As some of you may know, there is a GIGANTIC sports trade show in Germany coming up very soon. It’s called ISPO. How big is it? Well, it’s 14 buildings. To put that into perspective, the Agenda Show is ONE building. It is a worldwide show and because it’s based on the continent, there is a lot potential for connections. Over the course of 6 years, I have begun to develop friendships with these Europeans. We only see each other once a year and the fact is that what goes on in Munich, generally is forgotten by the time the next ISPO hits. And sometimes forgiven! This is my tribute to what I know will be an inspiring series of days.
ISPO & The Longboard Embassy
Thanks to ISPO, I have had the honour to meet folks who I normally never meet. These are folks who have a deep love for skateboarding. They know how much joy it represents. I sense an immense connection with these people and I am going to tell you about them.
There’s Alex Lenz. the creator and driving force behind the Longboard Embassy. Alex has done an incredible job of putting together the Longboard Embassy. Alex is supremely focused and he just gets shit done. His efforts and determination to keep the stoke alive are from the heart.
He’s a contrarian (like me) and also like me, he will ride for life.
A big shout out to Natasha, Alex’s partner and mother of their 2 children. She is an absolutely amazing person. Warm, kind and always supportive.
Alex and his team have put together a really solid floorplan. This time, ISPO is going into the history books. My gut feeling that the ISPO Longboard Embassy will spark some great ideas.
(Heiko and Ritchie – you can read the fine print)
Of course, before we go any further, we have to talk about the Swiss contingent. I dig Switzerland. I will vacation there one day. But only in the winter when I can fully enjoy the seniors discount at the slopes.
So, yes, the Swiss in skateboarding are a fascinating bunch. Those Swiss born in Los Angeles and were transplanted at a young age to Switzerland might even more so. Paging a Jeremy…Jeremy Sochin… We were introduced I think at ISPO #1 thanks to Don Tashman of Loaded Boards. We immediately hit it off.
Jeremy is the owner and operator of Number 1 Skate Shop in Luzern. If I ever come back to life, I’d run my skate shop like Jeremy. He’s dedicated, he’s passionate and most of all, he’s got the knowledge and experience to back it up.
I’ve stayed with Jeremy and his family at their home in Luzern.Their kindness and hospitality is astounding. Some great memories were also formed with Chris and Alex who are part of the Swiss Posse. Alex works at a large company and is about to get married. Chis works at Jeremy’s shop. He’s done some great work with Longboarding for Peace too. Shout out to Rocket,
At my first ISPO, I ran across a magazine that was something like Surfers Journal on steroids. I was stunned at the quality and enthralled by the focus on giving back. I met the publisher – Coco Tache and connected immediately with her vision. I am happy and proud to promote her website 7sky.life
Coco ran the first Women in Boardsports meetup at ISPO. The seeds she helped plant are bearing fruit. Thanks to efforts of a number of extremely talented people, the luncheon has expanded and is one of the key networking events of ISPO.
SHRED EXPO – A TIME TO MEET UP WITH THE SHREDDERI
There are number of unique German board manufacturers that display at ISPO. One of the most hospitable is Sebastian Mühlbauer. Each year, he’d bring caseloads of epic Leipzig brew. Each year we’d talk about the industry and he always struck me as a “doer” just like Alex gets shit done.
He invited me to Leipzig and through a series of stars aligning, Shred Expo is hitting on Thursday. Special mention to Andy Ngo, the show manager who has been working his butt off making the magic happen. Like ISPO, I sense the show will be a catalyst for other great things.
I will most likely wind up spending my remaining days getting to know the Netherlands better. Lisa and Martijn run Sick Boardsand like all those I’ve previously mentioned, their stoke is truly infectious. The Dutch are a nation of traders and I know that Lisa, Martijn andI will have much to discuss.
There are a lot more folks I wish I could have included. Rest assured, we’ll try and capture as much as we can over the next two weeks. Be sure to come back to the site on February 1st. A lot of changes…
Source: CW from MyStyle