smooth like butter
Christopher is an underdog, a skateboarder's skateboarder, a myth and a couch tourist with no pocket money, but a lot of potential.. He loves skateboarding and owns a super-smooth, eye-pleasing and characteristic style. Let's introduce this talent with his first interview and the re-edit of almost unseen 2009 to 2011 footage.
Hello Christopher, please introduce yourself.
My Name is Christopher Schübel. I'm 25 years old, grew up Erfurt and live in Leipzig for seven years.
When and why did you start skating?
I started skating with 12 years, before that I just played Tony Hawk. (laughs) My brother occasionally skated in our parents garden and one day I had to try it. It took me five minutes and I was totally into it. From this moment on, I loved that skating was so much more difficult than everything else I did before.
What did you do before?
I tried a lot of sports: soccer, judo, then athletics, especially hurdles and endurance workout.
The first two years I had a bucket list of tricks and skated pretty often by myself until I had enough tricks on lock to skate the city. After that I met the locals in Erfurt and learned new tricks. Hardflips (flipped through the legs) were the shit these days.
On one skate trip to Jena I ran into locals from Weimar, who invited me to my first trip to Prague. The “Stalin Plaza” was love at first sight!
When did you get your first support?
I was 15 and skated the “Zitadelle” spot in Erfurt one evening. My discount shoes fell apart and Kevin Lösch (one of the older locals) offered new shoes. He gave me his worn out Savier “Brian Anderson” in green. These were my first skateshoes and I was extremely proud of them.
Ok, thats nice, but I meant a sponsorship..
That happened when I was 16. We skated the "Stalin Plaza" and Stephan Günther (Günni) was there as well. Dude, I was so stoked on his skating! Later on, he came over and said: “Hi, I'm Stefan!” I've been kinda starstruck and could only answer: “Yeah, I know.” (laughs) We talked for a while and he asked me to ride for Rollmops. I was on the team for almost a year, but unfortunately it didn't work out. If you're so young, you sometimes don't know how to conduct yourself and fulfill the expectations. I really wanna thank Günni, he has done a lot for me and is a great person!
What happened then?
I've met Joni Wronn, who put me on Ipath and flowed me Santa Cruz Boards. Thank you Joni, that was sick! My first Package was so huge, that my parents didn't believe that all the boards and shoes were for me. Then I got hooked up by Jart and Etnies, followed by Sykum Footwear and Salut Skateboards.
Why so many changes?
I don't know, I just wanted to skate.. The deals with Ipath, Santa Cruz and Jart were more favors from Joni, nothing really official. Adam Sello got me on Etnies. I liked the shoes and really liked how Adam managed the german team. Erik Groß and Tom Kleinschmidt, who are my downright mates were on the same team as well. Unfortunately Etnies kicked half of the team due to financial reasons. Up next was Sykum Footwear, which are good shoes, but I didn't feel comfortable in them. I'm very picky with the stuff I ride.. Salut Skateboards for example is a really good brand with good quality, but - this might sound funny - I just couldn't handle the board shapes at the time.
Who are you actually sponsored by?
At the moment I only skate for downright. Watch out for the upcoming downright video in 2014! Besides that, I'm lucky to get a discount at Titus Leipzig and buy the stuff I like to ride.
If you are so picky, which boards do you like to ride?
Girl or Chocolate.
Let's talk about the clip. It was striking that you said “Thank you” at the End of the clip!
Yes, it was a “Thank You” to Marcus for his filming.
You generally say thank you quite often. Can it be, that you didn't do so in the past?
That's a good question. I received so much support from different people and had almost nothing to give back.. Of course, I give back my skateboarding and my goal is to motivate people, but I can only return the favor within my possibilities. My options are quite limited.
What does that mean?
I study social work. (laughs)
After paying your skate stuff, how much money per month remain for living?
Between 70 and 80 Euros.
I've heard that you slept on a girl's couch for half a year?
(laughs) When I came back from Italy I've slept a few weeks there. After that I "moved" to my friend Matscher and occupied his kitchen couch for six months.. Thanks a lot for the hospitality!
How did Milano happen?
I needed a break and a country with warmer weather than Germany. I stayed in Milano for nine months. Great Buildings, good spots and tons of underrated Skateboarders!
Is it true, that you had to throw away a large part of your belongings on your way back to Germany?
That's a stupid story. I arrived with 5 suitcases by car. On the way back, I flew with damn Ryanair and was only allowed to take 10 kilos in hand luggage. All my luggage was weighing around 40 kilos, so I gave a lot of my stuff to homeless people in the streets. I only kept the things i really liked and needed. At the airport I still had too much luggage and got busted. I had to throw away another 6 kilos of boards, new shoes and clothes - it was horrible.
That sounds really bad for a guy that lives with 80 Euros a month!
Yes, but it is nevertheless the evolution, right?! Aren't we living in a disposable society?
What do you think about the evolution of skateboarding?
Generally, I would be happy, if somebody could stop the evolution towards the olympics. Today Skateboarders are presented as hard athletics. Higher, faster, further. It's not really about showing nice skating which motivates people to go skate anymore. I think it kinda demotivates and conveys that you have to start with at least 10 stairs or an handrail with 20 kinks.. In Milano I've seen people filming for five hours to get one trick. I think that creates egoists. People go to spots to present themselves and not to skate a good session.
Photos & Video: Marcus Bronst
Intro: JK, Interview: Eric Fellenberg