A lack of motivation is never an issue for Emanuel, he wants to go skateboarding all day every day – a passion that started 23 years ago. Read now what he likes most about skate boarding and how to find cool spots in every city. By Elisabeth Bärnthaler
What does your practice routine look like?
I practice as often as possible. When I have to work all week I manage to go skateboarding about three times a week – usually in the evening and three to four hours per session. When I have a week off work I go skateboarding five to six times a week – five hours per session or more and I usually start around noon. By the way, you’ll never meet any skateboarders before early afternoon – it’s just not a typical sport.
Finding enough time can be difficult sometimes though, because of work and my girlfriend. All of it takes a lot of time. Plus, the weather conditions in Salzburg are not always perfect. It’s better to go skateboarding when the pavement is dry, so rainy days are really annoying. I mean, we do have a local skate park with a roof, so that’s a good alternative, but I definitely prefer street skating.
What are your favourite places for skateboarding?
I like street skating the most, especially grinds, curbs, slides and stairs. There are quite a few good spots in Salzburg and you always find new ones, because cities and their buildings change constantly. You realize that, once you start paying attention. Vienna and Innsbruck are great cities for skateboarding too. Actually, for every city there is so called “spot guide” online for you to check out before you visit a city – so you know where to go.
How did you get into this sport?
When I was seven years old a friend of mind introduced me to skateboarding. However, I wasn’t really into it back then. A few years later, I think I must have been 11 years old, I started to develop a bit of an addiction – and it never went away again. When I started skateboarding it wasn’t really a big thing and it wasn’t perceived as something “cool”. Skateboarding was sort of an underground thing and definitely not part of mainstream culture as it is today. And that was probably the main reason why I liked it so much to begin with.
Do you go skateboarding alone or with friends? And what are your favourite tricks?
I always go skateboarding with friends. Being among friends is almost essential for a good session. My favourite tricks are heelflip, noseslide, heelflip tailside and fast plants (laughs).
And how do you learn new tricks?
Actually I have all tricks in my head already and I know intuitively what kinds of tricks are possible. Sometimes I can do them, sometimes I can’t. However, nowadays beginners probably learn lots of tricks by watching them on YouTube or Instagram.
How important is the community aspect for you?
Incredibly important – skateboarding wouldn’t be what it is without its community.
Why do you love skateboarding? And are you competitive?
Oh there are quite a few reasons why I love skateboarding. Most of all, it never gets boring. Skateboarding is still challenging to me, you find new spots and you keep learning new tricks all the time and that’s just awesome. Moreover, skate boarding clears my mind like nothing else – there is simply no room in my head for annoying thoughts while I’m on my board. So, I guess you could say skateboarding helps me relax. And yes, I’m really competitive actually and I love a good challenge.
Skate boarding clears my mind like nothing else – there is simply no room in my head for annoying thoughts while I’m on my board.
How do you stay motivated?
A lack of motivation is not really an issue, I always want go skateboarding. 🙂
What are your thoughts before, during and after skateboarding?
Before going skateboarding I’m always happy and thinking about what kind of tricks I might try today. Then during skateboarding my head is actually quite “empty” – I’m just concentrating and thinking about how to do improve a trick or a technique. Then afterwards I’m usually happy and relaxed.
How does sport influence your daily life?
Skateboarding makes me happy and I think it keeps me young too 🙂 however, having such a time-consuming hobby is not always easy. So I had to learn how to create enough room for other things in my life, for work of course and also for my girlfriend.
What was your most memorable moment?
That’s impossible to say. I’ve had so many great moments and experiences. For example, skateboarding in America (California, Texas, Canada, Florida) and in China (Shanghai and Chengdu) for the first time. I always take my skateboard with me when travelling.
What was your favourite spot so far and is there a special place you still need to check off your list?
My favourite spot so far was in Philadelphia, a big rainbow handrail in the old Love Park – it was epic. And still on my wish list is Ordos in China – the biggest ghost town of the world.
Have you ever hurt yourself?
I once broke my kneecap and it took me six months to recover. Plus lots of cuts and bruises …
What are your favourite skateboards?
It doesn’t matter at all what brand you ride, it all comes down to the shape and the concavity of a board.
Is skateboarding linked to music and does music influence you?
I think, through time skateboarding was always linked to a certain kind of music – depending on the decade. Nowadays, riders listen to all types of music, there is no type of music you could single out and say that’s the trend.
If you weren’t into skate boarding what would you be doing instead?
I probably like to play tennis. And if sport wasn’t part of my life, I would definitely be more into drawing and other creative stuff.
What are the best things about skate boarding that you want to share with our readers?
- Taking new risks constantly: Skate boarding gets the adrenalin flowing.
- Finding new friends: You make friends all over the world.
- Toughening up: You are not scared of hurting yourself any more 🙂
Your favourite motivational quote?
Keep it lean, keep it clean.