Intro: Oliver Nermerich - Text: Lukas Tönnesmann - Video: Kai Schmitz - Photos: Lars Echterhoff
We’ve started the rollTogether project in 2008 and we are now holding at our 18th session. If you think we will stop the project or slow down the path we are going anytime soon, you’re wrong. We are committed to continue the fun. Our motivation? Take your time to read the full report below and you might get where our motivation comes from. Our good friend Lukas Tönnesmann from Münster (Germany) experienced the session first-hand and was kind enough to write down his impressions of this very last rollTogether-session.
Ever since one of the first rollTogether sessions went down in Münster (Germany) I´ve tried to make the following sessions fixed dates in my calendar. Having a steady job and other obligations I missed out on a few, but was still able to attend most of them.
For me it was absolutely clear to go to the rollTogether #18 session since this would be one to remember. First of all the location: The Thuringia Funpark - host to the second Winterclash - offers its visitors pretty much everything they could long for rolling wise. Sure it´s pretty much located in the middle of nowhere, but maybe that´s part of the reason I didn´t hear all to many complaints about people struggling to get there - I mean each and every rollerblader planning on making it pretty much went on an odyssey this time - so the group think didn´t really allow for wining about distances. Aside from the skate park being kinda far out all remaining stars had fallen right into place for the 21st of January 2012 to be engraved in our memories as a swell date.
My day started early - well for a Saturday it did - as I had teamed up with Eugen Enin, Jan Niehues and Adrian Röter to share both ride and gas money making it affordable for us poor schmucks to conquer the wild German east. We hit the road at about 9 in the morning, our coffee mugs in the one and - as far as Mr. Enin goes - a constant jabber on his lips. Eugen sure is blessed with indefatigable jaw muscles that allow him to humorously lecture about even the dullest things you could think of. He´s a 140 lbs one man entertainment army so note that if you ever go on a trip with him you might just as well leave your CDs or eight tracks at home. Winged by Eugen´s inspiring chants and thanks to the autobahn´s few speed limits we arrived at our destination around 12:30 - ready to tear it down in the name of bladism.
The park was already well in the hands of fellow rollerbladers and here and there the first tricks were being laced. So - right after the conventional shaking of hands and friendly hellos to long missed buddies - we strapped on our boots. I can safely say that the Thuringia Funpark is - judging from my memory of the indoor skate parks that played host to rolltogether sessions so far - my personal favourite. It´s packed with long - at least for a park that has to cater to the needs of bladers, bikers and skateboarders - ledges, curbs and rails of good heights and is rounded by a nice fly box and a few wall rides leaving not a lot to ask for.
Within half an hour - without really taking the time to warm up - about 30 to 40 rollers had crowded around the famous long double rail box most might still know from previous rolling events in Mühlhausen. It was then that I first spotted a really tall and lanky guy on USD Sevens - later I would learn his name is Cornelius Grunt - that left pretty much everyone including myself flabbergasted with his incredibly tech and fearless skating. As far as I remember his signature moves were his way too smooth ao top acids to 270 front royal to…well, everything! Obviously Eugen Enin, Dave Mutschall, Fedor Simonov and Mark Stamer threw down big time, too, turning the opening session into a 2-3 hour shred fest!
Among all the skilled rollerbladers that day one young gun stuck out from the rest more than anyone else - Jan Niehues! Being only 17 years of age this kid´s already got it all - an endless trick vocab, clean style and the balls to go big! No matter what obstacle was put in front of him that day he didn´t seem to have any trouble executing the wildest switch-ups and solid styled out moves on it. Deservedly so he was later declared rookie of the day which sent him home packed with hardware, soft goods and pride.
Putting the pieces together - it´s obvious that the level of skating at this 18th rolltogether was of the chart. And as I´m typing this I can´t but mention the beastly performance of Remz´ Jo Zenk! Those who know him are aware of the fact that you just can´t tire this kid! Taking brutal fall after brutal fall he´d still get back up and try the nastiest tricks. He went big the entire day and gave a great show. There was really no one else that day more deserving of the Winterclash wild card!
What struck me as maybe the coolest aspect of this very RTG is the fact that a big number of Germany´s rolling veterans attended. Nickolas Belka, Moritz Klerx, Etienne Vogel and Christian Steinhof - all pretty much around and kicking it since the mid 90s - were blading alongside today´s icons like Lucas Landthaler and Daniel Prell. Well obviously Daniel is a dinosaur, too, but age and time don´t really apply to categorize him or his rolling skills. It just shows that rollerblading has remained a big part of their lives, still brings joy to them and is growing continuously in total disregard of voices trying to tell us it´s been long dead.
I want to thank all those who´ve made this rollTogether possible. Big up to Oliver Nermerich, Maik Lojewski, Roland Wander and of course the entire Grindhouse, Conference, Swank, Razors, X-Mini, Rollerblade, Gibbon Slacklines and Be-Mag staff. Thanks to all of you who made it out to Mühlhausen through the storm and snow. I hope y´all made it home safely and had a great time.
See you guys at the next RTG!
- Lukas Tönnesmann