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Created by T. Gentsch | News

Pandemic Survival Guide for Skateboarders

10 Things to do as a skateboarder when you’re stuck at home!

It’s the 30th of March, 2020. For about ten days now, the sun has been shining across central Europe. Under normal circumstances, Team Titus would be getting ready for a trip to Russia, the new Titus Tornadoes team would be gearing up for a Brussels trip, and countless other teams, crews, and skaters would be hitting the streets in the warm spring weather. Unfortunately, such plans seem to be a distant dream at the moment. Considering the mild weather we’ve had this winter, it almost seems like the (skate) gods are getting payback for something this spring! The now worldwide virus pandemic and the stay-at-home restrictions that come with it have put skateboarders to an unprecedented test – but we will overcome it!



While skateboards still technically work within the confines of your home, they’re also further than ever from their natural habitat – the streets. The dedicated nature of most skateboarders makes it especially hard on us to refrain from doing what we love during times like these. In Germany, it’s currently still possible to go outside alone or in pairs, but it’s already quite different in Spain, Belgium, and France. Luckily, we can still technically skate outside from point A to B. Regardless, you definitely shouldn’t try to overstretch this freedom, especially because you’ll be in serious trouble if you get hurt and need to go to the hospital. The bottom line is, considering this is arguably the most serious crisis since World War II, it’s best to leave your house only under extreme circumstances.

Being “locked up” will unfortunately also test the limits of everyone psychologically at some point. In times like this, we have to be thankful for the internet communication possibilities we have. In the eighties, you would probably be stuck memorizing every skate mag you had and watching the few VHS skate videos that existed on repeat. Today, you can communicate online with nearly any skater in the world and have the possibility to “live” skateboarding without actually being on your board. Here’s some useful tips for skateboarders trying to survive these wild times:

1: Get to work - Build a skate ramp at your house

Okay, this picture must have caught your attention, especially when you’re stuck at home and wanting to skate! Unfortunately, probably only about 2% of skaters in Germany have the space or possibility to build a skate ramp in their backyard. But, if you have even a few pieces of wood, try to build something skateable! See if you can get your hands on Monster Skateboard Magazine Issue 39, where former Titus (and Santa Cruz) pro Claus Grabke gives you some insight on building your own ramp. Even if you can’t find this issue, just get creative with what you have! Or, go totally wild by digging a huge hole in your backyard and building a concrete miniramp-pool like what’s seen here. If you do build with concrete, you’ll at least reduce some of the noise of skating that would otherwise happen with wood ramps (as Claus explains in Issue 39). Plus, you’ll probably never have to repair it!

What we see here is most likely the dream of every skater at the moment. Where to find this beautiful backyard creation is known only to a few (on purpose)! Hannes F., a master painter and talented craftsman, decked out his backyard with this pool when renovating his house. When asked how much the pool cost, Hans answered with a laugh “My buddy with an excavator dug the hole for 150 Euros, the rest I built by hand with a 40 year old concrete mixer from my dad. It took about 30 tons of concrete to mix by hand. I poured the coping using 5000 to 5500 PSI concrete. It cost about 7000 euros altogether. The best part, I don’t have to mow my lawn so much!” With a backyard like this, you can probably get through ANY crisis!
Side note: Of course it never hurts to paint your room again!

2: #homespotchallenge - Skate inside your house

Even when everyone is told to stay in their house, skateboarders have an amazing way of getting creative. Since the quarantine, Instagram has exploded with skate clips filmed inside even the smallest apartments. There’s already been many super-tech combos, crazy “home obstacles”, and slams that will definitely make you laugh. Nearly all Titus Skateboarders team riders have posted funny (& gnarly) clips under the #homespotchallenge hashtag, which everyone is welcome to participate in! In addition, these clips are a reminder that we’re all in this together – from Danny Way to you and your friends. So, start shredding in your living room and remember, the more we stay at home now, the faster we’ll all be able to get back outside soon!
Side note: Don´t break the table in the living room!

3: Read (also old) skate magazines again

Nowadays, it seems like there’s something new to discover in the social media/online skate world every 10 minutes. However, don’t forget that real skate magazines are still produced in print copy! If you can believe it, skateboarding used to exist before the internet. Even less than 20 years ago, any new bangers, news, or ads had to be published in monthly magazines for most skaters to know about them. Mags like Monster, Limited, Place, Transworld, Thrasher, and TheSkateboardMag were the key sources of skate information around the world. Nowadays, it can be really refreshing to see skateboarding in physical print again. Moreso, try to find a skate mag from years ago and see how things have changed or stayed the same over time. Reading is always good for you anyways.
Side note: BigBrother has always been better than Transworld!

4: Take skateboard history lessons/enjoy a classic skate video

Similar to old skate magazines, many of the most amazing moments in skate history have been documented on video (with the exception of Ralf Middendorf’s McTwist that’s only in a photo sequence)! Older veteran skaters may still have some VHS tapes, but it wasn’t until just a few years ago that thousands of skate videos were produced (and sold) in DVD form. Most skaters with a few years under their belt probably have a collection of skate videos sitting in their closet. If you’re really bored, try to find the whole series of 411vm videos (online too). The total time of all those videos added up is probably enough to survive two pandemics! Regardless, check out the videos you haven’t watched in years, it might even give you some ideas for new tricks to work on nowadays!
Side note: Check out the H-Street Next Generation video from 1992 to see the first “real” Eric Koston part!

5: Tattoo or get tattooed

It’s no surprise that skaters are fond of Tattoos. From Nyjah Huston’s neck to Denny Pham’s back or Flo Wester’s arms – you'll find skaters everywhere with good (and not-so-good) tattoos. Skaters seem to enjoy this body art as much as they enjoy a good kickflip back lipslide. So, especially in the last few years it seems, many skaters have bought basic tattoo machines to use on their friends as test subjects. If you’re lucky enough to live with someone like this, now’s a good time to find a tattoo you love and get it on your skin. It’ll be interesting to see how many people look a little more inked up after the pandemic!
Side note: Tattooing requires close contact with others. At the moment, only people who normally live together anyway should consider it!

6: Make some music

Teachers, physiotherapists, tattoo artists, company founders, investors, marketing managers, pharmacy techs, CEOs, chemical lab assistants, staff sergeants, educators, surgeons, caretakers for the elderly, storekeepers, videographers, landscape architects, public speakers, accountants, event managers, editors, building cleaners, team managers, artists, carpenters, social workers, rappers, students, shop managers, models, restaurant owners, DJ's – Damn! These are just a few of the professions that I personally know skateboarders working in now. We must be a bit smarter than some teachers, classmates and even parents thought we would be. Due to the creative nature of skateboarding and skateboarders, it comes as no surprise that many of us have an affinity for music.
Some of the most recognizable German skate-musicians include former Vision Skateboards am Tilman Otto (aka Gentleman), Yannik Munzinger (DCVDNS), and repeat German skate champion Fabio Fusco (DJ Fabio)! The German skate scene alone has produced some pretty awesome musical talent. Nowadays, this trend continues with skaters like “Jeremaier”, "Scharfe Sauce" Sascha Scharf, Marlon Schollmeier and recently Chris "Makko" Makowski. So, whether you already consider yourself a musician or if you’ve never played an instrument, now’s a great time to learn or practice! A fun place to start is by making your own beat on an electronic drum machine. Whatever you do, just have fun and be happy – that's what really matters!
Side note: Studies from the University of Bochum have shown that 98% of people who dedicate their entire existence to skateboarding from age 12 go on to lead a fulfilling life! The remaining 2% are just stressed out by their wife! (This was not really tested, but would be true if it was!)  

7: Edit skate footy

Nearly every skater has had the idea to make their own skate video – even if it’s just on their phone. Sometimes, it's hard to find the time to cut, edit, slow-mo, add music, etc. to the clips you’ve collected over time. Especially if you edit on your computer, it takes a long time to import clips, organize them all into folders, use the editing software, and so on. Maybe you even celebrated landing a trick so much that you forgot you filmed it altogether! Well, you probably have some time for that stuff
Side note: The same idea applies to exciting photographic tasks like sorting slides, negatives, and editing digital photos!

8: Video games

Most likely, nearly all the skateboard-personalities mentioned above have graduated high school. Especially in Germany, anyone who’s been through our “final exam” process knows how stressful it can be to have your college acceptance determined by one test. Sometimes, studying can feel like doing 10 backside heelflips on a quarterpipe in practice and then missing it in your contest run (I’m speaking from personal experience here). From the viewpoint of the “German National Skateboard Team” coach, a similar hardship applies. After months of training the Tylor’s and Lenni’s of Germany for the most prestigious contest of mankind (no offense bro’s, love ya), the whole mess has been cancelled just weeks before it was set to begin! Ridiculous! What a shame! All jokes aside, under the current circumstances, it was obviously a more than a correct decision by the IOC to postpone the games for a year - and Ms. Edtmeyer will certainly be pleased too! But, as the national coach, it must feel like you’ve fallen into a bit of a rut. In times like these, skateboarders are often left with little more than virtual satisfaction. For coach Horrwarth, now’s a good time to practice your lines during a session on Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1/2/3/10,000, and you don’t have to feel guilty for sitting inside by the TV. After some point, the coach may have to get a vert ramp in his backyard again for the national skate team to continue practicing...
Side note: Make no mistake - Jürgen Horrwarth was and is (alongside Rune Glifberg and Sam Beckett) one of the gnarliest vert skaters to ever come out of Europe.

9: Do something for your health

Let’s be honest, many skaters like to indulge in the “good life” and some may have a tendency towards addiction. Think about it, why would any “normal person” repeatedly throw themselves down a huge set of stairs and it call it “fun”? The point is, skateboarding can put serious strain on our bodies. There’s nothing wrong with a beer or two after a good session, but in order to enjoy the session at all, you must respect and take care of your body. We all have the opportunity right now to let our body fully recover from old injuries, take the time to prepare healthy food, and do some strength training exercises at home. Doing so can mean all the difference towards a few more attempts the next time you’re battling a trick. Maybe you’ll even develop better immune defenses against the corona virus in the process – a win-win situation!
Side note: Two bananas a day will supply your daily recommended fruit serving!

10: Support yourself (and others!)

Of course, don’t forget to support the people (and skateboarders) who continue to work during these times so we can all keep things moving! For example, if you order grocery home delivery from SPAR Supermarket in Vienna, Lites Trucks Teamrider Loco Papi may likely be the one to deliver groceries to your front door! At Titus in Muenster, almost all employees are working from home or doing double-shifts at the warehouse so you can have free shipping from our online shop! The marketing department is working to put out new content (like this blog post) and our social media crew has new surprises for you every day. Skateboarding will live on!
Side note: #keeppushing #flattenthecurve #fuckcovid19

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