Interview With Max Prause

Interview With Max Prause

My current home city Hamburg, Germany has more than it’s share of great skate spots, skate companies which are growing strong and supporting the scene and some very talented skaters. I caught up with Max Prause the other day while he was pushing his day job at Harbour Distribution – knowing how good he skates I asked him if he was up for an interview with Europeskate et voila: here’s a bit of Max Prause’s life for you!

Hi Max! As we’re based in Hamburg, Germany and your not a skateboard superstar (yet…) tell everbody who you are, how long you’ve been on this planet and why you like skateboarding and Hamburg (I hope you like Hamburg 🙂 )

Hi John, my name is Max and I´ve been surviving for 30 years now. The first part of the day I work at Harbour Dist., the distribution of my sponsors Rockers Hardware and ÜBER-Skateboards. I take care for the department of our OEM production, which means, I organize the production of decks and wheels for other skate companies or shops. It´s a great job. I get to witness the whole process, from the first contact with the customer and the development of the graphic, up to the production and in the end I see some happy kids in the streets shredding the boards.

The second part of the day I go skating and work on my dissertation. I love skating in Hamburg because even though it´s a big city you can get to nearly every good spot in the center of the city or the harbour by pushing on your board. From this point of view the center of Hamburg is like a small village, you know everybody and can push everywhere. Otherwise Hamburg offers a lot of new architecture and adventure like all the other big cities.

Max Prause with a big ollie

Which companies are you skating for right now and what other gear do you like to skate in, especially the very important shoe choice?

Luckily I get my clothes from Chico Clothing, it´s a very nice company from Cologne which produces aesthetic stuff for more than 15 years. They supported me for many years, in good times and in bad times.

Furthermore I´m on the Rockers Hardware Team and part of the ÜBER-Family. They are very sweet, my team manager and colleague Thomas even offered me a little cave at ÜBER and Rockers, where I can crawl in to die when I get too old for the team. My shop sponsor is Titus Hamburg, they also help me a lot. When I was a student I also worked there to finance my life on the fast lane.
From time to time I get some Lakai or DVS Shoes from Podium Distribution. I´m not on any team but I´m very grateful and the shoes are my favourite anyway, especially the simple Lakai Select models.

Terrible question but if you had to choose 5 spots to skate forever, which would they be and why?

I have been thinking about this about ten minutes but don´t know, sorry. It won´t be skate parks, but must be spots that offer everything, like good flatground, curbs, banks, stairs, rails and all kinds of transitions. I don´t want to miss anything.

Ahhh, let’s add on another typical question for interviews: who are your 5 favorite skaters ever?

Oh, this question is even worse.(editor’s note: I knew it when I wrote that question down, great!) I´ve never been a fan of anything, no bands or soccer clubs and also no skateboarders. But everyday I´m stoked by so many skateboarders. In other words I´m stoked by the tricks they do. I can´t see enough footage of Dennis Busenitz for example.

Are you more a quiet, behind the scenes skater or do you love to show everybody how good you skate?

I would like to show everybody how good I skate if I could, but the tricks never work out when I feel like people are watching me. That´s why I stay quiet and behind the scenes. Edit by Thomas: Until you get drunk and then you are in everybody’s face and a complete pain in the ass!

Max in the middle of a switch wallride tailgrab on a bridge

Everybody has some tricks they secretly want to finally learn some day – you probably do as well. What tricks would you really like to learn in 2010?

My skating has so many deficits that I really don´t know what trick to name first. Right now it is winter in Hamburg and we can just skate the skate park, that´s why I concentrate more on transition tricks at the moment. But the skate park is extremely crowded, so you just can hide somewhere and be happy that no bmx bike is falling on your head or some punkrock rollerblader is soulgrinding your shin.

I heard you are somewhat of a German Bobby Puleo. What compells you to go out and find the most retarded spots to shred?

This is the first time I hear about being like a German Bobby Puleo (another editor’s not: Bobby Puleo rips for Traffic Skateboards…). It´s an honour to hear that and I really like the true and creative way Bobby Puleo rips the streets, but I think there a lots of other German skateboarders that deserve this “title” more than me. But I like to skate similar spots like Bobby Puleo does, spots that do not appear as “spots” at first sight. This makes a trick interesting to me. Because of modern media and the easy access to every skate video you know every good spot in the world. This makes every rider and his tricks comparable, because you already have seen twenty other tricks on the same spot. I also think it´s boring if you already know the spot and already know which obstacle comes next. Just imagine all the lines done at MACBA.

That’s why I like to search for new spots, it keeps skating colourful!

You had a gruesome injury a couple years back, and you were told you might never walk again. What motivated you to actually get back on your board?

Yeah, I tried a switch ollie down a big gap and while landing my backfoot slipped from the board and I did the splits. Then I saw I had a right angle in my right thigh….
In hospital they said I had a very complicated fracture of my thigh bone which might not heal the right way again.

But I missed skateboarding incredibly from the first day on and did everything I could do to recover again. After one year I stepped on my board again, carefully and without any board control left, but happy.

How did your skating change regarding the injury?

The injury changed me and my skating in different ways. Now I know better, that it´s pure luxury to be healthy and to be able to do silly stuff like skateboarding. Every push in the streets and every ollie up a curb feels like a gift, I appreciate the less spectacular aspects in skating more.
My skating changed, because I avoid senseless risks. I felt kind of unbreakable but now I know I am not. I avoid big impacts and just do gaps and stuff, when it´s a new spot that looks interesting on the photo or the video and I know the trick won´t take me many tries. I know skating always keeps a certain risk but I try to minimize it and focus on the fun in skating.

Pivot grinding it at one of Hamburg's many spots

Are you planning to go on tour this year or make some appearances at contests?

I hope to go on small trips with Rockers and ÜBER for filming, but there are no specific plans yet. For sure I can say that I won´t enter any contest. Contests are not compatible with my philosophy of skateboarding.

I haven’t seen you riding around like just about every skater with an iPod stuck in his ears – do you like skating with music? Do you like music at all *hehe*? What gets your adrenaline moving music-wise?

In my opinion skateboarding got something to do with communication, with earplugs it´s hard to talk and laugh while a nice session. In the skatepark there´s always music and my mood usually depends a lot on it. I prefer relaxed music for skateboarding, nothing aggressive or hectic. Unfortunately the music in the skatepark fulfills every cliché about skateboarding and they mostly play stupid and aggressive gangsta rap or fast and loud punkrock with lots of screaming…
Otherwise I like every style of music as long as the mood fits. At home or on my mp3 player I prefer the great rockbands of the 70´s, in the clubs electro, intelligent hip hop and pop at partys and sometimes metal and classical music or just random funny stuff.

Have you been filming at all lately, do you plan to put out a new part anytime in the future? I’m guessing pretty soon like in March correct?

Yeah, I´ve been filming everytime I could last summer. The problem is that I just know two filmers in Hamburg and both do not have so much time. In March a Rockers Promo DVD will be released and I will also have a part in it. I´m really looking forward to seieng the promo!

Thanks for your time Max! Any last words for the skateboarding world out there?

Thanks to you! No last words, maybe “make love not war” or something. I have to go skating now…

Smart words from a smart skater – hope you all enjoyed this interview as much as I did and I’m sure we’ll be seeing more from Max in the coming years even without any contest appearances. Keep up with him and his sponsors with the links right here:

» Rockers Hardware website
» ÜBER Skateboards website
» Chico Clothing website

No fear, just fun and skating - Max Prause dropping a big one

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