Video & Words / Nico Uhler

Photography / Hannes Mautner, Julian Buttschardt, Fabian Reichenbach,

DVL, Dela Charles, Mr. Boga, Stefan Gotti

50 days of touring and almost 14,000 kilometres behind the wheel turned into „We Live Here“, our first ever full-length road movie, featuring old and new friends from all over the place. One massive adventure, supported by Vans & Volcom.

We’re living here and now. A wise old saying that may seem quite trivial… until someone close to you has to go, and all of a sudden, this saying loses all its triviality. Alex, a person who was like a brother to me, and with whom I started skating some 20 years ago, is living no more. Rarely have I perceived the here and now more intensely than on an early morning in July this year when the first rays of sunlight woke me up at Hanover’s 2er. All them homies were still lying in some corners, and instead of curling up again in my sleeping bag, I got up and pushed to the next gas station to get some coffee; pretty trivial of a tour moment. But this moment had lost all of its triviality as, the night before, I had been invited to a WhatsApp group, named “Our Farewell”. With loud music and even louder frontside grinds all around me, with my camera in one hand and some Lidl beer in the other, the news from within that group had taken a little longer to find their way from the phone screen into my head. However, during the early morning hours, they had finally arrived there. I woke up from a dream in which I had had a session with Alex in our home town. Even though he had barely stepped on a board throughout the last 15 years, in my dream, he ollied the 3 block at the local spot of our teenage days. But outside of dreamscapes, this would never happen again. Alex had been living with a serious diagnosis for almost a year and was dying now. In the WhatsApp group, our circle of friends tried to organise some last visits. I don’t know why I didn’t wake up completely depressed, but I didn’t. Maybe it was a coping strategy of my brain to first of all release an unusual amount of endorphins with the first rays of sunlight. Maybe my subconscious was repressing what would inevitably be about to come within the next few weeks. Soon enough, one of the people closest to me would no longer be living. But as for now, he still did – and so did I! Plus, I was exactly where I like to be most: on tour.


Except from a few cars whizzing past and birds singing from above, there’s nothing but the sound of polyurethane on rough asphalt. I’m pushing with the hype of a thirteen-year-old setting foot on his new Christmas complete for the first time. I’m getting some stoke out of every curb and manhole that I get to ollie on my way to the gas station. The coffee from the gas station tastes damn good, I have a nice conversation on the phone with my girlfriend on my way back to 2er, and even though there’s warm water (shout out to Platzprojekt and 2er Skateboarding e.V.), I willingly take my morning shower as cold as somehow possible. I run into Simon Gärtner, who’s taking a stroll through the skatepark, toothbrush in his mouth, and even though he was riding through the concrete paradise on an e-scooter till late at night – with Jan Hoffmann as his co-driver –, he’s greeting me with his good old permanent grin, foam of toothpaste dripping from his lips: “I fucking live here!


Simon had joined our crew at the beginning of the year, and so had Andrei Balaban. While Simon seemed like he was born for our kind of trips, we weren’t so sure about Andrei at first, as he usually likes to smell good and regularly irons his polo shirts. But he let his skateboarding do the talking, coped well with the general lack of tour hygiene, even managed to find irons in all sorts of places and was eventually crowned the party prince of Linz. With said crew, we had already been on DIY tours in Slovenia in 2021 and in France & Switzerland in 2022. Ice-cold mountain rivers and traffic jams in the summer heat, which we experienced in small cars without air conditioning, angry deep ends and countless doorways, wild camping and multiple barbecues a day, as well as a common thirst for adventures and other cold beverages had truly welded the crew together: David “Daniel” Bachl and his dog Chico, Lorenz “Doris” Schneider (also known as “Max Peter”), Jan “Ali” Hoffmann, Tim “Yussuf” Rebensdorf, Catherine „Carlos” Marquis, Nico “Benji” Lovrić, Hannes “Hendrick” Mautner, Stjepan “Kevin“ Lovrić, Roland “Hermann” Hirsch and Jan “Justin” Hirt.


In October last year, we held a party at Stuttgart’s NorDIY and premiered our France/Switzerland tour video, called “Doorways”. Before the video was even shown, the first discussions had already come up about where we should go next. But no matter where to, most importantly, we should get the crew back together on the road, right? So why not just film a full length? No sooner said than done. Almost exactly a year after this idea was thrown into our thirsty round, I’m sitting in front of a nearly seven-hour timeline of footage, about 800 photos and almost as many gas bills and parking/speeding tickets. 50 tour days and nearly 14,000 kilometers behind the wheel turned into “We live here”.


I could have driven from Luxembourg to Mongolia and back, but instead, I left on a total of twelve tours and side missions, from mid-March till the end of September, all across Germany (Stuttgart, Cologne, Hanover, Leipzig, Berlin), Austria (Innsbruck, Jenbach, Linzelona, Steyr, St. Pölten, Vienna, Ebensee), Belgium (Mechelen, Brussels, Saintes/Tubize) and my little country of residence (Luxemburg city, Mamer, Bettembourg, Esch/Alzette, Walferdange, Lultzhausen). Most certainly, there would have been more time efficient, cost- and fuel-saving ways to produce a full length. But the video project was only a means to an end, our excuse to get on the road together as much as possible.


Furthermore, Ali, Daniel, Yussuf and Carlos’ visit to Luxembourg in May showed us that skating-wise, our luck seemed to correlate with the size of our crew. The bigger the better. During a single day – the second of four tour days – Yussuf and Daniel both twisted their ankles at the same spot, and as if that wasn’t enough, Ali got involved in a violent head-on collision with a BMX during an evening visit to the skate park. Three out of four people out in a single day…


However, in contrast, when we headed out with more than twice as many people on our Mechelen to Leipzig tour at the end of June/beginning of July, which was more than twice as long as the just mentioned visit to Luxembourg, everyone made it back home more or less unscathed. Well, Justin did twist his ankle on the seventh tour day, but was able to clip up again on the ninth. Even though we wanted to be on the road together at all times, and we knew that we would probably work best as a big crew, we just couldn’t always get everyone everywhere; due to busy schedules and real life obligations, other trips, and, once again, serious injuries (none of those happened on our tours, though): Kevin’s hand and pelvis had to suffer, as well as Benji’s foot, Hermann’s elbow and Doris‘ hip and a few ribs. If you ever meet Doris at a hardcore concert, please watch out for him (and your nose)!


With regard to the general injury record and other things, it had certainly made a lot of sense to recruit Simon and Andrei. We baptised them „Ziggy“ and „Dusty“ during our first tour to Hanover, on March 18, 2023. However, our tour tradition of baptisms could not be upheld throughout the rest of the year. Dusty’s Diddl friend book was full after just one tour. No matter where we went, old and new friends kept joining us, and even though it had already been tough enough to keep track of all the nicknames, by now it would be pretty much impossible. Steffi Hofer, Peter Mader, Simon Meister, Daniel Ledermann, David Thaller, Tobias Franz, Sheehan Kneeland, Fabian Reichenbach, Pascal Kurth, Stefan Gotti, Julian Buttschardt, Max Schröer, Lenny Koller, Jojo Ducros, Harry Billiet, DVL, Wannes Derycke, Jelle Maatman, Matteo Vandeputte, Jondolar Friedenstein, Jeroen Bruggeman, André Gerlich, Julian Melchior, Jost Arens, Marco Kada, Andi Ronacher, Franz Mayer, Martin Hofbointner, Sascha Walter, Steffi Brenninger, Alex „Asher“ Schultz, Arturs Bogdanovics, Julian Lopez, Kai Hillebrand, Roi Kallio, Dela Charles and Robin Wulf – who had already been our announcer at the „Doorways“ video premiere. All of them somehow became a part of „We live here“: be it by hosting our crew or inviting us to rooftop parties, campfire pyromania or driving duties, nollie sugarcanes or firecrackers in the wrong direction, spot-guiding or pushing buttons on cameras.


Special thanks to Harry, who became my wingman behind the HVX/HPX in Mechelen and Saintes/Tubize, on our tour from Linz to Vienna as well as on a side-mission with Marco in Brussels – where he clipped up for our video as well as for upcoming Pissdrunx and Volcom parts. Biggest shoutouts to Ivan Labalestra, who helped me capture many hours of party cam footage, as well as to Dan Schulz, Paul Labadie, Christian Vankelst, Matthias Reich, Torsten Frank, Felix Neth, Luca Hofer, Christian Pelz, Kevin Parrott and Frederick Schneider, who opened up their hard drives and contributed one or the other clip to our full length.


We’re living here and now. A realisation that has nothing trivial about it, as numerous visits to Alex between all these tours, as well as our final farewell made me understand. So, why not let go of real-life obligations – at least for a while – and turn a thirsty idea into a full-length, if you really feel like doing so?! Living as intensively as you can, as long as you have the opportunity to do so. Driving a good 800 kilometres from Linz to Hanover, and, despite a 90% chance of rain, getting the best weather for three days. Filming Justin as he grinds just as many kilometres on rails and getting stung by cacti that you’re transporting in your car as some sort of tour decoration. Getting Croque Monsieurs served by Renaud Amand on the terrace of Skatehouse Mechelen and using chili sauce how it should not be used. Claimboarding wherever you go and falling asleep with the homies, sleeping bag next to sleeping bag, under a highway bridge in the rain, listening to the voices of Lana del Rey, Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus. Lying in a bed for the first time after a week of being on the road – Leo Preisinger/Finelines and the German skateboarding championship in Leipzig made it happen – and cheering for Ali while he’s learning “switch frontside bigspin flips” and becomes “Germany’s DIY champion” (a trick name that our crew coined and an unofficial title we gave to him).


Pushing through Leipzig at sunrise and going on street missions during the day, 39 degrees of summer heat and wet towels wrapped around my head. Riding the Ferris wheel at Luxembourg’s Schueberfour and skating with Ali and Doris at Cologne’s Kap. Arriving in Berlin after an eight-hour drive, wanting to stop by for a beer or two at Frankenbar with Hermann and just ten minutes later already having had some korn and tequila. Climbing onto cargo ships in the Westhafenkanal and into the sewage basins of Linz. Hillbombs, Swabian tequila and Bs Powerslide concerts in Stuttgart. Taking showers in Asher and Ziggy’s kitchen and getting kicked out at Staatsgalerie for playing football. Making Hendrick spend hundreds of euros on the Vienna parking app and hiding emergency beers in the car… 50 tour days within six and a half months, filled with what Alex always liked to do as well (even though a bit differently): Living. Here and now.







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