Ironic Berlin.


Words: Katja Horvat. Photography: Maja Alibegović

After all that happened to me during the week of my Berlin visit, I could easily just go and sit in the corner, and listen to Alanis Morissette’s Ironic song, it was so damn Ironic!

First, I almost missed my flight, because my gps, which name is Snoop Dog, totally fucked me and mislead me. Then I fucking lost my voice. I visited Berlin to attend House of Vans, Bright Tradeshow and later on BESA awards, to catch up with my friends, and make some new ones. But then I go and lose my voice the first night in. So, in the end, I was just playing sign language with everyone there – new and rad experience for sure. These few day in Berlin mostly 15.1 and 16.1. 2014 were packed with skate-related events. Main events were House of Vans and Bright Tradeshow accompanied with BESA ( Bright European Skateboard Awards). House of Vans as a second year pop-up event in Berlin, served us with Angel Haze, also some fun and some boring dj’s… During the day, you could see an exhibition of magazine covers spanning more than two decades from: Sidewalk, Kingpin and Monster Skateboard magazine, there were some artists collaborations (custom sneakers), burgers, drink and nail salon if you wanted to customize your nails like a true die-hard Vans fan.

There was also an opening of the exhibition: Brian Gaberman: A Life in Transition (The Element years 2006-2013). Nice photos, drinks, food and cool live act from Képa aka Bastien Duverdier. Which had its opening on the 15.1.2014, after it said goodbye to Antwerp and hello to Berlin.

Then Nike SB Shelter had it’s grand opening. Skate park with a vision to become a central platform for the European skateboarding scene over the next few years. Nike also premiered a new demo, with riders like: Shane O’neill, Luan Oliveira, Donovon Piscopo, Youness Amrani, Wieger van Wageningen and local Berlin riders Denny Pham, Farid Ulrich, Michael Mackrodt and Lennie Burmeister. Next day Youness Amrani took home the award for the Kingpin European Skater Of The Year, and Donovon Piscopo was seen wondering his night away at the Besa afterparty, very cool kid like.

Also Perus Crew’s premiered their latest full length video: Get The Fucking Beers In Dickhead. Video’s featuring skating from: Simo Mäkelä, Jesse Turunen, Pirkka Pollari, Niilo Nikkanen, Tommy May, Miika Sandelin, Dallas Rockvam, Ross Mc Gouran, Madars Apse, Sami Miettinen and Eniz Fazliov.

And for the end, Bright Tradeshow and BESA Awards, who go hand in hand. Tradeshow as a tradeshow offered us various amount of brands, showing us their next season’s goodies, including a barber shop and a tattoo parlor, and some of the most popular and well-know European skateboard magazines had their own corner there.

This year’s BESA awards were the 3rd edition and tribute to the European skateboard scene, hosted by MF David Deery. BESA celebrates the best of skateboarding in Europe.

Here are the Winners of the 2014 Bright European Skateboard Awards:

Photographer of the Year:

Sam Ashley Videographer of the Year

Patrik Wallner

Clip of the Year:

No Complies, Wallrides and Shovits

Video of the Year:

Eleventh Hour

Rookie of the Year:

Karsten Kleppan

Karsten Kleppan rookie of the year

Kingpin ESOTY:

Youness Amrani

Awards were presented by: Will Harmon, Titus, Max Henninger, Ben Powell, Nils Gebbers, David Luther, Mark Nickels, Etienne Pinon, Chris Pfanner, Christian Roth, Enrique Lorenzo and Ralf Middendorf.

text 1

In 2006 Brian Gaberman started to work as a brand photographer for Element. In the past few years, he traveled the world with them, and shot some of the most iconic names in the business, and now he made a book about it. A Life in Transition, is a collection of his favorite photos from his Element era. Some of the photos are now traveling around with him, being exhibitioned in various places. Brian stopped in Berlin by the time all of this was going down. The opening was on 15.1.2014. What made everything even more special were the people and a pleasant live act from skateboarder/musician, Bastien Duverdier, who also goes by his stage name Képa, in this picture with Nassim Guammaz.

text 2

After the opening of: A Life in Transition, we headed to the House of Vans party where Angel Haze headlined. I’m not the biggest fan of these big pop parties, so excuse me saying that I almost fell asleep. Overall she was great. She knows what she’s doing, that’s for sure, but after an hour on the party, I just caught myself looking at other’s people wardrobe choices. So I think that was a great cue that it was time to go. Later that night I attended the afterparty of Perus Crew guys, who premiered their new video Get The Fucking Beers In Dickhead, which was more down my lane. Right amount of dirt, drinks and people. I’m just a bit sorry that I missed the movie.

text 3

Bright Tradeshow: I must admit that the first thing on my schedule was to find a tattoo parlor, which was sadly all booked for that day, and second was to find HUF and see the white’s from Dylan Rieder. Shit the shoe. All I hear is everybody saying kudos to him because he once again tried something different. Well kudos for sure, but god damn are those ugly. The red ones are nice, the color and the material takes away the ick factor. The black ones, I could deal with them, but white ones, I sadly only see them on golf players. That said, Tradeshow was fun. Everybody was showing new collections and collaborations, nice crowd. Bright took great care of their VIP guests, giving us a few perks, like drinks, food, wardrobe for free. There were some goodie bags, the usual. But overall it was nice, great vibe. And probably me being voiceless and not being able to chit-chat helped with this great feeling.

text 4

BESA Awards. What a great time that was. Venue maybe wasn’t the greatest, as some skateboarders also mentioned how last years place was much more cooler, but the vibe and joy were still fully present. It was so much fun to see all the people from business being nominated or not, cheering like crazy and being genuinely happy for everyone who got an award. The most fun I probably had, was watching guys from Eleventh Hour win. They took home the award for Video of the Year. So much joy, beer and whiskey in that brief moment, it was nice. And dudes from Polar were fun too.

Polar got two awards in a row: first Brand of the Year and then as a cherry on top, they also got an award for Clip of the Year: No Complies, Wallrides and Shovits. And all I can say is: they for sure did celebrate it well!

text 5

This picture of Chris Jones (also rides in winning video Eleventh Hour) says it all about the end. These packed two days were total joy and fun. It all happened so quickly, everyone from European skate scene was there. It was so great to see everyone in this one place especially for the awards. It was a nice and good vibe event, followed by great, but quite short afterparty. And what will I remember the most? Probably Polar’s little one Oskar Rozenberg, killing it on the dancefloor at the Besa afterparty, where they won big time! And as I said goodbye to my voice, I now say goodbye to Berlin. Till next time, everyone.

tom knox

Tom Knox from Eleventh Hour.



house of vans

eniz fazliov and Simo MÑkelÑ

Eniz Fazliov and Simo MÑkelÑ

oskar rozenberg, polar, dancing

Oskar Rozenberg dancing

Daniel Clarke from video eleventh hour

Daniel Clarke




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