Is Longboarding dead? Hell nah!
At the end of April I hosted this year’s TÜP Season Opening in Kassel, Germany. TÜP represents “Truppenübungsplatz”, a military training ground which in this case has been out of use for several years. The wide road that has been built for tanks is entirely closed for traffic and therefore safe to skate at almost any time. As a wide piece of thane eating tarmac without any turns, it makes for a perfect Slidejam location. On one hand it’s a beginner friendly run but also increasingly demanding the faster you go.
Geographically situated in a central location in Germany it is easy to reach for people from all over the country. Moonshine Mfg. supported me for the 3rd year in a row and the turnout was as rad as ever. Here are 5 reasons why we need more of these events and why Moonshine continues to support them:
1 – They activate and push the scene
It’s no secret that the longboard scene in general has been shrinking lately. Big shops are closing down and companies cannot provide big financial support, or as much free gear and prizes anymore. In these times it’s even more important to support local communities and get people to skate together. Slide Jams in particular are great occasions for skaters of all levels to come together and enjoy a solid session together. No matter how experienced you are or how expensive your gear is – we are all doing this to have fun and skating with others is a great way to enjoy it most. Host a jam or a session to revive the stoke and get people together!
2 – You will meet new people
Seeing friends and familiar faces is rad, right? A thing that I enjoy a lot as well is meeting new people and seeing new crews evolve. Most of the guys you will meet are open minded and always down for a session. You often get invited to show up to their spots and get shown around – a great way to make new friends and skate new spots. Push your boundaries and skate new terrain with new people!
3 – Your skating will improve
Having other people watch you skate might be a little strange at first but it’s a good thing for sure. Experienced riders will often help you improve if you ask them for advice. Whether it’s a new trick that you want to get dialed or a move you want to perfect your form and style on – there is a lot to learn when more people are around.
4 – Positive vibes without forced competitiveness
I have always tried to run jams more like a big open session without too much of a focus on the competitive nature of a slide contest. This way everyone feels encouraged and welcome to do whatever he or she likes for the biggest part of the event. Especially for younger and unexperienced riders this is the time to shine and learn from others. A strictly competitive event immediately sets everyone up as contenders and creates a much more self-focused ambience where everyone tries to do his best and focus on themselves. At the TÜP Season Opening people just skate together for the longest time and enjoy loads of fun runs.
Nevertheless, a slide jam needs things like longest heel side or toe side to offer some competition and extra motivation to the more competitive riders. TÜP people still keep it fun though and no one is bummed when their massive toe side check gets beaten by a friend last minute. Everyone is stoked to see others performing better from year to year.
5 – Brand support
For companies like Moonshine, these events are an occasion to give something back to the scene that keeps us running. At this year’s TÜP Season Opening, Moonshine stoked everyone out with huge pizzas. Nothing beats a solid meal after multiple hours of shredding. For everyone interested in trying our boards out these jams are your chance – our riders will always let you try their boards. I always bring a bunch of them so don’t hesitate to ask!
Thanks to everyone who came out there and shredded! Also, thanks to Moonshine for the delicious support, to Chris of CK Photography and Phillipp Utendrupp for taking photos, and to Longboard Crew Kassel for having us all.
My next jam will probably be in Münster, Germany in July. Get in touch and come skate!
Follow me on Instagram @fredo0104.