are you doing? Are you injury-free yet?
Eugen Enin: Lately I have been doing good. About two months ago, I fucked up my shoulder and had to take a break. The doctor wanted to operate but I checked with another doctor and they told me we can find another way. As always, you have to check with more than one doctor! I’ve been doing physio and I feel strong again.

How did you get hurt in the first place?
It was super stupid. It was a small ledge and I wanted to do a truespin frontside, and I didn’t lock well, tried to roll over my shoulder. Normally I am good at saving myself, like a cat and shit, but it wasn’t my day. I didn’t like the spot. The impact was pretty fast and I ripped the ligaments. In Germany, all the doctors want to operate on you and put metal in your body! (Laughs)

Do you have to pay for healthcare?
No. If you are a student, it’s free. If you start work, your healthcare payment comes out of your wages. Right now I am still studying and trying to figure shit out, so I don’t have to pay. I’m pretty lucky.

You’re still at university?
I finished my bachelor of arts in business and administration last year. We went on tour to Istanbul and I started filming for State Of The Art. I wanted to do a masters in the same kind of direction, but it didn’t work out, so I thought it might be a sign to skate a year longer. Powerslide have helped me a lot. I help them out with social media and do a bit of team management for Europe. One part of me is saying, “Dude, you can’t skate your whole life. You have to figure out some future shit!” I can always get jobs to get money, so I am not struggling, but I would like to get a masters and study a bit more. I am still hungry for education and want to learn some more stuff.

How long did you work at Powerslide as an intern?
It was about three and a half months. In Germany, it’s pretty standard. If you are doing a bachelor degree, in some universities, you have to work for three months at a company to get a real job. All my good friends, super business dudes, were going to big companies in Frankfurt or Dusseldorf. I was like, “Should I sell my soul already to the big companies or should I hustle around a bit more and rollerblade?” I asked Powerslide if they would let me do it there. I am good at math and strategic planning, but they got me to do marketing. It wasn’t my thing, but I managed to find a professor who would be willing to let me go and work for a small sport company. I told him I wanted to do it and I was sponsored by them and he said, “I see you’re pretty motivated. You are super good at it! Let’s do this!” (Laughs) I learned about the structure of Powerslide and how they do things, and filmed after work.

What did you learn about the industry from working there?
You learn so much at university but you only end up using about one percent because they try to teach you everything but you only end up specialising in one thing. I learned a lot of programs and a lot about the organisation of a small business at university, but at Powerslide it was totally different. A lot of it had to do with instinct and experience. I worked with a lot of smaller shops and learned how important communication is. One of our sales guys knows all of the shop owners in Europe and America by name and they have pretty close relationships. Even if business isn’t going well, they always try to help each other out. If it wasn’t for the shops, Powerslide wouldn’t exist. We all need each other.

Some skaters like to think of Powerslide as a massive company, but the truth is it’s a pretty small operation. It might be a big company in terms of rollerblading, but it’s pretty minuscule in the grand scheme of things.
There are bigger bakeries in some cities! A lot of people work for them, production in China etc, but only about 30 or 40 people work in the office. Then you have a few people in the warehouse. It’s pretty funny, I expected more people to work there. But I know what you mean. Every three or four days, I check all the forums and it’s so entertaining. I have to force myself not to write something because people think they can run the business so much better and save so much money! (Laughs) People think they could have designed the Aeon so much better, but so few people worked on it and it has developed so much in just a few years, and people are still complaining. It’s like, “Dude, calm down!” I think complaining is a big part of our community. (Laughs)

The Nick Lomax Aeon is the first USD skate I have used in almost a decade and I think it’s incredible.
Really? Wow. They still want to change a few things. The only reason I am not skating the Aeon because I am still in love with the Carbon Free and the Deshi soft boot feeling and because of the channels thing. Me and Jo Zenk are playing around a lot with channel grinds and it doesn’t work with the flat frame because the wheels are too close. It’s perfect for flat skating but not for what I’m doing.

The only reason you are not skating Aeons is because you can’t do those messed up grinds on the other frame positions?!
(Laughs) Not only this, but mainly the technical aspect, yeah. I use the 72mm Aeons for playing around at the skatepark and filming things with my brother. I do skate them from time to time. Most people think I only do aggro skating but it’s not like this. That would be pretty boring.

It must be handy having your sponsors so close by. You can get new parts easily and have the fun job of testing out samples.
If you live in Europe, it’s a bit easier. Communication and support is there. If you can speak German, you can call them. If you’re in America, it’s a bit harder because you have to check if the skates are in stock at the office in America. If they don’t have them, you have to wait for the next delivery. For wheels, it’s better to be in America. I am still waiting for my Undercover pro wheel because it’s not in Europe yet. It was produced in America, so they all get to skate my pro wheel and I am just sitting here! (Laughs) I’m dying! But you can get new skates in a day – it’s super fast. For me, it’s great. It’s like Christmas! Most of the people in the aggressive department have skated for ten years or longer, or they are still skating, or they are the biggest blade nerds ever. Mark Heuss, our filmer, he’s a fucking geek! He knows more than all the Mushroom Blading dudes together! Mark knows everything.

Well, being fanatical about the sport has got to make working at Powerslide more fun.
Powerslide is a source of rollerblading history. Back in the day, they imported everything; Senate, Mindgame and shit. It should be a tourist place for rollerblading. Walking through the halls to the office, there are all the photos from back then – old Mindgame posters that no-one ever saw, samples of the old Fifty-50 clear frames with small fishes inside. It’s like, “What the fuck?!” It’s amazing.

If you stole some of that old Mindgame gear from the warehouse and sold it, you could put a deposit on a house with the stupid money some people would be willing to pay!
(Laughs) Most of the stuff is gone. They still have some stuff, but maybe there is other stuff they wouldn’t tell me about! Some of the stuff has been bought by people who work there to wear it. When you are at the warehouse and you see co-workers wearing Mindgame and Senate shirts I have never seen before, I am like, “Oh, my God! What is that?!” It’s part of my youth. It’s amazing. They have old Mindgame VHS and even catalogues. I see the Mushroom dudes use posters from old magazines and upload them to Facebook – maybe I should write to them.

You’re getting off topic! Which reminds me; congratulations on your Undercover pro wheel and on being added to the USD pro team last year. When are people going to be able to buy a Eugen Enin Carbon Free pro skate?
Thanks! (Laughs) There has been some talk and we have started working on it, but it takes longer. It’s not skateboarding, taking a design, printing it on a board and it’s ready. They don’t want to use an old shape and put my name on it, like they did for some other pro skates. We want to create a new one. I definitely want to have a Carbon Free and Powerslide said it’s cool because most of the other dudes have switched. Richie is on Aeons, so it would be useful to have me put my name on a Carbon Free to promote that boot model. Right now, I am testing a few samples. It’s not finished but it’s getting close. I hope it will be out next year, but I won’t say when!

You don’t wanna get people’s hopes up because these things always tend to get delayed in rollerblading.
As people always say on Be-Mag, “Soon!” (Laughs)

I know you put Xsjado soul plates on your Carbon Free skates. What other modifications do you make? I only ask because I know there are people out there who copy your set-up!
Now it’s time to geek out. I would love to get the Xsjado plate on my skate but it’s not so easy. A size 42 skate will not fit a size 42 Xsjado soul plate, it needs to be smaller so it fits and I also have to shred it down a bit. They would have to get the factory in China to make those changes and it would be too much. I get that. It might be possible with the USD VII plate, but it’s the same thing again. I think Richie started the Xsjado soul plate thing and I tried it; it’s the best. I have been skating Richie’s last Carbon Free for over nine months; it lasts forever.

That is pretty impressive with all the punishment you put them through.
Yeah. Richie did a great job. He didn’t just accept the first sample, he kept pushing it and pushing it. He made a lot of changes and did great work on the skate. The shape is great, but it’s a bit bulky for me. I love the look but I love skinny skates, so I have been cutting off pieces here and there. I have been cutting off the leather piece of the tongue so it pops out a bit more and you have more space on that part of your leg. You can tighten them up a bit more. I use a strap on the left skate and a buckle on the right skate because I fucked up the ligaments on my right leg once, so it’s my weaker leg and I prefer buckles on it. With my left leg using a strap, I can chill on topsides. I also change fashionista blader shit, like laces and bolts. I always have one bolt a different colour. Remember when Aaron Feinberg has those great screws with the little hammers on them?

Those were pretty cool.
Or Jojo Jacobi’s Winterclash Kizer frame, with the small snowflakes, I miss that shit! I hope I can get something like this. I have been wearing a lot of black lately, so don’t expect a super colourful skate from me.

It’s weird that you should mention bolts because I have been seeing some stuff about Chinatown Hardware Company and I couldn’t help but notice they make VHS-style videos and plan to make bolts, which is exactly what Bronze do in skateboarding. The skeptic in me kind of thinks, “Come on, that is the most obvious example of a blading company biting skateboarding!”
Dude, I was hoping you would say that! (Laughs) It’s so funny because they are trying to advertise themselves as being so different and so original. They want to get back to the old Mindgame idea and, on the one hand, they are right. All the classic companies did it; they didn’t sell the greatest product but they gave you the greatest image, the greatest pro skaters and logos. I know what you mean. I was impressed when I read about them but it is quite funny.

When I heard about Chinatown Hardware, I was thinking, “Who the hell would buy bolts? There’s nothing wrong with the stock ones you get, mine hardly ever break and I don’t care what they look like.” But if you would then surely there are other people out there who would buy custom bolts as well!
I think so.

Stylish savannah demo in full effect.

Stylish savannah demo in full effect.

So they could potentially have a market to tap into.
I think it could work. It’s like Gawds selling small gadgets, or older companies, with cool logos on them. Money clips, cool shit that isn’t even rollerblading related. When I was younger and ordering something from a big skate shop, I would buy stupid, senseless shit to get the total up to 100 or whatever. I would order wheels, frames and some small shit to reach that amount. If Chinatown is making small gadgets, it might work. I think they even plan on making UFS bolts, the bolts you can’t see at all! Can you imagine it? Oh, my God, you are laughing your ass off.

(Laughs) Seriously? How else do you expect me to respond?! You can go to a hardware store and buy them in a variation of colours for less than a pound!
Gold, bro! Totally gold! But if you are a cool company with a cool image and you are selling shirts and small gadgets… They seem like they are doing it in a smart way. In their interview on the Themgoods website, they say they want to give them away with the shirts in a cool package. Later they want to sell them separately. If it’s frame bolts, it could work. I would buy a cool frame bolt for a few cents because you can see it. “Oh, he’s using the Chinatown frame bolts. What a fresh dude!” (Laughs) But if they are selling UFS bolts, no-one will ever see them! Even if you are doing a rocket fishbrain, it will be so dirty! There’s a lot of this at the moment. Vollkreis are doing straps, soul plates are pretty popular since Adapt did the super fast ones. Moonshine is doing soul plates too. At first I was kind of critical, but now I am seeing the sense behind it.

Surely, if Chinatown give the bolts away for free with T-shirts, you will never need to buy another set? If they are good quality, you won’t need any more!
(Laughs) That’s a tough one! You could do weak bolts…that break after a few months, and then you have to buy new ones! Or they just never release them and you wait forever. They could do a fundraiser for the bolts, like Create Originals. After a few years, you will get the fucking suspension bolts.

That don’t work.
Because they are melting and shit. (Laughs)

I think we should change topic before you say something that gets you into trouble!
They seem like nice guys; they’ll get that I’m only joking.

“Right now, I look like a cheap ninja in some sweatpants!”

Your brother films your sections and skateboards. How does he feel about the obvious influence skateboarding trends are having on rollerblading?
Oh, my God! I should call him! “Hey, bro, come over!” (Laughs) Filming-wise, clothing-wise, style-wise, dude, it’s epic. Right after KCMO, all the norm core shit, it was the worst. Rollerbladers looked like New York City skaters sponsored by Supreme or something. I don’t want to talk shit about them. Some of the things look cool to me. Looks change, mine has changed from year to year. Right now, I look like a cheap ninja in some sweatpants! (Laughs)

You’re going off topic again! We were talking about your brother.
Oh, yeah. He’s about five or six years younger than me and he has been following me and my “rollerblading career” since the beginning. He understands the tricks and knows the background. He knows how the scene works and that it’s really small, and how much impact an edit can have. It’s incredible if you compare that to skateboarding. It’s bigger and way harder to be big in skateboarding. Even from the beginning, he preferred our industry because it’s so tiny and we know each other. I can talk to people on the other side of the earth about tricks. We started filming together and over the years it has got more serious. I don’t know if he wants to make a job out of it but it’s getting to be more than a passion for him. He’s getting better and better. The VOD was the next step after making the free edits.

What does he think about it all?
For sure, there are a lot of similarities. When blading had the VX flashback, especially after 2010 and all the DSLR filming, it crashed back on the scene and everyone was filming with a VX. It didn’t happen as much with skateboarding because VX has always been in skateboarding. It’s pretty important to them. For us, it was like a small revival. At first, my brother was laughing at this because we were copying the camera and the filming style, getting really close and shit. However, after he saw the first sick blading edits filmed with a VX, he was super juiced. Like Cidy Life, Dirt Box, Geoff Phillip, all the VX killers who can film really well. He didn’t get it at first but then he got into, but not the clothing! White T-shirts and Dickies worker pants?!

On one side, I think it’s pretty impressive that KCMO, particularly Nick Labarre and Sean Darst and those guys, were so influential that so many bladers now dress like them. Even well-known sponsored bladers started dressing like Nick Labarre. On the other hand, they lifted it directly from skateboarding.
I don’t think it’s negative but they are pretty inspired by things that were popular at that particular time in skateboarding.

Then again, it could be testament to their talent that they were that influential. If those guys in KCMO weren’t so good at blading, maybe nobody would have copied it.
That’s right. They did it perfectly. Not only copying it, but how to make it look cool. Look at the scene right now. People are complaining that we are not going big and everyone is too minimalistic. I’m not complaining – I’m happy. This is what the Mushroom dudes have been dreaming of, that one day people will appreciate what they are doing. Not in the “put some respek on ma name” way, but that this is pretty sick to make such a simple trick look so damn cool that even kids are trying it at skateparks. It’s pretty funny when I see kids dressed like skateboarders at the park and they are wearing Valos and doing backslides without a grab and coming out forwards. In the first year, when kids started copying it, I was a bit afraid that they would think this is rollerblading and they wouldn’t learn the history. If you are loving the sport, you will check out what happened back then. They will see there is more than this. If they see a banger Billy O’Neill video from back in the day, they will be like, “Woah! This dude in big sweat pants killed it on wall rides and rad shit!” The situation scared me at first but now I am pretty juiced on it.

“I am not super happy with the situation of our sport right now, but I am super happy with my situation in our sport right now.”

Considering there is very little financial incentive to skate as dangerously as we once did, I can understand why this trend has appeared. Skateboarders get paid good money to put their bodies on the lines, rollerbladers don’t.
There are so many extreme sports out there though, and some of them are even smaller than rollerblading, and some of them are way more dangerous. Look at people in suits flying through buildings. The amateurs in that sport have the same risks as the pros, but they are still doing it without getting paid because they love it and the adrenaline. Sure, I would love it if I grew up in a different time in rollerblading, I would get a few more bucks, but I don’t think I would be much happier. It might actually be worse. I might have a big ego or spending loads of money on stupid shit. I am not super happy with the situation of our sport right now, but I am super happy with my situation in our sport right now. I appreciate how we are all so close. It would be easier to have more money, but there are still people throwing themselves for no money.

Well, yeah. Look at Carlos Bernal – that guy is insane.
Look at Carlos Bernal, he is so sick. He is going crazy. The disaster topsoul in his Spain edit, it was on Carlos Pianowski’s level.

I would say he was going bigger than Carlos!
I was there while filming for the VOD with my brother a few months after the edit came out. We were going up the stairs of this huge kink rail and when I got to the top I was like, “Is this THAT kink rail? It’s so far!” You have to disaster over about 12 stairs or something and the middle part of the kink rail. People are still doing stuff like that because they love it. If you think this way about rollerblading, you can think this way about anything. Why should you work your ass off for a stupid job where you don’t get paid enough? It’s the same thing – because you love it. If you’re not loving it, try to find something better for more money or do something else. Try to find your own balance.

What do you think about the current situation in blading?
A lot of people are afraid because they think we are getting “soft”. When I see stuff like that online, I laugh my ass off because it’s such a stupid word. It’s like when people say rollerblading is getting gay. It’s like, “People are still saying shit like this?” It’s so stupid. We are above it. We are in a new age. We still have hammers, but we also have creative skating, Wizard skating, what the Mushroom dudes are doing, all the new stuff. We also have the stylish dudes, even if it’s inspired by skateboarding. You have the Chicago dudes, New York, Patrick Ridder, my homeboy, it looks so good. They are taking elements from other sports and making such a cool look out of it. I am a huge fan of the Japanese dudes; they have their own style, their own flow. I think, development-wise, we are in the best situation rollerblading has ever been.

“A lot of people are afraid because they think we are getting ‘soft’. When I see stuff like that online, I laugh my ass off because it’s such a stupid word.”

It definitely feels like this is the most controlled blading has ever been. It’s rare to see people doing crazy landings anymore because there is so much perfectionism going on. Just look at the outtakes for Chris Smith’s Shangri-La section; he literally did the same trick 10/20 times until it looked exactly as he pictured it in his mind. That is showing some serious dedication to his craft. Back when blading was “harder”, people would get away with slapping the ground, flailing around all over the place, as long as the trick was landed.
We’re done, let’s go!

Let’s talk about your VOD. Were you happy with the final product?
Oh, yeah. Me and my brother are pretty satisfied. I don’t know if happy is the right word. Has anyone ever been happy with their section? Two weeks later, you can’t watch it again! Every time someone is watching it at my place I’m like, “Urg! I have to go!” I’m happy with the tricks and I think my brother is happy with the filming. A few of the clips are filmed so good and I am so juiced. The fisheye of the frontside fully to wall ride, and then the small fishy bump in Barcelona, I think they are some of my favourite clips ever. Not technical-wise, but I love using different dimensions, like walls and shit. We are happy but there are things we would do different. I am pretty embarrassed with my ninja introduction – it’s a bit too much – but I always wanted to do something like that. (Laughs)

I thought it worked!
The original clip was so long and we had to cut it down. And it was real, I was really cutting my hair. The sword wasn’t sharp enough. My girlfriend was there helping with the lighting and we were in front of a small lake. If you listen, you can hear the water and shit. After two minutes, three, four five, my girl starts to laugh, “It’s not working!” My brother started laughing and I was like, “Fuck this!” We were in the forest and it was a ten-minute walk to my car! My girl had to help me out and cut most of the hair, so we had to cheat a bit. But it worked out in the end. With the VX part, we are so glad it worked out because we wanted to have all those dudes and you know how it is with a project, in the end, you never have all the clips you want. I got clips from most of the homies. The intro, the German track is more of a funny homage, it’s like the 50 Cent of Germany right now. He’s a pretty gangster rapper and it’s quite funny because German dudes will laugh more at it more than American dudes. It’s super gangster and it’s funny because Borken is so small. It’s not a village, but it’s so small and there is no gangster shit.

More combo action - this time a tap to kinky, curvy topsoul.

More combo action – this time a tap to kinky, curvy topsoul.

Where the hell did the bikers come from?
It was so unexpected. It was so epic! Two weeks before we finished the VOD, we already had the stuff of the Grindhoven dudes but we knew we needed some pretty gangster garage shit with the homies. We were like, “Let’s go to the parking place in the city, get all the crazy clothes you have at home!” We had capes and masks and Sven is a bit of a fitness dude, so he brought all the weights and shit. Jo, my other homie, he’s got all the crazy costumes. We got there, started to film, then randomly the first three bikers came and then a dude with a quad. I was like, “Oh, my God! We can get some old school quad shots, like in the old DMX videos!” I was so juiced. We didn’t even ask the biker dudes, they came to us and said, “Hey, what are you doing? This isn’t a skatepark. We know your videos, Borklyn Zoo, right?” We were like, “Yeah! Do you want to get in our video?” They were so juiced. They were like, “Of course! We can do some wheelies and shit.” That was when we knew it was going to be the most epic introduction we could get. (Laughs)

It is pretty obvious you guys don’t take yourselves too seriously. Blading is quite guilty of taking itself too seriously when, at the end of the day, it’s just grown men playing on skates.
Yeah, exactly. But I think it has been getting better recently. The Drunk Blading edits are getting way more popular. Even Broskow is there and making fun of himself, but him making fun of himself is still better than serious skating of mine! He’s still doing crazy stuff and it looks so perfect! The last Drunk Blading edit was so good. I think we are getting more open-minded. There are still some people going, “What the fuck are you doing? That’s not serious skating.” I love people like Danny Beer, they put more comedy in blading and we need more of it. We need to laugh. We are just dudes who try to have fun on rollerblades. Hopefully everyone out there has a good squad and, at the end of the day, they can laugh about what happens.

Were there any tricks that you tried to film for the VOD that you didn’t get? I know you ate shit trying that crazy soul, but you landed it in the end.
I am always expecting one big fall every year. Most of the time, it’s exactly the trick I want to film most that year. Last year, it was when I fell down the kink rail trying alley-oop topsoul in my pro introduction. I really wanted to get it and I didn’t. I was like, “Fuck that, I won’t die without it. It’s okay.” This year, it was more simple. In the outro of my HD section, I am doing a switch soul on a small handrail and then I jump forward over a handrail and land forward and my leg twists a bit. I am laying on the ground and laughing, and it’s funny because it doesn’t look too bad. When I stood up, my brother didn’t show the whole clip, my heel was totally bruised. It was the worst because it was in the middle of the filming process. It wasn’t my dream clip for the profile but I really, really wanted it. I didn’t even want to land frontside; it’s not my thing. It can look cool if you are Ridder or somebody, but I am not able to do it that cool. I wanted to 180 but didn’t get the height and ended up bailing. That was the only clip I didn’t get. I am pretty lucky. Normally, there are more clips. Most of the clips on my list I got in the end. There were a few spots we didn’t get but that’s because I didn’t get to go there. In my eyes, those don’t count.

Well, yeah. It’s not that you didn’t get the clip, you just haven’t had the chance yet.
Yeah, exactly. I can save them for some other profiles! (Laughs)

The response was very positive. Even on the message boards, no-one seemed to say anything negative.
Can you imagine it?! (Laughs)

Even Broskow doesn’t get away unscathed. Someone will find something to attack him for – his jeans, his hair, his face – something totally superfluous. You don’t seem to get picked on for anything.
(Laughs) I hope to find out the secret and keep it for the future! I don’t know. I was checking Be-Mag every day – I hope this doesn’t make me sound like the worst freak ever – and the comments have been great. There weren’t many comments and I thought maybe nobody was checking the thread. But a lot of people had looked at it but nobody was writing, so maybe they didn’t think there was anything to criticise. I don’t like to compare myself, but if you compare my skating to Broskow’s, it’s still pretty young. I’ve only started to get in the public eye in the last few years, so maybe people appreciate that I am still developing. I am trying to push myself every year and get cleaner. I hope they appreciate the comedy aspect as well. “Sometimes he lands sketchy and his sweatpants are ugly, but he’s doing something funny so it’s fine!” (Laughs) As for Broskow, because he is so clean and perfect at rollerblading, one of the most controlled on earth… He’s like a god. If he lands a trick, someone should make a photo out of it and put it in a book. “This is a soul and this is how it should look.” It’s easier for people to find different aspects to hate on him – his hair and shit – because he has been skating for so long and he’s on such a high level. Maybe they find other things because they know no-one can hate on his blading. People should hate on me! I make so many funny landings and wear all those funny clothes, and nobody has said anything. I just hope people appreciate the work I put in.

People get a lot for their money when they buy your VOD. Your section was huge and there was all the bonus stuff. Were you conscious about giving people value for money?
After Broskow put out the Nowhere part, he raised the bar so high. A few months later, I put out the Shaolin Sessions and people were joking that I raised the bar for free edits because I did fast slides down rails and shit. Some people told me they thought it should have been a VOD, but I didn’t feel ready. I am not a super pro, I am not well-known, so that edit was a test to see how people reacted. After we saw the reaction, we knew it was the right point to start filming again and try to sell it as a VOD. When the Wizard of Wall Street was released, they did a zip file, too. I bought it, it was pretty cool. I love wizard skating. It was a cool concept because it was a zip file that had the audio file. My brother was juiced on it, too. Cayenne did the same thing and a few others. We wanted to do both an HD and a VX file because Borklyn Zoo is everything to us. We wanted HD hammers, like Shaolin Sessions, and technical tricks and everything, plus homie footage and epic sessions with our bros and shit. Jo Zenk helped us out with so many cool photos – I was so juiced. We wanted a structure. Some people still don’t know how to access the bonus stuff and asked me why we didn’t put the bonus with the VOD. I tried to explain the maximum for Sellfy is 2.5GB, so it’s not that easy.

Are you going to admit how many downloads you have managed to sell so far?!
I’m a German! We are not talking about money! (Laughs) I’m joking, of course.

You are a fake German!
I grew up here. I came over with my parents when I was four or five. I can still speak Russian and Ukranian. I love it here. It’s such a great country. I won’t say exact numbers but we did okay. We sold more than we expected, because our expectations were pretty low, but then you see the reaction and they get higher. We are happy. We tried to make it a low price because Broskow raised the bar so high and we knew we had to be a smaller price than his. I don’t feel like a super pro. I’m not Chris Haffey and I never will be. I have a lot of friends who are supporting my skating, but I didn’t expect too much and it’s more than I expected. Guys, you can still buy it! It’s still online! (Laughs)

It’s a good marketing strategy. You gave people such good value for money that it will encourage them to buy your next one.
That’s true. Hopefully I won’t do… Oh, I don’t want to say it!

You were going to say Sean Kelso – 18 Plus, weren’t you?!
(Laughs) Er… Oh, shit! (Laughs)

I felt so betrayed when I bought that video. It was not at all how it was advertised, nowhere near the standard of KCMO, and I felt a little cheated.
I totally get his point because everybody moved away. He tried to make the best out of it and, in my eyes, he made the best out of it. It’s still sick and it’s still okay for the money, but everybody was expecting KCMO 2 with all the pros and everything, and sections and boom! And you still got boom, but just a little boom. If my brother and I did it again, the main section would be the same size but we might not have as much bonus. I am not a chilled dude, so after half a year I will have 12 minutes of footage! We had to cut my HD part down, it was so crazy. The Kizer edit I recently released was all the leftovers from the VOD.

You can’t film another VOD for a while anyway because you have a pro skate promo to film!
Yeah, that’s true. Fuck! You’re right. I’m getting so nervous because I don’t know if I should film a big hammer promotion and tell people, “Yo, I’m killing the street game. Buy my skate!” (Laughs) Or should I make an entertaining one? When I was younger, I always preferred the entertaining promos, like stylish, good spot selection, or pretty funny ones.

Or you could just make two promo videos for the one skate!
Ooh! (Laughs) No, we have went over it already, brainstorming about it. We might make one Borklyn Zoo night edit and one HD edit. We have some interesting ideas.

Last question: You tell someone you rollerblade and they don’t know what that is, what do you say?
I think some people will hate this but I have learned, over the past few years, the easiest way is to say it’s like skateboarding, like Tony Hawk, grinding, but with rollerblades. In Germany, a lot of people remember aggressive rollerblading from back in the day. But the rollerblader in me screams, “No, don’t compare it to skateboarding!”


Royale to monster leap bonk in the heart of Barcelona.

Royale to monster leap bonk in the heart of Barcelona.

Eugen taking a beating before grinding one of the most awkward rails in the history of blading.

Eugen taking a beating before grinding one of the most awkward rails in the history of blading.

Borklyn Zoo brothers taking a break from slaying Barcelona - check out that T-shirt!

Borklyn Zoo brothers taking a break from slaying Barcelona – check out that T-shirt!



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